XD5002 - Application Design

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What will I learn on this module?

You will be introduced to the Human-centred design (HCD) principles, methods and tools required to design mobile applications and digital services across different platforms. You will broaden your understanding of user experience and usage outcomes by applying HCD theories and standards to interaction design across different platforms. HCDi is a framework (way of thinking) and philosophy that places the ‘human perspective’ at the centre of all design processes. Applying this framework, you will develop a good understanding of the relationship between the produced digital artefact and the service it offers to users. You will learn how to create personas, user journeys, scenarios, interaction design paradigms and models, test prototypes, and create professional and finalised digital prototypes of your concept.

The module will introduce you to the different forms of HCD-related activity within an interaction design process. These are:

Discover
• Explore usage contexts and identify new product/service opportunities
• Identify research insights
• Identify potential stakeholders
• Conduct contextual research
• Map out product/system eco-system

Define
• Define design brief and key users and related stakeholders
• Define user needs
• Analyse existing user activities
• Create user personas and usage scenarios
• Create customer journey maps
• Refine user experience goals and stakeholder objectives

Develop
• Create, evaluate and develop design concepts
• Visual design, branding and interface design guidelines research
• Create wireframe designs
• Develop screen flow, navigation and physical interaction
• Develop information architectures and conceptual models
• Create low-fidelity prototypes
• Conduct usability testing on low-fidelity prototypes

Deliver
• Create high-fidelity detailed design
• Conduct user experience testing
• Create final prototype and related design documentation

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a mixture of lectures, workshops, seminar group discussions and tutorials. Formative assessment will be provided through seminars, tutorials or formal presentations.

You will be given two design briefs at the start of the semester. We expect you to work continuously and consistently on both briefs throughout the semester. Brief 1 is an individual project while Brief 2 is a group project.

Brief 1 (50%)
In Part One you will select 3 mobile applications from any of the standard operating systems: iOS, Android or Windows. A mobile application, most commonly referred to as an app, is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer. You are encouraged to choose applications that are designed for different purposes, for example a social media app, a news app and a shopping app. Your task is to conduct a design evaluation of each application and select 1 app to redesign. The purpose of the redesign is to significantly improve its usability, aesthetic and interaction qualities (user experience). The outcome of the project is a working prototype to demonstrate your interface redesign.

Brief 2 (50%)
In Part Two, you will work in a group of between 3 to 4 (no more than 4). Your brief will be determined each year. Usually Part 2 brief will ask you to respond to a current and relevant theme, for example designing for Big Data or designing for the 90% of the world. Your group’s task is to create a new product, service or digital application that address questions and opportunities arising from the brief.

The weekly content delivered will enable you to understand and apply relevant HCD design and user experience principles that will help you answer the brief. Each week is structured around a theme – for example one week we might focus on how to conduct user research, while another week is focused on different ways to prototype an idea. Each week will start with a short introduction to the topic, covering a range of historical, contextual and practical knowledge. There is usually an in-class exercise to help you explore some of the principles introduced in the lecture and technical support sessions. The rest of the sessions will be spent discussing your project and helping you make progress in the project briefs.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your module tutors will be your main support for this module. Any questions directly related to the module should be directed to them.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
Knowledge of interaction design and user experience principles, methodologies, standards and practical theories that underpin contemporary interaction design KU1, KU4
Be proficient in the appropriate use of contextual mapping (e.g., personas, scenarios), industry standard prototyping, user testing and collaborative working software and design techniques across different digital environments KU4
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Display evidence of critical thinking and systematic evaluation by conceiving, developing and evaluating potential creative solutions relevant to interface and application design IP1, IP2

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PV):
Develop, refine and effectively communicate proof of concept interface prototypes with well documented skill and application PV1, PV3
Operate effectively within group or team to produce successful collaborative projects PV2

How will I be assessed?

For this module you will be assessed on-
1. How well you have demonstrated an appropriate and effective use of user research, visual and interaction design, prototyping and software skills in your design process.
2. Your level of critical thinking and systematic evaluation by conceiving, developing and evaluating potential creative solutions relevant to interface and application design.
3. How well you develop, refine and effectively communicate proof of concept interface prototypes with distinguishable skill and application.
4. Whether you operated effectively within group or team to produce a successful collaborative project.

The marking criteria are as follow:
1. Your effective application of interaction and user experience principles and theories as evaluated by your contribution (e.g. verbal, sketches, ideas development, user research, documented design development, prototyping and evaluation) during the module sessions.
2. Demonstrate evidence of critical and creative thinking through iterative exploration and communication of multiple design ideas through visual examples and presentations.
3. The quality of your final designed piece, illustrating high craftsmanship in the creation, demonstration and communication of your work.
4. Shown evidence of working effectively and collaboratively in a group.

A summative assessment will be carried out through presentation and/or submitted design prototypes. You will be asked to respond to a set brief, showing your development (for example in the form of a blog and/or design document) through to a final design solution. Formative verbal feedback will be given throughout the module and written feedback will be given at the end of the module.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

You will be introduced to the Human-centred design (HCD) principles, methods and tools required to design mobile applications and digital services across different platforms. HCD It is a framework (way of thinking) and philosophy that places the ‘human perspective’ at the centre of all design processes. This module will equip you with the skills to create interactive mobile application prototypes to illustrate the concept and interactions of your proposed new system/product/application. You will broaden your understanding of user experience and usage outcomes by applying relevant HCD theories and standards to application design across different interactive platforms.

Course info

UCAS Code W280

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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