Students interested in learning how to design creative and easy-to-use interfaces for mobile apps and websites may wish to pursue a master's degree in user experience design. These degree programs are available on-campus and online and help students build a portfolio of their work to prepare for a future career in the field. Learn more about these degree programs here.
Course Information for Master's Degree Programs in User Experience Design
Master's degree programs in user experience design (UXD) are most commonly available as Master of Arts and Master of Science programs that cover a wide range of topics, including design, production, programming and even the psychology behind design, and typically involve a lot of hands-on projects. Specific courses may vary from school to school, but you can find out about some of the common courses for these programs below.
User Experience Design Principles
User experience design principles are typically introductory courses that cover the main concepts and framework for UXD. Students usually complete group projects and discuss how UXD fits into the development process and business operations. Other topics students explore may include different design methods for various fields, investment costing and how to find resources for the field.
Courses in usability commonly focus on the different ways to evaluate the usability of different interfaces. Students may be trained in evaluation methods like eye-tracking analysis, heuristic evaluation, usability testing and more. Students often work through case studies to practice with the various evaluation methods, as well as to figure out possible solutions to optimize the interactive products.
Research/Learning in User Experience
Some of these courses may focus on a particular area of UXD, such as its application to learning environments, but all usually focus on research methods for human-centered design. Students incorporate concepts from human development and the ways people learn to come up with innovative interfaces. Students also learn the different research methods used throughout the design process, such as surveys and interviews.
Courses in interface design may be broken up into more specific courses that focus on particular aspects of interface design, such as visual design or how to incorporate information into an interface through information architecture. In general, these courses allow students to explore and experiment with different design processes and methods to create a variety of interfaces. Students experiment with navigation, organization, imagery, color, typography and more.
As the name implies, courses in content strategy focus on how to create the written content for a platform. Students learn how to identify user needs for content and manage content on the platform. These courses may also discuss topics in governance models, measurement analytics and content audits.
Common Entrance Requirements
Unlike many master's degree programs, master's programs in user experience design usually do not require students to take the GRE. However, some programs may have a minimum GPA requirement ranging anywhere from a 2.5 to a 3.0. Some programs may also encourage interested students to talk or meet with an advisor to ask questions and learn if the school and program is a good fit. Applicants to these programs typically need to fill out the appropriate applications and include their official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and a resume or CV.
Master's degree programs in user experience design are available in different formats and cover a variety of topics, but all of them typically involve project work. Students in the program are able to add these projects to their professional portfolio to use in their career.