Assembling an exemplar collection is a crucial step in understanding the design space in which you are (or could be) working. Exemplar collections are more than simple lists of existing artifacts. If you want to design a new ride-sharing app, for instance, an exemplar collection will provide both a sense of how saturated that design space is and what the strengths, weaknesses, and, thus, opportunities are in the space. Think of an exemplar collection as a set of mini-case studies. For each exemplar you collect, you will amplify it with some analysis and insights.
For this assignment, you will pick a domain within the broader context of engaging communities. This could include healthcare, aging, education, policy, public service, charity, sustainability, and others. Please refer to the final project design brief for a longer list of possible domains. Once you have picked a domain you will collect ten exemplars from that domain (e.g. ten technological artifacts pertaining to healthcare or education orsustainability…). Artifacts could include mobile or web applications, wearables, or other devices. At this stage, it’s important to remain broad and inclusive in our work since, from one perspective, this is an exploratory exercise.
For each exemplar, you will provide:
Name (and link)
Summary of purpose (1-2 sentences)
List of key features
Notable positive and negative user reviews (if available)
After spending some time analyzing the artifacts in your collection, you should try to distill some concrete design opportunities. Is there an opportunity, for example, to develop a new artifact or to improve some aspect of several existing artifacts in your collection? Capture each opportunity in a few sentences in the following format: [point to specific features of an exemplar or several exemplars in your collection] + [identify opportunity for novel artifact or novel iteration on existing artifacts]. We’ll talk about the structure and quality of good design insights during the course.