Department of Art and Design Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts

Featured Graduates

These 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.


Amie Barnes

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


Anqi Wang

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


Hongmin Jin

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


Kai Hu

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.

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Shasha Liu

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.

shasha


Xinghe (Riva) Hu

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.

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Qiaoying (Ellen) Wang

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.

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Shang (Sharon) Xu

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.

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Jillian Goodwin

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.

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Patrick Fiori

Social Media, Social Isolation, User Experience Desgin | 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.

shang


Yue (Aaron) Ma

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.

yue


Xiaohang (Wilson) Zhang

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.

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Weiran (Tyki) Lei

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.

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Nancy Rasche

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 applicationto 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.

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Yinghuan (Patty) Peng

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.

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Garret Miller

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.

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