Hi list, I just joined a couple of days ago, and I'm really glad I did. I
love the in-depth conversations about all aspects of IXD. I have some
observations and theories I'll be bringing up soon. Anyway, I'll try and
make these questions as quick and concise as possible.
I'm a 28 year old graphic designer with his associates from a community
college in...graphic design. My current job (which I've held for about 5
years now) has been designing print catalog and flyer creation systems in
Access/VBA/InDesign. (I've done some automation of page layout work here I'm
really proud of.) About a year ago, I was trying to create an interface for
one of my programs and I realized my "calling" is Interaction Design. Not
having any real experience or formal study in IXD, I went back to school,
hoping to get into NYU's independent study so I could take courses in their
ITP grad program. As a backup, I applied to the program that looked like it
would get me my bachelors the quickest: an independent study, liberal arts
program at the New School in NYC. That's where I ended up and I'm in my
first semester at the New School, taking 3 classes there.
That's where I am. These are my questions:
1. (I realize this is somewhat similar to the freelance question asked a
couple of days ago, but while those answers were helpful they weren't quite
for me.) I am getting ready to move on at my job. However, I realize that I
am in no way ready to take on an IXD job. At least not at a level comparable
to my current salary. Every IXD ad has requirements of 6-9 years
experience/degree in IXD, etc. How do I get a low-level, possibly part-time
start? If I weren't supporting myself, I'd apply for an internship but I
can't spare that time.
2. How can I document my interfaces in my portfolio? It seems like it would
require screen shots with heavy notation and a long summary of the
background of the system. Also, it's done in Access so while the interface
is decent looking, I was severely limited in the form creation and so, all
of the "quality" is in the behavior.
3. I'm unsure if my school will have the proper courses. I'm somewhat on my
own for picking classes; when I spoke with my adviser, he just pointed me
toward the psychology classes. I will (in theory) be able to take courses at
Parsons School of Design (part of New School), but I can't yet. I'd love to
hear some advice on what classes gave you the theoretical background you
reference on a day-to-day basis. I'm more worried about not knowing the
concepts than scrambling to learn a new technology.