Lextant + Savannah College of Art and Design

Changing the Face of Design Education

The Savannah College of Art and Design is recognized for offering more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design university in the world. In spring of 2021, SCAD announced the addition of The Lextant Certificate Program “Design Research and Insight Translation” to its core design curriculum.

The certificate program was the vision of Dean Victor Ermoli and is the culmination of a 20 year partnership between the Savannah College of Art and Design and Lextant. Our Vice President of User Experience, Marty Gage, has led a Lextant team in collaboration with SCAD’s Dean Ermoli and professor Kwela Hermanns, associate chair, design for sustainability, and associate chair industrial design, to create and refine the curriculum.

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Students in the program will learn how to systematically approach the first phase in the design thinking process: Develop Empathy. Lextant’s approach to this first step centers on defining what people value, in a way that is actionable for design. The certification is grounded in Lextant’s five steps to this part of the process. Students learn six key principles to guide their thinking through this effort The goal of this program is to better prepare the next generation of design professionals to become business leaders. SCAD students will learn Lextant’s proven principles and techniques to turn future-focused research into experience-driven design strategies that are understandable and highly actionable for all functions in an organization. “We’re honored that Lextant is sharing their knowledge with us in order to make design a better profession,” says Victor Ermoli, Dean, SCAD School of Design. “When you apply wisdom and experience that has been not only accumulated but refined by practicing processes over a period of years, that makes your company stronger, your employees stronger, and it makes the next generation of designers stronger. With Lextant’s guidance and collaboration, we’re addressing a huge gap that has been present in design education and in the design community.”

As part of this curriculum, Lextant wrote and designed an accompanying textbook, User Experience Research: Discover Want Customers Really Want.

Topics covered in the book:

  1. The Lextant Approach: Making Experiences Actionable
  2. Research Planning: Choosing a Research Approach
  3. Recruiting Participants: Finding Your Target User
  4. Moderation: Facilitating Effective Conversations
  5. Data: Structuring Your Notes
  6. Collaging: Describing Things and Experiences with Stimuli
  7. Contextual Inquiry: Understanding the Details About Situations
  8. Conducting Research: Executing the Details
  9. Analysis & Synthesis: Finding Big Ideas
  10. Insight Translation: Telling the Story of the Future
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SCAD professor Kwela Hermanns, Associate Chair, Design for Sustainability, and Associate Chair, Industrial Design, has worked closely with Lextant to understand their trademarked principles of Insight Translation and Sensory Cue Research. “This relationship between SCAD and Lextant provides opportunities for our students to learn best design practices applied to business goals,” says Hermanns. “We both want better design research to create a better world.”

Marty Gage, Lextant VP, Design Research, has been guest lecturing at SCAD in 2002 starting a partnership that has culminated in the Lextant curriculum and certification. “The idea to develop this partnership came about because Dean Ermoli understands the importance of generative design research and he felt that Lextant’s unique approach would benefit SCAD’s students,” says Gage. “This certificate program will give the students a strong foundation in research and design to set them for success and to become leaders as they move into the workforce.  SCAD students are the future design leaders of our world.”

“With Lextant’s guidance and collaboration, we’re addressing a huge gap that has been present in design education and in the design community.”

We are proud to partner with SCAD’s academic leadership to further the future of the design profession.

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