Why New Media is Advantageous for Web App Development

Monday, March 16, 2015

Written By: Fareed Warrad.

      To find one's greater purpose in life they must find their passion. My passion is helping people amidst of spreading knowledge. I like sharing what I know, teaching people how to use technology, to better their lives. For quite some time now, I've had an inner burning desire to bridge the gap between technology and the end user in a unification that enriches their lives. At the same time I want to inspire people to enjoy life through the better understanding of technology. One way I plan to achieve this is by building beautifully crafted web apps.

      Web app development has recently taken off. With the advancement of web languages such as JavaScript, jQuery and jSon (among others) web app designers have cranked out not only visually stunning web apps but also sites that are fully functional and provide solutions to previous problems. So enter New Media. A developer can create a fully functional site that has the ability to change lives and the market place but it can be visually horrendous and no one will use it. Graphical User Interface is still a very much important concept that computer scientists inherited from their New Media siblings.

      This is why I wanted to incorporate New Media in my education. Graphic design, web design is a fundamental piece of knowledge to have. Unless a developer wants to outsource this to a third party company, it is important for developers to be able to design as good as they can code. Anything short of this and it could be difficult to achieve mainstream adoption of your websites/applications. Services such as Netflix, Spotify, YouTube are well developed and have stunning interfaces, yet all that wouldn’t have been possible without New Media. These sites often incorporate large teams working on different part of the finished product, but I guarantee that that they have several designers on board who may or may not be coders as well but chances are they know how to code and design.

      My eventual goal is to become a full time developer. Thus honing my skills is important to me. My education and development will not end at UNCA. Rather, I will continue to gain experience through the jobs I acquire and use those skills to advance my passion. The courses I took and am currently taking in New Media have served me well. I have gained not only the knowledge of how to design, but I am more equipped to come up with an appealing design. My creativity is more juicer than it was prior to taking any courses in New Media. Therefore I believe that I am now in a much better place as a developer/designer because of New Media.

Three Concepts from The Arts and Architecture of Cyberspace, Collective Intelligence

By: Pierre Levy

  • Cyberspace Under Construction

    Communication networks and digital memories will soon incorporate nearly all forms of representation and messages in circulation.

    This is pretty accurate in my opinion due to the fact that media in-and-of-its-self has merged with computer science. Newspapers, movies, music and books have either witnessed their digital revolution or in the process of witnessing their digital revolution. Either way All of them must look as good in their digital form as they did online. The media digital revolution has extended to the point that most people don't keep physical scrap books or photo albums anymore. It's memorialized either on social networks like Facebook and flickr, or stored locally using photo based applications.

    Thus the computer scientists who are building these media based applications must posses keen design skills as well in order to achieve their goals. Without proper training in the arts and new media, their applications will look stale, ugly and the user interfaces will be difficult to use by the average user.

  • From Design to Implementation

    With respect to its relationship to future projects, cyberspace will assume the form of a cultural attractor...

    Levy sumarizes this in three ways, but his first summary is perticularly relivant. He speculated that messages would be consumed indepndentally rather than as a group (as mass-media was delivered and consumed at the time) regardless of how the messages where orchastrated. When designing applications/systems, computer scientits must think of the user as a whole, yes, but they must focus on the user indvidually. Society foster's individualism and one may want to consume media in one way at any particular momment and his neighbor may want wish to consume that same media in a totally diffeent way. Of course his neighbor may not want to consume that media at all.

    Thus applications/systems must be built to attract people as individuals. Yet just like art in its non digital form, it may not attract everyone, in fact it will not attract everyone. The way art is disciminated is much like the sun and its rays. Some may bask in the sun and all its glory, yet some may complain that it's extreamly hot outside and may try to hide from the sun. Take the streaming music services Spotify and Rdio. Some perfer Rdio's user interface over Spotify. Fans of that service even went on to call it beautiful, and elegant. Yet many perfer Spotify's features over Rdio's asthetics. This obviously wouldn't be the case if Spotify's user interface was hideous.

  • For an Architecture of Deterritorialization

    The artists who explore such alternatives may be the pathfindes of the new architecture of cyberspace, which will undoubtedly become one of the major arts of the twenty-first century. The new architects could just as easily be engineers, network or interface designers, software porgrammers, international standards organizations, information lawyers, etc., as individuals with a background in traditional forms of art.

    Levy is on point again. It is advantageous for future pathfinders to have dual backgrounds in new media/art and computer science. Traditional artists will need the approproiate technical skills to digitize their works just as much as computer scientists will need the design/asthetic skills to make their works attractive and user friendly. This is why I choose to incorporate new media in my training and education. Computer scientists who do not incorporate new media in their training and education will have to outsource the design/user interface elements of their projects to someone else. Yet having equal knowlede in both fields can be that key distinguisher needed to land that dream job.

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