The Institute of Visual Communication at the International University of Beirut held on December 22nd 2017 a workshop on the Fundamentals of User-Experience Design (UX) with digital consultant and Senior experience designer Jimmy Elias. User Experience is the creative and analytical process of determining what a website, device, or piece of software is going to be, in the quest to provide a meaningful and personally relevant experience. It is concerned with the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, usability, and function.
Through hands-on exercises, brief lectures and guided discussion, Mr.Elias introduced main practices and methods of information architecture and how it builds into a function conception of the layout design based on its user’s experience and needs.
Over three hours, participants worked on creating Personas of users, mapping their journey, drawing empathy maps and other methods of addressing the human-centered experience of the digital –namely a website for the sake of the case study.
Elias tried to demonstrate that although the earliest documented definition of UX goes back to 2002, the practice has always been there; and how keeping an eye on the ultimate user pushes everything designed forwards. He emphasized the role and responsibility of design and how it intertwines with psychology, cognitive sciences and ethics.
Applicants were many, and had to be split into two groups. Like them, Jimmy Elias comes from a visual communication background. With a diverse visual communication portfolio from his freelance and in-house previous experiences, he later pursued a Masters’ in Integrated Design at Koln International School of Design (KISD) in Cologne, Germany. He works now at a digital consultancy agency as a Senior Experience designer for global brands.
“They were more than ready to embrace the UX discipline and integrate it in their design process, and hopefully it will reflect in their other courses -and why not in the curriculum design.”
The workshop is an undertaking of the Institute of Visual Communication (IVC), an emerging academic hub for ideas in visual communication and interdisciplinary research /studies in art and design fostering the International University of Beirut’s faculty members through research guidance, lectures and seminars. IVC also aims at empowering students and professionals through offering certified cross-disciplinary training programs.