Interaction Design Thesis Project

Or had my own experiences biased me away from the process-focused outcomes my school was trying to teach?

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I examined different design programs and compared them to the job market.

I wanted to identify an ideal curriculum that would best fit what businesses truly need. There’s no such thing as an interaction design degree.

They cast a wide net in job listings instead — like an interaction designer job that required a bachelor’s degree in “CS, web dev, HCI, mobile computing, graphic design, software engineering or a related field of study.”Even worse, employers begin to ignore degrees entirely.

From the aforementioned survey of interaction designer job listings, 40% did not ask for any degree.

Sure, Computer Science and Information Science departments were more likely to house a Human-Computer Interaction degree, while a Design department housed an Interaction Design degree occupied, but beyond that, there really wasn’t much to learn. So I took 24 randomly selected, geographically distributed degrees named “interaction design” and looked deeper.

I examined prerequisites, length, coursework, and whether they required a thesis for graduation. Only a slight majority were two years long, with the rest between one year and three years long.

Before describing how to improve the current state of affairs, it’s helpful to explain how we got here.

The main challenges to identifying a core interaction design degree are: These factors result in a bewildering variety of schools, programs and curricula for interaction design. For starters, among the 176 different masters-level programs I researched, fully 130 of them had unique titles. MS, MA, MFA, etc.) only reduced the number down to 108 unique titles. probably the from Kent State University.)To make any worthwhile comparison, I needed to refine the degrees further.

Interestingly, four programs didn’t require either. I tallied all the individual courses they taught and found 391 unique course titles.

As with the program names, I optimized the names further, such as consolidating all the “prototyping” classes together.


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