University of Kansas
Although User Interface and User Experience (UIUX) design has generally been taught as part of visual communication (VisCom) design education, its principles including human-centered approach and systems thinking can also complement the other design disciplines’ curricula such as industrial design (ID). A design department in a Midwestern state university has recognized an unexpected tendency; an increasing number of the department’s ID graduates becomes UIUX designers. In support of this non-traditional ID career path, the department initiated to integrate UIUX design into one of its required ID courses.
As a pilot project of this initiative, a group of ID students participated in a UIUX design project, Peace of Mind, which aims to provide pervasive healthcare products for people with disabilities. Pervasive healthcare refers to the remote healthcare monitoring and management system that removes locational and time restraints. The students had to understand their users’ lifestyles as well as the existing technologies to deliver the healthcare service successfully. This multifaceted project focused on design research methods including A/B test, convergence map, daily journey map, empathy map, prescriptive value web, and semantic differences, to gain a deeper understanding of the stakeholders’ needs.
Through this design project, the ID students designed various pervasive healthcare products including a smart lap desk for helping stroke survivors’ rehabilitation and a smart ring for a diabetic lifestyle in conjunction with a continuous glucose monitoring system. The students presented the project outcomes to the administrators of community engagement and telemedicine programs at the university’s medical center. By sharing the process and outcomes of Peace of Mind project, the presentation will address the critical attributes for successful UIUX design introduction to ID students. Furthermore, we will also discuss the benefits of integrating UIUX design into the ID curriculum and the challenges the educators may be faced.