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Final essay

Page history last edited by Steven Dow 14 years ago



The final report for cs549 should demonstrate your perspective on design thinking in computing and beyond. Pick something you are curious about and use one of the three research methods below to make a contribution. It needs to be more than just your opinions about the issues of the course. It should include references to class materials and additional related works. It should also be more than a "book report," in that you make an effort to discover and describe relationships between the research papers (and/or new data) and what we have been talking about in class.  The report should be rigorous and concise (approx 3-6 pages or 1500-3000 words, plus appendices and references). In the spirit of prototyping, we highly recommend you create a draft well before the deadline and recruit a fellow student to provide feedback.

There are three options available:
1) Expand on a wiki topic thread or paper -- Choose an open "debate" from the quarter and expand it into an academic discussion. The essay should illuminate an interesting question, articulate different perspectives on the question, and connect into related bodies of literature. If the essay expands on a wiki discussion, include the wiki thread as an appendix.  

2) Interview a professional designer or design instructor -- Recruit a design professional or instructor to discuss a topic of your choice and write an essay to interpret the findings. The essay should raise an important open question in design research. Explain what qualifies your interviewee to provide insights on your question. The essay should include a Findings section, with key quotes or sentiments from the interview. It should also include a Discussion section, with your interpretation of the findings in relation to your research questions. Attach your interview guide as an appendix.

3) Propose a design experiment -- Articulate an open question about design thinking that can be approached experimentally (for examples, see http://hci.stanford.edu/research/prototyping). The question should be well thought out and grounded in design studies literature.  The report should propose an experimental design with details about the task, independent and dependent variables, participants, procedure, etc. The report should state a clear hypothesis (how the independent manipulation will affect dependent measures) and discuss why the results would be non-trivial, relevant, and different from prior design experiments. Attach any study materials you create.

4) Suggest your own topic -- It must be concrete, thoughtful, and grounded in prior work.


Email a .DOC version of your final report to Steven (spdow@stanford.edu) by June 4th. I will return it with comments inline. You may also post your final essay to the wiki so that it's available for comments from wiki participants and other students. Post links to your final essays below:

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