Design is in the Details

Finishing my thesis project prototype this week, it struck me that there's a significant blind spot in CMU's program (and from what I understand, other interaction design schools' programs as well): working with developers on a prototype to get the feel of the thing right. Because at school you very seldom get to the working prototype stage (due to time and money constraints), you don't ever get into the finesse of an interactive design, those tiny things that make a huge difference. And those tiny things can usually only be seen in a working thing that can be played with and broken and fiddled with. Animations and delays and such don't appear in flat paper prototypes and storyboards. At least not well.

CMU is supposedly better at building things than some other schools that have lots of cool ideas and slick videos to go with them, but it could be better. I suppose one could argue that this is what the thesis project is for: to take an idea out to the working prototype phase, but it seems like too important a thing to save until the very end of your graduate education. Especially considering that many people don't make it to the working prototype phase in their thesis work, or do projects that would be almost impossible to do that with without a team of developers.

Originally posted on Thursday, May 5, 2005

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O Danny Boy is About Me, Dan Saffer, and has my Portfolio, Resumé, Blog, and some Extras. It also has the blog I kept of my graduate studies and ways to Contact Me.