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Kent State University User Experience Design Blog

Wondering whether a master’s degree in UX design (UXD) is relevant to your career? We’ll explore what a master’s degree covers, and why it might, or might not benefit your career.
As more of us use computers and machines daily for everything from work to shopping and social interactions, user experience (UX) is more critical than ever before. Today there are more opportunities than ever to get a degree that will help you accelerate your UX career. One of those is a master of science (MS) in user experience design or UXD.
A UX master's degree is one of the best ways to prepare for a career in user interface (UI) or UX design. Getting a UX design master's degree online allows you the flexibility of studying where you already live while giving you access to the cutting-edge education you'll need to succeed in the field.
Page layout design, also called page composition, combines eye-pleasing aesthetics with compelling text to communicate a message. Learn how the following design elements help create an effective page layout and why it matters to your users.
Successful user experience design (UXD) is ultimately determined by successful user interaction with a company's system, app, product, service and even with the company itself. To achieve this success, UX designers must serve as advocates for users' needs throughout each design stage.
Alison Hayne’s first app design project had 6,000 users. When Haynes enrolled in the online Master’s in UX Design, she knew years as a self-employed artist had given her enough entrepreneurial skills to be successful in the field. What she didn’t know was how quickly after graduation she’d be...
At first glance, Chello Elmi might seem like an unusual fit for a UXD program. She studied psychology as an undergraduate, but when it came time to earn her master’s, all she knew was she didn’t want to continue in a therapeutic or mental health field.So, she started searching online for potential...
December 18, 2020
If user experience (UX) design centers on shaping the experience of using a product, and most of that experience involves some interaction between the user and the product, then what is interaction design, exactly?The sheer volume of sites (482 million) that results from a basic web search suggests that this is an easy question to answer, but don’t be deceived.The two overlapping...
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the approach that suggests that website design and development should enable each site to respond automatically to a user’s behavior and environment—that is, whether that person is using a laptop, iPad, Android phone or other device, viewing in portrait or landscape mode, and so on.1 In the case of public displays, recent work also...
User Experience (UX) designers are highly sought after in a wide array of industries, from computer and software companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to popular websites such as LinkedIn, Google and Amazon. You can enjoy a highly paid career with an investment company, major retailer or entertainment firm.A glance at Glassdoor’s Top Companies Hiring for User Experience Designer Jobs...
Kent State User Experience Design (UXD) Instructor Kelsey Pytlik has an undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master’s degree in User Experience Design from Kent State University. After her early career with creative agencies and e-commerce retailers, she...
User experience design (UXD) lets you use your creativity, research skills and technological expertise to shape how others view the world. If you want to excel at building your UX resume, be prepared to impress employers with new ways to solve problems. You also need a skill set that’s grounded in UX fundamentals, yet shows synergistic capability. Put another way, compelling...
A decade or two ago, if someone had said they were looking for user experience (UX) design jobs, they may have been met with blank stares. But yesterday’s graphic designers have become some of today’s most celebrated UX designers. So what will tomorrow’s UX designers become? Design has evolved from a mostly stylistic career to a field that solves complex technological and social problems.
The definition of "product designer" as a professional role can be a bit ambiguous. Job titles naturally change over the years as technology and culture change, and because creative professionals such as designers typically want to stand from their peers.The title "product designer" is one that has risen...
If you're wondering how to become a UX designer after years working in another field, Kent State University alum Brian Parsons, MS '18, has one piece of advice: "Take on any roles you can with a UX-related title in them, even if it's volunteering."
Kent State online Master of Science in User Experience Design (UXD) student Kendra Jobes, MS '19 candidate, has always wanted her work to make an impact on people. When her undergraduate degree in design led to an initial user experience job after college, she quickly learned that she enjoyed developing and using the artistic and technical skill set required for a UX role.
With a projected 10-year job growth rate of over 20 percent,1 the field of user experience (UX) design is exploding right now, and a graduate-level UX degree can help you get into the fast lane of this ever-expanding career track. If you’re forward thinking, curious about UX design trends and someone who thrives in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, you just might have what it takes to be a successful UX designer—at least according to Ben Woods, a UXD professional with nearly two decades of experience and a faculty member at Kent State University.
Part of finding the perfect UX design career is building an awesome portfolio. Below, we’ve provided five easy steps to help you develop a portfolio that is sure to turn heads, helping to give you and your career the opportunity to excel.
As user experience (UX) designers consider their long-term career goals, some assume that management is the obvious next step. It's true that the best managers usually have a background in the field they manage. But management also requires skills for which designers aren’t often trained, including leadership, time management, budgeting and interpersonal skills. Not every talented designer is a good fit as a manager, but for the right person, UX design management can be an immensely rewarding and satisfying career path
September 05, 2018
An increased emphasis on interaction with digital platforms in the contemporary world means new career paths for creatives working in digital fields—especially those whose skills lend themselves to user experience (UX) design and development. If you’re a graphic designer thinking about a career change, consider making the switch to UX design.
Good user experience (UX) is good business. The average American internet user spends nearly 24 hours per week on the internet, and best practices in UX design have become crucial not only to success online, but also in the physical world, where online brand and service experiences carry over into other real-time interactions.1 But since the internet is where we largely work, study, socialize and shop today, implementing proven UX design principles can make the difference between successfully engaging users and losing them to competing sites and services.
Nobody likes a 404 page. It’s never the page you were trying to find, and it’s usually not your fault that you ended up there. Standard error messages can be inscrutable, and the typically austere 404 page itself can disconnect the user from the overall site experience, which can sour them to your site and even your brand. So how do you create a 404 page that is dynamic, that easily redirects the user back to the content they want and that’s even a little bit fun?
User experience design (UXD) is a strategic design approach that attempts to guide product or platform users through a meaningful and easy-to-navigate experience. While designers can use many methods to help their users navigate a given platform, how users will actually choose to interact remains outside UX designers’ control. Therefore, much of UXD inherently deals with the prediction of human behavior; this can be thought of as the psychology of UX design.
Understanding the Principles of Good UX Navigation When a website is excellently designed, we tend not to pay attention to the reasons why it’s so great—we simply enjoy it. On the other hand, if a website is difficult to use or frustrating, we’re more likely to take note of exactly what is making our experience so bad. This phenomenon has a name: It’s called the negativity bias, and simply put, it’s the sociological explanation for why we’re more likely to notice a negative experience than a positive one.1 It turns out that negative experiences require more thought for us to process, as they take us away from the experience we expected and demand a shift or adjustment in our thinking and action.2 Unsurprisingly, these moments are more likely to stick with us than a moment that went perfectly according to plan.
User Experience Design to the Rescue! On Saturday, January 13, 2018, a terrifying message populated the screens of over a million smartphones in Honolulu, Hawaii. It read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” As the world now knows, this turned out to be a false alarm. An investigation into the incident found that the message was sent by mistake when a state employee hit the wrong button during an internal drill.
Exploring the Ways Design Interacts With People Today’s interactive designers are tasked with consistently achieving something more than aesthetically striking creative. In today’s marketplace, digital media is king—and the evolving need for digital marketing is far more complex than that of more traditional marketing channels. Designers must consider the different journeys being undertaken by those for whom they are designing. They must design with the knowledge that 30 percent of all commerce is conducted on a mobile phone and let the platform a person may be using inform their work.1
The Mutual Benefits of Content Strategy and UX Design User experience design (UXD) is a strategic undertaking. At minimum, it requires a fundamental understanding of digital sociology and the principles of storytelling and website design. While UX designers are often exceptionally intelligent people, there are always ways in which they can improve their overall output.
The experience one has when interacting with technology is fundamentally human. Our digital lives—from navigating a tablet to paying at a bank kiosk—have become so ubiquitous, interwoven and essential to the way we interact with the world and others, that it’s almost hard to remember what life was like before these technologies existed. Simply put, we depend on technology to move our lives forward. It plays a critical role in our individual storylines as well as our collective narrative.
Faculty Focus: Andrew Shipka on Designing Online UX Courses When it comes to studying user experience (UX) design online, there's almost no greater source of knowledge than Andrew Shipka. In 2007, Andrew was a graduate student and assistant for the Library and Information Science department, and after earning his Master of Science in UX Design from Kent State University on campus, he started working as an educational technologist and adjunct professor for Kent State, helping to build and teach UX design courses for the online master's program.
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."
The Best Path for Your UX Career Today, when a person explains that they work as a user experience (UX) designer, chances are that more people understand what that means than they would have a decade earlier.1 As technology and innovation become more and more interwoven into the fabric of business, UX design is becoming an increasingly ubiquitous function.
Websites, eCommerce sites, email campaigns, eReaders, mobile apps and more—if you’ve used a screen or a keyboard lately, you’ve touched the work of someone with a job in user experience design (UXD).
To improve your student experience, 2016 alumnus Nick G. has provided seven tips below on how you can optimize your time in Kent State University’s online Master of Science in User Experience Design (UXD) program.
What Made You Choose Kent State University’s Online Master of Science in User Experience Design (Uxd) Program? At one of my previous jobs, I met another student in Kent State’s Master’s in User Experience Design (UXD) program. I had always seen “UX designer” positions but never knew exactly what it was. The more I talked to him, the more I thought about how I might like to break into the field as a creative yet very pragmatic person.
A Master’s Program that Sets You Up for UX Success How Did You Feel at the Start of the Online Program Vs. At the End? What Were Your Expectations, and Were They Met, Exceeded or Changed? When I started Kent State University’s UX master’s program, I was excited about the opportunity to advance my education but apprehensive, because I had no UX experience prior to my enrollment. My expectations were to gain a general understanding of UX, develop a foundation for UX practices and be able to build a portfolio that I could use professionally in search for a career in UX.
Kent State, UX Design and Career Opportunities How Did You Feel at the Start of the Online Program Vs. At the End? What Were Your Expectations, and Were They Met, Exceeded or Changed? When I was considering the Kent State program, I read some UX message boards where posters warned that having a master’s degree in UX would somehow make me less marketable, but now, having finished, the opposite has been true.
Examining the Skills Needed for UX Design Like many, you may be interested in user experience design (UXD) as a concept. Yet, you may be in a different field and unable to see a clear connection of how your career could ever transition into UX design.
As a 2016 graduate of Kent State University’s online user experience design (UXD) master’s program, Chad C. was kind enough to share a few bits of advice and wisdom from his experience that will likely enhance and improve yours.
So you’re a UXD professional tasked with building a website for a client that will not only draw people in, but keep them clicking around on the digital property for as long as possible. You’re aware that the Internet has caused people to consume vast amounts of information simultaneously, and a byproduct of this is that your site visitors have extremely short attention spans.
What makes someone a repeat visitor to a website or motivates them to share it with their networks via social channels? There isn't one correct answer to either of these questions, because there is a multi-layered, strategic approach to attracting and converting people into frequent visitors. Generally speaking, the best way to achieve this goal is to provide the site audience with valuable, relevant content.
IIncorporating video and a well-written, frequently updated blog can help attract the attention of consumers and potentially convert them into viable leads. Having a website that leverages social media integration can also help raise visibility and boost traffic. These days, there is no shortage of...
February 25, 2016
It’s no secret that we live in a digital world. The Internet has forever shifted the way that we listen to music, watch videos, read the news and connect with people from all over the world. When it comes to marketing and advertising, brands often try to make an impact with consumers using a variety of media, while hosting them all on a single website.
Most people considering a career in UXD may not fully understand the difference between user interface vs. user experience, but it’s a critical piece of of knowledge to understand. Ryan Spencer, a UX professional, explains these concepts in the most simple, yet matter-of-fact way possible.
Since you made it to this post, you’ve most likely heard of user experience design (UXD). You may even have a clear understanding of what it means already. For those who don’t, however, a UX designer is a person who works to make a platform or product as user-friendly, enjoyable and useful as possible for end users. This involves seamlessly integrating digital systems and technology into both traditional products and new, innovative products.
Nick Volkert’s path to becoming a user experience design professional isn’t much different from those currently working in the field. Many went to school and studied subjects that took them on a different career path and later down the line, they eventually found their way into UXD.
As more consumer-facing brands look for ways to keep their current customers while implementing measures to help attract new ones, creating a positive user experience has been at the forefront of any new initiatives. Unfortunately, unless something goes wrong, the importance of the user experience goes unnoticed.
From the technology in your car and computer to the technology in your phone and television, user experience design (UXD) is an integral component of our daily lives. As society continues to rely more and more on digital experiences, there will continue to be an increase in UX designer jobs, as businesses need well-trained experts who understand the effect of user interactions within our digital world.
Have you ever considered a career as a User Experience Designer (UXD)? UXD is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States. Check out these facts about a career as a UXD professional!
Whenever you visit a website on a computer or smartphone, you’re probably not thinking about the layout and usability of it. As a consumer, you generally just want a site that works and navigates you quickly to the buttons that you click on the page. But the fact is that this pleasurable online experience was architected by an individual who understands exactly what people want when they’re online.
November 12, 2015
User experience design (UXD) is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States, according to Business Insider. It is a discipline that combines a number of factors that impact our daily lives, whether we realize it or not.