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Project 2: General Product

  • Number of credits 15 credits

About the course

The overall aim is to provide students with practical experience in designing a product or a system that caters to a broad user group. The project provides a platform to explore techniques and methods in the context of design ethnography and participatory design. The project allows students to discover and think critically about design ethnography and participatory design through a combination of practical experience and the experience of others. Each project phase is supported by teachers, structured and unstructured activities and literature and is dependent on students' engagement and discovery. Students work in groups throughout the project and invited to establish a temporary working relationship with students from other relevant disciplines. The final results can include software-hardware products, services, or organisational frameworks depending on the results of the studies in design ethnography and participatory design. The results are presented in the form of visualisation of user observations, sketch models, interface views, reports and screen-based digital presentations.

1. Design Ethnographic Methods, 5 credits
2. Participation design and concept study, 5 credits
3. Design development and presentation, 5 credits

Course Part 1: Design Ethnographic Methods, 5 credits.
Design Ethnography is dependent on the design of researchers participating in user context and the creation of representations that can be analysed together with other and can be made to influence the design process. This approach can be used to identify a group of people and explore the different perspectives of its members. At the same time, it tries to provide insights into social behaviour under scrutiny holistic and interconnected nature. Students receive an introduction to an ethnographic approach and its origin and current use in design research and design practice. Some of the detailed course components include field work, participant observation, field notes (writing and analysis ), video techniques, analysis and presentation. The goal of this phase is to develop knowledge about users and user context for future design solutions and to establish relationships with users, so that they can be involved in the next stages of the design project.

Course Part 2: Participation design and concept study, 5 credits
Tradition within Participation design places emphasis on design in direct collaboration with future users. During this phase, each student will arrange periodic participatory design sessions with their respective user groups to explore concepts using dummies, sketches, scenarios and collaboration technologies for prototype development. A video workshop will be held to introduce techniques for using video in the design process both for documentation and analysis.

Course Part 3: Design Development and presentation, 5 credits
Students will further refine and evaluate their designs. External practitioners give lectures and workshops that illustrate how ethnographic user research can be used to create innovative design solutions. Project results are presented in the form of visualization of user observations, sketch models, reports and screen-based digital presentations.

Application and eligibility

This course contains occasions that are included in a degree programme at Umeå university and applies only to those of you who are admitted to the programme. You will receive information about application times and what applies to you from your institution.

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Contactpersons for the course are:
Exchange studies, International contact person, Programme Information