User/Design Researcher / Information Architect Specialist
User Experience Designer
Graduate Degree Graduate College of Education
Instructional Technologies(IA) *
◼MasterofArtsEducation† ◼Certificate (Completion of Program and Graduation) ◼4-Year Program, Combined University Degrees
◼ Technical &ProfessionalWritingCertificate† ◼ Equivalent to BATPW
† User/Design Research (UX), Information Architecture (IA),
Usability Testing, User-Centered Design,
User Experience Design (UXD), Project/Product Management
*MAEd / MAIA—Two dissertations about:
User/Design Research (UX), Information Architecture (IA),
User Experience Design (UXD), Interaction Design (IXD), Navigation Systems Design (NS), User-Centered Design,
Project/Product Management, Corporate Training,
Instructional Design, Cognitive Psychology, Usability Testing— IA Certifications; Certifications of Approval and Abstracts
Information Architecture (IA) &Design
Certifications of Approval and Abstracts
The MAEd dissertation and university program included:
User/Design Research, Written Thesis Report, Presentations, Annotated Bibliography, Glossary, Syllabus, and Online IA Tutorial; about information architecture, navigation systems design, interaction design, extended into user experience design, mapping and diagramming, project/product management, and usability testing—a systematic and professional approach on IA/UXD projects.
Relevant professional portfolios were successfully completed, including an information architect and project/product management internship, supervised by Dr. Foreman, Ph.D. (Dr. Beatty, Ph.D., was my main professor for 4 years and worked with me on the MAEd dissertation for 2 semesters, including Dr. Hyun, Ph.D.)—in a high-tech environment.
“Information Architectureis the structure of user-centereddesignand usability—it has to be strong.”
Dr. Hyun, Ph.D., Harvard University, assisted with relevant research parameters for the MAEd dissertation (additional research was used from the MAIA dissertation)—specific to and highly specialized for doing real-world projects, relevant to the IA/UXD industry, and leadership acumen appropriately implemented in professional environments, including Dr. Iandoli, Ed.D., Harvard University, Professor for School of Design Graduate Program (BAIA, MAIA programs; user/design research contributed to the MAEd Program).
Other contributing Professors were:
◼ Dr. Beatty, Ph.D., ◼ Dr. Michaels, Ph.D., ◼ Dr. Hemphill, Ed.D., ◼ Dr. Foreman, Ph.D., ◼ Dr. Cheng, Ph.D., ◼ Dr. Gates, Ed.D., and ◼ Dr. Dierke, Ed.D.
Five additional industry reviewers were required—for approval—for the MAEd thesis report and project, to name a few:
Mr. Crumlish, A.B., Director of Technology, Senior Information Architect, User Experience Designer, The Information Architecture Institute.
Ms. Buda, M.D., Director of User Experience, Senior Information Architect, Managing Director, Navigation Arts, as part of the MAEd program, including editors.
Interdisciplinary University Programs
User/Design Research, Information Architecture (IA), Navigation Systems Design (NS), User Experience Design (UXD), Structuring & Organizing Web-Based Information, Mobile User Experience, Interaction Design, User-Centered Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Human Factors, Visual & Web-Based Designs, Intranet Information Architecture, Designing Complex Applications & Websites, Interface Design, Social Media, Web 2.0, Computer/Web Programming, HTML5/CSS3, Usability Engineering, Usability Testing, Card Sorting, Usability in Practice, Guidelines for Web Usability, Usability Reports/Case Studies, Website Design & Management, and Project/Product Management; internships successfully completed.
Instructional Design, E-Learning, ADDIE Model (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate), Technical & Professional Writing, Editing, Document Design, Adobe Creative Suite (design premium), Systematic Design of Instruction, Psychology of Learning for Instruction: Theories of Learning & Instruction, Learning & Behavior, Learning & Cognition, Meaningful Learning & Schema Theory, Situated Cognition, Learning & Development, Interactional Theories of Cognitive Development, Biological Bases of Learning & Memory, Learning & Motivation, Gagné’s Theory of Instruction, Constructivism, Personal Theory of Learning & Instruction, Bloom, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gagné, and Cognitive Psychology.
MAEdField Study Requirement
In order to complete the field study, students must design, develop, and produce an instructional design project, using the instructional systems process (ADDIE model), from needs analysis to formative evaluation. The instructional unit may be in any medium—print, video, multimedia, or web-based. The instructional design process must be described in writing and include a review of the instructional need and significance of the project, research review, description of the design process, formative evaluation (usability testing), and conclusions. Students must provide a CD-ROM which contains the instructional unit and the design documents.
Portfolio Submission: Before undertaking a culminating experience, students must submit, for departmental review and approval, a portfolio of three instructional projects that demonstrate their technical skill and instructional design competencies.
→ San Francisco State University → Graduate College of Education → Department of Instructional Technologies
MAEdProgram Selective Process
Entrance into the ITEC program is a selective and competitive process.
MAEdGraduate College of Education Core Values
→ Courage → Life of the Mind → Equity → Community → Resilience
MAEdProfessional Business Career Outlook
◼ User/Design Researcher
◼Information Architect ◼ User Experience Architect ◼ User Experience Designer
◼Navigation Systems Designer ◼ User-Centered Designer
◼ Product Designer
◼ Product Prototyper
◼ Research Technician
◼ Corporate Trainer
◼ Instructional Designer
◼ Technical Writer
◼ Editor ◼ Quality Control
◼ Mid to Upper Management ◼ Project/Product Management ◼ Product Development
◼ Field Service
◼ Technical Services ◼ Job Development Training
◼ Marketing/Communications ◼ Production Coordinator
◼ Computer/Web Programming
◼ Usability Tester
◼ Information Technology ◼ Director ◼ Professor
An Online Tutorial for Instructional Designer
to Learn about Information Architecture The IA Model
→ 759 pp. → 60 pp. (HTML & Paper-Based/Oral Presentations)
→ User/Design Research →Design Patterns → User-Centered Design
→ Usability Testing
→ Curriculum specific to Information Architecture&Design
“ The curriculum covers cognitive and learning theories, needs assessment, instructional design models and strategies, visual and web-based designs, information architecture, usability testing, knowledge and performance assessment, and project management. ”
A robust graduate-level program—excellence in education!
◼ Portfolios Required
The TPW Cert. and MAEd graduate programs are interdisciplinary courses in Information Architecture&Design; User/Design Research; Corporate Training & Instructional Design; Technical & Professional Writing (even though this program is an undergraduate program, I was in grad school when I did it).
I specialized in doing: User/design research, concept generation, wire frame mockups, information architecture, interaction design, user experience design, project/product management, prototyping, and usability testing.
MAEd Unique Major
These programs provided my own unique major in: User/design research, information architecture and design, interaction design, interface design, conceptual and user-centered design—practical application of user-centered design principles on projects—technical and professional writing, as well as user experience design, user-centered design, usability testing, Website design, and management—excellent team leadership skills.
My previous design education, degrees, certificates, professional work experience, and expertise paved the way to these majors. I am an information architect and user experience designer and user/design researcher.
User/Design Researcher Information Architect
User Experience Designer
San Francisco State University (SFSU) campus viewed from high up in the sky.
The Graduate College of Education (GCOE) prepares reflective researchers and user/design researchers, information architects and designers, user experience designers, usability testers, transformative educators, clinicians, leaders and scholars who advance the professions within education.
Our graduates deliver education programs across the life span, demonstrating excellence in the art and science of teaching and learning, research on critical issues in education and communicative disorders, integration of new technologies and commitment to equity and social justice.
Professional preparation programs are designed to meet global challenges, through authentic learning experiences in academic and clinical environments that are guided by our commitment to inclusiveness, integrity, community, social action and evidence-based practice.
The Instructional Technologies (ITEC) graduate program is housed at Frederic Burk Hall and many other locations on campus.
The MAEd program at San Francisco State University provided great courses—very specific to-the-point-relevant curricula—for doing:
User/design research, information architecture, user experience design, interface design, user-centered design, social media, usability testing, and management. I enjoyed doing all my projects and working with many excellent Professors.
Introduction about Dr. Helen Hyun, Harvard University,
Educational Leadership Doctoral Program Faculty SFSU
Dr. Hyun (Ph.D., Harvard University), Dr. Foreman (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison), Dr. Beatty (Ph.D., Indiana University), and Dr. Michaels (Ph.D., Indiana University; previous Department Chair Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University), assisted me in setting up the research and parameters for the MAEd dissertation on Information Architecture and The IA Model, a systematic, professional approach for doing:
Wire Frame Mockups,
It includes relevant topics and systematic application of:
User/design research, case studies, human factors, human-computer interaction, concept generation, information architecture, navigation systems design, user experience design (research extended into specific subject matter, including “best practices”), wire frame mockups, user scenarios, personas, interface design, rapid prototyping, social media, usability testing, implementation, computer/Web programming, Adobe Creative Suite (design premium), Dreamweaver, Web design, and project/product management projects (derived from real-world projects and hands-on experience). In addition, researched data from Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines was taken into consideration—incorporated into the conclusions and findings of the MAEd dissertation.
Dr. Hyun’s (Ph.D., Harvard University) message about research and the MAEd program; how she supports learners in doing unique IA/UXD research, becoming transformational leaders and true leadership skills; modeling “best practices” and a professional systematic approach used on real-world IA/UXD projects—“practitioner-based research”—user/design research, ADDIE model, instructional design, and corporate training projects:
I am very grateful to her for all her assistance on helping me to set up the parameters for my MAEd dissertation research proposal and report (759 pp.). She was also very apt at understanding the specialized nature of the IA/UXD research and professional application.
MAEd IA Curriculum
Because “information architecture” and user/research design are part of the curriculum for the MAEd Instructional Technologies (ITEC) program, she extended herself to provide additional assistance to me for a specialized dissertation report on information architecture, user-centered design, usability testing, extending into user experience design, project/product management, and IA/UXD deliverables.
The specialized curriculum also included: “ Cognitive and learning theories, needs assessment, instructional design models and strategies, visual and web-based designs, usability testing, knowledge and performance assessment, project management, ” extending into user experience design, interface design, navigation systems design, corporate training, curriculum development, Adobe Creative Suite (design premium), graphic design, technical writing, and product management.
She also encouraged me to continue on with my research about information architecture, user experience design, user experience architecture, interaction design, and design, including IA/UXD deliverables (wire frames, user scenarios, personas, user-centered design, use case scenarios, wayfinding, card sorting, taxonomy, task analysis, mapping/diagramming, usability and application, usability testing; the importance of mentoring information architects and user experience designers, and project/product management leadership skills)—how a systematic approach promotes higher-quality projects and true leadership acumen.
While this program prepared me to successfully move forward into a Ph.D. program, the program was so extensive that it could be considered equivalent to a Ph.D., since a previous grad degree was completed.
MAEd User-Centered Design
I think the topical application of usability testing and information architecture—as it relates to (user/design research) user experience design and its systematic application—are to ameliorate the lack of built-in affordances, lack of superior interaction design and use case scenarios, lack of excellent wayfinding online, and a lack of intelligent sense-making on Websites and apps. Humans have to use all of these products.
That is why user-centered design is more about high usability standards and implementing user-centered principles into products and important to the overall success of Websites, seamless e-commerce transactions, and using Websites effortlessly for transactions.
The more we do this makes these products way more usable for end users. While it is always important to ponder business requirements, researched data tells us that the better online products are designed—then the easier it is for end users to wayfind in cyberspace.
There is no lack of information architecture, when the required organization and structured data online work harmoniously together. The information architect-research experience design practitioner should be most dedicated to enhanced user-centered design. Of course, this includes designing a superior interface design, including navigation systemsdesigned well that work right for navigating successfully. In the long run, this helps everyone. Performance levels are significantly higher!
MAEd Letter of Recommendation
“Steven [ Heitman ] has all of the necessary skills to work professionally as an information architect, interaction designer, project manager, technical writer, graphic designer, art director, instructional designer, teacher, or in any related field. Steven has strong analytical and reasoning skills far above the average students I have worked with over the years in my teaching career.
I can provide you with an excellent and high recommendation for Steven because he is an asset to any company he works for in a job. …a successful information architect, project manager, technical writer, instructional designer or in other positions at any company. His work for me included research, technical writing, creating blueprints, and communicating his information architectural concepts. Steven’s oral and written communication skills are above average—especially his ability to formulate and analyze complex materials for information architecture, interaction design, or related fields. Since his achievements are tremendous and above average, I absolutely recommend Steven without any reservation for any position given his skills (full-time position or any internship). To discuss his qualifications, please call me at my office…. ”
Dr. Quita, Ph.D.
San Francisco State University
MAEd LinkedIn Endorsement
“ Steven [ Heitman ] has made a serious, thorough study of Information Architecture, experience design, and usability. He applies his past experience in related fields intelligently and has worked hard to develop his expertise in his chosen field. As Steven’s mentor through the IA Institute, I have been impressed by his dedication and tireless efforts to improve and grow as a designer of user experiences. ”
Mr. Crumlish, A.B.
Director of Technology
The Information Architecture Institute
MAEd Review Endorsement
“ Great stuff! ”
Ms. Buda, M.D.
Director of User Experience
MAEd LinkedIn Endorsement
“Steven [ Heitman ] is an expert researcher, user experience designer, information architect, and navigation systems designer. His skills extend largely and deeply into information architecture, navigation systems design, usability testing, user-centered design principles and application, mentoring, managing, and effectively directing. Being naturally a self-starter and able to work without supervision, he gets projects done without a problem. Steven is able to build and lead teams, successfully envision successful design solutions, deploy excellent design-architect strategies that encompass various phases of design research, efficient prototyping (paper based or using Axure), HTML5/CSS3 coding, insightful leadership skills, including significant usability testing application and expertise. Steven’s undergraduate-level and graduate-level degrees in information architecture, user experience design, management has indeed completely prepared him for specific work in his chosen industry. His many years of design research in information architecture, user-centered design experience, and original design research are an asset to any potential employer. Because he is an expert with an excellent track record, he will go far in his chosen career path as an information architect, user experience designer, and director of user experiences. ”
Mr. Hule, B.A. (Mathematics & Computer Science)
Lead Software Quality Assurance Analyst at FindLaw/Thomson Reuters
MAEd Letter of Recommendation
“Steven [ Heitman ] left no doubt regarding his information architect, user experience designer, mentor, director, expertise and skills. I would recommend him for employment opportunities in his chosen field—an expert information architect and director. ”
Ms. Vergossen, B.A.Sc.
Inhaberin bei familymeetsstudent UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
MAEd What I Do
I get asked by a lot of different people—what do you do as an information architect and user experience designer and user/design researcher? I get asked so many times about what I do that I decided to make a point of explaining it.
To some people, it seems very obvious about what I do as an information architect and user experience designer. Yet, to others, it does not seem so obvious. I am really an information architect and user experience designer. I enjoy helping everyone attain their goals and objectives on projects in a timely fashion, and I also strive to provide professional services to all of my clients.
I assist my clients by implementing user-centered design principles into their design products, providing professional information architecture services that ultimately make a difference.
Being an architect-designer requires a lot of different skill sets, it includes a variety of different components:
There are many different components for doing user/design research and user-centered design and implementation. Things I do on projects are user/design research, information architecture, navigation systems design, user scenarios, personas, drafting and sketching, wire frames, rapid prototyping on the computer, rapid paper-based prototyping, computer/Web programming (HTML5 and CSS3), Dreamweaver and Adobe Creative Suite, Axure (I recommend and use Axure), Visio, OmniGraffle, social media, usability testing reports, and usability testing.
This video provides a nice visual presentation about user experience design and what happens in the professional arena.
Introduction about Information Architect and User Experience Design Professional Careers
MAEd Career Path
World IA Day 2013, IA Mentoring
MAEd Career Path
World IA Day 2013, Thinking about IA & Navigation
An Online Tutorial for Instructional Designers to Learn about Information Architecture
About doing user/design research, Information Architecture, user experience design, user experience architecture, user-centered design, usability testing, project/product management—a systematic approach on projects (ADDIE Model used for report).
Dr. Hyun assisted me with putting together the thesis report proposal and research.
Dr. Beatty and Dr. Foreman assisted me with their expertise and knowledge of user/design research, user-centered design, interface design, information architecture, navigation systems design, user experience design, user experience architecture, usability testing, instructional design, corporate training, multimedia, graphic design, technical communications, technical writing, project/product management, including putting it all together in a comprehensive technical report.
Summary and synopsis of the MAEd Thesis Report:
The Information Architect and/or user experience designer does user/design research and brainstorming to come up with high-level concepts. It is necessary to do this for an Information ArchitectureDesign Plan Report.
Completing a competitive analysis and writing a report, documents requirements for Websites. This helps a client to define their end users and their business plans. Figuring out what the patterns will be, this provides clarity with regard to Information Architecture.
Enabling end users to stay found and wayfind on Websites, then implementing clear navigational systems. Building in affordances for end users, so they can navigate. Designing clear interfaces and for consistency in interface designs, this provides clarity for end users.
User/design research, Information Architecture, user experience design, interaction design, user-centered design, and usability testing improves an end user’s performance. The IA Model assists Information Architects and clients to design high-quality Websites.