DMI Assignments

MC4328 DMI Capstone List of Assignments Assignments

  • Idea Profile 10% (Due Sunday, Sept. 20)
  • Senior Portfolio 15% (Due Sunday, October 11) (will be turned in twice: preliminary portfolio, 10% and completion with course material at end of semester 5%)
  • App Prototype 10% (Due Sunday, October 25)
  • Group Entrepreneurship Report and Presentation 20% (Due Sunday, November 1)
  • Final Project Website 15% (Due Tuesday, December 8)
  • Critique of Student Portfolio 5%
  • #slack Discussion Posts and Quizzes 25%

Project 1: Idea Profile due Sunday, September 20 – Write a brief about your idea. You should approach this as though this is the idea you’ll build your final project on – an idea you’ll live with and work on for the next 12 weeks. You can change your idea later, but this should be your approach. You’re welcome to build on an idea you’ve already pitched, or heard, in our breakout group exercises.

The brief will address the following questions:

  • What is the problem you are trying to solve?
  • Why is it important, who does it affect?
  • Who else is doing something about it?
  • What are some potential solutions to your problem?
  • What are some concepts/skills you might need to learn or acquire to solve this problem?
  • What other outlets, sites or apps are trying to solve this problem (competition)?
  • What other sites or apps got you excited about this idea (inspiration)?
  • Describe your design thinking process for how you came up with this idea: Who did you talk to? What feedback did they provide to inform your thinking?

Think about the target audience and try to define some personas – your empathy map. Include any other preliminary research you have done about the problem and your potential solution in this brief. This should be about 700 words, but you can also include images and links. Share this on the #idea_profile channel.

Project 2 Senior Portfolio (first draft due Sunday, October 11):

You’ll submit a draft of your website from Web Publishing OR a portfolio site you’re building this semester. Over the course of this semester, you’ll add to your portfolio with the work you produce in this and other classes but you should definitely include the elements you’ve already submitted thus far in your DMI degree program, including any articles, photos, videos, data elements. You can, and should, do a bit of editing on this site so it’s your best possible first draft. The site should meet these parameters:

  • It can be self-coded HTML, a responsive architecture like Bootstrap, or a content management system like WordPress – your choice;

The first draft of your portfolio is worth 10% of your final grade. You’ll revise it, based on feedback and adding elements from later this semester (like your prototype, group and final projects), for a final portfolio grade (5%) at the end of the semester.

  • You’ll get one grade for your draft Senior Portfolio Website (10%);
  • You’ll also critique each others’ draft senior portfolio sites (5%);
  • You’ll get a second, final grade on your finished portfolio at the end of the semester (5%)

Project 3: App Prototype due Sunday, October 25  – Now you get to make something. Start prototyping your solution on paper. Then graduate to or Adobe XD (available as a free download). Have people engage with your prototypes to get feedback. Take screenshots of your prototype and combine in a single document to upload. Your prototype should include several screens of content and interaction, including any admin features, if applicable. Describe the functionality of your prototype in the document. Submit to the #prototype channel on Slack.

Project 4: Group research report, due Sunday, November 1

  • Lean Canvas – You’ll form a group and begin work on this in class. The Lean Canvas is a brief document that provides a roadmap that is flexible over time.
  • Research Project: Group Project –  The research project expands upon the lean canvas and provides the backup information to go forward with your prototype and website. Your group research project should be a 7-10 page (double-spaced, 12 pt font) document and a PowerPoint of about 10 slides that covers the following areas in detail. Research is required. Document citations with a consistent style (APA or MLA is fine). You will work on this as a group, so assign sections to members of your team; you will evaluate the performance of others in your group.
    • Problem Statement – an overview of the problem; provide a clear articulation of the problem you are hoping to solve
    • Market Analysis – who is the target market and why? What do we know about them?
    • Financial Projections that flow from your target analysis. Be specific about how you will generate revenue and cover costs.
    • Global implications – Specifically address the needs of global populations related to this problem? How is this problem being handled in a global marketplace?
    • Diversity implications – Specifically address the needs of diverse populations related to this problem? How is this problem being handled in a diverse marketplace?
    • Competition – analysis of competition and state of the market; who else is trying to solve this problem and how are they doing it? Look to other industries that might be tangentially related. Provide a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the competition you have identified.
    • Potential Solutions – discuss several potential solutions to this problem; for each, describe the resources necessary and ways to connect the solution to the target audience
    • Marketing Strategies – Discuss the ways that the target market will be reached. Provide details about marketing and social media strategies (For example, not just “use Facebook,” but “Create a targeted ad campaign on Facebook focusing on these demographics in this location…” Think creatively. Brainstorm ideas with your team. Connect these ideas to your potential solutions.
    • Any limitations or challenges. What are the human, technical or competitive issues that would prevent your solutions from being successful.
    • You’ll present this in class as a group

Project 5: Project Website: Individual Project  –  use material from your marketing research, proposal and prototype to create a website to market your idea using Bootstrap. This site should be self-coded or Bootstrap, but not a content-management site like WordPress. Website will be hosted on a subdomain of your websites. Site must include appropriate images and links. A logo for the site must be created. The website should include, but not be limited to, the following sections:

  • Brief solution description
  • More detailed description of features
  • A marketing video describing your idea or prototype
  • Other marketing or promotional methods (ads, social media campaign introduction, calls-to-action, promotions)
  • Other sections as relevant to support your project idea and solution
  • Personal statement – identify yourself and that this is a class project.

Below are a bunch of sample projects from the Fall 2018 semester of the DMI Capstone Innovation class. About half are websites; half are apps. Remember, creating an app is optional but IF your idea IS an app, you should definitely mock up what some pages would look like, even if you don’t use an emulator like or Adobe XD – you could draft app pages in anything you’re comfortable with, like InDesign, PowerPoint, Word… (Note – a link to an app we can try with our phones, though, is extra cool).

Your final project should include some evidence of research (Lean Canvas, business plan), must have a logo, and should include appropriate photos and links.

Here’s the rubric for your final project: Some of these are from Dr. Royal’s rubric and some are mine – I’m listing IN ORDER what you should emphasize in your idea site, so 1) is most important (although everyone should do #8!):

1) Clear: make sure we know what your idea is on the home page and relevant links;

2) Creative: make it inviting and attractive;

3) Usable: think about the “user experience” of someone perusing your site or app;

4) Solution: tell, somewhere, what problem you intend to solve (this might be on your home page);

5) Sustainable: sneak in, somewhere, that you gave some thought to a business model, a lean canvas, a source of startup funding and how you plan to make your idea survive and grow, including advertising, subscriptions, memberships, events, foundation support, investors, social media marketing, door-to-door marketing; opinion leaders; early adopters…

6) A description of features: Imagine this as a guide for new users AND for me, so I don’t miss anything;

7) Marketing video (optional!): A “hype video” or demo, if you want to do one;

8) Personal statement: Note that this is your work and that it was done for a class.

Sample sites:

Sample Apps:

In-class exercises:

  • Idea generation and design thinking: You’ll be exposed to some entrepreneurial ideas, then research and discuss ideas that you think might make good innovations – unsolved problems, if you will. Then you’ll brainstorm in small groups about how you might solve that and consider the tools, their function and design
  • Business models: You’ll be exposed to sample business models in class and discuss different ways to get startup money and to earn a profit; you’ll brainstorm in small groups about business ideas, how you might fund them and how – and when – you might expect to profit from them
  • Prototyping: We’ll work/play a bit in class with and Adobe XD in class, which you’ll use for your Prototyping assignment
  • Project management: You’ll think about a type of media project (for example, an investigative journalism project; marketing a film; a social media campaign for a client; an interactive media conference) and, in small groups, discuss and present what pieces would need to be managed to create a successful whole

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