Interaction Design / Courses

Prospective majors should plan to take DES 166 in their freshmen year. During the sophomore year, all design majors (VCD, ID and IxD) enroll in a shared series of studio courses. Major selection occurs at the end of Sophomore Year, and is based upon performance in the Design Sophomore Studios.

Please note: With the exception of DES 166, DES 208, DES 383, DES 387, and DES 483 all Design courses are reserved for majors only during the regular school year. Non-majors and non-matriculated students are welcome during the summer quarter.


DES 166 Design Foundations

The rudiments of visual structure and problem solving in two and three-dimensional design. The course emphasizes design methodology and design processes with emphasis on the formal principles of composition and organization. These subjects are the foundation for all subsequent studio courses in the Division of Design. Required for application to all design majors (Visual Communication Design, Industrial Design, and Interaction Design).


DES 207 Design Drawing

In this course students engage in rigorous drawing activities to gain an understanding of the power and importance of drawing as a creative and communicative tool. Clear structuring of space as well as formal compositional elements and their intrinsic relationship to representational drawing are explored. At the end of the quarter, students are challenged to communicate design ideas through sketches from the ideation phase through to a final solution that fully describes the aesthetic, 3D spatial relationships, materiality, and emotive intents.

DES 208 Design History

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the ideas, events, and individuals that determined the design of information, objects, culture, and commerce across societies. Students examine the social, political and cultural contexts that shape graphic design and the ideologies and relationships of similar movement in art and architecture.

DES 209 Typography

In this course students focus on type as image and the relationship between visual and verbal language. Type terminology, typographic history, technical issues related to typography will be examined. Type hierarchy and scale are also studied.

DES 210 Color + Composition

This course will explore the fundamentals of color, form-making and composition within the field of design. Through a series of exercises, lectures, readings and applied projects, students will develop an understanding of how to use color and form to visualize ideas in a unique and compelling way.

DES 211 3-D Foundations

An introduction to the aesthetic fundamentals of 3-dimensional form. Lectures and studio exercises allow students to explore the articulation of form and space in both abstract and applied scenarios. Prepares design students for subsequent work in all division majors (Industrial Design, Interaction Design, and Visual Communication Design).

DES 212 Introduction To Interaction Design

Introduction to Human-computer Interaction, interface design, and interactive and time-based media for designers. Overview of foundational interaction design concepts such as human factors, perception, cognition, research techniques, and design methods for the design of interactions.


DES 381 Case Studies In Interaction Design

A survey of interactive products, systems, interfaces and technology (software and hardware), constraints and trajectories for future developments and how these frame Interaction Design and production. Workflow, planning and organization of prototyping in Interaction Design.

DES 383 Fundamentals Of Interaction Design

Key concepts of Interaction Design: Representation, explanations, expectations, conceptual models, feedback, and affordances. Investigates the relationship between representations, new visualization technologies, dynamic/animated content, and interaction patterns. Interaction Design process and methods.

DES 384 Information Visualization For Interaction Designers

Information visualization concepts and principles for interactive information systems, interactive instructions, and animated information graphics. Interaction concepts and patterns, representation, and interpretation strategies for sequential and time-based information.

DES 385 Design Innovation And Society

Impact of interaction design and interactive product/systems on everyday life, expert domains, and knowledge. Case study analyses of innovation and theoretical frameworks and critical discourse in the relationship between design, technology, and society.

DES 386 Visual Storytelling

Narrative, storyboarding, scenario development and visual, sequential, and interactive presentation of stories as vehicle for design communication and scenario development. Overview of workflow, organization, and production of visual storytelling. Narrative and character development, imaging, editing and design visualization for video prototyping of interaction design concepts.

DES 387 Physical Interaction Design

Quarter long intermediate IxD studio, project focus. Exploration of interactions mediated by interfaces, physical products, and environments. Design development of innovative interactions and novel interactive technologies and their integration into existing practices and future directions for interaction. Experimental focus.


DES 481 Field Studies: Design Research Techniques

Contextual research, observation techniques, and evaluation of design. Overview of the human-centered, participatory and collaborative design process. Focus on connecting insight from research with design ideation. Emphasis on methods for identifying prospective user populations, studying actual use and associated expectations, explanations, and needs of users as basis for design. Field research, data collection, evaluation, and presentation of research process and findings.

DES 483 Advanced Projects In Interaction Design

Quarter long design project addressing a complex, openly defined Interaction Design challenge in an everyday setting/consumer project/system context. Design process entails formulation of design scope, contextual research, observations of use, conceptual models, scenario development, conceptual design, prototyping, and evaluation, and design documentation conducted in interdisciplinary design teams.

DES 485 Senior/Degree Project In Interaction Design

A quarter long individual (or small team), advanced Interaction Design project. Students identify and develop a design project of their choice to demonstrate command of a repertoire of interaction design skills and knowledge that meet the criteria expected for graduation.

DES 488 Professional Practice

Portfolio and Interview preparation workshop.