Build a New UX College Degree

client: Milwaukee School of Engineering
duration: 9 months
role: Industry Advisor turned Adjunct Faculty
post-its used: 300+

summary

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) recognized the importance and value of a User Experience (UX) degree. They needed help from industry professionals to craft a completely new degree, from the ground up.

I worked with MSOE on their overall degree plan, helped with class sequencing, wrote class descriptions and even created brand new classes.

  • Stakeholder Requirement Gathering
  • Information Architecture & Card Sorting
  • Collaborative Design Sessions
  • Copywriting
Overview of the MSOE UX Degree

process

Requirements Gathering

The head of the new UX degree was our primary stakeholder, but we still had other stakeholders within and outside of campus. As a team, we conducted competitive analysis and benchmarked other degrees in Milwaukee and UX degrees globally. We interviewed UX professionals, industry professionals, faculty and students. MSOE has a board of regents and VP of academics who had to also be consulted.

  • Student and Stakeholder Interviews
  • Competitor Research (other universities)
Planning for MSOE

Planning out classes

Information Architecture & Content Strategy

Designing a course curriculum is a huge exercise in Information Architecture (IA). We had to determine what concepts we wanted to teach. From there, we sorted the concepts into class blocks. Classes then had to be sorted into years to create a logical flow of information. Each term’s class load had to be compared, to ensure we created a roughly equal workload year over year. Finally, we had to look at similar classes throughout the campus to make sure there was no overlap in material.

We accomplished this giant IA feat through a lot of collaborative design sessions, hundreds of post it notes, several whiteboards and a lot of spreadsheets.

  • Card Sorts
  • Content Strategy
  • Collaborative Working Sessions

Writing Classes

All new and modified classes needed descriptions and course learning objectives. We split the classes based on expertise and availability. As new classes are taught for the first time, the syllabus and lecture materials will be written.

Slides from a Psychology of Design Lecture

Slides from Psychology of Design