Thursday, November 15, 2012

Texas State hosted Design 1 UP: Design in Details panel

By Thomas Nugent

Design experts visited Texas State on October 31 as a part of Mass Comm Week to speak about the importance of design and how it relates to success.

The panelists were Anthony Armendariz, former product designer at Evernote, Courtney Ryan Buie, freelance integration and account services at McGarrah Jesse and Sam Kapila, who is a Texas State faculty member in the Communication Design department.

The panelists spoke about how to be a successful designer in today’s fast pace, highly competitive job market.

Armendariz stressed designers should constantly ask themselves, “How can a product be differentiated from others in its landscape?”

“There will always be various opinions from multiple stakeholders,” said Armendariz. “Design is subjective.”

So the process of designing a project, according to Armendariz, should be broken down into two parts: concept design and applied design.

According to Armendariz, concept design is the process where the designer seeks to eliminate as mush subjectivity as possible. Applied design is where the application of the design across multiple platforms is tested. Armendariz referred to it as, “the real pixel work.”

Buie described her role in account services as the project producer who mediates between the designers and coders. She also explained the importance of maintaining a paper trail of design projects.

 “Be prepared to document and audit your projects, because you never know when a natural disaster or a life scenario might happen,” Buie said.

She went on to describe how every designer should prepare their project folder with as much content as possible before giving it to an editor or producer.

Armendariz added to that statement

“The project is never done. Strive to be a perfectionist,” Armendariz said.

Kapila related the project design of the panelists to that of the projects that are assigned to her students in communication design. “Take any project you are given by a faculty person, see if you can take it a step further,” Kapila said. “And see if you can make it your own.”

After touching on the project design process, Kapila directed the conversation towards marketing one’s self in the career field. In doing so, Kapila mentioned the importance of having a reputable portfolio.

The other panelists also offered their own words of advice for portfolio upkeep.

In response, Armendariz said, “No [Adobe] Flash!”

Buie said, “If you have one broken link, you’re out!”

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