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CS3984: User Experience Design

In this interdisciplinary studio course, we will use a human-centered approach in imagining, creating, and evaluating computational systems for diverse populations. Students will encounter and develop a rich toolbox of design methods and computational skills including contextual analysis, design probes, storyboarding, prototyping, crowdsourcing, machine learning, adaptive interfaces, instrumentation, and user evaluation studies. Working in teams, we will identify authentic human problems, explore the opportunity design space, use diverse materials to create prototypes, and engage in iterative cycles of testing, refining, and evaluating design products and experiences. Throughout the semester, students will document their design and production process as dynamic annotated portfolios and engage in weekly critique sessions with instructors and invited guests. We will also explore the subject literature, examining design theory, research applications, business case studies, and socio-cultural implications across a broad range of publications and presentation venues.


CS 2114 and junior standing in CS.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students are expected to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Critically read, interpret, and discuss relevant works of design research scholarship
  • Discover and scope a design research problem
  • Correctly use diverse design research methodologies and computational techniques
  • Design, implement, and refine prototypes
  • Document and present a coherent design process
  • Critically evaluate their own work, and the work of others

Instructional Methods

Classes will involve short lectures, moderated discussions, studio design sessions, and project presentations and critiques. Students will actively participate in classroom and online discussions.


Students will be evaluated on the quality of their active, productive participation in studio and online. Project assignments will be evaluated for creative innovation, conceptual clarity, technical development, and design aesthetics. Group projects will additionally be evaluated for evidence of genuine interdisciplinary collaboration and effective team management. Students will receive weekly in-person studio critiques, written feedback and grades on assignments/participation at regular intervals during the semester, and standard overall grades

Taught By: Aisling Kelliher