User Interface Design Degree Programs

Do you love the idea of creating a human-friendly experience for technology and computer users? Check out the requirements for entering a user interface design program, including admissions and course offerings!

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User Interface Design Degree Information

In a user interface (UI) design bachelor's degree program, students learn the processes involved in creating friendly and successful interactions between humans and machines. The goal of a UI design program is to arm students with knowledge that helps them make a technology user's experience as approachable as possible. Histories of digital media are introduced, along with programming skills in languages like C++ and Java.

With the rising use of motion capture and virtual reality, UI design innovations are becoming more prominent by the day. The degree field is relatively new, and schools may house UI design in majors like integrated digital media or human-computer interaction.

User Interface Design Degree Admissions Requirements

Those who plan to apply to a UI design program should have their transcripts from other institutions ready for submission. Standardized test scores from exams like the SAT and ACT must be sent as well. Any students who transfer from other higher institutions will need to be sure that their existing courses will be accepted as credits. An existing knowledge of computer programming will be beneficial for a degree in UI design. Artistic portfolio submission is typically optional but may improve admission odds for competitive programs.

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User Interface Design Degree Coursework

Once you begin a degree program in UI design, you will take courses similar to the ones listed below:

Interaction Design Studio

This introductory courses gives students an overview of interaction design. Students learn to generate concepts and research ideas in individual and group settings. Prototyping, wireframing, and storyboarding are all covered. Problems in reap design are addressed.

Programming in Usable Interfaces

In this programming-intensive course, students come to understand the implementation of interactive ideas. Students will create and test interactive prototypes and construct functional programs. User testing is covered, along with design reviews based on testing.

Mobile Application Development

This course shows students how to develop applications for download and/or purchase in the Android and iOS markets. Students can also expect to learn about the history of computing on mobile devices.

Human/Computer Interaction

Principles of human/computer interaction (HCI) and their applications are covered in this course. The importance of the user and the experience of interaction are the focal points of this class. The course requires students to critique the usability of a given system and determine how well it fulfills the needs of users.

Web Development

Students in this course learn the process of development for websites. Sequential assignments are given to help students craft a site that looks professional. The course emphasizes usability and interactivity during the design process.

Storytelling in Interactive Games

In this course, students learn about the nature of narrative within an interactive environment. Experimental literature and films are used to demonstrate the capability of games and narrative databases. Texts used in the course cover the theory used in authorship and readership, as well as multiple points of view.

Research Methods

In this course, students learn to perform research that contributes to the field of UI design. The focus is on the proper methods to conduct research. Students will ensure that priority is given to user goals and task needs when performing research and utilizing sources.

How to Choose a User Interface Design Degree

User interface design programs may confer fine arts or science degrees. Schools offering the science degree may also offer an accelerated five-year bachelor's/master's track.

Potential UI design students will want to choose the a university with access to modern technology and operating systems. Instructors and professors who evolve their lesson plans as technological standards improve will benefit students far more than static, default-lesson templates. Some schools are connected with industry professionals and organizations and offer study abroad opportunities.

Career Options for User Interface Design Degrees

Graduates of UI design programs can find employment as software developers. In 2016, the median salary for software development professionals was $102,280 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The same organization reports job growth of 24% through 2016, a much faster rate than the national average. Below, you can find some other career opportunities for those with a degree in UI design:

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