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What is: User Experience Design?

Interested in how designers, users and corporations make, shape and control digital objects or platforms? Oliver introduces you to the field of user experience design.

User experience design covers a wide range of digital practices, including user experience (UX), user interface (UI) design and information visualisation. This doesn’t mean that everything stays on screen though — there’s plenty of opportunities for digital tools and technologies to be integrated with the world around us.

Digital platforms such as social media, apps and websites play a large role in our day-to-day life. Studying this subject area will equip you with an understanding of how these platforms are designed and developed.

“Throughout the course you will be introduced to the technical and design skills necessary to work with digital materials, designing with rules or systems rather than creating singular images or artefacts (objects).”

You will also be asked to think about the implications of digital media, both personal — such as addiction to social media — and in wider society, such as the spread of fake news.

Below are some examples of student projects embracing and exploring visual mistakes, experimenting with virtual reality, visualising the spread of misinformation online, building tools for dancers and choreographers to communicate and considering the way technology is discussed and presented.

 

Michelle Chong Jia Hui

Credit: ‘Natural Misprint’, Michelle Chong Jia Hui.
Michelle’s project is about learning to embrace imperfections. It’s inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi that suggests that accidental blemishes are attractive too. Beginning with extensive hands-on research into the experience of physical printing processes, Michelle developed an installation that allows users to use custom physical tools to create unique digital prints.

See more of Michelle’s work her website

 

Antoine Hacheme

Credit: Still from ‘Fear Immersion’, Antoine Hacheme.
A virtual reality (VR) experience about the fear of being watched, Antoine’s work mixes VR with real world elements such as physical objects and wind, carefully synchronised with the virtual happenings, to immerse the viewer in his narrative. The project developed from extensive technical experimentation and a thoughtful, personal research process.

See more of Antoine’s work on his website
Meet Antoine via his LCC Student Voices video

 

Shengwen Lin

Credit: ‘Journey of a Fake Jet’, Shengwen Lin.
Tasked with visualising online hate speech in South Sudan, exchange student Shengwen chose to track a single image of a jet that had clearly been edited. He designed and built a scrollable timeline to allow the user to view the image’s distribution. In doing so, he produced a tool that told the story of an image and presented some of the complexities and ambiguities that come with digital media.

Fabio Amelia

Credit: ‘DanceScore’, Fabio Amelia.
Fabio’s project is a system to aid professional dancers and choreographers in creating representations of their dance. ‘DanceScore’ captures the dancer’s movements and generates a printed sheet that combines a music score and a dance score. Working closely with a dancer to regularly test and improve the system, Fabio designed and developed the project using the Microsoft Kinect and processing programming language.

See more of Fabio’s work on his website

 

David Carvalho

Credit: ‘The Order of the Dataist’, David Carvalho.
David’s project speculates on the cult-like nature of discussions around contemporary technology. ‘The Order of the Dataist’ draws a link between narcissistic cult leaders and opaque, often biased, artificial intelligence. Designing the artefacts of a fictional cult — including an altar, flag, and a series of sacred 3D-printed relics — the project draws attention to issues around data privacy, social networks and the possible impacts of unregulated technological control.

See more of David’s work on his website

Looking for more inspiration?

Go deeper into the world of user experience design with Oliver’s Pinterest board

Interested in designing digital tools and imagining new uses for technologies?

BA (Hons) User Experience Design