Experiences / monthly prompts

If I had to pick a tech concentration: An outsider’s take on UXD

By Caitlin MacLeod

If I couldn’t do my current concentrations, C&T and CIPS, I am quite certain that I would want to be doing UXD.

Full disclosure: I still am not really sure what “Knowledge Media Design” means. I do know that when I was applying to the MI, barely even sure what a “Masters of Information” even meant, KMD sounded very, very computer-y and so wasn’t even on my radar as a possibility.

But my research interests have developed since I started this degree a year ago, and from time to time I find myself thinking about how useful UXD/KMD would be. Whereas I came into this program so focused on policy that I almost went to law school, I have settled into a passion for understanding how the affordances of communication platforms shape the relationships and identity constructions that they support.  UXD still seems awfully computer-y, but now that seems like something I could use.

My understanding is that UXD is something like HCI (human-computer interaction) plus tech skills (and if any of my friends and colleagues in UXD/KMD care to differ or elaborate, please do!).  I have ended up doing far more reading in HCI than I ever would have predicted over a year ago – I have a feeling my research is going to end up being somewhere along the lines of “political economy of human-computer interaction” – and having not only the credential but the practical know-how to back it up would probably be very useful.

I am in my second year of CIPS and C&T, which seem to be the most theoretical, least practical concentrations. I don’t regret doing either one – and there’s no turning back now either way!


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