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Student Showcase 2020
  • Graphic Communication
  • University of South Wales
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Meet University of South Wales graduate Joseph Hurley from Ferndale, in the Rhondda Valleys. Joseph specialises in user interface/user experience design, with a passion to create solutions that make a difference to people.

What’s your specialism and why do you enjoy it?

I specialise in User Interface/User Experience Design. As much as I appreciate design that visually looks amazing, I get so much more satisfaction out of creating something that’s innovative and that really makes a difference to people.

Who inspires you?

I obviously admire the work of many individuals and agencies, but I would not consider myself a design historian. My design career so far has consisted of looking forwards, not backwards, so I’m trying to figure out my own way of putting a stamp on the industry. I want to just be Joseph.

If I had to choose one person who inspires me I would have to say, my grandfather. A hardworking, family man who has always supported and encouraged me no matter what route I’ve wanted to take. If there’s one person I want to make proud, it’s him.

What inspired your final project and what is it all about?

My final project is Sticky Situation, a new way for disabled travellers to educate the tourism industry on their needs and requirements.

Throughout my research, I found that disabled tourists were generally left as an afterthought, and there were few cases of successful developments that cater for this demographic. As travel is one of my main interests, I would like to implement ways that could allow a wider audience to experience the wonders that are waiting beyond their four walls.

This was mainly inspired by my own experiences, travelling with my younger brother who has been diagnosed with Autism and Anxiety. Across our family holidays, I have seen exactly how minor issues can cause such upset and struggle to those with disabilities. I’ve also realised that most only consider those with physical disabilities, neglecting cognitive and mental disorders.

I believe people reveal the truth - Sticky Situation project by Joseph Hurley
Sticky Situation Phone Mockup
Sticky Situation Mockup
Sticky Situation Stickers

What have you enjoyed most throughout your course?

Our course does a great job of preparing you for the industry. Our lecturers have made such a fantastic effort to give us real-world experiences, from mock interviews to live client briefs. It’s been really insightful.

What job role will you be looking for now that you’ve finished University?

Coming out of University I will definitely be looking at Graduate Graphic Design roles around Cardiff. There are so many cool agencies in the area that I’d love to work for. Initially, it would be ideal to fit into an agency where I could play to my strengths of branding and User Interface, but of course, somewhere that will push me to further develop my skillset is key.

What are the biggest challenges you perceive going into industry?

Given the current climate, it’s expected that not many agencies will be looking to take on new graduates. From my experience of job hunting so far, there are few vacancies and those who are hiring are asking for 2/3 years of experience. I think we just need to use this downtime to keep developing our own skills and portfolio, I want to show employers that I am industry-ready.

What advice would you give to students going into their first year in September?

Use your lecturers to your advantage! Appreciate the time you have with them because they are the experts and they know what they’re talking about. Use the university culture to your advantage too. You’ll be sat in a room of 40+ designers, challenge each other, help each other and learn from each other.

“As much as I appreciate design that visually looks amazing, I get so much more satisfaction out of creating something that’s innovative and that really makes a difference to people.”

Joseph Hurley

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