Course Project


This quarter, projects will be themed around the following prompt:

Designing for Inclusion: How can we make existing systems more inclusive and approachable to new audiences?

As we discuss inclusive design (and, by extension, how designs exclude certain audiences), you will need to think critically about how the systems you engage with often conflict with individuals' values, needs, and wants. You are encouraged to focus on an audience and a system that are relevant to you, and really reflect on how even excellent designs often come up short of supporting an audience.

Guiding Questions:

  • How do systems currently exclude certain audiences? How do we amend that?
  • What assumptions do systems make about their audience? What assets do audiences bring that systems don't account for?
  • What challenges does a new or inexperienced user face when engaging with a system for the first time?

Additional Details


Language is imperfect and sometimes lacks a good, specific word for what you mean. In this case, we're talking about the design of "systems", which can mean a lot of different things; but operationalized for this course, we'll be looking at the design of:

  • Specific Technologies, such as a computer, an app, a wearable, an IoT device...
  • A Technology + its Context, such as a library computer, a smartwatch used for fitness tracking, a smart speaker in an older adult's home...
  • A Sociotechnical System, which we operationalize as "a context where people interact with technology", such as physical places like "a university library", social contexts like "a student community", and process- or goal-oriented contexts such as "studying for an exam"...

Basically, if you have a context where people interact with (digital) technology (gotta keep it digital, we are computer scientists after all...) OR where you could introduce technology, that's a valid "system" to explore!

(If that feels super broad, that's because it is! Hence why we encourage you to pick a context that's relevant to you.)


"Audience" is another imperfect term here, because what exactly constitutes an audience is ambiguous too. For our purposes, we're operationalizing an "Audience" as "a group of people who have something specific in common"– for example:

  • People with certain demographics: older adults, BIPOC women, LGBTQ+ people with disabilities...
  • People in certain Social Contexts: people who live in rural towns, working-class families, students at the University of Washington...
  • People who do certain activities: people who rock climb, CSE students who participate in hackathons, people who are learning to cook...
  • People with certain experiences: people who served in the military, people who have sustained injuries at the gym...
  • People who have certain values or goals: people who care about online privacy, people who want to be more involved in local politics...

As you might gather, there's a near-endless amount of audiences you could consider for your design. However, be careful: not every combination of System X Audience produces a meaningful design space! As you think about how designs exclude, we'd encourage you to reflect on what the connection is between 'the thing your audience has in common' and a given system.

Project Phases

The project will be broken up into four phases, each with its own set of milestones:

Assignment 1: Getting the Right Idea

Assignment 1 Home

Assignment 2: Getting the Right Design

Assignment 2 Home

Assignment 3: Getting the Design Right

Assignment 3 Home

Assignment 4: Communicating the Design Right

Coming soon!

EXP Assignments

Individual "Weeklies"

Design Rant of the Week

Redesign of the Week

Additional Assignments

Assignment 0: Intro Slide

Assignment Info

Contribution Statements

For each group assignment, you are required to submit a Contribution Statement using this Google Form: CSE 440 Sp24 Contribution Statements

See the syllabus for more information on Contribution Statements.

Clarity and Presentation

Ensure all submissions are appropriately clear and easy to read. This includes:

  • Text should be clear and concise.
  • Use section headings as appropriate.
  • Include images in the body of the write-up, with figure numbers and captions as appropriate.
  • Refer to the figures in the body of your text.
  • Check for typos, spelling, and grammar errors.

Be sure your presentation looks good:

  • Choose appropriate colors, fonts, and styles.
  • Make appropriate and liberal use of whitespace.
  • Ensure images are high-quality.

Images do not count against page limits, and are therefore effectively free. You should embed images throughout your PDF, keeping them near the text that references them. Page limits apply to the approximate amount of text you would have if all images were removed.