October 18, 2016

Communication Design MPS focused on Digital Product Design

Parsons School of Design at The New School

Photo: Phillip Van Nostrand.

In an increasingly digital world, designers are often challenged to create technology-driven products and services for a variety of platforms and human needs. With these emerging developments in mind, Parsons School of Design in New York City is pleased to announce the launch of a new one-yearMaster of Professional Studies in Communication Design degreeprogram, currently accepting applications for fall 2016. Featuring a concentration in Digital Product Design, the program offers students the cutting-edge conceptual design methods and technical skills needed to meet this growing marketplace demand.

Tailored to practicing designers as well as other professionals with relevant design experience who want to enter the field, this intensive, full-time program offers students the opportunity to:

–Explore innovative composition and visualization methods, interaction design, typography, and industry best practices that enable students to provide end-users with remarkable digital experiences
–Gain hands-on experience in coding, prototyping, UX and interaction analysis, and business management
–Work with expert faculty who combine extensive knowledge in design thinking, aesthetics, and technology, and have a strong presence in international and local communication design communities
–Pursue and advance successful careers in Interaction Design, User Experience (UX) Design, Digital Product Design, and Product Management


Developing a More Inclusive Approach to Digital Product Design
Brendan Griffiths, program director of the new MPS Communication Design program at Parsons, describes the program’s holistic, integrative approach to communication design in the context of digital product design:

“Historically, a typical digital project might begin with research and strategy that would be handed off to a UX designer, who in turn would outline an information hierarchy based on target user behavior. Next, a visual designer would transform a wireframe into an aesthetically pleasing interface. After a process of review, the design would get passed to software engineers who advise on what can—and often what can’t—be built from a technological perspective. Roadblocks arise, and creative work would inevitably be compromised to meet technological constraints.

“As digital products become more integrated into every industry, designers have a responsibility to evolve and find a more efficient, effective way of working. Just as skilled print designers must understand the opportunities and limitations of their tools—printing techniques, inks, paper stocks, etc.—digital designers must gain basic coding and prototyping skills. This capacity allows designers to work within a platform’s limitations and identify creative opportunities, avoiding the time-consuming back-and-forth between design and engineering teams.

“Employers are beginning to recognize the tangible business benefits of designers who can see the big picture—overall goals, target audience, user expectations—while understanding the advantages and limitations of the specific tool they are designing for. Increasingly, designers are expected to incorporate typographic, compositional, and systems-driven thinking into data-dependent environments and create design solutions within technical parameters. It’s our responsibility as designers to develop this new skillset in ways that harness our existing abilities while maintaining a commitment to experimentation and innovation.

“Traditional design skills are always going to be fundamental to great work, but as the use of software and digital products increases, designers must keep up with the industry’s evolution. Graduate programs like the Master of Professional Studies in Communication Design at Parsons can help designers bolster their skills in design methodologies, and give them the digital product skills they need to transition into this new specialization.”


How to apply
Visit the Parsons MPS Communication Design website to apply by January 1, 2017.

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