The economic crisis our nation and the world is struggling with has caused projects to be delayed, and in some cases people not hired, or let go because the employer has loss a major client. Richard Florida describes the “Uneven effects in the crisis” as it relates to jobs. He states that the intangible sector and creative sector jobs – arts, design, and entertainment, among others, are starting to register losses.
In this type of environment designers have to be clear about the difference between “treating a website like a commodity” (Andy Budd) and putting more thought and research into projects and making sure you are meeting the needs of users.
When we describe the need to create projects in courses that are “real world”, we are referring to issues that employers can identify with as the types of issues they work on daily. It is near impossible to identify such issues, without research and planning. It is simply not good enough to make a website that is better than one for a similar product. It is not about creating a site that “beats out” the competitors sites. Users are seeking to meet their needs, and unless you take the time and effort to see problems from the users perspective, you will find difficulty in satisfying today’s users. Students of Web Design and Interactive media, as well as other design disciplines, need deeper skills at learning to understand the user before going with the first good idea that comes along. You really can’t afford to wait until you graduate to develop these skills. You will need them as you hit the ground running.
References to further this post:
Uneven Effects of the Crisis, by Richard Florida
Don’t treat your website like a commodity, by Andy Budd
How the crash will reshape America, in The Atlantic, by Richard Florida