A few days ago, several members of our design team taught an intensive, four-day interactive workshop at the University of Tennessee for seniors in graphic design. Many of our designers were graduates from the program and were excited about the prospect of giving back to their alma mater.

Senior designer Matt Montgomery worked with professor Deb Shmerler to build the workshop, which was set up to help students prototype websites as a component of their branding class. Centered around designing sites for brands the students had already created, the workshop allowed students to bolster their brands through web design.

Spearheaded by Matt, the students participated in the program’s first-ever Interactive Design Workshop, where they were introduced to the tools and processes we use here at Designsensory every day. They also learned how to use Sketch, a program that our digital design team uses to create website mockups. Designers Ben Maxey and Erik Vass and UX architect Kaleigh Veca added their unique perspectives over the weekend, meeting with students and helping them think through the structure and design of their websites. In a short timespan, students got to set site goals, create information architectures, make wireframes and finally design their sites.

After a long weekend, creative director Lindsay Miller joined in on the students’ final presentations to help give them feedback as they continue to move forward with refining and polishing their sites.

It was a challenging workshop that pushed the students to learn new software, think quickly and bring out their best designs. One student’s comment summed up the weekend well:

“Thank you guys so much for doing this. We all have mentioned this many times to each other over the weekend & we all agree that this was the best workshop experience we've had during the program. Both in use of time, content, and enjoyment in our work.”

We were impressed with the work that they were able to create over the workshop, and we look forward to seeing what the next generation of young design talent brings to the table!