Interaction Arts

Focus

Interaction Arts produces well-rounded students with the ability to create experimental, innovative, culturally informed and usable products, services and communications. Students are equipped with a key set of multidisciplinary skills that can be integrated with technological, digital and physical products. The focus is on establishing an advanced understanding of interaction, usability and user experience, with an emphasis on a human-centered design approach and methodology.

The fields of Interaction Design, Interactive Development and 3D Design constantly change due to new technological developments. This incredible medium therefore needs constant interrogation.

The subjects on offer help develop creative ability alongside technological skills to produce various systems, whether it is a website, an application, an imagined wearable device or a tangible product.

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Interaction Design

Interaction Design is a specialisation focusing on the creation of user interfaces and communications for various digital products and services. The focus is on the creation and facilitation of the products and services unique to the digital age. Digital systems include everything from a simple digital alarm clock to mobile applications, websites and interactive displays.

The course is characterised by design education that amplifies the user as the key influencer of the design approach.

Through the application of dynamic and exciting ways of accessing and engaging with digital content and information, designers who complete the course are technically inclined and become thoughtful storytellers.

Careers include: Usability Analyst; Information Architect; Interface Designer; Interaction Designer; UX Designer; Game UI Designer; Web Designer; Front-End Developer; Interaction Designer.

Second Year Interactive Design
Elective Modules

Information Architecture & Content Strategy 203

Prerequisites: None

This elective module aims to introduce learners to the workflow and processes associated with planning, structuring and developing content for digital applications and products. Students will be equipped with planning tools (wireframes and sitemaps) and content management tools (information architecture)

Introduction to Social Media 204

Prerequisites: None

This elective module aims to introduce and familiarise learners with a variety of popular Social Media applications and their intended uses within a critical thematic framework. Each session presents a basic overview of different social media applications and their functions accompanied by case studies, practical examples and discussions.

Third Year Interactive Design
Elective Modules

Design for Web and Digital

Prerequisites: None

This elective module introduces the non-digital / interactive designer to the fundamentals of designing digital interactive media. Themes include user interface fundamentals, design for screen / multiple devices and many more.

Personal Online Branding

Prerequisites: None

This elective module aims to equip learners with a clear and critical understanding of practices and approaches related to personal branding and the areas that affect it. Students are led to develop and understand their own brands from a strategic level to visual design to professional behavior through practically based exercises and lectures.

User Experience Design 1

Prerequisites: None

User experience design is a human-centered design approach that puts the user first in the design process. Products, both digital and tangible, and systems need to be carefully designed to fit the actual needs and requirements of the user. These needs are determined through an process of contextual enquiry, requirements research and analysis. This elective module focuses on the practical research and evaluation tools used in the user experience design process.

User Experience Design 2

Prerequisites: User Experience Design 1 must be completed

User experience design is a human-centered design approach that puts the user first in the design process. Products, both digital and tangible, and systems need to be carefully designed to fit the actual needs and requirements of the user. These needs are determined through a process of contextual enquiry, requirements research and analysis. This elective module builds on the groundwork established in User Experience Design 301 by introducing students to practical user experience design tools and methods.

Interactive Development

Interactive Development explores the programming, development and support of various digital products including the creation of engaging and useful websites as well as mobile application development for the growing mobile world.

The course focuses on front-end and touches on back-end development languages and seeks to give students robust and flexible development skills that allow the developer to bring imagination to life on screen.

Areas of focus include applications, web and product development.

Careers include: Web Developer; Front End Developer; Back End Developer; Mobile App Developer; Creative Technologist; Technical Lead.

Second Year Interactive Development
Elective Modules

HTML & CSS 201

Prerequisites: None

Students are introduced to the basic elements and applications of HTML 5 and CSS 3. This module does not assume any prior knowledge of HTML or CSS and serves as a beginner introduction to building interactive web pages.

HTML & CSS 202

Prerequisites: An Introduction to HTML and CSS

Students are equipped with the skills to apply HTML and CSS in more advanced applications.

Introduction to CMS 203

Prerequisites: None

Students are introduced to the basic functions of online content management systems such as WordPress. Students will learn the basics of structuring, organising, designing and eventually implementing a CMS-based website with rich features such as blogging, social media widgets, forms, slideshows and more.

Interactive Web: jQuery 202

Prerequisites: An Introduction to HTML and CSS

Students are introduced to basic client-side scripting languages and frameworks with which to easily add interactivity and animations to web and digital applications with a minimum of scripting.

WordPress Theme Design 204

Prerequisites: An Introduction to HTML and CSS

Students are equipped with the basic skills to build interactive themes that can be implemented using content management systems such as WordPress.

Third Year Interactive Development
Elective Modules

CSS Frameworks 301

Prerequisites: Student needs prior scripting or programming experience

Students focus on understanding and employing some of the most popular web development frameworks in use today. The goal being, to develop the ability to quickly and effectively deploy dynamic web pages without needing to code every element from scratch. Students will learn to use both front-end and back-end deployment frameworks, in order to keep up with the marketplace.

Software Methodologies 304

Prerequisites: Student needs prior scripting or programming experience

Students focus on methods for writing and testing software in a structured and efficient manner. It touches on agile methodologies, extreme programming, test-driven development and coding from documentation. The aim of the module is to expose students to the challenges of developing software as part of a large team or corporate environment.

Android Application Development

Prerequisites: Student needs prior scripting or programming experience

Students focus on mobile application development for Android devices. It is centered on firstly learning a new language syntax and secondly, using it to develop a simple application for the Android API. The goal is to prepare the student to work in the mobile development market.

iOS Application Development 303

Prerequisites: Student needs prior scripting or programming experience

Students focus on mobile application development for iOS devices. It is centered on firstly learning a new language syntax and secondly, using it to develop a simple application for the iOS API. The goal is to prepare the student to work in the mobile development market.

3D Design

The function and flow of physical, constructed spaces and the shape and form of products heavily influence how we interact with the world. The 3D designer imagines, conceptualises, designs and develops the objects that surround us.

The 3D Design course explores the production of tangible and usable products and items with a focus on form and spatial problem solving.

Areas of focus include product and retail design, packaging, furniture, installations and services.

Careers include: Product Designer; Retail Designer; Exhibition Designer; Events Manager, Packaging Designer; Furniture Designer; Interior and Spatial Designer; Industrial Designer.

Second Year 3D Design
Elective Modules

3D Visualisation 201 - 204

Prerequisites: orthographic / engineering drawing knowledge

Students are equipped with the basic skills to electronically model using 3D CAD (computer aided design) software. Themes include simple parts, mechanical assemblies, liquid packaging and simple furniture design.

Third Year 3D Design
Elective Modules

3D Visualisation 301 - 304

Prerequisites: 3D Visualisation (SolidWorks software) 201-204

Students further develop their 3D CAD (computer aided design) software skills. Themes include product design, component detailing, visual language and furniture design.

3D Rapid Prototyping

Prerequisites: 3D Visualisation (SolidWorks software) 201-204

Students are introduced to rapid prototyping technologies.

3D Brandscaping

Prerequisites: 3D Visualisation (SolidWorks software) 201-204

Students are introduced to researching and understanding established brands.

Package Information

UX/UI Designer with Game Exposure

IDS_1

Multi-Disciplinary UX/UI/IXD Specialist

IDS_2

UX/UI/IXD Visual Designer (Agency)

IDS_3

Website Developer Focus

IDV_4

Mobile Developer Focus

IDV_5

3DD Designer

3DD_6

List of Majors & Subjects

Level 2

Level 3

Open your window to infinite possibilities…

Department Head

Nadya Santapaga

Nadya Santapaga

Academic Coordinator
Interaction Theory Lecturer

BA (Information Design) UP

Lecturers

 Alexander Skelton

Alexander Skelton

Lecturer: Interactive Development

BSc (Computer Science) UP
BSc Hons (Computer Science)
(Cum Laude) UP

Carly Whitaker

Carly Whitaker

Senior Lecturer: Interaction Design

BA (Fine Arts) WITS
MA (Digital Arts) (Cum Laude) WITS

Michael Angelopulo

Michael Angelopulo

Subject Manager: Production Design

BAS (Bachelor of Architectural Studies) UCT
B Arch (Bachelor of Architecture) UCT

Morné Venter

Morné Venter

Lecturer: Interaction Design

BA (Information Design) UP
Enrolled for MA
(Information Design) UP

Peter Harrison

Peter Harrison

Subject Manager: 3D Design

N Dip (Industrial Design) TWR
B Tech (Industrial Design) UJ
Enrolled for M Tech (Industrial Design) UJ

The Open Window (Pty) Ltd (company registration 1973/015860/07) is registered as a Private Higher Education Institution by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) with Registration Certificate Number: 2000/HE07/016. Open Window (Pty) Ltd courses are accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) under the Higher Education Act, 1997. For more information, please contact Open Window on 012 648 9200.
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