In the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE), students are designing the future by building innovative technologies and systems. Putting people first, HCDE students and faculty research, design, and engineer interactions between humans and technology.
HCDE is housed within the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. HCDE students learn to center on human needs and interests as they solve design problems and build engineering solutions. Students in the College of Engineering learn to center on multifaceted grand challenges as identified by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
Students in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) build a strong foundation in designing user experiences and interfaces, creating information visualizations, conducting usability research, designing for the web, and building web technologies. In addition to traditional coursework, our students have direct access to faculty through small research groups, addressing a wide range of research and design challenges. Our graduates go on to jobs such as multimedia and web developers, usability engineers and interface designers, user experience researchers and designers, and information architects at high-tech companies (e.g., Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Amazon, Google, and Boeing).
Gian: HCDE is a technology driven program that focuses on people.
Interviewer: Gian Bruno talks about Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. What do students learn in HCDE?
Gian: Our undergraduates get a really strong foundation in engineering. In addition to that, they get exposed to some really amazing research opportunities that help them figure out "How do you design?" And design very broadly, not just "How do you design a website." It can be product development; it can be software development but design very, very broadly. They also are given really strong skill sets in how to communicate. Communicate very general information or very technical information to very broad audiences.
Interviewer: What kind of research is done in HCDE?
Gian: I think one of the most amazing aspects of our program is one, being at a research one institution, our faculty and students have access to amazing research opportunities.
In our department, what's I think unique, is our research groups span a pretty large array of topics from human robot communication to designing documents to mobile web interfaces. So, our students really get exposed to a really wide variety of research topics and how to do research in a variety of settings. They have access to not just one specific topic, but they can be exposed to many, many different areas within the field of Human Centered Design & Engineering.
Interviewer: What makes HCDE unique?
Gian: One of the qualities that I find unique and amazing about our program is we're this small accessible program where you have access to faculty, to all the students in our program, but despite the fact that we're small, in terms of the scope of the research that our faculty and students engage in, it's so broad and it's so huge. I think that's one of the unique aspects is you have this really small community, but you have this really wide range of topics that you are exposed to as a student which I think is unique.
Whereas most programs you have the size but then you're just a number in a program. With our program, you're an individual. You have the opportunity to shine. People know you by first name, and you have access to these amazing opportunities for research and academics. I guess, that's one of the qualities that sets us apart from any other program.
Interviewer: For more information about HCDE at the University of Washington, visit us on the web at hcde.washington.edu.