UX Portfolio » Syllabus

UX Portfolio: Syllabus

Fall 2015, Section UXDX1-CE9140.
Tuesdays, June 9 - August 11 2015.
6:30 - 9:30pm
Log on through NYU Classes

In this project-driven course, you will produce a prototype and case study that demonstrates your focus and capabilities as a well-rounded UX designer with in-demand skills to prospective clients, investors, and employers. Your prototype and case study will showcase your ability to perform user research, strategize, wireframe, run usability tests, and to create live prototypes.


Students should already be familiar with how to make great wireframes. Please review the instructor's video on wireframe style.

Optional Textbooks

Textbooks are not required, but you should already be familiar with the following texts:

Rocket Surgery Made Easy
Steve Krug, New Riders Press. 2010.
Commonly available at Barnes & Noble. Also available from Amazon and BN.com as an inexpensive eBook.

Research Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Available as free PDF from http://usability.gov/guidelines/guidelines_book.pdf


  • Application & Case Study: 50%
  • Class Participation: 50%
    See note under Course Policies below, regarding attendance

Qualities that will earn a "C" grade

  • Not meeting specifications of homework assignments
  • Late homework submissions
  • Lack of meaningful peer-feedback during critiques
  • Inconsistent attendance
  • Mediocre application design quality (e.g. wireframes and prototype)
  • Mediocre case study quality

Qualities that will earn a "B" grade

  • Do all of the homework, on time, as specified
  • Contribute meaningful peer-feedback during critiques
  • Consistent attendance
  • Good application design quality (e.g. wireframes and prototype)
  • Good case study quality

Qualities that will earn an "A" grade

  • Do all of the homework, on time, as specified
  • Contribute meaningful peer-feedback during critiques
  • Consistent attendance
  • Outstanding application design quality (e.g. wireframes and prototype)
  • Outstanding case study quality

Meaningful Peer-Feedback During Critiques

As an online critique-oriented class, it is very important for each student to take it upon his or herself to give meaningful feedback to their peers during their presentations. Peer feedback will not be judged by quantity, but by quality.

By practicing giving meaningful feedback to your peers, you are preparing for real world critiques and discussions within the workplace. When the whole classroom engages in giving meaningful feedback, you can also expect to receive a broad spectrum of perspectives to advance your application and case study.

Examples of meaningful feedback:

  • "This is great, I love it because the flow from the home page to the account page leads them right into subscription management – you might get more subscribers that way"
  • "I don't think the button looks clickable. Did you consider putting a border around it?"
  • "How does this support your business goals? I don't understand the purpose of this page."

Here are some ideas for giving meaningful feedback:

  • Ask for clarification, if something doesn’t make sense, ask a question. It is very important for the presenter to know if something isn't instantly crystal-clear.
  • When complimenting something, be very specific about what you like, and why you think it is important
  • Tie your line of questioning to the business or user goals
  • Make suggestions for alternate ways to design things in order to achieve a goal

Do not confuse cheerleading for meaningful feedback. While cheerleading is pleasant and creates a jovial atmosphere, it does not help the presenter create a stronger case study or project.

Examples of cheerleading (these will NOT help your grade):

  • "Great work keep it up"
  • "I love it"
  • "Nice work!"
  • "It is both nice and great and I love it"
  • etc etc etc

Please remember: providing consistent, meaningful feedback to your peers is required to earn an A.

Qualities of Outstanding Application Design

Your final grade will in large part be determined by the quality of your application design (i.e. your prototype and wireframes). You should strive to imbue the following qualities in your application:

  • The business case is apparent and is based on real needs in the marketplace, as supported by the student's research
  • The application is well designed, communicates well, and is easy to use
  • The application artifacts (e.g. wireframes, prototype, videos, etc.) are of high quality, and follow the guidelines given by the instructor
  • The application provides a best-of-breed and/or a highly innovative solution

Qualities of Outstanding Case Study

Your final grade will in large part be determined by the quality of your case study. You should strive to imbue the following qualities in your case study:

  • The case study strives for full transparency of the data and research, with pictures and links to download survey and other research data
  • The case study is a live webpage
  • The case study is mobile friendly
  • The case study is well-designed, utilizing fine typography, layout, usability, readability, and imagery
  • The case study is a single-page format
  • The case study is well-written throughout, with a good introduction, clear and short headlines, and a conclusion

Course Policies

Because of the collaborative lab nature of the class, each student's participation and attendance is essential. A single missed class will result in a 5% reduction in a student's final grade, two missed classes will result in a 10% reduction in the student’s grade, and three missed classes will not result in a passing grade. Homework must be handed in on time. Students will be expected to be present for the entire duration of each class.


Instructor can be contacted at msw242@nyu.edu
In case of an emergency, you can call him at (862) 220-0085

Academic Integrity

Don’t plagiarize. Read the school's policy on academic integrity and plagiarism.

Class Website

All of the slides and homework assignments are maintained here on Visicog.com, the class website.

Lesson Details

Disclaimer: Lesson details and schedule is subject to change due to current events, guest speaker schedule changes and/or level and interests of students.

This class is critique driven. Students will be expected to do the bulk of their work away from class, and we'll discuss their work in the class setting. Please view each lesson link in the side-navigation for individual lesson assignments.

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