In our latest New Course Discourse feature, we chat to Programme Director Ben Stopher to find out more about the new BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design course.
So Ben, can you explain a little bit about the course and its aims?
Well this new course is highly digital and its design lead, so really the core of the course is about putting information design and interface design in this more digital context. There are three key specialisms that make up the course, UX and UI, data visualisation and graphic and information design.
If you’ve ever want to make websites, or build apps and data-visualisations, or even just something screen based and visual then this is the course for you.
Gephi network graph, Ben Stopher, 2015.
What can students expect from the course in terms of structure?
So in the first year you do graphic design, typography and information visualisation. You also do graphic design animation coding for the web, which is a really valuable skill to develop.
In year two you start to work in the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design studio, then you do interactive data visualisation and a major industry project. In both of these units we visit studios and also get live briefs from industry.
Why is this course unique?
It’s highly industry aligned and highly digital. We’ve offered this very specific area because there is definitely a gap. No one else explicitly teaches UX and UI design and no one else explicitly teaches interactive based visualisation so those three things are really unique to this course.
Gesture capture data visualisation, Ben Stopher, 2015.
In terms of careers and futures, where could this course lead its students?
You can be a UX designer, you can be a UI designer, basically anyone who wants to work with how things look on screen; phone apps, websites, any kind of digital interactive content. There’s tons and tons of work for people with those sorts of skills.
One of the main selling points of this course is that it is highly industry aligned, and designers that have those kind of digital skills – that can work with data – are going to be highly sought after.
The industry really struggles to find designers with that digital skill set – and so that’s partly why we developed this course.
Introduction to Infographics Workshop, 2015.
So what skills or qualifications are you going to be looking for in students?
We take students from foundation but we would also consider students straight from A level, if they know that they want to do digital design then we will look at their portfolios. Students will have similar qualities to applicants for Graphic Media Design, but also an awareness of what UX and UI is.
If you are an A level student who knows what those things are then you are highly likely to be a person that would be relevant for us to look at. I don’t expect schools to have a clue about the nuance of this course, but it’s about if the applicant has enough presence of mind to know what these things are, and thinks they might want to do them, then I’ll look at anything.
LCC student with digital work.
Any last words?
It’s a super future relevant digital course. Graduates are going to be highly sort after because it isn’t a massive course, there are only 25 places. Students will get a brand new studio and a whole new team of tutors.
Find out more about BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design.
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