Spring 2019 5 Fridays – 497-502: User-Centered Digital Service Design Innovation Workshop (Fulfilling the IPRO 397 first course option but also open to students taking a second IPRO)

CRN
28527
Meeting Days/Time
Fridays 10:00 am to 12:40 pm
Instructor(s)
Thomas Brandenburg (Undergrad Education with expertise in web development and human-centered design for digital service applications) (tbrand3@gmail.com) and Martin Schray (ITM, and Senior Software Engineer, Commercial Software Engineering (CSE) at Microsoft)
Appropriate Majors
All interested students are welcome, particularly those taking their first IPRO course.

This course fulfills the IPRO course learning objectives by learning and applying user-centered and agile methods for designing digital services. Students work in small interdisciplinary teams to conceive and design simple but viable and compelling digital service solutions.

The Agile Method is used extensively in start-ups and corporations to develop software through team projects. This method manages the unpredictable nature of creating software by using weekly iterative communication processes known as sprints to integrate insights from users and other stakeholders, share information and advance development while minimizing wasted effort. Experience in applying the Agile Method gives students a distinct advantage in applying for internships, building a strong resume and becoming a strong contributor in an organization.

A service is an intangible product we experience in time through multiple touch-points and channels. According to the US department of commerce services account for 80 percent of the US GDP. However, most services are not that special or distinctive. How was the service the last time you flew? This class will focus on improving service experiences through digital technology. An example of a digital service (since we are talking about flying) is the seat selector application that allows you to pick your seats when you book a flight online. Previous to this digital service you would need to accept whatever seat was assigned to you or call and wait for an agent to help you change your seat. This digital service allows you to change your seat at the time of booking.

Digital services are delivered through a combination of apps, websites, texts, and social media. Shazam, Amazon.com, Citibank mobile banking, and Hulu are examples of digital services. We expect that your team will conceive, design conceptually, and test a simple digital service (more like an app on your phone than Amazon.com). The final deliverables of the class are a prototype that demonstrates the benefits of the concept and preliminary business model for the idea.

We believe that good services will:

  1. Solve for a real user need and address a real market (should be attractive to an existing company, venture fund, or NGO);
  2. Use existing, accessible data;
  3. Are intuitive for the user, i.e., you do not need to read a long manual to understand how to use it;
  4. Solve a discreet problem (confirming I have an appointment with my doctor) not a high level problem (helps me with all aspects of my health); and
  5. Do not require a major advance in coding or computer science in order to be viable.

Digital service design naturally leverages the skills of students majoring in such fields as computer science, information technology and management, professional and technical communication, psychology and business, but the class will be interesting and relevant to all disciplines. Students interested in design, entrepreneurship, prototyping, and web and app development are encouraged to sign up.

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