Project Context, Background and Aim
The project requires students, working in groups, to conduct a human-centered design project. Students will be required to identify a problem in an existing interface or choose an activity which has not yet been addressed by an app, website, etc. Students will carry out research to gain an understanding of the human and the tasks they need to perform. Based on this, students will design a paper prototype of an application, or part of an application, to better address the problem at hand.
The design process should be iterative, including at least two initial design alternatives and at least two iterations of the research-prototype-evaluate process. The project acts as an introduction to the Human-Centered Design process. This process will be elaborated on in subsequent modules and projects for students on the PgDip programme.
The aim of the project is to choose a problem, conduct research to gain insight and empathy, and
then design and evaluate a paper prototype to solve the problem.
You are required to:
1. Conduct at least one form of user research to gather data about your user group(s). (Future
projects on the PgDip will allow time for more extensive user research.)
2. Develop a persona (or multiple personas) that characterises the users. This must be informed
by the above.
3. Develop two (or more) descriptions of common tasks that one of the personas above would
carry out. Consider how best to represent these task descriptions (e.g. scenarios,
4. For at least one of the above scenarios, you should develop a paper prototype of how the
application could be (re)designed to provide the desired user experience.
5. Evaluate the prototype you developed above using an appropriate evaluation methodology.
6. Each member of the group must write and submit a number of blog posts summarising the work that they carried out on the project, the methodology followed, the deliverables
produced and a critical analysis of their work and that of their peers. The recommended
platform for this blog is http://www.wordpress.com.
UX Design Techniques Series
Overview on Lynda.com
Creating Personas tutorial on
Paper Prototyping tutorial on
Foundations of UX: Usability Testing
tutorial on Lynda.com
Olsen, G. (2004, March 30). Persona
Creation and Usage Toolkit.
Retrieved October 2, 2015, from
Key considerations include:
• When choosing a problem to tackle, your group needs to select one that is sufficiently
complex to require enough (re)design, but not so complex as to be beyond the scope of the
project and feasibility of the time allowed. Contact your lecturer to approve your idea before you begin.
• Follow an iterative design process, initially brainstorming possible solutions to the selected problem, refining these solutions into a single prototype and testing that prototype. There should be one or more design iterations following this initial prototype.
You will need to document and critique this design process in your blog. Ensure you include screenshots documenting the evolution of your prototypes and explain the rationale for the changes from one revision to the next.
• Your blog should cover the following topics (each of these may be in an individual blog post or spread across multiple postings).
o Problem identification
o User research
o Task description
o Paper prototypes and design iteration
o Reflection on the project (including an appraisal of your own contribution and that
of your peers). How did the project go? Did the team work well together? What
problems were encountered? What did you contribute to the project?