There is no easy way to approach this class. No amount of prepping can, well, prep you for what’s to come in the next semester. You just have to hit the ground running.
I have learned so many things, not just about design, but about myself and my industry and about deadlines. And I want to teach YOU, Claudia’s next class, about what I learned to try and get you ready for what you signed up for.

1. Your friends are your worst (and best) critics
When you’re working on a design project, it’s always great to get critiques from friends and family. Don’t just rely on yourself because after staring at the same page for hours on end will not help you submit a better looking product. The more feedback you can get, especially from peers in your class (they also know what Claudia likes and doesn’t like!!), the more revisions you can make and the better your product will be.
2. Open your eyes
Design is literally all around you. Everything that we look at, everything that we come in contact with went through some sort of design process. So if you’re stuck on a project, Google ideas, walk around the mall, browse a magazine. Make a list of things that you like so that you can possibly incorporate some of them into your project. Another source of inspiration is your fellows students’ work. They might be using something that you like and then you could apply it to your own project.
3. Ask (and you probably will receive)
There is no shame for asking for help. And who better to ask than your lab TA’s, your class TA and especially your professor? Sign up for at least one set of office hours per project you are given. You need to make sure that Claudia sees a version of your project. This will help in the long run: you won’t have to do as many revisions in the end. She also recommends design ideas that you might have never have thought of.
There are always ways to make your project better, even if you think there aren’t. You should save multiple versions of the same project and have variations of it too. You never know: if you like one version but want to incorporate something from another version. Keep every version that you work on so that you can go back if you need to.
5. Don’t be scared
When I first started this class, I was terrified that I would not be able to do any of the projects in the class. But I put my fear aside and started crunching out great work that I was very proud of. It’s okay to be scared, but turn in into innovation.


Jaye Harris

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