CSC396Y0 Designing Systems for Real-World Problems

Human Centred Design results in robust solutions that successfully address real human problems. Summer Abroad provides students with an opportunity to explore new environments, which improves their ability to see their own world with increased sensitivity and germinates new design ideas. In this course, students will identify a real-world problem and work in groups on projects addressing this problem. Students will explore their problem space and the people within that space, identify needs, constraints and requirements, and ultimately design solutions. Their designs will be iterated by gathering feedback and usability testing the early prototypes. The course projects will culminate with development of a technological solution that addresses the identified problem. Final project presentations will take place at the end of the course. This course can be counted as 0.5 FCE at the 300 level for Computer Science program completion.

Prerequisites: any Computer Science half course
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CSC396Y0 – Preliminary Course Outline

Field Trips: Students will travel to Wolfsburg Germany, where they will visit the Volkswagen Factory at Autostadt and the world renowned Phaeno Science Center. There will also be a day trip to the Human Computer Interaction Laboratory in the Hasso Plattner Institute at Potsdam University and local visits to design exhibits and museums around Berlin. The cost of the trips is CAD$455, paid to U of T for onsite transportation, guides and some entrance fees.

Instructor:  Ilona Posner is a User Experience (UX) Consultant and educator. Starting in the field called Human Computer Interaction (CHI) more than 25 years ago, she has seen it evolve into Usability and then to User Experience. She is constantly striving to improve experiences with technology by focusing on human needs and business goals, while accommodating technological constraints. Crossing industry boundaries, she has consulted in large corporations and startups, in different verticals including technology, finance, telecom, healthcare, transportation, and education. In 2015 she took on a new challenge and started her first “real job” as Senior Manager of User Experience Research at Rogers Communications.

An experienced educator Ilona Posner has been teaching User Experience since 2000, through project based design courses, at University of Toronto, OCAD University, and the Media Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, to hundreds of students, in both the graduate and the undergraduate programmes, while also developing and delivering custom UX training courses for industry. Ilona holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.

Ilona Posner has been volunteering with TorCHI the Toronto Chapter of the CHI professional interest group for over a decade and running international Student Design Competitions at both CHI and UPA (Usability Professionals Association) Conferences.

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