Since 2019, I have been teaching at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information, in the Master of Information program. The faculty is home to a small but keen community of information practitioners and scholars in fields such as museum studies, library science, archives and records management, culture & technology, information systems design, and user experienc design.
The User Experience Design concentration of the MI program is designed to prepare emerging professionals in UX with a two-year curriculum of theory, studio practice, co-operative employment, and portfolio building. As part of this concentration, I taught two key courses:
Spring 2019 (2 x 45 students)
Spring 2020 (2 x 65 students)
This is a required second-year MI course for the UXD concentration in which students apply their understanding of user-centred design and the design process to creating and iterating on user interfaces. From initial ideation and layout, through design system adherence, to final polish, design critique, and accessibility, students engage in weekly practice workshops and produce high-fidelity interface prototypes.
I taught this course in a technology-enhanced active learning (TEAL) classroom that allows students to share and present their work in small groups, building students' critique skills alongside their design abilities. Alongside high fidelity considerations such as colour selection, typography, and design system templates, students practice critical assessment, usability, and working with industry standard tools such as Figma.
Fall 2019 (32 students)
This course examines the particular roles of User Experience Design (UXD) and User Experience Research (UXR) in video games and the video games industry, and highlights how core UX research methods can be adapted to this unique domain in which some friction is necessary for engagement.
Throughout the course, students analyze and design interfaces for video games and conduct usability, appreciation, and challenge testing using industry-standard user research tools. Inclusivity, accessibility, and making video games for everyone is a recurring theme that reflects the current state of the industry.
I developed this course from scratch as a special topics elective. It has since been integrated into the curriculum as a regular course for the UXD concentration due to positive student feedback and high interest. This course gives students the opportunity to practice research protocols alongside the unique considerations of designing a user experience that does not remove intended, engaging challenge. Students engage in weekly design workshops and complete individual and group assignments in gameplay observation, HUD design, and heuristic evaluation.