BSc Digital Media & Interaction Design

Digital Media graduate, Rachele Cavina, talks about her enjoyment of the course and her aspirations for the future

I am originally Italian and play volleyball at Edinburgh Napier
I am originally Italian, and I moved to Scotland almost 5 years ago. I have always played volleyball, which I have continued with Napier, and I am veryDigital Media and Interaction Design student, Rachele Cavina, in front of an orange backdrop interested in any form of art.
Edinburgh Napier seemed to have a much more complete programme and offered practical learning
When I decided to move to Scotland to study, I started looking at many different options and universities, however, Edinburgh Napier seemed to have a much more complete programme for the subject area I wanted to study, which also was very practical rather than theoretical.   
My biggest passion is working towards change for good
My biggest passion is working towards “change for good”. I find myself putting in a lot of effort and interest in projects that aim at changing a reality into a better one.   

For example, my honours project was focused on how DNA heritage science can be used for a humanitarian purpose to challenge the idea of race and identity, giving a fresh look to how humans developed throughout time and how us people are all the same.   
I am motivated by making connections, meeting new people and having fun
Making connections, meeting new people, having fun, and broadening my personal professional experience. Last year I was the School of Computing Women in STEM ambassador, and even though my degree was more focused on design and the creative aspect of computing, I loved working with other women in technology. At the moment I am working at Forecast, where the biggest teams work on Data Analytics and Financial Modelling and I find it really motivating to work within a cross disciplinary team. It allows to boost my knowledge and confidence when having conversations with professionals and also expands my open mindedness.

I see myself as a world changer, because, for example, I am currently working with some other Napier students on a start-up project called CityZen. We are in the process of designing and developing an app to improve citizens engagement within the city. This project is extremely motivating as being an Edinburgh citizen I really believe in the potential of this place and this is a great opportunity to improve Edinburgh’s quality and ethical lifestyle. I see this project growing in the long run; however, we are a team of students with other commitments, especially our studies, but the team is full of great minds and very motivated people so I believe this project has great potential.

I am particularly proud to have won the first prize at the BSC Women Lovelace colloquium

I am particularly proud to have won the first prize at the BSC Women Lovelace colloquium last March. The colloquium takes place every year in the UK and it is a competition that awards the best tech projects realised by women in computing at any university level. Winning this award to me meant a lot as all the efforts I had put into my projects brought an amazing result and I was extremely overwhelmed by the quantity of positive feedback. I have participated with my Honours Project which featured an augmented reality visualisation of DNA heritage with the aim of changing the perception of race and identity. This project was very important to me as I have always wondered where we come from, how did we get here, how have humans changed, through this project I was amazed about human evolution and the research I did really opened my eyes to fully understand equality.

A challenge of mine was learning to manage my workload alongside other commitments
I have faced many challenges, like all students a lot of workload that I didn’t know how to manage together with other commitments like sports and work. I have tried to get better at self-management, and eventually, year after year I have succeeded and found the best methodologies for me.   

Living away from home I also miss my family and feel homesick, but there are so many ways to see your family and friends and I always tried to spend time at home during term breaks. 
The main lesson I have learnt is to always say yes to new opportunities
The main lesson I have learnt is to always say yes to new opportunities, try and learn as many new things as possible, but also leave time to have fun and make the friends of a lifetime.   
My dream is to work in a big film animation production company
My dream is to work in a big film animation production company as a creative director, but perhaps I will find other interests along the way and change my aspirations.
Living in Edinburgh as a student was an amazing experience
Living in Edinburgh as a student was an amazing experience, the city is big but not overwhelming. And the best thing is that there is always something happening, you will never get bored!   
The course opened my eyes to many experiences and the lecturers are great
The course opened my eyes to many more experiences than what I was expecting. The lecturers are great, they follow you and help you whenever you need, their office door is always open to students.
I have started my first real job as a digital content creator
I have recently started my first real job in Edinburgh at Forecast where I work as a digital content creator. The job is great and the team I am working with has been extremely welcoming and nice.   

In September I will start a master programme at The University of Edinburgh for the MA Design for Change and at the same time I will also keep working part-time for Forecast.

Find out how Digital Media & Interaction Design course prepared Nailah for her future career

Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

I am Nailah and I am a User Experience Analyst at Stemettes. I am also a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University, and my course was BSc Digital Media & interaction Design

Why did you choose to study this course? Digital media and interaction design graduate Nailah

I actually applied to Graphic Design when I left school. I was a bit confused and didn’t really know exactly where to take my passion for design. After doing some research, I realized that DMID was actually quite new at the time, and I thought something new would be good for my love for design. It was actually my mum that found the course and said that I was to do this one, so I guess she was right. But I definitely found this course was something quite broad and somewhere where I could develop my love for design as well.

How was your experience studying at Edinburgh Napier University?

I actually loved studying at Edinburgh Napier. I loved studying in general and my experience was great. I think I got so much exposure in different areas of design. Being in the first year, I didn't actually know exactly where I wanted to take my career. And by the time I got to fourth year, I knew exactly that UX and UI was the place for me. My time at the university was very quick, and I'm a person that loves to learn and love being in that environment. So definitely I was a bit sad to leave, but it was actually a good experience. I made so many friends as well and had really good relationships with my lecturers. So, overall, it was a great experience.

What duties do you carry out on a daily basis at your current job? 

UX or User Experience is more of the research and testing when it comes to the building of apps and websites, so that's more of the back end of developing the product and having the user at the heart of all the research and all the design that's done. User interface is more of the front-end development. So that will be a lot of wireframes designing, prototyping, a lot of visual design more than actually the development of the whole process. My role actually encapsulates both of those and I actually find a love for both, and I bring them into every kind of piece of work that I do in my current role. 

How is the Digital Media and Interaction Design course structured?

The Digital Media and Interaction Design course is actually split into two different halves. One part was the graphic and motion design, and the other part was the interaction design. So, there were actually people who preferred the 3D or 2D modelling, 2D design, motion graphics, video production, which isn't the route I went down but a lot of my friends did. Then we actually had the interaction design, which is the route that I went down and that includes a lot more of the user and human computer interaction, how people engage with them, how people engage with different types of software, how they engage with different apps and websites, and definitely more of the general design of things. That interaction design side was the one that I enjoyed the most.

How did university prepare you for your future career?

During my course, I learned about quite a few tools and software. That's being predominantly the Adobe Creative Suite, and that was one of my favorite kind of tools to use, especially Adobe Illustrator, XD and Photoshop. Also, I learned a lot more about myself and how I like to work. I took that into the workplace and that is how I manage my time, how I organize my work, how I even communicate with my colleagues as well. These were things I always learned when I was at university, from working with others, working with lecturers, marketing groups and even on my own. We also had a lot of modules on how to develop portfolios, how to develop CV etc. In the fourth year, we had the chance to build a portfolio and that gave us confidence that we were going to be able to go into this industry after leaving university and have something to show. I definitely think that all those skills have made me a much more confident individual to work in the kind of industry that I'm in now.

What was your favorite thing about studying at Edinburgh Napier?

My most favorite thing about studying at Edinburgh Napier was the facilities we actually had on offer. We were able to use modern and quite interesting software and technology that I use in my current role. I was given that exposure within the four years while I was here. Another thing that I really enjoyed about studying computing at Napier was my ability to find people who had similar interests just like me. I could rely on them when it came to group work and that came to even working on my own and just having people that knew what I was talking about and knew exactly how to solve the kind of things that I was interested in. Coming from that same background and same atmosphere and developing those interests together, it definitely made us a strong friend group as well.