ixd curriculum

13 Sep 2004 - 9:34pm
9 years ago
12 replies
555 reads
Greg Petroff
2004

Anyone in the list interested in discussing what an
interaction design curriculum would look like, rather
then where we have all come from?

I am an ex-architect so I know that route and there
are some pieces there that work well. I also teach at
the Parsons School of Design in their design and
technology program where there is considerable good
going on but not as focused perhaps as I would like.

It could be an offline discussion from the list or on
the list.....

If you want to start off line just contact me
directly.

Greg

=====
Gregory Petroff

gpetroff at vizrt.com
+1 212 560 0708 tel
+1 212 560 0709 fax
+1 646 387 2841 mobile

Comments

14 Sep 2004 - 1:17pm
Anirudha Joshi
2003

> Anyone in the list interested in discussing what an
interaction design curriculum would look like ...

That sounds like a good topic to me. Let me start it off with a few
questions:
- How much of usability needs to come in IxD education?
- How much of IA? How much of cog sci? How much of software engineering?
How much of programming? (I think this question got asked and answered
earlier, but not in the context of curriculum)
- What would be the 'basic design' exercises in IxD?
- Is it assumed to be a masters level program?
- What should the inputs be? (e.g. Traditional design disciplines, Engg.
in CS / IT, Engg. in other, Architecture, Arts etc.)

I hope there are no objections to discuss this online.
Anirudha

14 Sep 2004 - 5:23am
Mitja Kostomaj
2004

>> Anyone in the list interested in discussing what an
AJ> interaction design curriculum would look like ...

I found this topic really interesting, but for the start I think there
are some questions that need good explanation. I have experience
with designing similar courses and just putting subjects into the
curriculum does not do the job.

First a context of such curriculum should be clear.
Is it Business school, Computer Science school, Humanities school,
Media school or Art school?

Next question, "What is IxD?"
As you know there are many points of views as the subject has been
lectured at different schools (e.g. Art, Computer sciences, media and
design).

Should be applied course (Polytechnic University) or academic (old
University)?

Who are going to be lecturers, tutors etc. industry experts or
academics?

When we clarify these questions then we have better base for talking
and thinking about curriculum.

Mitja

14 Sep 2004 - 8:40am
Dan Saffer
2003

Why not start by looking at the two schools with interaction design
programs and their curricula:

Ivrea
http://www.interaction-ivrea.it/en/index.asp

Carnegie Mellon
http://www.cmu.edu/cfa/design/programs/graduate/mdes/mdes.html

Dan Saffer
M. Design Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com

14 Sep 2004 - 10:07am
lopez_r6 at tsm.es
2004

Could sound amazing, but my opinion is that you're ok
but drama, literature and storitelling will be interesting
for that

------------------------------------------------------------
Rafa López Callejón
Dirección de Comunicación
www.empresa.movistar.com
e mail: lopez_r6 at tsm.es
Tel :+34 680 01 86 79
------------------------------------------------------------

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Telefónica Móviles España, S.A.

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

> Anyone in the list interested in discussing what an
interaction design curriculum would look like ...

That sounds like a good topic to me. Let me start it off with a few
questions:
- How much of usability needs to come in IxD education?
- How much of IA? How much of cog sci? How much of software engineering?
How much of programming? (I think this question got asked and answered
earlier, but not in the context of curriculum)
- What would be the 'basic design' exercises in IxD?
- Is it assumed to be a masters level program?
- What should the inputs be? (e.g. Traditional design disciplines, Engg.
in CS / IT, Engg. in other, Architecture, Arts etc.)

I hope there are no objections to discuss this online.
Anirudha

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14 Sep 2004 - 7:18pm
Chris Whelan
2004

Here are the requirements for Bentley's HF masters:

Core Courses

Foundations in Human Factors
Managing a User-Centered Design Team
Testing and Assessment Programs

HF Elective Courses (Five courses)

Localization and the Global Market
Visualizing Information
Information Architecture: User-Centered Design for the
World Wide Web
Special Topics in Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
Advanced User Interface Design
Knowledge-Based Products
Prototyping Theory and Practice
Internship in Information Design

Non-HF Elective Courses (Two courses)

Object-Oriented Programming
Computer and Network Foundations
Systems Analysis and Design
Database Management
Managing Effective Work Teams
Managing Organizational Change
Management of Technology
Project Management
Management of Innovation
E-Privacy: Policy, Strategy and Technology
Intermediate Statistical Modeling for Business
Mathematical and Statistical Analysis

--- Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only
> relevant quoted material.]
>
> Why not start by looking at the two schools with
> interaction design
> programs and their curricula:
>
> Ivrea
> http://www.interaction-ivrea.it/en/index.asp
>
> Carnegie Mellon
>
http://www.cmu.edu/cfa/design/programs/graduate/mdes/mdes.html
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> M. Design Candidate, Interaction Design
> Carnegie Mellon University
> http://www.odannyboy.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> --
> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members
> get announcements already)
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> --
> http://ixdg.org/
>

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15 Sep 2004 - 2:13am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

Here is some input to the curriculum thread from Sweden.

At the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö university, we have
offered a Bachelor's degree (3 years) in interaction design since 1998
and a Master's degree (2 years) in interaction design for students with
a previous bachelor's degree in relevant subjects, also since 1998.
This academic year, we have started a separate Master's program for
students with a bachelor's degree in interaction design.

(The Swedish academic system has two different kinds of Master's
degrees: breadth and depth. Hence the confusing structure.)

Around 100 students have graduated at Bachelor's level and around 40 at
Master's level since we started. They have moved on to positions in IT
and media companies in Sweden and abroad, to being
entrepreneurs/consultants, and to PhD level studies (our school offers
a PhD program in interaction design, currently with 10 students, the
first two PhD:s graduated in 2003 and 2004.)

The respective curriculae look like this:

BACHELOR'S DEGREE PROGRAM IN INTERACTION DESIGN (3 YRS)
Courses marked with an 'X' are cross-disciplinary collaborations with
the other Bachelor's programs at the School: Media studies, Material
and virtual design, Performing arts technology.
--------
year 1: The history and materials of interaction design

Interaction design 1: Use qualities
Interaction design 2: Use contexts
Media design 1: Visual communication
Object-oriented programming 1: Concepts
Object-oriented programming 2: Object architectures
Object-oriented programming 3: User interface design
Data communication and networks
X Cultural studies
X Joint project
X Workshops
--------
year 2: Interaction design in context

Interaction design 3: Senses and sensors
Media design 2: Interactive narrative and games
Object-oriented programming 4: Databases
X Design theory
X Joint project
X Workshops
--------
year 3: Professional interaction design

Research topics in interaction design
Object-oriented programming 5: Catalogs and API:s
Degree project
X Philosophy of science
X Workshops
--------

MASTER'S DEGREE BY DEPTH IN INTERACTION DESIGN (2 YRS)
Requires a bachelor's degree in interaction design.
--------
year 1: State of the art in interaction design

Studio course on Advanced themes in interaction design (themes vary
from year to year, this year the themes are: Embodied interaction,
Digital youth cultures, Design as critical practice).
Degree project.
Design as knowledge creation (design-theoretical course).
Criticism (design-theoretical course).
X Workshops.
--------
year 2: Broadening the knowledge profile

Individual studies in relevant subjects, according to a study plan that
is approved by the teachers responsible for the Master's-by-depth
degree.
--------

MASTER'S DEGREE BY BREADTH IN INTERACTION DESIGN (2 YRS)
Requires a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (such as
architecture, art, cognitive science, computer science, graphic design,
informatics, media studies, product design, etc.)
Admission by portfolio and interview.
--------
year 1: Scope of the field

Studio course on Themes in interaction design (runs for the whole
academic year, themes vary from year to year, this year the themes are:
Wearable computing, Mass media and interactive media, Games and play,
Palpable computing).
Tools for interaction design (design methods, shaping and expression
techniques, presentation techniques, project methodology).
Use qualities (different perspectives on how to assess use qualities of
digital artefacts, and corresponding methods).
X Workshops.
--------
year 2: Specialization

Degree project (runs for whole academic year).
Design as knowledge creation (design-theoretical course).
Criticism (design-theoretical course).
Collaborative production.
--------

Regards,
Jonas Löwgren

----
Arts and Communication
Malmö University, SE-205 06 Malmö, Sweden

phone +46 7039 17854
web http://webzone.k3.mah.se/k3jolo

15 Sep 2004 - 12:07am
Greg Petroff
2004

Hi Elizabeth,

I am one of those "architect" architects, licensed,
card carrying member of the AIA, and no longer
practicing as one.

Life story:

Architect > Computer graphics early adopter > 3D
design > Broadcast Design > Communication Design >
Interaction Design.

I do tend to be more interested in ixd that has some
tie to our environment and often look at environmental
factors along with ixd in my current work.

Greg

=====
Gregory Petroff

gpetroff at vizrt.com
+1 212 560 0708 tel
+1 212 560 0709 fax
+1 646 387 2841 mobile

15 Sep 2004 - 9:30am
hans samuelson
2003

> [DS] Why notstart by looking at the two schools with interaction
> design programs and their curricula:
> Ivrea
> http://www.interaction-ivrea.it/en/index.asp
> Carnegie Mellon
> http://www.cmu.edu/cfa/design/programs/graduate/mdes/mdes.html

I would also note, though this is more a design-oriented list,

- London's Royal College of Art (masters in interaction design)
http://www.interaction.rca.ac.uk/
- Umea Institute of Design (likewise)
http://www.dh.umu.se/default.asp?sida=93
- Malmo University (likewise, but in Swedish[!])
http://www.k3.mah.se/forskning/forskarutb.htm

There is also an article by Pelle Ehn called "Neither Bauhäusler nor
nerd: educating the interaction designer" which is distributed through
the ACM digital library service.

I have been working on the curriculum issue for a couple of years; I'm
willing to discuss what I have determined either on or off the list,
depending on how relevant others find this topic.

Hans

17 Sep 2004 - 11:17am
Pradyot Rai
2004

Gregory Petroff <g_petroff at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Anyone in the list interested in discussing what an
> interaction design curriculum would look like, rather
> then where we have all come from?

Interesting topic for debate. I was lurking arround to see if somebody
raises my question. But I can't resist now. I will let you read my
mind --

I have discussed it with few folks, my collegues, friends (ID/IA/UX)
and member of this list. And somehow everyone finds themself in a hole
after sometime. After Sr. Analyst/Sr. Designer level it requires
something else to go to *manager* or *director* level.

Here's my question -- Has anybody seen any study which explains which
class of Designers/IA/UX goes higher in this profession? Any
statistics? Or your personal experience/opinions? The term *class* I
use to explain background of people in the profession, namely (but not
limited to), Visual Communication, Interaction Design, Industrial
design, Library Sciences, Psychology, Human Factor, etc.

In my close nit survey (amoung friends and the company they work for),
I have came to the conclusion that folks with less *Design* education
goes farther than those with more emphasis on *design* education.
Technical Writing, Psychology, Library Sciences runs higher in my
list. IMHO, they somehow understand better how to manage &
communicate. Is there something that the curicculam should acquire
more from Human Skills? In another observation, I found that people
with hands on Design skills gets more emotional, likes to work in
isolation... Can there be any education which can teach leadership,
teamwork, motivation, decision making, politics, salesmanship?

I am not sure, if the sample data I am relying for my conclusion is
worth much analysis. But what I want to open for debate is -- Emphasis
on more Human skills, Communication, understanding leadership,
Motivations, teamwork, politics of Design, Art of selling &
marketing... all the nuances of Organizational Behaviour (besides
basics of *Design*).

I know this is sort of less warm topic and Listera isn't interested. :)

Regards,

Pradyot Rai

18 Sep 2004 - 1:11am
Listera
2004

Prady Rai:

> Here's my question -- Has anybody seen any study which explains which
> class of Designers/IA/UX goes higher in this profession?
> I know this is sort of less warm topic and Listera isn't interested. :)

Oh, I might be. :-)

Designing and design management (let alone corporate management) can be as
different as, say, being a TV correspondent in Kosovo vs. sitting on Dan
Rather's chair in New York.

Having owned a small company, managed a variety of people from different
disciplines and worked with C-level people in some of world's largest
companies, I think I have some knowledge of both sides of the fence.
Personally, at the end of the day, instead of worrying about P/L numbers,
employee reviews, staff vacation schedules, departmental budget politics,
client schmoozing, accountant meetings, etc., I'd rather be designing.

But that's me and other people might feel differently. Unfortunately, it's
not that easy to know what it would be like to be a manager simply by
observing others, until you become one. You may like it, or after a few
years, you may not.

Obviously, it all depends on what you are doing; managers have more say in
giving direction to company policies or products. Whenever I ask managers
why they work for Microsoft, almost universally they say they want to make a
difference. But at what price? That's a personal decision.

The vast majority of corporate managers come from a pool of lawyers, MBAs,
accountants, marketers and techies. There's almost nothing in these peoples'
education or expertise (other than seldom personal interest) that values
design principles and sensibilities. So it's unreasonable to expect a warm
welcome from the club, unless you speak their language and share their
values.

It pains me to say this but the best advice I can give on this is: know
thyself!

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

18 Sep 2004 - 10:36pm
Pradyot Rai
2004

"Listera" --
> Having owned a small company, managed a variety of people from different
> disciplines and worked with C-level people in some of world's largest
> companies, I think I have some knowledge of both sides of the fence.
> Personally, at the end of the day, instead of worrying about P/L numbers,
> employee reviews, staff vacation schedules, departmental budget politics,
> client schmoozing, accountant meetings, etc., I'd rather be designing.

My perfect modal for what I was proposing through an overall education.

All those who are not affluent and perviledged with such diversity,
should have an option to draw student-loan from Gennie Mae and invest
somewhere :)

> But that's me and other people might feel differently. Unfortunately, it's
> not that easy to know what it would be like to be a manager simply by
> observing others, until you become one. You may like it, or after a few
> years, you may not.

Yeah! And there arises the question of Common sense Vs. proven
methodology that you may want to apply before you decide what works
for you. I am just making a suggestion that there should be more
options available. Design schools must teach something better, or,
design jobs are going off-shore too, as "non-core" entities.

I have not said that, "be an MBA to counter an MBA". I am saying there
are things that you can derive by this formal education that is not
possible by common logic. There are some approcahes/theories that sets
them better-off then us. For just an example, listen to the
transcript of "wisdom of crowd" from NPR. This follows the statistical
theory that management sciences rely (just as a pattern). There are
patterns we can also be benifited from other than the Gestalt Law and
Semiotics.

> Obviously, it all depends on what you are doing; managers have more say in
> giving direction to company policies or products. Whenever I ask managers
> why they work for Microsoft, almost universally they say they want to make a
> difference. But at what price? That's a personal decision.
>
> The vast majority of corporate managers come from a pool of lawyers, MBAs,
> accountants, marketers and techies. There's almost nothing in these peoples'
> education or expertise (other than seldom personal interest) that values
> design principles and sensibilities. So it's unreasonable to expect a warm
> welcome from the club, unless you speak their language and share their
> values.

I highly regard your experiences. I just want to say that
"speak-their-language" mean something which is proven-theory. And that
we can apply to our design processes more than just pleasing people.
There is a wisdom that I want to draw attention to.

> It pains me to say this but the best advice I can give on this is: know
> thyself!

That is another option. Life is too short even to be completely sure on that.

Best Regards,

Prady

19 Sep 2004 - 3:34pm
hans samuelson
2003

Prady:

A discussion about design curricula and a discussion about your
personal financial/professional targets are not necessarily closely
coupled... and the former is the one that seems most relevant to some
of our group interests. So, in said interests, let's look at a couple
of your issues, because there might be something there to pull out.

1) design->(design) management

My opinion: if you want to be a manager, it might be best to study
management. If you want to make more money, statistically speaking,
probably ditto. If you are a designer and find you like management and
management likes you, so be it. If you can help the overall cause of
increasing the overall recognition that design is a valuable activity
to which sufficient resources are rarely allocated, so much the better.
There's always the Design Management Journal from the academic end of
things. And as the old saw goes, some are born managers, some achieve
managerial status, and some have management thrust upon them...

Relevant curriculum questions: Should (interaction design) education
include some inititation into the 'real world' of tech management, in
order that students might better understand what awaits them upon
graduating, as well as how to
negotiate/cajole/persuade/threaten/evangelize in a convincing and
coherent way? If so, what would be a good model to follow? Are there
some successful cases out there in terms of curricula or courses?

2) global economic patterns-> future design work, what and where

My opinion: some things can be easily outsourced, some can't. The jury
is still out on productivity and long-term economic benefits, not to
mention geopolitical stability. Montreal, where I am based, is doing
better economically at present than five to ten years ago, and IT work
is, if not booming, at least surviving. Some local industries are
doing really well, like games and some content creation; it seems to be
better to have a creative edge than to have a narrow focus on code, as
far as I have been able to determine. Being a French-language island
in a sea of English is actually quite helpful in retaining local
identity, and quality-of-life issues are also beneficial (smart,
creative people like it here).

Don't believe all the election-year headlines about outsourcing, but
don't ignore globalization either. I find reading The Economist very
helpful in giving me some vague sense of understanding some of these
trends, but that's just me. Mass media coverage seems strange and a
little hysterical in the US, at least in terms of what makes it across
the border to us (including the Google what's-the-world-reading today
news service).

Relevant curriculum questions: What kind of work will be waiting for
students in the short-to-medium term future? What are the best-guess
trends for future employment trends? What is a sound and decently
flexible skill-set to be providing to graduates? How do you make sure
you can roll with the punches as things shift?

Regards,

Hans

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