User Experience and Interaction Design

Understand the perspectives of users and learn how to create the designs with which they interact. 

Colourful shiny objects that look like decorative pieces
Medical device prototypes developed by Maddy Hazelton as part of her Master's work at the School of Design Innovation

User-experience (UX) design is a fast-growing design field that addresses all aspects of UX—from understanding the users to creating the designs with which they interact.

Human-focused interaction design aims to improve aspects of human life through a variety of design mediums. These range from physical consumer objects to digital interactions, such as apps, games, and websites.

Interaction design research envisions how people experience products. It brings that knowledge to life in ways that feel inspired, refined, and even magical.

Our team is engaged in a wide variety of research. This includes:

  • designing digital interventions and physical devices for health
  • applying psychological principles through tangible interactions
  • championing accessible design
  • tackling issues related to design ethics.

Our skilled researchers work across digital and physical media to improve the overall experience of design. We are committed to best practice as well as to investigating current and emerging practices in the UX field.

Research topics

Research topic Staff who can supervise research in this area
Accessible design Catherine Caudwell, Gillian McCarthy

Design ethics

Catherine Caudwell, Leon Gurevitch

Design for health

Gillian McCarthy, Edgar Rodriguez, Dana Fridman 

Design psychology

Helen Andreae, Gillian McCarthy, Areito Echevarria, Edgar Rodriguez, Dana Fridman 

Interactive products

Helen Andreae, Edgar Rodriguez

User experience for government and business

Dana Fridman

User experience practice

Dana Fridman, Gillian McCarthy, Edgar Rodriguez, Leon Gurevitch

Academic staff

Name Research interests
Helen Andreae
  • The application of psychological principles through designed objects and interactions
Catherine Caudwell
  • Working with people with disabilities to develop and champion accessible design
  • The role and application of ethical standards and concepts in design practice and outcomes
Areito Echevarria
  • The application of psychological principles through designed objects and interactions
Dana Fridman
  • Investigating current and emerging practices for user experience design
  • Designing tools and games for user experience education
  • Culture and experience
  • Digital wellbeing and designing digital interventions for health
  • The digital divide

Leon Gurevitch

  • The role and application of ethical standards and concepts in design practice and outcomes
  • The digital divide

Gillian McCarthy

  • The application of psychological principles through designed objects and interactions
  • The exploration of people's experiences managing their health and the design of medical technologies
  • Working with people with disabilities to develop and champion accessible design
  • Investigating current and emerging practices for user experience design
  • Designing tools and games for user experience education
  • Culture and experience
  • Digital wellbeing and designing digital interventions for health

Edgar Rodriguez

  • The application of psychological principles through designed objects and interactions
  • The exploration of people's experiences managing their health and the design of medical technologies
  • The investigation of how physical products can offer tangible aesthetic interactions to address human behaviour
  • Investigating current and emerging practices for user experience design
  • Designing tools and games for user experience education
  • Culture and experience
  • Digital wellbeing and designing digital interventions for health

Design Research Labs

Smart interactions

This research cluster involves synergies between the School of Design Innovation and strategic research partners. Work in this area combines media design, industrial design, software engineering, electronics, and computer systems engineering.

For more see Smart Interactions.

Study options

The following postgraduate programmes allow you to pursue research in the area of user experience and interaction design:

Master of Design (MDes)

The MDes allows you to further develop your critical thinking and discussion skills, increase your understanding of design, and learn to express your own ideas and conclusions within a theoretical framework.

Find out more about the Master of Design (MDes).

Master of Design Innovation (MDI)

The MDI delves deep into the process of innovation, from conception to design to construction. Through independent research, you'll gain the specialist skills and knowledge you need to be a successful professional in the design industry.

Find out more about the Master of Design Innovation (MDI).

Master of User Experience Design (MUXD)

The MUXD is a conversion degree. It builds on the relevant skills you have developed during your professional career or undergraduate university study, such as problem solving, critical thinking, and verbal and written communication.

Find out more about the Master of User Experience Design (MUXD).

PhD

On our PhD programme, you'll produce an original body of research that expands the design discipline. Your work will be largely independently driven, with two supervisors available to advise you. Typically the PhD is studied on-site, but in suitable cases it may be studied by distance.

Find out more about the PhD.