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UArts Finance Project

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Last year, during a particularly low time in the economy, a group of MiD students came to the aid of their local university community here at UArts. They began working with the finance office to help improve their systems and discovered a fundamental issue. The school’s bi-annual presentations about the state of the school were bogged down with a lot of formal spreadhseets explaining, in possibly too much detail, the progress of the school.

It was recognized that this means of communication was difficult for the visual people to follow and so MiD students Justin Witman and Fraser Marshall were tasked with the job of finding a better way to communicate this critical information that would make it more accessible and appropriate to the audience without compromising its integrity.

Working with the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Bill Mea, and one of the the graphic design professors here, Larry Bach, the group developed and iterated a more visual way of presenting the critical information. All the while maintaining a balance of the two mindsets of administrators, focused on details of the information, and faculty, focused on what this information meant for them.  The visual community appreciated this effort because it allowed them to see through the clutter and better understand the status of their business.

It turned out that in the area of university administration this was rather pioneering work. So much so that the group was accepted to present their process at the annual meeting for the Eastern Association of College and University Officers in D.C. The presentation focused mostly on the process of developing this new visual method and was well received.

Overall the project was a success. The school community was better informed and Mr. Mea says he is very interested in continuing to employ the techniques developed for making his formal information more accessible. The school has also begun to realize the resources it has in its student body and build a more symbiotic relationship by providing the students more real world experience while helping the school improve.

UArts Finance Project
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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2011 at 4:17 pm by azahn123.
MiD Alumni Q&A

2010 Alumni Q&A

A few nights ago now some of the first alumni of the reframed MiD program returned to tell us of what it’s like on the outside. Frasier, Rachel, Garreth and Justin as well as a recruiter from MissionStaff named Megan Metz told us of their trials and conquests from the job hunt to their present projects. After which they fielded questions mostly from the trepidatious second-years who are finalizing their theses and beginning the interviewing process.

It was interesting to discover that though we are learning a human centered design process here, most of these graduates worked in a field labeled User Experience. While there did seem to be differences between these two labels, it was not clear exactly what these were. Axure, a software for wireframing and development, seemed to be the tool of choice for many aspects of their new jobs. The fact that there are many aspects to their new positions should also be noted. The graduates seemed to transcend this label pure user experience designer to step into multiple roles including research, information architecture, strategy and more.

Overall the night was a success. Many of the current MiD students were in attendance joined with a few undergrads and fellow professors. It provided an interesting look at the developing creative environment we here are all preparing to enter. Discovering consistencies between their separate positions most of us now have a better idea of what to expect come graduation and how to craft our stories to market ourselves more directly to applicable positions.

The night ended positively with a lot of eager conversations and new connections; everyone seemed excited.

MiD Alumni Q&A
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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2011 at 4:35 pm by azahn123.