The Student Perspective: Navigating Interaction Design Department at National Taipei University of Technology


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interaction design department at National Taipei University of Technology. The Student Perspective: Navigating Interaction Design Department at NTUT

Several years ago, when I was searching for Interaction Design department at National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT), there is only few information about it, despite as a local Taiwanese student like me. So, after graduated from bachelor program of Interaction Design (IXD), I decided to write this article to help more students who are also interested in IXD, both local and international. I gathered information that future students might need as much as I can, including brief introduction to Interaction Design, program and courses, environment, scholarships and other related resources.

Note 1: This article is based on my personal experience as a local student in IXD department, detail might vary since you will enroll in international program.

Note 2: This article is wrote specifically for international students. If you prefer to read in Chinese, please refer to here.

A brief introduction to Interaction Design

Interaction Design is an inclusive domain, contains or overlap with several domain like Human-Computer Interaction, Visual Design, Industrial Design and so on. In practical use, Interaction Design can be used in installation art, UI/UX design, web design, AR/VR/MR, 3d animation and game.

Installation Art
You might seen of installation art in exhibition, museum or other places before. But here, we speak of installation art especially refers to the ones you can actually interact with. For example, teamLab, a renowned international art collective, held an exhibition at National Taiwan Science Education Center in 2021, featuring a projection mapping art that visitors can interact with flowers from the digital screen with their arms movement.

There is no specific form of installation art, it all depends on the concept you want to present. In IXD department, you will learn to use single-board micro controllers like Arduino or Raspberry Pi combine with phone, tablet, projector to make interesting projects.

teamLab Exhibition at the National Taiwan Science Education Center, October 2021.
Arduino和其他電子材料
Arduino and other electronic materials. Photo by Robin Glauser on Unsplash

UI/ UX Design
Take mobile app for example, when we are using app, we all have a goal or task to complete. In order to interact with our device (smartphone in this example), we need an intermediary layer, and that’s where User Interface (UI) comes in, and your experience along the journey of the service, is User Experience (UX).

Even though UI and UX design is highly related to aesthetics, but the outcome can be evaluated objectively. UI designers can follow certain guidelines, principles or theories, while UX researchers can use tools like eyes movement tracking, contextual interview, questionnaire to discover more qualitative insights. And this is the major part you will be learning in the department.

UI design. Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash

Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality / Mixed Reality
Based on the proportion of physical elements to digital elements, it can be classified into a spectrum from AR (Augmented Reality) to VR (Virtual Reality), and the whole spectrum can be called MR (Mixed Reality).

AR primarily consists of physical elements with an integration of digital components, whereas VR is an environment entirely made up of digital elements, creating the sensation of entering an entirely different world.

The game “Pokémon Go” is a well-known example of AR, which mixes real-world and digital features. The “Quest 3” from Meta is a VR headset that lets you experience a completely digital world. Similarly, Apple is planning to launch a new device called “Vision Pro” in 2024, which is for MR, combining both real and digital elements.

3d Modeling and Animation
In the IXD department, you will learn about the basic of 3d modeling and make an original animation eventually. Learning 3d not only can be used in animation, but also can be a handful tool for concept presenting, 3d printing and laser cutting.

Game Developing
If you’re into gaming, consider making a game for your project to display your originality and concept. The IXD department includes a course on C# programming in its undergraduate curriculum, which is essential for creating games with the Unity engine. Yet, to tailor your game development to your specific vision, you’ll need to engage in some self-learning as well. Below is some game demo videos from me and my classmates:

Group course project “DanDan Animals”.
Group course project “I thought I wouldn’t get diabetes, but who would have thought that I have it now!? (我以為我不會得糖尿病,但想不到如今我得了!?)”. Credit:Xi-Fan, Hong
Group course project “鳩地正法”. Credit:Pei-Chi, Lin

Programs and courses

The Department of Interaction Design was founded in 2009, offering 4-year and 2-year programs of Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, respectively. The International Master Program of Interaction Design and Innovation was established in 2018 as an expansion of an already well-established academic master’s program with a global vision, admitting students from all over the world and collaborating with foreign universities through workshops and exchange programs. Thus, this program brings cultural diversity to the interdisciplinary learning environment that is located in downtown Taipei.

Depending on the program level, students are expected to achieve different academic goals. The bachelor program students are expected to make an interaction design project, whereas master programs students put more efforts on academic research of Interaction Design (this apply for both local and international students).

Also, in recent years, the Taiwanese government has invested heavily in the Bilingual Education for Students in College (BEST) program, and this includes efforts at NTUT. As a result, an increasing number of courses are now being taught in English. You can refer to course search system shown below to get more detail.

B.S. Program

M.A. Program

2024 Feb. update: Dr. Ping-Hsuan Han is the advisor on the International Bachelor Program of Interaction Design and Innovation this year. If you have any questions or require further assistance during the application process, I recommend you to reach out to our admissions team at jessie8915@mail.ntut.edu.tw (Ms. Jessie Liou) or han@mail.ntut.edu.tw.

Environment

Location

國立臺北科技大學 校園風景

NTUT is nestled in the heart of Taipei City, Taiwan’s capital. Located in the bustling Daan district, the campus sits adjacent to the “Zhongxiao Xinsheng” MRT station, offering seamless subway connectivity.

In addition to the MRT, numerous bus routes pass near the campus, providing easy access to various parts of the city, with both the iconic Taipei 101 and the central Taipei Main Station only a 15-minute journey from campus. Taxis and bike-sharing services are also readily available.

Classrooms

Tuition, Fees and Scholarship

According to the information listed on the official website in Nov, 2023, the tuition fee for 1 semester for IXD bachelor and master program is shown below:

CurrencyBachelor ProgramMaster Program
NTD54,83763,002
USD1,6941,946
THB60,62969,657
IDR26,565,27630,520,735
Note. Two semesters a year.

Depending on the program level, you might be eligble for different scholarships from NTUT or Taiwan Government.

Scholarship Information
Scholarship Information

Related Resources

Official Sites

Professors’ personal or lab website

2024 Feb. update: Below is the list of professors’ personal or lab website link. Some professors are not listed on the list because no website link is provided. If you have any questions about the program, I especially recommend you to reach out Prof. Tai or Prof. Han, the Program Director for Bachelor and Master program.

NameTitleResearch CategoryWebsite Link
Hsiao-Yue TsaoProfessor / ChairDisplay Technology / Interactive art / Gender Studies and Interactive Science and TechnologyPortfolio
Chien-Wen ChengAssociate ProfessorInteractive Computer Music / Music Technology / Music Technology / Music Theory / Digital Music ProductionInteractive Music and Multimedia Lab
Tai, Nan-chingAssociate Professor / Master Program DirectorDigital Fabrication / Tangible Interaction Design / Natural User Interface / High Dynamic Range Imagery / Space PerceptionHCI and Behavioral Science Research Lab
Han Ping-HsuanAssistant Professor / Bachelor Program DirectorHuman-Computer Interaction / Virtual Reality / Mixed Reality / Haptics / Creative Engineering EducationPersonal Website

Students Projects

  1. Behance page of 106 grade graduation exhibition
  2. Behance page of 2019 winter camp for Interaction Design department

Conclusion

If you have any questions about this article, I am willing to help ! Please contact me through email or DM my instagram account.

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