Be appreciative, yet not lulled away with praise

It is nice to be recognized for hard work and design excellence. Two sites I designed were recently awarded with national awards through CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). Before I get to the awards I want to remind myself of the dangers of complacency. Awards are not an end to themselves. They can be an indication of good work, but they can also lull designers into a false sense of security. The web is constantly evolving and if a person is content to sit back and enjoy the accolades, they unconsciously may be pulling off the highway of creativity and allowing the design world to pass them by. Never be satisfied with anything short of the very best out of yourself. Never be lulled into standing pat in technical knowledge, design acumen, understanding your users, or pushing the limits of creativity. Design skills can be compared to muscles, if not stretched and exercised they are likely to atrophy.

ChooseCU, the admitted student portal, was recognized with a Gold award for outstanding web site development. ChooseCU guides students admitted to CU-Boulder through the process of confirming their intent to enroll to the university and getting started off on the right foot at the university. Within the first year of its launch, ChooseCU attracted usage by over 98% of prospective students with confirmed enrollment.

The Beza Mahafaly Lemur Project, won a Silver Award. It is uncommon for small sites to be recognized, but this site features the internationally renown research of Dr. Michelle Sauther in Madagascar. The site had an extremely small budget that took over a year to procure the grant. The site features Dr. Sauther’s video, photos, and biological research in a form that is appealing to a wide range of audiences from researchers to K-12 students.

I am extremely grateful to work at CU-Boulder as part of an outstanding team. In architecture, it takes many strong beams to support a tall structure such as a skyscraper. I daily enjoy the opportunity of working alongside knowledgeable and talented teammates.

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