People-Centered Experiences

Experience Architecture (XA) is a viable and emerging professional field of study. Our program capitalizes on a vital need for people-centered experiences across converging technologies, services, and processes. Through the growth and continual development of the internet and other digital technologies, XA is an emerging field of professional study meant to compliment the fast-paced nature of digital environments. The XA program at Michigan State University capitalizes on a vital need for people-centered thinking and experiences.

Mission Statement

Experience Architecture (XA) is a cross-disciplinary User Experience (UX) degree that makes its essential focus staging improved and just experiences in the world. It is a values driven program engaging UX as a vehicle for future change agents. We believe that people deserve to engage with usable, accessible, and sustainable spaces. We position XA students to engage these spaces, and contribute to designing a world in which they would want to participate. 

Core Concepts


Experience architects in their respective fields are strategists who oversee and partake in the entire creation process of goods or services. You will gain both practical and theoretical knowledge in your classes of the strategy needed to create products, services, and policies through any apparatus or environment, be it physical or digital.

Foundation of Humanities

Architecting any kind of experience always begins with the understanding of people and their context for using whatever you are creating. Because of this key factor, XA is a humanities degree, meaning students will always be focused on building technologies, services and processes with people in mind. We work from this shared set of values to create valuable systems, helpful processes, and usable and engaging designs for any and all projects.

Design, Rhetoric, and Development

Design, rhetoric, and development are tightly integrated into your required coursework across all subjects of study. It’s our hope to promote creativity and interdisciplinary work to provide you with as many experiences as possible to push you out of your comfort zone and prepare you for work in a variety of fields with different people or organizations.

Experiential Learning

Throughout the curriculum, XA faculty incorporate elements of experiential learning as a key component of the curriculum. This feature of the program provides both the means and the motivation for faculty and students to stay engaged with the professional world of UX in order to develop the skills, experience, and knowledge they need to build successful careers.

XA students work regularly with practicing faculty and industry professionals in many areas of the field. This work gives students the opportunity to learn from practitioners on the “front lines” in the context of projects that are actively being developed. Coding skills, documentation, technical writing, and accessibility are among the areas that students regularly get exposure to in their work with our practitioner base. Students receive opportunities to interact with clients and subcontractors and learn valuable skills for client relationship management.

Experience Architecture Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will emphasize the importance of diversity, equity, community, and justice in their design and research processes.
  2. Students will evaluate how their own experiences and positionality influence their design and research processes.
  3. Students will reflect on experiences in order to monitor continued learning and growth.
  4. Students will integrate knowledge of culture and partner communities into their design and research practices.
  5. Students will apply user-experience research techniques such as card-sorting, usability-testing, expert reviews, etc. into their design and research processes. 
  6. Students will analyze how technologies influence human action and decision-making.
  7. Students will explain the practices and knowledge associated with working in fields associated with XA (including user-experience, user research, artificial intelligence, computer science, content strategy, accessibility, etc.). 
  8. Students will create projects through iterative and recursive processes that include inquiry, research, feedback, reflection, and revision.
  9. Students will generate projects across a variety of media, such as websites, mobile apps, and text-based reports.
  10. Students will evaluate the steps and processes involved in executing multi-step and iterative projects.
  11. Students will utilize a variety of modes, including writing, speech, sound, graphic design, programming languages, etc. in their design and research processes.