Accelerating students’ capability in design for interaction


DRS LearnXdesign 2019 5th International Conference for Design Education Researchers, 9 - 12 Temmuz 2019


Abstract: User interaction and experiential aspects of electrical and electronic product design are complex

areas for design students to grasp, requiring integration of industrial design (ID) and interaction design (IxD)

knowledge and skills. This paper reports on a specific educational challenge that arose during the planning

of a new Master of Science programme: how should a highly-compact (14-week, 8 ECTS) introductory

graduate course in ‘design for interaction’ (D4I) be effectively framed and delivered? The paper reviews the

boundaries of ID and IxD for clues about the implications of each profession on D4I education, revealing the

centrality of user experience (UX) for envisaging successful interactive products and systems. The reported

new D4I course is conceived with a structure divided equally between part 1 (theory/foundations) and part

2 (practice/design projects). A novel orientation framework comprising five interconnected elements is

introduced to assist delivery of part 1, comprising: (i) user experiences, (ii) domains of interaction, (iii) usage

cues, (iv) technologies, and (v) contexts of use. The content of each element is articulated and its

contribution to D4I education explained. Student learning culminates in the carrying out of an interaction focused

conceptual design project. The paper is argued as a valuable source for instructors who are

considering establishing an introductory D4I course or revising an existing course.