Educación en experiencia de usuario: algunas piezas faltantes

El diseño de experiencia de usuario ha adquirido un impulso enorme debido a que cada vez más empresas adoptan valores centrados en el diseño. Con el objetivo de satisfacer la creciente demanda de profesionales de experiencia de usuario en la industria, las escuelas de diseño de todo el mundo ahora ofrecen programas de primer nivel. Si bien adquirir procesos de diseño es sumamente importante, no es suficiente para preparar a un diseñador en ciernes que va a ingresar en la industria.

La versión completa de este artículo está sólo disponible en inglés

Malpani, R. (2015). Educación en experiencia de usuario: algunas piezas faltantes. User Experience Magazine, 15(4).
Retrieved from http://uxpamagazine.org/ux-education/?lang=es

6 Responses

  1. My perspective is that graduate programs in HCI tend to fit the bill of incoming students who already demonstrate an eagerness to learn and investigate more about what goes on BEYOND the design process, e.g. research, human behavior, maker movement, etc. In short, we’re nerds in our own way, and we don’t mind spending a year or two immersing ourselves in such an environment. In fact, no one with an incumbent penchant for design and design thinking needs a degree of any sort in HCI or UX in order to break into the field and “make it big.” With that said, our graduate program is still shaping a compromise between the professional component and the academic components of our curriculum.

    The issue becomes further segmented as people discuss undergraduate vs graduate programs (i.e. I believe HCI/UX is better as an undergraduate field of study due to its inherent interdisciplinary reach and its ability to fulfill the sundry liberal arts components that an undergraduate student ought to experience). I’d like to hear other people’s thoughts on this.

    If I were to restart my college education anew, I would have prescribed myself to an undergraduate program in HCI, as some programs currently strive towards under the auspices of the cognitive psychology and human factors folks. (Though this is not to say I didn’t appreciate my undergraduate degree in architecture)! After working in industry, it would have been ideal to have discovered what I wanted to specialize in as a long-term career. If it turned out to be UX design, I would choose a program that looks for students who appreciate depth and mastery, as opposed to being the jack-of-all trades, “unicorn” UX’er. As an aside, it’s my recommendation that budding UX’rs expose themselves to classes in the art and architecture departments.

    Anyways, thanks for posting your article. As a current student of the same program and specialization, I empathize with many of the realities and disconnects that exist between the curriculum and the UX field. I hope this gains traction in the academic circles.

    My favorite quote from your piece: “Perhaps one way of providing students with a more holistic experience of the design process would be having them work on projects that span multiple courses, each of which teaches different aspects of the process.”

    • Rohan dice:

      Hello Michael!

      Thanks for your response. Some of the points that you have mentioned are interesting, especially about the benefits of HCI as an undergraduate degree. You are absolutely correct, graduate HCI program at the University of Michigan is still shaping. The point of this reflection is only to help (in my own little way) the school shape the program better. What I am looking forward to is a positive discussion among faculty, students and industry folks around this topic.

      While it may be true that someone who has a passion for design, doesn’t need a degree to prove, in my opinion a degree is not just for you to prove your capability and break into the industry. Getting a formal training in any field of study is a way to learn more and dive deep into what you like. A job after that is only a side-effect of what you have learnt.

      All in all, really good points made by you.
      Thank you!

  2. Great read. Having pored through a draft version of the same much earlier – I knew what to expect. At a broad level I think your arguments are extremely well laid out and I agree with all the individual points you have made. A couple of things I thought were worth bringing out.

    1) I think its important to make a distinction between an ‘Information’ school and a ‘Design’ School. The time post graduation that I have spent in school doing academic research has alerted me to the same. I have come to believe that the goals of these schools are different. Take a look at https://www.cca.edu/academics/interaction-design/curriculum – and the background of the faculty who teach them. It definitely looks like they begin farther down in the design process than we did in school, focusing less on the human component of design (only 3 credits – the little I can see). In addition, it looks like its more industry focused. I’m wondering if these schools cater ‘more’ to the aforementioned points ? Information schools on the other hand are engaged in a continuous battle – trying to bridge the gap between academic research and the skills required by the students to make it in the industry. Overlapping aspects include (though not restricted) research methods – which is why Information Schools are generally focused on the human component of design and on methods to understand them. And come to think of it – they teach us Human-Computer Interaction of which UX is only a small component (There are a variety of components in one which dont fall in the latter and vice versa, take any of these diagrams from instance – https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*yh44VbuBKwkWIIxrtVgiIw.jpeg)

    2) Design Jams are a waste of time – for the most part (apart from the free food of-course). But if evaluated at a granular level, I think there are certain skills we can gain from it. For starters – to be able to think on your feet, since they are generally time bound and specify deliverables for the same duration – it prompts us to think a tad quickly (although no consideration is given to the user and his/her goals and that we begin way down the design process). In addition, there is a certain deal of team work involved – basic brainstorming, ideation, evaluating pro’s / con’s etc. These are valuable skills although the environment and the mood in these jams rarely prompt any learning.

    I have scrutinized two very fine points because I agree with the article as a whole. Great job.

    • Rohan dice:

      Thanks for sharing Vaishnav!
      Both of your points are extremely good findings from what you have experienced.

      1. To your first point, I completely agree with what you mean by the difference between a ‘design school’ and an ‘information school’. The program that you and I graduated in at the University of Michigan doesn’t have its roots in a pure ‘design school’ environment. Plus, as you say, it is more Human-Computer Interaction than UX. But then why is it that most students who graduate in HCI hunt for a UX job? I am not suggesting that the school should mold a program in a way that caters to the needs of industry. The larger idea behind the article is to rethink about the program in a more pragmatic way. And like Michael Nguyen mentioned in his comment, the HCI program (specifically at the University of Michigan) is evolving.

      2. With regards to ‘Design Jams’, yes one definitely learns to think quickly and brainstorm in a team setting. These have been my biggest takeaways from such competitions. Although I very strongly feel that designing for ‘people’ is much more meaningful than designing for an imaginary problem. What is ironic about these design exercises is, the very organizations who make students do a ‘User-less’ design exercise, are in fact trying to hire ‘User Experience’ designers.

      Great points Vaishnav! Your perspective made me, and I am sure all the others who have read the article and your comment, think even more deeply about aspects around UX education discussed thus far.

  3. Dr Gyles Morrison dice:

    Thank you for this. It was really insightful and I will keep it in my mind as I continue my early career in UX. I’m from a science background, having worked as a Doctor for 3 years, so imporatnce of documentation is not a foreign concept. However, its easy for me to disregard bad designs and not keep them, but as you have explained, it is useful to keep them.

    Thanks again

    • Rohan dice:

      Hello Dr. Gyles!
      I am glad you enjoyed the article and found it insightful.
      As far as discarding bad ideas/designs during the initial phase of design is concerned, I have had an experience where I regretted not having saved some of the discarded sketches. In a client presentation, on seeing the final proposal some of the client members asked questions – the answers to those were in the discarded sketches. While you can always say “we thought about it”, showing some of those sketches and backing them with reason why you discarded them, would make the case more powerful. I feel, when you are in the process of designing, it is very easy to forget to document as you go. But a conscious effort in saving all the artifacts can be very helpful in the long run!

      Would love to hear your experience of learning UX, given your background in Medicine and transition into design.

      Thanks!