Become Interaction Designer with Computer Science background

13 Dec 2011 - 4:44pm
4 years ago
2 replies
3576 reads

Hello everybody,

I´ve found this site looking information in the internet about how to become an interaction designer or information architect. The truth is that I am not sure how to answer that question.

I have a computer science background and almost 4 years experience working as a software developer but lately I realized what I really love is this field and for me it´s being really difficult to move to it.

At least in my country (Spain) and where I am living now (The Netherlands) I don´t really find an official education program for doing it. Lately I´ve thinking in moving to UK, where I think it can be easier.

Can anybody advise me? How did you became interaction designer or information architect (in Europe)?



14 Dec 2011 - 2:23am
Yohan Creemers

Hi Jose,

There are several official education programs in The Netherlands:

  • The universities of applied science in Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam, Breda, Amsterdam, Arnhem, Maastricht and Leeuwarden offer a study CMD (Communication and Media Design) or something similar.
  • The art schools in Utrecht, The Hague and Eindhoven have an Interaction Design faculty.
  • The technical universities in Delft and Eindhoven offer a master study Design for Interaction.

- Yohan

19 Dec 2011 - 5:19pm
Mathew Sanders

Hoi Jose!

I came from a computer science background as well. I was lucky in the respect that my employers always supported me exploring areas of interaction design as well as development. Also, when I started (about 8 years ago) IxD roles were less defined so I guess it was easier to get started.

I wouldn't give up on the Netherlands. They have an amazing design culture. If possible I would reccommend trying to intergrate interaction design responsibilities into your existing role. If you're working at a company that has a UX team (or even just one intereaction designer) just let them know you are interested in learning their skills. If someone asked me I would be happy to give them advice.

There is a publicaton calls Volume Project which isn't specifically about interaction design, but explores how architecture and technology intersects. I know they are often looking for people with computer science backgorunds to collaborate with so seek them out and see if there is a project you could volunteer for (they have done some cool stuff).

A friend of mine is a Chemmical Engineer by training, but he is getting into interaction design by offering to design and create websites for events (like for an upcoming triathalon) where he has contacts. He is learning a lot by this, and although not being paid he's enjoying it a lot and creating some great portfolio work. Depending on how much free time you have this may or may not be a good option for you.

Good luck!

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