Projects for MSU XA Courses

Would you like to support and mentor undergraduate students in a UX-based Humanities program? Each semester many students in the Experience Architecture (XA) program at Michigan State University complete client-based projects as a part of their program.

Your organization (business, non-profit, government agency, etc.) can propose a project for a team of students to work on! This is a great opportunity to mentor and help students learn while receiving valuable insight and deliverables from emerging UX talent. 

Courses seeking clients:


XA 242 Intro to Experience Architecture

This intro course works to explain the field of XA to our students. It gives them a basic understanding of why our UX program is grounded in the Humanities while giving them modules that allow them to practice skills they would use in industry such as conducting small research projects, designing, building prototypes, testing, and presenting findings to clients.

Deliverables: students present their limited research along with informed prototypes and designs to clients.
Client Roles + Responsibilities 

The intro course has worked with the MSU Library to help them redesign their search landing page; the MSU Library Sparty Cafe web page and physical location; the MSU Rovi Gaming library web portal and game rooms in the library; the MSU Tech Store landing page and their physical store design and layout.

Expectations: clients will be available at the beginning to provide context for the project, answer questions about the project throughout the project’s timeline, be present at the final presentation, and offer feedback to students.

XA 333 Researching Experience Architecture
 
This course introduces students to the research methods a UX Researcher would use in their professional spaces. Students may have conducted some surface research in the intro course, but in this course students dive deeper into the ethical implications of methods such as diary studies,  surveys, interviews, card sorting, focus groups, field studies, and heuristic analysis.

Deliverables: students present their research findings to clients. There are no mock-ups or designs – only data from the research that was conducted.
Client Roles + Responsibilities 

This course has worked on the Michigan Avenue entire web site; the MSU Library main search page; the MSU Bug House website; 


Expectations: clients will be available at the beginning to provide context for the project, answer questions about the project throughout the project’s timeline, be present at the final presentation, and offer feedback to students.

Are you interested in submitting a project for students in the XA program? Contact Casey McArdle to connect with the program and learn more.

Projects for UMSI UX classes

Every semester, hundreds of University of Michigan students complete industry projects as part of their School of Information course work in usability evaluation, user research, and other subjects.

Your organization (business, non-profit, government agency, etc.) can propose a project for a team of students to work on! Here are some reasons why:

Your organization is just starting to focus on user interface design but does not have the resources to do user research or usability testing.Have a student team tackle one of your most pressing challenges. You will get insights you can apply right away, plus have an example to show the value.
Your UX team is overworked.Pick a project from your list that is lower priority but still important, as a way to extend your team’s output while also helping students learn.
You plan to hire UX practitioners.Propose a project as a way to meet some of the top emerging UX talent in Michigan (and the world).
You are not familiar with the UMSI curriculum.Get a glimpse into what one of the oldest and most innovative UX academic programs is doing. If you like what they are teaching, update some of your methods or send some of your employees off to get a degree.

Example projects

  • A tool that needs an evaluation to ensure it meets the needs of your users.
  • A dynamic website that needs a user experience assessment.
  • An information problem you are trying to solve but are unsure of a potential solution.
  • An idea for a product that would meet the needs of an aging population or people with disabilities that you need help researching and designing.

Courses seeking clients

About the courseClient expectations & receivables
SI 622: Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation
Masters students work with clients to evaluate how well the user experience of their existing product or service meets the needs of its users. Methods used include: interaction map, user interviews, competitive analysis, survey, heuristic evaluation, user testing. See the FAQ for clients.
Give feedback on and receive deliverables for each of these assignments.

Meet weekly with students, connect students with users for user interviews (5 people), survey (50 people), and user testing (5 people).

Receive a series of reports and analyses, plus a final video presentation.
SI 682: Advanced User Research in the Field
Masters students conduct advanced user research methods for information challenges that are early in the product life cycle.
Meet with students, provide feedback, and must provide access to users.

Receive a polished report or presentation of findings.
SI 699: UX Research and Design Mastery Course
Masters students in their final semester will research and design a tool or product, with a focus on accessibility for disabled, and/or aging populations.
Meet with students, provide feedback, and must provide access to users.

Receive a report of research and design.

To propose a project, complete the form at umsi.info/clientregister or email umsi.client.engagement@umich.edu.

To learn more about client opportunities with the School of Information, visit umsi.info/clientopportunities.