Communication Design Candidacy Review: User-Experience Track
The Communication Design Program at the University of North Texas has two tracks for students: Graphic Design and User-Experience Design. This web page describes the application process for students interested in the track for User-Experience Design, UxD.
Application Process Overview
Deadline to Apply: Interested students must submit the required application materials online through the SlideRoom app by Nov. 28, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. CST.
Application Cost: The application cost is $10.
The UNT Communication Design Entry-Portfolio Review for Candidacy is a two-stage review for admittance into either the User-Experience Design or Graphic Tracks — no student may be admitted to both tracks.
This web page addresses the entry-review process for candidacy for only the User-Experience Design track of the Communication Design program.
Stage 1: A digital review of each candidate’s portfolio.
Candidates selected to advance will be invited to participate in the second stage, the User-Experience Design Ignition Assignment and Individual Student Interview.
Notifications are scheduled to go out on Dec. 4, 2022, to candidates selected to participate in the second stage.
Stage 2: Candidates selected to advance to Stage 2 will be assigned a window of time to appear in person for one of two sessions. Important: Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstances.
Note: No online sessions, Zoom chats or MS Teams meetings will be conducted.
Prerequisites to Apply for Candidacy
Applicants are required to have completed, with a grade of ‘C’ or better, or be currently enrolled in at least two of the courses that comprise the CVAD Foundations program – ART 1600, ART 1700, ART 1800 and ART 1900, or their accepted equivalents from other institutions of higher education. If you have not completed this entire array of courses and passed them with a final course grade of ‘C’ or better before the spring semester, you must do so by the first day of classes of the following fall semester.
Digital Portfolio Review for Candidacy — Stage 1
Digital Review Application Requirements
Deadline: All material listed below must be uploaded to SlideRoom by the deadline.
- Six examples of your best work*
- Completed Human-Centered Design worksheets*
- Sketchbook slide presentation*
*Allowed media types: images — up to 5MB each; video up to 250MB each; PDFs up to 10MB each; other types — website up to 10MB each; and external media from YouTube and Vimeo.
Providing Six Examples of Your Best Work
Applicants must upload six examples of their work that best represents their skill set and potential as a potential communication design major. The work can be produced in any medium of your choosing — traditional or digital. Physical projects should be photographed or scanned at a high enough resolution to ensure a clear depiction of the work. Please provide active links to online projects, such as websites, videos, etc.
All projects must be submitted through SlideRoom. Students are encouraged to present work that shows a broad range of interests and abilities. Work should exhibit your ability to effectively draw, create, and conceptualize compelling designs or images that use design principles and color theory. Work may come from your art foundation core classes, high school coursework, or work outside the classroom.
More than 100 students typically apply for our program, so consider how your work might stand out. Also, be aware that reviewers will not know the criteria or parameters you were attempting to satisfy in particular examples of the work you submit. Evaluate the likelihood of these examples being effectively understood by the reviewers and make decisions to include or not include specific examples accordingly.
Human-Centered Design Worksheets
A series of supplied User-Experience Design worksheets guide applicants through the research and design process for a hypothetical client. Worksheets can be requested from Professor Keith Owens, Keith.Owens@unt.edu.
These worksheets must be completed and uploaded through SlideRoom by the application entry deadline, Nov. 28, 2022, by 11:59 p.m. CST.
Sketchbook Slide Presentation
The sketchbook should or may include process work for drawing and design courses, personal sketches, and process work for projects outside of classes.
- You will need to photograph the front cover of the sketchbook, as well as a minimum of 10 spreads to a maximum of 20 spreads that occur within it.
- Arrange these spreads in a slide presentation using Adobe Acrobat, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, or another software program that will enable the effective visual presentation of your work.
- Save the final version as a PDF document to upload with your submission.
The sketchbook should capture your process and convey your commitment to the discipline of design through deep exploration and refinement of ideas. Your sketches need not be well-polished, but they should effectively depict your thinking processes and ability to explore a broad range of ideas. This must be completed and uploaded by the application deadline through SlideRoom.
Assignment and In-Person Review — Stage 2
User-Experience Design Ignition Assignment and Individual Student Interview
Dec. 8, 2022: Administration of the UxD ignition assignment and student interviews
Sketchbook Slide Presentation
The personal sketchbook of your process work and daily reflections that you uploaded with your application must be presented during the User-Experience Design Ignition Assignment and Individual Student Interview.
- Drawing utensils and drawing pad — approximately 9 x 12 inches
- Transcripts: unofficial are preferred
The UxD Ignition Assignment and Individual Student Interviews
Dec. 8, 2022: Two sessions of 150 minutes each are scheduled to take place in the Art Building, Room 284. No student may participate in both sessions.
- Group 1: 8:30 and 11 a.m.
- Group 2: 1:30 and 4 p.m.
A verbal prompt from a UxD faculty member will fuel the ignition assignment at the beginning of each in-person review session. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
Individual student participants will then spend approximately 30 minutes using their required materials listed above to sketch, generate or storyboard what they believe is an appropriate and effective concept, idea or proposal in response to the prompt.
After this period has elapsed, each student will be afforded five minutes to meet with the UxD faculty — and no more time than this — to present and explain the key rationales that support their concepts, ideas or proposals. The whole presentation-and-discussion period for all students will last between 90 and 105 minutes. All participants should be prepared to speak clearly about the design approaches they chose to operate and the contextual factors that guided their decision-making.
Applicants will be notified of the final results via email by Dec. 13, 2022.
All notifications will come via email. The notification will be delivered to the email you use when you create your SlideRoom account. If you are a current UNT student, please make your SlideRoom account with your official UNT account, as your acceptance email will arrive via your official UNT email account.
Students who are not selected for the UxD track should schedule a meeting with their CVAD academic advisor to develop an alternative degree plan and a schedule for the next semester. Do this immediately after you receive a non-acceptance email.
Students may reapply for entry into the UxD program the following year. In the meantime, they should develop a secondary degree plan to pursue.
It is also important to note that the Communication Design curriculum cannot be expedited, so reapplying to the program will delay graduation by a year.
Foundations for Communication Design
All students accepted into the Communication Design User-Experience Design track must take ADES 1543: Foundations for User-Experience Design in the spring semester. This class is a prerequisite for the fall Communication UX Design coursework — ADES 1513: Contextual Research Methods and ADES 2513 Digital Typographic Systems. Note: If you cannot take ADES 1543 in the spring, you are advised to wait until the next entry review cycle.
While purchasing an Apple Mac is not required, all Communication Design majors at the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design must buy or have hardware and software that meets the following specifications.
All students accepted into the User-Experience Design Track will be required to have a laptop and the appropriate software by the end of the first week of the spring semester.
The following Apple Mac computer* configuration is recommended for purchase for Communication Design majors enrolled in UNT College of Visual Arts and Design.
- Laptop: 14-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
- If a 16-inch MacBook Pro is affordable, you are encouraged to purchase that size.
- Processor: Apple M2 Chip**
Memory: 16GB** — minimum
Storage: 512GB SSD storage — minimum**
- Extended Warranty: AppleCare Protection Plan***
*The Apple Macintosh is the computer most often used in the graphic design and advertising professions. It’s possible, though not recommended, to use a similarly configured PC.
** It may be advantageous if you can afford to add a larger hard drive, more memory, or a larger processor.
*** AppleCare extends the warranty and may be able to cover your computer for most of your time at UNT.
Stated prices are based on data sourced from the following URL links. Lower prices may be available but should not be expected. The following software** should be configured to run on any computer regularly used by Communication Design majors enrolled in UNT College of Visual Arts and Design.
Adobe Creative Cloud Membership: $55.55 per academic year
For more information, visit the Adobe Creative Cloud UNT-Student Discount information page on the CVAD News and Views website. With the one-year UNT-student discount, students receive a membership to all Adobe Creative Cloud software applications. Students in the UxD track will need access to the latest software, especially InDesign, XD, Illustrator and Photoshop. Note: Familiarization with the workings of Adobe Illustrator during the UNT Winter Break before enrollment in ADES 1543 is strongly encouraged.
Microsoft 365 for Mac
Microsoft Office for Mac for currently enrolled students is available at no additional cost through the UNT DSI-AITS web page: Office 356 Apps.
Figma Web and Mobile App
All students in the UxD track should download Figma, a web-based graphics editing and user interface design app, for their desktop or laptop computers, plus the Figma mobile app version and the appropriate Figma font installer — Mac or Windows.
Extensis Connect Font Management Software: $59.95
Available through the Extensis.com.
** Student discounts sometimes are available through the following websites.