One of the benefits of writing DesignAday is that I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of you. I spent a pleasant evening Friday night with Rohan Singh, a bright MHCI graduate student at CMU. He has been following the blog for a few years, but hadn’t realized until very recently that I lived in the Pittsburgh area. He asked if I’d be willing to meet him for coffee and let him pick my brain. I was more than happy to do so.
We talked about my job and the kind of work I do. We talked quite a bit about the value of visual design skills and how to improve them. We talked about what agencies are looking for in new hires, the importance of good writing skills, and the need for soft skills. We discussed data visualization, the genius designer mentality of traditional graphic design, and the need for critique when teaching yourself a new design skill. We touched on books about typography, Nathan Yau’s blog, Flowing Data, and the courses I’ve taught at WVU. We even discovered that we have both done work for Eaton. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, and Rohan was most appreciative.
I guess there are two points I want to make that were inspired by the meet up:
- If you have questions about design, don’t be afraid to ask someone that you respect. There are a lot of us that are willing, even eager, to impart our knowledge and experience on those new to the field.
- There is a huge value in, and great need for, professional designers sharing their expertise with students. If you are a faculty member, take advantage of those of us that are willing to share. If you are a professional who has the opportunity to share, please be generous with your time.