#SNDCrashCourse: What got made

Last weekend, the Society For News Design brought its first-ever Crash Course to Ball State University. Students learned the principles of design thinking from three industry professionals, then used those principles to create editorial projects and pitch new products.

Facilitators Alex Bordens, Kyle Ellis and Jon Wile led a hands-on workshop that encouraged students to establish empathy to generate — then succinctly define — story or product ideas that would be relevant to a university community. Next, user personas were developed and leveraged to create sketches, wireframe prototypes, and a project implementation plan.

By the end of the weekend, ideas were presented for a map-based project that shows campus expansion over time, a standalone fashion blog with a monetization strategy, and an app designed to give professor’s immediate feedback on the overall impact of daily lecutre.




Here’s what some students had to say about the experience.

Ellen Hacker
Sophomore, PR and Advertising
“​The thing I benefited most from this weekend was learning how to think through a problem and how to create a solution for that. I can already think of ways to apply that to me Advertising major, so it was really cool to see connections in a crash course that was honestly outside of my normal comfort zone.”

Dakota Crawford
Senior, Journalism and Telecommunications
“I learned a new kind of thinking. Stepping outside the day-to-day process of print journalism, and looking at content from a new angle was beneficial to me. I’m excited to take what I learned and apply it other mediums of storytelling.”

Tyson Bird
Freshman, Journalism – Graphics
“This weekend, I expected to learn code. Instead I learned about something far more valuable: design thinking. It’s a concept I had never heard of but am already applying to my work as a visual storyteller. The process for developing innovative and digital design ideas has made me both a better journalist and designer.”

Hannah Dominiak
Junior, Journalism – Graphics
“#SNDCrashCourse was an incredibly beneficial event! I was able to really learn about design thinking in a way that will help my future work, and the current work I’m involved in as our student-run magazine undergoes its rethink and redesign.”

Special thanks to the Dow Jones News Fund for making this program possible!

About Adam Baumgartner

is an undergraduate journalism student at Ball State University and a designer at Vox Media.

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