Parsons School of Design launches new digital design masters programme

Parsons School of Design launches new digital design masters programme

Dezeen promotion: Parsons School of Design in New York has introduced a digital product design course to its masters programme.

The Communication Design masters programme focused on Digital Product Design will offer students methods and technical skills necessary for designing in today's digital age.

Parsons School of Design launches new digital design masters programme
Screenshot showing Flow by student Kevin Ballon, which is a digital tool that maps creative decision making to help makers reflect on the values that shape their choices

"In an increasingly digital world, designers are often challenged to create technology-driven products and services for a variety of platforms and human needs," said a representative of Parsons School of Design, which is part of The New School, a comprehensive university in New York City.

"Featuring a concentration in Digital Product Design, the programme offers students the cutting-edge conceptual design methods and technical skills needed to meet this growing marketplace demand."

The one-year programme, which is currently accepting applications for September 2017, is a full-time course.

It is open to both practicing designers and other professionals hoping to pursue a career in interaction design, user experience (UX) design, digital product design, and product management.

Parsons School of Design launches new digital design masters programme
Screenshot showing interactive website news page by student Zut Alors, which was created for gallery and arts producer The Suzanne Geiss Company

During the course, students will be taught visualisation methods, interaction design, typography, as well as industry best practices.

They will work alongside experienced faculty members to gain hands-on experience in coding, prototyping, UX and interaction analysis, and business management

Applications are open until 1 January 2017. Visit the Parsons MPS Communication Design website for more information.

Read on for more information from programme director Brendan Griffiths:

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 — digital designers must gain basic coding and prototyping skills.

Parsons School of Design launches new digital design masters programme
Well Spent by student Alex Lardaro is an online tool that promotes personal reflection on the value of time

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 recognise 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 skill set 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 programmes 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 specialisation.