Apply Your Creativity to Develop High-Tech Solutions
Lebanon Valley College’s Interaction Design (IXD) major will prepare you for a career that imaginatively uses 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 through 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 design solutions for them
- Explore the creative use of programming, coding, databases, and human-computer interaction
- 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
What Makes the IXD Major at LVC So Special?
- As an interaction design 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. You’ll also work with consumer prototyping tools (e.g. fabrication/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.
A cornerstone of the interaction design 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.
Motion Capture Animation
Check out this motion capture animation proof of concept. After recording the movements of a subject, we imported this motion data into a skeleton. Next step: applying the skin/mesh. This is just one example of the exciting ways you can use digital media technology at LVC.
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 production, music 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. Others compete as Esports varsity athletes.
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, 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 interaction design and physical computing much easier, enabling students to learn CAD/CAM, to readily and easily fabricate objects, to control them 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 the smart objects that will form the Internet of Things. The maker space creates an environment that supports and incubates innovation, and knowledge sharing, and affords innovative and technology-focused entrepreneurship.
Run by the 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 designs and projects. They also conduct research on the sites, apps, and digital products of local businesses. Students even have published scholarship on usability.
The studio lounge, Clyde A. Lynch 119, is an exclusive area for Design, Media, & Technology students. Digital Communications and Interaction Design majors can come together to plan projects, collaborate with peers, and utilize available resources such as our vinyl cutter. Surrounded by student work, portfolios from students of prior years, lounge seating, and walls made of erasable whiteboards, students in the department benefit significantly from this collaborative space and get to know their classmates in this personalized setting.
"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."