Professor Mathew Samuel assists a digital communications student with technology

Interaction Design

Apply Your Creativity to Develop High-Tech Solutions

Lebanon Valley College’s Interaction Design (IXD) major will prepare you for a career that requires imaginative use of design and technology to improve the human experience. Advertising and marketing agencies, businesses, educational institutions, science and healthcare organizations, and more look for skilled interaction designers who can create and build innovative products and services cross-functional teams. 

Through courses in design, communications, electronics, data, programming, research and development, project management—and interdisciplinary studio classes, a year-long hands-on capstone project, and internships that pull it all together—you’ll be prepared for jobs in STEM + Arts fields. 

  • Design, build and test prototypes
  • Learn to work with clients, research and understand their needs, and strategically ideate solutions for them
  • Explore the creative use of programming, coding, databases, and human-computer interaction
  • Know how to produce wearables and smart devices and learn to visualize the data they produce
  • Design websites and graphics that deliver excellent user experiences and generate revenue
  • Gain experience with project management and teamwork in a close-knit community

The LVC Maker Space

LVC’s Maker Space provides students with open access to experiment with digital fabrication equipment such as a 45-watt laser cutter, multiple 3D printers, digital scanners, and other tools and equipment that support the needs of students in interaction design. Digital fabrication equipment/maker technologies have made entry into the fields of interaction design and physical computing much easier, enabling students to learn CAD/CAM, to readily and easily fabricate objects that they can then control with microprocessors, to gather data through input and sensors embedded in these objects, and to collect and make this data available on the Internet-paving the way for students to design and develop those smart objects that will form the Internet of Things. The maker space creates an environment that supports and incubates innovation, knowledge sharing, and affords innovative and technology-focused entrepreneurship.

 

Usability Lab

Run by LVC's Department of Design, Media, and Technology, the LVC Lab provides space for students to learn and run usability research. Funded by a grant from AT&T, the LVC Usability Lab helps students research their own designs, projects, conducting research on the sites and apps and digital products of local businesses. Students even have published scholarship on usability.

 

What Makes the IXD Major at LVC So Special?

  • As an IXD major at LVC, you’ll use technologies and methodologies that include 3D modeling, technical drawing, CAD, virtual reality and 360 videos, videography, projection, physical fabrication, electronics, interactive design, and programming, along with consumer prototyping tools (e.g. 3D printing, raspberry Pis, and Arduinos) to design and create smart wearables or smart networked objects that connect to the Internet of Things, or to design experiences for live events and/or exhibition spaces. 
  • Get the full attention of faculty throughout the program—a benefit you won't get at larger schools
  • Work closely with faculty to develop career plans, create portfolios and résumés, and develop and showcase course assignments to find internships and prepare for the job market.
  • Gain professional experience. Class projects often involve working with and solving problems for local and regional clients, such as The Hershey Company and Armstrong World Industries.

Cross-Campus Opportunities

IXD majors  collaborate with digital communications majors to create innovative applications, interfaces, and experiences; the College's Wig & Buckle Theater Company to enhance plays and musicals; audio & music productionmusic business, and our student-run VALE Music Group to design concerts and live events; or Athletic Training students to create wearables that can gather and track data on student-athletes.

Human-centered Design

A cornerstone of the IXD program is a firm foundation in human-centered design (also known as design thinking). Human-centered design focuses on understanding the wants and needs of individuals. Whether it's designing a new app, creating an experiential advertising campaign, designing a smart object or wearable, or building a new website, everything starts with learning about the user.

Have you ever pushed a door instead of pulled it? Clicked on a tab on a website and found information that you didn't expect to find? How about flipped the wrong light switch? These issues occur because the designer did not center their design around the humans who use these objects. We'll teach you how to be a human-centered designer and leader.

"IXD 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