Nearly four years after leaving the University of Huddersfield — despite it feeling like four weeks — I found myself not only feeling old but also admiring the changes the University has made.
Not only in architecture and scale, but in the development of the courses and technology the University had undertaken. Seeing the work on show at the IM17: Breaking the Narrative show made me realise how far things have come in such a short period. If you said UI/UX to me during my time at university, I could only guess at what you were talking about. So, seeing students who had taken an idea from concept, rebranded a company in some instances, and developed it into something more than ‘just a poster’ was rather impressive to me.
Now, I know the course I was seeing students from was more media based — as opposed to my design based background — but seeing a student who had thought about so many different aspects of the company as well as producing a UI design to sit alongside the brand, is something that would have blown me away during my time as a student.
Which is very scary, as that was only half a dozen years ago…yikes!
Students taking the initiative to identify a problem for a single business is one thing but to identify an issue in society as a whole and create a professional solution was great to see. For example, one student identified that there isn’t much interest for children to go to the library. As much as I am not a child, and I understand as a designer that ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, I can appreciate how important a library is to education for a lot of people.
The Application was well branded by the student, and the concept not only invited children to go to the library but rewarded them in the process. The app visually matched the target market perfectly with bright colours and an easy to use block interface, all presented professionally and communicated well.
My only worry about the direction the courses are taking is that they are creating an ‘all-rounder’ rather than a specialist and maybe ‘experts’ in one field may become a thing of the past. Overall, I was mainly impressed with the work on show at IM17, with a mix of Animation, branding, 3D visualisation and web development to look admire and I hope all the students all go on to do great things.