Course Info:

Course Title & Number: Design Perspectives in IMM, IMM 280-02

Professor: Mark Thompson
Office Address: Art and Multimedia 312
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 11am-1:30pm or by appointment

Class Meets: Thursdays, 9:30 – 12:20
Room: AIMM 223

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:

Food Systems

Food Security

Food Tech

Food+Tech Connect

Trenton Food System

Trenton Demographics

Partner Resources

Amman Seehra – (USDA)
Whitney Hendrickson –
Brandon Ritter –
Paulash Banerjee –

Changing Behavior

Course Requirements:

Design Notebook – 10%

Project Concept Presentation – 10%

Midterm Paper – 20%

Project Deliverables – 30%

  • User Personas & User Stories – 2.5% + 2.5%
  • Design Brief – 5%
  • Content Map/Wireframes  5%
  • Paper Prototype 5%
  • User Testing Plan & User Testing Report 2.5% + 2.5%
  • Style Guide & Admin/User Guide 2.5% + 2.5%

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:

January 28 –  Intros & Syllabus

February 4 – Hacking the Food System

February 11 – Discussion with Partner Organizations

February 18 – Define Project Concepts

February 25 – Present Project Concepts, User Personas, User Stories & Job Stories

March 3 – Diagrams and Content Maps

March 10 – Flows & Paper Prototypes, Midterm Papers Due

March 17 – Spring Break

March 24 – User Testing, Midterm Papers Due

March 31 – User Testing, Revise Prototypes

April 7 – Project Implementation Documentation

April 14 – Project Design Documentation

April 21 – Functional Prototypes – User Testing Redux

April 28 – Prepare for Final Presentations

May 5 –  Prepare for Final Presentations

May 13 @ 11:00am – Final Presentations


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