Dana Fridman

Dana Fridman profile picture

Programme Director - User Experience Design School of Design Innovation


Teaching in 2020


Dana Fridman has experience in digital product design, development and entrepreneurship. She completed a BA in psychology, a diploma in graphic design, and a master in design innovation. Previously, Dana worked in mental health, graphic design, user experience (UX) design for the Web, native applications, and augmented reality, co-founded a GovTech product company, and developed a passion for UX design, design for health, and design for education. Dana is a programme director for the Master of User Experience Design programme and an associate investigator at the MedTech Centre of Research Excellence. In her free time, she likes to make art, read academic papers, form collaborations, and co-organise local events for the UX community.

Research interests

Design for health

Dana’s primarily research investigates the design of interventions for therapy, rehabilitation and prevention. In the past, she designed and developed Brain-Computer Interfaces to provide attention training therapy for kids with ADHD and digital games for stroke rehabilitation. Currently, her research interests include design for prevention of Alzheimer's disease, design for prevention of cancer, and design for well-being.

Design for education

Dana is also working with her colleagues on collaborative, cross-disciplinary teaching research and research on the user experience field. As a lecturer and programme director, she practices and champions research-led teaching from the development of the curriculum to the design of the teaching methods.

Supervision Interests

  • Design for Health
  • Design for Education
  • Government Technologies
  • User Experience
  • Interaction Design
  • Game Design
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Design & Psychology

Current Teaching

MDDN 402:

In this course students will explore and implement current Web design software while planning and deploying independent project strategies. An emphasis will be placed on creative approaches to front-end development, design and scripting techniques based on industry related projects. Students will be encouraged to synthesize their unique backgrounds and personal experience within the projects.

MDDN 502:

This studio consists of a supervised research-based practicum, working towards a mastery of user experience research through a specified design project. The work will be experimental in nature, generally as a placement in industry, yet at the same time, require a conceptual approach that leverages a criticism of the status quo.

Previous Teaching

DSDN 112:

This course introduces students to basic concepts of interaction design from analogue to digital. Students will learn essential methods of creating interactions and translate these into digital versions. Conceptually, projects will demand a critical examination of any media that we use to interact with something or someone.

The course favors creative exploration over practical application of design technologies, whether analogue or digital, introduced in class to enhance students understanding how to create meaningful interactions.

DSDN 101:

Introduction to theories and practices of visual communication, investigated explicitly through various modes of visualisation across a wide range of media including web based media. Taught from an explicitly design perspective, emphases are given to expressive conceptual, contextual and formal modes.

Recent Publications and Awards

Barak, Y., Rapsey, C., Fridman, D., & Scott, K. (2018). The Dunedin Dementia Risk Awareness Project: A convenience sample of general practitioners. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1474), 27-34.

Barak, Y., & Fridman, D. (2017). Impact of Mediterranean Diet on Cancer: Focused Literature Review. Cancer Genomics-Proteomics, 14(6), 403-408.

Best Demo/ Poster Award by Digital Health Conference for the paper: Designing a Game for Upper Limb Rehabilitation Following a Stroke (2016).

Designing a Game for Upper Limb Rehabilitation Following a Stroke, Master's Thesis. 15 Dec 2016.

Chan, K., Rodriguez, E., Campbell-Hunt, K., Everitt, M., and Fridman, D. (2015). 3D Printing Sensor-enabled Splints and Exergaming. Submitted to DeSForM 2015: Aesthetics of interaction: dynamic, multisensory, wise.




Teaching in 2020