DANM :: Apply Website Unveiled

The graduate program utilized the skills of graduate student Kristen Gillette to create a website for recruitment purposes.

December 08, 2015


Screen image from DANM :: Apply.

Last fall, the Digital Arts and New Media program released their new recruitment website for the graduate program. Recent alumna Kristin Gillette designed the site, DANM :: Apply, to be user-friendly - easier to navigate, available on multiple viewing platforms, and devoted to the application process.

"Instead of editing, changing or adding to our current Arts Division site," Gillette said, "we opted to develop an entirely new page that communicated information about the program from a different perspective and with a more specific viewer in mind."

The new site is intended to address the needs of prospective applicants to the program, as opposed to nesting within the Arts Division's program site - which is intended for current students, as well as faculty and staff in the DANM program. "[The site] focuses in on the diversity of our program and the opportunities available to DANM graduate students, and also highlights key steps in the application process," Gillette said. "It's more like the guidebook/map combo for people who are just starting to explore the DANM program."

Screen image of DANM :: Apply, Mechatronics.

Program Manager Felicia Rice said that the new site is mobile-friendly - an essential component in the smartphone era. "We are aware that most of our applicants, if not all, are using their cell phones to research graduate programs. It is essential to let the wider world know that our digital media program is well aware of rapidly changing technology and demographics of our students."

"We definitely wanted a site that was responsive," Gillette said, "something that could look beautiful on a hi-def widescreen and still function (and look great) on a 6" phone, or tablet screen, in order to accommodate the range of people interested in the DANM program. We tried to keep it from being too experimental or "cutting edge" as that is usually the type of interface that falls out of favor after a few months and then needs to be updated or replaced. Our approach was to go with something minimal, lightweight, super functional and simple, that we could easily develop and update continuously."

Rice said that the two-year masters program typically receives 65 applicants each year for its fall admissions cycle, and the program's students focus on four primary areas, "Mechatronics, Participatory Culture, Performative Technologies, Playable Media, each of which is clearly defined on danmapply.ucsc.edu."

Screen image of DANM :: Apply, Research Groups.

Designer Gillette said that the website not only communicates directly to a specific population of viewer - the applicant - but also "told the DANM story - from a more visual perspective - and then immediately jumped into the application process."

The stacked site contains sections, each conveying information about a part of the program or application. "With this new site, potential applicants can get a cohesive overview of the whole program with a single scrollthrough, and if they want additional information, they can seamlessly link to the Arts Division site," Gillette said.

The deadline to apply for the DANM program is January 5. For more information, visit DANM :: Apply.

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