IA Design & Usability: Steven Heitman, Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Project/Product Manager,  Usability Expert

Information Architect Specialist / User Experience Designer


Professional Qualifications

Graduate Degree
School of Design Graduate Program

Master of Arts Industrial Arts 

User/Design Research, Information Architecture (IA),
   Usability Testing, User-Centered Design,
   User Experience Design (UXD), Management

Theses Dissertations


Information Architecture (IA) & Design
Certifications of Approval and Abstracts

MAIA Deliverables

The MAIA dissertation and propgram included:

User/Design Research, Written Thesis Report, Presentations, and Online NS 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 multiple information architect and project management internships, supervised by Dr. Dierke, Ed.D.—in a high-tech environment.

 Information Architecture is what it is—information architecture combined with user-centered design, soul, common sense—did I mention that I am an information architect and designer

MAIA Contributors

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.

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.

Interdisciplinary University Programs

Information Architecture & Design (Combined Programs)

Primary Major/Emphasis:

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 Management; internships successfully completed.

MAIA Other Concentration

Graphic Design

Secondary Major/Emphasis:

Graphic Design, Typography, Exhibit Design, Signage Design, Adobe Creative Suite.

MAIA Program

San Francisco State University
College of Liberal & Creative Arts
School of Design Graduate Program


MAIA Program Impaction

Design majors are impacted. Entrance into the majors is a selective and competitive process.

MAIA Faculty

Our highly qualified faculty come from a variety of design and technology backgrounds, and play a central role in student advising and the formation of relevant design curricula. Faculty members participate in conferences, consult, attend workshops, and publish and exhibit internationally and are attuned to current trends in design and design education.

MAIA Facilities

The department is housed in the Fine Arts Building near the western edge of the campus. A wide range of technologies, such as wireless networking and laptop computers, large format printing, bookbinding, computer graphics, computer-integrated manufacturing, digital electronics, rapid prototyping, along with metals and wood shops are incorporated into the instructional and learning environment.

MAIA Professional Business Career Outlook

Information Architect
User Experience Architect
User Experience Designer
Navigation Systems Designer
User-Centered Designer
Product Prototyper
Interaction Designer
Interface Designer
Graphic Designer
Collage Designer
Game Designer
Signage Designer
Exhibition Designer
Multimedia/Animation Designer
User/Design Researcher
Research Technician
Technical Writer
Quality Control
Mid to Upper Management
Project/Product Management
Product Development
Field Service
Technical Services
Job Development Training
Production Coordinator
Computer/Web Programming
Usability Tester
Information Technology

MAIA Graduate-Level Dissertation

An Online Tutorial for Digital-Media Designers
to Learn about Web Navigational Systems        The NS Model

195 pp.
30/40 pp. (HTML & Paper-Based/Oral Presentations)

Online NS Tutorial

Design Patterns
User-Centered Design
Usability Testing
Curriculum specific to Information Architecture & Design

MAIA Program—Curriculum

 The program is designed for students who want to pursue professional work in design firms, teaching, project management, strategic planning for design firms, or management roles in technology. We emphasize problem-solving competencies, both conceptual and practical. Students in the program study visual communication design and product design with an interdisciplinary perspective. Students with a wide range of backgrounds work with a graduate advisor to design an MA program that meets their career goals. Based upon focused research into a chosen design problem, students develop a specialized area of study in graphic design/visual communication design, [information architecture/user experience design/interaction design], product design/manufacturing, industrial technology, project management, or digital media. Many students prepare for doctoral work at other institutions. 

A robust graduate-level program—excellence in education!

Portfolios Required

MAIA Focus

The focus of the graduate program was in information architecture, user experience design, including usability testing. The MAIA graduate program, BAIA program, and ID&T Cert. program were geared towards this specialization in information architecture, navigation systems design, and management—geared for high-tech employment.

MAIA Unique Major

All of these programs centered specifically and precisely around the topics of:

Design/user research, information architecture, interaction design, user experience design, navigation systems design, user-centered design, drawing, graphic design, typography, multimedia, product design, drafting and sketching, conceptual design, prototyping, information design, computer/Web programming, Website design, management, and usability testing.

The NS Model
  1. Hierarchical Navigational Systems,
  2. Global Navigational Systems,
  3. Local Navigational Systems,
  4. Integrated Navigational Systems,
  5. Remote Navigational Systems,
  6. Ad Hoc Navigational Systems, and
  7. Search Engines in Websites.
The graduate program and undergraduate program at SFSU provided a strong background in: professional work experience and education specific to information architecture, user experience design, and project/product management skills.

The ID&T Cert. program also provided an additional—very strong—unique specialization and vocational training; internships successfully completed.

MAIA Letter of Recommendation

 The Youth Law Center is indeed indebted to Steven Heitman for all his hard work as the project manager and his knowledge of information design [Information Architecture; Information Architect internship]. If not for Steven’s involvement with our website, we would not have as comprehensive a site as we now have. 
Ms. Yee, M.A.
National Center for Youth Law

Steven Heitman, Sr. Information Architect (IA) Specialist, User Experience Designer, Project/Product Manager

Steven Heitman
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Project Manager

MAIA Program Details

About MAIA Program.pdf
Letters of Recommendations—Reviews

MAIA Campus

San Francisco State University, Design & Industry Department

The MAIA School of Design Graduate Program at San Francisco State University provided great courses—very specific to-the-point-relevant curricula—for doing:

User 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.

School of Design Graduate Program

MAIA Mashouf Performing Arts Center

Introduction about the mission of the College of Creative Arts

Dean of the College of Creative Arts Kurt Daw talks about plans for the new building.

MAIA Featured

Addressing the role of the designer in the 21st century, the symposium featured a discussion on the impact of design, technology and information applications on social and culture identities in the emerging global society—a newspaper article about the Design and Industry (DAI) program and cutting-edge ideas.

DAI Featured

MAIA The Information Architecture Institute

about information architecture org

Information architecture (IA) is the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling Websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape. Typically, it involves a model or concept of information that is used and applied to activities which require explicit details of complex information systems. These activities include library systems and database development.

Information architecture is considered to have been founded by Richard Saul Wurman. Today there is a growing network of active IA specialists who constitute the Information Architecture Institute.

The Information Architecture Institute
About Information Architecture

MAIA User Experience Design-Architecture

The field of user experience design has roots in human factors and ergonomics, a field that, since the late 1940s, has focused on the interaction between human users, machines, and the contextual environments to design systems that address the user's experience. With the proliferation of workplace computers in the early 1990s, user experience became an important concern for designers. It was Donald Norman, a user experience architect, who coined and brought the term user experience to wider knowledge.

About User Experience Design

MAIA Dissertation

An Online Tutorial for Digital-Media Designers
to Learn about Web Navigational Systems

About doing Information Architecture, navigation systems design, user experience design, user experience architecture, user research, user-centered design, usability testing, project/product management, and heuristic evaluations on projects—a systematic approach on projects.

MAIA About Thesis Report.pdf

MAIA Summary

Summary and synopsis of the MAIA Thesis Report: Information Architecture and Navigational Systems Design are significant components to interface design and complex Websites. Websites on the World Wide Web provide instant access of information to the end user (provided that the end user has instant Internet access).

MAIA Summary of Thesis Report   |   Synopsis

MAIA Dissertation Expertise

Since the point of having documentation online is for “immediate informational gratification,” the end user must be able to retrieve the information from Websites. This is accomplished, if the design of the Navigational Systems are done correctly, that means that they help the end user to navigate effectively through Websites in cyberspace.

Sample of MAIA Thesis Report.pdf   |   MAIA Thesis Report.pdf

195 pp.

30/40 pp. (HTML & Paper-Based/Oral Presentations)

MAIA Online Tutorial & Presentation

The Online Navigational Systems Tutorial:
The NS Model, Modules 1-8

Topic: Information Architecture, navigation systems design,
user-centered design, management, usability

Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines.pdf

Online Navigational Systems Tutorial.pdf



University Accreditation

Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC-ACSCU)


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Updated: January 1, 2018

Steven Heitman
IA Design & Usability
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Project Manager