A Web design program, in my view, should be equal parts graphic design education, human-computer interaction, and technical development and programming. These are basically the three major branches of the practice, and how I’ve seen most professional Web design organizations organize themselves. All three are important.
As I said above, I absolutely think that students should learn both design and development. One informs the other in this field, and the end product is so much better if a student is fluent in both.
If you could create your dream curriculum for web design and development, what courses and information would you include? Why? What courses and information now in such programs would you eliminate? Why?
It’s quite depressing, actually. Usually I see the same sort of projects that have been coming out of analog design programs for decades—corporate identities, brochures, marketing campaigns—executed online. Lots of Flash—too much Flash. Very little interface work.
That I’m not sure I know the answer to, as I’ve never taught. I think it would require understanding what makes colleges and universities stagnant in this area, to begin with. But if I had to guess, I would say a programs like this need strong integration with the working world. In fact, an ideal program would partner with a small number of studios to tightly integrate an internship with coursework. I’m not sure exactly how it would be done, but it would be the right general idea, I think.