CT-441-65A: Creative Technology Lab

Download Syllabus

Course Description:

The purpose of Creative Technology Lab is to provide studies in more specialized areas of technology- based design as well as encourage students to explore innovative design solutions. The primary goal of this course is to establish a student-centered, interdisciplinary learning environment in which students explore new design possibilities, enabled by the creative use of technology for the purpose of creating a better world by design. Peer-to-peer learning and inspiring lifelong learning are at the core of the pedagogy for this course. Students of this course are required to explore beyond their own curriculum and teach each other skills and/or techniques that they have learned and which they are passionate about.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the process of interaction design
  • Understand the principles of human-centered design
  • Understand screen-based typography
  • Understand the importance and methods of prototyping and usability testing
  • Evaluate interactive products
  • Visualize information spaces
  • Demonstrate how to effectively present ideas visually for an interactive design project
  • Understanding of time-based information design
  • Apply and perfect the design skills acquired in GD243, CD441, and GD344
  • Adapt and apply visual design principles to interactive projects
  • Demonstrate ability to merge expertise in layout and typography to interactive information space
  • Display an understanding of empathy for your user

Required Reading:

Sarah Doody (2016) Starter Questions for User Research Download
Jaime Levy (2015) "UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want" Purchase

Additional Reading:

Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden (2017) "Sense and Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously" Purchase
Joel Marsh (2016) "UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons" Purchase
Tom Greever (2015) "Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience Purchase
Greg Nudelman (2014) "The $1 Prototype: Lean Mobile UX Design and Rapid Innovation for Material Design, iOS8, and RWD" Purchase
Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden (2013) "Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience" Purchase
Leah Buley (2013) "The User Experience Team of One" Purchase
Steve Krug (2009) "Rocket Surgery Made Easy" Purchase
Unger, U. & Chandler, C. (2009) "A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making, New Riders. Purchase
Sara Wachter-Boettcher & Eric Meyer (2014) "Design for Real Life" Purchase
Google Research (2016) "How people shop on their phones" Download
Nadya Direkova (2015) "Design Sprint Methods" Download

Required supplies:

I highly recommend using a cloud service (i.e. DropBox, Mega, etc.). And a notebook for sketches and notes.


  • You MUST check your FIT email at least three times every week.
  • Attendance is not optional. You must be in class each week, for full three hours.
  • Web surfing must be directly related to class work. Do not email, IM, or Facebooking in class, during lectures or critiques. Any infraction of the above may result in a lowered grade on an assignment or you may be asked to leave class. If you are asked to leave class you must report to my office at the next office hours and explain why you should be let back into class.
  • Students who plagiarize, falsify, or cheat fail to master the knowledge and skills that they need for careers in design, fashion, and business. Such conduct will subject students to serious penalties.

Software we'll cover:

  • Adobe Apps

  • Axure Pro

  • UXPin

  • Facebook Origami

  • JIRA

  • InVision App

  • Sketch3

  • Developer Tools

  • Invision's Craft

Grades and Grading:

The final grade will consist of quizzes, exercises, assignments, attendance and class participation. A mid semester consultation will be scheduled with every student whose mid-semester grade is a C or lower. You are encouraged to meet with me outside of class to discuss your progress. Incomplete work will not be given except for illness or death in the family. (Proof of situation will be required.)

To get a final grade of A in this course, you must:

  1. Follow instructions,
  2. Complete all of your work on time,
  3. Prove your competence with a computer as instructed in class,
  4. Produce well designed, creative, original solutions to assignments – appropriate to this semester (or better) and,
  5. Demonstrate a professional demeanor during class time and have outstanding attendance (no more than one absence): You will probably have done at least one substantial extra credit assignment

Final Course Grade Breakdown, by project/percentages (Subject to change.):

  • In-class Exercises - 20%
  • Active Class Participation - 20%
  • Assignments - 10%
  • Final Project - 50%

* If you do not earn an A, B, C or D in a required course you maybe at FIT a year longer than originally intended.


A grade: Given for superlative work that demonstrates a profound commitment to the assignment or to the course material, and further, that goes on to employ this material as a spring board for independent thought and work.

B grade: Given for good work that completely fulfills all of the requirements of the assignment or of the course in a conscientious and dedicated manner.

C grade: A passing grade for average work.

D grade: Indicates that work does not rise to the level expected of a serious student.

F grade: Given for work that fails to fulfill the requirements of the assignment or of the course.

Please review the syllabus for details on Attendance policy and Assignments & Exercises


Free tutoring services are available to full time students from the Academic Skills office, A608b. Consider tutoring as soon as possible if you are falling behind. It gets very difficult to schedule a tutor later in the semester. fitnyc.edu/3794.asp - 212 217 4080.


Additional tutoring is available for students with learning disabilities through our Learning Disabilities Program at FIT. 212 217.4090, fitnyc.edu/fitable - room A570.

Session 1

  • Introduction of the course / Review syllabus
  • In-class exercise "Personality Traits" / How I get work done
  • "What do we want to do?", meaning what will our Main Project be?
    Think about projects you'd love to work on. For example, maybe you have a better way for composting in your neighborhood, or an app that determines Fake News. Or a Real-time Politics / Fact Checker? Maybe a digital product that communicates climate change to the common person. An in-browser Education widget, new ways to use 3d printing, or maybe simplifying an existing problem. The opportunities are endless. You'll need to research 2-3 ideas and present those to the class.

    A simple presentation consisting of 2-3 slides for each idea that defines (but not limited to):
    The Business Opportunity, the Customer, the Problem, Business / Product Name, Possible sketches, Competitor examples. View robots.thoughtbot.com for Product Design needs
    * Best projects based on Communicating Climate Change eligible for CT Scholarship
  • Create teams
    Due to the size of the class, we will have teams between 2 and 4 people

Session 2

  • Group consultation and review (part I: 5%)
  • Collectively we will discuss concepts for the main project
  • Each team will present their ideas to the class (10-15 minute presentation). Afterwards we will vote collectively on the best idea for the team to further develop.

Session 3

  • Each team to do a 10-15 minute presentation of their research, interview findings of their idea.
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 4

  • Group consultation and review (part II: 5%)
  • In-class workshop
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 5, 6, & 7

  • Evolution of a product (Session 5: 15 minute demontration)
  • A product I built (Session 6: 15 minute demontration)
  • Presentation: Each student/group will present their concept with their in progress:
    Sitemap, Wireframes, User Journeys, Personas, and Research.
  • In-class workshop
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 8

  • Consultation and review
  • Each student/team will meet with the Instructor for 20 to 30 minutes to review all progress made so far, required deliverables including: potential topics (minimum 2) and preliminary research results
  • In-class workshop

Session 9

  • Consultation and review
  • In-class workshop
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 10

  • Midterm Presentation (10%)
  • Guest critics judging
    Each student or team will prepare a 10 minute formal midterm presentation including but not limited to:
    • Project Concept / Title
    • KPI's / Key research findings
    • Analysis of potential impacts
    • Visual style
    • Deliverables (Production schedule)
  • Students/teams not receiving approval from guest critics must present an updated proposal the following week.

Session 11

  • Updated presentation and progress
  • In-class workshop
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 12

  • In-class workshop
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 13

  • Consultation and review (5%)
  • In-class workshop
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 14

  • In-class workshop
  • Tentative Guest Critic

Session 15: Final Presentation

  • During the final week of the semester, in order to encourage discussion and awareness of new possibilities in interaction design, the instructor is strongly suggested to invite guest critics, coordinate a campus exhibition, or hold a formal presentation that is opened to all students and faculty members of FIT.
  • Final Presentation (15%)

Parting Words

This is not the end but the beginning! You're on your way to being awesome! Remember that I am still a resource for you. Do not hesitate to contact me for anything.

Joey@kilrain.com - 646 526-3128

Do keep and backup all project files that you've done through out the semester. Kindly share these with me via DropBox, Yousendit, etc. at the end of the semester so I may provide a final grade.