Course Description

The iPhone, iPad, and other successful Apple products are good examples of how digital and physical design can be woven together, namely through taking something complex and making it intuitive. Not only can users transfer the knowledge they have gained from past experiences between products, but they also can do the same with the contexts in which those products are used1. This creates a need for designers to incorporate intuition into their creations; a great user experience—and ensuing product success—is more and more often the result of a perfectly designed combination of digital and physical dimensions.

This trend can be seen in all types of consumer products from toys to washing machines, which are increasingly becoming both digital and physical. Terms such as “the internet of things” and “smart cities,” as well as technologies such as wearables and self-driven cars, are examples of how the physical-digital divide is getting smaller. The interface and overall experience design of your product can follow the same approach, with your product able to meet users’ needs through intuition and exploration.

The obvious question for a designer is how to design for this ever-growing market and avoid its pitfalls in the process. You cannot, for example, claim a product is intuitive when it’s not—you will lose people’s trust ahead of your next release. In this course, you will learn how to overcome this by making the use of your product “feel right”; better still, you will learn how to incorporate existing knowledge within your designs, thereby making your product intuitive.

What you will learn

  • The aspects of physicality and designing with them in mind
  • What is regarded as physical in time and space
  • Modeling devices for natural interactions through physigrams
  • How to use feedback loops to examine and improve your designs

Who should take this course

This is an advanced-level course recommended for anyone involved in the product design and development process:

  • UX, UI, and web designers who want to create designs that are intuitive for users
  • Project managers interested in ensuring that the product development process is run with physicality in mind
  • Software engineers looking to expand their knowledge on applying physicality and making products intuitive
  • Entrepreneurs keen on understanding what makes products “just work,” and how to replicate that in their own products
  • Newcomers to design who are considering making a switch to UX, UI, or web design

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

1 Alethea Blackler, Vesna Popovic & Doug Mahar, Designing for Intuitive Use of Products: An Investigation.

Lessons in this course

Note: Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week. Once a lesson becomes available, it is open for you forever — you can take all the time you want to go through each lesson. There is no time limit to finish a course, and you always have access to your classmates, course material, and your answers.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled

  • 0.1: Please check your information before continuing
  • 0.2: Meet your peers (online)
  • 0.3: Meet your peers (offline)
  • 0.4: The 3 Components of Courses from the Interaction Design Foundation
  • 0.5: A mix between Research-based Versus Example-based Learning
    • 0.6: Course Structure, Point System and Course Certificate
    • 0.7: The Didactics and Educational Choices for IDF’s Courses
    • 0.8: The Exercise

Lesson 1: Designing for Physicality

To be scheduled

  • 1.1: Designing for physicality: Introduction
  • 1.2: Aspects of physicality
  • 1.3: Studying physicality
  • 1.4: Discussion Forum

Lesson 2: What is physical?

To be scheduled

  • 2.1: What is physical? - Kinds of things
  • 2.2: What is physical? - Rules of the world
  • 2.3: Continuity in time and space
  • 2.4: Discussion Forum

Lesson 3: Physicality and devices

To be scheduled

  • 3.1: Everyday devices to physigrams
  • 3.2: Multiple feedback loops
  • 3.3: Device unplugged
  • 3.4: Discussion Forum

Lesson 4: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled

  • 4.1: Course evaluation

Industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

Course Certificates from the IDF are verifiable and trusted by industry leaders. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

Our courses and Course Certificates are trusted by these industry leaders, who have taken up company memberships with the IDF:

Accenture Adobe GE Philips SAP