DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Howell, Bryan F.; Hemming, Abigail L.; Kilbourn-Barber, Grace; Christensen, Seth Y.
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Brigham Young University, United States of America
Section: Established, alternative and emerging educational paradigms to equip engineers and designers for future challenges
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.97
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


Design students are well-versed in standard linear presentations: moving from slide A to B to C in a predefined order. However, they are unpracticed in non-linear storytelling in the classroom, a method that allows for narrative flexibility. This paper explores the impact of linear and non-linear presentation methods using linear and non-linear presentation software Canva and Figma in a Design History course. Eighteen design students from gaming, user experience, graphic, and industrial design disciplines participated in the study. Students presented twice using Canva and twice using Figma. They were encouraged to experiment with linear and non-linear methods of presenting to the class, and for a fifth collaborative presentation, they could choose either tool to present with. Results indicate that Figma had a steeper learning curve than Canva: however, its non-linear structure effectively engaged the audience, increased their knowledge retention, and improved opinions of team presentations over Canva's linear structure. When asked which presentation tool to use in next year's course, 50% said Figma, 11.2% said Canva, and 38.9% said both. Disrupting the current linear based standards for design presentation tools, like Canva, Adobe or PowerPoint type products, with non-linear methods with tools like Figma enhances student learning experiences. Students also preferred presenting alongside a partner, enabling increased discussion of details and deeper exploration into critical aspects of the designer's lives.

Keywords: Design Education, Figma & Canva Presentations, Product Design History, Dialogic Teaching, Studio-based Pedagogy


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