Musings of an aspiring Designer/Developer

I wrote this post originally for a final summation of my Visual Aesthetics class, but I like what came out of this posted and felt is appropriate to share here as well!

If you had asked me in August if I was designer or interested in design, I would have probably laughed and said a prompt, ‘Hell No!’  But now I’m not so sure. I still like development and enjoy those “Fiero” moments of using creative logic to solve a problem. I’m still fascinated by using code to get interactive projects to work, but I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and shifted my opinions considerably on where my design skills stand.

I may still not see things in terms of color theory or typographic kerning, and I still think my aesthetic tends to air on the side of clunky and cartoonish. But that’s exactly the thing I’ve realized this semester: my aesthetic. I have a style in the world of design. It’s certainly not the best and doesn’t always serve me well in design projects, but it is mine. There is a consistency in look between my projects that I am actually proud of.

From the group projects, I also realized that even if I can’t execute designs myself, I like working with others to visualize and bring an idea to fruition. From brainstorming to chicken scratch sketches to fighting with wire frames in Illustrator, the process of design is as much about creative problem solving as working on a coding dilemma. I may not get as many “A Ha” moments, but in every project I have reached a final product that I am proud of and feel represents the best I could achieve given the time circumstances, group challenges, and personal skill level.

I have also been pleased to discover that I can think outside the box when it comes to design. Unintentionally, I realize I have varied away from the initial requirements on almost every assignment. From using fingerprints in alien typography, focusing on Colony Collapse Disorder in bees when assigned diseases for infographic design, deciding to work outside our Elon bubble for the PSA assignment, focusing more on animation than just text for kinetic typography, and currently with my attempt to disregard the traditional idea of a clock or alarm with my Social Countdown iPhone application prototype. The validity of any of these decisions is obviously up for subjective debate; but I like that each one takes a slightly different twist on the assignment. It was never my intent to try and do something different, it came from really playing during the process portion.

I still can’t draw. If you looked at the appalling state of my sketchbook, you would probably never think I was a designer (or that I was perhaps the approximate age of 8-years-old). But there is a lot of thought behind those childish drawings. I look forward to continue stretching my imagination and growing as a designer. The idea of becoming a hybrid, someone who can both contribute to the creative process stage as well as develop and execute complex coding is really intriguing.

I would like to conclude this post with a final link to my portfolio, because I feel the course assignments I plan to feature there, would best capture my satisfaction and progress of this semester. However, I am still in the process stage of that project and I’m giving it time for the best ideas to come out.


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