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Lessons Learned from Late Nights in Labs

1. Patience is key. Be prepared to spend several hours in the Newhouse labs fine-tuning your work. It’s not going to be perfect on the first draft, or the second, or maybe not even the third, but that’s okay. Designing is a challenging and time-consuming process. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

2. Ask for help. I’m convinced that going to Professor Strong’s office hours saved my grade in this class. Her advice was invaluable and often helped me pick up on details I never would have noticed otherwise. Sign up early and often.

3. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. It’s tempting to put as many bells and whistles as you can possibly fit on a design, but the story can easily get lost in those extra elements. Sometimes a minimal design that gets the point across is the most powerful way to convey your message.

4. Take sketching seriously! The more ideas you have to choose from and experiment with, the better – that way, if one isn’t working, you don’t have to completely start from scratch. Any time an idea pops into your head, draw it out to see what you think. And don’t dismiss anything too soon; for almost everything I did in this class, the sketch I initially liked the least ended up being the one I chose to use in the end.

5. Use the Adobe free trials wisely. When I downloaded them, I thought they would last 30 days. They only last for 7. Choose your week carefully. (And remember that you don’t have to download all of the programs at once!)

Megan Choate

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