IDSE303 Studio Ideation and Development

About this course

This course is the second phase of the Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship Project. Students will begin to iteratively prototype and test designs related to a particular humanitarian and social problem space. Students will build physical and digital artifacts as necessary to describe their design solution, and will test that material in the actual context of the particular design problem.

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 illustrate, through prototypes, sketches, and presentation materials, a cohesive design idea for a particular large-scale social and humanitarian problem.
  • Be able to scale back that design to a small form for build-out and pilot testing
  • Be able to describe and rationalize the particular design decisions that have led to the development of the design vision and the small-form
  • Have 50 active users of the student’s product or service.

Core concepts and ideas

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

  • Criteria and insight definition, applied, in order to begin a comprehensive design effort
  • Rapid Ideation, applied, intended to explore multiple design solutions to a single problem, and to reframe problems from various new and interesting perspectives
  • Evaluation, applied, in order to understand how a given design solution is perceived by an intended audience
  • Development and refinement, applied, in order to continue advancing the fidelity of a design solution and understand tradeoffs of various design changes


Class #DateMajor ThemeIn ClassOut of Class


Jan 7

Ideation & Concept Design

Review Syllabus and expectations for IDSE 303

During class, students will explore, complete and present their top ideas from the previous quarter

Class critique on concepts

Continue concepting and ideation

Refine 1st concept presented in class.

Build out two (2) additional design concepts for next class (Each should be roughly sketched as end-to-end stories)

Readings: Human Centered Design – Why empathy isn’t everything.

Video: The first secret of design is… noticing


Jan 14

Ideation & Concept Design

During class, students will explore, complete and present their top ideas as a fully illustrated storyboard

Walk the walls: Evaluate & critique concepts, and select two (2) concepts for testing

Discuss assigned readings and the application of ideas to concepts

Create hero flows for selected concepts

Continue to iterate and refine hero flows

Complete testing strategy & schedule research participants

Begin creating draft evaluation plan

Deliver draft evaluation plan by Wednesday Jan 18st (via email) include a plan for two (2) sets of users for in-class sessions on January 28 and an out-of-class session during the week of February 13

Create Testing Assets (due next class)


Jan 21

Concept Design Refinement

Pilot evaluation sessions—testing with at least one (1) participant

Pilot evaluation Summary and Debrief

Iterate concepts based on pilot testing (as appropriate)

Create next iteration of concepts

Reading: Steven D Pow – how prototyping practices affect design results.


Jan 28

Testing Concept Refinement

Working evaluation sessions—testing with at least two (2) participants

Start building vision story & mid-point presentation content

Create Mid-Point Presentation

Readings: The Year’s Best Prototyping Insights and Resources


Feb 4

Mid Point Review


Faculty and Guest Panel Critique of Mid-Point Presentations. 20 minutes per group with 10 min Q/A

Discussion on prototyping Working session—identify prototyping opportunity & begin building prototype

Continue building prototype of single concept.


Feb 11

Prototype & Testing

Working Session (continue building prototype)

Finalize prototype & dry run with Alumni / Faculty/Guests

Refine hero flow / archetype screens, based on selected visual style, to a medium level of fidelity

Test prototyped concept with two (2) to four (4) users

All testing must be completed by end of February 18 class


Feb 18

Concept Refinement

Discuss road map and planning. Re-visit minimum viable product discussion as necessary.

Working session (refine concept & build final presentation draft)

Discuss expectations for final presentation

Refine design as necessary to show during final presentation.

Create final presentation.

Final presentation must be submitted via email or dropbox 1 hour prior to presentation.


Feb 23 (Thursday)

Presentation rehearsal

Students will present their concepts for refinement & feedback


Feb 25


Students will present their concept vision, roadmap and MVP scenario (open to the public)