BDes (Hons) Interaction Design

Research and Writing


This module is intended to consolidate the students’ knowledge and understanding of history and theory, by providing an opportunity for students to generate a body of unique research, tailored to their specialist area.

The module is taught through a series of lectures and seminars that provide an awareness of the changing context of interaction design, exploring how the subject area is expanding and evolving. Lecture content adopts a less technology-focused approach, instead focusing on context.

Students are expected to undertake a substantial piece of writing informed by the lecture and seminar programme to contextualise their practice. Through an emphasis on a substantial piece of written work, students are equipped with the skills required to reflect upon their practice and its theoretical underpinnings. The module aims to equip students with an understanding of the importance of reflective writing and how it can be mapped onto, and benefit, practice.

The module explores a range of research and writing strategies through a series of seminars that identify and explore several key areas of contemporary practice. The emphasis is placed upon evolving the high-level research and writing skills necessary to meet industry’s needs.


The essential aims of this module are:

  • To develop specialist knowledge of emerging technologies, and their possible uses, related to interaction design.
  • To develop a deep understanding of the context in which we consume media, and explore how these media are evolving.
  • To develop research, evaluation, reporting and presentation skills.
  • To develop skills in providing a critique of research performed by others.


Students are supported through a weekly lecture programme that is designed to broaden their knowledge and understanding. Lecture content adopts a less technology-focused approach, instead focusing on context, including: disruptive pricing models (‘Free’, ‘The Long Tail’); shared creation (‘Wikinomics’); underlying shifts in our industry, for example the shift from service to product; varying startup approaches (‘The Lean Startup’); and the psychology of digital design.

Indicative lecture content includes:

  • The Shift from Services to Products
  • The Rise of the Digital Product Designer
  • Wikinomics and Mass Collaboration
  • Riding the Long Tail to Free
  • Steve Jobs vs. The Word of Minimum Viable Product
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the Psychology of Delight
  • The Internet of Things
  • Wearable Computing
  • Talkaboutability

Reading List


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Module details

  • Code: IXD502
  • Year: 4
  • Semester: 1
  • Credits: 20
  • Delivery: Lectures, Seminars, Workshops and Self-Directed Study
  • Co-requisites: Major Project Prototyping
  • GitHub Repo