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Graphic Design students apply digital design skills to the physical world

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Crawler, one of the student prototypes, navigates users through a personalized brewery crawl based on thier individual taste preferences.

Students in the Graphic Design program are learning skills to help people navigate their environments using mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. To accomplish this, faculty assigned specific projects to help students explore the way digital information and design influence human navigation.

“Wayfinding is changing in the digital age. So many people access the world around them through mobile apps like Yelp,” Environmental Graphics instructor Katie Davis-Sayles said. “Having the ability to understand how the user experience works in 3D space helps our students become better designers.”

These projects included a taste-guiding tour of a local brewery, a digital guide for the Northwest’s flora and fauna, and more, where students incorporated wayfinding principles and other concepts. Based on the success of these student projects, two faculty members will present a paper titled, “Invisible City: Wayfinding and Placemaking through Augmented Reality,” at the 2016 Society for Experiential Graphic Design Academic Summit in Seattle. The paper will be also be published in the society’s academic journal this summer.


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