Final Project | Design Manifesto

  • Group size: Individual
  • DUE: Thursday, May 2, 11:00 AM.

As your final project, you will create a final portfolio and post that acts to synthesize and reflects on all of the work you have accomplished throughout the semester. This website will contain two primary elements:

  • A portfolio display that visually shows your projects and links to your Medium blog posts.
  • A Design Manifesto which reflects on the semester as a whole and outputs how it has impacted your design philosophy.

Your Design Manifesto

You should do this individually, and it will be the primary artifact for your final project. Since all of the write-ups for your design process for the design sprints were co-written with your group, the manifesto is a particularly critical part of the grading for the final portfolio as a way for us to gauge your individual contributions and takeaways from these projects.

Before you begin writing, think carefully about the following questions:

  • How did the design process impact the decisions you made? What were the most valuable pieces? Were there limitations to the design process that you encountered?
  • How did this differ across different modalities? For example, maybe user testing with your prototypes was more illuminating in one modality than another. Maybe the true capabilities of the technology constrained you more in one modality than another.
  • When did expectations not meet reality?
  • Were there some topic areas that were more challenging than others? What did you learn from this process?

Design is rarely divorced from our personal lens - our experiences, our expertise, our beliefs. These aspects all mold the applications of technology that you find exciting.

Together, these questions should guide you to at least 5 main points that define your design process. To do this, imagine you must translate the processes/skills you gathered in this course to an entirely new scenario (let’s say Brain-Computer Interfaces). What are the important points that you would want to communicate to someone who hasn’t taken an HCI class before?

Your takeaways should be evidence-driven. That means that when you discuss these topics, you should frequently reference (and show examples of!) the projects that you completed.

Quality Checks

  • Length: In Medium terms, your post should be 5-10 minutes long in read time.
  • Clarity: Your post should be cohesive in quality. There should be an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Does it read like 5 scattered ideas or do they come together to form a central thesis?
  • Evidence-Driven: By this point, you should have a rich store of multimedia from your semester - videos, photos, etc. Each of your takeaways should be informed by the experiences from your projects. So when you discuss them, you should include visual references and/or videos (from the class) to what you are talking about. Your manifesto should also be supported considerably by real design principles and ideas that have encountered throughout the reading you have done this semester. Link to those pieces when you discuss them!

Website Portfolio

You will create a homepage of some kind that demonstrates each of your projects. The design of the page itself is up to you, but it should be polished and match the tone/mood you would like to set for a public-facing entity.

At a minimum, the page must:

  • Link to the 4 medium posts from your group projects this semester.
  • Embed your design manifesto.
  • Include basic information about yourself.

Note: Because you are linking to Medium, you may want to consider how the design of your webpage compliments or clashes with the design of Medium as a platform. It is encouraged but not required that you embed the content of your 4 Medium posts directly into your website for a more cohesive portfolio.

On Wordpress

You are welcome to create your design page with any technology that you’d like. If you are not familiar with web design, I’d encourage you to look into Wordpress. There are a number of other free templates you can find online, or you're welcome to build out your own fully custom design. I recommend hosting on Github Pages, which will handle hosting and version control.

There are a number of design questions you need to answer:

  • How will you visually organize your work?
  • How will you represent your work? - Do you want videos embedded on this site? Do you want images that link to Medium posts?
  • How much writing is on the page? Is it simple and clean, or is it longer and descriptive?

Particularly for the context of a course like this, I think it is important that you don’t simply take the theme at face value, but modify it to fit your own goals.


  • The output of this assignment should be a publicly hosted website. Post a link to the website in the Canvas submission for this assignment.
  • Grading: Grading will be based on a variation of the design rubric.