How can we merge interactive design processes and the development of interactive prototypes for first semester students without prior programming experience? We investigate how a visual programming language can enrich a user-centred design project for first semester software and IT engineering students. We do this through describing our experiences with 12 project groups from a total of 70 students. The students developed interactive touch based learning apps for children in the 4th to 6th grade using App Inventor. Most of the project groups managed to do three iterations of specifying requirements, doing conceptual design, physical and interactive prototyping and user evaluation. And they actually implemented quite large programs with multiple screen switching, multiple interfaces, media such as pictures, animations and sound, database connection, web-server connection, integrated sensors – such as camera, accelerometer etc. The students did a lot more project iterations and spend more time on the creative designs in real life situations than we expected. This also allowed for the students’ professional reflections on their prototype, usability, interaction and the design process All in all this gave them much more profound real life experience in the user-centred design process.
Proceedings of the Iadis International Conferences Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2013. Prague, Czech Republic, 2013, p. 249-252
HCI; Interaction Design; Engineering Education; University Pedagogics
Main Research Area:
International Conferences Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction, 2013