There is no such thing as an interaction design degree

talk – 20 min | Feb 4 – 9:00

IxD degree programs are incredibly diverse. This prevents potential employers from understanding the skills a graduate might have, leading them to ignore academic qualifications entirely when hiring designers.

Hundreds of students graduate each year to take the thousands of jobs available in our relatively young field. However, voices within both industry and academia contend that IxD education is inadequately preparing students for their contribution in the workforce. They typically say that education is not keeping up with the rapid changes in interaction patterns and technologies that emerge.

Are they correct? Could our design programs all be wrong? Surely these broad complaints simply cannot apply to all interaction design education. There must be some consensus within degree-granting institutions for what should be taught, right?

This session will present research collected from dozens of design degree programs comparing what they require, what they teach, how they structure their pedagogy. Turns out, there is very little consensus for what should be taught.

This makes it difficult for a prospective student to compare schools. Even worse, it prevents potential employers from understanding what kind of skills a graduate might have, leading them to ignore academic qualifications entirely when hiring designers.

Adam Dunford

Adam Dunford
inUse Experience, Gothenburg, Sweden

About the speaker

Adam Dunford

Adam Dunford

inUse Experience, Gothenburg, Sweden

I’m a UX designer and information architect by trade, a project manager and director by experience, and a teacher by mentality. Indeed, my most fulfilling results have come only after a client comprehends why a design decision has been made and a user learns how to interact with a product or service to accomplish their goals.

After moving to Sweden a few years ago to get a master’s degree in interaction design, I currently work alongside excellent colleagues at inUse, bringing ethical, thoughtful, and innovative service and interaction design to clients in healthcare, automotive, government, and technology.

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