We are celebrating our designers during Edmonton Design Week

We are celebrating Edmonton Design Week with our team.

Design is a big part of what we do here at Onlea. Some of our strategists, production designers and animators shared their insights about their process and inspiration...

Veronica Krawcewicz - Senior Design Strategist

VeronicaKrawcewicz

What influences or inspires your work and why?

Research. Understanding the problem and users helps me ground my design decisions.

Why do you think design is important for online and digital learning?

Design is important wherever humans interact. The user must be considered, and their needs should be balanced with those of the client and the limitations of the platform. A well designed piece of online learning should help immerse the student in the learning experience, and help them understand the subject matter being taught.

What is your advice for someone new to trying a design challenge?

Start with research, brainstorming, mindmapping, and ideation. Try to gain an understanding of the problem you are trying to solve, and the people you are trying to solve it for. Imagine different possibilities for solving that problem before deciding on your final direction.

Suzy Spence - Animator

SuzySpence

What influences or inspires your work and why?

Many things inspire me, especially good colour combinations, plants & flowers, vintage patterns and stories. Sometimes I’ve found good colour combinations from random objects, for example, old buildings and strangers’ clothing etc. Whenever I see those colours I’m inspired to use them in my illustrations.

Why do you think design is important for online and digital learning?

Design helps to catch the students’ attention and to understand concepts in a more intuitive and personal way.

What is your advice for someone new to trying a design challenge?

I want to advise them just START their project. Starting can be as simple as taking a few photos or sketching some basic images.

I think 'starting' is more important than anything. Some people are afraid to start because they think they cannot make art of the same calibre as other artists. However, if you start with small and easy tasks, you can set more ambitious goals in the future.

Neal Merrell - Production Designer

NealMerrell

What influences or inspires your work and why?

My work is generally inspired by everyday things. If I need a solution I usually just wait for inspiration to come to me and it usually comes in the form of something super simple, or something unexpected. Working with talented people also inspires me — I feel the need to step up my game when I work with other talented designers, animators and videographers. You are the sum of those you surround yourself with, that goes for design talent as well.

Why do you think design is important for online and digital learning?

It is so important to differentiate yourself from amateur education when creating high quality education content. The design and art direction is really the deciding factor on whether or not people will engage with your content. The message isn’t received when you lack the proper production value. With design, and design principles, we can create something that matches or surpasses the quality of the message that we’re giving and inspire the viewer to actually give the content a chance.

What is your advice for someone new to trying a design challenge?

Stop for a second, slow your roll. It’s not a race and if you have a deadline, this is especially important. Forcing yourself to design something when you’re not feeling it can lead to some not so inspired design work. Then again, some of my most inspired work has come from a fire being lit under me. It all really depends on the person and their mood in that moment. Trust yourself — work hard when you feel inspired to, and take a step back when you feel you’ve hit a wall.

Mymy Bigras - Senior Design Strategist

MymyBigras

What influences or inspires your work and why?

Ohhh boy. I’m influenced by so many things: it goes from street art, to murder podcasts, haha! I find inspiration anywhere, for example when I’m riding my bike, or watching a movie, or travelling… Why? Because I like to think design isn’t some exclusive club, and in order for design to be effective, it has to embrace all aspects of life!

Why do you think design is important for online and digital learning?

Design school taught me that design is a language, and I see design as a crucial part of online and digital learning. It creates a sense of organisation and hierarchy, and it’s vital for the visually inclined! Design is a friend in a place of knowledge.

What is your advice for someone new to trying a design challenge?
I’d suggest being very observant: to notice things and how they function in the world, and to wonder if and how they could work better. I would also suggest to get to know the creative community you’re in: there’s no better motivator than making friends and growing and supporting together!

Thanks to Jeff Woodward our Production Director, who took the photos for this post!


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Jesús Ramirez

Jesús Ramirez

Web Developer at Onlea