Fall 2020 - IAT 333 D100

Interaction Design Methods (3)

Class Number: 7825

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 48 credits, including IAT 265. Recommended: IAT 102 or 233.



Examines concepts of design practice and related design methods for interaction designers. Design methods include ethnography, personas, design games, role-playing, scenarios, participatory workshops, and prototyping.


Examines concepts of design practice and design methods for interaction designers. Students will learn research and design methods focused on understanding the people for whom we design, situations of use, participatory involvement and modes of conceptualization. These methods include design ethnography, personas, scenarios, participatory workshops, user journeys, and prototyping. In addition to readings, students will engage in a major interaction design project.  


Learning outcomes expected for students include:

- Develop an understanding of interaction design practice

- Understand a range of user-centered design research methods and techniques

- Demonstrate an ability to synthesize appropriate methods and techniques through a semester-long project


This course examines concepts of design practice and related design methods for interaction designers. Interaction design requires design actions to be situated and to highly involve participation of individuals and stakeholders in the design process. This course explores the range of relevant techniques and methods for Interaction Design. In addition, the course introduces the conceptual context of reflective practice as mode of understanding and discussing the design process.

Students will review a wide range of methods focused on conceptualization, use experience and situated use. These include design ethongraphy, personas, participatory workshops / co-creation workshops, scenario-based design, user journeys, and prototyping, and the use of workshops. In addition to readings, students will engage in exploratory design method projects. A major emphasis will also be placed on how to use these methods in effectively communicating the argument and rationale for design decisions to an external audience. 

Lectures and readings complement the studio assignments.


  • Method Project 1 - Team 10%
  • Method Project 2 - Team 10%
  • Method Project 3 - Team 10%
  • Method Project 4 - Team 10%
  • Method Project 5 - Team 10%
  • Method Project 6 - Team 10%
  • 3 Concept Slides/Storyboards/Journey Framework - Team 10%
  • 2 Concepts, 2 Video Scenarios - Team 10%
  • Final Concept Presentation + Mockup - Team 20%


You will need to have:

  • access to a high-speed internet connection
  • a laptop or PC with a camera and a microphone
  • Adobe software Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat Reader

You will be responsible for installing and ensuring that software works on your computer. Please see Adobe website for cost of software. There are free software packages and/or apps that have similar features to Adobe that you can use but keep in mind that there is no tech support provided by the course on installing or troubleshooting software problems or installation. 

Please ensure you have access before registering.



All assignments will be delivered in a .pdf format and no physical course materials are required.


Readings will be available digitally through the online-course platform

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).