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

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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Spring 2015 SNHU Student WordPress Websites

Girls at Work Website Presentation at SNHU

The 2015 Spring semester for my Advanced Web Design class at SNHU has come to a close. For the final exam, the students presented their website project to the client, Girls at Work, Inc. The students went through a four phase process; Research, Creative, Development and Debug. Every class doesn’t always make it to the Responsive Debugging phase. I was very impressed and proud of how many students took their web projects to the next level this semester. There were some full width layouts, and many that had a focus on usability and functionality.

As Graphic Design Majors, they all struggle with code at the beginning. They look at code as something far fetched and alien. They go through frustrations and some even throw the towel half way. Those that stick around experience an ah-HA! moment. You start seeing the progress. While time goes by, you witness the birth of a new behavior, which was definitely present this semester. The behavior is one of accomplishment and pride of writing code and understanding it. Of course there is so much more to learn about web development and design, but to see the mind barrier in a student collapse was, simply put… awesome. The conversations that started with “I can’t” at the beginning of the semester turned into “I can.”

The highlight of the semester was when a few students told me they applied for a job that required designing, building and/or managing a website built on WordPress. The joy of watching them wrap up the semester with the confidence to take on that job was more than I could ever ask for.


Here are the top four websites designed and built on a custom WordPress child theme by the Advance Web Design class of Spring 2015. The top four were chosen by their client Girls at Work, Inc.

Bank Phromratanapongse

Bank GAW Final Website
Alex Talbot

Alex Final GAW Website
Joe Huskey

Joe GAW Final Website
Team PVRIS – Cody Favata & Matt Ryan

Team PVRIS - Cody Favata & Matt  Ryan

25 Tactics Great Websites Use

Manchester Chamber Member Led Workshop

Manchester Chamber Workshop

Last month, we had the opportunity to present to a group of Manchester Chamber members at a Member-Led Workshop. The event was sponsored by Optima Bank and 900 Degrees, who provided some delicious pizza. We had a room full of small business owners and marketing professionals who were eager to learn about HubSpot and Inbound Marketing.


The Member-Led Workshop is held at the manchester chamber once a month, and is one of the many opportunities chamber members have to connect with one another and to learn about some of the services their fellow members offer. We chose to talk about Inbound Marketing and take the room through the Inbound Methodology.

manchester chamber



We talked about how we use inbound to turn strangers into visitors, visitors into leads, leads into customers, and customers into promotors of our product of service. Throughout the journey we gave some examples of how the HubSpot software makes this process organized and extremely powerful. If you’re interested in hearing about our future events, subscribe to our mailing list and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.


GMCC Stacey and Fred


Inbound Marketing Checklist

Palm Trees in New Hampshire

Palm Trees in New Hampshire

Our cure for the winter blues? Palm trees.

When we made the move to New Hampshire from Southern California in 2010, the winters were pretty tough on me. In an effort to keep my sanity without jumping on a plane back out west, I filled up our then 350 square foot office with about five or six 6′ tall majestic palm trees. Happily, my plan worked and I went to work every morning in sub-freezing weather with a smile on my face. I heard they could grow as high as 12′ tall, but after years of trial and lots of error taking care of them, I had to let them go.
When we moved into the Waumbec Mill in 2012 I was itching to take advantage of our new 14′ ceilings. I knew from past experience that growing a palm tree indoors in New England was just not plausible, so we decided to do the next best thing.
In an effort to bring back the California sunshine, we put together some artwork that included SoCal palm trees and a flock of California wild parrots. We paid special attention to the palms, as we wanted them to match the trees we used to see on the boardwalk in Venice. The result created such a warmth, I swear we can now feel the coastal breeze when we walk in the door every morning.
Now, our palm trees are very low maintenance and vary from four and an half to twelve feet. Our cali wild parrots are always on a mission and as for the coastal breeze, well, ceiling fans will have to do for now.
So if you’re feeling a bit gloomy and the weather is getting to you, stop by and spend some time with us. You never know, maybe some palms, parrots and a slight breeze might to do the trick.

How Girls at Work Inc. is Helping SNHU Students

SNHU Advanced Web Design

Girls at Work Spring 2015 SemesterSince Fall of 2013, I have been teaching Advanced Web Design at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester, NH. The course program is designed for students to have a real world experience by working with an actual client.


I’m always on the look out for companies or organizations that are willing to participate by letting the students build them a website. We ask a representative from the business or organization to attend a class so that the students can learn about their organization and its goals, and to ask them questions they may have. At the end of the semester, the representative comes back and the students present their websites to them, and the “client” then has the option to choose a website for their organization.


Our goal is to help this new generation of digital designers get their hands dirty with code, and so they can see the bigger picture when it comes to website design and development. Students will look for an internship to gain some real world experience. Why not bring the internship to them?


Girls at Work Elaine and RobGirls at Work Inc, empowers at-risk girls in New Hampshire and throughout New England by teaching them woodworking skills and how to safely build using power tools. Elaine Hamel, director and founder of Girls at Work, and Rob Grimmett, Board Chair, volunteered to give the SNHU students the opportunity to build them a new site.
Through this experience, the students are also able to get a first hand look into how a non-profit organization works, and all the great work they are doing for our community. The semester ends in May, and I can’t wait to see what my students come up with.


SNHU also has a Social Media class that does a similar project. The students get to choose from a group of non-profit organizations and create a social media plan for them. Through interviewing the organization and their own research done throughout the semester, they deliver a complete social media plan that the organization can then execute.


As it turns out, a student in my Advanced Web Design class is also in this Social Media class, so her group chose Girls at Work as their non-profit. Now this particular student has the opportunity to create an even more complete digital strategy for Girls at Work.


Stay tuned to see what the students come up with, and check out all the great work Girls at Work does for girls in the area.

25 Tactics Great Websites Use

MYPN Power Lunch Series

Debunking Social Media Myths

MYPN Lunch Power Series


Last month, we had the pleasure of teaming up with Manchester Young Professionals Network for a Power Lunch Series event here at the studio. The event was sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and included a presentation, lunch, and networking. I presented one of my favorite topics, “debunking social media myths.” This is where I spend 20 or so minutes telling people not to listen to the self proclaimed social media ninjas or gurus out there. Social media is not magical and it’s definitely not as easy as they make it out to be sometimes.
MYPN Lunch Power SeriesMYPN holds lots of events like this one throughout the Manchester area, and they are a great way to connect with other professionals and to learn about things that could help your career. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people who are transitioning from social and school life into their career life and they don’t know where to start.
We had a great time opening up our space and meeting the attendees. There were a few familiar faces and a lot of people we had not met. At the end of my presentation I was thoroughly impressed by the questions people had for me. It’s great to meet people who are working for businesses and organizations that are using social media and content marketing as a tool for brand recognition, promotion and communication when just a few years ago their position didn’t exist yet.
A big thanks to MYPN and Northwestern Mutual for putting on this event. I hope we can do more together in the future.


DIRTT Walls at Schall Creative

Our agency is currently located in a beautiful mill building built in the late 1800’s. It has 14 foot ceilings, original hardwood floors, and long wide hallways. The character of the mill had us sold the moment we walked in. As our agency grew, our space did as well. We kept an open concept up until now and as much as we loved it, we had no privacy. We consistently found ourselves having private talks outside. We needed a solution that would give us that privacy but still maintain the open concept feel.

We connected with Creative Office Pavilion late last year, and they developed a solution for our space. With their design help and implementation of our new DIRTT walls, we now have the modern and versatile workspace we were envisioning.
We are looking ahead for 2015 in our newly improved environment, that still maintains the 1800’s character of the Manchester Millyard.