Herron School of Art and Design

Digital Experience Design I

Syllabus / Fall 2015


HER-V 403




MWF 12:00–2:30pm (8w2)


Aaron Ganci


Building off content covered in HER V-400 (Designing People-Centered Experiences), Digital Experience Design is an 8-week course focused on people-centered experience design that integrates digital media. By facilitating smaller exercises on digital experience design, this course prepares visual communication design majors for more expansive work in their capstone course, Digital Experience Design II.


This course provides students with an introduction on how to plan for and integrate digital media into experience design solutions. Topics include the use of visual design principles in digital interfaces, narrative construction as a design activity (storyboarding), digital prototyping methods, usability analysis methods, digital user persona development, and a discussion on how trends in emerging technology affect design. Outcomes are wide ranging and include prototypes of mobile or tablet software applications, websites, digital installations, dynamic environments through ubiquitous computing, or large-format screen-based interactions; the only commonality among the outcomes is the inclusion of digital technology.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Conduct observational research with the intention of designing interactions within a digital experience.
  • Use digital experience and interaction design industry terminology knowledgeably.
  • Write personas that inform digital interaction design.
  • Use a concept scenario as a tool to describe an interaction design concept.
  • Prototype artifacts in order to conduct usability analysis tests.
  • Conduct evaluative tests to evaluate the success of a design solution.
  • Identify emerging technological trends and identify how they might be leveraged in experiential design solutions.


In the schedule below, you can see each day's class activity. When assignments are due or you need to bring materials to class, it is noted in the schedule with this icon:

Schedule is subject to change at the instructor's discretion

Week Class Topic

19 Oct

No Class: Fall Break

21 Oct

Intro to course. Intro to Back In Time project. Discuss rapid prototyping.

23 Oct

Active prototyping for BIT project.


26 Oct

Active prototyping or video production for BIT project.

28 Oct

Review at parking videos as a group. Start Sharing Project. How to define personas and goals. Story map sketching, defining scope of system, define wireframes needed, define initial content

Pay for Parking deliverables

30 Oct

Active prototyping - low fidelity

Context for Sharing Project, personas and goals, list of wireframes


2 Nov

UI design best practices, Active prototyping - medium fidelity

4 Nov

Active prototyping - medium to high fidelity

6 Nov

Group critique of high fidelity

High fidelity mocks for critique


9 Nov

Active prototyping - high fidelity

11 Nov

High fidelity design refinement

13 Nov

Final refinements of interface or communication pieces


16 Nov

Introduce Civic Web Design. Discuss civic agency. Discuss open data.

Sharing with Tech deliverables due

18 Nov

Discuss potential contexts

Potential problem spaces/contexts/datasets

20 Nov

Discuss potential contexts; define project objectives.


23 Nov

Active prototyping

Final wireframes.

25 Nov

No Class: Thanksgiving Break

26 Nov

No Class: Thanksgiving Break

28 Nov

The Game


30 Nov

Active prototyping

2 Dec

Active prototyping

4 Dec

In-progress critique

In-progress mocks


7 Dec

Active prototyping or design refinement

9 Dec

Communication check-in

11 Dec

Studio work day


16 Dec

Civic Project Deliverables due


Your grade will be broken down into the categories below*.

Category % of total
Project 1: Pay for parking 10%
Project 2: Sharing with Tech 50%
Project 3: Civic Web Design 40%

*Categories and percentage breakdown subject to change.

Attendance Policy

Being present and active in this class will have a positive impact on your design skills and abilities. What you learn in this class and your growth as a designer is directly related to your engagement with course projects and in-class discussions. I plan the semester around how I can most effectively impact your learning within the time we have together (a.k.a. our class sessions).

Attendance will be taken every day so I can track trends. If you start missing a significant percentage of class sessions or I see a decline in your work, I will request a meeting with you to discuss the cause. As with all IUPUI courses, we follow the Administrative Withdrawal Policy. This policy basically says that if you miss 50% of the sessions in the first quarter of the course, you may be administratively withdrawn from the course. That withdrawal may have financial ramifications as you may no longer be eligible for a tuition refund. Read more about Administrative Withdrawal Policy.

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 all requested methods (OnCourse, email, printed, 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


Cooper, Alan. 2014. "About Face 4: The Essentials of Interaction Design."

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

Rogers, Yvonne, Helen Sharp, and Jennifer Preece. 2014. Interaction design: beyond human-computer interaction. Chichester: Wiley.

Saffer, Dan. 2007. Designing for interaction: creating smart applications and clever devices. Berkeley CA: New Riders.


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 http://registrar.iupui.edu/course_policies.html.

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 2015 Academic Calendar and Finals schedule.