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Master’s Program

Experience Design

Experience Designers use the principles of human-centered design to develop digital products and physical experiences where brands and people interact.

Thriving in the unique space where design, human behavior, and technology meet, they study the user’s experience to ensure it’s optimized at every touchpoint and represents the brand in the best possible way. They make everything from websites to apps to exhibits to in-store experiences and more.

If you want to be an Experience Designer, User Experience (UX) Designer, User Interface (UI) Designer, or Digital Product Designer, the Experience Design concentration is for you.

Peyton Spangler (Experience Design, 2023) / XD Independent Study, Live-Client Project
  • The Background: Comfort Zone Camp (CZC) is a local nonprofit that hosts weekend grief camps throughout the country for children who have lost a parent, primary caregiver, or sibling.
  • The Opportunity: Help CZC reach more kids by expanding into the virtual realm
  • The Solution: The Bubble—a multi-player grief game hosted on the Roblox platform. Many of the elements of the game mirror the in-person experiences kids would have at a CZC weekend camp, and the name of the game is derived from a term used often at CZC. Kids are invited to enter into “the bubble” of camp—a place of safety and community set apart from the stressors of the outside world. The Roblox game is intended to be a similar haven, but one that can be accessed anytime anywhere.

You might be an Experience Designer:

If this sounds like you:

  • You think design is beautiful but also useful, purposeful, and powerful enough to shape behavior and solve problems
  • You have an insatiable curiosity and hunger for what’s new or next—culturally and technologically—and enjoy learning new technology and software
  • You identify as both a storyteller and a systems thinker, a thinker and a maker

If a day in the life of an experience designer sounds fun:

  • Concepting, designing, prototyping, and building brand experiences that serve people and push the envelope of what is technologically possible
  • Going beyond just visuals—blending form, function, and materials to imagine experiences that look, feel, and function beautifully
  • Exploring possibilities of media and technology to create new experiences that are enabled by the rise of the digital, mobile, social, AR/VR, mixed reality (MR), web3, Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc. 
  • Envisioning new platforms, products, and services that entertain, provide utility and resources, and connect people to each other and the ideas of the brand
  • Embracing human agency, interactivity, and information in your designs to move from one-size-fits-all brand experiences to highly interactive and personalized experiences
A photo of a mockup of a laptop with an image of the project in the screen
Alexis Caravas (Experience Design, 2023) / XD Independent Study, Live-Client Project
  • The Problem: Parents spend much of the teenage years anticipating whether and when their child will leave home and become independent. For parents of students with autism, there is often dread regarding the transition from high school into adulthood, which is sometimes described as falling off a cliff.
  • The Solution: Ascend, powered by Autism Speaks, is an interactive, online learning and resource-accessible platform that more effectively guides users in planning, managing, and tracking progress during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. With the help of Autism Speaks existing resources, Ascend is paving the way for transition planning and the future for young adults with ASD. 

Experience Design at the Brandcenter

Studying Experience Design at the Brandcenter prepares you to hit the ground running as an Experience Designer, User Experience (UX) Designer, User Interface (UI) Designer, Interaction Designer (IxD), or Digital Product Designer.


You will not only perfect your craft in Experience Design, but you will also work collaboratively with your classmates across concentrations.

Here’s what you’ll do on all-concentration team projects as an Experience Designer, as well as what your teammates will do:

What each concentration does on all-concentration team projects


  • Develop and design digital products and/or physical experiences where brands and people interact
  • Focus on the user experience for the product or experience they’re designing
  • Provide guidance and ideas regarding new/emerging technologies


  • Using business insights from creative brand managers and consumer/cultural insights from strategists, develop creative ideas to solve business challenges, engage consumers, and bring brands to life
  • While copywriters generally focus on writing and art directors generally focus on visual design, most AD/CW teams collaborate on all creative aspects


  • Focus on a client’s business, category, and competitors
  • Lead internal, cross-functional teams
  • Ensure creative work meets business objectives; evaluate ROI when possible


  • Focus on consumers and culture
  • Lead research efforts (develop a research plan, conduct field research, and analyze results)
  • Turn research data into insights; develop strategic direction and work with creative partners to create concepts/work inspired by strategic direction

Here’s what your sixty weeks will look like:

Semester 1 (Fall) / Weeks 1-15

  • The Business of Branding (All concentrations)
  • Creative Thinking (All concentrations)
  • Craft for Experience Designers
  • Physical Computing I
Semester 2 (Spring) / Weeks 16-30

  • Strategy + Design (Experience Designers + Strategists)
  • Visual Storytelling
  • User Participation Platforms (Art Directors + Experience Designers)
Summer Between Your First and Second Years / Internship

A summer internship is not required, but we’ll give you the tools to help you land a great one at agencies and companies doing some of the industry’s best work. See Placement for more about internships.

Semester 3 (Fall) / Weeks 31-45

  • Brand Experiences (All concentrations)
  • Creating Gravitational Pull
  • Physical Computing II
  • Experimentation (Art Directors, Copywriters, and Experience Designers)
Semester 4 (Spring) / Weeks 46-60

  • Innovation (All concentrations)
  • Persuasion (Art Directors, Copywriters, and Experience Designers)
  • Advanced Portfolio for Experience Designers


Here are the prerequisites for experience design applicants and for all applicants:

Prerequisites for Experience Design Applicants

Experience Design applicants should be able to:

  • Analyze contemporary problems facing business and brands
  • Apply critical and creative thinking skills to arrive at new solutions
  • Consider new and emerging models of brand and user engagement 
  • Visualize, prototype, and demonstrate solutions across a range of media
  • Communicate and persuade others of the merit of your ideas

Experience Design applicants should have:

  • Demonstrated success in a related professional or academic discipline
  • Transferrable craft or technical skills 
  • Evidence to quickly learn and apply knowledge and skills 
  • Some working knowledge of 2D design (e.g. Illustrator, InDesign), 2D interactive design (e.g. Figma, Adobe XD), and 3D design (e.g. Blender, Adobe Dimension software)
  • Proficiency in Google Suite, Office Suite
Prerequisites for All Applicants

All applicants should be curiouscreative, and collaborative.

All applicants should be able to:

  • Think creatively and critically
  • Enjoy working and fully participating in teams
  • Manage time effectively and meet project deadlines
  • Relate to others and embrace open communication

All applicants should have:

  • Experience collaborating in a group
  • An enjoyment of creating/making
  • Professional ambition and drive
  • A bachelor’s degree

Experience Design Chair

Headshot of Andrew LeVasseur

Andrew LeVasseur

Chair & Professor, Experience Design

An image of mockups of three screens on iPhones displaying the screens of the app created through the project
Sharon Byun (Experience Design, 2021)
  • Background: Postpartum mothers are exhausted both physically and emotionally, and social support is crucial during this challenging time. Sending food is the most common form of social support.
  • Solution: Introducing Warmly—a service designed to provide social support for new moms. The mobile app allows new moms to order soups tailored to their specific needs and to have access to virtual social support via features like gift registry and live chat rooms.

Ready to apply for Experience Design?


Apply for our two-year, full-time master's program for art direction, copywriting, creative brand management, experience design, and strategy.

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Explore the concentrations

Art Direction

Art Directors create and curate the visual expression of a brand.


Copywriters craft words to tell stories that create ultimate impact.

Creative Brand Management

Business-, people-, and leadership-savvy, Creative Brand Managers lead client and agency teams to accomplish business objectives through creative solutions.


Strategists use their powers of curiosity about people, culture, and brands to drive strategy for advertising and brand communications.