INFO 1998: Intro to Digital Product Design Pre-test FA19

🚨 Read before starting

Intro to DPD has previously been over-subscribed. We have received over 60 applications per semester but we have a limited amount of TA’s. Our headcount for this semester is 40 students. If you think that you will not have time for this course, please consider taking it next semester. 

The reason for this enrollment cap is to provide the most valuable feedback and help the students who really really want to break into the product design industry.

Note: Pre-test is due Sunday, September 22 @ 11:59PM!



We’ve gone from being at the end of the product development cycle (“We need buttons on this new feature we’re gonna launch”) to the very forefront (“We want to investigate all the possible ways of enabling our users to discover new music”). From being a cursory consideration as the beauticians of the Product, to the curators of that which matters most — The User Experience.

This, my friends, is Product Design.

—  Erik Erikson

Product Designers are tasked with solving user experience problems. A user experience problem is an issue, subtle or obvious, that prevents a user from fulfilling a need (using Uber to transport from A to B, using Yelp to determine what to eat).

Developing applications take time and resources. When pure intuition drives innovation, some succeed. However, many products can fail, ruin experiences, and ultimately, lose revenue.

What makes designers effective is not their skills with design programs, but their skills at navigating a design process. Product Design seeks to maximize the success of products. There is no magical intuition — it is all in the design process. They use the process to ideate and iterate towards an optimal product with the intended users.


Average Time to Complete: 5.25 Hrs

This pre-test will give you a taste of the class and predict your ability to complete weekly assignments. It is intended to be open-ended, so you can understand the problems that designers solve on a day-to-day basis.

This pre-test can take an undefined amount of time. For some, it may take 3 hours, for others it may take 8 hours.


  1. Apps are due Sunday, September 22 @ 11:59PM through the Typeform link at the end of the doc.
  1. Admissions into the class are rolling.
  1. Upon admission you will receive an email to enroll in the course.
  1. A reminder email will be sent out before the last day to add.

Note: This pre-test will be judged on completion of the requirements and effort, not on skill level.



Here are some definitions that may be of use:

1. People Problem

A People Problem is something we use at Facebook Design to identify potential for innovation. In this class, we will merge this definition with’s interpretation of Clay Christiensen’s Jobs-To-Be-Done Framework. To summarize these weird frameworks, the intention is for a design execution to revolve around a person’s high level motivation.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
— Apparently-not-Henry-Ford(?)

In this famous quote, the people problem is not “People want faster horses”. The people problem is “People want to get from point A to B”. During this class, you may at times think of the former instead of the latter, and those usually result in bad solutions. 

People Problem Format

When I _____, I want to _____, So I can _____.

But I can’t do that well because:

1. ____

2. ____