IDSE201 Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving

About this course

This course teaches methods of creative problem solving and ideation, including sketching, drawing, diagramming, and the underlying approaches of abductive thinking and divergent thinking. Students learn how to quickly visualize ideas, iterating through variations, and allowing an idea to evolve quickly and effectively.

Reading list

About Face - Alan Cooper

Best Practices for Form Design - Luke Wroblewski

Outcomes and competencies

The following outcome statements articulate the competencies, abilities, and skills a student will have as a result of completing this class. Students will...

  • Be able to quickly visualize ideas through various tools, including analog and digital sketching, rapid physical prototyping, whiteboarding and diagramming
  • Be able to model complicated systems and services through the use of diagrams, and use these diagrams to provoke facilitation and design discussion and rationalization
  • Understand how to communicate through sketching, both in a formal capacity as well as in a real-time, facilitation style
  • Be able to quickly iterate through interface design, using input from real users to inform decisions

Core concepts and ideas

This class emphasizes the following main ideas, themes, and concepts:

  • Drawing and sketching as a public activity, in order to foster and facilitate collaborative discussion
  • Diagramming as a method of understanding and synthesizing complicated data, and as a collaborative decision making tool
  • Whiteboarding and group facilitation, for strategic group work and for fostering collaboration across disciplines
  • Rapid Ideation of interaction design solutions, using wireframes and other mid-level fidelity tools



In Class

Out of Class

Mon 10/23

Concept Mapping

Create Concept Map

Read About Face 3 - Chapter 12 Excerpt

Wed 10/25

Scenarios, Use Cases, Wireframes, Critique

Finalize Iteration

Mon 10/30

(No Class - Jon in DC)

Concept Map Due - Deliver via email by 7pm

Begin Assignment 2

Wed 11/1

Think Aloud Protocol

Continue Iteration

Fri 11/3 (2pm)

Optional Check-in

Complete Iteration

Mon 11/6

Wireframes Due - Critique

Build Iteration

Read Best Practices for Web Design

Wed 11/8

Controls and Forms

Complete Iteration

Mon 11/13

Revised Concept Map, Testing and Wireframes Due - Critique

Complete Iteration

Wed 11/15

Process Flow Diagramming

Build iteration

Mon 11/20

Iteration Due - Critique

Complete Iteration

Wed 11/22

No Class - Thanksgiving

Continue Iteration

Mon 11/27

Work Session

Complete Iteration

Wed 11/29

Iteration Due - Critique

Build iteration

Mon 12/4

Cognitive Walkthrough

Heuristic Evaluation

Complete Iteration

Wed 12/6

Iteration Due - Critique

Build iteration

Mon 12/11

Work Session

Complete Iteration

Wed 12/13

Iteration Due - Critique