Would you rather read plain text or have pretty pictures and cool videos to look at? The winner is pretty clear. Our brains process and digest visual contents faster than text. We are also especially attracted to aesthetically pleasing visuals. Continue Reading
After coming back from Japan, I realized that maybe being a Communication Designer is not enough. I had been doing some freelance design work here and there. And, I was always looking for opportunities to expand my skills and knowledge.
I always had a passion for teaching and I really enjoyed the two years teaching English in Japan. I realized that maybe this was one career path that I can pursue. A friend of mine told me that UBC was offering a Bachelor of Education. It is a one year intense program and there’s an option to teach IB as well. I was interested in applying for the program after attending the orientation.
One day, I came across a post about some sample classes at RED Academy. I attended two classes UI Design and Digital Marketing. I was quite intrigue by the Digital Marketing class. Especially after learning about how the teach industry is booming in Vancouver.
I was quite hesitant in my choice in Digital Marketing. The learning curve is huge and everything is so foreign to me. But, the more I learn about it, the more I realized how Digital Marketing and Design goes hand in hand.
Not only that but every brand, service, event and product needs some sort of digital marketing strategy. When it comes to design, we can user test it and go “oh, this works and this doesn’t work”. But, I think with digital marketing, you can analyze the data and have hard evidence as to why and where something is working or not. This is where I became very fascinated with the idea of digital marketing merging with design.
After doing more research, I learned there are many different aspect to digital marketing and strategy like Brand strategy, Email Marketing, Content Management and Strategy, Mobile Marketing, SEO and SEM, Social Media Management and Advertising, and Inbound Marketing. Tools like Google Analytics is used to help efficiently track customer behavior, optimize conversion.
According to Vancouver Sun’s “Vancouver will have more than 15,500 tech jobs openings between now and 2019.” I lived in Vancouver all my life, not only it is a great city to live in, but the tech industry is growing bigger every year. Big companies like Hootsuite, Microsoft and Amazon are settling in Vancouver making it the next Silicon Valley of the west Coast.
For me, this is exciting news! Especially since tech companies are having troubles finding talents in this field This is a great opportunity for me to expand my skills to meet that demand!
A few years ago, I graduated from Emily Carr University with a degree in Communication Design. But, what kind of skills did I learn from that program? First, let’s look at how Emily Carr describe Communication Design:
“The Communication Design program allows students to explore and research cultural, historical, technical, ecological and theoretical issues in which to develop an engaging and relevant design practice. Communication Design includes print design, interactivity, and motion graphics…students can refine their interests by focusing on illustration, typography, wayfinding, information design…etc. Graduates are part of a community of thinkers and makers who are capable of dealing with complex ideas, situations and teams of experts…”
What a description! Yes, I think I have done all that in school. I was engaged in research, learning, concept development, structuring and presentation. But, what is missing from the description is that this program is actually very multidisciplinary. We worked on projects that are in the other discipline like interaction, experience and industrial design.
Communication design isn’t just about making things pretty. Of course aesthetics is important… everyone loves beautiful and usable things!
However, it’s also about…
• Designing a visual system that create hierarchy and order.
• Communicating the right message
• Making complex problems simple.
From those projects, I learned that the design process is the same regardless of what the medium is. In the end, it’s all about being creative and solving problems in a new and meaningful way. But.. it took a while to get to this understanding.
Looking back, I thought of being a designer was to create visually pleasing prints and websites. I never understood the importance of user experience and how relevant it is to design. It wasn’t until coming back from Japan, I realized that there’s more to it than visual.
I finally made my way back to beautiful Vancouver after being away for a few years travelling and teaching English in Japan. I miss Japan but I’m happy to be back. I’m excited what this year has in store for me. There has been so many changes this year, both good and bad. I’ve been trying out new activities like playing indoor beach volley and going to music festivals alone. Since being back, I have been busy reconnecting with my old friends and also made many new friends. I also decided to take a digital marketing full time program at RED Academy to build on more skills. I’ve met many amazing new people from the other program! Two weeks down and ten more weeks to go and I can’t wait!