Magic of Appreciating Words: DHCS experience

It was that time of the year again when all students were supposed to register for courses for the approaching semester. Like everyone, I was confused and in a fix about what course to opt for. I wanted to explore and was looking for interesting courses then. I came across “Designing Human Centered Interfaces” course offered by Dr. PK. Everyone in IIIT knows Dr. PK is one of the coolest professors and nobody ever regrets taking his course because he is quite flexible and has bunch of engaging activities. Also, I had heard about this course before and decided to go for it. I never knew this course would contribute so much to what I was seeking for so long. I never had much interest in coding and when I attended the introductory class, I realized that something was there for me, something I would enjoy and love to do. Dr. PK showed some very interesting projects from previous year and it motivated me to come up with one. So our team came with women security app called “Suraksha”.
Dr. PK makes sure his course has fun elements and incentives for students. I still remember in his very first lecture, he mentioned about awards he had given last time and no doubt it was a driving force to work hard for our projects and win such award. Also, his words of appreciation and motivation at each stage kept us going. Getting appreciation from professor was a big thing for me as it was the first time I was ever appreciated in IIIT :P. I still remember the day when he called our group “Underdogs” and we were so elated to hear that. It motivated me so much that I wanted to do best in each iteration. We were supposed to complete tasks in each iteration. Conducting Contextual inquiry in one iteration and task analysis in another. Roaming the entire city, gathering the user data, interviewing people and taking feedbacks were few things we did during the course. No doubt it was a nice excuse to hangout with friends while doing your project 😛 and that was also one reason we loved this course :P.
The best part of this course is BBI session. It’s like a Grand Finale of some kind. Each group wants to showcase their project in best way possible. The entire CCD area looks beautiful- so colorful and full of creativity. We wanted to do something out of box so we prepared a rap song for BBI session as an invitation. Video

Preparing poster for BBI session was one hell of a task because we wanted it to be the best. Making it as informative as possible and creative at the same time was really a challenge. The night before BBI session, our hostel room was a complete mess. It looked something like this :P.

Reserving the space for poster for next morning was not a child’s play. Our poster was quite big. So we needed more space and our group literally sat entire night safeguarding the space. All this was so much fun :D.

But all this was so much fun because we hardly get to do these things in other courses. Everyone appreciated our efforts. Also, Dr. PK gave me the golden opportunity to be the evaluator for the next BBI session. I was extremely happy and no doubt it was a wonderful learning experience.

The course concluded but it showed me a path. I remember the very first lecture slide had a quote by Randy Pausch which goes like this “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” And I made this my moto. I decided to give design entrance exam. The things I learned during the course helped me a lot in building my portfolio and even during interviews. I showed my DHCS project in interviews. Luckily, I got into Interaction design at IIT Kanpur and this couldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t taken this course.

I am glad our institute offers such wonderful courses and give chances to students to explore and learn. Moreover, I realized how much vital role “words of appreciation” plays in student’s life. Few words of motivation by teacher are instrumental in changing student’s life and help them achieve their dreams. So glad and lucky to have such rocking and cool faculty at IIIT Delhi.