Incorporating UX Design and prototypes into your classroom

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On 2/24/19 at 9:30am, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session Incorporating UX Design and prototypes into your classroom at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Jennifer Cobb of Catawba Valley Community College

Enhancing Graphic Design Education

Introducing students to larger, more complex design problems including larger interconnected systerms thinking. Incorporating a human-centric approach to design, including research, prototyping, testing and refinement

At CPCC, these larger design parameters have allowed students to have a greater sophisticated approach to problem solving. Students and hiring companies are very pleased.

How to make toast ( )

This really helps students to understand the design process. Illustrate a simple process like how to make toast. It may seem simple because we’ve all got different ways of visualizing experiences. Different drawings showcase what are important experiences. What if you don’t use a toaster? Are the toast really about the taste? Is it really about the machine? Is it about the actions or interactions? The experiences we design for others are part of the experiences we build for others. In the class, all ideas from groups of 3+ have to be combined without talking.

As more people get involved, the ideas and solutions soon become more complex.

Human Centered Approach to Design

Its a framework. The framework users a set of practices to understand the wants and needs of the end user. It considers perspectives at every step. It an active process that engages in communication. The ultimate goal is to understand the end user.

IDEO Fieldguide when you understand the people you’re trying to reach…

two models of the process: In the outdated method, a design decision is made, and the revisions take place based on the client. The end user gets the final product without feedback. In a human-centered approach its more fluid. First you empathise, define, and ideate (several ways of doing this from groups, discussions with end users, etc.). Then you prototype and then test.

UX and Design Thinking are the focus of most Humand Centered Design (HCD). Design thinking is a multi-step iterative process that helps designers solve complex creative problems thorougho a hce approach. UX design is an HCD appraoch focused on creating products that provide” meaningful and relevant experieces to users”. Its not just tech and seeks to enhance user satisfaction by improving areas like usability, accessibility and interactions. It seeks to create meaningful expereiences for people.

“Does it better will always beat did it first” Aaron Levie

They use a 12-step process. This is taken in steps to move them through the process. It might be nice to cover this approach, and reach out to this presenter 🙂

 5 Step Process


Personas are used to include multiple end users. These are printed and added to computer screens if possible. Storyboards are used to walk through a process. Some find steps are missed


Define the problem. Use this step to prepare what the use is (end user) needs a way to (action) because (user insite)


Research, empathise with the user, the problems you’re solving, interview. Paper prototype, createe physical artifacts for testing.


Keeping the end user at the forefront of the entire process. User testing at this stage will look back to this


Use QUAL and QUANT methods to garner data. We test throughout the process, using interviews to understand user behaviors, use paper models for observation testing, and using digital protoyping to understand the UX which happens. User testing can be done to get feedback with surveys and observation. Usually this is through Adobe XD or ENVISION. Based on the data from testing, they need to go back and rework the piece.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Steve Jobs

Design XD Prototyping App. The tools are familiar and intuitive. You can use this for mobile and web. It is helpful and beneficial.

How can you incorporate UX Design and Prototypes in the classroom? There is value added to the student after graduation to allow them to become part of the 27% of web and digital


Q&A Session

Why switch to XD from ENVISION?

Its free, works with programs, its easier to use than envision, interactions are easier to work with, and its a quick learn. Sketch and XD are the new industry standard.


Who Uses SKETCH?

Sketch is simplified and specifically made for prototyping. PSD to envision is complex.


Does XD allow storyboarding and prototyping?

We have not utilized that process. No others had considered it. This would be worth looking into. There seems to be a potential for that, and that would be very helpful. Many students do not want to do the storyboarding step, but many see the benefit after it.


What classes do you do this in?

GRD180, but that class is being phased out. It will move into another class moving forward. Likely, there wil lbe some new classes added at the state level which could assist with this.

Great for portfolio because you can use research, personas, and showcase a larger development cycle.