How people’s experiences, emotions, values and goals intersect with technology is at the core of UXD. We’ll teach you how to design useful products and services based on how users behave. You could be the next bright engineer who creates an app that makes algebra fun for school kids by tapping into the latest virtual reality technology. To help ideas like these pop into your head, year one will encourage you to focus on the user and his/her interaction with technology.
In year two, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the design process by considering different stakeholders of the product. Year three will take a closer look at the social impact of technology before you concluding the year with your internship and graduation project.
The first-year is the foundation (propaedeutic) year.
Don’t worry, while there’ll be a lot of introductory courses in the first year you won’t be buried in books. From day one on UXD you’ll communicate with real companies, like Philips, IKEA and Google, on how your ground-breaking ideas can change the way people use daily products. It’s key in the first year to get an understanding of the users and their interaction with technology. To accompany the professional experience that you’ll gain from working with these assignment providers, you’ll learn the basics, including 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 your ideas digitally, you’ll 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.
|Fieldtrip to LInz, Ars Electronica and intercultural skills|
|Introduction to UX Design|
|Research for design I|
|Design and Creativity|
|Programming: Basics and digital skills|
|Interaction Design I|
|Research for design|
|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|
By paying close attention to end users’ technology habits, you can turn your serious ideas into viable business plans. This will be one of emphases in year two. You’ll understand the social systems that are at the core of your ideas and the shared context between users and other stakeholders that makes technological designs such a success. You’ll come to appreciate that tastes differ and that international tastes differ even more. The international classroom at UXD offers you a unique opportunity to experience first-hand how different cultures experience technology. It will also allow you to better cater the world’s product needs. Furthermore, in the first two modules of year two, you can follow a minor programme, exchange, or go on an internship at an international company, like Capgemini, Intel or Apple.
In year three, you’ll implement all the aspects of UXD during your graduation project. During this project, you’ll work closely with existing companies. You could examine the market potential for one of your ideas at an established company like BOSCH, 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 starts with in-depth courses that expand on the complexity of UXD. We explore the relevance and impact of your ideas on society. You’ll 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 when you kick-start your career as a digital pioneer.
During year two you will get the chance to specialise as a UX designer by following a minor on UXD, at another THUAS faculty, or even another university. You can apply for Photography in Focus, which covers a brief history of photography complemented by practical photography master classes. Or follow an Internet Marketing Tools minor, which teaches you how to help companies reach their target audiences online. You can also take the Game Development and Simulation minor, which 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’ll need for prototyping, research and programming. It’s a digital playground, where you’ll pitch your ideas and attend brainstorms - just like you would if you were to design a product or service for companies like FedEx or Microsoft. Plus, the UXD programme strikes an excellent balance between theory, group projects and regular assignments from top industry experts. To further fuel your enthusiasm, we plan a field trip to the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. So, in a nutshell, you get ‘the ultimate user-design experience’.
If needed, a personal supervisor can help you keep track of your study progress and guide your career and personal development. Furthermore, a coaching assistant - usually a (recent) graduate - can also tutor you. He/she can assist you with the day‐to‐day practicalities of studying UXD, for example, by improving your time management skills, or finding the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions.
If you haven’t acquired the basics needed to continue the degree programme of your choice, you will have a hard time completing it successfully. To make sure that you have these basics, you will have to meet an academic progress standard during your first year as a student (the foundation year). If you have earned at least 50 of the 60 credits (or, if relevant, have satisfied a qualitative requirement), the Examination Board will give you a positive binding study advice to continue your degree programme. In most cases, if you earn fewer than 50 credits, you will receive a Negative Binding Study Advice (NBSA) and you will have to leave the degree programme.
But the Examination Board will always consider personal circumstances. These could include illness or participating in elite sports: personal conditions that might have kept you from meeting the required academic standard. In such cases, the Examination Board can postpone giving its study advice. This means that you can continue your degree programme for the time being and that your study advice will be issued later, possibly with additional conditions imposed.
It is important, however, that you inform the Examination Board immediately of any personal conditions that might apply to you.
In conclusion: every student is responsible for his or her own academic progress. For this reason, make sure to contact your academic career coach early on if things are not going well. Read all the rules and requirements for the binding study advice in Chapter 7 of the Programme and Examination Regulations (PER) for your degree programme.