IxD Students Present Design Challenge to Hulu

SMC Interaction Design Students Complete Design Challenge for Hulu

Semester-Long Design Project on Improving Accessibility Culminates with Presentation at Hulu Headquarters in Santa Monica

​​​​​​​SMC Bachelor of Science in Interaction Design (IxD) students (left to right) Chioma Ojini, Mordechai Friedman, and Jae Toyota at a presentation in Hulu headquarters in Santa Monica. SMC students worked on a semester-long design challenge for Hulu, focused on improving accessibility for all customers, especially those with special needs. They presented their findings on Monday, Dec. 17 at the entertainment company’s headquarters in Santa Monica. (Photo Credit: Amy Williams)

SMC IxD student Luke Buenaventura talks about his group’s final project at Hulu headquarters in Santa Monica. (Photo Credit: Amy Williams)

(Left to Right) A participant in the study; Ojen Shammasian, an SMC IxD graduate; and Director, Bixel Exchange-Tech Talent Pipeline Lindsey Heisser at the SMC interaction design students’ presentation at Hulu headquarters in Santa Monica. (Photo Credit: Amy Williams)

A Hulugan speaks at the SMC IxD students’ presentation at Hulu headquarters in Santa Monica. (Photo Credit: Amy Williams)

A participant in the SMC Interaction Design students’ design challenge research study at Hulu headquarters in Santa Monica. (Photo Credit: Amy Williams)

December 21, 2018

SANTA MONICA, CA—Students enrolled in Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Bachelor of Science in Interaction Design (IxD) program presented the findings of a semester-long design challenge for Hulu on Monday, Dec. 17 at the entertainment company’s headquarters in Santa Monica.

Bixel Exchange, the Center for Innovation and Technology at the LA Area Chamber of Commerce, connected SMC’s IxD class with Hulu to make the innovative design challenge—which envisioned how Hulu might make its platform more accessible for individuals with special needs—a reality.

Towards the beginning of the fall 2018 semester, in September, the SMC students were divided into five groups, who were each matched with a User Experience (UX) and product design “Hulugan”.  They met weekly during the “design thinking process” which included research, prototyping and testing with participants. At the Dec. 17 project culmination at Hulu offices, students presented their findings and recommendations to a group of Hulugans and engaged in one-on-one conversations to share their findings and prototypes.

The Hulu design challenge asked SMC IxD students to recruit study participants to research how they experience streaming video content, conduct at least two in-home interviews with each participant and organize their research for a midterm exhibition-style presentation so Hulu could provide feedback. Then, SMC students created a prototype of the concept, shared prototypes with the participants for feedback on how accessible the designed prototype was, before—finally—presenting the end product to Hulu.

The four-year Interaction Design program was launched after Santa Monica College was selected by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in 2015 to be part of a historic pilot program. In September 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1406 which allows Santa Monica College—and the 14 other community colleges participating in the pilot—to offer baccalaureate programs through July 2026 in areas of critical workforce shortage (the programs are in areas not available at a local University of California or California State University campus).

The Bachelor of Science in IxD program at SMC blends the fields of design, user experience (UX), and technology. Interaction Designers ensure that products are appealing, effective, and intuitive for their users. They create the experiences users have every day with smart objects, devices, and the web.

The four-year SMC degree culminates in two years of upper-division coursework, which requires a full-time commitment (a student is required to take 12 or more units per semester) and courses must be taken in sequence. For more information on the IxD program—including application requirements, curriculum, and a list of SMC’s industry partners—please visit ixd.smc.edu. To view the SMC IxD students’ work, check out the IxD Design Challenge with Hulu.

Santa Monica College’s IxD program is always looking for a good design challenge—companies and organizations who wish to partner on research and solutions may contact SMC IxD Program Manager Ayanna Williams at Williams_Ayanna@smc.edu or 310-434-8644. 

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About Santa Monica College

Founded in 1929, Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition to being California’s leader in transfers to the University of California system, the University of Southern California, and Loyola Marymount University, SMC also offers more than 110 career training degrees and certificates. SMC provides news and cultural enrichment through its NPR radio station KCRW (89.9 FM) and The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center as well as lifelong learning through distinctive programs such as its Emeritus Program for older adults.