Design Student of the Month - Don McKenzie

There are a lot of creative students in Canada who are doing innovative work to improve people's life through interactive, visual, informational, and other aspects of User Experience Design. I invited them to introduce who they are and share their work with you. To nominate a Design Student of the Month, email us. The Design Student of the Month for April 2008 is Don McKenzie! Congratulations!! Let's hear from Don.


Who’s Don?

I am a student at the University of Waterloo in the Arts and Business program, specializing in Digital Arts Communications and majoring in economics. The digital arts communications specialization at Waterloo is a relatively new program that teaches students how to design, develop, and test media for a wide variety of businesses ranging from the high-tech sector, to corporate communications, to the creative industries. I am in the co-op program at Waterloo and it is a great opportunity to work on real-world projects for real employers.

What cool stuff is Don doing?

With Waterloo being a co-op focused school, I have had the chance to apply my studies directly to a number of commercial projects. Most recently, I have spent my last two co-op terms working at Research In Motion (designers and manufactures of the BlackBerry). Currently I am part of the industrial design team at RIM, designing graphics which get applied to production and next generation BlackBerry smartphones. It has been an immensely satisfying experience to see the work I create actually get produced on such a large scale.

During my upcoming school term as part of a fourth year project, I am planning on designing and developing a database driven website to fulfill a niche market of a classifieds website for sail boats. I am looking forward to applying a number of front-end web design techniques leveraging ajax, progressive enhancement and gradual engagement to create a seamless user experience.

An assortment of school and commercial work I done prior to my most recent co-op terms is include below.

What are Don’s plans after graduation?

I have been into the idea of doing either industrial graphic design as I am doing now, or front-end web application design (I really enjoy coding css and js). Within the broad umbrella of design that I have had the chance to explore, these are the areas that I have found to be most exciting and rewarding.[optional]

Want to learn more about Don?

My current portfolio is available at, where I can also be contacted.

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