Course Info:

Course Title & Number: Design Perspectives in IMM, IMM 280-01

Professor: Mark Thompson
Office Address: Art and Multimedia 312
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 9:30-12:30 or by appointment

Class Meets: Mondays, 9:30 – 12:20
Room: AIMM 202

Course Description:

This class is interdisciplinary, bringing together the various bodies of knowledge that inform the field of interactive design, including content design, interface design, technical design, usability and project management. The class provides an overview of concepts necessary both to create and evaluate interactive multimedia projects. You’ll apply these ideas to a series of individual writing and production assignments, and ultimately to a collaborative project addressing a real-world design problem — a project that spans most of the semester.

To the extent possible, we’ll develop this semester’s projects in consultation with government, community organizations and businesses in Trenton, considering ways in which interactive and digital media applications might empower them and the people they serve. Our collaborations will be coordinated with the help of the TCNJ Bonner Center.

Course Materials:

This blog

Required Books

Knight Foundation

Partner Resources


Cities & Urbanism

Open Data

Personal Data for Public Good

Contextual Awareness

Changing Behavior

Course Requirements:

Design Notebook – 15%

Project Proposal Presentation – 10%

Midterm Paper – 15%

Project Deliverables – 30%

  • Design Brief
  • User Personas
  • User Stories
  • Content Map & Wireframes
  • Style Guide
  • Dynamic Prototype
  • User Testing Plan
  • User Testing Report

Final Project – 30%

  • Functional Prototype
  • Final Presentation
  • Project Recap

Course Purpose & Learning Goals:

Students will:

  • Learn to effectively present and promote their ideas for an interactive media project, as well as reflect on their process of developing that project, both face-to-face and in writing;
  • Get acquainted with the variety of roles, processes and technical tools involved in producing an interactive multimedia project;
  • Explore techniques for managing long-term collaborative projects and adapt those techniques to their own project;
  • Consider the implications of their own work and trends in the field within the context of everyday contemporary culture, and also draw connections between current trends and historical advances in media and technology.

Course Schedule:

August 31 –  1st Day of Class

September 8 – Monday Class Schedule, Challenges in Trenton, Break up into teams

September 14 – Discussion with Trenton Representatives, Project Concept Elevator Pitches

September 21 – User Personas & User Stories, Develop Project Concept Presentations

September 28 – Present Concepts, Submit Entries to News Challenge

October 5 – Diagrams and Content Maps

October 12 – Mid-Semester Break

October 19 – Paper Prototypes

October 26 – User Testing

November 2 – Revise Prototypes

November 9 – Project Documentation

November 16 – Design Guidelines

November 23 –  Functional Prototypes

November 30 –  Prepare for Final Presentations

December 10 – Final Presentations, 8:00am – 10:50am


Grades with be determined according to the following formula:

  • 30% Final Project
  • 15% Midterm Paper
  • 30% Project Deliverables
  • 10% Project Proposal Presentation
  • 15% Design Notebook

Note: Details of how each of the above will be scored will be provided at the time of assignment.

TCNJ Policies

The College of New Jersey Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace/Educational Environment governs the college’s commitment to and expectations of having an environment that respects the diversity of all members of the campus community. The link to this policy is: Under this policy, forms of discrimination or harassment based upon specific protected categories are prohibited and will not be tolerated.  If you wish to report a concern, please contact Kerri Thompson Tillett, Chief Diversity Officer, at 771-3139, or via email at

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