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 Design, BFA


Graphic and Information Design

Interaction Design

Experience Design

  • Academics
  • Experiences
  • Interests

Design is the practice-based discipline that poses important questions about—and provides significant answers to—how we live. Designers are needed when we don’t know what is needed as well as when we think we do. Designers propose alternative futures and create new choices using principles and processes to create, compose, and construct meaning in diverse knowledge fields. Designers seek a broad understanding of principles and systems of perception, communication, and action. Concentrations in design practices are graphic and information design, interaction design, and experience design.

Graphic designers make messages and meaning using visual form and the integration of text and image. Their work often has a persuasive intent and uses rules of visual composition, form, and pattern to enable storytelling or to create attention and an ambiance for consideration. Information designers visualize concepts and data to enhance human understanding of complex and vital knowledge. Their work has an enlightening or instructive intent and is based on factual content.

Interaction designers focus on the creation of navigable interfaces and systems that allow audiences to take an active role to achieve meaningful goals. Their work connects people to people and people to information and environments.

Experience designers take a holistic and integrative approach that focuses on the quality of the human experience in concrete situations. They employ research, analysis, creativity and technology as tools to understand human goals, needs, and desires. Their work examines and improves contexts, systems, services or events.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design is offered with the following concentration options: graphic and information design, interaction design, or experience design.

1. Apply iterative design processes to create, revise, evaluate, and develop effective prototypes and innovative solutions.
2. Engage human-centered design research methods and systems thinking to identify and understand values, goals, motivations of intended audiences as a mode of inquiry, question framing and guide to action.
3. Develop a high level of craft and technical skills in a relevant range of media and tools and effectively weigh applicability for intended audiences and outcomes.
4. Develop and realize intent, concept and content with awareness of context and consequence.
5. Implement visual patterns incorporating text, image, diagram including temporal and spatial representations to recognize, categorize, and articulate significant form and meaning
6. Employ and embody ethical practices, team and cross-disciplinary collaboration, and effective communication and presentation skills.
7. Apply relevant communication theories and principles and appreciate the pervasive and long-term impact of design decisions on people and societies.

Graphic and Information Design concentration learning outcomes

1. Integrate verbal and visual content in a way that is complementary, not redundant, to construct complex visual/verbal messages.
2. Utilize information and nomenclature systems, organizational grids, hierarchy, and sequence to offer audiences access to complex topics and sense making.
3. Discern the ethical implications of subjective vs. objective design, and demonstrate ability to construct content along the persuasive/informative continuum according to the needs of an audience, expectations of a client, or self-initiative.

Experience Design concentration learning outcomes

1. Explore participatory methods of research ethnographic, shadowing and co-creation to better understand values, goals and intentions of diverse audiences.
2. Synthesize research findings and model existing conditions, relationships, system components, and interactions through visualization, mapping, and prototyping methods to understand and make evident patterns and opportunities.
3. Propose design solutions in response to research that envision future conditions, encompassing a broad range of design possibilities from innovative objects and spaces to processes, services, interactions, and collaborations.

Interaction Design concentration learning outcomes

1. Develop personas, scenarios, wireframes, information architecture, navigation patterns and extensibility plans to create affordances and interfaces that invite interaction and allow end-users to achieve goals.
2. Apply evaluative usability and efficacy testing methods to determine interface usefulness, desirability and/or feasibility.
3. Demonstrate basic fluency in programming, code development patterns and analytical thinking associated with input and retrieval of data and support of dynamic interfaces.

View University Course Catalog

Interests of  Design, BFA Students

  • arts
  • Branding
  • creative coding
  • creativity
  • data
  • data analysis
  • design
  • digital design
  • information design
  • interactive media
  • research
  • visualization

Co-op Opportunities

  • Philips Research (HealthTech and Lighting)
    Cambridge, MA
  • Thomson Reuters
    Cambridge, MA
  • MIT facilities
    Cambridge, MA
  • The Broad Institute
    Cambridge, MA
  • The Boston Beer Company
    Suite 850 Boston, MA
  • Boston Globe
    Boston, MA
  • America's Test Kitchen
    Boston, MA
  • Sametz Blackstone Associates
    Boston, MA
  • TJMaxx and HomeGoods
    Framingham, MA
  • Ronik
    Brooklyn, NY
View all co-ops for Art + Design

Career Opportunities

  • Multidisciplinary Skills
    • Visual communication: information design, semiotics, typography, graphic design
    • Technical skills: data analysis, programming visual interfaces and visualizations, interactive techniques
    • Research: history and theory of information design, design resarch
    • Programming
    • Scripting
    • User mapping
    • User stories
    • User observation
    • Personas
    • Human factors
    • 3D modeling
    • User testing
  • Careers of Tomorrow
    • Experience Designer
    • Interaction Designer
    • Entrepreneur
    • Designer
    • Graphic Designer
    • UI/UX Designer
    • Product Designer
    • Visual Communicator
    • Chief Design Officer
    • Digital Designer
    • Software Designer
    • Director of Design and Marketing
    • Web Designer
    • Information Designer
    • Marketing and Brand Director

Program Coordinators:

Ann McDonald

Associate Professor

Department Chair:

Jason Donati

Acting Department Chair, Full Teaching Professor


Nhora Delgado

Administrative Assistant

Zohreh Firouzabadian

Academic Manager

Academic Advisors:

Jocelyn Faber

Academic Advisor

Greg Zuch

Academic Advisor

Co-op Advisors:

Michelle Hagopian

Associate Co-op Coordinator

Kellianne Murphy

Senior Faculty Member

View Art + Design faculty and staff