What is UXD at Kent State
We have designed the UXD program to:
- Prepare professional user experience designers to work in agencies and within organizations
- Immerse students in the following major components of UXD:
- Information Architecture
- Content Strategy
- Organization of Information
- User research
Difference between HCI and UXD
We are often asked about how our UXD program is different from a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) program. Any distinction we make will not be black and white. But, mostly the difference lies in the fact that we are preparing students for professional roles as User Experience Designers who will optimize interactions. HCI programs tend to prepare students for academic careers, or careers that involve seeking generalizable knowledge. UXD, as we see it, seeks to solve specific problems for particular systems, applications or interfaces in order to help an organization realize its business goals while providing users with experiences they’d like to repeat.
The LUMEN Model
In this program, our curriculum revolves around a design model we synthesized from design models found in the literature. The process model we teach involves five stages:
- Learn (L)
- Understand (U)
- iMagine (M)
- Evaluate (E)
- iNform (N)
When we are faced with a new design project, the first thing we do try to find out as much as we can about the client, the users, and any other stakeholder. We look at what their competitors are doing and see what we can learn from that. We might conduct interviews, surveys or focus groups to learn about who and what we will be working with.
Taking what we’ve learned in our research, we develop models such as personas, and design principles to help guide our designs.
Using the models we’ve developed, we design solutions for our clients. Here we develop schematics that we can later hand off to developers/engineers to build.
But as we design, we must constantly evaluate our ideas, so we conduct usability studies along the way to make sure our designs will actually work.
Communication of our designs is crucial to implementing them. So here, we focus on the professional preparation of deliverables and reports.