Faculty Focus: Ben Woods on UX Design as People-Centered

Most of us think about user experience (UX) design as a tech-oriented field, where expert coders build flashy apps and web experiences that dazzle. But as Ben Woods, assistant professor in Kent State University’s online Master of Science in UX Design program, points out, UX is “really all about people. It’s not about the technology.”

Of course, coding is still an important part of the work, but Woods is describing an orientation to the practice of UX design. Beginning with people, rather than your desired aesthetic or functional result, in mind ensures that your product will really serve its intended need. Coding skills are layered onto this foundational approach.

Woods was a student in Kent State’s UX Design program before he was a professor, so he has a keen familiarity with its strengths. From his perspective, students must understand users in their lived environment—to see first how they use technologies and then to creatively solve users’ problems.

But the most important factor in determining who is a good fit for the online Master’s in UX Design is, as Woods puts it, “your passion, your work ethic and your curiosity.” Bring those to the table, and everything else will follow.

Watch the video in full above to hear the rest of Woods’ insights.

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