User Experience Design (UXD) concentration (formerly Knowledge Media Design)

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About User Experience Design

Concentration liaison: Prof. Olivier St-Cyr

User experience (UX) is concerned with a user’s total experience when interacting with digital systems. It applies several traditional facets of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and more recent developments such as experiential and affective design. To create successful and positive user experiences, UX designers must consider ways in which humans interact with technology by studying typical users, context of uses, interaction techniques and resulting emotions, and UX assessment metrics.

The User Experience Design (UXD) concentration aims to provide students with the necessary core knowledge and skills to become marketable UX designers. It recognizes the demand for professionals who can envision, design, and evaluate outstanding user experiences for digital products. Through a mix of theoretical and hands-on approaches, students will work collaboratively and intensively on a variety of design problems ranging from traditional digital systems (e.g., desktop, website, mobile) to recent advances in the field of HCI (e.g., 3D user interfaces, wearables, tangible interfaces, social platforms). A particular emphasis will be given to the factors influencing the overall UX when interacting with digital systems. Interdisciplinary design thinking and knowledge translation through a User-Centred Design (UCD) approach are stressed.

Project-based design-oriented classes will allow students to gain transferable insights into complex problems, work with experts in other fields, and learn how to communicate across disciplines. Students will engage with each stage of the UXD process – brainstorming, data gathering, analysis, designing, prototyping, and evaluation – in order to produce research projects that can lead to published papers, conference presentations, thesis projects, competition winners, new products and services, and start-up businesses.

Students will:

  • Develop technical, conceptual, and critical skills as they approach the analysis, design, evaluation, and criticism of user experience
  • Acquire the ability to critically evaluate the overall user experiences resulting from interacting with digital systems
  • Be able to integrate knowledge from different disciplines, as they generate comprehensive UX solutions to problems that relate to the design of digital and interactive systems
  • Work collaboratively on an interdisciplinary team, or independently, to envision, create, and implement UX strategies for systems that relate to the design of digital and interactive systems
  • Design and implement solutions in the digital and interactive system domains that demonstrate socially responsible, ethical, and culturally sensitive practices


Concentration requirements

Two core quarter courses (0.5 FCE total):

Five required half courses (2.5 FCEs) (Effective 2016):

  1. KMD1001H Theory and Methods in Knowledge Media Design
  2. INF2169H User-Centred Information Systems Development
  3. INF2170H Information Architecture
  4. INF2191H User Interface Design
  5. INF2192H Representing UX

Students who enrolled in the KMD concentration (prior to 2016) have the option of completing under the old set of required courses, as follows (not available to students enrolled in 2016 and after; all students must follow one set of requirements or the other, and cannot mix and match):

Four required courses (2.5 FCEs) (Pre-2016):

  1. KMD1001H  Theory and Methods in Knowledge Media Design
  2. KMD1002H  Applications in Knowledge Media
  3. INF2169H/KMD2001H  Human-Centred Design
  4. INF1601Y    Knowledge Media Design Major Project (1 FCE)

KMD (UXD) and C&T Concentration Changes - Effective September 2016

Two year course sequence (PDF format):

Suggested elective courses:

  • INF1003H    Information Systems, Services and Design
  • INF1230H    Management of Information Organizations
  • INF1325H    Online Information Retrieval
  • INF1340H    Introduction to Information Systems
  • INF1341H    System Analysis and Process Innovation
  • INF1342H    System Requirements and Architectural Design
  • INF1343H    Data Modeling and Database Design
  • INF1501H    Culture & Technology I
  • INF1502H    Culture & Technology II
  • INF2040H    Project Management
  • INF2110H    Design and Evaluation of Information Literacy Programs
  • INF2122H    Digital Preservation and Curation
  • INF2125H    Information and Culture in a Global Context
  • INF2134H    Business Information Resources
  • INF2135H    Health Sciences Information Resources
  • INF2149H    Administrative Decision-Making in Information Organizations
  • INF2165H    Social Issues in Information and Communication Technologies
  • INF2167H    Community Informatics
  • INF2176H    Information Management in Organizations-Models and Platforms
  • INF2177H    Information Management and Systems
  • INF2181H    Information Policy, Regulation and Law
  • INF2183H    Knowledge Management and Systems
  • INF2240H    Political Economy and Cultural Studies of Information
  • INF2241H    Critical Making
  • INF2242H    Studying Information and Knowledge Practices
  • INF2243H    Critical Histories of Information and Communication Technologies
  • INF2330H    Information Ethnography
  • INF2331H    The Future of the Book
  • INF2332H    Information Behaviour
  • KMD1002H  Applications in Knowledge Media
  • KMD2002H  Technologies for Knowledge Media
  • KMD2003H  Knowledge Media & Learning
  • KMD2004H  Knowledge Media, Culture & Society
  • KMD3000H  Readings in Knowledge Media 
  • MSL2325H   Museums and New Media Practice

other UofT graduate courses

  • CSC2514H Human-Computer Interaction
  • MHI2004H Human Factors and Change Management in Heatlh Sciences
  • MIE523H Engineering Psychology and Human Performance
  • MIE1402H Experimental Methods in Human Factors Research
  • MIE1411H Design of Work Places
  • MIE1414H Human Factors in Transportation