Professor Mathew Samuel assists a digital communications student with technology

About The Program

The Interaction and Experience Design major at LVC, or I.Ex.D., teaches students how to combine the physical and digital to make meaningful experiences or easy to use smart objects and wearables. And the major couldn't be timelier —

  • Interaction Design: By 2025, billions of devices are expected to be connected to the Internet. Not computers or devices hosting webpages and apps, but everyday objects such as refrigerators, milk cartons, and shoes...everything can possibly be connected to the Internet. To gauge the expected size of the Internet of Things, consider that the IP address system, the system that governs Internet addresses, was recently upgraded to IP 6, in part to address this forecasted increase in demand for IP addresses, making available 340 undecillion IP addresses, or 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible addresses on the Internet.i 
  • Experience Design: The Economy has shifted from emphasizing commodities, to goods, to services, and finally to experiences. Chuck-E-Cheese, Uber, Disney, and National Amusements are all examples of companies that now sell experiences rather than just goods or services. And this sector is growing. Take, for instance, the example of music. Artists used to sell their music as CDs or downloads. Now, artists make their money by selling experiences—touring and concerts. I.Ex.D. teaches students how to create live events for businesses, museums, music acts, and pure entertainment. 

I.Ex.D. students will learn to use technologies and methodologies (3D modeling, technical drawing, CAD, virtual reality and 360 videos, videography, projection, physical fabrication, electronics, interactive design, and programming) and consumer prototyping tools (e.g. 3D printing, raspberry pi, Arduino, LittleBits) to design and create smart wearables or smart networked objects that connect to the Internet of Things (IOT), or to design experiences for live events and/or exhibition spaces. 

FCC. “Internet Protocol Version 6: IPv6 for Consumers”—https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/Internet-protocol-version-6-ipv6-consumers

 

Concentrations

The interdisciplinary curriculum grounds students in those emerging areas that inform interaction and experience design—live event design, digital media, programming and electronics, and rapid prototyping and fabrication. Students will design and develop prototypes of wearables for athletic training, smart objects, or toys that are now networked (Internet of Things), and will use those rapid prototyping technologies and open source hardware and software that have made the Maker Movement possible. The core of the major teaches students how to use human centered design methods and usability testing to make their designs, projects, or experiences more effective.

Students pursuing our Interaction and Experience Design degree will choose one of two concentrations: 1) experience design and 2) interaction design. Because of the nature of both fields, both concentrations will deal with design, programming, digital media, gathering and using data through user input and sensors, electronics/hardware, and designing how people would interact with both digital and physical objects or spaces.  

Due to the considerable overlap between the two concentrations, both might create similar projects although the scope of the application might differ. For instance, interaction design students, operating on the micro-level, might create Wi-Fi enabled bracelets that can be sequenced to emit colors or create some type of visual output. Such a bracelet could be a smart wearable, but an experience design student, operating on the macro-level, might consider how to use these bracelets to create an experience in a 40,000-person arena, where wearing one could be part of a live event/experience that is synchronized with the music being played. Non-I.EX.D. majors are encouraged to enroll in classes in both areas with permission from the instructor. The major's two concentrations (interaction design and experience design) capitalizes on three seismic shifts in the U.S. economy:

  1. Maker technologies allowing anyone to design and fabricate networked and physical objects,
  2. the economy moving from a predominately service-oriented economy to an experience-oriented economy, and
  3. the emergence of the Internet of Things. 

Real-World Training as an Undergrad

I.Ex.D.'s curriculum is designed to engage interdepartmental and transdisciplinary collaboration. I.Ex.D. will partner closely with other majors on campus. I.Ex.D. majors will collaborate with digital communications majors to create innovative applications, interfaces, and experiences; the College's Wig and Buckle Theater Company to enhance plays and musicals; audio & music production, music business, and student run VALE records to design concerts and live events; or athletic training students to create wearables that can gather and track data on student-athletes. Its studio classes provide hands-on learning and résumé-building experiences. 

Why LVC? 

  • The foundation for I.Ex.D. is based on the College's long-established and successful digital communications major.
  • The distinctive curriculum is designed to create world-ready students who will go on to work in emerging fields and use exciting and evolving technologies. 
  • I.Ex.D. is designed to provide collaborative experiences between students in several academic departments, enabling majors to develop soft-skills desired by employers. 
  • I.Ex.D. is based on building stronger relationships with local/regional external partners who have expressed an interest in collaborating on the curriculum, designing innovative internships and/or apprenticeship programs, and employing our graduates. 

"I.Ex.D. perfectly combines the concepts of mechanical expertise and creativity into one. This major is for students who wish to be on the cutting edge of technology and developing the next big thing. The professors are just as eager to teach as the students are to learn."

Ben Witmer '19