2023 Design Project 1 & 2


Sarah Fdili Alaoui, Associate Professor Université Paris-Saclay
Tove Grimstad Bang, PhD candidate Université Paris-Saclay

T3, T4
M1, M2

Design Project 1 & 2 require students to design, prototype, develop and evaluate an interactive system. Students will work in groups.


The Design Project course is divided in two parts over a period of 14 weeks.

Design Project 1 (week 1-7) open to all M1 and M2 students.

Your project will be linked with one or more of the electives that you are taking. Start brainstorming on ideas in connection with your electives.

Design Project 2 (week 8-14) a continuation of Design Project 1, open only to M1 students, starting 10 Mar.

You can chose to either do two different projects, or one project over the 14 weeks, as follows:

Option 1: During the first 7 weeks, you can choose to work on a project that is linked with one or more of your electives. Then, from week 8 onwards you start working on another project, which for HCID students, will be linked with the BDLabs course, and for HCI students, will be your project part of your TER.

Option 2: You work on the same project throughout the entire 14 weeks. Note that then your project has to bee linked to the BDLabs course or the TER (for HCID students and HCI students respectively).

Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • Apply HCI and Interaction Design principles in the design, development and evaluation of their interactive system.
  • Prepare and deliver a short oral presentation and written documentation demonstrating their application in the design of the interactive system.
  • Conduct an in-depth project about the design and evaluation of an interactive system.


The deliverables will consist of weekly updates on progress, an interactive system (original software/hardware as well as a demo and oral presentation) and complete documentation of the system and the design process in the form of a pictorial and a paper.

Students will be expected to present the interactive system during an exhibition or demo session/presentation. More information and details on this can be found here.

The documentation should describe, analyze, and discuss the design choices embedded within the system, both conceptually, technically, and critically. It should also report on the resulting user evaluation/feedback. Go to the assignments tab for more information about the pictorial and the paper.

Projects should demonstrate an effective understanding and application of design and HCI concepts in design, development and evaluation on interactive systems. The user evaluation will rely on qualitative or quantitative methodologies of the student’s choice.

Material and guidance for framing the design process can either be based on what you learned from the Design of Interactive Systems course during T2, and/or can be inspired by the Design Thinking Bootleg from the Institute of Design at Stanford University (licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), which will be introduced to you in class.

If appropriate, students should also prepare a video of their project, preferably with narration.


Students will be graded on their weekly progress, the quality of the work, the written pictorial and paper and presentation of the project:

  • Weekly progress of process and class presence
  • Final interactive system and oral presentation including demo
  • Documentation of the process (pictorial and paper)

Announcements & course updates

Announcements and updates to the course will be published below.


Course Schedule Overview

Design Project 1 T3 (trimester 3) on Friday mornings, from 9:30 - 12:30, in PUIO room E105 the Fablab Digiscope, building 660.

13 Jan Week 1 – Introduction, choose groups
20 Jan Week 2 – Define & Ideate
27 Jan Week 3 – Ideate & Prototype
03 Feb Week 4 – Iterate & Develop
10 Feb Week 5 – Iterate & Develop
17 Feb Week 6 – Develop
24 Feb Week 7 – Presentations & Pictorial

Design Project 2 T4 (trimester 4) on Fridays, time and place TBA

From this stage and onwards, the evolution of the course will look different and depend on the evolution of each individual project.

10 Mar Week 8 – Ideally, you are now ready to start the evaluation of your interactive system. Otherwise, keep developing it.
17 Mar Week 9
24 Mar Week 10
31 Mar Week 11
07 Apr Week 12
14 Apr Week 13
21 Apr Week 14

See Assignments for details on deliverables.

Design Project 1

Roughly based on the material we will go through in class and the Design Thinking Bootleg, the course will be organized as follows:

Week 1:

  1. Empathy is the foundation of a human-centred design process. To empathize, you:
    1. Observe. View users and their behaviors in the context of their lives.
    2. Engage. Interact with and interview users through both scheduled and short ‘intercept’ encounters.
    3. Immerse. Experience what your user experiences.
  2. Define: Unpack and synthesize your findings into compelling needs and insights, and scope a specific and meaningful challenge. Two goals of the define mode are to develop a deep understanding of your users and the design space and, based on that understanding, to come up with an actionable problem statement: your point of view. Your point of view is your unique design vision that you crafted based on your discoveries during your empathy work. Often, in order to be truly generative, you must first reframe the challenge based on new insights you have gained through your design work. This reframed problem statement can then be used as a solution-generating springboard. Your Point of View is one that provides focus and frames the problem.

Week 2:

  1. Ideate: Generate radical design alternatives. Mentally it represents a process of “going wide”. The goal of ideation is to explore a wide solution space – both a large quantity of ideas and a diversity among those ideas. From this vast depository of ideas you can build prototypes to test with users. You ideate in order to transition from identifying problems into exploring solutions for your users.
  2. Prototype: Get ideas and explorations out of your head and into the physical world. Use post-it notes, a role-playing activity, a space, an object, an interface, or even a storyboard. The resolution of your prototype should be commensurate with your progress in your project. In early explorations keep your prototypes rough and rapid to allow yourself to learn quickly and investigate a lot of different possibilities. Prototypes are most successful when people (the design team, the user, and others) can experience and interact with them.
  3. Test: It is the chance to get feedback on your solutions, refine solutions to make them better, and continue to learn about your users. The test mode is an iterative mode in which you place your low-resolution artifacts in the appropriate context of the user’s life. Prototype as if you know you’re right, but test as if you know you’re wrong.
  4. Iterate!

Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6:

These are the weeks you start to make the Interactive system! Develop and iterate!

During this stage we will organize sessions for the groups to test each other's prototypes, in order to get feedback on your systems.

Week 7:

During the last class of Design Project 1, on 24 Feb, you will present your projects and demo your interactive system.

Following the presentations on 24 Feb, you will have a week to hand in your pictorial.

Design Project 2

Week 8 / Week 9 / Week 10 / Week 11 / Week 12 / Week 13:

From this stage and onwards, the evolution of the course will look different and depend on the evolution of each individual project.

Ideally, you are now ready to start the evaluation of your interactive system. Otherwise, keep developing it.

For the evaluation of your system, you can use:
○ Structured interviews
○ Observational task analysis
○ Ethnographic field studies
○ Controlled experiments
○ Surveys and Questionnaires
○ Think‐aloud / Wizard of Oz
○ Field Testing

Week 14:

Final presentations of your projects and demo your interactive system.