Opinion: A UCLan Graduate On The Fees Increase – Featured on BlogPreston

Introduction by Joseph Stashko

John Walker is a former student of UCLan, where he studied interactive digital media. He now runs the multimedia design studio Walker Studios.

Yesterday the University of Central Lancashire announced that they would raise the tuition fees to the maximum amount set by the government from autumn 2012. This sees the cost of a single year at the university rise from just shy of £3,300 to £9,000, an increase of almost 200%.
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The Best Customer Service and the Worst Customer Service – In 1 Store, In 1 Night

Today, after finishing my part time job my wife and I decided to dander around a few shops in the Retail Park to have a look at gift ideas and a few other things. While there my wife decided to enter Carphone Warehouse to find out more about the present she was considering buying me. There we were served by a girl called Amy who gave one of the best examples of Customer Services we have witnessed. Then we went across the shop (it’s an all in one store) and received the outright worst example of dealing with a customer I have ever witnessed in Game.

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The Launch

If you look closely at my Twitter, Facebook or this blog even you may have noticed something new and different. For instance, the main point of call even, my logo has changed. That would be because Walker Studios is no longer a student portfolio of work, but is now fully operating as “Walker Studios – Multimedia Design & Social Media Solutions” (holds for applause).

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Eco Incentives

I’ve been thinking about a strategy for Business lately; pricing, offers and the like, as well as a want to try and help the world out a little. During this time I’ve also been applying to jobs as I may learn more from doing work for someone else for a while. Ultimately the goal is still to run my own company as part of my 5 Year Plan.

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New Year, Not Good!

Well 2010 is here, another new year, another new decade! This is the third decade I’ve witnesses and as far as I can tell it’s not going to be a great year.

No sooner am I back from Northern Ireland after a working Christmas were I barely got to see my family than my dad is taken into hospital in severe pain, and I have to wait 400 odd miles away for results from his tests.

Not to be entirely pessimistic I will be getting on with graphics work for one or two clients that should keep my head down and deep in my studies as well.

Oh, and if you live in the Preston area and happen to be good at Rock Band then grab a mate or three and join in UCAN ROCK, first round heats taking place at Source Bar, Preston. Check out the facebook fan page as well http://tinyurl.com/UCANROCK

Deadline Madness

Well it’s every students least favourite time of the semester, deadline time. With a solid amount of work due, or presentable tomorrow I must say the panic is starting to kick in. Tomorrow alone I have to present my Graphics progress to the entire class, and present my concept for an Interactive Television Application, which is partnered to what I’m presenting to the BBC on Tuesday.

On a happier couple of notes I’ve made some progress with my portfolio site, having realised I was overcomplicating my CSS, serves me write for getting a normal summer job eh? And my Logo for upcoming Text Based Game, Virtual Nations, is nearly ready after a few revisions. Just need to make a few changes and hopefully I’ll be able to avoid having to Vector another part of the Earth!

Run!

This morning I had a much needed lie in. Feeling refreshed and inspired by a recent out of the blue confidence boost I sat down to do so much needed work. My wife’s mobile rings, her step-dad, so I pass it over and turn back to the computer. After listening to her end of the conversation I could tell things had not went well at the doctors. She’s been told today they are going to start the birth tonight. Crap. When’s the next bus home? One hour. Crap. Run!

Now at this point I should say the baby was due at the end of the month with initial talks of her being taken in early next week, so we were completely unprepared. But seeing as I am writing this on the bus you can be safe in the knowledge we got everything sorted. And there was a lot of running involved! Did I mention we’re both from Northern Ireland and studying in England? That bits sort of important…

Identity Crisis?

As some people may have noticed I’m in the middle of redesigning my website at the moment following a coding drought during the summer. I want something familiar while altogether my own, something professional but with my own identity.

For all intensive purposes I am completely lost. From my old site the one thing I liked was a particular shade of green, but little or nothing else. I like fancy artistic websites used by some designers but also like the smooth curved style used by many, I briefly tried a redesign using a hybrid and it all got a bit complicated. Possible because I was trying to do at least two other highly important things at the same time but hardly the point.

So where do I go from here? To be honest I’m thinking of spending a few solid days locked in a deadly battle with Photoshop to design the whole thing before I get coding. This may not be tomorrow or the next either owing to the approaching deadlines for University, but I assure you, it is by all means high up on my to-do list.

My main challenges at the moment is being Managing Director of a Graduate Enterprise Business and my Final Year Project. Not to mention my designing new content to pitch to the BBC for their CBeebies website on the 24th of this month which also ties into my design for an Interactive Television Service, which is also going to be entered to the BBC.

Is anyone else getting a bit lost? I sure am!

Hullo World!

Emotional readers begin here:
It’s 8:00am on Sunday 1st November 2009 and I am going to start writing a Blog. The average reader may think these irrelevant or tedious to say, but there is a purpose to my overly long introduction, which to some they may also find irrelevant and tedious;

This day five years ago I started dating this girl, first girlfriend and all that jazz. This day five years on we are married, have been living together for over two years and have booked our third Holiday, our Honeymoon no less, together. The point to my emotional little introduction? Great things have happened to me on this date in the year, and I want this to be one of them.

Emotionless readers begin here:
My name is John, and I’m a student. As I write this I am in my third year of an Honours Degree in Interactive Digital Media (read Web Design and Development, Graphics Design, Design for Publishing and Design for Interactive Television) which I aim to Graduate with a 2:1 or higher. 2:1 is a realistic grade I reckon judging by my performance last year and the fact I want to do well. Now on observations of successful Web Designers and other people I deem interesting or succesful in some measure, they attempt to keep a blog going on progress and things they discover on their way. In an effort to further myself, I shall attempt to do likewise.

Where I begin is in a small state or panic, as is the norm in the middle of the term and at the end of it. It is at this point without fail that I see deadlines ahead and panic, yet do little to ease the burden on myself. I write this as a verbal way of kicking my own butt into getting me to change. I doubt very much that it will work but I tried.

While I would like to see myself as a Web Designer, I must confess that at the minute my Development skills are currently at an all time low. I effectively broke my own website last month and have done more damage since. On this revelation I would like to remind you all I did say Designer, not Developer. My second passion is Graphic Design, now I am not the best in the world at this either, however I have some practice and am lining up some more. I am currently the graphics designer for online persistant browser based game Gal-Com developed by Sordell Media. They happen to be developing an entirely new game at the moment and have offered me the chance to design the branding on the site from the ground up, where as I became designer on Gal-Com 9 years into it’s existance.

Other work possibly in the line is the chance to pitch new content to the BBC for the CBeebies website, which if successful might lead to a placement with them over summer.

Conclusion:
Busy times ahead, I had better get started with serious amount of work.