Design Laboratory II: User-Centered Design

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Design Laboratory II: User-Centered Design

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Industrial Engineering

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Although not required, previous basic electronics and Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) fabrication skills are helpful.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    DESCRIPTION This course develops the competence "CE-DI-02 - Develop user centered Industrial Design projects" that belongs to the module "Compulsory academic training in industrial design".

    Professionals in this field can develop projects related to:
    . The generation of creative and innovative solutions that put the user in the center of the project.
    . The use of tools for the understanding of needs and aspirations of users according to their user typology.
    . The development of products and services as strategic vectors of business' competitiveness.

    This course studies how to put the user in the center of a design project, taking into account the stages of the User Centered Design process -UCD process- and the understanding of it through the development of analytic and research assignments. Furthermore, this course deepens into several issues related to the understanding of user needs through topics and frameworks such as Emotional Design and Design for All. Finally, project development related topics are also applied in the course "Design laboratory II: User Centered Design" through the development of a project and practical exercises.

    Moreover, according to the map of generic competences of this degree, this course will develop the generic competence "LEARNING ORIENTATION".

    In order to develop the competences of this course properly, the student must have acquired the competences related to the courses "Design Laboratory I", "Project Culture I", "Project Culture II" and "Artistic Expression".

    The learning results of the subject developed as specific competences are:

    CE1. Analyse the user centered design process and incorporate its specific techniques and tools.
    CE2. Perform user research activities and apply this method as project strategy.
    CE3. Apply the user centered design process and user research in the development of a project.

    Furthermore, according to the map of generic competences of this degree, this course will develop the following generic competence:

    CG1. LEARNING ORIENTATION. Strategically and flexibly utilizing learning in accordance with objectives, based on recognition of how one learns and on awareness of learning per se (relating new information to previous mental schema and utilizing the new schema generated).

    Level of mastery 2 (CG8.2): Understanding and questioning the theoretical models of a discipline and exploring new fields of knowledge.


    Introduction. Fundamentals of user centered design. Design Thinking as a methodology to get closer to the user. User pannels. Service Design. Case studies.

    Introduction. Fundamentals of emotional design. Tools and strategies for emotional measurement. Case studies.

    Introduction. Basic principles of Design for All. Usability and accessibility. Universal Design and inclusive products. Case studies.

    User behaviour analysis. Multidisciplinary techniques. Analysis of needs, goals, expectations, motivations and capabilities of users. Living Lab.

    Prototyping techniques. Low fidelity prototypes. High fidelity prototypes. Information Architecture.

    User tests. PrEmo and LEMTool (Layered Emotional Measurement Tool) evaluation tools.


    . Keynote presentations to explain each of the theoretical design concepts with real product and service examples.
    . Exposition of representative and real professional case studies that help students grasping theoretical concepts and translating them into their everyday work activity.
    . Individual or group mentoring meetings in order to monitor progress of the learning process.
    . Discussions related to current issues related to the course. . Feedback sessions to understand, internalize and conceptualize different methodologies and stages of the design process.
    . Tests in order to assess the level of fulfilment of generic, basic and specific competences.


    . Development of practical exercises related to course content individually or in groups. . Study and internalization of the materials developed in class.
    . Search of information related to specific topics in media.
    . Development of transversal activities in Deusto FabLab related to digital fabrication for the development of the generic competence CG1.2.
    . Visit companies with a Design Department and contact with them.
    . Collection of the information generated throughout the course in an organized way to prepare evaluations and have access to it in the future.
    . Participation in meetings with design specialists.
    . Readings of recommended articles and books.
    . Watch recommended videos and documentaries.


    Evaluation activities are split into continuous evaluation (EC) and final evaluation (EF) activities. Different activities will be developed in order to evaluate each of the competences:

    Continuous evaluation activities (EC):

    There will be three deliverables, each of them related to a specific practical exercise:
    - PD1. Development of an exercise related to the contents of CE1 that will weigh 20% of the final grade.
    - PD2. Development of an exercise related to the contents of CE2 that will weigh 20% of the final grade.
    - PD3. Development of an exercise related to the contents of CE3 that will weigh 25% of the final grade.

    Other activities

    - Group workshops related to digital fabrication - Level IV of Curso de Capacitación of Deusto Fablab- assessed by an expert. These workshops are related to the generic competence CG1.2 and weigh 10% of the final grade.

    Final evaluation activity (EF):
    Presentation and public defense of a project related to the overall learnings of the course weighing 25% of the final grade to evaluate competences CE1 (5%), CE2 (10%) and CE3 (10%).


    Basic bibliography
    NORMAN, Donald. Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. Basic books. 2005.
    IDEO. People Centered Design. Ideo, 2015. Course materials provided by the professor in class or via Alud platform.

    Additional bibliography
    BROWN, T. (2009). Change by Design. New York. Ed. Harper Collins Publishers.
    DESMET, P. (2002). Designing emotions. Ed. Delft University of Technology.
    NORMAN, Donald. The Design of Everyday Things. Zone Books. 2013 (Revised and expanded version).
    SANDER, E.B. (2001). Virtuosos of the experience domain. Proceedings of the 2001.
    IDSA Education Conference

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.