Device App


Bloom Wellness app

Concert Companion app

Campus Parking app

Identifish app

Duration: 3 weeks
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Project Brief

Your goal is to create a completely new device app with a set of unified icons, driven by a unique concept. Your app’s functionality needs to be thought-out from the initial interaction a user may have through the final steps or completion of the task(s). 


  • Research: determine a target app—analyze it for audience, style, usage, etc.
  • Concept & Rational: your concept written out and broken down with rational (as a separate paragraph) why you are making the decisions you are making. 
  • Idea generation: thumbnails, roughs, tight roughs of both the app interface and unified icons. Pass off with instructor before moving on to the computer.
  • Digitalization: take your best ideas (tight roughs) to the computer. Digitally recreate what you have drawn on paper. This is also a good place to make needed improvements and adjustments.
  • Finalize: finish the digital version. Prepare for presentation.


  • All digital tools are open for use. Digital perfection is expected. Push yourself!
  • One complete app interface design with incorporated icons and thought-out functionality.
  • App must include multiple defined pages or states to showcase functionality. App doesn’t have to be entirely complete, but have enough information as to be able to logically fill in the blanks.


  • Make sure to start with a strong concept—weak ideas foster weak outcomes
  • Simplify!
  • Do lots of paper renditions, with interaction testing
  • Be at tight rough stage before moving to the computer—this means you will need to draw
  • Pay attention to details
  • Use your in-class time wisely

Learning Objectives

  • Continue to develop the design process
  • Expand and refine concept development through written and verbal forms
  • Demonstrate proficiency using digital tools
  • Demonstrate understanding of functionality, usability, and user experience


Final mounted print: Size and layout are left up to you but use basic design principles to present your work in an aesthetically pleasant manner.

Digital files: Place ai (and pdf copies of ai files) in a folder named LastnameFirstnameApp and compress the folder

Process book: Using Adobe Spark ( create and document the design process for this project. The process book should end up being a blueprint of your project where anyone could follow your decision making process from conception to completion. Submit a link to your process book with the following: 

  • Concept development and exploration
  • Final concept statement—one short sentence
  • Concept rational paragraph
  • Research: website you visited, images you looked at, definitions of terms, inspiration, competition, etc.
  • Thumbnails—pencil/pen (50)
  • Roughs—pencil/pen (10)
  • Tight roughs—pencil/pen (3)
  • Digitalization
  • Production process
  • Final outcome

When complete, also submit a pdf.



I\\\\\\\'ve been assigning this in a 200 level Design Studio course as a way to introduce usability and user experience. It\\\\\\\'s the first project students work on that pushes them away from print. Students must delve into how the user would use their app. This requires them push themselves to new places and can be quite difficult for some students. There is a learning curve, but most get it in the end. This project does require an extensive amount of critique to direct students in the right direction. Incorporated into the app is a set of symbols students must create. These typically end up being navigational components. This is a connection or tie in to a previous course where they created symbol sets. This requires them to work on multiple components at the same time and consider them all as part of a larger whole. Overall, this project has been successful. 

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