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Featured Graduates

The featured works showcase a broad perspective of industrial and interaction design inquiries and solutions. The program allows students to further their research interests and to refine their own design processes.

Youngeun Kang   Motorola - IL

Education Management System, Teamwork Platform, Usability Testing | CATME (Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness) is a web-based platform that is intended to improve team experiences for students and faculty in higher education. The goal of Kang's study is to redesign the user interface for CATME employing the User-centered Design (UCD) framework. The design process consists of four phases: discover, define, develop, and validate. Kang examined the current website to discover potential usability problems by conducting different methodology and conducted robust user research to identify the user’s pain points to improve user experience. In order to tackle the usability issues, design solutions are created and evaluated with real users in iterations. The outcomes of the study are the redesigned CATME’s three key pages - the homepage, activity wizard, and data dashboard.


Ma Xiao   EZ-Flo - TX

Traditional Instruments, Chinese Element Innovation, Product Design | Unlike instruments nowadays, traditional instruments owe a wider use, such as the symbol of power, the religious usage of purifying the soul, and the beat of oral storytelling. Other traditional instruments have some irreplaceable features related to their origins, initial functions, playing methods or their own meanings related to the ancient cultures. However, many traditional instruments are facing the loss in popularity and may even be lost as time goes by. Ma's thesis aims to figure out an efficient way to help those traditional instruments gain popularity. He redesigned three Chinese traditional instruments: Pipa, Guzhen, and Sheng.


Nick Brauer   Addo - IN

Used Items Exchange, Panoramic Image-based Website, Service Design | Sweep is a peer-to-peer marketplace in which sellers can list many secondhand items at once by taking one or more panoramic images. Items are then tagged manually or by the system. Potential buyers search for and place offers on tagged items based upon what they're willing to pay. Offers may be made contingent on certain conditions, which the seller must agree to when accepting. After a short time, these offers are reviewed all at once by the seller. The best offers are typically accepted while the rest expires. Items are then shipped or exchanged at a local kiosk/locker. All the solutions target to provide simple, safe, and smooth experience for used items exchange.


Aijun Huang   TSYS - GA

Design for Seniors, Diabetes Treatment, Internet of Things | Huang's thesis topic is about improving the live experience of senior diabetes patients. This project employed new technologies to build a IoT system called GUM for seniors with diabetes. With the GUM system, patients' daily blood glucose testing becomes a relaxed and elegant experience without any hurt. The system can offer seniors with feedbacks and suggestions according to their blood data and illness development. Moreover, seniors can join the diabetes group around them to support each other without the challenges of ice breaking, and consult the diabetes experts directly with a variety of questions.


Xingyu Peng   Amica - RI

Mobile Application, Group Travel Planning, Usability Testing | CooP is a mobile application platform for group travel planning to improve the experience of communication and cooperation in teamwork. The main purpose for this design is to explore a new mode of making a travel plan, facilitate communication of decision making and improve the cooperation travel experience. In CooP users can switch between the map view and the list view to plan the route. The group checklists, task distribution, and group account features were designed to facilitate teamwork in planning.


Mingchu Cong   Bleachr - MN

Caregivers Working Experience, Motivating Experience, Mobile Application | When speaking of the caregiving system, the caregivers, especially the volunteer caregivers, are always overlooked that they need to be taken care of as well. Cong's thesis aims to enhance the volunteer caregiver's working experience and solve both the practice and mental challenges they meet in their work. After rounds of design iteration, Cong developed a caregiving service system that includes a mobile application and a smart nametag. The integration of product design and the app helps to ensure the safety of both the patient and caregiver, help with emergent information search, and record valuable communication.


Yingxiao Max Cao   DynaMD - FL

Sneaker Design, white-collar Workers, Pleasant Wearing Experience | In Yingxiao's thesis project, it focused on white-collar workers, seeking to find potential shoe design solutions that can bridge the office and the fitness environment, as well as offering a pleasant wearing experience. He believes that design provides a key point of differentiation when bringing new products to market. Every challenge is unique, and it requires an open and empathetic approach to solve problems.


Hsin-Man Wu   IHS Markit - TX

Road trip with Children, In-car Entertainment, IoT System Design | A road trip with children can pull a family together, but it could also become a nightmare for parents. Wu not only aimed to create a system to amplify the travel experience, but also dedicated to keep every precious moment for the users, parents and their children. Her IoT system Blockcar includes three components: a mobile entertainment management application, a physical interactive robot block, and an AR Interaction Rear Window.


Siyan Liu   Electronic Arts - WA

Teaching Experience, Product for Novice Teachers, Enhance Class Quality  | It has been found that a majority of percent novice teachers (55%) could not prepare there are lessons effectively, many of them will spend a lot of time adapting to the educating and academic environment. The main issue is that these beginning teachers cannot recognize what kinds of methods are more effective to enhance their teaching efforts in the short period term. Liu's thesis investigates how to amplify and support novice college instructors’ teaching experience. Liu proposed a mobile campus app with an external technology device to explore and provide useful educational information to novice teachers.


Kai Hu   Esri - CA

Integrated Academic Writing Environment, Activity Theory, Cognitive Offloading | The study designs a high-level system framework and an integrated word processing environment, for academic writing. The target users were college students and university faculties who need to write academic papers. Based on the literature review and user studies, Kai identified and categorized the major issues of the existing writing programs, established a new writing model and an information architecture to guide the academic writing software design. The design involved several iterations to brainstorm ideas and to develop wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes.


Shasha Liu   Walmart Headquarter - AR

Mobile Application System, Open Parenting Resources, Information Search | Shasha’s research is focused on the design of a mobile App system that facilitates new parents to fast access parenting resources. Specifically, she aims to optimize the App design to enhance parents’ interactive experience in searching, sharing and communicating parenting knowledge, such as theories, techniques, tips and tools. With such a parenting knowledge-aided platform, new parents can easily perform a search and quickly find the information that best suits their needs and circumstances. Furthermore, parents from local communities can establish groups or circles to share and communicate parenting experience.


Jillian Goodwin   BoxCrush - IN

Edutainment, Augmented Scavenger Hunt, Educational Value of Play | As the number of those retiring grows every year, the knowledge lost from this diminishing workforce, especially in niche industries – such as vintage Indy Car restoration. This thesis presents an opportunity to increase interest in car racing, and historical racing at that, for the younger generation throughout a three phase process. Partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, Jillian provided an opportunity to connect with children in a fun and educational setting, and designed an interactivte edutainment application (i.e. digital scavenger hunt) for children in the museum to increase their engagement and boost their interest in the subject matter presented.


Patrick Fiori   Facebook - CA

Social Media, Social Isolation, User Experience Design | During the past 20 years, people have become increasingly socially isolated and their core discussion networks have become smaller and less diverse. Social media are not the problem – the problem is the specific use and purpose of social media activities that make the difference. The goal of this project was to design a solution that would help solve the problem of social isolation emerging from increased use of social media among millenniums. The focus of the design process was to emphasize sound user experience practices especially the development of a material-based mental model and brand language that enhanced usability.

patrick fiori

Xinghe (Riva) Hu   Alibaba - China

Casual Information Visualization, Major Consultant, Student Social Network | The purpose of this research is to identify an effective and useful way to show the big data and allow her audience to see, understand and access big data through information visualization. The target users are the high school students who need a tool that provides them with help when they want to choose an ideal college major. The system combines abundant information with an interactive interface that acts as a user-friendly tool for researching college majors.


Yue (Aaron) Ma   Amazon WA

Empty Nest Syndrome, Ambient Information Design, Non-Intrusive Interaction | Empty Nest Syndrome has become a modern social issue. Remote family communication is of considerable importance in this context. Traditional methods of verbal communication in such situations require synchronous interaction, a shared particular time and a particular environment, which are often inconvenient, especially given time zone differences and busy schedules. Hence, this thesis explores design solutions for a new communication experience between empty nest parents and their children – using non-intrusive ambient information design – to amplify the connection between them.


Amie Barnes   IMMI - IN

Scripture, Bible, lighting design | Shedding Light on Scripture explores the translation of messages from written language to visual language using the Bible and luminaries as a case study. This MFA Industrial Design thesis project identi es messages from the Bible and communicates them through lighting design. In order for this to be done, I explore a five step design methodology: one – analyze resources, two – identify major themes, three – develop brand identities, four – explore concept ideations, and five - design production. First I analyzed Scriptural text in order to identify major Biblical themes. These themes were developed into brand languages; then, translated into lighting design ideations. Finally three designs were constructed into physical product models.

Amie Barnes

Hongmin Jin   Uneka - CA

Photography, Shooting experience, Non-professional users | This project is part of my thesis project which is focused on photography. Smart phones have become popular cameras among non-professional users. The most well- known photography sharing website Flickr has concluded iPhone as the most popular camera in 2015. However, shooting experience with smart phones can be improved in many ways. My target is to find out what can be improved and come up with solutions.

Hongmin Jin

Shang (Sharon) Xu   Vanguard - PA

Face-To-Face Communiation, Social Conversation, Otaku | Most otakus have difficulties interacting with strangers in real world contexts, but some do want to expand their social networks. This research adopts design approaches to enhance the connections among otakus in face-to-face scenarios by incorporating what is learned from research on and with the target group. Say Hey is developed as an app platform to help otakus gradually get involved in real society and frequent interpersonal communications in daily life.


Qiaoying (Ellen) Wang   Dajiang - China

Campus Experience, International Students, Mobile-based Application | This study has practical value for international students who pursue studying at North American universities. Most of us experienced adjustment difficulties due to a lack of awareness of cultural difference, social rules, and other challenges. The thesis purposes a vision mobile-based campus application explore to provide international students useful campus information over four dimensions of culture difference: cognition, psychology, behavior, and phenomenon.


Xiaohang (Wilson) Zhang   Facebook - CA

Visually-Impaired, Human Behavior Analysis, Assistive Product Design | For visually-impaired individuals, the factor of impaired sight affects this collaboration of the senses. All of the healthy senses are needed to compensate for the impaired sight in order to normalize each individual’s daily activities. Many assistive tools for the visual impairment have been designed as supplementary items to help visually- impaired people. The design outcomes of this thesis focuses on employing the current technologies to help visually-impaired individuals to learn cooking with distanced help and preserve fresh food with self-annotation tool.


Weiran (Tyki) Lei   Dajiang - China

Travel Experience, Planning Design, Information Visualization | The existing packaged travelling information is limited by online sources and accessibility. To improve both the quality of travel experience and people’s understanding of an adjustable itinerary, this thesis design is implementing re-contextualized situation awareness and distributed cognition into a travel aiding system, while using information visualization to represent the contextual-based information that the tourists desire or expect before and during a road trip to support human cognitive tasks and enhance the travel experience intuitively in the domain of UX design.


Anqi Wang   Gome Intelligent Technology  - China

Childhood obesity, Obesity prevention, Cognitive Offloading, New product development, Daily routines, Food and nutrition knowledge | This thesis presents a process of creating new products, which include three phases: Discover, Define and Design. Literature reviews and interviews have been conducted during the phase of Discover to study the causes of childhood obesity. The insight and knowledge gained from the Discovery phase helped me to identify the needs, the goals and the opportunities, and furthermore contribute to Define my own design strategies. During the Design phase, activities included brainstorming, ideation, concept development, and prototyping. Finally, the thesis resulted in two innovative designs. One concept is a public educational device called FoodExplore. It helps children to learn about food and nutrition. The other concept is an interactive clock called Plush Routine Clock. It encourages children to establish healthy routines.

Anqi Wang

Nancy Rasche   Purdue University - IN

Children with Autism, Reading Skill Development, Innovative Learning Methods | There is a common thread among children with autism to be able to use decoding skills to read. Yet, these children struggle with reading comprehension. The mission of this application is to improve this situation by teaching the emergent literacy skill of vocabulary instruction by labeling objects. Literacy Labels has two instructional methods that include scanning QR codes on printed labels with the iPad camera and playing a fun game within the application to reinforce the skills. The goal of combining these two learning methods is to strengthen the understanding that all words have meaning before the child learns to read independently by decoding.


Junyao (Zoey) Feng   MBH Architects CA

Montessori Toys, Montessori Theories, Existed Technology | In this paper, I want to study the contemporary Montessori Toys’ development, and discuss how we can combine current and future technology with their toys by following their specific and traditional principles. To show the readers how I combine technology with traditional Montessori toys, I will design three Montessori toys with the same play pattern (matching) but different medias (wood, plastic and digital) to do a comparison. The wood idea and plastic idea will be an experiment on using existed technology to improve Montessori toy. The digital one will be an answer on to combine the benefit of technology and Montessori theories in the future. Comparing them will help us to think what is the better way to for children to get information.By this way, I want to find out how these different medias influence Montessori toys and develop possibility for toy designs.


Yang Kyung Kim   

Space-saving, Furniture, Collapsibility | This paper includes the efficiency of space-saving furniture in small spaces, and the methods of designing space-saving furniture. The four pieces of furniture that I have designed in 3 years of graduate school program are all examples of space-saving furniture. The research of collapsibility has inspired the designs of the four pieces of space-saving furniture which could be innovative solutions satisfying homeowners of small houses.


Yinghuan (Patty) Peng   eBay - CA

Visual Analytics Systems, Comparative Analysis, Information Visualization | The research introduces a new comparative approach to access, evaluate, and enhance information interaction design in visual analytics (VA) systems. Based on the insightsand ideas gathered from design thinking at the beginning stage, Peng redesign Visual Analytics systems from comparing and filtering. This study focuses on the information interaction design of systems, through the integration of design principles from information design, interaction design, and sensorial design.


Garret Miller   Amazon - WA

Digital Integration, Digital Ecosystem, User Experience | This thesis study was inspired by technologies becoming more interconnected into our everyday physical contexts. By investigating digital integration, he have created a digital ecosystem that supports the customers’ continual actions within a fast casual restaurant. To support a fully contextual design, multiple ethnographic practices were conducted. This resulted in the significance of the individual touchpoint relying on the greater whole for its success. By developing each touchpoint together as one, he created cohesive interactions that led to a unified digital user experience within the physical environment of Camille’s Sidewalk Café.