FLUX believes that user experience design and human-computer interaction are extremely interdisciplinary fields, covering knowledge from fields like computer science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and visual communication. We have grouped what we believe are relevant courses throughout UNC-CH which touch upon these topics.
We believe that the most successful designers have both theoretical and practical experience, as well as both analytical and creative skills. We highly suggest taking at least two or three “Foundational Courses” first and then moving on toward more project-based courses later as you advance in your studies.
These courses are only recommendations from UNC-CH students who have found an interest in UX Design. Double check with your advisor to make sure they can count toward your degree!
HCI ultimately focuses on how humans interact with information with the help of technology. Understanding mental processes (including memory and perception) and how users think is essential for user-centered design.
All about how people think. Heavy emphasis on memory, perception, attention, and language. Click here for sample syllabus.
Topics include: visual, tactile, and auditory systems; decision making; memory; attention; errors. Click here for sample syllabus.
Covers fundamentals of visual design and best practices when it comes to UI design. Students also work on a semester-long project which can be featured on a portfolio. Click here for sample syllabus.
Covers fundamentals of usability engineering, testing, and evaluation while exploring best practices for usability and design. Students work on a semester-long project. Sample syllabus.
Surveys human information interactions through information science literature. Graduate version of INLS 203. Required for all SILS master’s students. Click here for sample syllabus.
Core concepts of human information behavior, including: information seeking behavior, information needs, user-centered design, HCI. Undergraduate version of INLS 500. Click here for sample syllabus.
Studies the phenomenon of the mind and how it processes information. Click here for sample syllabus.
Information Architecture is all about organizing and displaying content in a way user’s can best understand. Design-thinking involves being able to use conceptual information to generate solutions.
Students work on a semester-long project while learning about working on a team. Required for all SILS master’s students. Sample syllabus.
Explores how information is structured. Required for all SILS master’s students. Sample syllabus.
Covers relational databases, conceptual modeling, and SQL. Required for all SILS students. SILS also offers Database II and Database III. Sample syllabus.
Fundamentals of how the web is organized and structure as well as how the web works as an information system. Sample syllabus.
Required for all master’s students. Sample syllabus.
COMP 411: Computer Organization
Prior to 2018, UNC’s School of Media and Journalism offered an Editing & Graphic Design track, offering visual design courses, several of which are listed here.
Hands-on experience with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign. Sample course website.
Students will gain experience with design challenges, personas, storyboarding, wire framing, and usability testing. Sample syllabus.
Students learn information visualization techniques (e.g. GIS, charts) while working with tools like Tableau. Sample syllabus.
MEJO 336: Advertising UX and Engagement Design
Includes UX, UI, and content strategy. Sample syllabus.
MEJO 588: Emerging Technologies
Students work on an interdisciplinary team of developers, designers, and storytellers to design for emerging technologies (i.e. virtual reality, augmented reality). Sample syllabus.
SILS offers 3 web development courses for a total of 6 credits, which should be taken one after the other. INLS 572 and INLS 573 are usually offered during the same semester, sequentially.
Builds upon INLS 572 and incorporates responsive design. Students will learn popular front-end frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation. Sample syllabus.
MEJO also has a three-part course track for interactive media, although they are offered less frequently.
Covers: HTML, CSS, PHP, WordPress. Sample syllabus.
Designing and building dynamic projects. Past topics include: Vue.js, D3, and Laravel. Sample syllabus.
UNC’s Computer Science Department offers several web design and development courses for a range of skill level.
COMP 126: Practice Web Design and Development for Everyone
COMP 426: Advanced WWW Programming
One major aspect of UX is collecting and analyzing data from user research.
INLS 560: Python Programming
INLS 625: Information Analytics
INLS 626: Introduction to Big Data
MEJO 570: Data Driven Journalism
Topics covered: Excel, Tableau, SQL, Python, and Carto. Sample syllabus.
STORY 151: Introduction to Data Analysis
How does UX design affect society and its users?
INLS 539: Going the Last Mile: Information Access for Underserved Populations
INLS 660: Social Media and Society: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview
Explores the evolution, implications and complications of social media in multiple spheres of life including sociality, community, politics, power and inequality, education, and information from theoretical and empirical perspectives. Offered annually.
INLS 690: Big Data, Algorithms, and Society
INLS 818: Seminar in Human-Computer Interaction
Prerequisite: INLS 718 or permission of instructor.
Research and development in design and evaluation of user interfaces that support information seeking. Major topics: interactivity, needs assessment, query and browser interactions, interactive design and maintenance, usability testing. Offered annually.
INLS 758: International and Cross Cultural Perspectives for Information Management
Examines information in society for selected nations/cultures. Compares institutions, processes, and trends in the globalization of information management in the face of barriers of language and culture. Offered biennially.
INLS 515: Consumer Health Information
Examines concepts of health, health conditions, policy, and information collections and services from social and cultural perspectives. Analyze and design methods for provision and access to consumer health information services. Offered annually.