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Uni course choice crisis!! Need advice/help (1 Viewer)

dancingqueennn

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Hi everyone, so to summarise I recently commenced interaction design at USYD but don't like it. I'm not a big fan of UX anymore, particularly the creative coding aspect which has been really boring/difficult and my mental health has taken a dive, I can't even focus on any design units, only my one business unit.

Right now I think I have two options (I'm looking into):
- transfer to single USYD commerce next semester: I like the business info system major. I think I'll also be able to keep my scholarship (8k per year) if I do this. although, this would require me to complete the current semester (which consists of mostly design units) and I genuinely think I may fail my design programming unit (causing the scholarship to be terminated all together). I was actually enrolled in commerce initially, but left before commencing cause I had doubts about employability/interest regarding single business degrees.

- transfer to UTS business/IT next semester: This might be risky. I like the broadness of an IT and Business double and would have picked it if not for USYD's scholarship. The IT degree also seems pretty business focused (at least for the business info system major under it). I'd also therefore be foregoing my USYD scholarship. If I do this, I can either simply take a gap semester now but I'm just scared it won't be worth losing out on USYD's scholarship.

sorry if this rant is confusing lol kinda freaking out :)
thanks in advance
 

ExtremelyBoredUser

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Hi everyone, so to summarise I recently commenced interaction design at USYD but don't like it. I'm not a big fan of UX anymore, particularly the creative coding aspect which has been really boring/difficult and my mental health has taken a dive, I can't even focus on any design units, only my one business unit.

Right now I think I have two options (I'm looking into):
- transfer to single USYD commerce next semester: I like the business info system major. I think I'll also be able to keep my scholarship (8k per year) if I do this. although, this would require me to complete the current semester (which consists of mostly design units) and I genuinely think I may fail my design programming unit (causing the scholarship to be terminated all together). I was actually enrolled in commerce initially, but left before commencing cause I had doubts about employability/interest regarding single business degrees.

- transfer to UTS business/IT next semester: This might be risky. I like the broadness of an IT and Business double and would have picked it if not for USYD's scholarship. The IT degree also seems pretty business focused (at least for the business info system major under it). I'd also therefore be foregoing my USYD scholarship. If I do this, I can either simply take a gap semester now but I'm just scared it won't be worth losing out on USYD's scholarship.

sorry if this rant is confusing lol kinda freaking out :)
thanks in advance
Transfer to USYD commerce, 8k per year is amazingly good. It doesn't seem that there's much of a difference between the degrees because I'm sure you can take IT units in your commerce degree (idk USYD but its possible for UNSW i think).

In terms of employability, I'd say business/IT seems better in terms of trying to work systems or network however I feel like you can get into the same path with a commerce degree given that you are well rounded outside your degree. It depends what career path you're going for, I can't say unless you make that more specific.
 

rubypinky:)

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Hi everyone, so to summarise I recently commenced interaction design at USYD but don't like it. I'm not a big fan of UX anymore, particularly the creative coding aspect which has been really boring/difficult and my mental health has taken a dive, I can't even focus on any design units, only my one business unit.

Right now I think I have two options (I'm looking into):
- transfer to single USYD commerce next semester: I like the business info system major. I think I'll also be able to keep my scholarship (8k per year) if I do this. although, this would require me to complete the current semester (which consists of mostly design units) and I genuinely think I may fail my design programming unit (causing the scholarship to be terminated all together). I was actually enrolled in commerce initially, but left before commencing cause I had doubts about employability/interest regarding single business degrees.

- transfer to UTS business/IT next semester: This might be risky. I like the broadness of an IT and Business double and would have picked it if not for USYD's scholarship. The IT degree also seems pretty business focused (at least for the business info system major under it). I'd also therefore be foregoing my USYD scholarship. If I do this, I can either simply take a gap semester now but I'm just scared it won't be worth losing out on USYD's scholarship.

sorry if this rant is confusing lol kinda freaking out :)
thanks in advance
can u tell me what u didn't like about interaction design at USYd or how the people was like? im really interested in taking that course next year and want to know how life is like
 

dancingqueennn

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can u tell me what u didn't like about interaction design at USYd or how the people was like? im really interested in taking that course next year and want to know how life is like
Hi sorry for the super late reply, everything has been chaotic and I forgot I posted here lol.
- I'm not a big fan of the design units so far, I find them quite vague and dull (so probs just a personal preference for more "concrete theory").
- The cohort is alright from my experience so far.
- I also would prefer a degree that offers more (eg. accreditation) than just units to build a portfolio. The career prospects for the degree also include technical and social areas... since I dislike the technical areas it makes the already limited job prospects even more limited.
I'd say the interaction design course would be good if you're a fan of creative coding tho... even though there's just two core coding units in 1st yr its difficult when you don't like coding at all (which I only recently discovered).

hope this helps :)
 

rubypinky:)

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Hi sorry for the super late reply, everything has been chaotic and I forgot I posted here lol.
- I'm not a big fan of the design units so far, I find them quite vague and dull (so probs just a personal preference for more "concrete theory").
- The cohort is alright from my experience so far.
- I also would prefer a degree that offers more (eg. accreditation) than just units to build a portfolio. The career prospects for the degree also include technical and social areas... since I dislike the technical areas it makes the already limited job prospects even more limited.
I'd say the interaction design course would be good if you're a fan of creative coding tho... even though there's just two core coding units in 1st yr its difficult when you don't like coding at all (which I only recently discovered).

hope this helps :)
hey thank you, can you expand more on what you mean by technical and social areas?
 

dancingqueennn

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hey thank you, can you expand more on what you mean by technical and social areas?
Sure :)
In USYD Interaction Design, one of the people who designed the course basically said it combines these two areas. the technical side is more technology-focused, ranging from creative coding to units about virtual reality. in the later years , elective design units are even categorised as being either technical or social.
here are some example:
- technical elective units include: advanced web design (basically more advanced use of Javascript coding), design for intelligent systems (looks at AI and its use in design),
- social elective units include: design for well being, design for social impact

careers for the technical side include front-end developer, web designer etc
careers for the social side are more UX and product designer, UX research etc
the social side focuses more on like social justice and you'll get prompts about solving social problems (eg. homelessness) by making a design.

feel free to ask anymore questions if you have any :)
 

rubypinky:)

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Sure :)
In USYD Interaction Design, one of the people who designed the course basically said it combines these two areas. the technical side is more technology-focused, ranging from creative coding to units about virtual reality. in the later years , elective design units are even categorised as being either technical or social.
here are some example:
- technical elective units include: advanced web design (basically more advanced use of Javascript coding), design for intelligent systems (looks at AI and its use in design),
- social elective units include: design for well being, design for social impact

careers for the technical side include front-end developer, web designer etc
careers for the social side are more UX and product designer, UX research etc
the social side focuses more on like social justice and you'll get prompts about solving social problems (eg. homelessness) by making a design.

feel free to ask anymore questions if you have any :)
thank you for that feedback. When i look on the website, i see that you can apply using art portfolio. If so, did you apply your portfolio by any chance or know any stories of applying portfolio but didnt take visual art for senior years?
 

dancingqueennn

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thank you for that feedback. When i look on the website, i see that you can apply using art portfolio. If so, did you apply your portfolio by any chance or know any stories of applying portfolio but didnt take visual art for senior years?
Personally I didn't submit a portfolio. but you can definitely submit one without an visual arts experience. In the info session, its recommended to "tell a story" like share your ideas (extra great if your portfolio "solves a problem" with the design).
There's a pretty insightful YouTube video called "bachelor of design computing information session" where they talk about the portfolio at the end. the interaction design degree used to be called design computing before they changed some things around in 2022. also the info session video was posted by usyd's "architecture, design and planning" YouTube channel.
 

dancingqueennn

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thank you for that feedback. When i look on the website, i see that you can apply using art portfolio. If so, did you apply your portfolio by any chance or know any stories of applying portfolio but didnt take visual art for senior years?
I also spoke with a tutor recently and she said that the interaction design careers are often a mix of technical and social, with some leaning more to one side than the other. for instance, some are like 80% technical and 20% social. this is why in my experience its best to kinda enjoy both sides :)
 

rubypinky:)

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I also spoke with a tutor recently and she said that the interaction design careers are often a mix of technical and social, with some leaning more to one side than the other. for instance, some are like 80% technical and 20% social. this is why in my experience its best to kinda enjoy both sides :)
thanks so much!!! Does that mean i have to enjoy making design for homelessness? etc.. also one more, did you do IPT or visual art in highschool? Does any of your hsc subjects oveerlap with what you studies in interaction design units?
 

dancingqueennn

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thanks so much!!! Does that mean i have to enjoy making design for homelessness? etc.. also one more, did you do IPT or visual art in highschool? Does any of your hsc subjects oveerlap with what you studies in interaction design units?
You wouldn't necessarily have to enjoy making designs in response to social issues, but I'd say at-least have an idea of if you'd tolerate it cause some units kinda integrate that in their assignments.
for example, one of the first core units (visual communication) is heavily centred around graphic design/using adobe/visual thinking/typography/colour and it also currently has an assignment where students critique an organisation's design that promotes a certain social issue. I think they called it a "design crit". Then ofcouse there's some units in the later years where students create their own designs in response to social issues, but tbh I'm not too sure how many there are of those.

personally I didn't do IPT or VA or any subjects directly related to interaction design. my hsc subjects were all humanities/social science and science-based. Since my HSC subjects were all heavily based around memorisation/concrete theory, I was quite shocked in interaction design because some units (particularly one of the first semester core units, "design processes and methods") were abstract and felt wishy washy. In one tutorial (for design processes and methods) we spent like 2 hours drawing layouts for a kitchen and redesigning/"iterating" them with group mates. In another unit (visual communication), we often look at random visual designs and critique them (like use of colour, imagery, fonts). in contrast, my hsc subjects (eg. legal) were all heavily based around simply writing notes and memorising them. I did VA in year 9-10 and loved it, although tbh I wouldn't say that helped much.

overall tho, I wouldn't say you need any prior knowledge to do well in design. the only HSC subject I'd say would have helped me personally so far is IPT cause I assume that would teach some coding + would have helped me realise I don't like coding in the first place. you can still very much do well in design programming without any prior knowledge, although it's a bit risky cause some people realise too late that they genuinely despise coding and struggle to develop the motivation to overcome the learning curve. coding also kinda requires like "systems thinking" which I struggle with (especially as someone that only did memorisation based HSC subjects). my advice is just make sure you can at least tolerate a bit of coding before going into a course with any core programming units, regrettable I didn't lol

feel free to ask any other questions that may come about :)
 

rubypinky:)

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thanks for that! Im not sure if you started your infromation system degree yet. Then how is interaction design different from information system? I assume that information system have coding aspects to it if Im not wrong?!
 

rubypinky:)

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also, one more question, were you way above the guaranteed atar for this course?
 

dancingqueennn

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thanks for that! Im not sure if you started your infromation system degree yet. Then how is interaction design different from information system? I assume that information system have coding aspects to it if Im not wrong?!
I've done part of an info system unit at usyd so might be able to give some insight :). info systems at different univeristies has different titles and varies quite a lot. At usyd, there is a "business info systems" major which is very business oriented and has no coding or proper tech theory whatsoever. part of what is taught involves how tech is integrated in business, but none of that technical IT stuff is included. jobs for this major are mostly aimed for tech consulting and business analyst jobs.
in comparison, the info systems degree at unsw is more technical and similar to an IT degree (so it has a few coding units).

Info systems is at its most basic level, the interrelation between these five components in an organisation: software, hardware, data, people, procedures.
in comparison, interaction design is basically a different field involving designing interactions between users and services (eg. usually digital products). interaction design focuses more on individual users' needs, whereas info systems is more focused on the business and meeting its goals by improving the cooperation between the five components of an info system.
 

rubypinky:)

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I've done part of an info system unit at usyd so might be able to give some insight :). info systems at different univeristies has different titles and varies quite a lot. At usyd, there is a "business info systems" major which is very business oriented and has no coding or proper tech theory whatsoever. part of what is taught involves how tech is integrated in business, but none of that technical IT stuff is included. jobs for this major are mostly aimed for tech consulting and business analyst jobs.
in comparison, the info systems degree at unsw is more technical and similar to an IT degree (so it has a few coding units).

Info systems is at its most basic level, the interrelation between these five components in an organisation: software, hardware, data, people, procedures.
in comparison, interaction design is basically a different field involving designing interactions between users and services (eg. usually digital products). interaction design focuses more on individual users' needs, whereas info systems is more focused on the business and meeting its goals by improving the cooperation between the five components of an info system.
so is the coding different from information system and interaction design?
 

dancingqueennn

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so is the coding different from information system and interaction design?
yeah, coding in interaction design is creative focused (html/css and the javascript library p5.js). html/css is quite easy and learnt in the second semester to code and design websites (intro to web design unit). meanwhile p5.js is involves making interactive visuals for the design programming unit.
information systems coding(python, SQL,Java) is focused on business databases and information management as opposed to the creative stuff of interaction design.
 

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