Project Partnership with Drexel University

AYC Media is partnering with Drexel University for a yearlong project that gives students real agency experience in multiple aspects of the design process. Students in the Interactive Digital Media major are working in parallel with AYC to produce a fully realized and usable shopping cart checkout process for Morris Animal Refuge's new website. Lewis Checchia from the Morris team is supporting the project and giving real feedback along the way, heightening the authenticity of the project.

When the students were tasked with this venture, the AYC team had finished the designs for the site, but had not yet finalized the cart process. They were able to use the existing wireframe and designs for inspiration but had to work out a unique structure and design that was achievable.

“Their approach was really responsible,” said Mike Leary, AYC’s Interface Design Director. “They set good boundaries.” Mike said they were very aware of project timelines and during the Drexel students’ multiple visits to the studio, the AYC team — which also included Art Director Chris Undi, Director of Front-End Development Andrew Erie and VP of Operations Marc Scholtyssek — offered tips on layouts and helped determine feasibility of ideas.

On December 7, the class shared their project thus far at a midterm presentation at the Drexel campus, explaining what they came up with, plans for implementation and next steps. The presentation was interactive, sharing designs, wireframe, site structure and a full breakdown of how the students planned to implement using CafePress. They had examples of code and shared information gathered from rounds of testing. 

“I love working with young people in your profession,” said Leary.  He said the students were inquisitive and were pleased to receiving open and honest critiques. Next semester, they will take that feedback and finalized designs and start coding to produce a working site feature.

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