Professional Certificate in UX & Emerging Interaction Design

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

NYU Tandon School of Engineering


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Who should attend

This comprehensive program is designed for professionals pursuing UX design careers with an interest in working with emerging technologies. Participants will have foundational visual design skills and experience with Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, and be seeking to work with emerging technologies -- specifically XR and voice -- while enhancing their skills in user experience design.

It is ideal for:

  • Designers looking to develop a deeper understanding of UX design concepts and the associated applications.
  • Product Designers/Managers looking to improve the user experience of the products/services offered by their company and explore new product ideas.
  • UX Developers/Engineers looking to advance in the field of UX design.
  • Consultants aiming to develop their knowledge of UX design to offer end-to-end solutions for their clients.

About the course

New digital experiences made possible by emerging technologies such as augmented, virtual and mixed reality (jointly known as “XR”) and voice interaction are changing the way we live and work. As these emerging technologies expand from gaming and entertainment to include more utility consumer and enterprise applications such as augmented e-commerce, navigation, banking, collaborative work and fitness, XR is poised for explosive growth, as are the career opportunities for those who can design and develop these next-generation user experiences.

Developed by NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, the Professional Certificate in UX & Emerging Interaction Design is a comprehensive six-month program created for UX designers or individuals with visual design experience who are ready to make the shift into creating user experiences with these new and emerging interaction patterns and possibilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Developing a strong set of foundational UX Design skills for XR and emerging applications
  • Learning scalable methodologies and processes used for creating interfaces
  • Exploring UX design principles for non-visual interfaces like haptics and voice
  • Using industry standard tools to design for XR and Voice applications
  • Building a portfolio featuring a variety of digital work samples ranging from UX-centric pieces like journey maps to mockups of XR interfaces

Program Topics

The six-month program is divided into five sections that explore the foundations of UX and XR, UX methodologies and processes, non-visual interfaces, and industry standard tools for creating XR environments. It culminates in a design sprint and UX capstone project to be completed for a corporate partner.

Week 1 : Paradigm Shifts

Gain a historical context for XR and a frame of reference for contemporary and emerging technologies and challenges by studying important innovations. Then head out on your own to research future XR innovations.

Week 2 : Cutting Edge of Today

Consider critical factors for UX design in the context of cutting-edge XR experiences.

Week 3 : UX with a Broad Brush

Identify pain points for users, generate solutions for those pain points, and prototype those solutions using Figma, the collaborative interface design tool.

Week 4 : Beginning Research in UX

Discover best practices for research methodology, including defining a problem and applying systematic inquiry strategies to test solutions.

Week 5 : Design Development

Get acquainted with the different roles in the design development process and explore its various steps, from dissecting the user journey to proposing solutions to problems and creating renderings.

Week 6 : Immersive and Augmented Interfaces

Consider the different affordances and constraints associated with designing for XR, then experiment with designing for them for yourself.

Week 7 : Best Practices for XR Usability

Learn best practices and UX design principles for XR and non-XR environments as well as important considerations regarding screen space versus world space.

Week 8 : Bringing It Together

Apply what you’ve learned in the program so far to create your own design for an AR or VR platform in Amazon Sumerian and present it.

Week 9: Human-Centered Design Principles

Become familiar with principles and best practices for human-computer interactions and human-centered design and how to apply them.

Week 10: Speculative Design

Contemplate the potential outcomes and impacts of your designs as well as important social and ethical considerations for both non-XR and XR platforms.

Week 11: Accessibility

Delve into inclusive design and strategies for increasing inclusivity during the design process.

Week 12: Critical Design

Learn the basics of critical design, including challenging assumptions and synthesizing research to evaluate design decisions, with specific applications to XR.

Week 13: Haptics

Explore haptics and the importance of feedback, as well as the use of haptics to generate realistic experiences in XR environments.

Week 14: Sound Design: Theory and Practice

In this module you will learn key components of sound design such as composition basics, Adobe XD skills, audio user mapping, sourcing and editing sounds, and audio moment mapping. Sean Thornton, co-founder of the audio branding agency Audio UX, will be a featured guest speaker.

Week 15: Interactive Audio

During this week we will explore ambient computing, conversation design, mixing and rendering sounds, and using sound to enhance user experience. Eric Seay, co-founder of the audio branding agency Audio UX, will be a featured guest speaker.

Week 16: Introduction to Unity

Get an introduction to Unity and experience prototyping using this industry standard tool.

Week 17: Setting the Stage: World Building

In this module you will use Unity to create storyboards for an XR experience of your own design, block out key moments and UI elements, and prototype the core interactions in your experience.

Week 18: Production, Refinement, and Tuning

This week you will refine your Unity design by setting up an art pipeline, generating production assets, replacing UI Elements with more refined pieces, and test, reinforce, and complete your XR experience.

Week 19: Evaluating

During this week you learn about documenting, presenting, and distributing your product. You will also learn about marketing your product, payment methods, and getting your product reviewed.

Week 20: Conceptualizing

Partner with a real-world company and practice your skills in determining client wants and needs and project scope.

Week 21: Research

Apply research methods to collect information for your real-world project.

Week 22: Usability

During this week, you will conduct usability tests and refine your product based on data from these tests.

Week 23: Ideation and Storytelling

Use feedback and critiques of your designs in the iteration process and learn how to present your designs using storyboarding.

Week 24: Prototyping

Build on the work you completed in the previous week by learning best practices for rapidly building and prototyping designs in the interactive process.

Week 25: Synthesizing Data and Presentation Prep

Learn best practice for different soft skills, such as presenting and evoking feedback.

Week 26: Show Your Work

During this final week of the course, present your capstone project.

Capstone Project

Working individually or within a group (based on your preference), complete a UX project for a corporate partner during the final section of the program. Each week focuses on a different component of the design sprint.

Real-world Applications


Discuss Apple as the gold standard of user experience design, and the introduction of the Macintosh personal computer as an important moment in the history of UX design.

Google Cardboard

Use Google Cardboard as medium to explore different virtual reality experiences.

Oculus Quest

Discuss VR headsets like the Oculus Quest, and where they fit in the evolution of extended reality technology.

Career Preparation and Guidance

Stepping into a career in user experience design requires both hard and soft skills—and a career in user experience design for emerging technologies requires even more. This program offers guidance for navigating a career path in user experience design with an emphasis on designing for emerging technologies, including:

  • One-on-one and small group mentoring with industry experts
  • Best practices for developing and presenting technical content to non-technical audiences
  • Guidance in preparing and delivering a portfolio-ready final project
  • Support in navigating technical interviews and take-home challenges
  • Career coaching for resume building, presentation skills, interview preparation, and negotiation skills

These services are provided by Emeritus, our learning collaborator for this program. Our program support team includes program leaders to help you reach your learning goals. It is our primary goal to give you the skills needed to be prepared for a job in this field, however we do not guarantee job placement.


Regine Gilbert

Visiting Industry Assistant Professor, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Senior User Experience Designer, Gilbert Consulting Group, Inc., Instructor – User Experience Design, General Assembly Regine Gilbert is a user experience designer, educator, and international public speaker with over 10 ye...

Nien Lam

Nien Lam is a designer, an educator, and a dad. He is a partner and co-founder of Line Break, a multi-disciplinary design and technology studio based in New York City. His clients have included Apple, Google, Pentagram, Pace Gallery, Estée Lauder, The Cleveland Clinic, Ai Weiwei Studio, and Studi...

Sebastian Buys

Sebastian Buys is a designer and lifelong coder. He is a partner and co-founder of Line Break, a multi-disciplinary design and technology studio based in New York City. His clients have included Apple, Google, Pentagram, Pace Gallery, Estée Lauder, The Cleveland Clinic, Ai Weiwei Studio and Studi...

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Professional Certificate in UX & Emerging Interaction Design at NYU Tandon School of Engineering

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Full disclaimer.

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