Professional Reflection

Professional Reflection

Over the course of this degree program, I have learned a great deal about myself, emerging technologies, and the evolution of design. The biggest surprise to me was that graphic design encompasses many aspects of brand representation, not simply marketing materials or advertising but also stationery and business cards. According to Ames (2018), Graphic Design is the skeleton upon which visual cues such as logos, business cards, websites, and stationary can be built to ensure cohesion and uniformity. This definition helped put into perspective the various elements that make up the whole of what it means to be a graphic designer.

Feedback Reception and Implementation

The most significant aspect of being a graphic designer consists of receiving and implementing feedback. This feedback might come from a peer, professor, or client; and often is something we as designers are uncomfortable with (Myers, 2005). However, learning to become comfortable with feedback only helps to improve our designs when received objectively and with an open mind. While only sometimes a pleasant experience, this process helps to grow an understanding of the design process as well as what elements are relevant to target audiences.

Receiving Feedback and Its Importance

Good feedback makes you a better creative because it helps you learn from your experiences as you hone your craft. It’s an essential component of the design process because it tells you what’s working, what’s not working, and how things can be improved (Elizabeth, 2020). Some of the feedback I received this term took a lot of work to take, I had to accept that what I wanted to convey and what was actually translated were not the same. At the beginning of the course, Professor Washington stated, “Regarding the symbol, the dark portion has a playful tilt to it, but the other pieces are just tilted slightly, which looks like a mistake.” This upset me a bit because I worked very hard to create this messy yet balanced look, but because of this feedback, I understood that my intention did not translate, so I redesigned the entire logo.  After reworking the design, I realized that my original design was more of a rough draft and something that could be used in another way further down the road. This acceptance allowed me to grow as a graphic designer because I placed the considerations of the audience above my personal preferences. This is the most essential aspect of receiving feedback: being willing to consider what is said to you, not just getting your feelings hurt over your vision not translating.  

Implementation of Feedback

When working on my print-ready resume I struggled to find the proper formatting to represent my branding. With this in mind I looked online for inspiration and found that many articles mentioned simply personifying the subject, which in this instance was myself as ‘Mohala Johnson, UX/UI Designer’. By implementing feedback I receive I am allowing others to help me identify areas for improvement, learn from my mistakes, and refine my skills over time (Myers, 2005). Feedback from diverse perspectives provides valuable insights into how the design might be perceived by different audiences and stakeholders, allowing designers to tailor it for maximum impact (Shah, 2023). Feedback facilitates open communication and collaboration, ensuring everyone involved understands the objectives and is on the same page. Early feedback loops help manage client or stakeholder expectations, preventing costly revisions and misunderstandings later in the process (Superside, 2023).

That said when reworking my print-ready portfolio and portfolio website I took into consideration the feedback from all my previous courses and looked for elements that often repeated. One was my use of colors; so I decided to narrow down my selection and limit my color pallet to that of my logo. This did two things, first, it helped prevent me from over-designing, and second, it created a sense of cohesion within the larger bodies of work. I also opted to keep my designs themed around my desired focus on UX/UI design in the hopes that my portfolio showcased my skills and expertise in this niche. Because of the feedback received, I was able to concentrate on making improvements that were impactful and relevant to my overall objectives – instead of wasting time with small minuscule changes that wouldn’t have made a difference.

Feedback Importance

Understanding how to provide valuable feedback helps you also understand how to accept feedback from others (Shah, 2023). For one thing, feedback provides fresh perspectives, clarity an effectiveness of message, and helps provide areas for refinement of current designs. Feedback is the fuel that drives excellent design. It pushes designers to refine their work, expand their understanding, and create solutions that resonate with their audiences. Without it, designers would operate in a vacuum, potentially missing opportunities to improve and deliver impactful work (Lundquist & Samual, 2017).

Future Academic and Professional Goals

This degree is the first stop on my road to one day successfully working for myself. I would like to someday be able to create a one-stop website and branding business for small businesses with a special focus on the gaming industry. I know there are a lot of companies out there but I would like to tailor my offerings to the mom-and-pop small shops with only one location. Helping them get the professional look and feel of a big marketing budget but on their terms. I will also work on advancing my understanding of coding languages and how to work within their constraints to create graphics that are dynamic and responsive to support the Internet of things as technology continues to advance at an alarming rate (Graphics, 2023).

Advancement in Technology, Techniques, and Collaboration

I have two goals to remain relevant in the graphic design industry: master emerging technologies and look for innovative problem-solving techniques. To achieve these goals I will learn how to analyze data and visualize information effectively by integrating data-driven insights into my design process to create solutions that are not only visually compelling but also strategically informed (Graphics, 2023). This will be done by utilizing a variety of techniques such as lines, shapes, textures, and visual hierarchy (Myers, 2005). I will also learn and apply collaborative design thinking principles to approach projects with empathy, user-centricity, and iterative prototyping. This fosters a collaborative environment where diverse ideas can be explored and refined to create impactful solutions.

Goals for Professional Life

As I continue my graphic design journey it is my aim to learn skills that set me up for a successful career in UX/ UI design. This includes the aforementioned expanding on my coding knowledge as well as continuing to stay informed of emerging technologies. I plan on learning about Figma and Adobe XD to create additional portfolio pieces to help me stand apart from other applicants for positions that I may apply for in the future. Overall, I really would like to remain relevant and informed so that my skills continue to grow and expand with technology.

Reflection on the Graphic Design Process

Because design doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it is vital to remember that an important aspect of design is simply understanding the brief and using effective communication to ensure a thorough understanding of the project’s goals, target audience, and brand identity to create a relevant and impactful visual (Myers, 2005).

Difficulties of Design

The biggest difficulty for me is burnout and creative blocks; I often struggled with this throughout this degree program and often found myself designing something completely outside of the requirements. Thankfully I was able to find inspiration online by taking a break and exploring techniques or watching YouTube videos with different Illustrator demonstrations. According to Villa Maria College (2023) the best thing to do when this happens is to walk away, listen to music or explore another creative outlet. This advice helped me find my grove and get back to the task at hand, even if I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired and I know that in the future this may continue to be something I need to experiment with in order to find how I can best overcome this obstacle.

Discovering my process

From the initial assignment, whether from a client or professor, I need to determine what the brief is asking of me. I first dive into deep research, unearthing trends and sketching concepts that capture their vision, most of the time these sketches are done in paint or with a pen and pencil. Then, through playful brainstorming and meticulous wireframing, I build a visual language – colors that sing, typography that dances, and layouts that guide the eye with ease. Feedback fuels the fire, shaping and polishing till the design ignites the screen, pixels dancing to tell a story that moves hearts and minds. That’s the magic of graphic design – a journey of creation, collaboration, and iteration, where each step leads to a visual symphony. It took several tries to come up with a process that works for me and according to Bonsiepe (1994) I must remain informed of emerging technologies and continue the exploration of new media outlets while also focusing on communication and meaning as society evolves while also remaining mindful of social and ethical restrictions.  

Areas of Opportunity

Because of my limited experience and portfolio pieces, I feel that I have the greatest room for improvement in the area of demonstrating my skillset. I would like to create some 3D designs and perhaps some animations done with AR/VR technology. I think that as we continue to push the limits of what is commonplace these types of designers will be highly sought after and I would like to remain relevant so these are things I will focus my self-teaching efforts on.


Graduation day brought the satisfaction of achieving my graphic design degree, but it also ignited a new spark: UX design. I see it as the evolution of what drew me to graphic design in the first place – creating impactful visuals. But UX goes beyond aesthetics. It’s about crafting experiences that make sense, that guide users seamlessly, and that leave a lasting positive impression. It’s like writing a story told through pixels and interactions, and I’m hungry to learn every chapter. Plus, the field is constantly pushing boundaries, with new technologies and methodologies emerging all the time. Stopping at graduation feels like closing a book before the climax – I know there’s so much more to discover, and I’m eager to become a designer who not only makes things beautiful but also makes them work beautifully for people. UX design is the path to that, and I wouldn’t trade this thirst for knowledge for anything. It’s my graduation gown, only woven with code and empathy, and I’m ready to wear it with pride.


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