Category: Culture

The outcome of SNHU Students using Invision

The outcome of SNHU Students using Invision

Fall of 2016 was my first attempt at teaching User Experience at Southern New Hampshire University. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. I wanted to make sure that students attending the class stayed engaged and excited about the topic. It’s one thing to apply UX at Schall Creative but coming up with exercises and projects that will resonate with college students is very different, and something I’m hoping will evolve and improve with time.

I’d like to give a quick shout out to Austin Knight, Senior UX Designer at HubSpot. He was incredibly gracious to spend time meeting with me and to provide suggestions on the UX course syllabus I put together.

Introducing Invision

The course begins with the students taking a bird’s eye view of their everyday tasks and discovering ways of making their life easier or cost effective. This discovery, or design solution, is then brought to life and becomes a mobile or web app prototype using the prototyping tool Invision. Students perfect their product by gathering feedback through a couple rounds of user testing research. Here are some highlights I noticed students enjoyed the most when using Invision.

They would apply transition effects between screens

Screen Transitions Using Invision

Students were able to position overlay menus or pop up windows in specific locations in their prototype

Overlay feature using Invision

They could share their project with friends and family

Share prototype for feedback

They were able to open their final mobile app directly from their smartphone and give it a test drive

Direct prototype mobile app experience on smartphone

The Process

Throughout the semester students went through phases of research, design and testing. Below are screenshots of Marissa Mahr’s final UX research process to complete her app she called Instorage.

The Outcome

I was really impressed of the different ideas the students came up with using Invision, and it was beautiful to watch how they progressed throughout the semester. As students began looking at their design as a solution rather than one more task, they gradually became researchers perfecting their work with a purpose. Here are a couple GIF animations displaying a quick walkthrough on final UX projects; Instorage and MyTube.

GIF Marissa Instorage App
GIF Chelsea MyTube App

Our Favorite Things About the Manchester NH Millyard

manchester NH millyard

When we moved to Manchester in 2010, we set up shop on Elm Street. We were in an old building above a pub, within walking distance to restaurants, bars, and plenty of other businesses. A few months after we moved in, we met with another business owner at their studio in the Manchester NH Millyard, and we were blown away. We called the building owners that day and set up an appointment to look at spaces. Almost 5 years later, we are still completely in love with this millyard. Here are just a few reasons why we love it here.

The day we moved into our current space.

The day we moved into our current space.

The Location

The Manchester NH Millyard is 50 minutes to Boston, 50 minutes to the beach and a short walk to Elm Street. It’s convenient for our clients to get here, and also convenient for us to go to them.

The History

These mills were built by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in the 19th century. At its peak, Amoskeag was the largest textile manufacturer in the world. Our mill, The Waumbec, still has the original flooring where you can see the marks that the machines made so many years ago. Across the street from our agency is the Millyard Museum, run by the Manchester Historic Association. It’s incredibly unique to be able to work in a place that has so much interesting history.

What is now a long hallway with office spaces was once a big open space.

What is now a long hallway with office spaces was once a big open space.

The Beauty

Buildings are no longer built the way the mills were hundreds of years ago. We have 14 foot ceilings and 11 foot windows, exposed brick on 2 of our 4 walls, and original hardwood floors. To fill this place with cubicles would be a tragedy, so we keep it as open as we can. Outside we have tree lined streets with brick sidewalks and street lamps modeled as they would have looked in the 1800s. Even in the winter when the air hurts your face, you can’t help but gasp at how pretty it is here.

A winter shot taken from a warm place.

A winter shot taken from a warm place.

The River

The Merrimack River is right outside my office window. It provides a nice breeze in the summer and a great view. It is also home to a good amount of wildlife. Sometimes my giant window reminds me of the glass they have in an aquarium, except instead of fish I see birds. The big ones will catch my eye no matter how engrossed I am in work, and the little ones will often perch on a free branch and sing to their friends.

A particularly beautiful fall day.

A particularly beautiful fall day.

The Food and/or Drinks

As the millyard continues to attract businesses, there are many more options for eating and hanging out. Waterworks, in the Waumbec Mill serves breakfast and lunch, and is the perfect place for a coffee break, lunch meeting, or even an afternoon sweet treat. 900 Degrees is another one of our favorite spots for lunch. Their salads are fantastic and they have a beautiful deck. The Foundry is the latest addition to the Millyard and it happens to be NH’s largest certified farm to table restaurant. The decor is absolutely stunning both inside and outside on the deck. It’s a perfect place to take clients for drinks or have a celebratory meal.

Making the move to the millyard years ago was one of the best decisions we’ve made. We love this little spot we’ve made for ourselves in this historic city, and can’t wait to get to work each day.

Awwwards NYC 2016 Conference Photos & Inspiration

Awwwards NYC 2016 Conference

We had an incredible experience at the Awwwards NYC Conference this summer. We’ve been following the Awwwards Conference for several years now, and they have always been hosted in far away countries around the world. When I received an email telling me about Awwwards NYC well, let’s just say I malfunctioned for a couple seconds.

Many of the speakers were inspirational and others shared their experience and the type of work they love to do. These days at Schall, our conversations are more about strategy, milestones and data. It was nice to have two whole days of just design and user experience for a change.

The Awwwards experience was a roller coaster of emotions that went from laughter to sadness to excitement. It was all I expected and more; a couple interesting inspiring days. At one point, I embarrassed myself when I repeated Matias Corea’s (Co-Founder of Behance) joke out loud during his presentation. Somehow my voice managed to travel across this large room in the Fi:af Auditorium, and soon after heads were turned facing me as I continued laughing.

Here are a few Awwwards NYC 2016 photos of this highly recommended two day conference. I hope you enjoy some of the quotes below.

Awwwards NYC Inspirational Breakfast

Inspiration was overflowing as we found out they were serving breakfast.

Welcome to Awwwards NYC 2016

A big thank you to all the speakers for this event. Your words of wisdom were definitely inspiring.

Mike Monteiro at Awwwards NYC

The kick off was with Mike Monteiro. Yes, the F*ck you, pay me guy. The gun was designed to kill. Design can change the world and yes, you do have the choice to make something or not.

Jon Burgerman Awwwards Doodles

Mr. Jon Burgerman doodling while everyone was mingling and eating. Color was added by the conference attendees.

Snack Break

Breaks between speakers were held regularly.

Adobe XD with Co-Founder Tom Krcha

Tom Krcha, Co-Founder of Adobe XD, shared his story behind the software and included a few tidbits on how to use it.

Hannah Donovan at Awwwards NYC

Hannah Donovan, General Manager at Vine, sharing her insight on Designing the Future of Content. This girl rocked!

Hannah Donovan The Moment of Clarity Quote

“Humans are human because they have a perspective: they care about things. One might call it the ability to give a damn. And it is this quality that allows us to determine what matters and where we stand. A computer can’t do that.”

– The Moment of Clarity

Hannah Donovan Jack Schulze

“Some people (they are wrong) say design is about solving problems. Obviously designers do solve problems, but then so do dentists. Design is about cultural invention.”

-Jack Schulze

AndroidWear Shaun Tollerton & Jose Manuel

Shaun Tollerton & Jose Manuel with ustwo sharing their journey and challenges developing the android wear.

Fred Schall Feeling Inspired with Tom Krcha and Matias Corea

I had a quick opportunity to capture this photo and I went for it. Mr. Matias Corea on the left and Mr. Tom Krcha to the right. Thanks fellas!

Matias Co-Founder of Behance

Matias Corea (Co-Founder of Behance) shares his story and experience creating Behance. Here are a couple quotes he shared.

“On your way to greatness you’re going to have to pass through alright.” – Bill Withers

“When I’m asked ‘what do you want in life’ I say I want interesting days.” – Richard Saul Wurman

FJORD Design Rule of 3

Olof Schybergson, Founder of FJORD, goes in depth with the Design Rule of 3 or, How to Win with Design. He also shared a quote:

“This disease of our age is boredom…The way to combat this is by invention by surprise. When I say a good picture has surprise value. I mean that it stimulates my thinking and intrigues me.”

– Alexey Brodovitch

Sherine Kazim with HUGE at Awwwards NYC 2016

Sherine Kazim, Managing Director, Experience Design at Huge, shares her insight on how emotive UI will change the way we design.

Awwwards 230 Fifth Rooftop After Party

The Awwwards NYC 2016 Conference ended with a beautiful view of New York at the 230th Fifth Outdoor Rooftop Club. What more could you ask for? A perfect ending to an amazing few days.

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What Happens When Graphic Design Majors Learn To Code

CTAC Website Presentation

I’m going into my third year teaching Advanced Web Design at SNHU. It’s incredible how time flies. I had my 4 year old say on the drive home, “Hey dad?…when I grow up, I’m going to your school.” (Yeah, that blew my mind.)

I really care about each student that takes my class and once again, I was very proud of many of them. There were several first occasions happen this time around. For the first time I saw custom dropdown CSS menus with subtle hover animations built. We always aim to create a responsive website but due to time, we don’t get that accomplished. But this time around, I had a couple students take it to the next level and they shared a mobile-friendly website for their final website presentation.

As graphic design majors, many do run into the “I can’t do this professor” barrier and unfortunately those students repeat the course. Those that really try and break through the barrier find the “I can’t believe I did this!” moment. These are moments that I value the most and is why I continue teaching.

This semester’s non-profit client was CTAC. CTAC helps individuals and families own, learn and use computers. The course is designed to go through a four phase process; Discovery, Creative, Development & Debugging. The students learn the purpose of a website design by experiencing a real world scenario.

Here are the top three WordPress websites custom designed and built from the ground up chosen by CTAC. Once again, I’m very proud of all of my students. We’ve added a user experience course for this fall (2016). I’m very excited to teach this course and I’m really looking forward to helping students look at websites from a different perspective.

Kyle Phillips
Website Design & Development

Kyle Phillips - CTAC Website Design & Development
Paige Lynch
Website Design & Development

Paige Lynch - CTAC Website Design and Development
Ryan Barnaby
Website Design & Development

Ryan Barnaby - CTAC Website Design and Development

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