Course Description
The mobile landscape is constantly changing — new devices, new operating systems, new applications. Even seasoned designers are overwhelmed by the chaos, sometimes creating less than optimal designs that are soon outdated. But the successful designs, the ones that surprise and delight their users, look beyond the here and now.

Designing Mobile Experiences will start with an overview of current device and OS differences, featuring guest lecturers with deep Android and iOS expertise. The second part of the course will lay the foundation to create mobile application designs that can truly stand the test of time. Some of the topics we’ll cover include: exploratory mobile research, gesture design, and touch design. The latter part of the course will introduce ways to bring apps to life through animation, sound, and prototyping.

Course material will be covered through lectures, in class activities, readings, and a group project. Early in the semester students will pitch mobile application ideas; they will spend the rest of the term iteratively designing the app with their teammates. Ongoing design critiques will be provided by the instructor, classmates, and industry leaders.

Priority for attending this class is given to I School students. Programming mobile applications will not be covered in the course.

Class meets on Thursdays from 11:00AM-1:00PM.

Mailing List
Course mailing list is i290-dme@ischool.berkeley.edu. You can subscribe via Calmail.

Grades will be determined primarily by a student’s performance on group assignments and in-class participation. The group project will be the core deliverable of the class, and will carry a significant weighting in the course grade. The class will not be graded on a curve. While the final grade assignment is subject to the instructors’ discretion, the following is a rough breakdown of the weight given to various components in the course.

  • Pitch with competitive research: 10%
  • Personas, scenarios & storyboards: 15%
  • App map, It screens & key flows: 15%
  • Moodboard & visual designs: 15%
  • Prototype & usability testing: 15%
  • Final presentation, app map & screens: 15%
  • Participation: 15%


Readings will be posted to the course schedule. Most will be provided online, some with restricted access.