User Experience (UX) Research and Design / Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) / Social Computing

Human-computer interaction (HCI) comprises an almost limitless range of possibilities, as nearly every aspect of modern life requires interacting with computers in some way: in our cars, our homes, our jobs and our entertainment. Designing for optimal user experiences can result in an elegant website interface, an effective search engine that returns desired results quickly, or an app that encourages healthy eating. User experience comes into play when people connect via online communities like Facebook as well, or when organizations use social media to connect with stakeholders.

Students of user experience research/design are prepared to address human needs with technology by determining how useful systems function and by designing interfaces that consider the context of the individual and/or organization. They learn about features of social computing technologies and gain skills in developing applications that may be used in recommender systems, reputation systems, prediction markets, social network analysis, online communities, and computer-supported cooperative work.

Coursework combines the theories of social and behavioral sciences, informatics, computer science, and design with practical experience.

Mastery courses:

Pathways:

  • User experience designer/Interaction designer
  • User experience researcher/Usability specialist/Usability engineer
  • Application designer & developer/Web developer/Mobile developer
  • ICT and development consultant/Non-profit ICT specialist/Civic technologist