I’m three weeks into my final semester and about to start a second notebook, I’m also pretty sure the new pen grove in my finger is a permanent feature.
I’m not sure what I expected from the final months of my Graphic Design degree but if you had told me three years ago that I would be spending the vast majority of each day reading articles and journals about Edtech, transparent user-centred design, Information Architecture, and the improvement of learning retention, for an essay about how Graphic Design can be used to help the progression of education, I probably would have asked for a glossary of terms. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying it, I’m loving it. For the first time since leaving college I’ve been getting down and dirty with theory, the amount of physical design I’m doing at the moment is negligible.
Throughout most of my degree I have been bumbling along with no idea where I want to go at the end, I’ve dabbled with publication, poster and book design, I’ve done a bit of web-based design and some typeface development, but nothing had really jumped out to me. Then I hit third year and was handed a brief from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). It was an incredibly open brief we had to design a way of enhancing the European basic course at the NATS education centre. I started delving into interface, interaction and experience design and applying them to educational theory. I realised that this was what I was missing, a real world problem that needs a current an expansive solution crossing many platforms and design techniques. It was interesting, intelligent and helpful to somebody somewhere.
So when it came to my Final Major Project and Reflective Journal I knew I had to build them around my new design interest. This choice has carve my career desires and understand my assets. I’ll openly admit I’m not the best typesetter on the course, my publication design is average at best, towards the end of second year I had started to consider new paths outside of graphics. But since discovering the world of experience design I’ve realised I don’t need to excel in type design to be a designer. I need a creative approach to problem solving, the ability to persuade people I’m right and a genuine desire to help people.
Oh and passion, that’s what keeps you reading into the night, then gets you up when the alarm goes off.