IDSE203 Studio: Research and Synthesis

About this course

This course represents the start of the Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship entrepreneurial endeavor. Students will gather data through qualitative methods of contextual research, analyze that data, and begin to identify trends, patterns, insights and opportunities for design.

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...

  • Identify patterns and trends in the context of a particular large-scale social problem
  • Identify opportunities for interaction design solutions that can positively impact and affect human behavior on a large, social scale
  • Identify opportunities for business interventions based on research and synthesis
  • Begin to identify design constraints and parameters in which to build and prototype design solutions

Core concepts and ideas

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

  • Design research, applied, in order to gain empathy and understand the human needs associated with a given social problem
  • Synthesis, applied, in order to manage complexity, identify patterns, formulate hypotheses, describe insights, and identify opportunities



Stakeholder Planning & Research

Introduction to Q2 Studio: Research and Synthesis

Client and Project Introduction

Internal team roles and responsibilities

Building a work plan

Within your teams, build a research and ethnography plan [Due - by Google Drive - Wednesday, 11/1].

Meet with stakeholders. Begin conducting research. Refine ethnographic plan and recruit participants. Conduct ethnography with various users and constituents. Spend as much time in the field as possible.

Post progress on the walls [due every Saturday morning].



Check-In Presentation (10 minutes per group)

Individual work plan reviews

Working class

Continue ethnography and foundational research. Spend as much time in the field as possible. Begin to document research (transcription). Begin to create affinity diagrams.

Post progress on the walls [due every Saturday morning].


Research & Synthesis

Check-In Presentation (10 minutes per group)

Guest Lecture: How to write about your work

Continue synthesis & begin drafting concept models.

Compile Notes from the Field [due - by Google Drive - Wednesday, 11/15].

Post progress on the walls [due every Saturday morning].


Research & Synthesis

Workshop: Business Models

Critique: Concept Models

Working Class

8-10 draft, low-fidelity concept models [ Due on the walls at the beginning of class]

Continue transcription, synthesis & begin drafting Midpoint Presentations



Midpoint Presentation (10 minutes per group)

Workshop: Creative Facilitation

Continue refinement of presentations based on feedback.

Begin to combine insights between groups


Synthesis & Concept Modeling

Check-In Presentations (10 minutes/team)

Working Class

Continue to combine insights and begin drafting final presentation

Post progress on the walls [due every Saturday morning].

Final concept models (1 per group) [ Due Wednesday, 12/6 - on Google Drive and posted to the Blog>



Practice final presentations

Working class: continue to refine

Complete and practice draft final presentation!

Post progress on the walls [due every Saturday morning].



Final Presentations (Open to Public)

Continue Ideation (shoot for 200+ ideas) and begin to draft final stakeholder report