Young Designer Seeking Advice

7 Jun 2009 - 2:25pm
5 years ago
3 replies
1135 reads
Matthew Ell
2009

Hello All,

I graduated from school about a year ago and have been working as a
independent freelance web designer. I am in the process of doing some
career planning and would really appreciate all of your feedback, as I
would imagine there also many other people out there like me.

Basically, I received a design education (BFA @ The School of Visual
Arts) and have been a tinkerer in Web Design since high school
(1998). Since then, I have followed new technology, studied and
learned new web programming, worked in a small
interactive/communications design studio, and have been trying to
learn all I can about careers in Interaction and Digital Design.

My goal for September is to be starting my career at an Interactive
Studio or Agency in New York or San Francisco.

My Questions are:

1. What Interactive Job titles should I be applying for? or which are
most suitable for someone with 1-2 years of professional experience in
Basic Programming and Front End Web Development?

2. Can you recommend any studios in NY or SF that would be good to
start a career in Interaction Design.

3. What professional and technical skills should be built upon before
applying to a Studio that works in Interaction design (web site
design, mobile applications, user interface, and interactive media.)

Thanks in advance for everyone's help!

Best,

Matt

Comments

8 Jun 2009 - 7:44am
jrrogan
2005

Hi Matt,

All the best with your endevour and new career! Here's my 2 cents worth:

1. What Interactive Job titles should I be applying for?

- Beginner/Intern Information Architect/ Interaction Designer/Prototyper.
I'd get anything you can to get in the door, even Business Analyst.

2. Can you recommend any studios in NY or SF that would be good to
start a career in Interaction Design.

- The job market is pretty tight in NYC, I'd imagine SF is tight as well. An
idea is to network like a madman, and see what's available. Don't be
discouraged if the pickings are slim, get something and take it from there.

3. What professional and technical skills should be built upon before
applying to a Studio that works in Interaction design (web site
design, mobile applications, user interface, and interactive media.)

- Knowing how to prototype is a great start - Basic JavaScript, DHTML,
XHTML, CSS, Cross browser/platform/device knowledge. Build anything for
browsers and devices, it always looks good if you have an i-Phone app to
show, even if it does virtually nothing but look good.
- UML/modeling is good - Activity & Sequence diagrams are useful, Visual
Vocabulary has some nice tools.
- Read up on the classics, know the basics, Old school Jacob Nielson,
(lately he seems to be getting Alzheimer’s), Tufte, Jared Spool, Old school
Alan Cooper (dido to Jacob Nielson). There's got to be 50 good writers in
this field over the past 20 years. Note this field is very new, but some of
the older books are the most relevant.
Good Luck!

Rich

--
Joseph Rich Rogan
President UX/UI Inc.
http://www.jrrogan.com

8 Jun 2009 - 7:50am
Anonymous

Hi Matt,

As a fellow New Yorker, I would highly recommend that you look into R/GA
(www.rga.com).

They are an interactive agency located on 39th Street, between 8th and
9th (Hell's Kitchen area).

When I was in the process of transitioning from Web Design to
Interactive Design, R/GA was the first place that I worked, and it was
an amazing experience. It was like getting thrown into the deep end of
the pool and being forced to swim for my life (a very valuable lesson).

The company is very young, lots of recent graduates (so you would fit
right in with the culture), and the talent there in every discipline is
exceptional. The company is also HUGE on collaboration, so you will
learn from more people than you could ever imagine.

As Rich mentioned, the market is very tight right now. R/GA also offers
a Paid Intern program, which might be a good start. The interns
normally work for a year or 18 months with all disciplines (design,
interactive design, programming, etc), and then choose the area that
they want to move in to. It's a great way to get your feet wet, and get
your foot in the door.

Best of luck to you in your search.

Thank you,

Vicki L. Splaine
Senior User Experience Architect
1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Matthew Ell
Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 9:26 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Young Designer Seeking Advice

Hello All,

I graduated from school about a year ago and have been working as a
independent freelance web designer. I am in the process of doing some
career planning and would really appreciate all of your feedback, as I
would imagine there also many other people out there like me.

Basically, I received a design education (BFA @ The School of Visual
Arts) and have been a tinkerer in Web Design since high school (1998).
Since then, I have followed new technology, studied and learned new web
programming, worked in a small interactive/communications design studio,
and have been trying to learn all I can about careers in Interaction and
Digital Design.

My goal for September is to be starting my career at an Interactive
Studio or Agency in New York or San Francisco.

My Questions are:

1. What Interactive Job titles should I be applying for? or which are
most suitable for someone with 1-2 years of professional experience in
Basic Programming and Front End Web Development?

2. Can you recommend any studios in NY or SF that would be good to start
a career in Interaction Design.

3. What professional and technical skills should be built upon before
applying to a Studio that works in Interaction design (web site design,
mobile applications, user interface, and interactive media.)

Thanks in advance for everyone's help!

Best,

Matt

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10 Jun 2009 - 9:04am
Matthew Ell
2009

Thank you every one for your feedback. This is helping me
tremendously.

Best,

Matt

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