What email address or phone number would you like to use to sign in to Docs.com?
If you already have an account that you use with Office or other Microsoft services, enter it here.
Or sign in with:
Signing in allows you to download and like content, and it provides the authors analytical data about your interactions with their content.
Embed code for: 2012 Design Expo Guidelines
Select a size
Guidelines for MSR Design Expo Redmond, Washington July 16-20, 2012
Microsoft is pleased to announce Design Expo 2012 and welcomes your participation. Design Expo showcases exceptional design process and ideas from schools around the world. As part of a semester long course, students are asked to form interdisciplinary teams of 2-4 students, consider people’s real needs and respond with a user experience prototype, and narrative that explains their thinking.
A representative team from each school will be selected to attend and be featured in a presentation at the 2010 Microsoft Faculty Summit July 16-18, 2012 in Redmond, Washington.
The Design Expo creates a forum for spotlighting design, encouraging “out of the box” thinking, by exploring students' visions for the future of computing as well as honing their presentation skills and engaging with students from other design teams from around the world to see how they approached this year’s theme. Students often form lasting relationships with other students and this informal network has persisted from Design Expos over the years.
This year your Co-Chairs for the Expo are Lili Cheng (
mailto:email@example.com@microsoft.com) and Michael (
Table of Contents
The Design Challenge: (TBD)
Investigation & Conceptualization
Presentation & Demo
Key Design Points
Microsoft Research Goals for Design Expo 2012
Design Expo 2012 Agreement to participate
Visit by Liaison
Publicity & Ownership
The 2012 Design Challenge:
Information in my World
New information is increasingly produced at consumer speed across diverse facets of my life and interests. The challenge of getting the right information to and from me, at the right time, in the right context, in the right format, to the right level of depth, to keep me informed and on top of change, is a real challenge.
My technology is increasingly aware of my context, what I’ve been doing, what I will do, who I’m with, where I am. Consider how consuming and creating moments of interest, keeping me abreast of what I need to know, and keeping me entertained, can actively respond to my life and context. Consider the availability of multiple screens such as phones, televisions, monitors, watches, or car consoles. Consider tactile and audio feedback and recording technologies. Consider how public surfaces, billboards, and street corners, or even the sky, could be brought to life with augmented reality, leveraging my time and place to integrate information directly into my world. Personalization and adaptability is a key component to tailoring my relationship with incoming and outgoing information, leveraging my context to make moments of interest more meaningful across cultures, ages, genders, interests, and personal communication styles.
Information moves quickly between private, shared, and public, and is increasingly shared across contexts, repurposed, analyzed and acted upon in real-time by a variety of tools and sensors that trigger other actions in online and physical world.
This design challenge asks you to design for the increased amount of content. With a specific audience in mind, create a meaningful moment, make them laugh, solve a problem, help them understand others, design or design a new system or tool, and demonstrate how technology can adapt to the way people best communicate and consume their information.
Communicate your design by first explaining the situation (via background research, interviews with your users, and describing the local culture and work environment), and then explaining your design solutions (through scenarios, innovative designs and interface simulations/prototypes). We encourage you to think beyond traditional software, toward solutions such as lightweight user interfaces for inputting (entering) and outputting (disseminating information) which integrate with everyday life.
City life, City data As I walk down a city street, cameras are tracking my movement, automobile traffic, and the surrounding environment. How might a city partner with local businesses to reuse the data to improve city life? What new services might people in a community find useful and how might public data be used together with my private data?
Local Cultures and Social Networking Today Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are commonly used. Pick a particular community, and consider differences in culture, interests, and family. Imagine how children in this community who are 5 years old today will experience their memories, meet friends, and use social networks of the future.
Matchmaking and Jobs Today in many universities, the dropout rate for freshman is over 20%. How might we use information access to motivate students, and increase the number of people who meet their education goals and find a job which leads to more opportunities?
High School Fashion Imagine how the latest styles and trends are created, shared, and adopted. How might we completely rethink the way clothing is designed, purchased and spread, if we assume fashion trends begin with teenage girls in high school?
Design Process The goal is not to have all projects address the same problem and this is not a competition about who has the “best” solution to a focused problem. It is more important for the students to interpret the theme according to what they feel is important while still achieving the goals that the professor has for the class. The resulting spectrum of design solutions will provide a number of unique and innovative views on the potential future real time data transmission and seamless connectivity technologies.
Each class will divide into teams of 2-5 students, who will all consider the theme and context. In an ideal process, student teams will first understand the problem, decide on an audience to address, develop scenarios and design solutions that address the needs, iterate on the solutions and finally develop a prototype and presentation that tells the story of their process and highlights their solution.
Team work Assemble as broadly based interdisciplinary team as possible, aim to include different skill sets—graphic designers, film-makers, psychologists, anthropologists, programmers, musicians, marketers etc.
Recognize that by virtue of the fact that the team is from different backgrounds they will disagree and argue, so the design solution will have to evolve.
Investigation & Conceptualization In order to understand your specific design problem, it is essential you research previous work in the topic area to prevent “re-inventing the wheel.” Interview real users to understand their point of view and their specific situation, issues and problems to prevent “designing for yourself.” Remember you are not the user. Get feedback on “paper prototypes” as soon as possible to “learn from your mistakes early”.
Design is an iterative process and the professors will work with the students through iterations of the ideation phases to continually refine the scenarios and concepts to get progressively more tangible form (e.g.: storyboards, video sketches, etc.) or other artifacts as chosen by the professor.
Your Microsoft liaison will work with you throughout the process to ensure sufficient progress is being made. The purpose of this is to allow time for iteration and feedback, and to avoid all of the work happening in the last week before everything is to be completed.
Prototypes Once scenarios are refined, the teams will focus on building a design prototype, interaction and user experience. Ideally if the design solution involves software, students should mock up what a user would see and do, thinking through the interface, the context of the user and how their needs have been addressed. Students should feel free to use whatever tools they feel comfortable with in doing this kind of work. In prior years, students have used tools such as Flash, Silverlight, Html5 or other programming tools to help create the illusion of the experience. Others have made movies of part of the experience to set the context.
Think beyond traditional software, toward solutions such as lightweight user interfaces and designing user interaction for your particular scenario and solution. The interfaces and interactions should be designed more to communicate what is unique about the experience. That may be done more effectively with designing an interactive prototype (even if it is a scripted click through) that demonstrates the thinking behind the experience and the interaction design.
The goal of the prototype is to create a vehicle which best communicates the tangible experience of the design solution. The Microsoft liaison will work with the professor to determine the practical milestone date for the prototype completion and the nature of what makes and appropriate prototype.
Additional design process suggestions
Establish a design process with a schedule and use it to help meet your project goals and to mediate your design decisions. Often too much time is spent reaching consensus and brainstorming up front, then too little is left to be spent on the final design aspects of the final project.
Decide up front who and what will be documented throughout—do not document after the prototype is ‘finished’. This work in progress should be posted often to the Web site for your team’s project.
Describe and meet your “ultimate” real users. Then interview these users to find out their problems, needs and desires.
Study existing products, markets and research findings, so you do not re-invent some existing work.
Prototype your ideas often and in rough ways and forms. Use these to gain feedback from your users, before you start building or designing anything more complete. Do not forget to keep a log of your prototype for later inclusion in your design story.
Consider how your design concepts relate to other situations. We think it is useful to design prototype concepts that can be adapted to suit other people for different purposes and with different life styles. This can help to lengthen the product cycle and allow users to customize and personalize their own devices.
Simulate the look and feel of the user’s tasks or sequences of operations with any available prototyping tools such as Flash, Silverlight, etc. Please try to make sure you can show your work/presentations on Windows and/or Internet Explorer. This will make remote feedback and presentation setup much easier. If you need additional Microsoft Software (Visual Studio, C#, SQL, etc.) to build your prototypes please let your liaison know and we will try to get you this software.
Repeat your cycle of design with users several times and show how you changed your product and interaction design directions.
Make physical mock-ups of the devices, wherever appropriate.
Document any design evolution stages to include later in your presentations.
Project Selection Prior to the final selection date (May 2012) the professor, other relevant faculty at the school and a MS liaison will evaluate all the student projects and select one team to represent the school at the Faculty Summit in Redmond, WA.
Presentation & Demo The final presentations will be made by the student(s) and are typically approximately 10 minutes long covering the problem definition, research findings, scenario, design process (including user feedback), and the design solution. Presentations in the past have been done in PowerPoint, Keynote or Flash and have often included other media or demonstrations of concept prototypes to help illustrate the point.
Additional Presentation tips
Practice your talk including all your props. This can be usefully done alone, with team members, and with novice audiences. Video tape yourself for practice, it is a great learning experience.
Time your talk to get a better feeling for how long it takes to describe things clearly to a novice audience.
Never underestimate how little the audience knows about what is so interesting about your project.
The audience will engage more if you are enthusiastic and engaging. You’ve put a lot of effort into your work, so speak with enthusiasm and energy.
Make slides visible from the back of a large room (try them out!)
Do not talk over any audio in your presentation.
Presentation slide topics to include
WHO—team members’ backgrounds
WHAT—what was designed and for whom? What is the design point of view you took?
WHY—why is this an important/useful need or problem to address?
HOW—describe the design processed used
DESIGN—show highlights of the prototyping process. Show iterations of the design evolution (what worked what did not work) Show specific details that demonstrate how well you understood and solved the problem
CHALLENGES—what were the problems encountered? What did you learn and what would you do differently?
WHAT’S NEXT—what are your next steps? Where would you take your design if you had a year to work on it?
Key design considerations The important thing to consider is the balance of effort the students make at the different stages of the design process. Too often the majority of time is spent in the early stages of research and conceptualization leaving little time at the end for the prototype and presentation. If you think of the ~10 minutes that you have at the Faculty Summit Design Expo Presentation session as the final deliverable, consider each task of the process on how it will contribute to that final result in lieu of the time spent. This is analogous to film students only focusing on elements that will end up in the final edit of the film and spending less time on things that don’t.
Another aspect of the presentation is to show not just the final result but to communicate the arc of the problem definition, research, design considerations, prototyping and thinking behind how the final solution and presentation was created. Great design is an iterative process and that process should be reflected in the presentation as well.
Designs should include user interface interactions as part of the user experience demonstration. Make sure not to gloss over the actual user interface design. In addition to screen and interaction design, we are interested in illustrating how the interactive language may be extended to seamlessly integrate physical design pieces. Solutions should be thought through from multiple perspectives to understand the user’s experience, instructor (if applicable), family and friends, learning community, etc.
Designs should address particular needs & desires of users, ideally coming from diverse economic, professional and cultural backgrounds. It is important to not design for yourself and to remember that ‘others’ do not have your background. The final project should not include only users who share your own perspective, terminology or experience. Choose users and scenarios that extend beyond what is comfortable to you and consider scenarios outside your economic, geographic, cultural and social circles. Learn from observing and studying actual users. Remember that student teams are coming from different countries. We encourage you to represent local culture, making sure to explain the context of your learning system in your design presentation.
Take a point of view and be clear what your user scenario is addressing & what not. It is important to describe a real user scenario and then try out such premises with the user you are designing for. A walk through scenario often shows why the prototype is a good idea and helps those unfamiliar more quickly gain an appreciation of the need or use. Take a stance with your design, commit yourself to a challenge, but also be clear about what you are and what you are not trying to solve. Consider how to leverage existing infrastructures in new ways to provide innovative solutions at less cost to the individual.
Validate your designs with actual user feedback. Involving real users iteratively within the design cycle helps shape product design. This should be done at the very beginning of concept development and evolve into more precise user feedback when the prototype is more ‘finished’. Involve a variety of potential users early and often throughout the design cycle.
Student representatives will also be showcasing their work at the Expo Demofest alongside other university research projects as well as Microsoft Researchers and product groups demonstrating emerging technologies. Teams prepare posters and other communication materials to explain their work at Demofest. Students in the past have commented that the presentations and Demofest have been particularly rewarding parts of their experience at the Expo and learn from the questions and refining their presentation skills to communicate their project process and design solution.
Previous Design Expo projects can be viewed here:
The Design Expo is a Microsoft Research forum where the top graduate design institutions showcase their prototype interaction design ideas. Microsoft Research sponsors a semester-long class at leading interdisciplinary design schools and invites the top class projects to present their ideas as part of the Faculty Summit.
It is essential that this guideline document should be shared with the students in the class, which will help to answer their questions about the project and presentation at the Expo.
Design Expo School Liaisons Please contact your school liaison from Microsoft, and either Lili or Michael with any questions or comments about these guidelines, etc. This year we are again fortunate to have Mike Kasprow, from
http://www.trapeze.com/Trapeze helping us with design critiques and process coordination. Mike has many years as a creative and design director and will be working closely with Lili. In emails, please cc both of us.
Each of the universities will have a Microsoft liaison and possibly a backup, who will be the primary contact person(s) for each school. We are trying to get this guide out as early as we can to provide early guidance to schools starting early but we fully expect this guide to be revised as the schedule, events and other details get locked down.
This document is meant to serve as a set of general guidelines for Design Expo 2012, as opposed to being strict rules for compliance or a legal agreement. We expect these guidelines will be adapted as needed over the course of the semester, by each school to accomplish their own class goals while maintaining some connection to the theme.
Microsoft Research Goals for the Design Expo
Provide a forum for students from around the world to learn from exploring a particular design related theme and build ongoing relationships between schools.
Enable a group of students to learn from students in other design programs around the world about how they approach design solutions
Provide a voice for design schools within the Faculty Summit to present their students’ work and raise the awareness and importance of design
Raise student, faculty and design schools awareness of the value of interaction design in the software development process.
Raise the awareness within Microsoft of the capabilities of design schools and their students.
Create memorable and fun experiences for students that foster the creation of informative connections among design students from the participating schools.
Summary Students work on the theme in small teams (2-4) during the spring 2012 semester. Given specific guidelines (described later in this document), students will research a design problem which is related to the theme this year, define a scenario, ideate design solutions, select one idea to prototype, and study the impact on real users. The best team project, as identified by the professors with some feedback from liaisons, will be invited to attend the Faculty Summit at Microsoft which is the venue for Design Expo.
The Design Expo is part of a larger event called the Faculty Summit. For more info on the Microsoft Re-search Faculty Summit, click here:
Design Expo 2012 Participation Agreement
Notification of Participation
Microsoft needs to be notified in writing (email is fine) of your willingness to participate by December 1, 2011 to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc’ing your Microsoft liaison.
Microsoft will donate $10,000 per university. This is an unconditional grant and there are no restrictions placed on the use of these funds.
Design Expo costs
For schools not located in the Seattle Area, Microsoft provides a travel stipend to schools which is intended to supplement the cost of airfare for one faculty member and two students to attend the Faculty Summit. Some schools have chosen to utilize some or all of the grant money to cover the cost of bringing all the students in the selected team and that is their choice. Travel arrangements are made by the schools from the funds allotted. Each school is responsible for making their own transportation arrangements for faculty and students who are attending and NO additional funds beyond the stipend will be provided for travel.
Microsoft will cover the cost of hotel accommodations for faculty and students. Students of the same gender will be expected share a room with two Queen beds and depending on the mix, some students may share with a student from another school. Faculty will generally be given a room to themselves with a king bed. Microsoft will provide up to 4 rooms per school arriving (dates subject to change TBD Saturday July 14 by 1pm departing Wednesday July 18, 2012. International schools may need to arrive a day earlier given availability of flights and should let us know to see if we can arrange for you to check into the hotel a day earlier. In that situation, students and faculty will be responsible for the additional hotel day. Each school is responsible for providing us with the details of the faculty and student arrival and departure dates/time. If contacted early enough we may be able to help get your room at the discounted rate for the Expo.
In that situation, schools will need to arrange for arriving a day earlier and will be responsible Students or Faculty wishing to arriver earlier or stay later must make those arrangements separately with the Hotel for early arrival. (Silver Cloud Hotel, Bellevue Washington
We book a block of rooms and need to release the rooms that will not be used by July 1, 2012. If you do not plan ahead and let us know, the rooms may not be available. July is one of the busiest months in Seattle so open hotel rooms will be difficult to find or very expensive to find on short notice.
Other transportation costs
Microsoft will provide you with a voucher for a specific Taxi company for your transportation to/from the Seattle Tacoma airport to the Silver Cloud Hotel. Other transportation costs at you city of origin are the responsibility of the individuals.
Microsoft will provide meals for the majority of the duration of the Design Expo. The hotel has a complimentary breakfast and box lunches and dinners will be provided at the Faculty Summit or other events.
A liaison from Microsoft will visit each university at a mutually agreed to date early in the process in order to provide the best opportunity to collaborate with the faculty and students to kick off the project.
Monthly follow up video conferences by the Microsoft Liaison to track progress will help keep the project on track. The second visit by the Liaison(s) will occur near the end of the term when they sit down with the faculty to decide which project will be selected to represent the school at the Design Expo in July 2012.
Project Assessment Each university should try to have at least 2 to 5 team projects running within the class. Each of the project teams will be independently evaluated before one is chosen to show at the final July Design Expo. Each project should include students with different backgrounds in their design team, computer science, product design, marketing, psychology etc. Faculty members should not be part of the team. Each project assessment will be made internally by the university using peer and instructor feedback. The university and Microsoft liaison should select one project that they think best illustrates the project brief concepts/goals and best represents them at Microsoft. The MS liaisons can also be used to help make the final project selection. Selection should be based on the following criteria and the ability to complete the final documentation.
Interdisciplinary collaboration the prototype designs reflect the contributions of members of different disciplines
Originality the prototype designs show unique and new interface designs along with new applications
Practicality the prototypes are based on what is most realistically likely to happen with technology in the context proposed
Design point of view the design takes a clear stance and addresses a real user need
Design validation & user feedback the prototype and presentation show how user involvement evolved the design concepts. (Working with real users and incorporating their feedback)
Degree of finish the prototypes should be understandable and clearly described, but need not be ‘implemented’ or built to a final detail level. It is important you actually design the user inter-face and we will look at the UI for degree of finish.
Presentation skills the project team is capable of being able to present in an engaging and crisp manner about the project goals; ideas and process of design (see later tips).
Design process the prototype shows how user involvement was used directly to evolve the design concepts. This means showing how you used real users and incorporated their feedback
We are assuming that all class projects and their associated work in progress are posted to a university area related to the school web site. Please send the URL details to Lili & Michael and your school liaison by end of January ‘13. This Web site will be used for review purposes by both the MS liaisons and the project coordinators. It is important to send email to the project coordinators when significant additional or new in-formation has been uploaded for review. When the class is ready for their mid-term review, please send an email to both project coordinators/liaisons. Every school will receive feedback and recommendations on all their projects both at the mid-point of the class and around the final or end of the course. We expect to give this feedback to each school within a week of receiving an update request from the schools.
After the professor, liaison and project coordinators have selected one project by June 2012 to represent the school at the Microsoft Design Expo, we need to review the selected project’s final presentation be-fore your visit.
Submission checklist for the selected project
Project summary and contact information: Each project should have a completed project information form – including the student’s names, majors, and the professor names, your URL or project on CD/DVD-ROM along with any system requirements that are needed to run the design prototype.
One paragraph abstract for announcements of project work: A written summary that describes the project briefly and that we can use for announcements the work
Interactive presentation (for Design Expo presentation): The project presentation should take about 10 minutes and include a high-level overview slide. The electronic form of this presentation should be clear to a non-team person and should be self-explanatory. All software fonts, applications etc. need to be included with the submission. This will be used as the basis of what will be used for the dry runs in Redmond, Washington at Microsoft.
User research (as part of your Design Expo presentation): Short highlights of any user study interviews could be included (if some unique insightful moment occurs) within the presentation to demonstrate how users influenced the project design direction. If you interview people for the user studies make sure to get their written permission in order to use their comments.
One page project summary handout to distribute during the presentation: A one pager should include the school with your names, and you should summarize the goals and solutions of the project. It is worth sending a draft of this with your slides for some additional feedback. This hand out should explain in concise compelling sentences what, how and why you designed what you designed. A few small pictures are helpful, so readers with no more than this one pager can understand the general product ideas and the overall project goals.
When you come to Microsoft, in addition to the items above, please also bring with you the following:
Supporting materials for demo booth and presentation: Additional print outs of sketches; photos or models can be provided. One day of the design expo will include showing your project in a demo booth with the students from the other school. Please bring any signage or demo materials with you.
Please bring editable (source) materials with you to Microsoft. Most people tend to revise their presentations after getting feedback, and it is easier to edit if you bring original images, etc.
Large images and project name of ALL the projects not selected. Unfortunately we can’t bring more than one project per school out to Microsoft. We would like to show large images & titles of projects not selected during the presentation to the audience. Please keep this in mind and make the images available on the web for all projects. It is critical that this material be submitted to us by June 12th so we can ensure that information about all projects and students working on those projects NOT selected are included in an introductory presentation at the Design Expo.
Microsoft will try and provide some avenues for the students to talk to the press about their work and meet Microsoft researchers, designers, and design recruiters.
The Design Expo will be held in coordination with the Microsoft Faculty Summit. Approximately 300 faculty from the US, India, and Latin America will be on campus to meet one another and find out more about Microsoft Research. We will also invite these attendees, along with the Microsoft design community to attend the Design Expo. The Design Expo is one event and part of the Faculty Summit.
Ownership and Commercialization
The work and curriculum of the course should follow ownership and commercialization policy of each individual university. Microsoft does not own any of this work, nor requires any first right of refusal.
We would like to post the recorded presentations on the Microsoft Research website for Design Expo http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/events/fs2011/default.aspx, and we will ask speakers to sign a speaker presentation form.
We will also ask you to release content in the talk (including any third party content such as images of other projects) to the public domain, so others can use content for free without further restrictions on use or redistribution.
Schedule and Important Dates (subject to change)
Sept 30, 2011 Design Expo 2012 Project Brief will be distributed
Nov 15, 2011 Notification of acceptance must be sent to
mailto:email@example.com@microsoft.com and your liaison.
Jan 15, 2012 Schedule visits for liaison at mutually agreeable date
Jan 30, 2012 Send URL of class project sites to Lili Michael and your MS liaison.
March 2012 Liaisons will coordinate with schools on initial project progress.
April 2012 Mid-term progress reviews given via email feedback (PCs and liaisons)
May 7 2012 Final project submissions of all students class projects. Final project feedback given via email on all projects.
May 14, 2012 Presentation with ONE page visual of EACH PROJECT along with a second page describing in 1 or 2 paragraphs a summary each project.
May 14, 2012: Notify MSR and project liaisons of the one project selected from each university to represent the school to present at the Faculty Summit. Send professor and student attendee names with their email contact details to Lili & Michael.
Note: Any visa requests must be made ASAP, as required. Do not wait to do this!
May 28, 2012 Draft of chosen project student presentations (10-min) and description of all projects with team member names are sent to Lili & Michael and your liaison
June 4-11, 2012 Feedback on final MSR school presentation from Lili & Michael via videoconference.
MSR Design Expo 2012 expected schedule
Planned presentation event:
Saturday July 14th 1pm-5pm Dry Run presentation with feedback from Lili & Michael
Sunday July 15th 11:30-8:30pm Seattle Game
Monday July 16th 1pm-4pm Design Expo Presentations
Tuesday July 17th 10:15-12:45pm
Tuesday July 17th 2pm-5pm Presentations and debriefing, closing party
Wednesday July 18th Students/Faculty return home
This schedule may change slightly, and you will receive an update closer to the event
Saturday July 14
Arrival and presentation run-through
Students and faculty arrive in time to do a dry run of the presentation between 9am-4pm. Schools travel-ling longer distances can schedule their presentation dry runs to occur in the afternoon. Each school will walk through their presentation in the Conference Center & get feedback on their presentation from project coordinators, faculty and their liaison. The schedule is fairly tight, so come prepared with your laptop and presentation.
Sunday July 15
Group activity from about 11am to 7pm. Fun and not to be missed. Details later
Monday July 16
Faculty Summit first day
We are hoping to have the student presentations this day but that is to be determined.
Tuesday July 17
The Faculty Summit runs Monday and Tuesday from 9am through 5pm both days. The Design Expo has traditionally been on Tuesday but we are trying to schedule it for Monday so that Demofest which occurs on Tuesday can be followed by another group design activity TBD. We typically have a dinner/party after hosted by Microsoft Design
Wednesday July 28
Departure or other plans
Microsoft Research Design Expo 2012 1, India, and Latin America will be on campus to meet one another and find out more about Microsoft Research. We will also invite these attendees, along with the Microsoft design community to attend the Design Expo. The Design Expo is one event and part of the Faculty Summit.
May 14, 2012 Presentation with ONE page visual of EACH PROJECT along with a second page describing in 1 or 2 paragraphs a summary each pro