This article will elaborate on DegreeQuery’s related report titled- What Degree do I need to Work in Interaction Design? We will provide more examples of the classes/courses you can expect to see in an undergraduate program in interaction design.
What is Interaction Design (IxD)?
According to the Interaction Design Foundation, it is the design of the interaction between users and products. The goal of interaction design is to create products that enable the user to achieve their objective(s) in the best way possible. The proliferation of mobile devices, medical devices, and other wearable and portable technology spawned a new type of design work. Design for the human experience.
There are bachelor’s degrees in interaction design. Most of these incorporate computer skills with the creativity of design. You receive the training to be a technologically competent designer and a design-minded developer. You will learn a creative, art-driven approach to finding the best design solutions for users of electronic interfaces from websites to voice-activated programs. The classes should provide the skills to design with users in mind and how to be an independent professional who relies not on narrow technical skills but on best practices and theories of human-computer interaction.
In your first-year student in an Interaction Design major, you may work on developing your technical and creative skills. You will learn theory and put it into practice, working on practical projects such as writing a small program or building paper prototypes. You could begin building your user interface and user experience vocabulary to become a persuasive advocate for the user.
You want the classes to build competencies in your technical knowledge and creativity as they relate to IxD. To accomplish this, programs typically focus on the strategic use of web and graphic design techniques, computer programming and database technology. With these, you will be able to create functional and engaging web and mobile user experiences.
The following are examples, selected at random, of classes from bachelor’s programs at U.S. colleges/universities.
This class provides a hands-on introductory experience to the history, contemporary methodologies, and emerging practices of Product Design. This studio teaches students to think through “making” and includes in-class workshops on 3D modeling and rapid prototyping.
Interaction Design Studio
The class provides a survey of current system design, information architecture, and topics in interaction design such as The Internet of Things. Working in teams modeled after professional studios, students conduct exploratory ethnographic research to form novel strategies, concepts, maps, user narratives, and models.
Objects and Space
Students learn to apply their growing repertoire of design skills to the world of real tangible objects and spaces where embedded sensors, displays and actuators are involved, from small-scale objects to large-scale environments.
Time Studio: Behavior
The class pays attention to the elements of interface narrative building that promote communication and interplay between the system and the participant. This is a technical course using time-based tools such as HTML5, Motion, Flash, and After-Effects.
Emerging Tech Design
The class provides an opportunity for students to apply and develop their Interaction Design skills to develop an understanding of users, their circumstances, and needs. Examples include the study of automakers, telecommunication companies, and computer equipment corporations.
Students will learn how to apply basic design principles and elements to create informative and/or persuasive print layouts. In addition to the graphic terms and techniques learned, students will expand their knowledge of other design processes.
Introduction to Programming in Python
This course provides students with basic skills and experience in the analysis of problems, the creation of algorithms to solve these problems, and the implementation of the resulting algorithms as working programs. The Python programming language applies to the creation and manipulation of multimedia components.
Your classwork should develop two skills. Here are examples from each category.
1. Technical Skills:
- Visual Design: Understanding the use of color, grid, layout, and typography
- Prototyping: Experimenting and learning through paper, digital interfaces, and physical making
- Information Architecture: Planning experiences through site mapping, modeling, and wireframe
2. Soft Skills:
- Storytelling: Communicating and affirming to peers and stakeholders how decisions were made, how principles were arrived at, and how the design will improve the lives of the users
- Sketching: Communicating emerging design ideas quickly and exploring problem space with peers and stakeholders
- Presenting: Sharing thoughts and design concepts with peers and stakeholders
These are some of the employment opportunities for graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Interaction Design:
- Web designer (5+ years): $83,250–$118,000
- Interaction designer (5+ years): $88,250–$124,500
- UX designer (1–3 years): $52,000–$79,500
- UX designer (5+ years): $92,750–$138,000
- Visual designer: $66,000–$99,250
Data provided by The Creative Group 2017 Designer Salary Guide.
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