People-Centered Experiences I

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 V421
Designing People-centered service experiences I
HER R411
Design for Interaction: Object and Place
Time MW 12:00-2:30pm
Location HR 116/122

Preamble: Experience Design in Chuck E. Cheese?

In an agricultural economy, flour, eggs, sugar, etc. are the “raw” materials you need to prepare a cake and then you bake it.

In a productized economy, you go to the grocery store and buy a box cake from Duncan Hines. Add water and bake it. / Selling in the 1930s

In a product oriented service economy, you go to the bakery and pick up the cake. Marketing in the 1950s / positioning in the 1970s

In an experience oriented service economy, you take the birthday boy or girl to Chuck E. Cheese. They supply the cake, games, photos, entertainment, etc. It’s a package.


Connectivity in the contemporary networked society has required designers to shift their disciplinary focus from individual products to the entirety of human experience. The field of Experience Design (XD), pursuing an integrative flow of human experience, consisting of multiple dimensions,  and its subsets (interaction design, service design, spatial design, etc.) is growing in both size and complexity. Experience designers are starting to influence an ever-increasing scope of problem spaces.

To be successful in today's experience design practice, you must simultaneously approach problems from a broad, system level and a micro, tangible level and produce strategic design solutions. This work frequently involves the integration of many interconnected deliverables.

With this in mind, your capstone experience will focus on the design of experiences. This semester, you will explore the interconnected nature of tangible and intangible design elements and hone skills you will need to work in this professional environment.

Ultimately, this course aims to develop a foundational understanding of Service-experience design, interaction design, interface design, and their overlap or uniqueness. In doing this, you will be enabled to execute your concentrated capstone project in Spring 2015.

Structure and Content

The structure of this course is intended to provide you with two outcomes: 1) hands-on experience with context-based design research and 2) a better understanding of the similarities and differences between Service Experience and Interaction Design professions. This course will help shed some light on the disciplinary activities, deliverables, process of each area. To do this, everyone will participate in one Interaction Design mini-section and one Service Experience mini-section. Each mini section is 5-6 weeks long. Through this experience, you will be able to make a better decision about your focus area for your capstone project in Spring 2015.

You will apply research tools and methods to seek better understanding of human factors (issues of audiences and contexts), and apply strategic design tools for generating and integrating solutions. Students will engage in individual and team-based approaches to problem solving.

Course content will include:

  • Understanding people and contexts
  • Exploring tools and methods in conducting people-centered research
  • Interpreting, translating and visualizing data through mapping
  • Analysis and organization of data
  • Problem Identification & formulation of problem/opportunity space
  • Narrative, storytelling and prototyping

Learning Objectives

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

  • understand the context or circumstances of a design problem and frame them in an insightful way
  • work at a level of abstraction appropriate to the situation at hand
  • conduct research by adopting appropriate tools and methods to investigate design contexts
  • use form to embody ideas and to communicate their value
  • model and visualize solutions
  • enact a problem solving process that involves the simultaneous creation and evaluation of multiple alternatives
  • add or maintain value as pieces are integrated into a whole
  • establish purposeful relationships among elements of a solution and between the solution and its context


Week Class Topic
1 25 Aug Course Introduction; syllabus overview; "Thanks or No Thanks" Project overview
27 Aug AIGA Herron activity (class will be held); Instructors at NordDesign 2014
2 1 Sep No Class: Labor day
3 Sep Discuss "Thanks or No Thanks" fieldwork; Critique experience maps
Due Experience Map [first draft]
3 8 Sep Discuss connection of Experience/Interaction/Interface continuum to Service Design + Interaction Design professions.
10 Sep Critique of Experience Maps; Discuss SX/IX Sections
Due Turn it in "Thanks or No Thanks" Experience Map [final]
4 15 Sep Interaction Design Section 1 Service Experience Design Section 1
17 Sep Schedule TBD Schedule TBD
5 22 Sep
24 Sep
6 29 Sep
1 Oct
7 6 Oct
8 Oct
8 13 Oct
15 Oct
9 20 Oct No class: Fall Break
22 Oct
10 27 Oct Section 1 Presentations
29 Oct Service Experience Design Section 2 Interaction Design Section 2
11 3 Nov Schedule TBD Schedule TBD
5 Nov
12 10 Nov
12 Nov
13 17 Nov
19 Nov
14 24 Nov
26 Nov No Class: Thanksgiving
15 1 Dec
3 Dec Work Day; Ind. Meetings with Youngbok and Aaron
16 8 Dec Work Day; Ind. Meetings with Youngbok and Aaron
10 Dec Work Day; Ind. Meetings with Youngbok and Aaron
17 15 Dec Review solutions; Group reflection
Due Turn it in Solution Poster, Final Interface Designs (Individual PDFs)
Finals 17 Dec 10:30-12:30pm


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
"Thanks or No Thanks" Experience map 10%
Interaction Design Projects 40%
Service Design Projects 40%
General Course Participation 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.