I came across this article on UX Magazine the other day. The author introduces the idea of Learning Interface Design, a subset of user experience design that focuses on constructing interfaces to better aid learning. The article doesn’t go into much detail, but it does raise the notion that it is important to have Learning Interface Designers crafting applications – whether they be online university courses, elementary school spelling apps, educational games, or a whole host of other related interactive systems – with educational theory and psychology in mind. The author also briefly mentions the need to test such interfaces. It would have been nice to hear a little more on this topic, but it still got me thinking about the Learning from Serious Games? reading from this past week, in which Richard Clark describes what has been, in many ways, an abysmal attempt at studying the effectiveness of educational games as learning tools. While looking at interface design for learning is certainly tilted toward user-experience, it nonetheless ties in to game design. Of course UX research is decidedly different from formal, peer-reviewed, academic research, as we discussed in class, but I found it encouraging that the notion of creating an entire subfield of designers/researchers was raised like this.

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