Designing Solutions to Global Grand Challenges
Design Thinking for User Experience Design, Prototyping & Evaluation
Calling all Designers, Developers, Social Scientists and other looking to make impact!
James Landay, PhD, Professor, Stanford Department of Computer Science
Ge Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Department of Music (also Computer Science, by Courtesy)
Arrival Date in Beijing, China: Saturday, July 16, 2016 (course begins July 18, 2016)
Departure Date from Beijing, China: August 13, 2016 (final presentations August 12, 2016)
- Learn how to work in cross-cultural interdisciplinary teams of designers, software engineers, social scientists, and business specialists.
- Observe the real-world challenges that must be overcome in the areas of environment, education, or healthcare in China’s capital and surrounding areas.
- Apply the Design Thinking process to help discover the right problems to solve and ideate on possible solutions.
- Gain a balanced awareness of pragmatics and aesthetics, function and form in design.
- Develop a working prototyping of a solution to an important challenge your team discovered by creating medium-fidelity and high fidelity prototypes and learn how to evaluate these prototypes and iteratively improve them.
- Pitch resulting ideas to VCs, academics, government, and NGOs
- All in four weeks, sponsored by SCPKU!
In this course we will creatively apply information technologies to collectively attack today’s Global Grand Challenges (e.g., global warming, healthcare costs and access, and quality education for all). Interdisciplinary student teams, composed of technologists, designers, and social scientists, will carry out needfinding within a target domain, followed by brainstorming to propose a course-long project. Teams will spend the rest of the course applying user-centered design methods to rapidly iterate through design, prototyping, and testing of their solutions. This course will interleave three weekly lectures with twice/week studio sessions where students apply the techniques hands-on in a small-scale, supportive environment.
The class is structured using the Design Thinking process. It is organized around the particular problem domain of interest: attacking world problems (e.g., global warming, health, and education) in a cross-cultural manner. We are looking for ambitious students – masters and doctoral level from all majors (the humanities, the socials sciences, design, science, and engineering) as well as highly motivated undergraduates – to join this class and bring their creativity to bear on some of the most important problems facing the planet today. Students who have not been exposed to the design thinking process will learn the basics and those who are already steeped in design thinking will become more expert in applying it to a new problem while coaching their peers.
The course will also integrate creative design elements of play and delight in product design, interaction design, game design, and social interaction design as core building blocks in the creative synthesis process. An overarching goal is to identify and produce potent solutions to real world problems that balance pragmatics with aesthetics, vision with feasibility, form with function, and human factors with technology. Professors Landay and Wang have complementary experience in these areas and both have experience teaching with a cross-cultural student cohort.
This course will interleave three weekly lectures with twice/week studio sessions where students apply the techniques hands-on in a small-scale, supportive environment. We will also have guest lectures from domain experts, design faculty, and local field work to learn needfinding techniques.
Students will also visit some of the top research institutes in this field, including Microsoft Research Asia and Tsinghua University to understand the state of leading edge technology today in China and how it might be applied to the problems that they discover on the ground. The students will also visit some of the important cultural sites in and around Beijing so as to better understand how the history of China is interleaved with the culture of today and how this culture must be addressed in successful product design.
Week 1: Needfinding & Experience Prototyping
Teams start with a brainstorming exercise in the chosen problem domain (sustainability, healthcare, or education), followed by needfinding in the field on a sub-area of interest. The needfinding insights will lead the students to propose multiple short proposals per team. Based on class critique and instructor, the teams will choose the most promising project idea to pursue for the rest of the course. Creative design topics include aesthetics, play, and delight in design.
Deliverable: Well-characterized and focused need / problem
Week 2: Low-fi Prototyping & Evaluation
The next step will be to produce a low-fi paper prototype of the project idea and to test it with potential customers. Based on the results, design changes will be made and a medium-fidelity prototype will be constructed and evaluated using heuristic evaluation. Elements of game design and toy design as motivation for user behavior will also be considered.
Deliverable: Functioning medium-fidelity prototype
Week 3: Hi-fi Prototyping & Evaluation
Based on the results of the previous phase, students will create a high-fidelity prototype of their project solution on a target platform. This prototype will be of a quality that can be tested with real customers again. Based on testing, changes will be made to the design and the prototype. Prototypes will also be evaluated with respect to creative design to amplify/articulate the project goal.
Deliverable: Functioning high-fidelity prototype demonstrating value proposition
Week 4: Business/Implementation Plan & Pitches
The final week of the course will allow students to fill out more of the details of how they might bring their project to reality, whether as a business, an open source project, or some other way of getting the idea out into the world. The course will finish with a project fair where students present and receive feedback from academic, government, NGO, and industrial partners. The final project should embody a potent balance of creative real-world problem solving, articulated and amplified by creative design.
Deliverable: Presentation and poster
Most students should have had CS 147 (Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction) or an equivalent design course from Mechanical Engineering or the d.School, but this is not required of all students. Students with other backgrounds (e.g., engineering, business, or the social sciences) that may be helpful in creating more balanced teams are invited to apply. Applicants must be currently-enrolled (and enrolled at time of seminar) at Stanford in good academic standing and preference will be given to graduate students.
Two applications are required plus an official Stanford transcript via Axess. Please submit transcript and both applications online at the same time by February 29, 2016 (those submitted after deadline will be considered for the waitlist). Transcripts via Axess can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students should be notified of selection decisions by March 30, 2016.
James Landay is a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, specializing in human-computer interaction (HCI). His research interests include Technology to Support Behavior Change, Demonstrational Interfaces, Mobile & Ubiquitous Computing, and User Interface Design Tools. He is the founder and co-director of the World Lab, a joint research and educational effort with Tsinghua University in Beijing. He has taught human-computer interaction and design for 20 years at the top universities in the world, including Stanford, Berkeley, the University of Washington, Cornell, and Tsinghua University. He has also co-founded a startup and ran a major research laboratory for Intel.
Ge Wang is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He researches programming languages and interactive software systems for computer music, mobile and social music, laptop orchestras, human-computer interaction, and education at the intersection of computer science and music. Dr. Wang is the author of the ChucK audio programming language, the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) and the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPhO). He is also the designer of the iPhone’s Ocarina and Magic Piano apps and co-founder of Smule, a company specializing in the development of social music-making mobile applications, reaching over 100 million users.
Please contact Prof. Landay for questions about the class. Click here for more details on student expenses SCPKU will cover and other general program details.
Contact Connie Chao for more information about general program logistics, SCPKU's Graduate Seminar Program and other programs and events at the center.