Aaron Winters, independent researcher

I have written and taught a 200-level UI/UX course which culminates in a quarter-long Product Design project spanning research, information architecture, content creation, visual design and interaction. Given the breadth of subject matter, classroom time is divided by demands of lecture (input), laboratory (output) and critique (review and response).

To support and facilitate ongoing project development, each weekly component includes further collaborative classmate review via online prototype sharing tools and dedicated small group sessions with the instructor. As a component of the final session, students are assigned to user test their peers’ work. The final deliverable includes an exit survey encouraging them to identify areas of success and struggle, both project-specific and as each relates to their own nascent practice.

Learning means also teaching… it changes the rules, responsibilities and hierarchies while bringing a very social direct and entertaining quality.
Oliver Klimpel

The poster diagrams and describes the project lifecycle, with a focus on the various times for and methods of collaborative review. The process has been increasingly successful for me as I have continued to refine it over the past several terms. The school is pleased that the work created through this process yields relevant and employable portfolio work, while the students appreciate a more diffuse feedback model that allows for subjective iteration over objective perfection. The system tends to foster the creation of more considered work framed within a holistic understanding of design thinking (that extends beyond strict subject-matter silos).


Aaron Winters is a versatile visual experience designer whose professional career spans 20 years in Brand Identity, Packaging, Publishing, Front-End Development and User Experience. In addition to his studio practice, Aaron has taught graphic and web design at Sacramento City College and the Art Institute of California-Sacramento.

Aaron’s work, both written and visual, has been published in the pages of Slanted, HOW, Faesthetic, Wonderland, Semi-Permanent and idN, and has been shown at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts and 111 Minna Street Gallery in San Francisco. His creative work currently focuses on collage and text-based abstract composition, which he has incorporated into his Cooper-Gold pwn & Thrift product line.

Aaron earned his MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2014.