The IDC logo at the main entrance of the building.
I studied Interaction Design at IDC School of Design from 2018-2020, and I have had a number of people reach out to me to ask about the CEED exam and the interview process at IDC. There is not much information available about the exam and interview process online, and so I am collecting some tips here.
Preparing for the Exam
Pick a discipline
There are 5 M.Des. programs offered at IDC:
- Communication Design (Sometimes also called Visual Communication)
- Interaction Design
- Industrial Design (Sometimes also called Product Design)
- Mobility & Vehicle Design
You can apply for as many as you want, but it’s a good idea to try and find out in advance what each course is like by looking through the course contents on the IDC website. You should prioritise applying and preparing for the course that best aligns with your interests.
Go through previous year papers
The CEED website will have an archive of old question papers. While there is no “syllabus” that is provided, you can reverse engineer the sort of things they ask by looking through the papers and finding common patterns. Start going through the papers beginning from the most recent years, and note down the topics the questions touch upon. If you don’t know the answer to a question, read about it and related topics online.
If you are stuck you may be able to find solved papers on the Stuff you look blog (I was told about this blog by someone who was preparing for CEED, I’m not sure about the quality of solved papers).
I’m not great at sketching, so this was one of the areas I had to work on. For the interaction design program, your drawing is not expected to be great—just good enough to get an idea across. Nevertheless, you should be able to quickly sketch a person in an environment performing an activity. There are a lot of figure sketching and perspective drawing tutorials on Youtube that can help with this.
Preparing for the Interview
Create a Portfolio
Your portfolio showcases your previous work, which can be personal projects, freelance work, or anything else that can show that you have an interest or aptitude for design. For interaction design, this portfolio can be entirely digital (and if interviews are online due to COVID-19 restrictions like in 2020, they will necessarily need to be digital). You can upload projects on Behance or your own website. Focus on writing about all your projects and documenting your process well. Try and tell a story about how you identified a problem and how you went about finding a solution for it. You should be able to justify every decision you made in your work, ideally with some kind of user research/testing or with research/theory from other sources.
Go through research work conducted by the faculty
As the M.Des. program is a master’s level course, you will be expected to not only learn things but also contribute to the existing pool of knowledge in the world. Being familiar with the work the faculty have done will show them that you tried to engage with the research projects at IDC when you talk to them at the interview, and should also give you a sense of the kind of work that gets done at the institute.
You can find a list of all faculty in IDC and links to their personal pages here. The IDC website might give you outdated or partial information about their work, so you can also search for their work on Google Scholar or other sources.
The current faculty in the interaction design department are:
- Anirudha Joshi
- Girish Dalvi
- Jayesh Pillai
- Pramod Khambete
- Ravi Poovaiah
- Swati Pal
- Venkatesh Rajamanickam
- Vivek Kant