Interaction Design Education

getstarted

#1

Hello everyone!
I’m Roberto, a 22 y/o guy from the South of Italy and I’ve just graduated in Computer Science in my hometown of Bari, but I do not want to be a programmer at all.

I’ve always been a creative person and I’d like to use my creativity to become a UX/UI designer or Web designer, but I do not know where to start to improve my skills and learn new ones.

I think that in the USA I’ll have way more chances to find a job (well paid) in this field, and I’d really love to come to America sooner or later.
In the last weeks I’ve searched for the best postgraduate degree in Interaction Design here in Italy or Europe, however since now I didn’t find any fine solution: for the most of the courses in EU the application deadlines have expired, or they require the IELTS English certification (which I do not have, at the moment, since I didn’t have time to do a test in the past months, but it’s in my plans) and I just have a CEFR Level B2; furthermore I do not have a portfolio (often required for the admission to these master courses), not useful during my CS Bachelor’s degree.
All these obstacles disorient me a little bit.

Some of the master courses I’ve found are:

The questions

Being new to UX I really do not know where to start or which studies should I choose, so I have a couple of questions for you all, way more experienced than me in this field :grinning:

  1. Does someone know something about these or any other good Interaction/UX Design Master degrees?

  2. Is a Master degree useful/required to have a brilliant career in this field or an Intensive/Advanced User Experience course should be enough (and which one?)?

As you can read I’m a little bit confused at the moment, but at the same time I’m very motivated to become a great designer, and I’m ready to leave my town and my country to study and work as a designer (as long as I can afford it). I think this choice would make me much happier than being a software developer. :sweat_smile:

P.S. Forgive me for some language mistakes, I’m still working on this.

Thank you.

Rob


#2

Hi Rob,

Instead of a master’s degree program I’d suggest instead you look into some of the UX specific training programs or “bootcamps”. Your computer science degree will still be a huge asset to you in your career because most UX people don’t really have in-depth programming skills although employers hunt for that combination which puts you in a good position.

In UX yes you will need a portfolio too with say, 3 project examples as a start.


#3

No stress. I have complete respect for anyone that speaks more than 1 language. Welcome. :slight_smile:

This topic which talks about the relevance of UX degrees might be of interest to you.


#4

Hey @SteveCrow, thanks a lot for your reply! :grinning:

Where can I start to build my own portfolio? Are there tutorials and tools?

Thank you @HAWK! @Lukcha’s answers in this topic are very thoroughs! :frowning:
What do you know about UX here in Italy? :flag_it: :smiley:


#5

hi @ranierirob
UX in Italy is a discipline with strong roots.
The ergonomy is an important discipline teached in our universities, especially for the industrial design environment.

Our Country was among the first to enact a law regarding the web apps accessibility (lex 4/2004 - https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legge_Stanca).
I strongly suggest to start with this one to better understand how the UX topics are handled in Italy.


#6

I know there are many articles on this and yes you can find templates for various web content management systems that are designed for portfolios although most of the time they are talking about fine art or photography portfolios, not specifically for UX. The best thing is just to google UX portfolio and see what others are doing. I can tell you that you want to focus on telling the story of the development, not just posting final images which don’t mean much out of context. Employers want to see your process not just the final result.

A portfolio is a very personal project, there are only perhaps guidelines, not rules, when it comes to creating them. Not so long ago, in fact, a portfolio was an actual physical thing that you carried to an interview like a binder…now it’s basically all digital.

Steve


#7

Here you go: Some Advice on Building a Portfolio


#8

Thanks a lot @HAWK and @SteveCrow for your advices! :grinning:

Yes @dopamino, I already know something about this law. I successfully passed my “Human-Computer Interaction” exam during my Computer Science degree, and I learned what the term “usability” means, how important accessibility is (Stanca Act and WCAG 2.0), the basics of human-centered design, prototyping, the Gestalt laws and the dialogue principles (ISO 9241); during this course - as a part of a project - I also realised an evaluation report of an instituitional website.

What I do not know is which master course or intensive course here in Italy (or in Europe) can give me a strong preparation in this field. :smile:


#9

hi @ranierirob
what I read from your presentation, looks like, you have a technical background. I wonder if you’ve already in mind in which UX segment you want to specialise and if you really want to be a UXers. Said that, my advice is to begin “touching” with your own hands the areas of interest of the UX (accessibility, research, development interfaces etc), and evaluating which one you like more. What you will learn now in a master and/or in a specialisation course would definitely be very interesting, the challenge will come when you have to put into practice what you have learned. Within a real production environment with stakeholders, timelines and constraints. I did not understand if you are have already a job experience, in this case try to implement UX pieces in your daily life and speak with your manager about your desire/determination to implement the UX topics into your process. After some experiences definitely you will have a clearer vision of UX and you will choose without any problems (and without any borders) the course/s that best suits your needs.

Good luck :wink: