IDSE301 Designing Systems

About this course

This class focuses on the tools and methodologies used to design complex systems. Students will learn methods to evaluate, analyze, and make tangible representations of the physical, digital, cultural components and processes affect each other, the environment and the experience. During this class, students will deconstruct and illustrate the primary user-facing components of the Nespresso coffee maker ecosystem. Students will build a holistic representation of today’s system through the creation of tangible artifacts (vignettes, concept models, workflow models, storyboards, etc…) that are critiqued and iterated upon in each class. After documenting the current Nespresso eco-system (Machine, Pod, Store & Digital club / subscription service), students will then be asked to think through and illustrate the impact to the system when a fictitious executive proposes radical changes as a means to retaining market share.

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 the visible and hidden parts of a system
  • Create visual artifacts that act as tangible representations of a system
  • Illustrate the operation of a system and/or the use its components over time
  • Select the appropriate level of detail (semantic zoom) for communicating how something works
  • Tell a story of how a system works to a non-designer or domain expert
  • Tell a story of how seemingly small changes can have a ripple effect across a series of processes and touchpoints





In Class

Out of Class

Tue 01/07


Documenting Physical Systems

Lecture: Introduction to Systems

Assignment 1: Exploded view and vignettes

  • Create Exploded View of Nespresso machine
  • Have 1 st draft ready by 1/09
  • 2

    Thurs 01/09

    Documenting Physical Systems

    Lecture: Vignettes and Workflows

    Assignment 1: review-in-progress work

  • Workflow diagram
  • Visually document steps to make coffee
  • 3

    Tue 01/14

    Lifecycle Comparison

    Lecture: Product Lifecycles

    Assignment 1: DUE

    Assignment 2: Pod structure and lifecycle impact

  • Compare/contrast assembly and materials of Nespresso and Keurig pods
  • 4

    Thurs 01/16

    Lifecycle Comparison

    Lecture: Documenting the cycle

    Assignment 2: Review in progress drawing and research

  • Compare contrast lifecycle maps of Keurig and Nespresso pods.
  • 5

    Tue 01/21

    Lifecycle Comparison

    Lecture: Working Session

    Assignment 2: Review in progress work

  • Critique and iteration
  • 6

    Thurs 01/23

    Physical Space and Human Interactions

    Lecture: Retail and Physical Interactions

    Assignment 2: DUE

    Assignment 3: Service slices, magic moments

  • Visit Nespresso retail store
  • Use transcript to create behavior and information flow
  • 7

    Tue 01/28

    Physical Space and Human Interactions

    Lecture: Drawing Interactions

    Assignment 3: Review in progress work

  • Create store floorplan
  • Use illustrations to describe key moments
  • 8

    Thurs 01/30

    Physical Space and Human Interactions

    Lecture: Working Session

    Assignment 3: Review in progress work

  • Critique and iteration
  • 9

    Tue 02/04

    Digital Ecosystems

    Lecture: Ecosystem Maps

    Assignment 3: DUE

    Assignment 4: Ecosystem Map and Wireframes

  • Map the digital ecosystem
  • Show wireframes of buying coffee online
  • 10

    Thurs 02/06

    Journey Maps

    Lecture: Mapping Journeys

    Assignment 4: DUE

    Assignment 5: Journey Map of Experience

  • Identify channels and steps
  • 11

    Tue 02/11

    Journey Maps

    Lecture: Working Session

    Assignment 5: Review Work in Progress

  • Pushing fidelity and clarity
  • Identifying opportunities
  • 12

    Thurs 02/13

    Adding to change

    Lecture: An Executive Decision

    Assignment 5: DUE

    Assignment 6: Executive Decision Refactor

  • New exploded views
  • New process vignettes for machine and pod.
  • 13

    Tue 02/18

    Adding to change

    Lecture: Working Session

    Assignment 6: Review Work in Progress

  • New lifecycle map.
  • New behavior and information exchange
  • New experience vignettes
  • 14

    Thurs 02/20

    Adding to change

    Lecture: Working Session

    Assignment 6: Product Artifacts DUE

  • New Ecosystem map
  • New Wireframes
  • 15

    Tue 02/25

    Adding to change

    Lecture: Working Session

    Assignment 6: Retail Artifacts DUE

  • New Journey map and new Service Blueprint
  • 16

    Thurs 02/27

    Adding to change

    Final Presentation

    Assignment 6: DUE

  • Have all artifacts uploaded to Drive by EOD.