Student and Graduate Collaborate to Achieve Recognition in Adobe Creative Jam

Story By Les Kerr

Once the competition began, all competitors had just
three and a half hours to design their prototypes.

The community spirit of Nossi College of Art was exemplified in the recent collaboration between a current student, Cory Harkins*, and a graduate, Brandi Leath. A project created by the two was chosen a Judge’s Award Second Place UX Design winner of the prestigious and highly competitive Adobe Creative Jam in Nashville. The Jam is a two-part design experience in which design duos compete in a tournament utilizing Creative Cloud, according to Liz Schmidt, Adobe’s Senior Creative Manager.

Cory is a current student and Creative Director at CRT Custom Products and Brandi is a UX/UI Designer at Parachute Media**. When Adobe issued a call for teams of two designers to compete in the Jam, they decided to enter the competition using the name Team aBC. Once they were selected to compete, they learned that the project required the use of Adobe’s XD program. Brandi and Cory learned the program in ten days since neither had used it before.

Before all the award excitement, Cory and Brandi take a break to capture a photo.

“At noon on the day of the competition, we got the theme,” said Brandi, “which was ‘A Rising Tide Lifts all Boats.’ With that theme, we had to create an app prototype.”

Cory described the prototype as, “a functioning static portion of what the app would look like. It’s not fully functional, where you could send and receive data, but it’s functional enough for some interaction.”

The competition brought out the core of the Adobe XD concept, how interaction with the application takes place and illustrates user flow of the program. Brandi and Cory spent a lot of time researching between the time they learned of the theme at noon and four o’clock in the afternoon. The two had only four hours to collect and organize information to accomplish those objectives.

“We started brainstorming immediately and twelve o’clock, as soon as we got the theme,” said Brandi. “We had to come up with the idea, basically, what the app was going to be, from twelve to four o’clock. We were allowed to get assets, including icons, photos or video, color palette, logo and content. Then, we could ‘wire-frame’ it out in sketches during that time but we were not allowed to design it until five o’clock p.m.”

“Brandi and Cory really dove into a concept and thought about the user first,” she said. “Their project looked professional and something that could one day be an actual product. We tell people there are no rules to what they make. This is a good example of taking an idea to a new level. Really proud of Team aBC design!”

Once the competition began, all competitors had just three and a half hours to design their prototypes.

Mentor Match

The app prototype created by Cory and Brandi is called “Mentor Match” and fit well within the theme of the competition.

“Essentially, a rising tide lifts all boats,” said Cory. “If you have the experience and the know-how, you can improve the lives of other people. What better way to do that than to mentor young professionals and lift them up with you.”

According to Brandi, the app could be compared to a merge between the business app Linked In and the dating app Tinder. Users could log in, fill out credentials for a profile, and get matched with others who are mentors or need a mentor. The app would allow a way to connect with that person. The app also would include information regarding jobs and events that would encourage professional networking. 

View and interact with their working prototype!

Accentuating the positive

The app prototype created by Cory and Brandi is exactly within the goals of the Adobe Creative Jam, according to Schmidt.

“Brandi and Cory really dove into a concept and thought about the user first,” she said. “Their project looked professional and something that could one day be an actual product. We tell people

 

there are no rules to what they make. This is a good example of taking an idea to a new level. Really proud of Team aBC design!”

In addition, the collaboration of a student and graduate is a good illustration of the community fostered at Nossi College of Art.

“I’m so happy to hear of Brandi and Cory’s accomplishment,” said Cyrus Vatandoost, executive vice president of Nossi College. “At Nossi, we encourage collaboration as it’s essential for industry growth and these two took that philosophy to heart. We always tell our graduates and students that they will always be part of the Nossi family and together as a group, we can make great things happen.”

View more of Brandi’s work by visiting her website.

*At the time of this competition, Cory Harkins was a current student, he is not a Nossi College of Art graduate in the Illustration program. Cory also took additional coding classes with experience in UX, UI and web design.

**Cory and Brandi now work together at IOStudio, a marketing agency in Nashville, Tenn.