iPad app for Senior Thesis


I am an industrial design student who is in phase 2 of a 3 phase senior project (research/design/presentation).

I have discovered through my research that one of the best solutions to the problem I discovered is the introduction of an iPad
app to enable the target user to have an improved experience.

My question is, since I am an industrial design major would this be an applicable project direction if I am seeking employment soon for a position in a design firm? Will they see the “app” as just another “there’s an app for that” solution or will the quality of user interface design be a good example of my skills in the industrial design/user experience field?

My concern is that I will be lacking particular form and function sketches related to anthropometry and other critical areas of knowledge usually shown in a senior design project.

Thanks for your time-----

If you think you want to lean towards UI or UX design then I would so, sure go for it.

I think a good UI project is a great addition to an ID portfolio if you have an otherwise solid portfolio already, particularly if you plan to work with electronics. Showing a basic understanding and competency with the ideas of UI design to show a more holistic understanding of the user experience is great and would most likely be helpful in many instance down the road as more and more of our technology is dematerialized.

Your senior thesis should really be about who you are / want to be as a designer so ask yourself if UI / UX is where you want to be. If you can do something that allows you to investigate UI design in addition to some formal / physical / artifact exploration all the better (sounds like Tarngerine is doing this in addition to branding which sounds like a nice challenge).

IF you do the APP, I would say do it all the way, if you presented it to me in an interview or portfolio review I would most definitely ask you how it is doing in the AppStore.

I also know a few people that did some UI focused projects in ID and are now doing very well as UI designers and one is an information architect, so you never know where it may lead.

If you applied for a junior position with the ID team, and your portfolio came across my desk, and your senior thesis was an app… I’d say it would be very difficult for your portfolio to get much consideration. What other work you had would need to be mind blowingly good ID work to offset the amount of content spent on the digital side of things.

If you want to be on the digital, UI, IxD side, that would be a totally different story.

Think of it this way, you are going to be employed to do what can demonstrably do well. If your portfolio demonstrates you can create digital experiences well, that is most likely where you will have the easiest time proving your value to an organization.

SO, the lesson, make sure your portfolio demonstrates you can do the things you want to do. If it demonstrates you can do the things you don’t want to do, you will end up being employed to do something you don’t like. You control the outcome.