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Chance Murphy Takes Us Behind-the-Scenes as Artonic’s First Web Design Intern

Chance is a web and user experience design intern at Artonic, a Michigan Web Design Agency.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m currently a fifth year Senior at Siena Heights University, located in Adrian, MI. I’m majoring in Computers and Information Systems with a concentration in Web Development while also minoring in Graphic Design and Criminal Justice. I played football at Siena Heights for my first four years and worked part time as a freelance Web and Graphic Designer. I’m an extremely motivated individual, especially when it comes to accomplishing the goals that I set for myself, and I’m not one to give up when the going gets tough.

How did you become an intern at Artonic?

I had been looking for and applying to internships as I found them but hadn’t been having a lot of luck due to the size of the companies I was applying to and the amount of people that were applying for the same internship position. I realized I needed to do something different, so I decided to go to the Career Services Department of Siena Heights to enlist their help in finding an internship that would be beneficial for me. The head of Career Services, Melissa Growden, sent out my resume to some people she knew in the area and someone suggested that we give Artonic a call. After a week or two of back and forth emailing between myself and Matt, I started my first day and haven’t looked back since!

How has your experience been as an intern?

I’m a shy person by nature, so even though I was excited for my first day of work at Artonic, I was also extremely nervous. Luckily for me, I had no reason to be. The team here at Artonic has been nothing but welcoming and helpful since the moment I stepped through the front door. I’ve learned a lot during my time at Artonic and look forward to learning even more.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned as an intern?

I had experience wireframing before I started working at Artonic, but I was still new to the concept. During my time at Artonic, I’ve gained a lot of experience with wireframing so I’ve been able to hone and expand my skills. It’s great to be able to create a concept for a website or system and see how it functions before it goes live.

What do you consider to be the “ideal” working environment?

Ideally, I would want to work in a place that operates as a team, where everyone’s talents are utilized and able to flourish. I find that I thrive in environments that are positive and where I can receive feedback on work from multiple sources. Mutual respect is also a big thing for me, I want to work in an environment where everyone ideas are listened to and considered, no matter what their job title is.

Honestly, when I think of my ideal work environment, Artonic pretty much fits it to a “T”.

How is web design different than other types of design?

Web and Graphic Design are similar as they both involve the creation of images, graphics, and typography. What the differences really boil down to is the medium. Since graphic designers often don’t design with the web in mind, they have more freedom because they aren’t restricted by things such as load times and file size. They also often don’t need to have knowledge of coding languages such as HTML + CSS, JavaScript or PHP. For Web Designers, this is a must since they are designing for the web. In addition to this, Web Designers must consider things like load times. This means that they need to account for things  like file size and image resolution in their designs.

Tell us about your experience learning to wireframe.

I started wireframing a little over a year ago when I took a course called ‘User Interface Design and Experience’ at Siena Heights. On the first day of class we went over what wireframing was and the software we would use to do it. The whole class was a little overwhelmed by everything we had just been shown since for most us it was our first experience with wireframing. It took me a little while to really get accustomed to the process, and I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning, but eventually I gained an understanding of the whole process. From the time I started at Artonic to now I really feel like I’ve been able to expand my wireframing ability to a whole new level.

I would say that having a background in Graphic Design and Coding helped me learn how to wireframe quicker than I otherwise would have. Just having that knowledge of how to lay information out in an appealing way, what looks good and what doesn’t, and how to use the whole space effectively was extremely helpful when I first started wireframing. Same with knowing what parts of the wireframe need to interact with each other and if it’s realistic for said parts to do so.

Do you enjoy working with a team?

I love working with a team that has clearly defined roles and objectives, where everyone is working together to achieve a common goal. Working with a team also enables people to bounce their ideas off each other which can result in some truly marvelous ideas being formed.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

Going right back to school for Graduate School! I’m still deciding between three schools, but I plan to get my Masters in UI/UX, specifically Human Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI studies how users (people) interact with and use computers, as well as the design technologies used to make this interaction possible.

Have a question for Chance? Reach him at info@artonicweb.com 

Matt Harper:

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