This image popped up on my twitter timeline, well one of my twitter lists, can’t keep up nowadays! The image was titled “the learning gap in design…” It is an interesting image but without context it could be read in many ways and I wanted to address my reading as a long term Higher Education Design tutor.
Ok so we could debate the size on the mountains in relation to each other and the missing elements, but I think if design includes the things it should art, creativity, psychology, user testing, audience etc. etc. then I think they are about right, computer science could go higher perhaps.
However a reading of this could be that Design Education has a long way to go. However I would argue that this graph is very accurate and correct, through out you working life as a designer you will never have the all the answers when you finish a design course and that the gap will always be present, sometimes it will get smaller and other times in your working life it will get bigger. The graph can also be read that it’s not a gap at all but where you sit in the width of things you need to be aware of… I don’t think of it as a gap but a showcase of the landscape. In the Professional Context sessions I run at work every speaker from Games Design states that the process of learning never stops and the best skills they acquired at University were not Photoshop et al. but the ability to learn, navigate, negotiate, analyse and assess, these skills allowed them to flourish in the work of design and take on challenges where that gap was so wide it scared the life out of of them. Knowing that gap is there and using resource to plug it in different ways with every project is key.
Keep on trucking.