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Digital Design Thinking


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Joel McKim
  • Assessment: a 2000-word essay (35%) and a 3000-word essay (65%)

Module description

This module will explore the ideas, topics and themes that have shaped current digital design practice. While practice-oriented or technical knowledge is a crucial element of digital design, developing an understanding of the underlying social, ethical and aesthetic issues challenging and motivating contemporary digital design culture is also essential.

The module will encourage you to be self-reflexive of the concepts, decisions and assumptions involved in your digital design practice or scholarly work. It will consider how digital design participates in a wider tradition of visual and interactive design practice (including the graphic and industrial arts), while also developing conventions and philosophies of its own. Central design debates and topics will be explored, including: software/internet design history, user interface design, collaborative or participatory design, and considerations of intellectual property and the creative commons.

As part of a group of digital designers, managers and researchers within the programme you will have the opportunity to share your different experiences of, and perspectives on, digital media design and culture.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Software/Internet Design History
  • Speculative Design/Innovation (Predicting Future Trends)
  • User Interface Design
  • Considering Networks
  • Gamification
  • Critical Design/Adversarial Design
  • Collaborative/Participatory Design
  • Considering Colour
  • Mobility and Design/The Rise of the App
  • Tactility/Haptic Design
  • Copyright/Intellectual Property/Creative Commons

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be expected to be able to:

  • demonstrate critical knowledge of central theoretical issues related to the study of digital design
  • identify historical continuities and divergences between digital design and earlier forms of design practice
  • engage in critical debates over the positive and negative impact of digital technologies on contemporary design.