PGTE 5552 A – Spring 2018
Thursdays 7-9:40 – 6 E 16th St – Rm 1208
Parsons The New School for Design
Office hours by request
This class will explore user experience (UX) design for mobile devices.
The goal of this class is first to encourage students to extend their understanding of UX/interaction design to the mobile space, and second, to broaden students’ awareness of the current and emerging mobile ecosphere.
Students will leave the class able to fluently converse about design patterns for custom mobile applications.
Students will not leave this class as masters of iOS development. They will, however, be poised to continue pursuing their interests in mobile development.
By the end of the semester, students will be able to:
1. Successfully design wireframes to document an app’s structure and functionality
2. Create and use paper prototypes to measure the success of an app’s UX and UI
3. Discuss UX and UI meaningfully in the context of mobile apps
4. Become familiar with iOS and/or Android UX/UI best practices
5. Be able to meaningfully contribute to app conceptualization discussions
6. Develop an understanding of the app market, including app store economics and marketing
Assessable Tasks and Final Grade Calculation
Class participation- 10%
Project 1 wireframe- 5%
Project 1 prototype- 5%
Project 1 design- 5%
Project 1 presentation- 15%
Project 2 wireframe- 5%
Project 2 prototype- 5%
Project 2 design- 8%
Project 3 wireframe 1- 5%
Project 3 design- 5%
Project 3 choose your own- 5%
Project 3 prototype- 5%
Project 3 final presentation- 22%
A Work of exceptional quality
A- Work of high quality
B+ Very good work
B Good work; satisfies course requirements
Satisfactory completion of a course is considered to be a grade of B or higher.
B- Below-average work
C+ Less than adequate work
C Well below average work
C- Poor work; lowest possible passing grade
GM Grade missing for an individual
Grades of D are not used in graduate level courses.
Failure- Failing grades are given for required work that is not submitted or for incomplete final projects. Make-up work may be permitted only with the approval of the instructor and the program director.
These are designs that are less than adequate or well below average. They will demonstrate some success in engaging with the assigned problems and addressing user expectation and need. The work will show that the student can identify and work with simple mobile design patterns and purposefully apply these patterns to their designs. Typical of a “C/C+” work, however, is that the design still leaves holes in user navigation and shows an incomplete analysis of user need. Often these designs will continue to not use patterns or ideas even if they have been clearly identified in previous critiques or class discussions. A C- is the lowest possible passing grade of this course.
These are below average and good designs. The “B/B+” design does everything a “C/C+” design does, but demonstrates design thinking that is more complex than a design at the “C/C+” level and more consistently responds to mobile design patterns and user need. What also distinguishes a “B/B+” design is the design’s ability to offer a unique or creative user experience design solution for the particular design problem. The designer’s point of view is clear and consistent throughout the design. Although minor errors in flow may be present, they do not impede a user from being able to carry out designed tasks. Satisfactory completion of a course is considered to be a grade of B or higher.
These are high quality and exceptionally good designs that go above and beyond the expectations and requirements set forth in the assignment. They demonstrate substantial effort and achievement in the areas of critical thinking and mobile design patterns and user need. They also demonstrate a high level of creative design thinking for difficult design problems. The point of view that is offered is consistent throughout the design and governs all interactions. These designs will show a complete understanding of mobile design patterns, user expectation. “A-/A” designs are very well organized, and are free of errors of flow that stop a user from clearly being able to carry out the designed tasks.
Grades of D are not used in graduate level courses.
The grade of W may be issued by the Office of the Registrar to a student who officially withdraws from a course within the applicable deadline. There is no academic penalty, but the grade will appear on the student transcript. A grade of W may also be issued by an instructor to a graduate student (except at Parsons and Mannes) who has not completed course requirements nor arranged for an Incomplete.
The grade of Z is issued by an instructor to a student who has not attended or not completed all required work in a course but did not officially withdraw before the withdrawal deadline. It differs from an “F,” which would indicate that the student technically completed requirements but that the level of work did not qualify for a passing grade.
The grade of I, or temporary incomplete, may be granted to a student under unusual and extenuating circumstances, such as when the student’s academic life is interrupted by a medical or personal emergency. This mark is not given automatically but only upon the student’s request and at the discretion of the instructor. A Request for Incomplete form must be completed and signed by student and instructor. The time allowed for completion of the work and removal of the “I” mark will be set by the instructor with the following limitations:
Undergraduate students: Work must be completed no later than the seventh week of the following fall semester for spring or summer term incompletes and no later than the seventh week of the following spring semester for fall term incompletes. Grades of “I” not revised in the prescribed time will be recorded as a final grade of “F” by the Registrar’s Office.
Graduate students: Work must be completed no later than one year following the end of the class. Grades of “I” not revised in the prescribed time will be recorded as a final grade of “N” by the Registrar’s Office.
Course Outline and Assignments:
Students are expected to respond to classmate presentations and to contribute to general mobile media topic discussion. This participation can come from class time spoken discussion and/or in written responses on the class blog. During presentations and discussion, students will keep laptops closed and other devices put away.
One of the best ways to learn about mobile development is to look at what other folks are doing. We will begin every class by briefly mentioning apps and games that folks are currently enjoying. These don’t need to be Apple only, please feel free to bring in examples of Android apps, web apps, or whatever you think is interesting. Throughout the semester students will contribute at least 2 apps or games for discussion (at least one before midterm and one after.) This will be a portion of your class participation grade. Before or after sharing your app in class, please post a screenshot, a link, and a description of what you like about the app to the class blog to receive credit.
Project 1- iPhone or Android App about Food
Project 2- Apple TV adaptation of Food App
Project 3- iPhone, iPad, phone Android, or tablet Android App + companion Apple TV, Apple Watch, Siri, or Alexa App. Your Project 3 app must contain an app interface for AI/Machine Learning.
Syllabus breakdown – class objectives and expectations
Intro to Mobile Media Lecture
Project 1 App Map Sketching and Prototyping
Special Topics Lecture: Marvel Demo
Project 1 Wireframe Presentations- Group 1
Special Topics Lecture: iOS and Android App Economics
Project 1 Wireframe Presentations- Group 2
Special Topics Lecture: App Development Process
Project 2 Design Presentations- Group 1
Special Topics Lecture: Designing for Apple TV
Project 2 Design Presentations- Group 2
Project 1 presentation with guest crits
Special Topics Lecture: Designing Accessible Apps for iOS and Android
Project 2 Wireframes
Guest Special Topics Lecture: AI/Machine Learning with Quinn McHenry
Project 2 Paper Prototyping
Special Topics Lecture: Designing app interfaces for AI/Machine Learning
Project 2 Designs
Special Topics Lecture: Designing for Apple Watch
Project 3 Wireframes 1- Group 1
Special Topics Lecture: Designing Messages apps
Project 3 Wireframes 1- Group 2
Special Topics Lecture: Designing for Voice Interfaces (Siri/Alexa)
Project 3 Designs- Groups 1 & 2
Project 3 Prototyping- Groups 1 & 2
Choose your own add on- Groups 1 & 2- AppleTV, Apple Watch, iMessage, or Voice
Project 3 final presentation with guest crits
Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines
Materials and Supplies
Students will need access to a computer with software to create wireframes, paper prototypes, designs, and digital prototypes. OmniGraffle is the recommended tool for wireframes and Marvel for digital prototypes. Designs may be created using whatever software you are most comfortable with, for example Photoshop, Illustrator, or Sketch.
Divisional, Program, and Class Policies
Students are responsible for all assignments, even if they are absent. Late assignments, failure to complete the assignments for class discussion and/or critique, and lack of preparedness for in-class discussions, presentations and/or critiques will jeopardize your successful completion of this course.
Class participation is an essential part of class and includes: keeping up with reading, assignments, projects, contributing meaningfully to class discussions, active participation in group work, and coming to class regularly and on time.
Parsons’ attendance guidelines were developed to encourage students’ success in all aspects of their academic programs. Full participation is essential to the successful completion of coursework and enhances the quality of the educational experience for all, particularly in courses where group work is integral; thus, Parsons promotes high levels of attendance. Students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly and in compliance with the standards stated in this course syllabus.
While attendance is just one aspect of active participation, absence from a significant portion of class time may prevent the successful attainment of course objectives. A significant portion of class time is generally defined as the equivalent of three weeks, or 20%, of class time. Lateness or early departure from class may be recorded as one full absence. Students may be asked to withdraw from a course if habitual absenteeism or tardiness has a negative impact on the class environment.
Whether the course is a lecture, seminar or studio, faculty will assess each student’s performance against all of the assessment criteria in determining the student’s final grade.
In rare instances, I may be delayed arriving to class. If I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start, you must wait a minimum of thirty minutes for my arrival. In the event that I will miss class entirely, a sign will be posted at the classroom indicating your assignment for the next class meeting.
The use of electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, etc.) is permitted when the device is being used in relation to the course’s work. All other uses are prohibited in the classroom and devices should be turned off before class starts.
Academic Honesty and Integrity
Compromising your academic integrity may lead to serious consequences, including (but not limited to) one or more of the following: failure of the assignment, failure of the course, academic warning, disciplinary probation, suspension from the university, or dismissal from the university.
Students are responsible for understanding the University’s policy on academic honesty and integrity and must make use of proper citations of sources for writing papers, creating, presenting, and performing their work, taking examinations, and doing research. It is the responsibility of students to learn the procedures specific to their discipline for correctly and appropriately differentiating their own work from that of others. The full text of the policy, including adjudication procedures, is found at
http://www.newschool.edu/policies/# Resources regarding what plagiarism is and how to avoid it can be found on the Learning Center’s website: http://www.newschool.edu/university-learning-center/student-resources/
The New School views “academic honesty and integrity” as the duty of every member of an academic community to claim authorship for his or her own work and only for that work, and to recognize the contributions of others accurately and completely. This obligation is fundamental to the integrity of intellectual debate, and creative and academic pursuits. Academic honesty and integrity includes accurate use of quotations, as well as appropriate and explicit citation of sources in instances of paraphrasing and describing ideas, or reporting on research findings or any aspect of the work of others (including that of faculty members and other students). Academic dishonesty results from infractions of this “accurate use”. The standards of academic honesty and integrity, and citation of sources, apply to all forms of academic work, including submissions of drafts of final papers or projects. All members of the University community are expected to conduct themselves in accord with the standards of academic honesty and integrity. Please see the complete policy in the Parsons Catalog.
Student Disability Services-
In keeping with the University’s policy of providing equal access for students with disabilities, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations is welcome to meet with me privately. All conversations will be kept confidential. Students requesting any accommodations will also need to meet with Jason Luchs in the Office of Student Disability Services, who will conduct an intake, and if appropriate, provide an academic accommodation notification letter to you to bring to me. SDS assists students with disabilities in need of academic and programmatic accommodations as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. http://www.newschool.edu/studentservices/disability/.
Intellectual Property Rights-
University Intellectual Property Rights