service, using Shelley Evenson’s
Experience Cycle [ 1] as a model to
help broadly define this experience
for high school students.
With this basic rhythm established, we began filling in the
blanks, attempting to understand
the interaction through the eyes
of a high school student. What
would the student want to learn?
How could we connect interaction design to the things that are
important to a high school student? What is the most accessible
frame of reference from which to
scaffold her understanding? All
of these questions helped us outline the details of our program.
We first wanted to introduce students to creative habits that may
be missing from their daily classes.
We wanted to give students more
time for creative thinking, to provide opportunities for sketching,
and to expose them to exercises
that encourage creativity.
We also wanted students to
think and behave with empathy, an
important trait to have as a designer. To be successful at designing
products people will want to use,
designers must be able to put
themselves in the user’s place and
understand their challenges and
pain points. We think empathy is
an important quality for a successful high school student, too.
Finally, we wanted students
to have an understanding of storytelling and presentation. We
wanted them to leave our class
with a point of view about their
work and be able to share the
projects they created in a way
that is meaningful to others.
With this focus in mind, we
knew it would be important to find
the right students to teach. In our
first two semesters, we worked
in partnership with a wonder-
ful high school in Brooklyn: the
Urban Assembly Institute of Math
and Science for Young Women (or
just UAI). It has been an enthu-
siastic partner that understands
the value of design in education
and embraces our ideology.
• (top) Post-it
their final prototypes
and critique, Post-it