Simple Exercises for Students

27 Nov 2004 - 5:36pm
11 years ago
1 reply
481 reads
Dan Saffer

I'm putting together my syllabus for an undergraduate interaction
design fundamentals course I'm teaching this spring. I'm looking for a
few simple exercises to give them as "warm-ups" to the field.

I'm looking for suggestions for these, especially ones with a web or
application slant (I have a few for devices). They're probably similar
to the job-interview questions we discussed a few weeks ago: ie.
something a little tricky, but not horrible. They should take a few
hours of time to do. I'm going to assign them one week and make them
due the next, and these will be the first assignments they do before
moving on to some larger and longer projects.

Any ideas?



27 Nov 2004 - 10:58pm
Dave Malouf

Hi Dan,

Since I brought up the job interview question, I can tell people what I went
with (future interviewees on the list should listen up).

Basically, I went the fun but lazy route:
Well, what problems have you been having using a favorite application or web
site? What is one aspect (read as widget) in that solution that you would
like to change? How would you change it? Why?

If I was bringing this exercise into an academic setting, I would put
something like this towards the middle/end of the course, and I would have
people work in duos or trios and have a final presentation. The why should
include source material such as from books, articles, blog entries,
precident setting examples, and as well as explain the total success value
to both the user and the business (and other stakeholders involved in the

When I do the exercise for interviews I act as sorta a product manager type
guiding the discussion from the business and marketing sides. What's fun
about it is that I don't have to plan anything, people get to get down and
dirty on something they have already been thinking about and we get to
deconstruct what we think the problem sets are and then rebuild a solution
from it. So far it has really been working.

-- dave

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