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Student Designers Challenged to Develop App Designs

CSUF, UST Global Partner to Train Artists for Industry Careers

July 8, 2014

man holding smart device with app

Graphic designers Leonard Mandap, Alexis Radig and Anthony Salinas developed the "AA+" app to help people with sobriety as part of the new CSUF-UST Global partnership.

Three graphic design student teams stepped up to the challenge and created working prototype applications, or "Apps," for a hypothetical client, which gave them training and industry experience for their future careers.

Their apps, developed for smart devices, are: "AA+" to help people with sobriety; "Broke Surfer" for overstocked and used surf wear and surfing-related items; and "Baby Time," featuring an array of information for first-time mothers.

The teams were finalists in a design competition as part of the new UST Global User Experience (UX) Graphic Design Outreach Program, a partnership between Cal State Fullerton and the Aliso Viejo-based information technology solutions and services company.

Finalists made presentations of their proof-of-concept apps to company officials and were assessed on originality of concept, content, asset development and design. For their apps, the student teams created everything from the graphics to the user experience, said John T. Drew, professor of art.

"This new partnership challenges our students to apply their creative powers on grounded, real-world problems and trains them in the competitive field of graphic design," added Drew, who initiated the collaboration, which also includes Cal Poly Pomona graphic design students.

Reaching out to creatively driven graphic designers to develop prototype apps is "a big paradigm shift within the industry," opening new job possibilities for art students, noted Drew.

"UST Global UX Graphic Design Outreach Program is a great way for the technology industry and higher education to come together for the betterment of future generations," said Tony Velleca, chief information officer at UST Global. "Together, UST Global and CSUF are creating a place where students and industry can work together to develop the next generation of apps."

Through the partnership, UST Global is offering design internships for up to 75 students from both California State University campuses over the next two years, where the graphic designers will work in the company's interactive media, design and visual engineering departments.

Alexis Radig, who will earn her B.F.A. in art-graphic design and illustration in August, and May graduates Leonard Mandap and Anthony Salinas, who both earned a B.F.A. in art-graphic design, developed the "AA+" app. Radig, among seven CSUF interns this summer at UST Global, discusses the team's design project.

What's the app's concept, as well as design?

"AA+" is an application for anyone seeking recovery from alcohol dependency. The app provides users one location to connect with peers for support, find published alcohol recovery resources, locate meetings, sponsors and more. We kept the design very clean, flat, and above all, modern. We wanted the user to be able to easily and seamlessly navigate through the application.

How can the app help people?

"AA+" is an application that can change lives. There is nothing like this on the market. This application would work hand-and-hand with Alcohol Anonymous programs and/or hospital programs, but it also can work as a stand-alone tool to assist those seeking alcohol independence.

What did the team learn?

Our team got a crash course in communication skills. In order to successfully deliver the project in the short time frame, we focused on teamwork and communicating every step of the way.

How did the experience advance the team's goals?

Our goal was to come out on top. The project showed us how a small idea can populate into a very real concept that can help people and change their lives. It also reminded us of why we love to design and create. This project will not only be a great portfolio piece to show in our job search, but also allowed us to grow as creators and designers in our field.

"Broke Surfer" team members are Kelsie Van Wuyckhuyse, Allison Inouye and Courtney Howe; and "Baby Time" creators are Magaly Perez, Michelle Lino and Yumi Ramirez, all May B.F.A.-in art-graphic design graduates, and art student Juan Escobar.

Media Contact:
Debra Cano Ramos 

Tags:  Academics & Research