Experience Design (XD)
Robin Vest, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre Studies
Experience Design examines how humans interact and create meaningful experiences with products, services, environments, and other people. The discipline considers the needs, goals, emotions, behaviors, and attitudes of these interactions. Experience Design seeks to enhance interactive experiences through better design and implementation based on research, observation, and understanding. While the field tends to have an emphasis on human computer interface, its essence is improving all aspects of an end-user’s interaction. Experience Design builds on elements of psychology, art, theatre, business, and computer technology and has applications in the profit and nonprofit sectors as well as any arena of public interaction and civic participation.
The Experience Design (XD) major requires 48 credits. The major consists of a 20-credit core of five specific Experience Design classes.
Students then choose from two 28-credit interdisciplinary tracks in either Design or Research & Strategy that focus and expand on concepts, tools and techniques in Experience Design. The Design track focuses on designing and creating new experiences, and the Research & Strategy emphasizes understanding how humans interact with experiences. Each track consists of four required courses (16 credits) and three elective courses (12 credits).
Experience design (XD) combines knowledge and skills from many disciplines to craft products and services that fulfill user’s needs and designers. Students will learn fundamental design principles of products, services and experiences to evaluate existing user experiences. Creating user-centered design requires the application of design constraints, affordances, visibility and feedback to create effective product and interface designs. Furthermore, user experience integrates perspectives from product and interface design, usability research, interaction design and others. Fulfills arts requirement (1998). Arts/humanities requirement (2019).
Students in this course will apply and extend their XD knowledge through the development of practical projects. This course consists of discussion, presentations from external speakers, and student presentations. This course may be repeated twice for credit; however, students will be required to develop different projects for each enrollment. Prerequisites/Corequisites: XD 220 Experience Design.
The experience design (XD) lifecycle is a continuous process of inquiry, research, design and prototyping to create engaging experiences. In this course, students build upon user-centered design principles and delve deeper into specific issues relating to experience design, including user and usability research, interface design, and interaction design. Students will develop a design and prototype for a new or existing experience.
A combined on-the-job and academic experience arranged with an organization, business, individual, or campus office. Internships are supervised by a faculty member associated with the Experience Design program and can be coordinated through the Career Development Center. Recommended for juniors and seniors. May be repeated for credit. A total of 4-credits of Internship required.
The course requires students to synthesize their cumulative learning experiences in multiple disciplines and apply them in positions of major responsibility within the practical context of an internship or project designing and implementing a physical, digital and/or live experience. The work requires students to articulate a philosophy, assess the skills they bring to the work, set goals and objectives, maintain ongoing documentation of research and work before and during the internship/project, and assess their processes and accomplishments following completion.