HERRON: We frequently hear designers talk about prototyping. How far do you go with the design of an app—is it a purely visual representation or a rudimentary version of the software?

WYSONG: For an app project, prototyping starts with developing some really specific criteria and goals about what the app should accomplish. Then, it's all about getting it out there as quickly as you can to critique and move forward. Typically, it starts with sketches, then on to wireframing, and eventually continues until you've landed on some really high-fidelity prototypes.

For me, that usually means a fully clickable, interactable prototype in Adobe XD or Sketch. You can get some useful feedback from users this way. In a real-world scenario, you would start to work with developers, who would take your design and do all the coding and back-end work to get it to the finish line. The design side is appropriately focused on providing the best experience for users.

HERRON: Which of the three projects are you most proud of?

WYSONG: I'd say I'm most proud of the DataBank App. This was my first crack at creating an in-depth user interface. I was really happy with how the final prototype turned out, and I learned a lot of new things in the process.

HERRON: Will your designs advance to the district and national competitions?

WYSONG: Yes, I'm happy to report my two gold-winners were forwarding to the district competition, where I recently found out that the DataBank app won a Silver District 06 Addy. I haven't decided if I'll forward it on to the national level, but I'm considering giving it a shot.

HERRON: Has this opened up any new opportunities for you?

WYSONG: The main thing for me was seeing all the awesome work that happens in our city and meeting some of the folks behind it. I was simultaneously inspired and intimidated. I even spoke to a gentleman who recently finished a video shoot with NBA All-Star Stephen Curry! I definitely think the new connections I made at the event will be helpful post-graduation.

HERRON: What drew you to visual communication design?

WYSONG: Growing up, I always took an interest in art. When I was young, my parents had our garage attic remodeled into an art studio for my mom, and I logged a lot of hours up there with her, drawing and listening to John Mellencamp CDs. Eventually, I recognized that so much of what I found exciting in the world could be traced back to thoughtful design. I've always loved the idea of being involved in such a wide range of progressive work.

HERRON: Who are your design heroes?

WYSONG: This is a tough one. I have always been inspired by the work of Michael Bierut, Paula Scher, and the great work of Pentagram. Locally, I love the work of CODO Design, which is run by two Herron visual communication design alumni, Isaac Arthur and Cody Fague. And I am always inspired by my internship mentor, Torrey Ratay, the creative lead of Klipsch Marketing and Advisors.

At Herron, my design heroes definitely consist of my professors: Aaron Ganci, Eva Roberts, Gurkan Mihci, Steve Williams, and the now retired Paula Differding-Burton, to name a few. The furniture design program has filled up all my studio electives and I've gained a lot of design insights from the shop, so honorable mentions go to Cory Robinson and Katie Hudnall.

I also have to give my classmates a ton of credit for pushing me and making really great work. They may not have an Addy for it, but I can attest to the high quality of work they're putting out.

HERRON: What's next for you?

WYSONG: I currently have my sights set on a future in product, user interface, and user experience design. Although, I think my simultaneous love of branding and good advertising will keep me coming back to that as well. I've been keeping my eyes open to some of the exciting work in our city, and who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to land a dream job. I'm also considering pursuing a master's in design or human-computer interaction, but I think I'll take a year off first and see what happens.