Jason Dziak

Experience Director at Context Digital

Jason Dziak

Experience Director at Context Digital Episode 07

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

Gary:
Hello, and welcome to Episode 7 of Design Edu Today, the podcast series discussing topics concerning the state of interactive design education at institutions of higher learning. I’m your host, Gary Rozanc, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Today’s guest is Jason Dziak. Jason is an Associate Experience Director at Dell, where he leads a team of UX Architects, Designers and Content Strategists for the customer shopping experience across the global Dell website. Jason is also a mentor for Bloc, an online learning program for aspiring developers and designers. Jason, being a Digital Design Director with sixteen years of experience, has helped brands such as AMC Theaters, Ben & Jerry’s, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Nationwide Insurance deliver impactful, user-centered experiences to a range of audiences. Jason’s training and experiences have helped him thrive, while solving complex challenges that unify research, strategy, content, brand, outstanding visual design and innovation into an effective user experience. Jason also co-hosts the weekly podcast, Dig Me Out, a podcast dedicated to digging up lost college rock, alternative rock, indie rock and hard rock of the 1990s.

Welcome, Jason.

Jason:
Thank you, Gary. I think I can have some breaking news for your podcast. I’m going to be moving on from Dell soon, actually next week, so I’ll have a new title and place to add to my résumé, so I’ll be moving on to a new Agency called Context Digital and I’ll be the Experience Director there, so…
Gary:
Congratulations!
Jason:
Thank you.
Gary:
Well, that’s exciting news. We’ll add that to the session notes as well.
Jason:
Great.
Gary:
So, well we can talk about that in a minute, but I’m going to back up and look at the bigger picture of everything you’ve done and so the first thing is, when I was researching you for this episode, I was surprised to find out that you have been solely been working as an interactive designer since 1998, so you’ve gone from fixed width table layouts to responsive web design during that span.
Jason:
Yeah, yeah.
Gary:
So, back in 1998, there weren’t many resources out there to learn from, but there wasn’t as much to learn either as there is today, albeit with a ton of learning sources that are now available for everybody. So, based on your experiences, which is easier? Entering the field as an interactive designer in 1998 or now in 2016?
Jason:
Oh my goodness. I think it was probably easier then because expectations were so different. Nobody really knew what you could do with this medium and there weren’t any set patterns yet really and it kind of was the Wild West. Obviously the technology was a lot simpler. Unfortunately, the constraints were a lot greater. Coming out of graphic design education into the web in 1998, you kind of had to leave a lot of what you learned about typography behind! And because of the constraints, there was no web fonts so you had to live within the system fonts that existed or get creative with cutting Texas graphics, but you didn’t have to deal with, I think students now design systems; that’s a pretty complicated space to step into as a student right out of school but that’s basically what a responsive website is, right? It’s a set of templates but on top of that is a design library that needs to live and grow and live in different contexts and have a ton of flexibility but a lot of consistency and if you just speak about the web by itself, I think it’s a lot more complex now than it was then.
Gary:
You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately; you mentioned the typography, you mentioned the wasn’t as much to learn, but I debate that in my head and the reason I keep saying that, or I say that is, aside from the ability to use web fonts that has been added, the basics were always there, whether adjusting the line height, adjusting the font size and the basics of layout were still there, but it seems like it was good web typography, good layout of web typography wasn’t really embraced back then, or am I just missing something?
Jason:
No, it wasn’t; I think it was a mix of things that were lacking at the time. I don’t think tables gave us the control that we wanted over leading and kerning and just all of the finite control we wanted, typefaces weren’t really designed at the point in mass amounts for screens so you had to deal with low resolution screens and then only a handful of typefaces that were actually designed for them so a lot of classic fonts just didn’t look very good on screen, even when you converted them to graphics. And I think there’s been a convergence of a lot of things to come together where the last, I don’t know, five years or so, there’s been a renaissance where I think as designers, we can kind of go back, those of us who been doing this a little while, go back to what we learned in Graphic Design School and really start to not only apply it, but think about OK, well, if a page has no bounds and the layouts are flexible now, what does that mean for typography? I don’t even think we’ve begun to scratch the surface of that; I think we’re still very much, there’s a lot of beautiful typography on the web now which is really exciting, but I don’t even think we’ve scratched the surface of what that medium can do and kind of pushing the boundaries of it; I think we’re just kind of getting comfortable with it and getting our feet under us.
Gary:
Yeah, I agree one hundred percent, because I recently got the twenty-seven inch iMac and then I started looking at some of the websites I had designed just for my own personal use in the classroom which were designed mobile first and I didn’t take into the large, large, large format context and the typography just looked awful and I was like, oh…that’s another thing…
Jason:
It’s really, I was working on just a little side-project, mostly just noodling in a browser, laying out type and working through some ideas and we’ve put so much focus on mobile, which is great, but there’s this whole opportunity with large screens as our desktop machines get bigger and bigger and resolutions get bigger and bigger; there’s this opportunity there to really do some exciting stuff and use all the space available and I was just starting, in my own mind, get my head around what that could be and I’m really looking forward to seeing more people push that boundary.
Gary:
What do we need…as design educators, what do we need to do to kind of help foster that? That wasn’t an original…part of my original line of questioning, but what do we do to push that? Experimentation.
Jason:
Yeah, I think there needs to be I think a focus on innovation; I feel like a lot of the younger designers I’ve worked with in the last few years, they’re learning, they’re really good at diving in and learning code and being brave and taking on new things in that regard but a lot of it is consumed around repeating patterns and good systems and existing frameworks and just overall conventions, like I mentioned earlier, a lot of what we’re doing is designing design systems; pattern libraries that are pretty much cookie cutter when you break down what their components are: they might have slight variety in them, there might be a little bit of change obviously in style will change dramatically, but for the most part it’s not incredibly innovative and I’m just hoping that that comes from students graduating here now and for the coming years where they can put that, they can become competent at understanding the existing systems and patterns but I’m hoping they quickly get bored with those and I’m really looking forward to seeing some people break through that and I think school is where you have the opportunity to do that. The only time in my career when I’ve really done really expressive graphic design, it’s either been through a personal passion project, involved with a band or the podcast that I do or something like that, or in school, so I’m hoping that educators can find opportunities to push their students in ways to be more experimental and think about a post-marketing advertising world.
Jason:
When I went to school, I’m sure it was the same for you and probably most people listening to this, you get into graphic design fundamentals and it’s very much user centered, trying to communicate effectively, right? And all the tools that you need to do that and all the skills that you need to do that and I remember half way through the program, it started to become more I guess real world focused, which meant it all takes on a context of advertising and marketing and you start to kind of…I really struggle with this, the idea that I really love that user-centered focus of design and thinking about the end user and how to effectively communicate to them and solve problems for them, and suddenly, everything was cast in an advertising way which was absolutely the complete opposite: you’re not solving user problems, you’re basically trying to convince them of how they should feel or portray a brand a certain way; it’s very much a one-way conversation so I think my advice to educators and to programs would be, think about what graphic design is outside of the box of marketing and advertising and as much as possible, give assignments and criteria for success and evaluation based as much as you can outside of that and make it more user-centered as opposed to brand or marketing-centered and think about it being a two-way conversation.
Gary:
You know, this actually leads into another question I had, so I’ll just go down this way. I’ve gone to a number of senior shows and portfolio reviews and I’m always amazed at the amount of print assignments, print advertising assignments that are on display, given that the changes in communications, just in the past five years, it startles me. So, before you started working in-house for Dell, you’ve worked at a few different digital agencies, so I’m curious as to what the most common type of work clients ask for at a digital agency now.
Jason:
You know, I think it’s mostly still to this point it’s marketing-oriented websites; you may get into more of a corporate enterprise site which starts to have more utility to it but the vast amount of work that I’ve done in my career, I think if you really boil it down, it’s some form or fashion of a marketing website; either campaign related or maybe a platform for a brand that maybe they can put multiple marketing campaigns in and put product information into but I think that’s, speaking for myself, the majority of the work that I’ve done, there’s a huge opportunity now since the iPhone and the popularity of Android that there’s all of these opportunities to create products now that I don’t think we had before, so that’s really exciting to me and that’s the kind of direction that I would like to see more students geared towards, solving those kinds of problems, and I think the marketing work, not that we will stop doing that, but I think it needs to carry value and I think a product design oriented way of going about solving problems is going to bring value inherently, and once you have that, then you can attach marketing as a secondary piece to that, so yeah, I mean I think I lost what your original question was!
Gary:
No, no, it’s what is the work of a digital agency and you described it right there to a T.
Jason:
I mean, it’s evolving, like at Happy Cog, it was evolved to at least we were no longer in the business of selling static pages, because everything they do is responsive design systems and that’s the way that they phrase it and sell it. It’s a box of tools, basically; you’re getting a design library that’s documented in code and it’s responsive; you’re getting a finite set of templates, but you’re also getting education, you’re getting training, you’re getting consulting on a CMS system to manage all that; you’re getting discovery which is digging into what are your business problems you’re trying to solve and how might the site do that, so I think even for those kind of marketing corporate website projects, are at least evolving to a place where it’s a little bit more sophisticated and broad and it’s less flat for lack of a better term.
Gary:
Yeah, I love that…I’ve never really stopped and thought about the way you just described what we give clients and that is essentially tools. That’s really interesting to stop and whether it’s a logo or whether it’s an application, another to-do app, it is, we are giving them a set of tools. I never really thought of it that way. It’s interesting.
Jason:
Yeah, it’s interesting because I believe that, I like to work with clients that believe that, but they don’t always believe that; or at least…that requires investment on their end too; they need to be involved, they need to want to participate. Sometimes they don’t want to do that; sometimes they want to hire you and have you go away and solve it and come back and tell them it’s the right answer and you’re an expert and they’ll basically believe that it is the right answer and go about launching it and moving on. But I think the flip-side of that is more clients need to understand they’re getting a set of tools and they have to be wanting to invest in that and learn how to use them.
Gary:
Yeah, well I think that just the way, rephrasing that as a tool, you don’t just hand something over; the tool has to be trained; you have to practice using the tool and I think that also kind of ties into what Mike Monteiro is talking about in Design is a Job is that, you know, it doesn’t sell us…you need to sell the tool, you need to say like this is how this tool is going to make your life easier and I think if we, as educators, approached this website is a tool, this logo is a tool, that would also help with the students learning how to sell that tool. Maybe not sell, but how to train, how to show the value of that tool. I don’t know, for me that just makes a lot of sense.
Jason:
Yeah, I mean I think to add onto that, just a little bit of experience being at Dell, it’s a huge company and their website is enormous. They have a huge design library, responsive design library built on Bootstrap and they have a team, a governance team, and I’m sure most large corporations are headed this way that have design teams of a dozen or so people whose job it is to govern that design library, so they document new components, there’s a meeting weekly that if you have a new component that you’re working on, that you’d like to have added to the library, you can present it to the group and people sort of debate it, whether or not we need to add it; not add it; if you have issues about you don’t understand how to use a certain pattern, you can go to them and consult, so there’s a whole infrastructure starting to grow around this idea of clients, companies understanding that designers are creating tools and that it’s a living, breathing thing; it’s not something that you’re going to finish, document in a pdf and then everybody’s going to get it and everything’s going to go great: it’s going to need to be adapted and changed and it’s going to need to grow and shrink and be refined and augmented and explained and it’s an ongoing process and there’s tons of roles that designers can play around facilitating that to happen, so I think that’s, in terms of client services, that’s an area that needs to be I think explored more; I think the business relationship part of that gets a little fuzzy, what does that look like? But I think if client services and agencies are going to survive, they’re going to have to figure out how to do that, how do you engage past that final delivery to help them take these tools and continue to use them and grow and either augment their staff or train their staff or provide the services so that all the work that you put in up front has a chance to be successful long-term.
Gary:
You know, I’m going to go back to the very first question I asked you and you mentioned about everything being cookie-cutter, when you’re using a design system, when you’re using a framework, everything ends up being cookie-cutter and so at Dell, it would have been beneficial for a student to come in knowing how to work with a system but unfortunately, it stifles creativity but then if you kind of focus on just training creative use of code, if you will, or just experimental, then you kinda lose that practical knowledge of it and I wrestle with this; every semester I keep bouncing back and forth, I’m a ping-pong. Do I teach them to slowly build up to create their own framework or do I just say, screw it and let’s just push the envelope and see what happens. Do you have a preference as somebody who’s putting together a design team?
Jason:
You need a good mix. Obviously, I’m looking…you need to see instincts from people where, when you’re evaluating a project, you can step back and say, these are the opportunities for us to innovate and those are defined by unique needs that this customer has, unique demographic, unique content or service that a client is providing and you need to stand back and say, OK, these are the two or three areas where we think we can do this better than anybody else and frankly have to do it differently because there’s no existing way to do it that’s going to be as good as it needs to be. Then, everywhere else, you need to step back and say, there’s existing patterns for all of these that people already understand and we don’t need to innovate everywhere, so let’s find the best mix of those and build it out, provide the skeleton to whatever it is we’re trying to build her and then interject these areas where it makes sense to innovate and I think that’s always a struggle; it’s easier for me saying that than it is to actually execute it because being able to not only identify those area, but everybody agree to them and getting by and that’s the right way to go and it’s a constant back and forth; you’re going to have people who maybe have had a UX title maybe a little longer that probably, especially if it’s research oriented, maybe you’re going to be pushing towards going with something proven and conventional, even though it may not solve the problem as well as it should. It’s safe and everybody’s going to get it. You may have folks who are less experienced there or whatever their background is, they’re willing to push things a little bit further and you want to find that mix, as you put a team together, you want to find people that are able to do that individually but also kind of collaborate it and push on both sides of that so you can end up in a place that’s highly usable, very intuitive but also it’s innovative, it’s delightful, it’s all those great things that when you go to a website or you use an app, impresses upon you; it’s probably because there’s something about it that has a tinge of innovation to it.
Gary:
So, in regards to putting together teams, basically the days are gone when someone could expect to be a solo designer and produce everything a client would need; even the best unicorns out there, the mystical designer-developer can’t meet all the demands of designing and producing a cohesively branded identity, the accompanying interactive responsive websites, a native app and then not even, what about content strategy, user research. So, from your experiences, are students prepared to work in these new team-based approach when they come out of school?
Jason:
You know, I think a graphic design education gives you a lot of tools to work with; I think you get, at the end of the day, most of what we’re doing here is visual communication. I mean, I think we cloak it in other things and it can get more complicated than that, but at the end of the day, we’re trying to set expectations for users, deliver on those and be as clear as possible and most of it’s done visually in some form or another, so a graphic design education gives you a lot of range there in terms of your skillset. I think what’s missing, in terms of a team, is that it’s really hard to learn how to collaborate. I think, especially in school, I don’t know, at least my experience was, any time we did a team project, it was eyes rolled and groaned, just because it felt like there were certain students that were really…excelled and really invested in and others that weren’t and just trying to work through that dynamic became distracting and if there’s any way to re-structure that, to be more of a real workplace scenario where it’s your livelihood, you have to be invested if you want to keep your job and hopefully you’ve landed here because you’re passionate and you end up in scenarios where it’s a true collaboration and you’re willing to…you have a respect for the people you’re working with and understand that they’re bringing skills to the table that you just don’t have and you’re bringing skills to the table that they don’t and I think in a professional setting, you can figure that rhythm out and understand how to work within that. I think a lot of students coming out of school probably haven’t had that rich experience yet in terms of collaborating, unless they’ve done maybe some passion projects or those sorts of things where that’s come into play but I think that’s something that they really need to figure out as soon as possible because you’re right, the days of one designer doing everything are gone or should be coming to a close, because the problems that we’re trying to solve, they’re just too big; they’re just too big for one person.
Gary:
Well, this was a personal “ah-ha” moment. I was at a conference; it was a design education conference, and this woman, I wish for the life of me I could remember her name, or the title of her talk, but in essence she basically said, “We throw students into groups and we tell them to collaborate. But we never teach them how.” And it was just like such an “ah-ha” moment, I was like, damn, that was…really it’s that simple: we just need to teach them how and I think that’s hard, because we just throw them together but they don’t realize that two people should be able to do exponentially more, they should be able to more than just double the work, it should be exponentially, they should be able to get more done if they work together in a team and I think that we definitely need to do a better job: I need to do a better job of it! At least me!
Jason:
Yeah, it’s something I find myself with the teams that I work with, having to step back and make sure that everybody understands their role on a particular project and they might be good at something, but on this project, we might not be asking that of them; that’s not to say we don’t want that feedback or that input but if it’s somebody else’s responsibility, we have to give them the freedom to make the call at the end of the day and you have to be responsible for what your piece of it is. I think just being clear about roles is really important in those situations, not only as a student but and professionally, because we have a tendency to kind of get a bunch of designers together and even though we have different backgrounds, we all sort of…it’s easy to start stepping on each others’ toes and then it becomes, well, you start to pull back a little bit because you’re like, well they’re taking care of that and, they did that part so I guess I don’t need to worry about it. And then from a manager kind of standpoint or a director standpoint, I’m looking at like, OK, there’s a huge deficiency here in this project because everybody’s assuming somebody else is doing it and really nobody’s doing it, so being really clear about roles, I guess, is one of the things I try to stick to, even to…there’s some friction sometimes with that; I’ve done that in the past and I’ve had people push back and say, well on this project, I want to be able to do this or that, or I haven’t done enough of this recently and I want to do it now and sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for the project; we want to all grow in different directions but we’ve got to do it in the context of creating great work and sometimes you need to have a role and understand what that is so you can focus on it and make sure that you knock that out of the park.
Gary:
Wow, time’s been flying; I didn’t realize where we’re at. I could be talking about this stuff all night, but I don’t want to keep doing that to you so I’m going to kind of wrap here with one or two more questions, but they’re probably big ones!
Jason:
OK!
Gary:
Hopefully they’re not. So, when I was doing my research I came across an interview you did with the makers of the InVision app and I found it on their blog. In the interview, you discussed a lot of things but what caught my interest is how much has changed in the design process. So, in addition to the things common to both print and interactive design such as the discovery phase, the brainstorming, the sketching, the visual comps and final delivery, now the process includes wire-framing, style tiles, development, user-testing, performance-testing, limited public Betas. And the designer is now involved in each one of those stages. Can you describe what the typical design process looks like now at a digital agency? Am I off the mark here?
Jason:
No, I think that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, like I mentioned I’m taking on a new role and it’s a small company that’s going to need to build a team, so process is going to be huge, and even though I have only been at Dell for seven, eight months, that has been pretty eye-opening for me because I’ve never worked client-side before and the ability that you have in that position to understand your customer and to iterate ideas is something that just doesn’t exist in the agency world and I think it needs to. So, my perspective right now, my process is probably a hundred and eighty from where it was even a year ago, so right now, I think it’s really important to understand who your user is and getting as much research as you can there is really important but maybe even more important than that is, really doing the research to figure out and get everybody on board with what problem are we trying to solve, and what is the outcome that we want? That’s something that, thinking back on my career, has been just not very well distilled. You kind of get into a project: well, we’re building a new website. OK, well, it’s this type of company so I guess they need these sorts of things on their website, you know, and the client said they want this and they want that so let’s give them this and that. You know what I mean? It’s not a really critical look at, what is the purpose of this website and how does it help somebody? Even if it’s a marketing website, what role does it play to them and what problems does it solve? Sometimes problems a big word but you know what I mean?
Gary:
Oh no….
Jason:
And more importantly, what is the outcome of this? What are we hoping to get? What do we want to see from a real data standpoint: what evidence do we need to see to know that this was successful? So I’m really approaching it from that regard, starting and being very critical about that, then working into writing user stories, breaking down all the different ideas that you have about all the different problems that might exist, a customer might have; all the different users that might be involved on the site and then getting into paper and pencil and just sketching those out and trying to prototype as quickly as possible with the intent that you want to make your way to those stories quickly but also figure out in the process which ones are most valuable? Which ones are aligned to the outcome that we’re wanting? And which ones aren’t? And which ones are desirable and which ones are going to be effective and getting those into a prototype of some form or another that you can test having access to data that can prove whether or not some of these are viable; getting that refined down and then from there I really want to be moving to a point where we’re not doing much on paper, we’re not creating stacks of documentation. It’s difficult but I want to find a good prototyping tool that everybody can jump into and understand and I want to build things and be testing them along the way. Then client reviews turn into working prototypes; it’s not the full application or the full website but it’s based on those stories and that problem solving and it’s functioning prototypes to articulate, this is our idea, we’ve put it in front of people and we’ve already adjusted it; people get it, we’re in a good place, and that’s what I would want to be the client review process to be like instead of, hey, here’s our idea, we’ve been doing this a really long time, we’re really smart; you should trust us, it’s going to work, you know? In six months when we’re done with this and we launch this site we promise it’s going to work.

So I think myself, I think you’re seeing big companies drive that kind of problem-solving. It’s no secret that corporations are hiring tons of designers and building design teams and they’re all employing some kind of process that’s similar to that where you’re sketching ideas and you have access to your customers and you’re testing those to figure out what’s effective and what isn’t and I think agencies need to do that, and I think just as a design process, I think that’s fundamentally where everybody, I hope, starts to head so that it’s more geared around problem-solving and effective communication.

Gary:
Yeah, I mean I’ve got one statement, then a follow-up short; this is an actual short question, but that statement is, this is where I struggle with design education and particularly I assign a project and that project is already the solution to the problem. So all we’re really asking them to do is visually be creative, visually be problem-solvers, and I’ll use something Sean Adams mentioned as an example for this for AdamsMorioka. VH1 came to them; VH1 said, this is back in the early nineties, maybe mid-nineties where they were having a very low viewership and VH1 came to AdamsMorioka and said, we need a re-brand to bring up viewership and AdamsMorioka said yeah, we could give you a band aid, but that’s not going to fix the problem. We don’t know what your problem is and they actually ended up going back to VH1 and saying, your problem is not your branding: your problem is your programming!
Jason:
Wow! That’s great!
Gary:
But the way traditional education works, it doesn’t work that way, so you need to design this website for this daycare center because they need more enrollment. Is the website going to get more enrollment? It might just be they are in the wrong neighborhood!
Jason:
Yeah, that’s a great point.
Gary:
And I just don’t think we teach that problem-solving the way that you just described it.
Jason:
Yeah, I mean, most of my career has been: we need a website. OK, then you work backwards from that and what you start to find out is, well maybe you didn’t need a website. Maybe you needed this or that, you know, I think that’s starting to happen a little bit more than it used to but I would love to see students challenged in that way; given problems and come back with what you think the solutions are and work from that point as to proposing what the medium is, you know?
Gary:
Yeah, well this is the short question, and it came up with the prototyping when you mentioned it. So, for everybody who’s listening to this, the InVision where I read the thing is an application used to create everything from wire-frames to animations, even full-on prototypes for both mobile and computer operating systems. I bring this up because the Adobe tools are no longer the sole tools used in the interactive design industry; you even said, I want to get to a prototype as quick as possible and so applications like Sketch, Framer, UXPin, InVision, have gone from obscurity to possibly the tools of choice. So, in design education, are we still teaching the right tools with sticking to the Adobe suite?
Jason:
Well, there are some options within the Adobe suite that are less popular, and there’s been changes with Photoshop recently that are helping but I think the short answer is no. I mean, we’re seeing a huge influx of prototyping tools, I think in the last couple of years, it’s just been an explosion of all…it’s my job to keep track of them; I can’t…
Gary:
I can’t!
Jason:
And none of them are perfect but they’re really exciting and the thing that I love about them is that if nothing else, the better ones are looking at one of two things: they’re giving you the opportunity to design moments in time, so InVIsion does that; it takes what you know about your favorite application for comping but it quickly allows you to jump into a prototype that makes you think about those moments in time, those decisions that are user-makes to get to a solution that they’re going for. The other thing that they do is that a lot of them are now allowing you to design and layout and then play, more importantly than anything, in a flexible browser-like canvas, so whether it be Webflow or Macaw or Justinmind, there’s a bunch out there that allow you to more closely experiment and layout in an organic, responsive, flexible grid platform, as opposed to Photoshop where all of that is theoretical; this is the way I think it’ll work and you sort of do a bunch of layouts and mentally in terms of the responsive stuff, but even more importantly, you’re not really pushing or you’re not being inspired, I guess, by the canvas because it’s a different canvas, so if you work in a browser either through just coding and looking at your results in a browser or working a tool that’s more browser-like, you will come up with ideas that you wouldn’t have in Photoshop; you will see things by accident you didn’t intend to see that are going to spur new ideas you wouldn’t have had otherwise, so those two things and a lot of the tools that I’m seeing are really making me excited that this is going to lead to probably a new Adobe. I don’t know who that’s going to be or what that’s going to be, but at least a toolset that’s more native to digital.
Gary:
Yeah, and there’s nobody who can argue, designers can argue the fact that these new tools let you design in context and like you said, Illustrator and Photoshop InDesign don’t let you design in the context for web, for devices, so all right well, thank you, I know we’re coming up on time here so Jason, before I let you go, is there anything you are working on that you would like to share or promote or maybe a final piece of advice you’d like to give design educators to help prepare students?
Jason:
In terms of what I’m working on, you mentioned the podcast already, digmeuppodcast.com and if you’re a music nerd, check that out. Word, design-wise, I’m really excited about the new company I’m joining, Context Digital.
Gary:
Context Digital, is that still…you’re still in Austin, right?
Jason:
I’m going to be in Austin; the company’s going to be remote and somewhat based in Ohio so we’re going to be…
Gary:
Virtual teams!
Jason:
Yeah, so that’ll be new! I’m spooling up all the tools that we’re going to need to pull that off. Yeah, we’re going to be working on some exciting stuff and probably hiring some folks so if people want to check out the website or check me out, jdziak@contextdigital.com, send me an email, a résumé, so that’ll be cool; that’s kind of where I’m focused on right now.
Gary:
All right, great. So, that’s all that we have time for today on Episode 7 of Design Edu Today. I want to thank today’s guest, Jason Dziak, for being so generous with his time. I want to thank the audience for listening and the Design Edu Today web hosting sponsor, DigitalOcean, for making the hosting and distribution of these podcasts possible. I also want to thank the AIGA and the AIGA Design Educators’ Community for their generous support of my research that led to this podcast series.

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