The first-year is the foundation (propaedeutic) year.
Don’t worry, while there will be a lot of introductory courses in the first year we won’t bury you in books. On the contrary, from day one at UXD you will communicate with real companies (like Philips, IKEA and Google) on how your killer idea can change the way people use daily products. Key in this first year is getting an understanding of the users and their interaction with technology. To accompany the professional experience you will gain from working with these assignment providers, you will need to be taught the basics, which include: communication, prototyping, persuasive experiences, technical designing, and programming. The latter will allow you to turn simple ideas into mediated experiences across various digital and physical platforms. To express you ideas digitally, you will familiarise with a range of programming languages, such as: the front-end and back-end of web technologies, mobile platforms (Android and iOS), processing, Arduino and sensor technology.
|Introduction to UX Design|
|Design and Creativity|
|Psychology of Experience|
|Project Bespoke Design|
|Interaction Design II|
|Programming: Extended class|
|Building Engaging Prototypes|
|Project Design for Emotion|
|Values in Design|
|Project Research and Design|
It’s by paying close attention to end users’ technology habits that UXD students can turn their serious ideas into viable business plans. This will be one of emphases in year two. Students will understand the social systems that are at the core of their ideas and the shared context between users and other stakeholders that make technological designs such a success. UXD students appreciate that tastes differ, and that international tastes differ even more. The international classroom at UXD offers students a unique opportunity to experience first-hand how different cultures experience technology. And it will also allow them to better cater the world’s product needs. Furthermore, in the first two modules of year two, you can follow a minor and you will go on an internship at an international company, like: Capgemini, Intel and even Apple.
In year three it will be up to you to successfully implement all the aspects of UXD during your graduation project. During this project you will work closely with existing companies. You could examine the market potential for one of your ideas at an established company like BOSCH, for example, or render the blueprints of cost-efficient tablets for schools in Kenya. But don’t picture yourself standing next to your digital masterpiece just yet, because year three first starts with in-depth courses that expand on the complexity of User Experience Design. It explores the relevance and impact of your ideas on society. You will take the needs of stakeholders into careful consideration and take even more responsibility for the designing process. That way, you won’t face any unpleasant surprises as you kick-start your career as a product pioneer.
If needed, a personal supervisor can help you keep track of your study progress and further guide your career and personal development. Furthermore, a coaching assistant − usually a (recent) graduate − could also tutor you. He or she can assist you with the day‐to‐day practicalities of studying UXD. By improving your time-management skills for example, or finding the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions.
In the first year, you are expected to earn at least 50 of the 60 credits available. In some cases, as part of the 50 credits, you will need have passed a certain subject.
If you fulfil all requirements, the Examination Board will issue a positive study advice and you can continue with your degree programme. If you fail to meet these requirements, you will be issued a negative binding study advice and will be required to leave the degree programme.
The Examination Board may take personal circumstances into consideration, such as illness or participation in professional sports. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The study advice may be deferred, possibly with certain conditions attached that must be fulfilled during the following academic year.
You are personally responsible for your academic progress, so make sure to contact your academic career coach early on if things are not going well.
During year two you will get the chance to specialise as a UX designer by following a minor, either at UXD, at another THUAS faculty, or even at another university. Some students apply for Photography in Focus, which covers a brief history of photography complemented by practical photography master classes. Others follow an Internet Marketing Tools minor, which teaches you how to help companies reach their target audiences online. UXD students can also attend the Game Development and Simulation minor, which, much as the name suggests, readies you for a career in developing games. You will learn the basics of 3D modelling, simulation and artificial intelligence (AI).
Our modern workshops and lecture rooms are fully equipped with all the tools you will need for prototyping, research and programming. A digital playground, if you will, where students pitch their ideas and attend brainstorms. Just like they would if students were to design a product or service for companies like FedEx or Microsoft. Furthermore, the UXD programme strikes an excellent balance between theory, group projects and regular assignments from top-of- the-bill industry experts. And, to further nourish your enthusiasm we have a field trip to the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. So, in a nutshell: the ultimate user-design experience.