Cindy Atman

Winter 2020

UPDATE #2: "Dear Design:" Capturing, representing and interpreting everyday design processes

Cindy Atman, Professor, HCDE
Kathryn Shroyer, Graduate Student, HCDE

11/19/19: The original time chosen for this DRG was a conflict for many students – so we are updating both the possible times and including students from both the BS and MS programs.

11/21/19: Apologies – I made a survey design 101 mistake and did not collect name and email information in the previous form.  This updated description has an updated link to a google form that collects that information.

The basics:

  • Seeking six interested students for this exploratory DRG
  • Open to BS and MS HCDE students
  • Date & Time: Winter Quarter, 2019
    • Thursday afternoons 1:30 – 3:30 p.m
    • Thursday afternoons 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
    • Friday afternoons 12:00 – 2:00 p.m
  • Number of credits: 2 credits
  • Application process: Apply via email by Nov. 26 – see below for details

Description: There are many research results from the design research community about effective practices of expert designers that could be useful for design practitioners to know about.  In this DRG, we will explore the potential of learning about a set of design research findings through the lens of the doing, documenting and representing everyday design.

Specifically, in the quarter, students will:

  • Capture their own design process in a typical “everyday design task” (e.g., baking)
  • Respond to a set of weekly prompts to create representations of their design process
  • Synthesize across the representations in group discussions
  • Reflect on what they are learning with respect to their understanding of design processes

Inspired by the book “Dear Data” (, the responses to the weekly design prompts will be via a physical postcard, that will also be uploaded to a google slide deck.  Each week students will discuss the representations created the previous week, as well as the task for the following week.  We anticipate that we will have two to three cycles of data collection and representation through the quarter.  In addition to the representations, throughout the quarter students will write brief reflections at the end of each weekly session and will write a final reflection at the end of the quarter. 

Expectations: This group will meet for 2 hours each week during the quarter.  It is expected that each student will spend between 3 to 4 hours of time outside of the class meeting.

Logistics: This is a 2-credit research group offered to HCDE students in the BS or MS program. [Note:  Masters students could enroll for 1 or 2 credits.]  Enrollment is limited to six students.   

Please respond to this google form by Nov. 26, where you will be asked the following:

1 – a brief description of why you are interested in this DRG
2 – a brief description of what you hope to learn in this DRG
3 – which HCDE program you are in (BS or MS)
4 – your anticipated graduation date
5 – check ALL the times you could make it for a weekly meeting:

Thursday afternoons 1:30 – 3:30
Thursday afternoons 2:30 – 4:30
Friday afternoons 12:00 – 2:00

Dr. Atman's Research Group archive