May 12, 2017 — Students in MSOE’s new User Experience and Communication Design (UXCD) program can look forward to employment in what has been dubbed one of the top five most in-demand tech careers: UX designer.
Members of the “Usability Research Methods” class had the opportunity to get some hands-on experience in this field from experts who employ these skills every day for major companies in the area. They visited Traction Factory, a marketing and advertising agency in downtown Milwaukee, to conduct website usability tests. The company recently was designated as one of “Milwaukee’s Coolest Offices” by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
“This was a great opportunity for our students to gain valuable, real-life insights. The MSOE website was the subject of their testing, during which they solicited feedback from faculty, staff and fellow students,” said Amii LaPointe, adjunct assistant professor. “Their findings will be shared with MSOE’s web development team and will include Information about the current site’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.”
Throughout the quarter, the students were introduced to the basics in UX research methods for each stage of the development process. They learned about the importance of non-traditional user research methodologies, how to determine which method to use for projects when it is most appropriate, and experimented with research methodologies.
“I had an idea of what usability testing would be like from my coursework but there were still plenty of surprises when we actually did the tests,” said Alexandria Dyszelski, a UXCD major. “I’m glad that Traction Factory allowed us to use their company space for our testing—it was fun and a valuable learning experience!”
MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,900 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 97% placement rate; and the highest ROI and average starting salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.