Career Fair '23
Offering students the opportunity to interview and network.
In preparation for the 2023 Design Career and Networking Fair at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the School of Art + Design needed a well organized website for recruiters to access remotely. I overhauled and transformed the site, working with faculty to create a vibrant, organized, and easily navigable hub for information and browsing through online student portfolios.
In order for recruiters and companies from many different locations to be able to participate in the School of Art + Design’s annual career fair, the event was set to take place virtually in 2023, requiring a website that condenses 90 student portfolios and event information into one manageable location. The college requested that I updated an existing website in HTML that was used for previous career fairs, giving me a foundation to build upon and transform, updating the event branding, information, and layout of student names and portfolio links.
Upon receiving the necessary files, I first focused on getting acclimated with the existing HTML/CSS and modifying the organization of the site. When it was initially coded, students had individual headshots accompanying their names, but each image bubble was now a slightly misshapen blob of color with unnecessary repeating labels on the top and names below. Additionally, seniors had large images, while juniors and masters students had tiny ones, unfairly denoting more importance of some students than others. To clean this section up, I switched the blobs out with proper circles, eliminated individual class labels in favor of headings before each group, and adjusted the student names to lay within each circle. I also reworked the code to make every circle a uniform size, giving every student the same level of importance on the page, and adjusted other misaligned elements to ensure everything appeared clear and purposeful. These alterations significantly reduced the amount of visual clutter created by unnecessary elements and made the section legible and clean.
To effectively capture the energy and fresh talent emerging from the graduating participants, I chose to focus on the Pantone Spring/Summer 2023 New York Fashion Week colors to match graduation season, which I filtered down to a bright, optimistic palette of 5 hues. After selecting the new palette, I edited the existing brand elements and played with different color combinations, later surveying students and faculty to get their input on 4 selected styles. The final design not only represented the input and vibrant creativity of the students, but also the University of Illinois in mimicking it’s main colors of orange and blue.
After adjusting and reworking the website to best suit the needs of the college and event, the updated design and layout allowed recruiters to easily explore student work, and quickly locate event information and portfolios. The new lively colors and event branding encapsulated the experimental and lively energy of the School of Art + Design while still being associated with the university. Clear, concise, and energetic, the new Career Fair website represents the eagerness and fresh ideas of the Class of ’23, marking the beginning of their futures in design.