Perhaps inspired by their course material (user experience design aims at improving the usability, accessibility, and enjoyment of using a product to increase user satisfaction), Assistant Professor Jeff Huang of Brown University's Department of Computer Science (Brown CS) and the TAs for CSCI 1300 User Interfaces and User Experience have made significant changes to the course. They're hoping that adding a UI Camp and a series of roundtables led by user interface experts will not only add to student satisfaction but make for a better course.
UI Camp, to be held on September 10 and 11, is a workshop aimed at quickly providing attendees with skills to use UI design tools as well as practice at working in teams on a portfolio-suitable project. Students will come out of it being comfortable with turning wireframes and mockups into animated click-through interfaces. Amanda Fetterly, a User Experience (UX) Designer at Adobe, will be a guest speaker, and the event is open to all Brown and RISD students, but preference will be given to those taking the course. Students can sign up for either the Saturday or Sunday workshop here, and lunch is sponsored by Adobe and Balsamiq. To date, more than 200 Brown/RISD students have registered across the two days.
The roundtables with UX Visitors, which will run from September to November, accompany class topics such as pointing, models, and affordances, and are aimed at going beyond theory to show how UI and UX design is used in the field. Industry leaders, including Ha Phan of GoPro and Andrew Evans of IDEO, will give short talks and hold office hours with students, giving insights into their career paths, sharing skills, and illuminating how they make design decisions. There will be about half a dozen visitors in total, including UX Designers from Google, Microsoft, IBM Design, and more. Roundtables are again open to all Brown and RISD students.
"Learning these tools last year," says Head TA Lily George, "really helped me take what we were learning in class and put it into practice, which is definitely one of the most fun and exciting aspects of UI/UX in general. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the students this year will make."
For more information, please click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.