4 Things Interns Should Know In Order To Create Effective Design

Ola Intern

Meet our talented intern, Olabimpe Agunloye -- or Ola, for short. Ola is senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, studying graphic design. FIT is a SUNY school known for establishing innovative designers into an environment that helps push design forward. In fact, there are several FIT alumni within ProjectEd’s design team and solidified their love for design when embarking on their own internship experiences.

As with everything we do at ProjectEd, we want to pay it forward and instill the same sense of hard work and imagination in future designers, which is why we started our design internship program in the first place. It’s no secret that we pride ourselves in impeccable and careful design. From conception to execution, our designers not only use best practices for the product but also a unique touch of creativity.

Whether you’re an aspiring designer or are thinking about starting your own internship program, here are some of our goals we have outlined for future designers (and what we hope Ola takes away after her internship with us):

1. Use what you’ve learned and expand on it.

As a design student, you may learn the fundamentals of design such as typography, content, hierarchy, color scheme, and emotional impact. Of course, all of these elements are crucial in executing the design, but it’s also important to observe and learn how to speak to a client. Communicating your vision to a non-designer may be one of the most vital skills you’ll learn in the workforce.  Some clients will let you take an idea and run with it, while others may need a considerable amount of hand-holding.

2. Your work is precious, but so are deadlines.

Let’s face it: designers are artists with a bit of a perfectionist streak. While it would be ideal to have all the time in the world to perfectly execute your vision, your project manager will be pulling out their hair and your client will be waiting forever for their finished product. This is why understanding the project requirements is crucial before jumping into the nitty gritty of creating. When you understand the project inside and out, it will be easier to work on a schedule and complete your project on time. It all starts with the very first workshop.

In our kick-off workshops, we work shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients to clarify and perfect their vision for the project -- that way everyone leaves day one with the same goal. From there, the ball starts rolling.

Here are the steps we take to ensure everyone on the team is on the same page from start to finish:

Workshop Design

3. Your face may be in a screen most of the time, but face-to-face time is crucial.

If you think you’re going to escape those dreaded group projects from school after you graduate, think again. Learning how to effectively collaborate professionally will help your design immensely in the “real world.” You are not only learning how to be a team player, but you’re also learning vital communication skills and most importantly, how to instill trust and camaraderie in your team. Unlike group projects in school, everyone is doing their fair share of work (at least, here at ProjectEd we do anyway)!

Even in individual projects in school, you are responsible for doing everything, such as copywriting, design, project management, etc. However, when you are in the workforce,  your team is likely made up of different people in each of these roles, so it’s important to learn and understand how each role interacts with each other.

Working as a team, here are some ways we’ve learned how to effectively collaborate:

Collab Design

4. It’s not really “work” if you absolutely love the work culture.

While we enjoy the mantra of “work hard, play hard,” we also understand that doesn’t fit every individual’s needs. We are extremely proud of our diverse team. In fact, our team is proof that you can find processes that fit the needs of every employee and allow everyone to feel comfortable within a work environment. We want future designers to go out into the world and create a culture where everyone has the ability to think critically, collaborate, and create. It may be cliche to tell young designers to “follow their passion,” we believe there is some truth to it. It’s important to find a company where the projects speak to you. This is why internships are important: they can expose you to a world of possibilities.

Want to learn more about our design team or possibly even intern with us someday? Drop us a note or reach out to us on Twitter!

How To Use VR/AR Technology In Your Classroom In 2018

JennyVR

Despite the ominous messages that Black Mirror has warned its viewers about the advancement of AR and VR (let’s hope none of us end up in the USS Callister), the technologies are growing and here to stay. AR and VR for education is also a budding field, and we even had the pleasure of sharing ideas with content creators at a recent VR for Education meetup right around the corner from our office in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

 

With the release of Apple’s ARKit for iOS and Google’s ARCore, AR & VR continue to trickle into the mainstream. You’ve probably already experienced AR/VR in your daily life as well, such as playing the global sensation Pokemon Go or the AR adaptation of one of most beloved children’s book classics of all time, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. 

But what does the rise of virtual and augmented reality mean for the world of education? More importantly, how can teachers effectively use these tools in the classroom?

VR SXSW EDU Panel

We had the pleasure of seeing innovative ideas for the classroom pop up at SXSWEdu, where panelists such as @jlindl, @Garlicsuter, @RafranzDavis @jordanbudi, @unity3d discussed VR content creation by students, and how AR/VR technology can shape the future of the classroom.

Many educators may feel uncomfortable with new technologies, especially with something as complex as VR/AR. However, Jordan Budi, a computer science teacher on the panel reassured concerned educators: 

“[…] I don’t know all the words in the dictionary but I can read and write in English. Likewise, you don’t need to know everything about a programming language or emerging technology in order to to start building things.”

Part of what we do at ProjectEd is advise companies in the execution of bringing new technology into the classroom. As educators know, the classroom is a unique and sometimes unpredictable environment replete with its own unique pitfalls and obstacles. Often times these are not rooted in the technology itself but related to the way it’s introduced or used.

Like many edtech companies, we want to put the needs of educators first and suggest practical solutions for the classroom. Here are some useful ways that teachers can use AR/VR in the classroom, making learning more interactive, along with some important developments to look out for in the near future:

1. Turn the classroom into an interactive learning experience.

Teachers are crafty folks and with this year’s introduction of ARKit for iOS and Google’s ARCore, teachers are even more empowered to find creative ways to incorporate AR and VR into their lesson plans and create their own activities. Apps like Aurasma, Aug That and Paint Space AR allow teachers to create activities and turn worksheets and bulletin boards into more engaging learning experiences.

Other apps like Creator AVR are more robust VR/AR authoring platforms that allow a teacher to create their own lessons and content using AVR’s library of assets and tools.

2. Use Devices That Schools Already Have

Since budgets and resources are always a major concern when it comes to introducing products to teachers and their classrooms, developments in AR and VR that expand the capability of mobile devices will outpace their higher end counterparts in schools. Inexpensive devices like Google cardboard can be used along with a cell phone to take students on virtual field trips like Google Expeditions and Learn around the World. Classrooms could also use a standalone phone or iPad to study and dissect human anatomy with apps like The Visible Body AR

At SXSWEDU, we were able to experience the wonders of MergeCube, where users can create unique “holograms” and view the experience through their phones. Students can re-create and explore the solar system or even ancient museum artifacts, all at the palm of their hands.

 

3. Infrared (IR) motion tracking are coming to mobile phones

In this case, it may not be so bad that a student always has their phone on them. Time to take out the keys to the “phone jail” you have in your desk.

IR tracking may soon be available for mobile devices. Typically, IR tracking involves the placement of external sensors in the play environment that tracks the user’s headset position relative to the 3D environment. This allows for the feeling of true immersion, where you can look under and around objects, in the virtual world. However, one of the big limitations of higher end systems connected to IR tracking devices is its immobility, since the headset must be tethered to a base computer. This separates higher end systems like Oculus and HTC from their cheaper counterparts such as Google Cardboard and Gear VR. Currently, this functionality doesn’t exist for mobile headsets.

This is where IR for mobile comes in handy, especially for the classroom. Mobile phones already have a lot of the hardware and functionality built in. Students would not be restricted to just head motion from a fixed position but they could crawl over and under obstacles to see what lies underneath or roam the class as if in an actual location. This could potentially transform the classroom into a fully immersive environment.

4. Keep your eyes straight ahead: the development of foveated rendering.

Students and teachers can keep an eye on the prize. Literally. Foveated rendering is a technique that takes advantage of eye-tracking technology built into the headset. It reduces the image rendering workload by decreasing the quality of the images in your peripheral vision. Simulating normal vision where the the greatest focus is on the area being gazed at.

This is a quickly moving space and new apps are popping up daily, so download a few, try them out, and stay tuned.

Check out this periodic table shared during SXSWEDU for teachers to try VR/AR.

 

You can also try these 32 AR apps for the classroom

Did you attend #SXSWEDU and have some AR/VR ideas for the classroom? Share your ideas with us @_projected!