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This course was fundamental of user experience for fall 2020. I thought the class was just okay. The first half of the course focused on ux fundamentals (theory and frameworks), the second half of the course focused on ux methods (actually starting a project and doing user research). Professor Carrigan is very clear in their recorded lectures, although they spoke a bit slow during it. I usually watched the 1-2 hour lectures in 1.5 speed to not fall asleep. The course content itself is really interesting, as I intend to go into ui/ux, but they had a way of making the class a chore. For example, the slides were often overloaded with text, and because we had 3 intensive projects from weeks 5-10, I felt like I was constantly working for this class.
The midterm, although I was one of the few who got an A on it, required a lot of memorization from the slides and was very detail-oriented. The exam was multiple choice, and the average was a solid B. The final was much more straightforward after people began to worry that it would be like the midterm. Although I don't know what I got on it, I'm assuming I got an A (and would assume many more people in the class did as well).
The projects are with a randomly assigned group of 4 other students, and I got a pretty solid group. We had to conduct user research and write up 3 separate reports, each of ours being between 10-23 pages. They aren't essays, more like slides, but were still time consuming. As part of our discussion posts, we had to volunteer in 2 other groups' studies for each project (6 sessions total). I thought they were fun, and they ranged from 10 min to an hour depending on the method used. My only issue with this part of the class is that the projects, graded by the TA, seemed to be graded in comparison to other groups. That is, our grade depended on how good other groups' reports were. This annoyed me because the project instructions were somewhat vague, and we got docked on points just because "x group included ___, which your group didn't". These additional points were never mentioned in the project requirements so how were we supposed to know to include them?
Nevertheless, I would give this class a 7.5/10. If you really need a ux class, then take this. Otherwise, just watch Youtube videos on ux lol.
Discussion Posts (1/lecture): 20/20 - 20% of grade
Midterm: 47/50 - 25% of grade
Final: A/55 - 25% of grade
Project 1: 88 - 10% of grade
Project 2: 88 - 10% of grade
Project 3: Not given - 10% of grade
Final Grade: A (percent not given). I don't think this class was curved.
[for fall 2020 the pscyh 188b topic was fundamentals of user experience research]
Great class and I hope they make this a permanent offering. Content is great and lectures were well organized for most of the quarter. The first half of content from the textbook is well organized and presented. The prof fell off the radar around week 4-6 and the final was very specific to lecture material, lots of memorization. The first few lectures without the textbook were really detailed and specific, kinda like they didn't know how to explain and break it down better. That was definitely the worst time in the class but afterwards I think they became a lot more receptive with the material. They gave extensions for the project and lectures were shorter which helped a lot. I think it's a solid class to take if you're interested in UX but it'll definitely take a lot of effort at some points.
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