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Image by Patrick Perkins

Prototyping for Interactive Systems

A Personal Growth Study


The goal of this page is to showcase my growth through my last semester in the HCI Masters Certification program. As I work through the semester I want to share my personal growth in prototyping interactive systems by posting assignments as they are done. Each assignment will be a part of a learning module starting from the beginning to end of the semester.

This may seem like an unorthodox way to showcase my work, however, many case studies all follow a similar pattern, including the design. I want to stand out, showcase my abilities in a unique and friendly way. Additionally, I am growing as a graphic designer and UX designer; what better way than to see my growth as it is happening?

Here you will have the opportunity to see my responses, problem solve, iterate, and prototype and the growth in these.

Week 1 Discussion
January 16, 2022
  1. Watch this 15 minute TedX talk

  2. "Why People Believe They Can't Draw" (

    1. As you watch, follow along with the audience and do the sketching. You will need several sheets of paper and a pen or pencil.

  3. Come back to this thread and POST in this thread a response with:

    1. A short introduction of yourself

    2. Three of your sketches

    3. At least one reason you believe on how this simple sketching can be relevant to this course, ideation, and/or prototyping


Discussion response:

Hello. I am Anna Skidmore; I have a BFA in printmaking from Herron and currently work in production development at adidas. I am in the HCI masters certificate program and my final semester too. I'm excited to be a part of this class and do more creative assignments.

I see sketching as a simple way to get your thoughts down, especially when ideating something that isn't easily explained; an image can always inform in some ways better than writing. In addition, sketching is a great way to add elements before you head into prototyping and see which direction you want to pursue in your ideas or prototypes.

I've attached my images done on my iPad (I did them on paper too but felt that this would be cleaner and easier to upload!)

Assignment 1: Sketching an App

Exercise: Select an app you use on your smart phone or tablet and the sketch screens that make up a primary function.

Purpose: For your first exercise we're going to “warm-up” by sketching (copying) a known interaction. The purpose of this is for you to

  • Begin to recognize the difference between capturing and showing a concept vs. designing for production. Often the number of steps and transitions that we perceive as a user are different from the actual number it takes to implement a complete design. At the same time, the number of steps it takes to tell a user story appropriately using sketch techniques is quite different.

  • Recognize that everyone can sketch enough to tell a story using basic shapes, basic techniques, and quick and rough lines.

Week 2
January 23, 2022

I have to admit, this assignment was a tough one for me. As you'll see, I struggled to ideate. Mostly because I'm not used to wearable technology as a potential user. The idea of having anything on my head and neck that could buzz, gave me instant anxiety. Eventually, I got over this because the assignment is about ideation within the design funnel.

Assignment 2: 10 + 10 Method
The Intent:

The goals of this assignment is for you to gain experience and practice using fast, iterative, cheap, and disposable techniques to explore a problem space. The "10x10" or "Crazy 8's" are well-known methods to get oneself to push thinking beyond the obvious. Sketching allows you to explore widely and wildly without fear. No idea is too crazy as it can lead to something else.

The Problem Space:

Your company (let’s call it “Aerie”) is developing wearable items that will integrate with smart home devices (e.g., Alexa, Google, Ring, etc.) to discreetly notify users of various statuses and occurrences around the house, as well as, possibly offer simple interactions.


Develop a range of possible form factors for this device and help to generate ideas about how a person might use interact with it.

10 + 10 Method: Part 1

Step 1: Focus on the Breadth of Ideas

Creating 10 different ideas of what you could do. It can be anything, useful or playful. Be creative and push ideas broadly. Step one is about exploration.

10 + 10 Method: Part 2

Step 2: Focus in Depth on an idea from Step 1

Create 10 additional sketches from step one. Explore different factors and different uses for it.

Week 3
January 30, 2022
Assignment 3: Storyboard

The purpose of this was to get students thinking about future technologies like AR, VR, and XR. This was a great exercise into broadening the mindset outside of creating applications.

Week 4
February 6, 2022
Assignment 4: Paper Prototype

Imagine you're team has been tasked with creating a new app that will allow customers to order using a self-service tablet at the counter or table.

REQUIREMENTS. The app has to support the following:

  • a path to choose a single drink in a specific size, with any modifications

  • ability to add drink to cart and provide confirmation

  • a means to select a second drink and add to cart

  • a confirmation of the upated order

  • ability to review items in the cart

  • an option to modify a drink that is in the cart

  • issue a confirmation of the order and total before finally sending it to the barista

Week 5
February 13, 2022
Assignment 4: Digital Prototype

Using any one of the several digital tools, convert your paper prototype of the coffee shop interface into a digital one.

  • Enable the same paths and capabilities used in the paper

  • Make improvements to your week 4 flow as desired based on the paper testing and/or the tool's capabilities

In addition, when approaching the digital prototype:

  • Allow clickable navigation from a starting page through the transaction

  • Allow return or circular navigation to allow the user to return to previous steps or start over at the home page

  • Offer the appropriate feedback to the user


The remainder of the semester we focused on learning course materials, lectures, and creating a midterm project and then the final project. You can view those on the homepage. The midterm project will be called "artistlike" and the final project is about "xr goggles for firefighters".

For more writing. Check out my UX Journals, this was a fun exercise that helped in thinking critically about design choices and how this affects usability.

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