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Program Requirements

Note: University regulations apply to all students at Laurier. If there is any discrepancy between the program or progression requirements outlined on this page and those in the university's academic calendars, the academic calendars are the official sources of information. The information below is from the latest calendar, and you may be following progression requirements from an earlier calendar. Students are responsible for checking the appropriate calendar. Contact your program coordinator should you notice any discrepancies.

Honours BDes in User Experience Design

The Honours Bachelor of Design (BDes) in User Experience (UX) Design requires 20.0 credits, of which no more than 7.0 credits may be at the 100 level and at least 9.0 credits in the major must be at the senior level. All students in the program must complete successfully the Foundations curriculum: BF190, BF199, BF290, BF299.

Required Courses

The program consists of 11.5 credits of required UX courses:

  • UX100: Design Thinking I: Foundations
  • UX103/JN103: User Experience Design: an Introduction
  • UX200: Design Thinking II
  • UX201: Maker Lab I
  • UX204: Digital Technology Lab
  • UX211: Graphic Design Studio 1
  • UX212: Graphic Design Studio II
  • UX220: Web Design Lab I
  • UX230: Interaction Design I
  • JN222/MX222/CT222: Digital and Social Media: Critical Approaches
  • JN252/HR252: Designing Digital and Social Media
  • UX300: Information Design
  • UX301: Maker Lab II
  • UX303/JN303: Research in User Experience Design
  • UX306: Design of Immersive Experiences
  • UX307: Trends in UX
  • UX308: Mobile Application Design Lab
  • UX320: Web Design Lab II
  • UX330: Interaction Design II
  • DD350: Project Management
  • UX400*: Capstone Design Project (1.0 credit)
  • UX401: Design for Social Innovation

Degree Program Electives

An additional 8.5 credits toward the degree total of 20.0 credits. All students in the program must complete successfully the Foundations curriculum: BF190, BF199, BF290, BF299.

Program Regulations

  1. Students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 5.00 (C) overall and 5.00 (C) in the User Experience Design program to progress until the end of Year 2 (after the completion of 10.0 credits). Progression from Year 3 (after completion of 15.0 credits) to Year 4 requires a cumulative GPA of 5.00 overall (C) and an Honours GPA of 7.00 (B-) in the User Experience Design program. Students who do not meet Honours progression requirements are permitted to proceed to Year 4 only at the discretion of the User Experience Design Program Co-ordinator.
  2. Students who do not meet progression requirements will be placed in the General Bachelor of Arts without Designation. Students who do not meet Honours progression requirements after completion of 15.0 credits and who meet graduation requirements for the General Bachelor of Arts Degree without Designation may choose to graduate from the Faculty of Liberal Arts with the General Bachelor of Arts Degree without Designation.
  3. Students must achieve a 5.00 (C) overall and an Honours GPA of 7.00 (B-) in the User Experience Design program in order to graduate with the Honours Bachelor of Design in User Experience Design degree.
  4. A student who has completed the course/program requirements of the User Experience Design Degree program, but who has not obtained the necessary GPA, may elect to receive a General Bachelor of Arts without Designation from the Faculty of Liberal Arts.

Notes

As a full-time program, it is anticipated that students will take 4 to 5 courses per term and be able to complete the degree in eight to ten terms, with one additional term for the optional co-op placement (to be completed in the summer following Year 2 or Year 3). 

Foundations

How Foundations Works with the User Experience Design Program

UX design has long played an important role in society as it both informs and is informed by cultural and social structures, economies, politics, development and environments. It touches individuals on a daily basis and encompasses a variety of disciplines, from architecture, psychology, communication, engineering, contemporary studies, and anthropology. UX design requires a critical understanding of the multiple contexts (e.g. political, economic, societal and environmental) that shape users’ experiences. UX designers must be able to conduct primary and secondary research in order to design solutions to real world problems, and they must be able to communicate their ideas clearly to a wide range of users, stakeholders and the media.

Because the Foundations courses will help you understand how others see the world and how they communicate their positions, it will help you to create better designs and justify what you design to others. For these reasons, Foundations courses are part of your program requirements. You cannot graduate without finishing the four Foundations courses.

The 100-level courses prepare you for understanding the multiple contexts of use and gives you tools for explaining to others and the media how your designs engage contemporary society. The 200-level courses prepare you for conducting research, supporting your arguments with logic and reasoning, and enable you to communicate complex ideas more effectively. UX Design students must take BF190 and BF199 in their first year, and BF290 and BF299 no later than their second year.

BF190 and BF199: Thinking Critically About the World

BF190 introduces key ideas that shape the way modern people understand themselves and make sense of their world, while BF199 looks at ways that contemporary people diagnose social problems and articulate responses to them. UX designers seek to create something new for the world by combining creativity, strategic design thinking, and social awareness. In order to succeed as a UX designer, you need to have the intellectual tools to think critically about the world and understand how cultural, societal, economic, political and environmental factors contribute to users’ experiences. And you will need to be able to communicate and defend the importance of your ideas and your work to a wide range of users, stakeholders and the media. These two courses will provide intellectual context to help you understand and explain the intervention you want your designs to make, and enable you to tackle controversial issues with your designs.

BF290 and BF299: Building Your Research, Logic and Reasoning Skills

Conducting research is an essential component of any UX designer’s practice. Understanding how to find background information and discover what’s already been published about a topic, as well as being able to assess the quality of published materials is extremely important. As well, UX designers must be able to present and defend their ideas based on solid logic and reasoning. As a UX designer you may be asked to present compelling arguments in both written and oral form. BF290 and BF299 will not only help to take your UX research and communication to the next level, but they also help to prepare you for the academic requirements of upper level courses.

BF290 will help you build the research skills needed to conduct background analysis of a topic or problem prior to designing. This will help to ensure that you aren’t reinventing the wheel and will help you tap into existing academic research that can inspire you to more innovative designs. You will learn how to find, select and cite reliable resources and avoid the trap of basing the justification for your designs on “junk” science or unsupported hunches.

BF299 will help you learn how to explain and defend your ideas. You will learn how to organize your thoughts and structure your arguments using logic and reasoning. This will allow you to create different justifications for the designs you create so that you are prepared to engage with those who are skeptical. You can’t just rely upon making good designs — if someone doesn’t believe what you have created has value, they won’t even look at it. The Foundations courses will expose you to skills that can help you explain and justify the importance of your game to the media, to academia and to investors or employers, helping you turn skeptics into allies and doubters into backers.

Contact Us:

Jennifer Burt, Academic Program Assistant

E: jennburt@wlu.ca