Phillip Simon, director of the interactive media graduate program at Quinnipiac University.

Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications is expanding its master of science in interactive media program to include a concentration in user experience design (UXD).

The new curriculum will be available in the fall 2015 semester.

Phillip Simon, director of the interactive media graduate program, said that in an age where electronic devices serve as our primary means for gathering and sharing information, user experience has become a critical element in the way we interact with these devices. Websites, mobile applications, and other software need to be able to deliver an experience that is both interactive and intuitive. UXD is about researching the needs of the user and creating interfaces to support those needs in an elegant and easy-to-use design.

“User experience design brings together different disciplines – like psychology, cognitive research, and graphic design – to try to understand how people use things, websites and mobile devices,” Simon said. “The goal is to thoughtfully design applications and websites in order to make the user experience easy, rich, and engaging.”

Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications, said the new concentration will offer students several new opportunities.

“The concentration’s emphasis on interactive screen experiences such as websites, mobile apps and other consumer software will give our students some of the important skills now being demanded by the industry,” Kamlet said. “As a professionally-oriented school, our mission is to provide our students – be they graduate or undergraduate students – with the skills and knowledge they will need to compete in the rapidly changing communications world.”

The UXD courses will cover topics including interface design, user research, usability testing, information architecture, content strategy and application prototyping.

“We are always trying to determine the best way to enrich the program,” Simon said. “User experience design is a growing and exciting field. We are fortunate to have an excellent design faculty developing and supporting the curriculum.”

The master of science in interactive media offers concentrations in user experience design, multimedia production and social media, as well as an option to create a customized concentration. The 36-credit program is offered fully online.

Posted by Chris

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