Visual Design for Technology



This course is designed to give students an understanding the principles and theory of graphic Design as it applies to technology. When completed, students will be able to brand and flavor websites and applications.  Students will explore the meaning of graphic design, how to identify its application, develop their own creative process, how to be practioner of design including having the appropriate vocabulary, to articulate ideas and concepts in a critique setting, analyze/critique graphic design using sound principles and iterate upon original work to bring it professional standards.

Who could benefit from this course:

If a student is considering

  • becoming a User Experience designer, this course is a must as Visual Design is a core skill in the profession.

  • a career in Information Systems, they will be thinking / designing system requirements and will be helping design the systems.

  • If a student is a Computer Science Major then they will be on the receiving end of the design process and being asked to code what has been designed.

“While great art makes you wonder, great design makes things clear.”

John Maeda, The Laws of Simplicity

IS627 is a graduate level, three-credit course.  Students do not need to know how to write code and will not be expected to learn code as a requirement for this course. Nice to have skills, but not required include any visual design courses you may have taken along with Intro to User Experience, Research Methods and Information Architecture.


Discovery, development, and strengthening skills required to layouts in a visually appealing way when working with technology.  By the end of this class you will have a basic understanding of design as it applies to technology.


Students will learn:

  • The value and impact of shape and texture

  • How to apply design theory including gestalt to technology

  • Understand the power and nuance of typography

  • Utilize color theory

  • How to use key tools like Adobe InDesign  and Sketch 3

  • Brainstorm & develop visual design for technology

  • Receive feedback and Iterate accordingly


Time in the classroom will be broken up into small increments with 5 minute breaks in between each increment, this is so that students have time to digest information and not be overwhelmed.  The increments will be the following formats:

  • Lecture & Hands on learning

  • Design Studio (Share and critique sessions)

  • Workshop (In class time for collaboration and exploration)

  • Presentation

Outside of the classroom students will be expected to do the following

  • Reading assignments

  • Spend time collaborating with team members

  • Conducting exercises based on the lessons

  • Brainstorming and developing final project


The following how the semester will unfold, note that the schedule is subject to change: