Interviews with children.

The recent New York magazine article, "The Uninhabitable Earth," was the most-read article in the magazine's history. The article presents the scientifically projected fate of our planet due to climate change, organized by its impact: on water, on air, on the weather, on the economy, on war, and on other facets of life on Earth.

Your challenge is to iteratively design, prototype, and test a device that makes people aware of climate's impact on one or more aspects of life on our planet; and/or (b) helps remedy these impacts.

Your device must be wearable on the body (e.g. worn on arms, ankles, thighs, the back, the head). The market for this device is expected to be especially but not exclusively university students who, by wearing such a device, would make visible far-off or otherwise invisible manifestations of global warming.

older participants

Surveys with older adults.


1. Mindmapping
2. Storyboard
3. Sketching (Automatic Sketching) 4. Co-Design (aka Participant Des.)
5. Mood board
6. Collage
7. Analogy or Metaphor
8. Morphological Chart


1. Personas, Scenario
2. Observation
3. Interview
4. Survey (aka Questionnaire)
5. Cultural Probe
6. Think-Aloud
7. Usability Study
8. Delphi Method
9. Crowd Sourcing via Web Survey


girl co-designer
Co-design with young child.

Earlier prototype
Efficacy study with child.

Fabricating a prototype in shop.

Heuristic evaluation task.

two completing sheetsSurvey with tweens.


Co-design at the hospital.


To prepare the requirements for this course, enrolled students may conduct peer-to-peer participant studies using their peers as participants. Methods may include interviews, observations, surveys, co-design activity, heuristic evaluations, and cognitive walkthroughs. As part of this design research activity, students conducting these studies may take written notes, photographs, and/or video as a means of documentation. This documentation may appear in papers, videos, and conferences for academic audiences. Student will not be identified by name, and no aspect of these studies should cause discomfort or risk to participants. Should any student in the class choose not to participate in any aspect of the study, or have questions about her/his participation, please make this known to the instructor. Additionally, for any work of the course submitted for publication, student authors will be identified as first authors of the submission, and the instructor will follow in the list of authors of such work in recognition of their efforts in cultivating this work. If these term are not acceptable to you, please indicate so to the instructor. Non-participation will not impact your grade for this course in any way.

J O I N   S I G C H I   A N D   D R N

Students are encouraged to join (at no charge) email postings (listservs) for ACM SIGCHI ANNOUNCEMENTS and DESIGN RESEARCH NEWS (both of these for design opportunities) and also ACM SIGCHI JOBS (in design). Students are also encouraged to become a student member of SIGCHI which brings you a 1-year subscription to interactions magazine [print] and discounts on ACM conferences. Directions for joining all these.

D E A    S T A T E M E N T

DEA is dedicated to fostering a respectful and accepting learning community in which individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can embrace and respect diversity. Everyone in this community is empowered to participate in meaningful learning and discussion, regardless of an individual’s self-identified gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or political ideology. We encourage students to share their uniqueness; be open to the views of others; honor and learn from their colleagues; communicate in a respectful manner; and create an inclusive environment.

Human-Centered Design Methods   C o r e   C o u r s e
Keith Evan Green, RA, PhD
TA: Jasmine Daniel

Tu and Th, 11:40 - 12:55 in 200 Savage Hall

C O U R S E   D E S C R I P T I O N   |   D E A   2 7 3 0
Focused on methods for designing for and with people in an increasingly cyber-physical world, with its many challenges and opportunities. Course topics include: design ideation, personas, scenarios, “WoZ,” rapid prototyping, collaborative design, observations, interviews, surveys, heuristic evaluation, usability engineering, and “RtD.” While the methods considered apply to design broadly, Interaction Design, User Experience Design, and HCI are emphasized.

P R E R E Q U I S I T E S   |   E N R O L L M E N T
• 3 credits; letter grade only; no final exam; priority given to DEA students.
Enrollment limited to 25 students in DEA; otherwise by permission.

S Y L L A B U S    |    S E E   A L S O   M Y   D E A  5 2 1 0    a n d   6 2 1 0

B A C K G R O U N D    A N D   D E F I N I T I O N S
"Human-Centered Design Methods" focuses on the iterative, design-research process used to design and evaluate objects and environments.

This course focuses on developing interactive artifacts more than static ones, as interactive artifacts, with embedded digital technologies, are growing in number, kind, and complexity. "Interaction Design" involves designing not only things but also the interaction between things and the people who use and live in them. Interaction design is not only about form-making and composition; it is about creative and meticulous design, (increasingly) technology, and an attentiveness to human needs and opportunities, striving to improve life, enhance existing places, and support the interaction of human beings with their physical and digital surroundings. Interaction Design is more than an aesthetic search, a stylistic possibility, a Utopian dream, or a technological quest; it is, instead, a way of designing a “commodious home” for the ways we live.

You can do two things, right away, on your own, that help frame the objectives for this course:

First, you can listen to "The Power of Design" and "Are the Best Designers Rebels?" on the TED RADIO HOUR.

Second, you can learn from Julie Zhao, Facebook's young VP of Product Design. Julie explains what Facebook looks for when hiring designers. She also offers guidance on how designers can best start their careers, offering two key points:

  • “You need to be good at both interaction design AND visual design. […] If you can get to the point where everything you make looks great and makes sense, you will not have trouble landing a design job.”

  • “Once your hard skills are in a good place, work on your soft skills: communicating clearly; pitching a compelling vision; knowing what matters to whom; collaborating well with others.”

On the second point, pitching a compelling vision, Julie offers four steps to follow that capture the core activity of this course:

  • "Describe the problem you’re solving."
  • "Describe how many people have this problem."
  • "Talk about the solution in terms of the experience, not the product."
  • "Let go of 'mine' or 'yours', embrace 'ours'

O B J E C T I V E S    A N D   L E A R N I N G    O U T C O M E S
“Human Centered Design Methods” aims to cultivate new vocabularies of design and new, complex realms of understanding towards realizing artifacts and systems responsive to human needs and desires. By the completion of this course, student will:

• cultivate an understanding of how human-centric design methodologies can be applied in the iterative process of designing artifacts supporting and augmenting human users.

• demonstrate the ability to develop and test conceptual design prototypes responsive to the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly digital society.

• communicate a design process in a rigorous written paper, poster, design diary, and video.

S K E T C H B O O K   +   P R O T O T Y P I N G    M A T E R I A L S
1 sketchbook like this one or a comparable one found in our bookstore.
Materials required to construct your prototypes. Some of these materials and most manual and digital fabrication tools are available in our Digital Design Fabrication Studio on LL2 in HEB adjoining MVR.

To create functioning, interactive prototypes, you are strongly encouraged to embed into your prototype littleBits, electronic "bits" that snap together magnetically. Watch a TED Talk about about littleBits, and review a guide on how to use them. Also watch a short video on how Havas uses littleBits professionally. Finally, you might find project inspiration and ideas from Make (link) which also offers the guidebook, Getting Started with littleBits (a used copy from Amazon costs about $6 including shipping).

Your working prototypes with embedded littleBits will require:
at least one Input bit (a sensor, such as a motion sensor or a light sensor)
at least one Output bit (an actuator, such as an LED or a servo motor)
one battery POWER bit, one 9v BATTERY AND CABLE
The total cost of your littleBits components does not have to be much more than $50. You can purchase your bits on the littleBits web page. You might consider using a wireless bit (e.g. the Bluetooth Low Energy bit or the CloudBit); however, unless you have a computer coding background, I would discourage you from purchasing the Arduino bit or any bits requiring it (e.g. LED Matrix). (If you are interested in designing more complex interactive systems than simple Input-Output ones for this course, take my DEA 5210 Interaction Design studio.)

R E Q U I R E D    R E A D I N G S  
Readings for each class meeting are listed in the CLASS SCHEDULE (below). These readings consist of (parts of) three books and six shorter publications. Only one inexpensive book (The Pocket Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways...) must be purchased; all other readings are provided by links from this page. Please read the assigned readings ahead of their class session.

The three books (one to buy):
The Pocket Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Deisgn Effective Solutions (readings are assigned by method number--e.g. 01, 16).
Interaction Design (readings are assigned by chapter number--e.g. Ch.1, to p. 56).
• The Delft Design Guide (readings are assigned by letter linked from this page--e.g. A)

The six shorter publications (articles and papers):
• Dow, Steve. Wizard of Oz Interfaces [WOz].
• Frayling, C. Research in Art and Design [RtD]
• Ishii, Hiroshi. Radical Atoms: Beyond Tangible Bits
• Mau, Bruce. An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
• Perec, G. Observational "Experiments" in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
• Winograd, T. From Computing Machinery to Interaction Design.
Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J. and Evenson, J. Research through Design [RtD]

A useful online resource for design research methods:

A book that provides thorough case studies of the methods presented in this course is my own book which is not required for this course but suggested:
• Keith Evan Green. Architectural Robotics. MIT Press, 2016.

08.23 | 01 Course Organization and Definitions 
> READ: Ch. 1; 02 ; Mau, B. "An Incomplete Manifesto"; Winograd, T. From CM to IxD
> IN CLASS: form teams of (ideally) four members

| 02 Intro to IxD Research / Data Gathering for User Requirements
> READ: Ch. 9; 56; A D. Cyc; B Prob Def.; D Requir.s; G Mind Map; NY Magazine
> IN CLASS: define your problem; generate Mind Maps & requirements.; observ. study

| 03 Interfaces Defined, Types, Cases / littleBits / Literature Review
> READ: Ch. 5 to p. 147; 11, 53; C Lit Review;; Iishi; explore the different littleBits
> IN CLASS: prepare a lit review; iterate you Mind Map; think "littleBits"

| 04 Ideation and Prototyping (part 1)
> READ: Ch. 8; 14; 47; 66; 99; E Collage; Mood boards, U Ix Prototyping; WoZ
> IN CLASS: ideate with the strategies above and littleBits

| 05 Ideation and Prototyping (part 2)
> READ: 36; F Analogy & Metaphor; H Morphological Chart (more)
> IN CLASS: ideate with the strategies above and littleBits

| 06 Ideation and Prototyping (part 3)
> READ: 58; 82; I SCAMPER; J Storyboard (more), (an example)
> IN CLASS: ideate with the strategy above, reflect, and prepare a Storyboard

| 07 Personas, Scenarios, Task Analysis
> READ: 63; 71; 72; 73; 84; K Scenario (more); L Role Playing
> IN CLASS: reflect, write a scenario, and play the roles

| 08 Interaction Design in Practice (including IRB and Agile UX)
> READ: U Ix Prototyping; Dow, S. WoZ; review Animated GIFs above
> IN CLASS: analyze, reflect, and iterate your prototype; develop an animated GIF

| 09 Data Gathering: Overview, Observation, Ethnography, Triangulation
> READ: Ch. 12; 42; 57; 59; 61; 91; N Observations; Perec, G. Observational "Exp.s"
> IN CLASS: observe, analyze, reflect, and iterate your prototype

| 10 Data Gathering: Interviews
> READ: Ch. 13 pp. 389-398; 43; 48; O Interviews; Q Focus Groups
> IN CLASS: interview; present your Nine Ideation Strategies, one per slide

| 11 Data Gathering: Surveys [Nine Ideation Strategies: 10 pts]
> READ: Ch. 13 pp. 389-407; 67; 83; P Surveys; Review survey examples above.
> IN CLASS:use Google Forms (help if needed) to generate your team's survey focussed on user experience and user response to design alternatives, conduct your survey with 5 participants; analyze, reflect, and iterate your prototype

| 12 Data Gathering: Cultural Probes
> READ: 24; 30; R Cultural Probes; Cultural Probes
> IN CLASS: develop a cultural probe; generate your money shot (ex.s 1, 2, 3 and 4)

| 13 [Pulling threads together, presenting, and reflecting] [QUIZ-1: 10 pts]
> VIEW: Steve Jobs; Sheryl Sandberg

| [F A L L   B R E A K]

| 14 [No lecture: Presentations] [Early Concept: 10 pts]

| 15
[No lecture: Presentations] [Early Concept: 10 pts]

| 16
Research through Design
> READ: 70; RtD; Frayling Research; Zimmerman RtD; V Videos; Paper Template
> IN CLASS: review poster/paper/video examples above, assign team members

| 17
Evaluations: Think-Alouds, Cognitive Walkthroughs, Heurstics

> READ: Ch. 13 pp. 407-428; 13; 46; 87; Think-Aloud vs. Cognitive Walkthrough
> IN CLASS: perform a Think-Aloud with 5 participants, analyze, reflect, and iterate

| 18 Workshop to Advance Your Paper, Poster and Video

| 19 Evaluations: Usability Studies
> READ: Ch. 14 to p. 447; 93; 94; M Heuristic Eval., (Nielsen's Heuristics), SUS
> IN CLASS: perform a Standardized Usability Study (SUS) with 5 participants; analyze, reflect, iterate
| 20 Workshop to Advance Your Paper, Poster and Video

| 21 Evaluations: Delphi Method and Quasi-Experiment Studies
> READ: The Delphi Method
> IN CLASS: perform a Delphi Method study with another team as your participants, analyze, reflect, and iterate

| 22 Workshop to Advance Your Paper, Poster and Video

| 23 Evaluations: Web Survey, Crowd Sourcing, Analytics, Models
> READ: Ch. 14 p. 448-456; 23; 97; Google Forms, Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, Mechanical Turk
> IN CLASS: perform a web survey with Google Forms (help at this link)

| 24 Workshop to Advance Your Paper [PAPER DRAFT, NOTEBOOKS DUE]

> VIEW AGAIN: Steve Jobs; Sheryl Sandberg
> IN CLASS: We will select from the "magic box" names to share draft papers.

| 25 [IRB DUE] Presenting Design: Public Speaking
> VIEW AGAIN: Steve Jobs; Sheryl Sandberg
> IN CLASS: prepare your 5-minute (maximum) presentation

11.22 | [T H A N K S G I V I N G]

11.27 | 26 Workshop to Advance Your Final Deliverables; Course Evaluations
> IN CLASS: share with us whatever you'd like to advance your efforts. In the last 20 minutes of class, we ask you to complete the online course evalulations for this course.

11.29 | 27 Exhibitions and Demos [QUIZ-2: 10 pts]
> Before class: upload and print digital files of your draft poster, paper, and design diary. The poster must be printed 30" wide x 40" tall.
> At start of class: Pin-up on walls your printed poster, and lay-out on tables each individual page of your paper and printed design diary. Bring in (and "install" as needed) your prototype for the demo.

12.04 | 28 5-Minute Presentations and Video Showcase
> Before class: upload your draft presentation (max. 5 minutes) and and a Word doc with your URL (YouTube or Vimeo) linking to your draft video; have your ptototype in class. The presentation, a maximum of 5 minutes, is for your team to make the case--to all of us in class--for your prototype: what it is, why we need it, what it does. The presentation is not graded (beyond being an expected part of participation); it is a means to share with the class what you’ve accomplished, and it provides an excellent exercise in communication. ; have your ptototype in class.

12.12 | [UPLOAD ALL FILES by 11:30am (see below, red type!); 40 pts]
Your grade for these 40 points is what we find from you in our shared file at 11:30am. Remember to label your uploaded file with your name and deliverable (e.g. Team1_Poster_CharlesEames.pdf or Team 4_AnaBell-video.doc where this Word doc has the URL to your posted video).

Throughout this course—an intimate and intensive “conversation” across students, professor, and TA— students will have ample opportunity to receive feedback on their work. In addition, students within teams will grade each other, student teams will grade other student teams, and student grading will be considered in assigning grades for this course. Students will receive a grade in response to work, weighted as follows:

(10 points) Attendance, participation, and sketchbook (submitted for in-class review by Professor and TA as per above Schedule). These 10 points are awarded based on: (1) attendance, (2) the quality of your input in class; and (3) the quality of your sketchbook, which is used for exploring and documenting your in-class activities, and maybe be used for course note-taking and reflection. Failure to attend a class without an approved excuse that was submitted by email prior to that class will lower your grade 2 points out of 100 points total.

(10 points) Completion of Cornell IRB’s CITI training for new human participant researchers. Email Cornell’s completion certificate to the TA before Thanksgiving break. Failure to complete this task or late submission results in 0% grade for this component of the course. No excuse.

(10 points) Nine Ideation Strategies. For each team (i.e. not for each individual team member), upload to our class Box folder and presented in class: one manifestation of each of the 9 ideation strategies (a list of these is found on this page, upper-left column). Four students will work together as a team and receive the same grade. A student peer-review evaluation form [link] will be used, and peer reviews will be considered in awarding the grade.

(10 points) Early Concept. For each team, uploaded to our class Box folder and presented in class: at least one persona, one scenario, one "money shot" (best image) of your prototype, and a "demo" of your design captured by video. Teams of students will work together and receive the same grade. A student peer-review evaluation form [link] will be used, and peer reviews will be considered in assigning the grade.

(20 points) 2 quizzes. Each quiz is worth 10 points of the total grade, testing basic content of assigned readings. (Download publisher’s powerpoint slides if you wish; I do not provide my slides).

(40 points) Final course deliverables. For each team, uploaded to our class Box or Google Drive folder and presented in class: a paper, a poster, a design diary, and a video. Four students will work together as a team; however, each member of the team will be chiefly responsible for one of the four key deliverables, and will be graded for this component. The student working on the design diary will also be chiefly responsible (and graded) for the section of the paper reporting on the iterative development of the prototype. Team members will make her or his assignment clear to the instructor for the purpose of grading by uploading her/his work with file name in this format: Team1_Poster_CharlesEames. Posters, papers, and design diaries are printed on one-sided paper and each sheet is pinned-up for exhibition. See the course's grading rubric [link]. A student peer-review evaluation form [link] will be used, and peer reviews will be considered in assigning the grade.

More about the four deliverables for this course, submitted by each team of 4:

(1) A paper [my guide] communicating the iterative, human-centered design process for an interactive artifact developed in-groups of three. You are not reporting on all ideation strategies, data gathering techniques, and evaluation methods; only those that make the most cohesive, compelling reporting of your design process.This paper will adhere to the requirements for a "Provocations or Work-in-Progress" paper submission to the conference DIS (Designing Interactive Systems), using the required paper template.

(2) A poster [printed 30" wide x 40" high for the in-class exhibition; my guide] communicating the basic content of the same paper.

(3) A design diary [example from previous class] containing [a] weekly photographs of your team's developing prototype, with a written description of what was learned from the research study (or studies) performed that week that informed its development (this is a one page document); [b] the final prototype carefully photographed (including a “the money shot” and a photo of the prototype in which all components of the prototype are labeled.

(4) A video [my guide] communicating the full, cohesive story of the designed artifact your team produced, answering why, for whom, and how it was developed, including an overview of the methods used to design and evaluate it. The video will adhere to the requirements for the Video Showcase” submission to the conference CHI (Human Factors in Computing Systems), where you will also find example videos.

Grading is on a 40-point scale that follows the course's grading rubric. You are encouraged to learn from prior Works in Progress papers linked to this course web page (see above) and those found (in the thousands) in the ACM DL.

By 11:30am on December 12, you will have uploaded digital files of your paper, poster, design diary, and video to our class Box file or Google Drive. This time and date is mandated by the department of DEA and will not be changed.

G U I D E S   A N D   O T H E R   I N F O
My guides (immediately below) as well as they information offered under the headings (below) will be helpful to you in preparing the course deliverables:
• my guide for developing papers and posters
• my guide for making videos.
• a great design diary from a previous class

To further guide the development of your paper, you are required to come to class having entered, into the “Extended Abstracts” paper format, your discussion and results (including any associated figures and tables) for that content/studies you accomplished in the previous week. At (often unannounced) class sessions, name(s) of one of more students will be blindly selected from the magic box to present this segment of the paper for class critique. These presentations will contribute to the selected students’ participation grade, and will help all members of the class to construct a better paper. As indicated in the weekly class schedule, all posters will be presented as drafts in class for critique.

M A K I N G   C O L L A G E S
One way to make Collages by Melissa from my previous studio-lab course
Examples - Archigram collages 1, 2

M A K I N G   A N I M A T E D   G I F S
PBS video on Animated GIFs
One way to make stop-motion videos (This one, using Photoshop)
Example from Dassault Systemes: "The Meeting"
Examples from my students: Lyndsey, Michael + Melissa, Jim + Lyndsey
Example from my lab: a quick study for an interactive patient room

V I D E O   E X A M P L E S   &   G U I D E
Marble Answering Machine
(Bishop, 1995) (WOz example)
musicBottles (Hiroshi Isshi, Tangible Media Lab, MIT.
Example from my students: haptic desk interface for autism
Examples from my lab: Helping Hand; ART: AWE; CyberPLAYce
; home+
Examples from students of this course: Xtinguish; Pandora's Box

G U I D E S :  I R B   A N D  C O N S E N T   F O R M S
IRB application from my lab
IRB approved protocol from my lab
Parental Permission (Consent) Form example from my lab

M Y   L A B ' S  P A P E R S   E M P L O Y I N G   H C D   M E T H O D S
Survey (for children) with Smileyometers
Survey (for adults) with two different kinds of Likert scales
Using suveys, task analysis, design guidelines: AWE from IE
Using co-design with kids: CyberPLAYce from IDC and LIT KIT from DIS
Design research, full arc: AWE from the Journal of Personal & Ubiquitous Computing
Design research, full arc: ART from CHI

D I S   L B W   P A P E R   E X A M P L E   &   G U I D E
ReWear from University of Maryland College Park (Best One!)
Smart Kitchen from National U. of Taiwan
Measuring Product Happiness from TU Delft
Energy Monsters from Northwestern U.

A C M   P O S T E R   E X A M P L E S   &   G U I D E
home+ from my own lab (Best One!)
Xtinguish from a previous DEA 2730
LIT KIT from my own lab
Qora Smart Glove from Emily Carr U.
Personal Inventories from HCI+D at Indiana U.
Augmenting Bag-of-Words from Georgia Tech

Required: attendance, timely arrival to class, participation, and the uploading of all documents
to the course Box or Google Drive folder strictly adhering to all formatting requirement and specifications detailed here, on the course webpage, and in the ACM conference website(s). Failure to fulfill these requirements will reduce your grade up to 10% of the total grade at the discretion of the instructors. Attendance at the start of class will be taken for some class sessions without advanced notice. For each absence or late arrival, email the professor and TA with an explanation, attaching supporting documentation (e.g. doctor’s note); these will be considered as a valid excuse (hardship, medical appointment) without penalty, or not. It is your education, so you should take responsibility for yourself in attending all class sessions on time. 

Late submissions will NOT be accepted, except with a doctor’s note or other proof of personal crisis or hardship. Failure to submit the printed documents and digital files on-time will reduce your final assignment grade 10 points.

Grading for this course is carefully determined by the professor (and TA, if any) with thoughtful consideration of student grading by your peers. If you believe the grade for any component of this class including the final grade is incorrect, you may submit a written argument along with the component-in-question for reassessment. The written argument must reference a specific issue with the graded component of the course and must be thoroughly substantiated. The professor (and TA, if any) will together consider the request, potentially with the assistance of other faculty with expertise in the area. The reassessment will result in any of the following outcomes: no change of grade, a change of grade for the better, or a change of grade for the worse.You understand that the grade for work submitted for reassessment may result in a grade lower than originally assigned.