Interaction Design, User Experience, Usability … these terms are increasingly trendy and important in software development. They are my favorite part of software development and my favorite part of what we do at AgilityFeat.
I started my career as a software developer, but quickly realized that what I really love is understanding the client and their customers, and helping clients bring their idea to life in a way that their customers or users will love. This is the essence of good UX and what I am passionate about.
I was fortunate to be able to find an excellent Masters program at Carnegie Mellon in Human Computer Interaction, and that’s how I turned my passion into a new career for me. Now I’m very excited to be involved with a similar program right here in Costa Rica.
This year the Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica has started a new Masters in Interaction Design. It is a multidisciplinary masters that has attracted 14 brilliant students from all kinds of backgrounds: computer science, psychology, design, and even anthropology. With an international faculty just as varied as its students, we are hoping to change the Interaction Design (IxD) scene in Costa Rica. We are creating professionals capable of creating gratifying and satisfying interactions and experiences.
I will have the privilege of teaching a class in August that will be focused on Evaluating Product Usability and Product Refinement. Usability testing is often cumbersome and time consuming, especially given the variety of users, contexts, devices and interactions out there. However it is a crucial part of delivering the right product and making that product even better! We will explore the different kinds of Usability Evaluation Methods and how to evaluate a variety of interactions between complex individuals and a myriad of devices in an ever changing environment.
It’s particularly exciting to be doing this at Universidad Veritas because it’s such a wonderful design university here in Costa Rica. We were just featured in a BuzzFeed article as one of the best places to study abroad. Our tiny little country is featured along with Universities from Italy, Germany, Argentina, China and great institutions around the world!
As the buzzfeed article warns though, once you study at these universities, “You’ll never want to come home.” It’s my mission as a professor to make sure that even if you don’t go home, you’ll be able to apply the design and UX skills you learn here to projects anywhere in the world.