Today was the first day teaching Intro to Design Computing. It was my first day teaching anything, ever, officially. I didn’t die. So hurray!

But it was harder than I thought it would be. My throat got dry and we’re not allowed to have any drinks in the computer lab. And my introduction and presentation went a lot quicker than I thought.

The class has 16 people registered, but about 30 people showed up. I scared a couple away with my overview, but eight or so still talked to me after class about getting in. I’m capping it at 20.

While I had a syllabus, the projects and the time line is vague. So I need to clearly define what the projects will be. And I need to do this soon, as I plan to give the first assignment on Thursday.

For the first part of the course, I’m having them do rapid prototyping focusing on the elements of interaction defined by Dan Saffer in Designing for Interaction. But I need to figure out exactly what those mini projects will be, which I realized for sure when confronted by 30 sets of inquisitive eyes.

Here’s the current syllabus, which will likely change over the next day or two. I need to combine or eliminate some of the projects. And, like I said, clearly determine what each will entail.

Design Computing will focus on prototyping interactions, interfaces, and experiences as a designer. We will start with simple, low fidelity prototypes and work our way toward higher fidelity. Also, we will explore ways to communicate experiences for design concepts.

Flash will be the core tool for prototyping, but other options will also be considered, including AfterEffects and Processing. By the end of the course, you should feel comfortable working with Flash as a prototyping tool. This course, however, is not about learning how to program or about making you a Flash expert.

In evaluating the work we do in this class, we will focus on
behavior and experience. Projects and conversation will also focus on the elements of interaction: motion, space, time, appearance,
texture, and sound.

We will also explore how to encourage play through interaction and understanding the role of emotion in digital prototyping.

In addition, throughout the course we will create a web portfolio using a combination of HTML and Flash.

Key Takeaways

  • Rapid prototyping
  • Communicating and experience with ditigal tools
  • Comfortable prototyping in Flash
  • Basic knowledge of creating a website


  • Motion, space, time, appearance, texture, sound
  • Mobile interface
  • Video prototyping
  • Physical prototyping
  • Website/portfolio
  • Play and emotion