UX design is a hot skill that plenty of companies here have an interest in, thanks to advancements in technology. But, what exactly is UX design, and what does this type of designer do?
We were lucky enough to meet up with BYEONG CHEOL (BC) HWANG, who is currently Chair and Professor of User Experience (UX) Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). But in a previous life was the very first designer to be employed at Samsung. Since that time, Samsung’s team of designers has exploded into a 700-strong design collective. BC really started something.
These days, BC has turned his attention to a new generation of designers at SCAD’s campus, a private, non-profit university. For example, he has joined forces with Google to create a brand new degree, especially crafted to educate a new generation of designers. This course is a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in UX design. And its graduates have already been snapped up by Silicon Valley, often before graduation. This is because students are working on real-world problems, shared by the likes of Google, Uber, Ford, Samsung, Volvo and more. It’s an incredible time to be a student.
What does a UX designer do?
This is among today’s most in-demand professions. A UX designer’s job is to create enjoyable and frictionless experiences. To achieve this, he or she must dream up revolutionary design products, solutions and services – both digital and physical – that reinvent and reinvigorate how companies connect with customers and stay competitive.
What is Google’s role in the course?
The programme was created in collaboration with global internet giant Google, as a direct response to the company’s call for adequately trained UX designers. The collaboration means that SCAD graduates are ready for the workforce. The real-world briefs that students work on throughout the course, provided by Google, plus companies like Uber and Samsung, mean students graduate with four years of experience.
What will students learn in the programme?
The fundamental areas of learning involve tying together creative, analytical and technical skills. It’s a four-year degree offering a range of foundation, general education and major curriculum courses, with the courses curated to cover the four pillars: human behaviour, technical proficiency, aesthetics and collaboration.
What type of person makes a great UX designer?
If you’re interested in improving the human experience; if you enjoy observing, creating and are curious about how products and services work and the reasons behind their creation, then you’ll likely make a great UX designer.
SCAD’s Hong Kong campus offers 22 programmes of study, including fashion, game development, interior design and photography, preparing students to work in the art and design industries. The university also offers e-learning options. Find out more at scad.edu.
Savannah College of the Arts is at 292 Tai Po Road, Sham Shui Po.
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This article first appeared in the April/May 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.