People-Centered Experiences II

Instructors Aaron Ganci
Office hours by appointment or via Skype
Office: HR 154

Youngbok Hong
Office hours by appointment.
Office: HR 170
Institution Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI
Courses HER V422
Designing People-centered service experiences I
HER R411
Design for Interaction: Object and Place
Time MWF 12:00-2:30pm
Location HR 116/122


This course asks senior VCD students to reflect upon and utilize the sum of their acquired skills in a final, experience design thesis project. Each student will work with real people to identify a problem and craft a solution using the principles of either Interaction Design (IXD) or Service Design. The content, process, and focus of the projects will be determined by each student. The output of this course will facilitate a series of evaluation and presentation venues at the end of the semester.

Structure and Content

This class meets 7.5 hours each week. Most class sessions will be structured with individual advising sessions and presentations at each project milestone. As you are in in control of the progression and outcomes of your project, you should utilize class time effectively: meet with the instructor(s), prompt a critique, pilot you solutions, ask questions, and work smart. Additional activities (lectures, tutorials, critique, etc.) may be added to class session at the instructor’s discretion. You are expected to work a minimum of 9 hours outside of class per week to achieve the class goals.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Detect a context area that is both urgent and personal.
  • Combine methods together to develop a unique and appropriate research plan.
  • Understand the relationship of “Experience”, “Interaction” and “Interface.”
  • Define the scope of a problem space from a macro- to micro- perspective.
  • Identify areas of opportunity that result in impactful design solutions.
  • Utilize the principles and practices of the Interaction Design or Service Design profession to construct a solution.
  • Test design solutions with actual users.
  • Develop a polished, branded product with relevant artifacts in order to pitch your design solution.
  • Translate a complex, messy research and design process into a succinct narrative.
  • Analyze and discuss how past educational experiences have accumulated and informed design work.

Capstone Project

Activities in this course will be based around a capstone project in experience design. Read more about that project on its overview page.

Capstone Project overview


For this project, you should plan on using Napier and Wada's method process framework: Exploration, Generation, Sensemaking, Evalution. Each student's schedule will be slightly different because of the individuality of each project. You should use these dates as guide

Week Class Topic
1 12 Jan Course Introduction; Group discussion; how to build a research plan
14 Jan Individual meetings: Determining Contexts
16 Jan Individual meetings: Determining Contexts
2 19 Jan No Class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
21 Jan Individual meetings: Determining Contexts; Large group discussion: "Job Options"
23 Jan Due Turn it in Research Plan and Justification outline
3 26 Jan Exploration: Field work; Aaron in SF
28 Jan Exploration: Field work; Aaron in SF
30 Jan Exploration: Field work; Aaron in SF
4 2 Feb Exploration: Field work
4 Feb Exploration: Field work
6 Feb Problem Definition, Opportunity space, stakeholder personas defined; Revisit research plan
5 9 Feb Lecture: Prototyping
Due Turn it in Justification
11 Feb Generation/Sensemaking
13 Feb Generation/Sensemaking; Aaron in NYC
6 16 Feb Generation/Sensemaking process; Aaron in NYC
18 Feb Generation/Sensemaking; Aaron in NYC
20 Feb Generation/Sensemaking; Aaron in NYC
7 23 Feb Due Midterm presentations; Revisit research plan
25 Feb Due Midterm presentations; Revisit research plan
27 Feb Due Midterm presentations; Revisit research plan
8 2 Mar Generation/Sensemaking/Evaluation
4 Mar Generation/Sensemaking/Evaluation
6 Mar Generation/Sensemaking/Evaluation
9 9 Mar Individual meetings
11 Mar Individual meetings
13 Mar Individual meetings
10 16 Mar Spring Break
18 Mar Spring Break
20 Mar Spring Break
11 23 Mar No class: Faculty retreat
25 Mar Overview of final deliverables
27 Mar No class: AIGA trip
12 30 Mar Individual meetings to discuss document outline
1 Apr Individual meetings to discuss document outline
3 Apr Individual meetings to discuss document outline
13 6 Apr Due Hi fidelity critique (whole class: printed)
8 Apr No class: Aaron doing fieldwork
10 Apr Triage / Individual meetings
14 13 Apr Due Poster critique (whole class: on TV)
15 Apr Triage / Individual meetings
17 Apr Due Hi fidelity design due (to Aaron, printed, for final prof. crit)
15 20 Apr Due Document critique (whole class: printed)
22 Apr Triage / Individual meetings
24 Apr Triage / Individual meetings
16 27 Apr Due Posters due
29 Apr Prepare for exhibition
1 May Document due / Prepare for exhibition
Finals 6 May Capstone Exhibition: Professional night
7 May Capstone Exhibition: Public night
10 May Commencement


Your grade will be broken down into the categories below*. Participation includes: being present and on time, asking and answering questions, helping to improve understanding of course content for others. Your full attention is expected during class time.

Category % of total
Capstone Project Outcomes + Documentation 70%
Weekly Reflections 10%
Response to feedback 10%
Participation, Engagement, Investment 10%

*Categories and percentage breakdown subject to change.

How Attendance might impact your grade

It is important that you are present for class. Excused absences (course conflicts, illness, death in the family, etc.) will be allowed with documentation. You have two unexcused absences in this course. Every absence after three (starting with the forth absence) will result in a 5% reduction in your overall grade. For example, if you miss 4 classes, you will receive a 5% reduction; if you miss 6 classes, you will receive a 15% reduction. We hope that this policy stresses the importance of being present and active in class.

Late work

Every assignment in this course will be due at the beginning of the class of its defined due date. Work that is not handed in via the method requested by the instructor (OnCourse, email, etc) by the predetermined time will be considered late. The consequences of late submission fall on sliding scale, increasing in severity over time. If late work is handed in within the following parameters, the grade will be reduced in the following ways:

Due date/time – same day, end of class -10%
Same day, end of class – same day, end of day (11:59pm) -15%
Next day (midnight – 11:59pm) -20%
Any subsequent day -50%
Grading scale
A+ 100-98
A 97-93
A- 92-90
B+ 89-87
B 86-83
B- 82-80
C+ 79-77
C 76-73
C- 72-70
D+ 69-67
D 66-63
D- 62-60
F 59-0


Service Design

B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore. “In The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage”, B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore (Amazon, IUPUI Worldcat)

B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore. "Welcome to the Experience Economy." Harvard Business Review.

Buchanan, R. (1995). “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking”, in The Idea of Design, Buchanan and Margolin, eds. Cambridge: MIT Press, pp 3-20 (PDF)

This is Service Design Thinking, Stickdorn and Schneider, BIS press Design Thinker (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat

What do Service Designers Do? University of Oxofrd. (Video)

Service Design Network (Website)

Design Thinkers Group (Website)

Lauren Chapman Ruiz. Cooper. "Service Design 101."

Interaction Design

The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. (Website)

Lo Min Ming. "UI, UX: Who Does What? A Designer's Guide To The Tech Industry."

Luca Leone. "How do you design Interaction?"

Garrett, Jesse J. 2010. "The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond" (2nd Edition). (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Cooper, Alan. 2007. "About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design." (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Rogers, Yvonne, Helen Sharp, and Jenny Preece. 2011. "Interaction design: beyond human-computer interaction." (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)


General Course Policies

All university approved course policies apply to this course. To reference the policies about course withdrawal, disabilities, academic integrity, and more, please see

Academic Integrity

Pay careful attention to the university policies on Academic misconduct. Cheating, fabrication, dishonesty, interference, and especially plagiarism will not be tolerated in this course. You can find more information about these topics in Indiana University's Code of Student Rights, Responsibilites, and Conduct.

Other important links

  • For students with documented disabilities, please visit Adaptive Educational Services.
  • The university has several policies and procedures when dealing with emergencies. You can find many of them, including Active Shooter situations, Bomb threats, Fire, and more at Protect IU. If you have not signed up for IU-Notify, you should now. This service keeps you informed of emergency or weather related events happening on campus. You can sign up here.
  • Here are links to the 2014 Academic Calendar and Finals schedule.