Andrew Davidson

Autumn 2017

UCD Charette for K-12 Outreach

Elena Agapie, HCDE PhD Student
Andrew Davidson, HCDE Faculty

Autumn 2017 | HCDE 496/596
Meetings: Thursdays, 4–5:30 p.m.

For the past few years, we have been using a design activity known as a charette as a way to introduce students to the user-centered design (UCD) process. In the "UCD Charette," students are given a particular design space to explore (such as user interfaces for a website, mobile app, or a physical device). In a very short period of time (two hours or less), working in small groups, they brainstorm user needs, develop use-case scenarios, and create interaction designs for an application. We have run these participatory workshops with students at various educational levels, from middle school to graduate programs, and with K-12 teachers.

A fast-paced, hands-on activity that gives a good first-hand overview of the entire field, the UCD Charette allows students to experience the thrill of design, while raising questions about its practice, setting the stage for further study. It is adaptable to many different application areas and levels of expertise and interest.

We firmly believe that participatory activities such as this UCD Charette are far more effective as outreach and recruiting for HCDE than traditional college information sessions. Our long-term goal is to use the UCD Charette for broad outreach and recruiting in the K-12 environment. We also intend to evaluate this program and practice, and to expand its reach.

In a recent dub talk (July 5, 2017), “Filling the Pipeline: Design & Engineering Workshops for K-12 Outreach,” we summarized the various HCDE outreach efforts. The video of this talk should be available there soon, if it is not already.

In this DRG, we will continue to broaden our outreach efforts for human centered design in the K-12 environment. UW student teams will facilitate a a UCD Charette in local elementary and middle school classrooms. Curricula and materials for the UCD Charrette have already been developed. Students will use existing charrette materials, adapting and customizing them for specific classroom needs. Teams will go into the classroom and lead students in the workshop. They will assess the results of the workshops and prepare a report on their findings. We will use these findings to further develop the UCD Charette protocol.

We are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic students at all levels (BS to PhD) to help with this project. Eligible students should be familiar with the User Centered Design process, and have already taken HCDE 210, 318, or 518. Experience working with, teaching, or mentoring young students is a plus.

The DRG will meet on Thursdays, from 4–5:30 pm. All participants are expected to register for 2 credits.

To apply, please submit your resume and a letter explaining your interest and qualifications for the project here:

The deadline for applications is September 15, 2017.

With questions please contact:

Elena Agapie <>, HCDE K-12 Outreach coordinator
Andrew Davidson <>, HCDE K-12 Outreach director

Andrew Davidson's Directed Research Group archive: