Stefan Hayden

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Education is Key

With web design so new there is a lot of talk about people coming to it as a second career. Many with out any design training at all. This of course has advantages and disadvantages, letting you come at web design with a fresh perspective but lacking the technical knowledge to back it up (though Dan Seems to do okay). Others, like Patrick and myself, are young, out of design school, and have wanted to work in the web as a first career choice.

Recently at SXSW Mark Bolton and others had a panel about design and art direction on the web and how it is really lacking. In my mind this has to be partially be because of the lack of people who understand design at a very high level.

It’s my hope that in the future, as the web matures, that more focus will be put on higher education and deep understanding of design principals. Education that doesn’t stop at a BFA but continues to a MFA.

Ricardo Miranda has a great introductory post up about how to start thinking if an MFA is a good idea for you. If you’re in design and never got a degree in it getting an MFA might be a good way solidify your foundation in design. And if you’re like me and already have a BFA an MFA might be a great way to make those formal skills razor sharp.

I still hope to make it to an MFA one day and every good guide and how to I can find will only make my decision that much more informed.

mfa, gradschool, sxsw2006, ricardomiranda


Back in my brief stint of collegiate life, web design courses didn’t exist and many that work on the web now are self-taught out of necessity.

But an MFA in Design (not web) seems to me a different animal. For instance, one could have incredibly sharp design skills, yet still be the world’s worst web designer.


I don’t think I’m saying that it currently is the best place to learn about web design. But in general a lot of design can cross all mediums.

Perhaps I’m over optimistic in thinking that there are more applicable MFA programs out there then there are.

In end I don’t see more education as a bad thing. You, Dan, prove that it’s not necessary for all people. I still like to think institutions will step up and teach a new level of web design.

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