Below is an email interview MESH did with Connor Lidellow a design graduate who now works for local webdesign company Burning Fruit as a user experience designer.
What course/s did you study?
I had always planned on doing something in art/design since high school, but a regular “design” degree didn’t really stand out as something I’d be interested in. It wasn’t until I heard about Murdoch offering a Games Art and Design course that I decided to take the next step and enroll. As the course was still very new, I was able to structure my units to achieve a Double Major in Games Art and Design, and Interactive Digital Design (now Graphic Design). This was the perfect option for both my skill set and future plans at the time.
What career opportunities did the course give you?
Early into my second year, I was approached by a fellow GAD student, Kai Ashford-Hatherly, who along with Michael Applin and myself founded Meteorite Games. A Meteorite Games highlight would most definitely have to be winning the Spacecubed sponsored Start-up event during the semester holidays. 4 weeks free working space in the Perth CBD, finishing with a showcase event that had over 100 people attend! It was all made possible by the encouragement and guidance we received from Murdoch lectures and staff.
What has been your favourite unit in the course and why?
It would be extremely tough to pick only one unit as there were so many important units throughout my course. Key moments in every unit shaped my university journey, most of which came from the lecturers themselves. I can remember the first lecture of Intro to Games Art and Design and we were told that games industry success could only come from the love of the work, not the love of money. This statement has stuck with me since, and is often the key ideal I base my business decisions on. Other moments include designing and developing my first website, our final game project, and even my first UX app. After a few years you start to forget the units themselves, but what stays with you are the different skills and mindset you develop from the study and work completed.
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
Early in your university study you’ll be given advice on the perils of working and studying at the same time. Please listen to this advice. My final year workload was extremely high (as it is for everyone), but my attitude to it was the same as first year. There are only a few things I wish I could’ve changed about my time at Murdoch, and prioritising my study more than I did would have to be number one.
Can you describe your new role?
After graduating and looking for work, I kept busy developing my portfolio and skills. My lucky break came in the form of a random act of networking, with my father passing my information to a work colleague who had just started his own website development company. Fast forward one and half years and I’ve started my own design company called CGL Design (creative, I know), and sub contract for Burning Fruit, a web design/development company based in Joondalup. Specialising in User Experience (something I just happened to study at Murdoch), Burning Fruit have nurtured my development and have given me insight into the new and exciting future of User focused design. Working in a job I love, in an industry that’s always changing, makes it a pleasure to go to work each morning, and I’m certain that my time at Murdoch was a positive influence in reaching this position. I have some grand plans for the future of CGL Design, and hopefully I find the time to make it all happen. Whatever the outcome, I know my experiences at Murdoch will definitely play a major part in my future.