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Visual Design for User Experience

Visual Design for User Experience provides an introduction to user-interface design from a design principles perspective.

Course Overview: 

This immersive course will introduce students to some of the fundamental principles, practices, and processes of visual design in the context of sound user experience disciplines. By approaching the subject from a business and brand perspective, students explore and experience the merits of visual design, with a clear understanding of its real-world applications.


The chief aim of the course is to increase students’ understanding of the anatomy of successful visual design, and how it informs and shapes user experiences. Through a series of interactive in-class design exercises, case studies, and instruction, students confront principles of visual design such as unity, space, and balance - learning what makes for a successfully composed design, whether in print, digital, or physical spaces. With a deepened understanding of design elements like color, typography, and imagery, students will practice how to use those insights to tell a compelling and intentional visual story.


In addition, the course provides the opportunity and the platform for students to develop and strengthen the crucial skill of storytelling. With it, they will pitch design solutions that demonstrate how design objectives are derived from and help further brand and business objectives.


Great design can be a strategic business advantage, because it has the power to impact behavior, inspire change, and harness enduring user engagement. In this course, students will explore that idea, amongst others, and come away with a greater sense of how to participate in it. 


Who Should Attend: 

This program is designed for business analysts, researchers, software engineers, project managers, programmers, designers, managers, and IT professionals involved in the design and development of software, products, and services. It assumes no prior background in psychology, sociology, human factors, or the disciplines that form the basis for the course content.

Acquired Skills: 

This course is designed to provide students in the program with a background in design principles that are normally taught in a graphics design program as individual courses.

Learn how these design principles are applied to interaction design using human motor performance and human perception principles to guide this application. Acquire basic understanding of visual composition and human performance and how it is essential to the design of computer-based interfaces. In addition, this course provides the studio setup and training in creativity which is rarely taught outside of design schools, but which is essential to User Experience Design.

Course Outline: 
Lecture Topic
1 Introduction: the basic principles of visual interface design - clarity, elegance, simplicity, transparency.
2 Space: less is more, symmetry/asymmetry.
3 Organizing Forms in Space: the Western aesthetic, Gestalt psychology; applying Gestalt principles to digital user interfaces.
4 Organizing Forms in Space: unity/variety, dominance and hierarchy.
5 Organizing Forms in Space: layout grids; exercises in layout of web and computer interfaces.
6 Color theory for digital displays: physics, physiology and psychology.
7 Color: emotional responses and color harmony; exercises in creating color palettes for web pages.
8 Typography: terminology and font families.
9 Typography: legibility and readability; human-computer interaction studies.
10 Typography: type as imagery; exercises.
11 Images: imagery as context - cultural/emotional/informational.
12 Images: imagery as content – illustrative.
13 Images: icons and image sources; exercises in creating icons and/or logos for computer interfaces.
14 Project work
15 Project Presentations

All offerings of this course: