A crafter of visual solutions, ...and a guy who likes the dollar movies!
A Designer Who Loves to Share His Excitement
Since 2007 Nathan has practiced and studied user-experience design, as well as quite a few other visual communication disciplines. He has worked at both a renowned digital agency as well as a family-owned business, where he has been blessed to be a small (and sometimes large) part of several amazingly creative teams filled with very talented people.
He was given the opportunity and privileged to teach two introductory level design classes for Texas A&M University-Commerce and Colling College, as well as writing and teaching an upper level web design class at A&M Commerce where he loved building excitement with his students around design through passing along a strong software prowess, file management skills, and a conceptual foundation to build on as they progress through their various degrees. During his MFA pursuit, Nathan shadowed three tenure track, seeing first-hand what is required both physically and mentally to run a class while ever inspiring students.
Nathan has professionally designed mobile apps that interface with user data at conferences. He has redesigned countless Fortune 500 corporate websites—dealing with the stringent regulations required—and presented beauty and conceptual insight to his clients and teams. As a lead designer and craftsman, Nathan has helped create and maintain design and marketing standards, allowing companies to envision their future through design and smart planning.
After working as a conceptual designer for 6 years on a very successful UX team, Nathan was asked to be a part of MEplusYOU’s (formerly called imc2) internal marketing team, and was able to touch a wide variety of projects from UX design to information graphic illustrations and responsive interfaces, as well as embracing studio photography and video production.
Nathan has been a tireless student of visual communication under many creative directors, and has experienced personally how rewarding—and sometimes demanding—leadership can be. He has come to the conclusion that teaching is ultimately mentorship at it’s best.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. - Albert Einstein
I teach because I love when a student experiences that “aha” moment—when a solution goes from theoretical to actual—and the light bulb turns on. My passion is to share this inspiring moment with every student who steps into my classroom.
Group discussion, open sharing of ideas, and team collaboration each help to encourage students as well as build trust and camaraderie. Immersing students in real-world experiences through assignments exposes them to industry standards and best practices, greatly preparing them for professional practice.
In order to gain proficiency in visual communication, students will practice expressing ideas with a pencil before moving to the computer. The ability to quickly sketch concepts is an important discipline for students to refine.
Throughout each assignment, students will have opportunities to establish verbal presentations skills in conjunction with written exercises. A well articulated presentation stands out in our highly-visual field of work, thus being fluent in the design vernacular builds student confidence.
I have the unique responsibility to teach technique and skills, as well as shape the individual. Through creating a collaborative environment, and challenging students to find solutions to real-world problems, they will be well prepared for a confident professional debut.
Good design is beautiful, yet difficult to achieve; it is effective when harnessed appropriately, and it is the most powerful asset available in the world today.
I believe design at its core is communication, making me—as a designer—the ambassador between an idea and its audience. In order to shape an effective experience for that audience, I first need to understand how to communicate the idea using the language of a specific medium while constantly testing my message against the desired outcome.
Secondly, I must keep a constant balance between aesthetic exploration and usability. If a solution is visually elaborate, yet fails to serve its functional purpose, it detracts from the audience’s experience. This is true from furniture to app design. The primary goal is for a design solution to be accessible as well as understood by an audience.
Design is also an aid in defining problems. Dieter Rams stated, “Design should not dominate things, and not dominate people—it should help people.” I view design as an opportunity to establish order while helping others. I am constantly discovering previously hidden opportunities for refinement and finding new solutions to solve emerging problems.
Through design, communication is clarified, problems are defined, and progress is achieved.
Future of Design
The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty. - Roland Tiangco
Future classrooms must prepare designers for a bilingual career between the static and interactive realms by teaching concepts from both while remaining technically relevant to the present. Both mediums still ultimately deliver content, but content will need to be gamified, interactively navigated, or transformed through motion and video. As the world becomes more and more reliant upon digital devices, designers will be called upon to present content seamlessly across various channels, while understanding each channel’s opportunities and limitations.
I believe the interactive realm is so profitable because of its dynamism. This medium can be indefinitely edited or revamped, giving designers freedom to create fresh experiences regardless of technology. As even more is required from those who visually communicate, designers—who can not only conceptualize an idea, but then bring the idea to life with functionality—will stand out from those who are limited in their technical abilities.