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 The School of Interaction & UI/UX Design at Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University revealed a fascinating improvement to one of its most innovative and technologically advanced departments as the Spring 2022 semester began. The School of Interaction & UI/UX Design, also known as IxD, replaced the name School of Web Design & New Media.

Why was the name changed?

Co-Directors Fred McHale and Andrea Pimentel from the Academy of Art University clarified on a Zoom call that the program’s curriculum has not changed due to the name change. It’s a more accurate method to convey what students are already doing in the department and will continue to accomplish.

This was a catch-up to the actual terminology of what the department has been doing for a while, according to McHale. UI/UX designers from the school are hired to carry out jobs in design tech.

Pimental stated that web design still fell within the umbrella of interaction design. But it only made up a tiny fraction of what their pupils do. Over time, this field has undergone tremendous change. Their kids work in these enormous teams, creating these huge worldwide goods that are software rather than just a website with pages. They are items that interact with your data and are truly made just for you. And that comes in a variety of languages. It’s an entirely different kind of work than merely web design.

In an interview with Art U News, Pimentel and McHale shared how the department has grown in the 14 years since it was founded and what’s in store for the future of IxD.


It was necessary to change the name of the school to match what they do more comprehensively with what the students were learning. The name is a clear reflection of the design functions required in the 21st century.