The Intermission


The online experience for YSDN’s class of 2016 graduation showcase.

The Team
  • Taylor Emmerson – Design, Development
  • Ross Zurowski – Design, Development
  • Nathan Butler – Design, Development
  • Kevin Ng - Design
  • Michelle Lee – Design

The Show

As part of the graduating class of YSDN, my cohorts and I were tasked to create our graduation show. After four years of countless sleepless nights and dozens upon dozens of cups of coffee , it all came down to this one show where ninety of us showed off our best work from the past four years of our Bachelor's degree. I was placed on the On-Site Interactive team as a designer. Our job was to design and develop the on line experience for the graduation show as well as implement the brand for the show once it was completed.

Questioning Tradition

In our first meeting as a team we introduced ourselves and got to work right away. We decided to look at what the previous graduating classes have done with their websites. What could we implement in ours, and what we wanted to avoid.

Looking through the older sites we realized some trends that prior classes had employed to their websites.
Most if not all of the websites we analyzed used the website as a digital invitation for the physical show instead of creating it and developing a unique experience that fits better with the medium.

The other trend we noticed that the home pages tended to present the grad show identity, instead of introducing what the show as or what it was about.

Wanderlust – 2009 (Left), YSDN10 – 2010 (Middle), Made – 2015 (right)

Looking Inwards

After analyzing past graduation show sites, we started focusing on our own on line experience. With the visuals of the site being taken care of by the Identity team, we focused on the user experience flow, and layouts of the high priority pages.

First round wire frames exploring layouts and user flows by Taylor Emmerson, Kevin Ng and my self.

We left ‘Home/Landing’ page for last and directed our attention to pages that didn't depend on the brand as much, and were for sure going to be a part of the site regardless of direction we went with later on in the design process. By end of the first semester we had a few flows and layouts for student profile, project index, project page.

Time for ‘The Intermission’

The Intermission system in use.

During the winter break the Identity team finalized the brand guidelines for the show, which they had dubbed during their presentation ‘The Intermission’. The establishment of the brand guidelines allowed for the basic style guides to be finalized as well. The Intermission brand was based on a system of sixteen point grid and five shapes.

The brand also consisted of a set of six colors and allowed for the colors to be overlaid over one and other, and allowed for more colors to be generated.

The Ol’ Switcheroo

During the winter break I switched from working on the student profile page to the event information page. The former required close collaboration with the team and me, working remotely from Pakistan made it difficult to do so.

Since our analysis of previous grad show sites, we had decided that the event information page would live separately from the rest of the grad show site. Its only purpose, as indicated by the name, would be to host the information about the event; the location of the venue, what the show was about, the date it was being held, how to get there and any other frequently asked questions.

Due to the independent nature of the page I had slight creative freedom as to how the page could look like. Below are some of the highlights.

Version 1.0 – Exploring the limitations of The Intermission identity.
Version 2.0
Version 3.0 – Due to a delay caused by the student profile pictures for the student index, a temporary page was launched to coincide with the soft launch deadline as well as the first round of invitations being mailed.
Version 4.0

The End

After eight months of design, development, meetings and constant iterations we launched ‘The Intermission’ website. Looking back at the whole experience, I learned a lot from my fellow team members, mainly about how to tackle large scale projects and to iterate and really push the design as far it can go. This journey as arduous as it was, really helped me grow as a designer.