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Deep Hurting
Jan 19, 2006


magnificent7 posted:

Education vs. Experience
Which one gets you the job? Me personally, I'd take a good portfolio and 4 years experience over a great portfolio fresh out of 4 years in art school. Unless the graduate had a mind-blowing portfolio. Why? Because art students lack real-world knowledge. They've spent 4 years working in a vacuum, developing fantastic designs without a real budget, without the constraints of a real office. I've seen it time and time again - a great art student comes up with un-workable designs. They don't have the social graces of an office environment. It sucks, but that's the truth. I would say start freelancing right now while you're in school. Go work in an office somewhere somehow.

When I see a portfolio that contains only school assignments, the possibility of hiring that person drops a LOT. If they had just one or two real-world pieces from a paying client, it would improve their hire-ability because I can see that they can design great things, but they can also design within real client constraints. When I was in design school, they never touched on creative guidelines of a company.

Perhaps this isn't standard any more, or perhaps it depends on where you went to school, but the design program I went to stressed style guides and identity constraints quite a bit, or at least enough for it to get through to me and a few other students.

magnificent7 posted:

Monster.com has a 24-page book on how to design online ads for their company. 4 pages alone on logo placement. Same with AT&T, Lincoln-Mercury - ANY national company with a poo poo-ton of money invested in branding will insist that you never run their logo over certain colors, it has to be X picas/pixels from any other element, etc.

Yeah, honestly this isn't that surprising in an industry where the big players like Adobe will go so far as to trademark a specific swatch of red. They poured money into developing the details of a design scheme, obviously they're going to want to get their money's worth by using it!

magnificent7 posted:

And in the design world, that has very little to do with education. If you have degree, it just doesn't matter like it would in accounting or architecture. I want somebody who is creative and has experience in my field already.

Okay, well, I'm already graduated and I need a job. How am I supposed to get professional experience if nobody will hire me because I don't have professional experience? How do I do this in a way that won't have me living with my parents or in a cardboard box for the rest of my life? If I just depend on freelancing right now, I'll be lucky if I can get an entry-level position before I'm 30, at the rate things are going.

I figured being a national award-winning illustrator and having swell typographic skills along with New Media capabilities would be worth something, but in almost two years of job searching I've only even been INTERVIEWED twice. And one of those was for an unpaid internship that has been closed indefinitely. Why are employers completely ignoring me?? I know people are busy but this is kind of B.S.

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ceebee
Feb 12, 2004


Deep Hurting posted:

Okay, well, I'm already graduated and I need a job. How am I supposed to get professional experience if nobody will hire me because I don't have professional experience? How do I do this in a way that won't have me living with my parents or in a cardboard box for the rest of my life? If I just depend on freelancing right now, I'll be lucky if I can get an entry-level position before I'm 30, at the rate things are going.

I figured being a national award-winning illustrator and having swell typographic skills along with New Media capabilities would be worth something, but in almost two years of job searching I've only even been INTERVIEWED twice. And one of those was for an unpaid internship that has been closed indefinitely. Why are employers completely ignoring me?? I know people are busy but this is kind of B.S.

Sounds like you're not trying hard enough. Just because you're an award-winning illustrator and you have swell typographic skills doesn't mean that the jobs will just come to you. Also, 90% of the jobs that say professional experience required are usually optional. Get a kickass portfolio up and start sending that out to a bunch of places, even if it's not your dream job it's a foot in the door. They won't care if you don't have professional experience if you have an amazing portfolio.

Edit: Taking a look at your site it's nice and all, but it feels more like a flash game than it does a professional portfolio. For the love of god stay away from Flash.

ceebee fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2008 around 18:15

[chavez]
Dec 20, 2003

by Y Kant Ozma Boo


magnificent7 posted:


If you've spent the past 5 years designing print ads, even if they're the bomb, it will still take awhile to get you up to speed designing web sites.

Education vs. Experience
Which one gets you the job? Me personally, I'd take a good portfolio and 4 years experience over a great portfolio fresh out of 4 years in art school. Unless the graduate had a mind-blowing portfolio. Why? Because art students lack real-world knowledge. They've spent 4 years working in a vacuum, developing fantastic designs without a real budget, without the constraints of a real office. I've seen it time and time again - a great art student comes up with un-workable designs.

I don't think this can be stressed enough. I work as a Designer/Developer for an agency that almost exclusively partners with other agencies (who don't have an interactive department). About 90% of the technical issues that slow us down are due to the fact that we are usually working with print designers who are throwing their hat in the web design ring and failing to consider how things will actually work.

Any decent web designer is going to be able to look at site comps and pick out the technical issues within the first glance; if you're a new designer an you're throwing out comps that leave a lot of things unconsidered it's going to show. I know for our agency almost every comp given us by print designers is built in InDesign @ 300dpi, set for a 1024x768 window, and usually no consideration is given to how the design will be handled for any resolution above that. Don't show off designs that run off the page @ 1024 and just expect someone else to figure out what to do with an extra 140 pixels on each side of your design.

Almost every time we kick off a new project the initial meeting consists of us sitting down with the client and explaining to them why a lot of their concept/design is going to have to change. Sometimes it's so hard to get people to just THINK or RESEARCH what they want to do before they charge headlong into it. It might look cool, it might be an awesome idea but before you promise it to a client make sure that it's actually possible and you have the resources and logistics available to do it.

E: to respond to Akaikami, personally I don't have the Flash hate since that's what most of our projects involve, but he is right about applying for jobs. Oftentimes the HR dep't is responsible for job postings but they don't always understand all the technical stuff that the design department tells them they need in an applicant. Honestly the best way to find out what kind of person an agency is really looking for is to send in your portfolio and shoot for an interview. I've gone to many interviews where the interviewer would just straight up tell me the kind of person they were looking for and often it has little to do with the job posting that got me there in the first place. If you're only applying for jobs that list your specific skill set you're going to really limit yourself. Even besides that half the time the HR people are looking for someone that doesn't exist, if they're asking for someone that's going to design award winning sites but also knows XSLT, .NET, PHP, XML, MYSQL and a hundred other programming languages, well, honestly finding someone that's good at all that is next to impossible so it's up to you to get face to face with someone there and try and find out what they really need.

[chavez] fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2008 around 18:26

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



pikacheney posted:

My design career recently took a turn towards UI design, which is something completely new to me. I realize this is a broad question, but what are some good resources for learning the basics? I've read "Don't Make Me Think" and enjoyed it but felt a lot of it was already obvious to me from my regular web design experience.

Secondly, what skill set should I be looking to develop? I'm fluent in XHTML/CSS but not JS. Should that be my next target?

Lastly, I also work in San Francisco as a designer. Are there any SF specific design resources you're familiar with? Conferences, groups, libraries, etc.? This question may not make much sense but I feel kind of isolated in my design career so far.

Thanks in advance!
Sorry it took so long to get back to this.

UI design is weird because there's 2 main ways into it: HCI or organically. In my experience you'll find that academic HCI people have a lot of knowledge and usually an easier time getting work but have difficulty adapting to the realities of product development.

The resources for learning are pretty spread out. There's the aforementioned HCI education. There's classes from places like Cooper. There's a million books on the subject. What I think is important is figuring out what works for you. I, for example, hate personas. I've had to use them and I can but I'd rather not. A lot of people love them though and they work for them.

I personally have learned the most about UI design by being a conscious user of software and websites. I bookmark or write down things that I see that I think are good so that I can refer to them later. When I'm using a new site or application I do a few 30-second "squint tests" and "what would I fix here?" thought exercises. Sometimes I just play with their widgts and try to break them. The good thing about UI design is that we use interfaces all day. You can learn just as much from a bad interface as a good one, sometimes more.

In my opinion a lot of the design challenges either boil down to common sense and/or brute force and the biggest challenges are convincing people that your design is the right way to go and then communicating it clearly to the people who are going to build it so that it works right. Learning to document well is critical.

BayCHI is probably the most popular industry group but the IxDA has a chapter here too. Professional associations aren't really my thing though, for some reason every event/F2F I've been to has sucked. If you're trying to get started it might be useful to check that stuff out though.

qirex fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2008 around 18:49

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Deep Hurting posted:

Okay, well, I'm already graduated and I need a job. How am I supposed to get professional experience if nobody will hire me because I don't have professional experience?
You fake it. Like I said - do some corporate mockups. Lots of them. When I get a portfolio from an applicant, if it's filled with purely concept pieces and no real-world designs -- real, boring, unadventurous designs -- I am faced with worrying if they'll design pie-in-the-sky pieces that won't fly in the real world (see [chavez] response).

It's a tough one. But like I said - my first job - all I did was copy their existing ad but just change the fonts and then add a little bit of my own thing to it... the point is, I made it very easy for them to imagine me doing that kind of work. Remove as much guesswork for your applicant. If you're applying to Nike, include some REAL SHOE ads, even if you're just mocking them up. The interviewer won't wonder if you really worked for them - you can say "I just threw something together for this intervew".

In fact, the last person I hired did this. Coming from print design to flash/html, she didn't have any flash work in her portfolio, so she built an ad just to run on weather.com. I did the same thing when I interviewed for them 6 years ago... they need to see proof of concept - proof that you can walk in the door and start working.

Deep Hurting
Jan 19, 2006


magnificent7 posted:

You fake it. Like I said - do some corporate mockups. Lots of them. When I get a portfolio from an applicant, if it's filled with purely concept pieces and no real-world designs -- real, boring, unadventurous designs -- I am faced with worrying if they'll design pie-in-the-sky pieces that won't fly in the real world (see [chavez] response).

I'm not a print designer trying to break into New Media, or vice-versa, really. Aside from illustration (which I prefer to do with traditional materials), the bulk of my background, my portfolio, and my degree are in New Media. So I do understand the limits chavez was talking aboutĖin fact, the thought process described in chavez's post is pretty much the same one I use. Does my portfolio not show this?

The kind of work I'm trying to get in design would be Flash and other New Media. While I'm capable in print it's neither my strength nor my interest.


Akaikami posted:

They won't care if you don't have professional experience if you have an amazing portfolio.

I guess I'm a little unconfident about whether or not my portfolio is amazing, or at least amazing enough. What do you think?

And don't worry, I don't expect jobs to come to me without me looking for them. When I said "years of job searching" I meant to use the word "searching" as an active verb rather than a passive one.

But I do think it's kind of strange that after finishing my formal design training in '06, I've only been invited in for interviews twice. That's almost two years of applying to places and rarely even meriting the attention that'd be required to send me a rejection.

Deep Hurting fucked around with this message at Jan 5, 2008 around 08:00

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Deep Hurting posted:

Does my portfolio not show this?
The first thing I see when I go to your portfolio is a huge red flag. "Click here to activate". If your main focus is in new media, then take the time to fix that. When I see that, it tells me that you haven't designed a site for a paying customer; they would ask about that before going any further.

Your "BRIEF" and "VIEW PROJECT" buttons are only the text. Put a transparent button over the text to increase the clickable area. You don't have to increase the text of the buttons, just make it easier to click them. I know it may seem like little things to you, but those are the big giveaways that it'll take more time getting you up to speed.

On your indie expo piece - change the button's actions so the information area doesn't disappear as soon as I mouse away. Leave it up until the next link is moused over... it's frustrating because the mouse area is so tiny, if my mouse moves away a little bit, the info area disappears. Visually, your work is awesome. Technically, you're missing some things that tells me you didn't do any of these with a paying client.

On your silent movie, give a note that they're going to be downloading a movie file. Same with the tools movie as well. Up until then, "view project" means "open a website"... the quickest fix is to build a flash movie player, so it'll pop up a site that plays the movie instead of making me download the movie.

These may seem like nitpicky things, but when I've got 10 submissions and I'm trying to figure out who to bring in for an interview, especially if I've been interviewing for weeks already, I'm going to start seeing past the design and scrutinizing the technical parts. Unless you're positioning yourself as a concept artist and don't plan to do any flash design on your own, you need to address these things... FIRST OF ALL, get rid of that "Click here to activate" message.

Like I said - your design work is great, but you're missing the little things that really matter when comparing your work to somebody who's been working for even two years in the workplace.

quickie edit: most of my suggestions are programming/technical issues and a lot of flash artists will declare "but I'm a designer, let somebody else do the code!" but these days, I think there are very few places that hire a flash designer without expecting them to know a little bit of code -- just for fixing things like these.

If you want help with those fixes just ask.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at Jan 5, 2008 around 13:58

Deep Hurting
Jan 19, 2006


magnificent7 posted:

The first thing I see when I go to your portfolio is a huge red flag. "Click here to activate". If your main focus is in new media, then take the time to fix that. When I see that, it tells me that you haven't designed a site for a paying customer; they would ask about that before going any further.

Why? How is clicking anyplace to bring up a menu any different than clicking a specific link that says "menu," other than giving the end user more freedom of movement (which would seem like a plus, from a usability standpoint)?

If you're arguing against splash pages, you don't need to because I agree with that, splash pages are dumb. But this isn't a splash page, it's a fluid, less-restrictive widget-style interface. Maybe the difference isn't as clear as I think it is?

magnificent7 posted:

Your "BRIEF" and "VIEW PROJECT" buttons are only the text. Put a transparent button over the text to increase the clickable area.

Um, I did. That's a rookie mistake which I learned not to make a long time ago.

Maybe I should make the hot area for each one a little bigger, but the hot area is certainly not just the text.

magnificent7 posted:

You don't have to increase the text of the buttons, just make it easier to click them. I know it may seem like little things to you, but those are the big giveaways that it'll take more time getting you up to speed.

No, they don't seem like little things to me, I know they're mistakes that are a big deal with usability. Which is why I consciously avoid them, and haven't made a text-link in flash while using nothing more than the text as the hot area in many years.

Unless you and I are talking about two different things, which is possible.

magnificent7 posted:

On your indie expo piece - change the button's actions so the information area doesn't disappear as soon as I mouse away. Leave it up until the next link is moused over... it's frustrating because the mouse area is so tiny, if my mouse moves away a little bit, the info area disappears.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. Which area are you talking about?

magnificent7 posted:

Visually, your work is awesome. Technically, you're missing some things that tells me you didn't do any of these with a paying client.

Just the items you mentioned above, or is there anything else? They don't seem like little things, as I said, but some of them are mistakes I already made a point of not making, so I'm not entirely sure how what's there already is different from what you're saying should be there...

magnificent7 posted:

On your silent movie, give a note that they're going to be downloading a movie file. Same with the tools movie as well. Up until then, "view project" means "open a website"... the quickest fix is to build a flash movie player, so it'll pop up a site that plays the movie instead of making me download the movie.

IMO, those should just be integrated directly into the portal instead of opening a new window, via that thing loads an external flv or something. Which I think is what you're saying I should do, but I'm not sure.

magnificent7 posted:

These may seem like nitpicky things

No.

magnificent7 posted:

quickie edit: most of my suggestions are programming/technical issues and a lot of flash artists will declare "but I'm a designer, let somebody else do the code!" but these days, I think there are very few places that hire a flash designer without expecting them to know a little bit of code -- just for fixing things like these.

I know enough actionscript and of mistakes one should never, ever make to get by, and usually if I want to code something that's potentially really complex I can figure it out on my own, in time. I think MORE people designing stuff for the web ought to be MORE adept at code, but I've been told many times that the industry trends the other direction, wanting designers to just design and coders to just code, and not having there be a lot of overlap between camps, which seems silly to me.

magnificent7 posted:

If you want help with those fixes just ask.

Just the above-requested clarifications, for now.

rockarocka
Dec 8, 2003



Just a question about the resume example same posted in the original post. I quickly wipped up one that looks fairly similar to the example a few months back when I had a job and was going to school, just for future reference. I now don't go to school and have no job and so decided to bring the resume along to a career advisor / resume checker at uni to see what they say before I start handing it out. Content aside, she seemed to mostly have a big problem with the layout. She mostly said that she didn't quite know where about she was supposed to be looking due to the double columns and that it didn't flow too nicely and also disliked the fact that the headers didn't stand-out from the body text (weren't bold etc.).

In a sense I agree, but simply because it does look different to regular resumes. I can imagine that it may be disconcerting plowing through a bunch of resumes, most that have a fairly standard format, being able to pick out the information you need because they're all essentially the same and then stumbling upon one that mixes it up a bit. But I do agree with most of what same mentions in the OP, I personally like the style and flow of a double column resume and the fact that it does look different to most resumes. Friends and previous colleges mentioned that the one I mocked up did look eye-catching, but the lady that checked it seemed to have a problem with a lot of aspects of it.

I won't specifically be applying for design jobs; I'm currently mostly just looking for anything at all. I figured that maybe it is best to stick with a standard format for standard jobs. I feel more inclined to trust you fine folk here, but this lady just flat out told me to change it. Should I be using a resume like this for non-design jobs?

Mansurus
Aug 7, 2007

by The Finn


I'm looking to study photography somewhere in Pennsylvania, ideally within a couple of hours of Wilkes-Barre. I was especially considering Philadelphia - as i hear there are tons of schools and a great art community there.

I'm interested mainly in documentary and fine-art photography, although photojournalism would interest me as well.

I have no idea about what schools are there, and what kind of programs are offered. I've searched online, but nothing beats personal accounts. The Art Institutes seem to offer so many different courses, but i have a major bias against chain schools, and they seem kinda shady (on par with e-learning perhaps). I also glanced over University of the Arts, Antonelli institute, as well as a few others.

Any personal opinions or advice would be awesome, thanks.

[chavez]
Dec 20, 2003

by Y Kant Ozma Boo


Deep Hunting, I think there are some things you could do to improve your portfolio site. First of all, I agree with mag7; making users click on your site to see navigation is bad from a usability standpoint. I can tell you that if anyone came into our shop with a portfolio that had no nav until you clicked on the site, we wouldn't discount them but it's a pretty solid clue that the designer is inexperienced.

Secondly, your "back" buttons on the flip-side of each site element have a black rollover state, so if I don't move my mouse cursor after clicking "brief" I can't see the "back" button at all.

Thirdly, allowing site elements to spawn below the fold on a screen with no scrollbars is also not that great for usability. If I position the main menu right below the logo, even on my 1440x900 laptop screen, clicking one of the bottom menu items generates a new box halfway off the screen. Also you should disable the ability to generate multiple identical site elements - there's really no need for the user to have 7 identical project elements floating around.

The other thing that seems kind of strange to me is that the entire box for each site element is a hotspot, so whenever they are rolled over, the hand cursor appears but there's no clear indication that you should click and drag, and simply clicking doesn't do anything.

One other thing I might suggest changing is the fact that I have to click to get any info on each project. The idea of the site elements flipping over is cool but I prefer sites that leave no mystery as to where I'm going by clicking on a link - it just seems odd to me that it's an extra step to find out about a project before viewing it; personally I think it'd be better to pair the site thumbnail and the information on the same screen instead of requiring the user to only see one or the other.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Deep Hurting posted:

Why? How is clicking anyplace to bring up a menu any different than clicking a specific link that says "menu," other than giving the end user more freedom of movement (which would seem like a plus, from a usability standpoint)?

No no - my comment was about something before even THAT. On a PC, in IE, when you hover over your page before doing anything, a message pops up saying "Press spacebar or enter to activate and use this control". And it's happening on any of your other sites that have just a flash file embedded. And anything interactive on your site won't work until I click on the flash ares first (which btw is surrounded with an ugly grey line as well). This happened thanks to a lawsuit between MS and Eolas - some company that lays claim to the embed tag or some nonsense. You now have to have an external javascript file embed the flash movie for you. It blows, but it's necessary.

quote:

Maybe I should make the hot area for each one a little bigger, but the hot area is certainly not just the text. Unless you and I are talking about two different things, which is possible.
No - you're right - but the clickable area is limited to just the height of the letters. I would definitely expand that area.

quote:

(indie expo information) I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. Which area are you talking about?
Mouse over the W on WHO or WHAT, and then go directly to the third BLERK. Diagonally. Bam the whole thing disappeared before I could read more info on BLERK. I was suggesting that you leave the entire panel exposed until the user mouses over something else instead of killing that panel as soon as they mouse out of it.

quote:

{the movie isn't embedded in a flash file) IMO, those should just be integrated directly into the portal instead of opening a new window, via that thing loads an external flv or something. Which I think is what you're saying I should do, but I'm not sure.
I know this will sound retarded and eye-rollingly stupid, but I don't have quicktime as the default movie player in my browser. Therefore, when I click on that link, I am presented with the option to download or open the file. This is something you need to consider; your employers will not always have the state-of-the-art setup. In my case, I don't know WHAT I did to this shitass browser but mp3s and movs wont play inline. One day I will fix it. But until then, whenever I click on a link to an mp3 or a mov file, my browser reminds me that I am retarded. Hopefully I am one of only 5 people on the planet who are this stupid, but on the offhand chance that there are a lot of people who don't have quicktime as their default player, it's a safer bet to put your mov files into flash movie players (flvs or whatever) since you know for sure that the user has flash.

Deep Hurting
Jan 19, 2006


Thanks for all the useful responses, [chavez] and magnificent7! Really, this is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. Let me see if I can address each of your comments:

chavez posted:

Deep Hunting, I think there are some things you could do to improve your portfolio site. First of all, I agree with mag7; making users click on your site to see navigation is bad from a usability standpoint. I can tell you that if anyone came into our shop with a portfolio that had no nav until you clicked on the site, we wouldn't discount them but it's a pretty solid clue that the designer is inexperienced.

Why? I'm not asking to be impudent or defensive, by the way, but because I'm actually curious. I mentioned the term "freedom of movement" (or that may have beenand while it's been a long time, I'm pretty sure my thought process when I came up with it was to give the end user the ability to access anything in the portal from anywhere, without the need of going through multiple pages or something.

I was trying to come up with something that would be different from traditional navigation, but easy enough to figure out that the end user would get it almost immediately. It sounds like you're saying that it doesn't fulfill the latter quality.

chavez posted:

Secondly, your "back" buttons on the flip-side of each site element have a black rollover state, so if I don't move my mouse cursor after clicking "brief" I can't see the "back" button at all.

Never even thought this would be an issue. Thanks for pointing out that it is.

chavez posted:

Thirdly, allowing site elements to spawn below the fold on a screen with no scrollbars is also not that great for usability. If I position the main menu right below the logo, even on my 1440x900 laptop screen, clicking one of the bottom menu items generates a new box halfway off the screen. Also you should disable the ability to generate multiple identical site elements - there's really no need for the user to have 7 identical project elements floating around.

I don't know how to do that. :embarrassed:

chavez posted:

The other thing that seems kind of strange to me is that the entire box for each site element is a hotspot, so whenever they are rolled over, the hand cursor appears but there's no clear indication that you should click and drag, and simply clicking doesn't do anything.

You can click and drag. I wanted to make a mouseover event that would produce a dialogue reading "drag" which would follow the cursor whenever you mouse over each draggable object, but in spite of what appears to be a fairly straightforward actionscript procedure I couldn't get it to work.

Making the entire thing a hotspot initially was the simplest way I came up with at the time for giving the user the ability to spawn the menu by clicking anywhere, but now I realize I probably could have done it better by dropping some actionscript right on the frame. I haven't redone it differently already mainly 'cause I've been intending to put in an entirely different portal.

chavez posted:

One other thing I might suggest changing is the fact that I have to click to get any info on each project. The idea of the site elements flipping over is cool but I prefer sites that leave no mystery as to where I'm going by clicking on a link - it just seems odd to me that it's an extra step to find out about a project before viewing it; personally I think it'd be better to pair the site thumbnail and the information on the same screen instead of requiring the user to only see one or the other.

I'll make a note of that.

magnificent7 posted:


No no - my comment was about something before even THAT. On a PC, in IE, when you hover over your page before doing anything, a message pops up saying "Press spacebar or enter to activate and use this control". And it's happening on any of your other sites that have just a flash file embedded. And anything interactive on your site won't work until I click on the flash ares first (which btw is surrounded with an ugly grey line as well). This happened thanks to a lawsuit between MS and Eolas - some company that lays claim to the embed tag or some nonsense. You now have to have an external javascript file embed the flash movie for you. It blows, but it's necessary.

I didn't know that. Thank you for telling me.

Why does this only affect Microsoft, though?

magnificent7 posted:

No - you're right - but the clickable area is limited to just the height of the letters. I would definitely expand that area.

Mouse over the W on WHO or WHAT, and then go directly to the third BLERK. Diagonally. Bam the whole thing disappeared before I could read more info on BLERK. I was suggesting that you leave the entire panel exposed until the user mouses over something else instead of killing that panel as soon as they mouse out of it.

Ah, you're talking about the no-click interface one. Yeah, I think I can fix that. Could be easy or difficult, depending on how I put it together in the first place way back when.

magnificent7 posted:

I know this will sound retarded and eye-rollingly stupid, but I don't have quicktime as the default movie player in my browser. Therefore, when I click on that link, I am presented with the option to download or open the file. This is something you need to consider; your employers will not always have the state-of-the-art setup. In my case, I don't know WHAT I did to this shitass browser but mp3s and movs wont play inline. One day I will fix it. But until then, whenever I click on a link to an mp3 or a mov file, my browser reminds me that I am retarded. Hopefully I am one of only 5 people on the planet who are this stupid, but on the offhand chance that there are a lot of people who don't have quicktime as their default player, it's a safer bet to put your mov files into flash movie players (flvs or whatever) since you know for sure that the user has flash.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's another thing I've been intending to get on, but was holding off for a new and hopefully better portal design.

Gosh, I hope I have the FLV encoding software on my personal computer, though, 'cause I don't have access to the material I had access to when I was a student any more.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I think the wide-open interface is a great idea but a horrible execution. But to set this up - I spent 4 years as a user-interface designer, so I tend to focus on "how easy is it to find what I need?" more than "how cool is this!!"

It also kills any impact you might want to achieve when they first see your site. All that's there is essentially the same as a splash page. Since those are frowned upon these days, you're screaming "hey! I love 2002! Just can't let it go! nope!" - just VISUALLY. Interacting with the site reveals that it's more than that, but visually, all you see is a logo and a sentence saying "click to..." and BAM you've jumped back 5 years.

But really - I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. But you asked why hasn't anybody called you for interviews - I'm just trying to point out what I see compared to some other sites I saw. But to be fair - the people I ended up hiring, the website design wasn't really anything outstanding. If I were you, I would try to get some more real-world completed pieces in there, fewer comps. Even if it's just trading out logos for real businesses and filler text with real text.

CoffeeIsForClosers
Nov 26, 2004


CoffeeIsForClosers posted:

Hereís my situation: Iím about to turn 24 and graduate from UC Davis with a non-art degree. Iíve recently realized that art, specifically cartooning/illustration is what I really want to be concentrating on at this point in my life. Is art graduate school at all realistic considering, other than a few drawing and painting classes, I have no background in art and no resume to speak of? To be honest, Iím far more interested in simply learning and growing as an artist, and am in a unique position where I can support myself through online poker, so actually getting credentials and/or a well-paying job arenít a priority. Are any art academy programs that are open to anyone worth my time? Or will the best option be putting together a portfolio and trying to get into a more selective school?
I would like to live somewhere in SoCal, can anyone tell me anything about the general art scene there?

Sorry to quote myself, but my question kinda got lost in the shuffle. If it seems too vague or general, it's because I really don't have the first clue about these things.

Deep Hurting
Jan 19, 2006


magnificent7 posted:

I think the wide-open interface is a great idea but a horrible execution. But to set this up - I spent 4 years as a user-interface designer, so I tend to focus on "how easy is it to find what I need?" more than "how cool is this!!"

It also kills any impact you might want to achieve when they first see your site. All that's there is essentially the same as a splash page. Since those are frowned upon these days, you're screaming "hey! I love 2002! Just can't let it go! nope!" - just VISUALLY. Interacting with the site reveals that it's more than that, but visually, all you see is a logo and a sentence saying "click to..." and BAM you've jumped back 5 years.

So if I'm reading you right, it sounds like what you're saying is I need to come up with a different (maybe even only a slightly different) approach to express the same basic idea. Is that right?

magnificent7 posted:

But really - I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. But you asked why hasn't anybody called you for interviews - I'm just trying to point out what I see compared to some other sites I saw.

Nonono, don't worry about it! I asked the question to get an answer, not to defend myself. Everything you've said is perfectly fair, I just needed deeper clarification, 'sall.

magnificent7 posted:

But to be fair - the people I ended up hiring, the website design wasn't really anything outstanding. If I were you, I would try to get some more real-world completed pieces in there, fewer comps. Even if it's just trading out logos for real businesses and filler text with real text.

Okay. In school they warned us about using copyrighted material in our portfolios, even in comps. I don't want to get sued (though I must admit there were a couple of times where I fudged the rules even so). Do I not need to be so worried about that at this point after all, long as it's not something I'm doing for some client or other (a no-duh situation, in other words)?

I don't think it would be a good idea for me to dump designs where I used custom identities, though, because that's my own work rather than something that was handed to us by a teacher, and I only put stuff that I'm proud of there, to that effect. That doesn't mean I can't add more, of course.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Deep Hurting posted:

So if I'm reading you right, it sounds like what you're saying is I need to come up with a different (maybe even only a slightly different) approach to express the same basic idea. Is that right?
yeah. basically. I don't know how you can achieve that beautiful wide open orange canvas and still have a menu somewhere in place. Maybe put the menu right in the dead center of the page.

quote:

Okay. In school they warned us about using copyrighted material in our portfolios, even in comps. I don't want to get sued (though I must admit there were a couple of times where I fudged the rules even so). Do I not need to be so worried about that at this point after all, long as it's not something I'm doing for some client or other (a no-duh situation, in other words)?

I don't think it would be a good idea for me to dump designs where I used custom identities, though, because that's my own work rather than something that was handed to us by a teacher, and I only put stuff that I'm proud of there, to that effect. That doesn't mean I can't add more, of course.
Oh absolutely, don't copy somebody's work and pass it off as your own. Don't copy the text if it's going to be published. But if it's just for your book, and you expressly say "I used the copy and the logo from a site to illustrate my ability to design an ad for a real client" -- how many times did you get assignments in school for Nike or Wachovia or whatever?

What you're trying to do with your portfolio is two things - show them that you can design like a mother, and make it easy for them to imagine you working for them - because that's what's going through their head - "how would these designs work for my client/boss/product?" So make it easy for them, but point out that this is just a mockup, not the real thing.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


CoffeeIsForClosers posted:

Sorry to quote myself, but my question kinda got lost in the shuffle. If it seems too vague or general, it's because I really don't have the first clue about these things.
I have no clue about cartooning, but yeah, the art schools here in Atlanta offer classes that anybody can get into. You can enroll as an illustrator, focus solely on the areas you want to take, and then leave the school. Sure you won't have the degree, but I don't know if a degree really matters in cartooning does it?

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



One fun thought exercise to do while designing your portfolio [not directed at anyone in particular]:

Imagine a design manager who's going over a bunch of emails during his lunch break. There were 120 new responses to their craigslist ad in the last 24 hours and they need to find someone ASAP. Cover letters are skimmed for school or company names, resumes are skipped and the URL is clicked. The design manager had budgeted exactly 10 seconds of "figure it out time" and if they can't find portfolio pieces the tab is closed, the email deleted, another bite of salad is taken and the next email is skimmed.

There is a time and place for subtlety and cleverness in design. Portfolio design is typically not it. You should design such that someone could conceivably look at your best work and skim your resume in 30 seconds or less. Maybe a minute if your work is really that good. Every second someone has to spend figuring out your navigation, hunting for a link to your resume or resizing their browser window back to its original size is a second you're not getting your message across.

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



Is it harder for foreign people to get jobs in american companies?
I'm a mexican currently studying animation in the U.S. and this has been worrying me for a while, especially because in addition to the "job<-->experience" paradox I can't work under my student visa.

BabyArm
Mar 29, 2005

Like I give a crap!

We, the fun folks at Fossil (yes, the watch co.) are looking for interns to join our happy family.


----------------
Position Summary
Fossil Graphic Design & Web Design Internships - at Fossil's award-winning design studio! Fossil, a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of fashion watches, apparel, leather goods and eyewear has opportunities for full-time and/or part-time graphic design & web design internships for the fall semester in our headquarters in NE Richardson, Texas USA. You must be currently working on, or have a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, Visual Arts or related field. Our paid internship program will offer you hands-on experience in a fast paced, in-house environment. Our design studio of over 100+ creative people will provide you an enriched internship experience.

Fossil is an Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Requirements

SKILLS & EXPERIENCE: Internship candidates are encouraged to apply if able to meet the following requirements:

* Working knowledge of graphic design principles and possess both artistic and technical skills
* Knowledge in Adobe programs on a Mac platform.
* Web experience a plus, but not required
* The ability to effectively balance multiple projects and meet tight deadlines
* Strong communication skills
* The ability to work well with others and as part of a team
* The ability to follow direction well
* Currently working on or have a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, Visual Arts or related field.

Portfolio required at time of interview. We prefer interns who would be available for full days at least 2-3 days per week up to full time, 5 days a week. We are willing to work with school schedules. Please e-mail resume including samples of your work to Lori Massey at Lorim(at)fossil.com, and apply online at https://www.fossil.com. Please indicate your availability in your correspondence. No phone calls please. We will be accepting resumes through mid-November. VERY IMPORTANT-Please put your name in the subject area of your e-mail. Thank you!
----------------

I'll be happy to answer any questions not covered in the listing.

Zurich
Jan 4, 2008


Any British Goons studying graphic design, advertising design, or anything like that at uni that I could chat to about a few things (preferably on MSN so as not to poo poo up this thread)? Much appreciated.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


[warning this is maybe a bit of a rant]
Here's some advice for you post-school-pre-big-world commercial artists. Before you do anything, ANYTHING, on a job, read the requirements and guidelines associated with that job - from the branding guidelines to the publisher's guidelines. I had an idiot at an agency turn over a flash ad yesterday with a framerate of 120 fps.

What the hell.

24. That's the industry standard.

Mark that in your mind right now. 24.

And the guy started bitching at me, asking why didn't I TELL him there was a limit. It's published on our site under "advertising guidelines". It's also the industry standard set down by the IAB. Rock the boat and go out of the box in some areas, but if you can't adhere to the guidelines you'll end up doing a lot more work fixing things.

Okay I'm done.

JoeWindetc
Jan 14, 2007
JoeWindetc

Greets Goons, was wondering if anyone got their MS online, specifically in Graphic Design or a related field. I'm looking to do the same and was curious of experiences or even recommended schools.

SlipperySnowman
Oct 30, 2004
remember kids, clothes are optional...

fyi, first link in first post was 404. I think this is the same article:

http://www.randsinrepose.com/archiv...and_a_hook.html

edit: Also, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this is the Typo3 font that seems to be unavailable as well: http://typo3.org/uploads/media/TYPO...Suitcase_03.zip

SlipperySnowman fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2008 around 11:50

mutata
Mar 1, 2003

Make way for the Urinal Parade.

I've been designing for years as a hobby, and while I'm pursuing my university's animation major, design has been a great way to work and pay the bills. I had a design job for a year at the local Prudential Real Estate affiliate, but the environment there was volatile and unstable at best, so I decided to move on. I'm working on spreading myself around and getting my resume into people's hands, and I've even taken to going to more professional-looking design firms in person to introduce myself and respectfully offer my services, but I've had minimal bites.

I know the design job market is a little iffy now and then, so I just want to make sure my portfolio is as best as it can be. Any comments and advice would be appreciated, and keep in mind, that I may be making some obvious mistakes as I don't have a degree per se. I'm all self taught.

My portfolio is here: http://www.mutatedjellyfish.net and my resume (based on the design posted earlier in the thread) can be downloaded right on the front page.

The design of the site was kind of hurried as there were a few times at my old job when I was sure I was going to be fired (the upper management decided to take a more hands on approach to the marketing department and it's never pretty when realtors/salesmen and artists mix), so the design is simple because it had to be quick. Simple is more my style, anyway, though.

I try to inject my personality into my resume and my portfolio, as I'm tired of working for egos and people putting up facades, so I want to appeal to more like-minded employers. I'm also trying to expand my stuff past boring real estate junk, as well, as I feel that more than anything, that's hurting me the most.

Any other feedback and advice is greatly appreciated.

https://instagram.com/mutatedjellyfish/
https://www.artstation.com/artist/mutatedjellyfish

awesomeolion
Nov 5, 2007

"Hi, I'm awesomeolion."

This thread has been very informative and helpful, especially for someone like me who is still an amateur and on the young side (16) but looking to break into the Web Design industry as soon as possible.

One question for Goons who hire web designers, is there a best school for web design? As in, if you look at a resume and see a degree from SCAD is that preferable to a degree from Brown or RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)? Is there one school which is far and away the best at teaching the practices of web design?

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


I was torn whether to post this here or in the B&F interviewing thread, but here goes...

I have an out-of-the-blue interview tomorrow afternoon. It's basically a copywriting/branding position at a marketing firm. From the conversations we've had so far, the manager seems very interested in me.

This is a field I've wanted to break into for a while, but this is the first time I've gotten as far as having to show someone my work. I write a lot of magazine articles and promotional copy at my current job, but it's not my primary responsibility, so I've never put together a pretty portfolio.

I don't have time to make a polished portfolio website/CD or anything by tomorrow, so I'm going to lug in a folder full of paper. Would a potential employer like this rather see the printed text of stuff I've published (i.e., a neat stack of Word documents), or scans of the actual publications themselves?

If it were creative writing, I'd be more inclined to bring in a bunch of irregularly-sized published works, but does it matter so much for nonfiction magazine articles and marketing copy?

I expect that my interview and writing will speak for themselves (the manager is aware of my unorthodox background), but I want to make as good of an impression as possible.

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at Jan 31, 2008 around 02:49

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


awesomeolion posted:

is therea best school for web design?

Im not quite sure how this is for web design, but from my experience, any sort of creative/design education is 85% dependent on what you are willing to put into your education and how hard you are willing to work.

The professors and facilities matter dont get me wrong, but they only matter a small amount. I actually interviewed Carlos Segura of Segura Inc. (hes a graphic designer here in chicago) and he is self taught. Never went to school and is published in nearly every design annual known to designers. He explained that the ability to learn and absorb information is embedded in the student, not the institution. If you really care about what you want to do, then you will go to every means to make sure that it is the best that you can do. The internet is the biggest tool and it contains more information than any school or group of professors can.

I had very skilled and prestigious professors in my department and they inspired me to work even harder. Then for a web design class, I had a professor that never once pulled up dreamweaver on the projector...or gave us a walkthrough tutorial...and the class comprised of 90% print designers with no experience in web. He was the biggest A hole ever but by the end of the course, I had taught myself enough web design skills (tables, containers, CSS, etc) to build my own portfolio website due to his stubborness. At the end of the course, he explained how his reluctance to "spoon feed" us information weeded out those who wanted to succeed and those who wanted to get by. It was insane to me that our school would hire someone who didnt really work but I guess he made some sense.

In the end, I think that finding a school that has a good reputation and fits your personality, not to mention the plethora of other characteristics you should look for such as cost, housing, etc....is the main thing. Dont get caught up in the "best school on the block" mentality, it will hang in the back of your mind through your entire education experience. Trust me.

Armagnac
Jun 24, 2005
Le feu de la vie.

In my experience in the tv/film industry in NY here's what I've found.

1) Film School, while useful for the knowledge you'll learn while in it, (especially if it's a good one) isn't nearly as important as Internships. Also, a majority of Undergrad film programs are useless and a waste of time and money (especially if you don't have much money).

2) Do as many interships, work, etc. as you can while you don't have to work for a living. Also, summer jobs and jobs you do while you're at school will be a net loss financially compared to doing as many internships (vary them and do as many as possible).

3) In film, even if you're just starting out, really be wary of doing poo poo for free. If the person is not a close friend, there's a reason they have no money. That reason is that they're project likely sucks, and is going nowhere. paid coffee boy > unpaid editor. You'll make more important connections as the coffee boy than slaving away on some idiot's "masterpiece".

4) Don't bitch, but don't be afraid to say no. If you agreed to something, then you agreed to it. However, if someone asks you to work for free all weekend long, you can say no. Some producers will chip away at you all the time and it's important to give in a little, but don't give away the house.

5) The more you get paid the easier your job is.

Shnooks
Mar 24, 2007

I'M BEING BORN D:


Maybe this is a silly question but...

My art needs a lot of work. I'm not perfect, but I want to improve. Going to an art school, am I going to be able to learn to better my skill, or am I going to be expected to just be perfect at it?

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


I think you are expecting different outcomes from what art schools usually expect. School is most importantly to give artists the opportunity to work with like minded people, advance your education, practice your skill, sharpen your abilities, and essentially get your work to its best, not to perfection because quite honestly art (especially our own) is never perfect and if it is, you are either already dead, rich, or delusional. As an artist, after my education, I have a better sense of what I do and how to do it, but I started to explore a wider array of things such as print making and photography. If you really care about your art, you wont worry about getting it "perfect" rather getting it to the point that you feel it is where it expresses everything you wanted it to. Its odd how artists who are usually so comfortable and self assured become so self conscious about their work...I know I am sometimes.

Sonata
Jan 29, 2004



Hackuma posted:

Is it harder for foreign people to get jobs in american companies?
I'm a mexican currently studying animation in the U.S. and this has been worrying me for a while, especially because in addition to the "job<-->experience" paradox I can't work under my student visa.

Someone please answer this. I have the exact same problem, except I'm studying fine arts instead of animation. F-1 visas don't allow for jobs or paid internships, and after graduation we get 6 months to find a stable job that will be fascinated enough by us to be willing to go through the paperwork to give us a work visa.

halp

\/\/ Ohh, neato. Do you know if said internship has to be done after the completion of studies or while you're still in school?

Sonata fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2013 around 18:17

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



^^^^
A few days ago there was a meeting in my college for tor this, and apparently your F-1 visa allows you to stay one additional year if you get an internship in any job related to your field. After that it is up to the company to hire you and get you a work visa.

Even though I know this, I'm still interested in knowing if companies are sometimes dismissive towards foreign students.

heatherbomb
Dec 24, 2004

aw fuck

I'm a fresh graduate with a BFA in Game Art & Design aaaand.. I can't get a job. Its awful, I'm a walking e/n thread. :/
Looks like I'm not the only one struggling to get in the game industry though, but I'm not giving up.
Right now I'm just trying to get a crappy job on the side so that I can improve my portfolio, because its painfully obvious that I can't get a job with its current state.
I've been applying to jobs outside of the industry as well, but I still can't seem to get anything. I had a lot of teachers tell me that even if I can't get in the gaming industry, knowing a 3d program will definitely get me hired elsewhere, but where are these magical jobs of which they spoke?

Anyway, if there are any of you that are in the game industry, or even those of you who aren't, I'd appreciate it if you could look over my demo reel and tell me what I'm lacking to really get me hired.
I'm almost certain its my 3d skills though, and if I'm right, what can I do that would look good?

My demo reel and portfolio are on my site, http://www.unician.com

Authentic You
Mar 4, 2007

Listen now this is your
captain calling:
Your captain is dead.


heatherbomb posted:

I'm a fresh graduate with a BFA in Game Art & Design aaaand.. I can't get a job. Its awful, I'm a walking e/n thread. :/
Looks like I'm not the only one struggling to get in the game industry though, but I'm not giving up.
Right now I'm just trying to get a crappy job on the side so that I can improve my portfolio, because its painfully obvious that I can't get a job with its current state.
I've been applying to jobs outside of the industry as well, but I still can't seem to get anything. I had a lot of teachers tell me that even if I can't get in the gaming industry, knowing a 3d program will definitely get me hired elsewhere, but where are these magical jobs of which they spoke?

Anyway, if there are any of you that are in the game industry, or even those of you who aren't, I'd appreciate it if you could look over my demo reel and tell me what I'm lacking to really get me hired.
I'm almost certain its my 3d skills though, and if I'm right, what can I do that would look good?

My demo reel and portfolio are on my site, http://www.unician.com

Quite honestly, one of your main problems is the portfolio itself. The site feels dated, and there's way too much purple, which I personally don't like as a main theme color. The printable portfolio is honestly pretty terrible, not necessarily contentwise, the the presentation is just bad. I don't like the purple pattern background, mainly because it's kind of grating with the stark white borders. And then there's tacky collage vibe that lacks the artistry your degree says you have. The resume looks rather unprofessional with the border, the font sizing and spacing seem off - headers too big, too cramped at the bottom, and personal logos are typically frowned upon because they come off as pretentious. Your demo reel seems redundant. If it's on your site with everything up for viewing anyway, then what's the point of featuring it in the reel? I'd rather just look at all the pieces for as long as I want and in in the order I want. I also think the Heroes reel could use a bit more. I don't know how extensive you education was, but it would be nice to see something else in there, like environments and more actions and movements than the characters sitting and chilling.

Also, I'm wondering about the content. I don't know what sort of art they look for in the gaming industry, but the subject matter of the content is way too narrow in my opinion, just too much fantasy and emo angel wings and stuff. Branch out and generate some pieces that demonstrate some diversity. Also, I'd personally lose the photography section, because I don't see what's special about them. I'd also be curious to see some real process and concept work other than the uncolored versions of the finished pieces. Generally, I'd try to make it more careerpath-oriented and less personal art gallery.

Meh, those are thoughts on the situation. I don't know much about the game design scene, but even so, it feels like your portfolio is part of what's holding you back. I was unimpressed, and I'm just a student. The CC crowd is pretty good at ripping people's sites apart, so you could probably get some good advice on it.

edit: Wait, why have you provided potential employers a link to your Myspace? I can't imagine that can be good. A portfolio site is definitely not a place to advertise your personal life.

Authentic You fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2008 around 04:48

same
Mar 31, 2004

Seriously

Looking for a Design Intern. Job is in Hood River, OR. Near Portland,OR

IT'S EVEN PAID!

email me if you want the glory

Mr. Britt
Apr 17, 2007
Learn like a champion!!!

I'm wanting to become an advertising Art Director. I'm about to graduate from a 4-year university advertising program, but I've been hearing that it's really beneficial to go to a "finishing school" if you want to get hired at a good creative agency.

My portfolio is good, but I'm not naive enough to think that it's irresistable to employers, and could use some really great stuff that a grad school could give me.

Does anyone have any knowledge/experience with the VCU Brandcenter, the Portfolio School in Chicago, the Miami Ad School, or equivalent? I'm basically equidistant from all of these schools, and cost is definitely an issue, but I want to go somewhere worthwhile.

Sorry if this already been posted, and any help is really appreciated.

Nihiliste
Oct 23, 2005
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

Anyone have advice on getting an assistant position in a photo studio? Wedding photographers need plenty of help every summer it seems, but it could never be a full-time job.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


Nihiliste posted:

Anyone have advice on getting an assistant position in a photo studio? Wedding photographers need plenty of help every summer it seems, but it could never be a full-time job.

I would suggest craigslist. Though completely loaded with spam and crappy ads, you can usually find something in there as far as photographers go. Are you actually studying photography or I guess what is the reason you want to assist in a photo studio? Obviously, someone wanting to learn the ropes is going to be a better fit candidate than someone who just needs a job. If you have any sort of photo portfolio, bring it. Of course a photographer is going to want to see if his assistant even knows what he or she is doing on a shoot.

I shot my first two weddings this past summer, both with an assistant, and it made certain things easier and certain things harder. Anything you want, rather than getting it, you have to ask, on the other hand, you have someone giving you lenses, flashes, tripods etc rather than digging for them and missing shots. The main thing is making sure you are there to assist them and stay out of their way. You can learn a lot from working with a real photographer as long as you are paying attention to their positioning, lighting, etc.

Also, try calling/emailing local photographers directly and asking them if they are in need of assistants. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no. I assume you are talking of real photo studios and not JC Penny or Sears?

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