The aim of the Master’s course in Web and Digital Design is the creation of different professional profiles within the web media design area which are able to plan, produce and share through the online communities a new generation of content and services in an effective way. The program offers an experimental pathway at the forefront of design, marketing and technology. Students blend sound design competence with strategic vision, knowledge of technical aspects and project management skills in order to coordinate all the different stages in the development process. The plan of studies blends art direction and design contents with solid technical skills and an in-depth background in digital marketing and communication. The programme develops in the interplay between theoretical teaching and practical tasks. Project-based activities in particular are central to the learning experience and leverage abilities and information acquired in the other courses. The projects follow a professional workflow encompassing the definition of the digital strategy, the interaction model and user’s journey, the design of the interface and its look and feel, the creation of a prototype using front/back end programming tools. As the user experience is increasingly developing through social media, companies are changing their business accordingly: this new and thrilling scenario is deeply investigated with specific regard to the integration of content and navigation flow between websites and search/social platforms and viceversa. The overall didactic experience provides the students with professional abilities that allow them to engage in dialogue with the different figures involved in digital media projects.
BA Degree or higher (in relevant fields such as Architecture, Design, Visual Arts, etc.)* OR significant work experience in a relevant field (+ High School Diploma) Transcripts (list of subjects + grades)* (graduates only) Portfolio in digital format, cv, motivational letter, copy of passport.
Upon selection, the Master admits graduates in Media Studies, Communication and Graphics, IT Sciences, Design or Architecture and their equivalents or candidates who have gained significant professional experience in the field. The program has a limited number of places available. Applicants will be admitted upon selection based on the student’s CV, portfolio and on an interview. Applications must be sent to the SPD Academic Office.
The Master lasts 15 months (from October to December 2015, with a summer break in August). Attendance is compulsory and full time. The total workload of the course corresponds to 1500 hours/student encompassing lessons, class exercises, internship and individual study.
At the end of lessons, students start a three-month internship at companies or professional firms in the field.
The Master’s course is held in English.
After passing the final exam, eligible students will obtain a Master’s Degree from IULM and SPD. The Master corresponds to 60 ECTS credits.
DIGITAL DESIGN LABORATORIES
Project-based courses are intended to enable the students to develop and implement projects in a digital environment. Challenging themes, in connection to the different dimensions of the design practice, offer the possibility to combine the brand and the user experience, to create an effective digital strategy and translate ideas into real projects. Students are provided with the basic knowledge of user interface design techniques and familiarise with the most important analysis tools: interviews, observation, expert evaluation, web analytics. Design follows analysis: applications, websites and mobile interfaces are envisioned. Students learn how to test their prototypes with users so that their designs can finally prove engaging, usable and accessible on multiple devices. Partecipants also learn how to leverage the Internet’s potential as a marketplace and develop specific skills to plan the design life cycle of an effective e-commerce that yields successful online sales and return on investments. A particular attention is devoted to the industries of lifestyle, fashion, design and food that play a crucial role for the exports of countries like Italy. Participants are asked to study the digital communication strategies of brands representative of luxury and design excellences in order to identifying primary drivers, and then to propose strategies and communication artifacts to support the digital evolution of these brands.
CODING AND PROGRAMMING FOR DESIGNERS
WEB MARKETING AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
The goal of this course is to equip the students with the principles of marketing and the project management concepts that can be used on the web. The program is articulated into a first theoretical part that supplies fundamental information, best practices and methodologies to turn a creative vision into a marketing strategy and find the technology to support it using the Internet. The toolkit thus provided is translated in a practical assignement and helps the students to derive creative insights that improve the customer’s experience. An intensive seminar is focused on search engine positioning and its optimization techniques.
STORYTELLING AND ART DIRECTION
Digital storytelling has established itself as an extension of the traditional storytelling techniques, with the added value of new story forms allowed by the digital technologies such as non-linear narratives and interactive stories. Also, companies create content for the web as a compelling and cost-effective way to reach people all over the world, spread the brand promise around and boost their reputation.
With the internet everywhere and the increasing diffusion of mobile devices, digital stories can present new and engaging transmedia formats as a different medium can be used for each part of a story. The course caters for the complexity of this scenario and presents the main techniques to tell stories that contain good flow, entertainment or emotional content, and plentiful associative material that can allow them to be powerful and memorable.
This area aims at exposing the students to a wide range of tools, information and techniques to consolidate their design skills. The teaching methodology combines technical training with graphic-oriented exercises in digital typography or publishing, using the commonest publishing applications. Software for specific usage in a web environment is also be introduced, choosing the right tool for a specific task: for example, Sketch for the design of a responsive web layout, After Effects for the animation of an UI prototype or Pixate for the creation of an iOS app prototype.