Teaching Interaction Design

Teaching the Advanced Interaction Design unit at the University of Technology Sydney.

Background

Between July 2021 and October 2022, I worked to facilitate the Advanced Interaction Design unit for both undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Technology Sydney. The course centres around exploring the concept of user experience (UX) in Interaction design.

Each of the 12-week courses began by preparing students with conceptual tools to help them talk about user experience and start thinking about design. It then progresses, allowing the student to practice these skills in a group design project, following a human-centred design approach to design both useful and usable technologies to support positive user experiences.

Teaching

The start of the unit was theory-based. Therefore I was presenting and reinforcing concepts to the class covered in supplementary lectures each week. I would run each of these early classes as workshops allowing students to put this knowledge into practice. To finish up the class, I would facilitate guided class discussions to enable the students to discuss and debate the content covered.

As the class progressed, the focus shifted to a practical product design focus, covering topics such as user research techniques, sketching, storyboarding, prototyping and evaluation approaches. Alongside this, students would form groups and undertake user research to understand how they can support more meaningful commuting experiences.

To complete the semester, I would consult with each group to provide guidance and support as they begin to iterate their prototypes, from feedback gathered to user testing and user experience evaluations.

What I Learnt

Teaching the Advanced Interaction Design unit at the University of Technology Sydney was a fun and rewarding opportunity.

I not only deepened my understanding of UX but learnt the following skills.

  • How to successfully design and facilitate workshops for collaboration
  • The ability to clearly explain complex UX concepts, for beginner audiences
  • How to provide constructive feedback to support junior designers
  • Techniques to make students feel comfortable showcasing their work