IA Design & Usability: Steven Heitman, Sr. User/Design Researcher, Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Project/Product Manager, Mentor, Usability Expert/Testing, Director

Sr. User/Design Researcher / Information Architect Specialist

User Experience Designer


Synopsis of Program

Professional Qualifications

Graduate Degree
College of Liberal and Creative Arts
School of Design Graduate Program

Master of Arts Industrial Arts 

User/Design Research (UX), Information Architecture (IA),
   Interaction Design (IXD), Usability Testing,
   User-Centered Design, User Experience Design (UXD),
   Product Design, Project/Product Management

MAIA User/Design Research, IA/IXD/UXD Program Details

About MAIA Program.pdf
Letters of Recommendations—Reviews

MAIA Deliverables

The MAIA dissertation and university program 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, product design, mapping and diagramming, project/product management, and usability testing—a systematic and professional approach on IA/IXD/UXD projects.

Relevant professional portfolios were successfully completed, including multiple information architect and project/product 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, user/design research, user experience designer, soul, common sense—did I mention that I am an information architect, user/design researcher, and designer! 

MAIA Dissertation

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

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

MAIA About Dissertation.pdf

MAIA Summary

Summary and synopsis of the MAIA Thesis Report: User/design research, 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 high-speed 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 via user/design research, 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 and Presentation

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

Topic: User/design research, Information Architecture, navigation systems design, user experience design, interaction design, product design, user-centered design, management, usability testing

Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines.pdf
Online Navigational Systems Tutorial.pdf

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

Steven Heitman
Sr. User/Design Researcher
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Interaction Designer
Product Designer
User-Centered Designer
Usability Tester
Technical Writer
Corporate Trainer
Project/Product Manager

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/IXD/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.
Dr. Dierke, Ed.D.

Interdisciplinary University Programs

Information Architecture and Design (Combined Programs)

Primary Major/Emphasis:

User/Design Research (UX), Information Architecture (IA), Navigation Systems Design (NS), User Experience Design (UXD), Structuring & Organizing Web-Based Information, Mobile User Experience, Interaction Design (IXD), Product Design, User-Centered Design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), 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.

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 (from both the BAIA and MAIA programs).

Faculty members participate in conferences, consult, attend workshops, and publish and exhibit internationally and are attuned to current trends in user/design research, design, information design, information architecture, user experience design, interaction design, user-centered design, interface design, usability testing, 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

User/Design Researcher
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
Exhibit Designer
Multimedia/Animation Designer
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

User/Design Research
Design Patterns
User-Centered Design
Usability Testing
Curriculum specific to Information Architecture and 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 rchitecture/user experience design/interaction design], product design/manufacturing, industrial technology, project management, [product management], or digital media. Many students prepare for doctoral work at other institutions. 

Portfolios Required

MAIA Additional Information

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Steven Heitman
IA Design & Usability

Sr. User/Design Researcher
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Interaction Designer
Product Designer
User-Centered Designer
Usability Tester
Technical Writer
Corporate Trainer
Project/Product Manager

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Updated: March 1, 2022