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Create new applications of technology to enhance the way we work, play and live.

This 48-credit Doctor of Science program encourages an in-depth exploration of information and interaction design for humans. Through interdisciplinary courses in topics like cognitive psychology, library science, computer science, user research, and interaction design, doctoral students become leading researchers and designers who can build innovative design solutions on a solid understanding of human behavior.

This program is unique in its careful balance between theory and practice, and in its focus on the challenges of designing for audiences with special needs, such as children, older adults, people with low literacy skills, or people who need assistive technology. Required coursework will include applied qualitative and quantitative research methods, experiment design, applied statistics, HCI theory, and project management. It is also one of the only doctoral degree programs in human-computer interaction that supports part-time study, with evening and online courses (in a live, synchronous format).

When you graduate from this program, you will be able to:

  • conduct well-designed quantitative and qualitative user research
  • communicate research findings to academic and industry audiences
  • evaluate the user research methods in studies performed by others
  • develop user experiences that meet the needs of a global and diverse audience and that can accommodate change and growth
  • develop new conceptual models and hypotheses of interaction design based on both existing interaction design knowledge and user-centered iterative design
  • evaluate the social and cultural effects of information systems and their implementations.

Your studies culminate in a dissertation project with a significant impact on the field; you will submit your dissertation project for evaluation by a committee of faculty and experts. You'll have the opportunity to work on high-impact digital technology projects through cutting-edge research with such tools as a Tobii T60 eye tracker in the UB User Research Lab and the immersive visualization technologies in the UB Gamelab.

  • Our students: are primarily educators and industry practitioners who possess refined research and writing skills and a demonstrated interest in and user-centered design and user research.

  • Our faculty: Once you’re here, you'll study with nationally prominent faculty members who are recognized scholars in interdisciplinary research. Their accomplishments range from designing online information and services for “at-risk” audiences, to co-designing with children, to studying online communities, to developing new game genres.

  • Our graduates: have moved into faculty appointments at top universities and leadership positions in business and technology. Many of them combine disciplines in innovative positions—researching virtual communities, for example, or developing new visualizations for Web searches. In this program, you'll have the opportunity to test new approaches to user research and experience design, adding theoretical sophistication to productive practice.

Classes are offered evenings and weekends, and some courses are offered in the summer for continuing students. Additionally, some courses are offered online.