A Necessary Shift: Engaging Coding In Graphic Design Education
In current graphic design practice, projects that start with a detailed brief and end with the delivery of a static, substrate-bound outcome are no longer the norm. A shift has taken place toward the design of experiences where designers are called upon to develop services, branding, and interactive outcomes. In order to equip learners to function and lead in graphic design practice, design education must also shift to facilitate learning that enables “useful, usable, and desirable” design (Norman, 2010; Sanders, 1992). Starting in fall 2013, curricular changes were made to bring a “UUD” focus to courses in the undergraduate graphic design program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. This paper presents the programmatic structure that was developed, shares findings from its operation, and offers recommendations for the future of experience design in education and practice.
This paper explains the decision-making process taken when choosing to shift programmatic goals to embrace a useful, usable, desirable model that supports the design of experience-focused outcomes. Evaluation of the effects of this curricular shift is based on data collected via student performance assessments, student interviews, and analysis of design outcomes, focus group discussions, and observations. Strengths and weaknesses of implemented courses, technologies and assignments are reviewed based on research findings. The analysis of the data collected results in recommendations for future curricular development where usefulness and usability are held as key learning objectives equal to quality aesthetic. It supports the implementation of research and coding language instruction into graphic design education in order to promote the future of the discipline where experiences are of increasing importance.