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The Design Graduate's Toolkit

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Excerpt
The transition from university graduate to design professional can be daunting. A strong portfolio is an essential piece, but what makes a strong portfolio? Design thinking can provide certain advantages in the workplace, what are they? How can you recognize the parts of your game that aren’t working and improve them? In this talk, we’ll discuss the attributes and skills a newly minted designer can use to find opportunities and build a successful career.

Bio
Zac Bedell graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design in 2005
He is currently manager of web application development at webtrends, tackling complex design problems involving business processes, big data, and emerging technologies.
Zac has been shaping software through design for over seven years, as user experience designer, project manager, illustrator, usability researcher, writer, and innovator. He loves transforming complexity into intuitive interfaces.
Previously he was user experience designer at Microsoft and Widemile, a content optimization technology startup purchased by webtrends in 2009.

Published in: Design
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The Design Graduate's Toolkit

  1. THEDESIGNGRADUATE’STOOLKIT Zac Bedell
  2. ZACUX DESIGNER WEB APPLICATION LEAD UW GRAD 2005 VCD TWO KIDS HAPPY @zbedell
  3. PLACESSTUDENT GRAD CONTRACTOR MICROSOFT STARTUP LEADER
  4. TRANSITIONSSTUDENT GRAD CONTRACTOR MICROSOFT STARTUP LEADER
  5. STUDENT
  6. ART UX TECH
  7. 1. Focus on an application of design you enjoy Why is this valuable? • Better design product • Motivating • Infinitely interesting
  8. STUDENT GRAD
  9. A CASE FOR CONTRACTING – Steady employment with benefits – Exposure to real business processes – Possible to go full-time – Trial run of job and company
  10. 2. Look for and take opportunity How do you find opportunity? • New situations • University resources Take it or leave it? • List pros and cons
  11. STUDENT GRAD CONTRACTOR
  12. STUDENT GRAD CONTRACTOR
  13. ASPECTS OF SOFTWARE DESIGN – Storytelling – Illustration – Animation – Typography – Composition – Information Architecture • IxD • UX
  14. YOUR PORTFOLIO – Full of high quality design – Finely crafted – Perfectly presented – Entirely considered
  15. 3. A strong portfolio has stories to tell Worried your portfolio is not strong yet? • Trust the faculty• Feature the type of design or content you enjoy • Portfolio reviews • It’s not everything
  16. CONTRACTOR MICROSOFT
  17. ADDING TOOLS Target a skillset 1. Observe 2. Assist 3. Contribute 4. Implement Repeat
  18. 4. Establish patterns for learning How do I learn? Assign yourself a design task: • Analyze your learning, identify steps • Create a 10min preso • Teach how you learn to your roommate
  19. STARTUP
  20. STARTUP
  21. 5. Show value beyond your job description How do I show value? • Contribute to your coworkers success, help • Fight entitlement: you deserve what your earn • Be resourceful: don’t ask until you’ve looked • Take action before asked• Be decisive: speech, posture, self presentation • Take on extra projects
  22. STARTUP
  23. STARTUP LEADER
  24. 6. Be ambitious
  25. TRANSITIONS
  26. INTERVIEW AMBITIOUSLY Demonstrate 1. Extra energy & effort 2. Preparedness 3. Attentiveness 4. Follow-through 5. Resilience
  27. 6. Be ambitious Not feeling it?• Set and achieve goals: write them down • Engage with those more experienced • Welcome mistakes: you can’t go wrong
  28. STUDENT GRAD CONTRACTOR MICROSOFT STARTUP LEADER
  29. DESIGNER’S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE In software design…• Spec/story • Feasibility• User • Other roles• Research • Delivery• Competition• Business drivers …and design the UX
  30. DESIGN YOURSELF You are the deliverable – Who is your audience? – What is your message? – What are the best means to deliver?
  31. 7. The designer’s balcony All work is the result of design, but we are a rare operators. • Highly trained and skillful • Able to design oneself• Design thinking has high business value
  32. THE DESIGN GRADUATE’S TOOLKIT1. Focus on an application of design you enjoy2. Look for and take opportunity3. A strong portfolio has stories to tell4. Establish patterns for learning5. Show value beyond your job description6. Be ambitious7. The designer’s balcony
  33. THANKS Q&A @zbedell

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