Associate Degree in Interface Design (Was: IxDA Curriculum)

23 Jun 2008 - 2:42pm
6 years ago
2 replies
833 reads
Jeff Howard
2004

Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
> The most important thing for an IxD is to actually
> start doing IxD. Learn the basics, which I think Dan
> has laid out a pretty good program for, get the foundations
> down, and then hit the street and start doing.

I don't really agree, but I was inspired by Todd's comment in the
previous thread to consider this from the opposite end of the
spectrum. Instead of a five- or six-year bachelors, how would the
requirements change if we were forced to condense everything into a
two-year associates degree?

From the basic research I've cobbled together it looks like many
institutions go by a quarter system, with an associate degree taking
6 quarters, which I suppose is only a year and a half. Since my
background is in graphic design, I decided to research Associate of
Science degrees in Graphic Arts for guidance and use that as a
springboard for constructing an interface design degree.

Here are my raw notes:
http://www.howardesign.com/exp/ixd/as_design.txt

I looked at five schools in the US:
- DeVry University
- Hesser College
- Colorado Technical University
- Robert Morris College
- Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Most of the associate degrees require 20-30 hours of general
education in english, math and the humanities in addition to the core
design classes. Three of the five schools offer a single course in
either art history or design history.

. . .

So how would this work? You'd have a maximum of five classes per
quarter, keeping in mind a limitation of 2-3 simultaneous studio
courses and seven and a half weeks per course (15 class periods).
With around a third of your overall time going toward general
education credits. Culminating in an internship the final quarter.

Here's my take on it:

Associate of Science in Interface Design
Six Quarters

Q1
Theory and History of Design
Design Fundamentals
Digital Imaging with Adobe Fireworks

Q2
Design Research
Human Factors Fundamentals
Introduction to Typography
Design Drawing

Q3
Information Design
Screen Design and Graphics
Web Development

Q4
Interactive Authoring
Writing for Multimedia
Documenting Systems

Q5
Portfolio Development
Design Ethics

Q6
Internship

. . .

I come across an interesting statistic in my research:

"More graduates with four-year degrees are returning to technical or
community colleges to learn a trade. According the Minneapolis Star
Tribune an estimated 20% of community college students (at least in
Minnesota) have a four-year degree and are returning to learn a
specific skill to supplement Bachelor degrees."

// jeff

Comments

23 Jun 2008 - 2:55pm
dmitryn
2004

Jeff,

Capilano College in Vancouver, Canada offers exactly this type of
program (they call it Interactive Design). Here's the curriculum:

http://www.capcollege.bc.ca/programs/interactive-design/courses/id-program.html

Since the background of the students varies (some are straight from
high school, others transition from graphic design, etc.), so does the
quality of the graduates. However, I know of at least a few who have
gone on to do successful IxD work.

Dmitry

On 6/23/08, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:

> I don't really agree, but I was inspired by Todd's comment in the previous
> thread to consider this from the opposite end of the spectrum. Instead of a
> five- or six-year bachelors, how would the requirements change if we were
> forced to condense everything into a two-year associates degree?

23 Jun 2008 - 4:14pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Thanks for the link Dmitry.

I found the course description page:
http://www.capcollege.bc.ca/future/calendar/current/courses/subject-inte.html

At first I couldn't understand how they fit so many design classes
into the schedule but it looks like it's a full two years rather
than six quarters, and after a little investigating I'm not sure
they require any general education classes outside of design.

That's a harsh tradeoff but probably the logical conclusion for this
train of thought.

// jeff

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=30615

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