Digital touch experiences: Educating the designers

This paper provides the emerging EDUCHI community with a case study example of innovation within HCI education, in the context of Industrial Design, at a moment in time where both disciplines are experiencing radical transformation in terms of their identity and scope. Here, we present a novel pedagogy for designing digital touch communications, developed by an interdisciplinary collaboration of HCI, design, and social science academics, and advanced through a coursework assignment for around eighty undergraduate design students undertaking a User Experience Design module. We discuss the role of low-fidelity experience prototyping of interactions beyond screens, and the need for new educational ‘tools’ to support the design of digital touch experiences. We conclude the paper with reflections on the collaboration so far and ongoing work.