Times change. Technology shifts. Digital designers and developers keep up with both.
Megan Wilson, program co-ordinator of NIC's DIGITAL Design + Development programs just received her UX (user experience) Certification through the Nielsen Norman Group – a respected, industry-wide credential.
Part of the training included a three-day Human-Computer Interaction course developed and taught by Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini, who developed the world’s first standard human interface for personal computers. Tognazzini’s pioneering approach to interface design and methodology are key to successful user experiences and are still used today.
“Everything is focused on user experience now,” said Wilson. “It's baked into the approach; without it, you're not going to come up with solutions that are worthwhile.”
UX design includes elements ranging from basic software architecture to page speed to content strategy to functionality. It creates meaningful experiences for the user – whether it's through a mobile app, website or software application. It's quickly become the new standard for designers, Wilson added – making UX an essential skill.
“Ongoing professional development is vital to our industry and ensuring we continue to be on the leading edge of curriculum development signals to our industry stakeholders that our graduates will meet industry demands and be successful in the workplace,” said Wilson.
Along with providing an exciting professional development opportunity, the certification also gave Wilson first hand experience as a learner during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her final three courses and exams were done remotely, due to travel restrictions.
“It was interesting to be experiencing that from both sides – as an NIC instructor helping students with the transition and making that transition as a learner myself,” said Wilson. “It was also a good reminder of how adaptable and responsive our industry can be – in this case in the most extreme circumstances – but finding solutions is what we do. Those lessons will help us as we move into our alternate delivery this fall.”
For more information on Wilson and the DIGITAL Design + Development department, visit www.nic.bc.ca/digital-design-development.