Digital Experience Design / Fall 2016

Assignment Overview

Project 1: Communication Platform

Due: Friday, 9 December 2016
Submit via Canvas
HER-V 403 | Fall 2016
Afternoon Section
Instructor: Aaron Ganci


Design the interfaces for a new communication platform and collaborate with computer science students to build an MVP (minimum viable product).


In collaboration with a group of students from IUPUI’s Computer Science and Engineering department, you will conceptualize, design, and build a new digital product. The product will be a communication platform (think Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat,etc). Approach this as if you are a design team within a startup.

You will design a concept for the app, a user workflow, wireframes, and a high-fidelity mockups of the user interface.


This project mimics the real world nicely. Projects rarely start neatly, where design happens well-before development begins. The CS students have already started building the back-end architecture. It will be your job to collaborate on the UX and UI elements of the product. To do their job, the CS students will need deliverables from you (Wireframes, UI mockups, style guides) to move forward.

Team breakdown and individual deliverable

You will divide into two ‘companies’ with several designers acting as a design team. As a team, you will work through a process of determining workflows and broad branding/UI style. This process will be driven with input from a ‘client’ and collaboration with the CS students. As a team, you will also need to determine a concept and brand for the product. Then, each individual will design a section of the system for one specific platform. The breakdown of these platforms is below:

Front-end (end-user)

  • iOS mobile
  • iOS tablet
  • Android mobile
  • Android tablet
  • Apple Watch
  • Apple TV
  • Web

Back-end (app administrator)

  • Web
  • iOS mobile
  • Android mobile

Computer Science Responsibilities

Your CS counterparts have separate requirements for this project. Together, you will all produce a "Minimum Viable Product", or the most basic version of a designed, functioning app. However, understanding their specific requirements might provide context for their workflow: CS 4500 Project Overview.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this exercise, you will be able to:

  • Discuss design concepts with developers.
  • Present a digital design solution to a variety of audiences.
  • Use digital experience and interaction design industry terminology knowledgeably.
  • Write personas that inform digital interaction design.
  • Prototype artifacts in order to conduct usability analysis tests.
  • Conduct evaluative tests to evaluate the success of a design solution.
  • Design comfortably within a specific digital platforms (android vs. iOS, etc).


  • “MVP” app in collaboration with CS students
  • High-fidelity, clickable prototype
  • Implementation Guide (document that outlines the use of brand elements and the interaction/functionality of the solution)
  • Flat screen designs (for my archival purposes)


This assignment has a total of 100 points. While there are some group components for the project, you will be graded as an individual on the following criteria:

5 pts

Participation in concept development

5 pts

Participation in concept development

50 pts

Refinement of UI designs

10 pts

Polish of UI elements (hi-fidelity enough to look real)

10 pts

Application of brand (color, type, etc)

5 pts

Use of design elements to communicate actions/state

5 pts


5 pts

Appropriate spacing within/between objects

5 pts

Alignment of objects

5 pts

Consistency of UI elements

5 pts

Fit on platform (iOS, Android, web, etc)

10 pts

Desirability (evidenced via Implementation Guide)

5 pts

I can see that the product is USEFUL…

5 pts


35 pts

Design Guidelines

5 pts

Structure of document

10 pts

Typography (use of grade, type choice, legibility)

5 pts

Quality of explanation of brand elements

10 pts

Use of motion/animation to explain the design

5 pts



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

Category % of total
Communication Platform 70%
Exercise: Speculative Communication 20%
Reflection and Process Journal 10%

*Categories and percentage breakdown subject to change.

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