Design From Iceland

a new view

In the Spring of 2022, the Academy of Art University made an exciting announcement concerning its tech departments. The School of Web Design & New Media is known as IXd, the School of Interaction & UI/UX Design.

However, the program’s co-directors, Fred McHale and Andrea Pimentel, pointed out that changing the name does not mean changing the curriculum. It was just a straightforward way to explain what learners are doing and continue to do in the program.

McHale explained the change of the name was to catch up with what the learners in the department were already doing for a while. The students in the program get hired as UI/UX designers and product designers. Previously, the name School of Web Design & New Media did not align with what the students were being taught, what former students were currently doing, and the things students were learning in the classroom of Academy of Art University.

McHale and Pimentel expressed how the Academy of Art University department managed to keep growing for 14 years since it started.

Fred McHale defined UI/IX. He described UX as the psychological portion of communicating or understanding your users. In contrast, the UI portion utilizes the information found in UX to design a visual object. Therefore he sums up UI/UX as enhancing users’ experience through graphic design. There are several design processes ranging from user-centered design and design thinking to understand the consumers of the product.

Andrea Pimentel sees UI/UX to have several diverse components. Companies are searching for ways to solve the problems of their potential customers and thus trying to create products for them. He believes UI/UX focuses on the component of making it intuitive and usable. They want to make a product that can be useful mainly to users and make their lives easier while at it.

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