Design Project 2: Ideation

Studio: 4/28 (Tue), slides by 5pm
Final Write-up: 11:59pm on 4/29 (Wed)
7% toward your total grade

What do we do?

In this assignment, you will turn your needfinding results into concrete solution idea candidates. By going through the design process introduced in class and suggested below, you'll ensure that your ideas are grounded in the observations, needs, and insights you identified from real users. Specifically:

  • Point of View (POV): A point of view is a unique approach to the problem that is based on user needs and insights. As we have done in class, consider writing down users, needs, and insights from DP1 on the board and finding a unique connection between them, which reveals a meaningful challenge. Report one POV you will tackle for the rest of the semester. This method card from Stanford should be a useful resource.

  • Personas: Develop a persona for the imaginary user that's represented in your team's POV. The level of detail to include and how you want to present your persona is up to you, but note that you'll refer to this persona throughout your design process when making various design decisions. If there are multiple distinct personas your team has in mind, pick the most compelling one. Refer to the course reading for more details. Note we'll omit the scenario part, as more detail will be covered in your storyboards.

  • How Might We (HMW) Questions: HMW questions serve as a bridge between your POV and solution ideas. They are short questions that should be broad enough to allow for open ideas yet narrow enough to set meaningful boundaries. Report at least 10 HMW questions for your team's POV, and pick top 3 HMW questions. This method card from Stanford should be a useful resource.

  • Solution Ideas: Solution ideas are your attempts at solving the HMW questions. Use the brainstorming techniques covered in class for exploration. Report at least 10 solution ideas per each of the top 3 HMW questions, and pick top 3 solution ideas overall. Note that these 3 ideas should be distinct from one another, covering a wide solution space. The best ideas don't necessarily have to represent each HMW; multiple ideas can belong to a single HMW.

  • Storyboards: Create 3 storyboard sketches, one for each of the top 3 solution ideas. A storyboard is a set of comic-strip-like drawings that visually walks through a concrete scenario and a task that your persona experiences. Show the challenge the persona encounters, what environment the persona is surrounded by, what motivates the persona to use the solution idea you're suggesting, and how your solution idea actually addresses the challenge. The storyboard shouldn't be about specific system features or UI elements. You don't even need to show the detailed screen layout of your UI at this point. Focus on the concept and context, rather than pretty UIs or sophisticated system features.

    Make sure to hand-draw your storyboards, with a thick pen so that sketches are visible when digitally scanned and excessive details are not included. Using a pencil or a thin ball-point pen is not allowed. Here are some good examples (Verbivore and Let's Read), except for the fact that some of them are not drawn with a thick pen. Also, Amal Dar Aziz's guide to storyboarding is a highly recommended resource.

Your Report

  • Final Team Name
  • POV (1)
  • Persona (1)
  • HMW questions for your POV (at least 10)
  • Top 3 HMW questions and how / why you chose them
  • Solution ideas for your HMW questions (at least 10 x 3 HMWs)
  • Top 3 solution ideas and how / why you chose them
  • Storyboards (3)
  • Studio Reflections: Summarize the feedback from the studio session, and mention how you addressed it or will address it later in the process.
  • Updates in DP1: If your team revisited needfinding (e.g., additional interviews) and made updates to your needfinding results, briefly describe what has been changed. Note that this is optional.

Example Slides


  • POV (10%)
    • Contains user, need, and inspiration?
    • Unique?
    • Non-trivial?
  • Persona (10%)
    • Concrete demographic information?
    • Photo or image?
    • Motivations, beliefs, preferences, and goals?
  • HMW (15%)
    • 10+ HMWs submitted?
    • Scope not too broad or narrow?
    • Distinct, broad, and creative?
    • Clear connections to POV & persona?
    • Selection process clearly described?
  • Solution Ideas (25%)
    • 10+ solution ideas submitted for each HMW?
    • Distinct, broad, and creative?
    • Selection process clearly described?
  • Storyboards (20%)
    • 3 storyboards submitted?
    • Flow easy to follow and understand? Natural transition between frames?
    • Is user context well-captured?
    • Easy to read (thick pen used)?
    • Not solution-driven but user- and scenario-driven?
  • Studio Reflections (10%)
    • Is feedback well summarized?
    • Is feedback addressed, or is the plan for addressing feedback concrete?
  • Studio Presentation (10%)
    • Preparation and organization?
    • Articulation and clear delivery?
    • Effective use of visual aids?
    • Time management?


Studio Presentation: In studio, your team will present your main findings for 7 minutes, with 5 minutes for Q&A and feedback. You need to prepare a Google Slides presentation, by adding your slides to the link your TA will send you. The slides should be sent to your TA by 5pm on Tuesday. Every team member needs to participate in the presentation. Write down the questions and feedback you receive during your presentation, and reflect on them in your report.

Team Report: One report per team. Your report should be submitted as a zip file. The main report should be written in Markdown (please use the .md extension). Name the file with your team name, and submit it by visiting this link. You can submit multiple times until the deadline, and we'll use the most recent version for grading.