Undergraduate Degree




DR2008 User Experience in Design

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

Through lectures, hand-on exercises, projects and field trips, to introduce students to a user experience approach to designing products, interface and services and to the approaches and methods of user centered design.


This course will introduce students to the needs, perceptions and expectations of ‘the user’ of products, services and interfaces. It will develop in the student an introductory awareness of user behavior, ethnographic studies, usability testing and the evaluation of user requirements.  Through group discussions and exercises, students will gain an understanding into how user centered design process will help build comfort, convenience and ease of use without compromising the performance of designed products. Projects will address such total user experiences as: taking public transport, using air travel, eating at hawker centers, taking treatment at hospitals etc.

Course Outline




• Introduction to the course

2 - 6

• User experience as a starting point to problem identification and evaluation

• User behavior and usability studies. Observation and survey techniques, analysis and synthesis  

• User profile, user preference and ethnographic studies. Deciding on product requirements – wants and needs

• Group discussions – user experience immersion field trips – surveys and findings

• Group assignment


• Mid Semester review of assignments

8 - 12

• Continuation and development of projects established in weeks 2 – 6

• Final project development


• Final review of project

Learning Outcome

The students will have been introduced to the practice of designing for the total user experience.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components will include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


Recommended Reading/Reference:

  1. Kim Goodwin and Alan Cooper, Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services, Wiley Publishing Inc

  2. Bill Buxton, Sketching User Experiences, Morgan Kaufmann

  3. Nathan Shedroff, Experience Design 1, Experience Design Books

  4. John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin, The Persona Lifecycle: keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design, Morgan Kaufmann