Oral Exam

  • Group size: Individual
  • Date: March 7


The objectives for the class center upon practical skills that will help you in understanding and executing a user-centered design process which we will apply throughout the semester. Written assignments and demos for group design sprints can shed insight on what you've learned. The oral exam will fill in one more piece of the puzzle in assessing how well you can apply what you've learned. Think of it like an interview.

We will have one oral exam that will serve as the midterm grade. Sign up for a time slot using this link. In preparation, the TAs and I will share demos in-class of a spectrum of responses to give you a sense of what to expect from a high-quality and low-quality response. You will also have the opportunity to practice in-class with your peers.


An oral exam will function like an interview. You will sign up for a time slot during the exam period during which you, me, and the TAs will meet. The oral exam will be a ~10-minute conversation and will typically consist of just a few (1-3) questions that can range from theory to applying those theories. This is your opportunity to demonstrate how you can apply the things you have learned throughout the semester, in a way not dissimilar from what you might be asked about in an interview for a job role as a UX designer or UX researcher. I may ask follow-up questions based on your responses or provide additional prompts and hints.


You will be graded on how well you are able to apply and articulate what you know using the oral exam rubric.


Each week, our course schedule will contain a set of content you are asked to consume. Often this will involve short readings, YouTube videos, podcasts, or slide decks. My goal is to transform the lecture section of the course into a design studio as much as possible (think of it as a hybrid "flipped" classroom). While there will be a lecture roughly once a week, talking through a million examples only gives you limited design capabilities. Iterating through, presenting, and critiquing each others’ designs is where you will really learn to build in a human-centered way.

Weekly, you will be asked to fill out a short quiz based on that week’s content. The content may come from the readings or from the lecture. These are optional (as in, they will not affect your grade); however, you are encouraged to participate, as these questions will help you prepare for the types of things we might ask during the oral exam.