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Good Designers Do "X": Pick A Card

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Introduction

“Good Designers do “X”: Pick a Card” is one of three standalone activities created for the Good Designers do “X” collection. Good Designers do “X” is a set of 179 statements responding to the question, “When you talk to someone and say ‘good designers do “x”’, what are the top things you list?” from 34 individuals in the field of design research.

In “Good Designers do “X”: Pick a Card”, students will have the opportunity to dive through expert designers’ ideas about what good designers do and reflect on the statements that resonate with them.

Why do this activity?

The purpose of this activity is to encourage students to interact and connect with the Good Designers do “X” collection by finding statements that are compelling to them and imagining how to implement it in their work.

This activity can help students:

Materials needed

If you would like this activity done physically:

If you would like this activity done virtually:

Note that the virtual version can be done both in online and in-person settings.

Setting up the activity

If you are using physical cards: (40 minutes preparation):

  1. Download the “Good Designers do ‘X’” card deck PDF.
  2. Print this card deck on 8.5”x11” paper, double-sided lengthwise. (You will need to print one copy for each group.)
  3. Cut along the lines on each sheet of paper.
  4. Pass out one card deck to each group of students.

If you are using a Miro board: (5 minutes preparation)

  1. Copy this template: Good Designers do “X” Template into your Miro account.
  2. Inside the Miro board, click the “Share” button. In the popup, adjust your settings so that anyone with the link may edit the board.
  3. Send this link to your students.

Doing the activity

If you are using physical cards:

  1. Give groups 10 minutes: have students split the deck across their group members, and then each student flips through their portion of the deck to identify cards that resonate with them, and passes the remaining cards to the next student. Each student should aim to have 5-6 statements selected by the end.
  2. Give groups 5-10 minutes to have group discussions: each student picks one card from the 5-6 cards that they chose in Step 1, and the rest of their group asks them the following questions:
    1. Why did this card resonate with you?
    2. What might it look like to bring this idea into your approach to doing design?
    3. Would you need help to bring this into your design process?
  3. Have a 10-15 minute classroom discussion where each group picks one card to share with the whole class. Students may talk about what discussion that card inspired in their group.

If you are using a Miro board:

  1. Give students 10 minutes to read through the listed statements. Have each student pick 5-6 statements that resonate with them.
  2. Create breakout rooms and give groups 5-10 minutes to have group discussions: each student picks one statement from the 5-6 statements they chose in Step 1, and the rest of their group asks them the following questions:
    1. Why did this card resonate with you?
    2. What might it look like to bring this idea into your approach to doing design?
    3. What criteria did you use to select this card?
  3. Have a 10-15 minute classroom discussion where each group picks one statement to share with the whole class. Students may talk about what discussion that statement inspired in their group.

Student Responses and Takeaways

Student responses
Cards selected by a UX research student group
Cards selected by an engineering student group
Student takeaways

“Seeing how other, well respected/successful, designers view actions of a good designer is good for self reflection.” — Student 1
“I want to use the deck of cards in our team and grow with other designers and stakeholders. Having reflections on what we have done is important for a designer to improve.” — Student 2
“I also liked the cards exercise because I enjoyed looking at what people have said. And I want the cards for myself so I could like randomly pick one and decide that I am going to work towards this for a month.” — Student 3

Instructor Tips and Advice

Use smaller decks: If you are using the physical version of this activity, you can try giving half-decks or quarter-decks to groups, rather than a full deck. Smaller decks can allow groups to read through the cards faster while still getting a good sample of the kinds of statements inside the collection. Also, with smaller decks, students may find the classroom discussion more interesting since they get to see some of the other cards that other groups had. Another benefit to doing this is that you can print less copies.

Ask how students selected their cards: One thing the Design Signatures Team noticed in our uses of this activity is that sometimes students enjoy the cards so much that they have difficulty picking just a few to resonate with. If your students seem to have a hard time selecting cards (or if you notice a lull in conversation), you can ask them how they decided on the cards they chose. What made a card resonate with them? This encourages them to reflect on what matters to them.