Stefan Hayden

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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

The dream dies today as Arrested Development will stop pursuing a new network to air on. I’m not exactly sure how many Showtime subscriptions it takes to pay for a show but something tells me they would have made their money back if they had actually picked up the show.

ArrestedDevelopment, showtime

I don’t know how you think the Alumni Social Networking web app is working out but I hope you are having the same problems I am having. On a pure usability stand point it’s badly designed. What I can talk about the most is the College Union Board neighborhood which I set up last summer as one of the few students in the system. Once I set it up there was no way to add events or add news. Now you might tell me that there is no way to add events for individual groups and that perhaps it is only a collection of events and news of people in the groups. I have no idea if that’s true or not because I’ve never figured out how to add either. There is also no CUB message board. how do you set one up? I have no idea.

I’ve liked the idea for College Social Software since I heard about it. The problem is that it’s so hard to navigate and is so frustrating that even I can’t stand using it. I certainly hope you don’t think it is a success. Just by watching the message boards and class notes it seems participation is lackluster. While you don’t need to compete with monster successes such as (If you haven’t researched other social networks I highly encourage you to do so.) you do need a enjoyable experience that is flexible to the users needs.

If I heard right you even pay for this horrible experience. My recommendation is to get rid of it. I think the people who would end up donating through the site would donate anyway as you must love the school to put up with the horrible social application. There is a great open source social software called Aroundme. Not only does it come with some beautiful graphic design but it is very easy to learn how to use. Completely written in php it should not be hard for small additions to be written by the IT staff of TCNJ.

I hope the social software can be improved soon. Other wise students will always turn to facebook and never take a second look at what you are offering.

Stefan Hayden

Fresh Dialogue: Friendly FireAIGA’s Fresh Dialogue: Friendly Fire, which was their last event for the year and is the first AIGA event I have helped run, was a blast. Escorted by another TCNJer we quick found our selves out of place as all the SVA students seemed very well acquainted with the AIGA staff. Every one was very friendly and we ended up talking with some great people.

As an event it was fairly well planned. They had about 20 volunteers for an event that CUB would have only have had about 10. Mark Byron was well in control and used his large volunteer staff to good effect. He was able to cover a lot of bases that CUB would not have bother with like people at alternate entrances directing people to the correct one.

James Victore moderated and he is very colorful character but did not come across as the best moderator. At times he seemed unprepared though this maybe partly due to the odd nature of the talk. The 62 and the Crye Association (no site?) were not graphic design companies but more along the lines of industrial designers. I am all for the holistic approach to learning about design but James had a hard time bringing the conversation back to design. There was also little talk between the two groups till them end (at which point I had to go back up to get ready to sell books) about how The 62 kind of hates what the Crye Association does (a lot of military design).

Though it was less then a dialog and more of two sets of speakers talking in turn it was really interesting to see the work that both groups were doing. It nice to just be awear what others are doing with in the same industry as you even if you don’t have an interest in doing it your self.

Afterwards a lot of us went down to a very nice bar and hung out with the other volunteers, AIGA professional staff, and the presenters themselves. I’m not really a bar person but I had a lot of fun and talked to some amazing people including Robyn Jordan, one of the AIGA staff, who I got to talk a lot about the AIGA organization and its inner workings.

I had so much fun and really look forward to being involved in more organization up in Boston. Who says graduating from college is a bad thing? Not me.

While gMapTrack still seems kinda of buggy it really looks like it will be as full featured as I had mentioned previously. I really wish google has taken the initiative and added this functionality themselves. It would have blended in nicely with their Google Account system they have going. I’m extra interested in this technology because, as of now, google maps does not list my house on their maps and for the google fanatic I am it’s a little embarrassing.

gMapTrack seems to still be rolling out alot of features (they say this coming Monday) and so I’ll restrain from giving it a review using hReview that’s I’ve been itching to use. I’m looking forward to tagging the world. I would love this to integrate with hCard (my current obsession) and let me up load my contacts and then view their location on the map.

I have to be on my sixth or seventh time listening to Jason Kottke’s reading of Cory Doctorow’s DRM talk to Microsoft for a flash animation I’m working on. I’ve read it though a few times as well and I really feel I get a better sense of the talk hearing it aloud.

I’ve had a special place in my heart for the reading of texts ever since my family took long trips to Ohio from New Jersey and we listed to books on tape. We were early adopters of books on tape as a way to make all the kids get along and it worked so well that we never turned back.

Listing to Kottke’s reading really makes me long to hear Cory Doctorow give the talk. While Kottke’s reading does a good job of injecting some personality in to the text I really want to hear Cory read it with the passion that I’m sure he would bring to the reading.