Experience Design

MFA Communication Design at Texas State

The New Unicorn for AI Design — Chart by Alvaro Soto and Ellen KolstoDesigning Cognitive Experiences

Designing Cognitive Experiences

Students will learn how to create digital product experiences powered by AI and big data that interact with high levels of cognition.

Class 1: What is Cognitive

Date: 08/30 | Location: (face to face)

In this class we will cover the essential concepts surrounding Artificial Intelligence and how these relate to human cognition. We will explore the challenges and opportunities for the new UX practitioners of the field.

Cognitive deck

Human Cognitive Experiences — How do you take a very human experience based brand and automate it ?

Case: Brew and Brew: tone, expectations, authenticity — How do we replicate that in a machine ?



Class 2: Understanding Cognitive Application development.

Date: 09/06 | Location: (face to face)

In this class we will cover the cognitive application lifecycle and who the shape of teams building these applications. Designers will understand the breath and complexity of the medium, but will also identify the parts where they can make the most impact.

Cognitive Communication Model — Adam Cutler and Jennifer Sukis


  1. Read & Write medium blog post.

2. Select an idea or multiple for your Cognitive Design Application. You will be able to use the ideas to work on next weeks assignment.

Bonus: I will be covering material from the first two chapters of https://strategyzer.com/books/value-proposition-design — If you can read the first two chapters before class it will help you get your head around the material that will be covered.

Class 3: Defining Intent and The Role of Cognitive.

Date: 09/13 | Location: (Online)

  1. Create two application proposals using the framework explained on Defining Intent https://www.dropbox.com/s/ovhl0lon33fod2o/Defining%20Intent%20.pdf?dl=0
  2. Write 1 Medium Story explaining both solutions. Include Product Fit map, the Elevator Pitch and the Value of Cognitive.
  3. Add the reasoning behind your choices. In addition to going through the mechanics. Articulate why is important to solve this problem.

Pro Tips:

  • You should be able to identify the user and have relatively easy access — for research, to this type of user.
  • Don’t worry about scope. Try going out-there as much as possible with your ideas. I will help you bring those ideas to reality.
  • Make sure you are interested in solving this problem for this user.

Class 4: Intro to Strategic Research

Date: 09/20

Location: (Online)


Reading: https://hbr.org/2017/01/are-you-solving-the-right-problems (publish medium story) Due date: 09/27

Project: Using Strategic Research, pick one project idea and conduct the necessary activities to help you prove or disprove your current hypothesis with data. Deadline for this assignment is 10/04 : Project Report.

Tip to succeed here: pick a project where you have access to users. Without this, primary research would will be very hard. One rule: DO NOT design anything for yourself.

Project Report (Due 10/04)

  1. The area of investigation: this would be the domain, subject, industry etc.
  2. The Target User
  3. The key problem
  4. Justification for cognitive.
  5. Research Proposal (see Ellens deck for the anatomy of a research proposal)
  6. Updates on Research progress: By now you at the very minimum the secondary research and you have reached out to the participants.

Ellen’s Research Deck https://www.dropbox.com/s/4thzxdjhyq99744/Strategy%20%26%20Foundational%20Research%20for%20Texas%20State%20Sept%202017.key?dl=0

Class 5: In class work

Date: 09/27 | Location: (face to face )

Class 6: Project Report *****

Date: 10/04 | Location: (face to face)

Class 8: Design Thinking for Cognitive

Date: 10/11

We will cover: Affinity Diagrams, As-Is Scenario Mapping and To-Be scenario mapping for cognitive applications.

Deliverable: No deliverable


Location: (online)

Class 9: Storyboarding / Concept Cars — Designing relationships with cognitive systems.

Date: 10/18


  • “readings” medium post
  • TO-BE Journey map
  • User Insights Update (based on Primary Research)
  • Bring materials for sketching


  1. Storyboard, Diagram/flow.
  2. Reading:



Location: (face to face)

Class 10: Work Class

Date: 10/25


  • Storyboard, Medium Post
  • Reading and video, Medium. Please post medium post for this reading and video in a separate Medium Post.

Location: (online)

Class 11: Prototyping, Test, Repeat

Date: 11/01


  • Prototype

Location: (face to face)

Class 12: Feedback Sessions

Date: 11/08

Location: (online)

Class 13: ***Playback***

Date: 11/15

Location: (face to face)

Class 14: Thanksgiving — class does not meet

Date: 11/22

Location: ()

Class 15: Feedback Session

Date: 11/29

Location: (Face to Face )

Class 16: Feedback Session

Date: 12/06

Location: (online)

Class 17: Cognitive Experience Playback

Date: 12/13

Location: (face to face )