Project Clients

Design Process and Client Expectations

What to Expect from DTC Students

Students in our freshman course, Design Thinking and Communication (DTC), bring a lot of enthusiasm, energy, and creativity to solving your problem and they take the project very seriously. You can also expect that they will be in regular contact with you while being respectful of your schedule.

Our students' design process involves:

  • Understanding your design goals and criteria for success
  • Conducting in-depth research, including interviewing potential users and analyzing their needs
  • Developing a design solution that will meet your users' needs
  • Producing a partial prototype that demonstrates the features of the solution. The form this prototype takes depends on the specific project. Past prototypes have included models, drawings, and physical devices.
  • Preparing a final written report and oral presentation for you that presents their research and proposed solution

While our project work focuses more on the design process than the end product, many student teams are able to produce partially functional prototypes within two months. Past clients have been pleased with the innovative ideas and physical mock-ups our students produce.

View the Student and Client Understandings form (PDF). Be sure to sign and return a hard copy of this form if your project proposal is accepted.

Expectations for the Client

DTC projects are most successful when clients take an active role in the design process. Clients are expected to:

  • Submit an online project proposal that is user-centered, solution-independent, and feasible for freshman to complete within two months.
  • Turn in a signed hard copy of the Student and Client Understandings form (PDF).
  • Meet in person with your project team early in the quarter (October, January, or April), present the design problem, and introduce them to the specific end users, experts, and resources to validate their design solutions.
  • Meet with your project team at least two additional times (for user observation and user feedback) during the quarter for updates.
  • Attend a final presentation on campus by the team at the end of the quarter (December, March, or June) at which point the final prototype and report will be turned over to you.

Interested in becoming a DTC client? Submit a project proposal today!