By Samantha Mitchell
Web design continues to be an element that is avoided by many due to its perceived complexity. Digital designers Chris Courtney and Yuri Victor set out to change this perception and in the process change the outlook on digital design during the “SND Digital Boot Camp” course that was offered in Farley Hall November 14-15.
The course laid out the basic concepts and framework to digital design in the hopes of empowering people with the knowledge of utilizing the web. Victor and Courtney outlined the use of different code names for the web, such as HTML and discussed user-friendly websites that can be used to put together codes for basic website layouts.
“These guys are great instructors,” said Darren Sanefski, assistant professor of multiple platform journalism. “What could be so complicated, they are able to reduce so quickly. This is a great opportunity for all of the attendees to be apart of.”
The course was free to Meek School students and faculty and Society of News Design members. It has been offered across three different countries, including Canada, China, and the United States. The designers are in the process of attaining a course placement in South America, as well.
“We’ve been traveling for three years now and we want a better web,” Victor said. “That’s when we realized that we can also move to improve it.”
Both Victor and Courtney came from non-digital design backgrounds and demonstrated the web as a series of boxes and lists.
Courtney discussed the mental block some may have when attempting to construct a website layout for the first time.
“People are intimidated by the web, when they should feel empowered to use it instead,” Courtney said. “They can then further understand the very devices they carry around every day.”
Empowerment and knowledge seemed to be the key concept of the course. Participants learned how to construct websites from their own devices and see it relayed back to them in real time. The course offered visual, hands-on, and tactile learning throughout the two days.
“Journalism is once again reinventing itself, which is why I want everyone to stop avoiding code just because it’s a scary thing,” Victor said. “You’re only going to get left at the sidelines if you don’t get into it.”