Category: Student Successes

Blending spaces in New York

 

Our year 3 students Mat and Alison are currently with Dr. Tom Flint at Farmingdale College in New York State.  They’re working with students there to create an exhibition that blends art and technology with interesting spaces. Mat and Alison received funding from our mobility fund to enable them to travel and build on what they are learning at Edinburgh Napier.  Here they are demonstrating some Augmented Reality technology to the group. You can follow their progress on their blog https://blendedspaces.tumblr.com/ and on Tom’s Twitter account – @tomflint

Guest Blog: Get the most from your portfolio (Part 1 of 2) by DMID graduate Chris Wheeler

Today’s guest blog is by Chris Wheeler, who has just graduated from DMID, his honours project focussed on portfolio creation and here he shares what he has learnt.  Chris gained a first class honours degree and has secured himself a graduate position in UX research within a month of collecting his degree. 

Your portfolio is an opportunity for you to reflect on and record your achievements, whilst highlighting your best work.  Employers are keen to see your technical and creative ability within a portfolio but also some core employability skills which show you are capable of becoming a successful part of their team.  By following the structure below, you will be able to present your portfolio’s content in a manner which will be appreciated by employers:

Identifying Your Employability Skills

It’s common amongst students that they don’t think they have ’employability’ skills because they may not have a lot of work experience, but a lot of these important skills can be gained at university. You just have to know how to identify them. The below table highlights how key employability skills which employers would appreciate seeing within a portfolio can be gained at university.

Portfolio Narration

Your portfolio is almost certainly going to be filled with your best creative work. As important as it is to include media to showcase your ability, it is important to narrate each project correctly. There are two simple and effective methods which will ensure what you say about your project is as impressive as your developed product – a four staged storytelling technique and the STAR format.

When writing your projects story (or narration), remember to keep it short so it doesn’t take any longer than a few minutes to read. Employers don’t spend much more than 5 – 10 minutes looking at a candidate’s portfolio.

4 Stage Storytelling Technique

  1. Basic Description  – a brief story of your project in a few sentences.
  1. Address and Directions  – discuss the final destination of your project and give directions on how that destination was reached.
  1. Write out the story in a typical ‘elevator pitch’ style  – describe who (you are), what (you do), why (you are unique), goal (for the pitch).
  1. Simplify the story  – ensure it is written in such a way that anyone can understand it.

STAR Format

The STAR technique is a simple method to explain a scenario. It is common to be used as part of a competency-based interview. This is why it is a good idea to include its structure in your portfolio. Not only does it allow you to detail a project in a definitive manner which is appreciated by employers, it will also prepare you for future interviews.

  1. Situation  – allows you to discuss the circumstances faced.
  1. Task – involves an explanation of what tasks you accomplished to deal with the situation.
  1. Action – allows you to detail specifically what was done to achieve the task
  2. Result – the outcome of the entire experience, focussing on whether the action solved the situation and if anything was learnt from the experience. It is a good idea to include what you have learnt in the result. This shows a level of evaluation and can highlight any learning opportunities.

Part two of this article focusses on personal branding and the look and feel of your portfolio. http://blogs.napier.ac.uk/dmid/2018/07/25/122/

Thank you to Chris Wheeler and Emma Ramsay.

 

Guest Blog: Get the most from your portfolio (Part 2 of 2) by DMID graduate Chris Wheeler

Today’s guest blog is by Chris Wheeler, who has just graduated from DMID, his honours project focussed on portfolio creation and here he shares what he has learnt.  Chris gained a first class honours degree and has secured himself a graduate position in UX research within a month of collecting his degree. 

This is part two of Chris’s article on how to get the most from your portfolio- you can read part 1 here – http://blogs.napier.ac.uk/dmid/2018/07/24/117/

Personal Branding

A personal brand can be thought of as your professional identity. It is an opportunity for you to show employers ‘Who You Are’ and ‘What You Do’. Think of how you identity with yourself socially and how you describe yourself to new people. Are you British, American, Irish? Are you a gamer, sports fan or Netflix addict?  Your personal brand (or professional identity) is the same thing but you are describing yourself to potential employers or clients.

To identify your own personal brand, you have to think about your experiences and what you want for your career. How are you going to achieve it? How do you want to be seen?

The following four aspects of personal branding can help your portfolio be unique to you.

Portfolio Layout

There are so many potential website layouts available to you that it can be daunting to think which one is right for your brand. Below is a list of some good tips to think about when choosing a layout.

  • Research current trends. Design trends change frequently so you don’t want to have a great looking site…that people 3 years ago would be impressed with!
  • You want someone to look at your portfolio for the first time and not have to ‘learn’ how it works. It should be easy to use and consistent in it’s functionality and design.
  • Showcase your design process. Within your projects, it is beneficial to detailing how you achieved it. Storyboards, research, sketches, prototypes. They all show your ability to plan and organise a project.
  • Publish, Review, Add, Delete. When you have published your portfolio online, it’s not finished there. You never know who and when people will look at your portfolio so it requires constant updating. Your layout looking a little dated? Update. You have more recent and better-quality projects? Update.

Logo

Your logo doesn’t have to be a fancy graphic. It can just as easily be a simple logo using a typeface. As long as that font is consistently visible throughout your brand, you have accomplished your goal.  It is important to make sure that whatever design you choose to do (simple or detailed) that you are happy to have that as the ‘perception’ people will have of you.

Colour Schemes

Colour can often have a phycological effect on human beings. Red, for example, is known as a colour that represents danger or a warning. Blue associates with tranquillity and white with cleanliness.

Because of this, the colour scheme you choose for your personal brand would benefit from a little research to see how you want it to be associated. Including a consistent colour scheme throughout your portfolio, literature and social media platforms provides a way to target your audience’s emotions and strengthens your brand awareness.

Your personal favourite colour may not necessarily hold the appropriate association you want for your brand, regardless of how pretty it might look. The below is an indication of some (not all) colours and their meanings.

Cross Platform Branding

Once your portfolio is complete, you want to share it. This can be to network, to gain clients or employment, or to just gain awareness that you exist in your industry.

You will likely have a form of social media to compliment your portfolio (and if you don’t….get one). It is an opportunity for your portfolio to be shared amongst your intended audience.

It is important that your social media pages have a consistent design and message to that of your portfolio. Your logo may have a colour-scheme; therefore, it is important your social media platform incorporates this where possible. Your portfolio may be branded with a certain ‘style’ of writing, therefore your social media pages should follow this same style.

Link as many of your accounts as possible to make this task easier. Can you post any media and blogs directly from Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to your portfolio? This keeps everything up to date in real-time.

Is the project name and description on your portfolio the same as when you talked about it on your social media pages?

Your portfolio should have a section which describes you, your career experience and ambition. Do your social media pages match this description?

These are just a couple of examples of what to consider when cross-platform branding. What’s important is that you think ‘consistency’ first, at all times. Is your brand visible and recognisable regardless which platform you are using?

We’ll be following up this article with some posts sharing some of our students and graduates portfolios over the coming months, so you can see how these tips work in practice.  Thank you to Chris Wheeler and Emma Ramsay. 

Digital Media intern Wilf captures graduation excitement.

We’re very proud of third year Digital Media student Wilf Magnussen who is currently on placement with the Edinburgh Napier University marketing team.  Here’s the video he shot last week to capture the excitement of graduation.

Wilf says “I hadn’t shot an event before so it was an intense learning experience,  I worked with Cecilia from marketing and we planned carefully before shooting and got the video ready to share in two days”  “It was hard work, but good fun”.

Look out for more content from the DMID interns working with the marketing team soon.

Congratulations class of ’18!

Just a few snaps from the graduation yesterday.  Congratulations to all our new graduates, you have been amazing to work with and we’re so proud of you.  Go and do great things and then come back and tell us about them!

Eye tracking research project kick starts Gabriele’s UX career.

Interactive Media Design student Gabriele Maffoni has been working as a research assistant for Dr. Laura Muir for the last few months.  They’ve been using our state of the art User Experience lab, The Sensorium, to capture eye tracking data for a research project which aims to improve facial recognition for security systems  by analysing patterns in human behaviour.

Gabriele says ” I was given the opportunity to work in the Sensorium Lab and to be research assistant on a project that involves eye tracking. I have an active role in the research and I am learning skills that will be useful in my future dream job (UX Designer), as well as gaining knowledge about topics that seemed unrelated to me. Turns out, they are!”

They are seen here at the Edinburgh Napier University research conference, sharing the findings so far.  Gabriele is now spending the summer undertaking an internship in a User Experience company in Italy – the perfect opportunity to  put his new skills to the test before returning for fourth year.

You can follow Dr. Laura Muir (@ilauramuir) on twitter.

Students scoop awards at 48 Hour Film Project

A team of our students led by year 2 Digital Media student Murray Patterson have won two awards at the Edinburgh 48 Hour Film Project.  The talented team have been awarded both Best Editing and Best Effects for their short film.  You can watch the “director’s cut” of the piece below.