Designing People-Centered Experiences / Fall 2017

Assignment Overview

Conveying and Articulating Experiences

Convey Due: Monday 1 September

Articulate Due: Monday 17 September, beginning of class
Submit via Canvas
HER-V 400 | Fall 2017
Instructor: Aaron Ganci and
Helen Sanematsu


Describe an experience in a variety of ways.


An important skill of experience designers is the ability to tell or show people about an experience that they were not apart of. As we have discussed, experiences are complex and multi-faceted entities. In the assignment, you will practice this by both conveying and articulating an experience. While similar, conveying and articulating are unique activities.

For this project you will form into groups of 3. Each group will look at three different experience contexts: A restaurant, a library, and a grocery store. Within each one of the contexts, one member will act as an observer while the other two undergo the experience. Each member can only act as the observer for one context. The members who are having the experience should distinguish their persona from the other member. For example, in the restaurant, one member might be identified as a 'picky eater' while the other is 'adventurous' (or thrifty vs. extravagant, and so on). See the Context—Persona worksheet for clarification.

As the observer, you will need to watch your participants have their experience and document it in two ways:

As you observe the experience, consider the following components:

Conveying an experience

To convey means to make an idea, impression, or feeling known or understandable to someone. Being able to convey an experience to someone else who wasn't present can be a powerful tool for designer. Enabling stakeholders to see the same strengths and weaknesses that you see is the first step towards improving an experience. As a group, select one of the experience contexts to convey. Devise a way to communicate their experience to a remote audience (in this case, your classmates). Consider what elements of the experience are critical to communicate and what format is most useful to convey through. In the past, students have used video streaming, photography, narrative, games, and more to convey the experience.

Convey Deliverables

A 'presentation/enactment' and archival documentation appropriate to your mode of communication. One submission for the group. (examples: video, photo collage, map, etc).

Convey Assessment

The best way to gauge how well you communicate something to a person is to ask that person. We will distribute a survey to each student and your grade will be determined by averaging the scores. The survey will be comprised of these questions:

  • I understand what distinguishes this experience from others like it.
  • I can empathize with someone who is going through the experience based on what they’ve shown me.
  • I know exactly what parts of this experience led to the team's analysis.
  • The method of storytelling was inventive.
  • Inventiveness hindered clarity.

This part of the assignment will be worth 20 points and it will be averaged using the following formula:

  • Class average score: 40%
  • Aaron+Helen average score: 60%

Articulating an experience

To articulate means to pronounce (something) clearly and distinctly. When you articulate an experience, you want to be more precise and intentional with how you communicate. A journey map is a useful format when articulating. Maps allow you to illustrate the flow of the user's journey and embed a lot of information along the way. Once you have observed the experience, you will articulate it in the form of a Customer Journey Map. You can reference specific information about this map in Mapping Experiences, Chapter 10. In your map, call special attention the artifacts. Note where they are located and what purpose they serve.

Articulate Deliverables

Individual Customer Journey Maps (one per student), sized at minimum 16″x20″ (or 20″x16″), delivered as both a physical print and a PDF on Canvas.

Articulate Assessment

You can receive up to 80 points for this assignment. The assessment criteria are as follows:

30 pts

Your map details the experiential parts and their alignment through an engaging narrative. (I can see all the parts, how they are aligned, and am engaged with the perona’s journey)

2.5 pts

The persona’s goals are evident and relevant

2.5 pts

Phases of experience are evident and logical

5 pts

The thoughts and feelings of the person are clearly articulated

5 pts

Artifacts/interfaces are presented in clear detail

10 pts

There is a deliberate effort to show connection & integration between the parts of the experience

5 pts

The principles of design are used to emphasize critical moments in the journey

30 pts

Masterful use of the elements of visual design to improve clarity and aesthetics ( I can read it and it looks nice/appropriate to its purpose?)

10 pts

The elements of design work well together (Gestalt)

5 pts

Appropriate and legible Typography

5 pts

Appropriate and interesting use of Color

5 pts

Use of negative space to shape overall layout

2.5 pts

Quality of visual material (iconography or imagery)

2.5 pts

Consistency of visual material (iconography or imagery)

10 pts

Critical analysis for action (Have you made useful recommendations/observations that can be acted upon?)

10 pts

The suggestions for improvement or enhancement (including noting where existing critical elements reside) are evident and relevant

10 pts

Craft (Were you careful with your execution and presentation?)

10 pts

Appropriate craft (spelling, cropping, resolution, no scuff marks or creases or dings, etc).

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Utilize the Customer Journey Map format to articulate an experience
  • Align many components of an experience into a single two-dimensional map
  • Use the elements and principles of design to create a useful and well-crafted articulation map
  • Identify areas of opportunity to improve or enhance an existing experience
  • Leverage ethnographic research methods to observe and analyze an experience.
  • Discuss the individual elements of an experience and their interconnectedness.
  • Document an experience in a method that is appropriate for the mode of communication.


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

Category % of total
Convey and Articulating Experiences 40%
Go Vote: Redesigning the Voting Experience 60%

* 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 the method requested by the instructor (Canvas, 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