IxD 6: Designer as Founder
A designer has never had more opportunity in the world of business to create impact. Many venture capitalists today understand the value and are demanding that design be included in the founding of start-ups. In this studio course, students will apply their interaction design skills to designing not only a product but also a business. We will build an idea into a venture. This is not about writing a business plan or doing library research. You will be talking to actual customers and prototyping your idea. You'll experience the chaos and uncertainty of how many startups actually work. You'll learn how to use a business model to brainstorm each part of a company and use customer development to get out of the classroom to see if anyone other than you would want and use your product. As well, with the rise of the B-Corp, startups have more ways than ever to shape the world, and we will explore the ethical and societal ramifications of startups. Each week will be a new adventure as you test another part of your business model and share this knowledge with the rest of the class. By the end of course students should have a prototype and a pitch prepared. Even if you decide not to found, you will have the knowledge needed to join an early stage company as a full partner. Assumed prerequisite skills for this course are senior-level design skills, ability to plan and conduct human-centered design research, presentation skills and effective collaboration skills.