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Week 35: How to get what you want


This week is all about HOW we make sketches, prototypes and models, and to spend some time developing ideas about WHY we do that.
Before you acquire and develop some of the 'hard' skills in making things, it is important to ask a few questions: Why do you prototype? What do you prototype and for what purpose?


There are two build assignments, one short and one more extensive, and two 'home' assignments.
Home assignment 1: Read the required reading list (see below), hand in a half page review/critique/thoughts/summary based on at least one of the texts by friday 9AM.
Home assignment 2: Prepare presentation on one example of functional interaction design and one example of expressive/experiential interaction design. Presentation 2-3 minutes total. (choose any existing product/service or design proposal). These presentations are back to back on Tuesday morning and will feed into the discussion of the literature.

Skills and techniques

One meta-skill is how to approach getting things to work for you and how to use (and push) whatever skill-level you have to get what you want from the (electronics and other) stuff we have available at the school, as well as learn what equipment we have in and around the school that can be of use in your prototyping (e.g. 3d printers, lasercutters etc).
For some this week can be a refresher or intro to basic interactive electronics, for some it will be about taking your basic skills and try and tinker with stuff you are not yet familiar with and for some we can make it a challenge of getting some of the things in the interaction Lab to work that no-one has used for a long time or even knows what it may do.
In following weeks, basic skills regarding Arduino and electronics will come in handy. This week will get you ready.

Possible topics:

  • Arduino: how to connect and control something, and then more and then even more;
    • Arduino shields;
    • Analog and digital sensors;
    • actuators (different types of motors, how to use them and for what).
  • Making things talk:
    • how to use multiple devices;
    • (basics of) communication and protocols;
    • wired and wireless connections;
    • connecting to the internet.
  • Programming, Arduino and/or the PC:
  • Rapid Prototyping:
    • laser-cutting;
    • 3d printing;
    • cnc-milling.

Week Overview


14:00 - 15:00:

  • Intro
  • What have we got here? Go through the stuff available in the workshops and Lab
  • Ideas and Requests inventory
  • planning of the week
  • Assignment 1: Make a quick prototype/hardware sketch.
  • 16.30 presentations of Assignment 1
  • (time for home assignments)
  • 10:00 Presentations of home assignment 2
  • Discussion based on presentations
  • Lunch
  • 13:00 Brief recap of Arduino and Processing and stuff available
  • 13:30 Assignment 2: make something with behavior/expression in response to people/environment, or something that extends our body-capabilities sharing or …
  • 16:00 Progress sharing
  • Build (Afternoon available for University Students sports day. Try exercising at IKSU, if you want.)
  • 16:00 Progress sharing
  • Build
  • 16:00 Progress sharing

9:00 - 13:00:

  • hand in home assignment 1;
  • finishing of 'something to show and tell'
  • documenting work
  • preparing presentations
  • contribute to wiki / make documentation available
  • workspaces cleanup

14:00 - 16.00:

  • presentation
  • reflections and feedback

Required Reading

Participants are required to read/review the following articles:

  • Chapter 1.3 of Simple Haptics, dissertation of Camille Moussette. Camille helped to found and develop this course.
  • Buchenau, M.,Fulton Suri, J. 2000. Experience prototyping. In Proceedings of the 3rd conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques (DIS '00), Daniel Boyarski and Wendy A. Kellogg (Eds.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 424-433. pdf
  • Lim,Y.K., Stolterman, E., and Tenenberg, J. 2008. The anatomy of prototypes: Prototypes as filters, prototypes as manifestations of design ideas. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 15, 2, Article 7 (July 2008), 27 pages. pdf
  • Houde, S., Hill, C. What do prototypes prototype?, in Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction (2nd Ed.), Helander M., Landauer T., Prabhu P. (eds.). Elsevier Science B. V. Amsterdam, 1997. pdf

Optional Reading

  • Experience Prototyping, course description on the main UID website. With links for results of previous years.
  • Frens, J.W. & Hengeveld, B.J. (2013). To make is to grasp. Conference Paper : 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), 26-30 August 2013, Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. pdf
  • [optional] NUI - What’s in a Name?, Bill Buxton, Microsoft Research, 90 minutes presentation, link

Expected Results of the Week

Learning goals:

  • develop an articulated opinion about the role of making, sketching, prototyping in interaction design;
  • develop practical experience in using prototyping in your practice;
  • having written a functional piece of code that did what you intended (or at least of which you understand what it did even if it was not what you intended);
  • having soldered an electronic circuit;


  • half page literature review (Home Assignment 2);
  • presentation of functional and expressive interaction design;
  • hardware sketch assignment 1 per group;
  • 1 interactive experience prototype, 1 per group;
  • documented presentation of experience prototype, 1 per group;
  • video report of the week;
  • contribution to wiki pages or other online resource.

Resulting Student Work

Home Assignment 2 slides

courses/2016_exp_prototyping_week35.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/30 05:26 by stoffel