Joyce Walsh, Boston University

Students and professionals in the STEM and humanities fields recognize a need for visual strategies to improve their communications and products. Consequently, many non-designers want to learn design software and would benefit from knowledge of design fundamentals. This workshop will present a proven method for teaching relevant design skills along with creative software skills. This is an efficient teaching method intended for novice designers or non-designers.

The workshop will share an integrated approach: how to teach design principles and strategies simultaneously with industry-standard creative software (Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign).  For example, as students learn to use color to create effective visual hierarchy, they learn Illustrator skills.

Features of this method include:

  • All software skill instruction reinforces design principles
  • Design knowledge and software skills are built incrementally
  • Teaches design strategies that are relevant to non-design profession

This strategy can also be used to expand design programs to a broader audience. Students may come from any discipline and be graduate students, undergraduates or professionals. Equipped with color, type and information organization strategies, these students can make more effective digital products such as apps, websites and presentations.

To support this approach, I wrote the first book combining design with software skills. It was published internationally by Laurence King and Pearson, and has a Chinese edition. It is now available in a pdf version on my website. 


Joyce Walsh is an Associate Professor at Boston University.