Dr Catherine Caudwell: Design and empathy must work hand-in-hand for UX to succeed.

By May 23, 2018 No Comments

User Experience (UX) design is user-centered. Not solely focused on creating products that are usable; UX designers concentrate on other aspects of the user experience, such as pleasure, efficiency and fun, too. You have to understand user behaviour to create a successful design.

But it’s not just all ‘fluff’ and psychology. UX design also includes elements of graphic design, communication design, web design and development, user research, and other disciplines. And right now, there’s a great demand for UX designers*.

We asked our Master of User Experience Design (MUXD) Programme Director, Catherine Caudwell, about this exciting new design field and find out why our conversion Master programme is the best way to break into this fast growing profession.

Catherine Caudwell, Master of User Experience Design (MUXD) Programme Director at Wellington ICT Graduate School and Postgraduate Programme Director, Victoria University of Wellington.

Q. What is the role of a User Experience (UX) designer?

“As UX grows and becomes more established in workplaces, there are more tailored roles on offer, like UX researchers, who get to explore and understand what people want and need, and how they live their everyday lives. UX researchers also come up with ways to make this complex information understandable and digestible for others, both inside and outside of their company. It’s a creative and varied role where you get to go out into the world, meet people, and understand what makes them tick.”

Q. What makes a great UX designer?

“A great UX designer is someone who is curious, compassionate, creative, and can see patterns and insights in large amounts of information. At it’s core, UX is about understanding people, and to do that, you need to see the world from their perspective. Design and empathy must work hand-in-hand for UX to succeed.”

Q. Why the Wellington ICT Graduate School MUXD programme?

“Our programme is the best way to break into the UX profession because we work closely with industry to teach current UX theories and methods. They carry out real UX challenges with UX mentors and work through real-world projects, and reflect upon their practice in a supportive environment. As a conversion programme, we create opportunities for students to incorporate their backgrounds and existing skillsets into a UX mindset and practice.”

Q. Highlights of the MUXD programme?

“For me personally, the highlight of the programme is getting to see the students progress through real-world projects with industry mentors, and hear about the incredible work they are doing. Not only have they become consummate professionals, but also leaders and innovators who are helping to shape how organisations can work.”

*Absolute IT: The five hottest jobs in IT right now, May 2018.

Furby home robot.

Catherine Caudwell is Programme Director for Master of User Experience Design at Wellington ICT Graduate School. Her interdisciplinary research explores the cultural impact of technology, with a particular interest in how storytelling and narrative shape the meaning, development, and experience of design.

Catherine’s current research explores the emerging market of companion robots, and the complex social and cultural implications that designers must navigate, if they are to create meaningful relationships with them.

Click here to read more about Catherine’s research into how cute design influences our relationship with home robots.

About the Master of User Experience Design (MUXD)

The Master of User Experience Design is open to anyone with a Bachelor’s degree. The programme has been designed for people from non-information technology disciplines, who want to launch their career in the IX and UX design fields.

The MUXD is a 180-point Master’s programme, completed in three full-time trimesters over 12 months at Victoria University’s School of Design.

Next intake is June 2018 — July 2019.

There’s still time to apply for our July intake! Contact us to find out more about the Master of User Experience Design.

Gain a strong industry focused qualification and learn what it takes to pursue a professional career in the tech sector.

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