Changing User Experience At An Art Museum | Graduate Spotlight

Aug 2, 2018
Mandy Arola

2018_04_18_C24_0427_TAfter an injury ended her career as a ballerina, Lindsay Mulhollen was doing media design and lighting design for live productions. When she moved to Nashville, she decided that she wanted to find a steady career path that still allowed her to focus on her love of the arts. She had several conversations with her boyfriend about what she enjoys. As a project manager working with developers, he suggested she look into UX and front-end development and check out Nashville Software School (NSS).

Lindsay found NSS’s front-end web designer/developer bootcamp right at the end of the application period. Inspired by The Cleveland Museum of Art’s interactive ARTLENS gallery which features interactive experiences, Lindsay was curious to know if this bootcamp would give her the skills to build similar exhibits. She applied and during her interview asked about her goals of designing interactive art. When it was affirmed that she would have the skills she was looking for, Lindsay joined Cohort 24.

Lindsay’s favorite part of her six-months at NSS was tackling new challenges with her classmates. “My cohort really helped make the crazy process of implementing brand new knowledge really fun,” she shared. That crazy process was full of challenges. “I cried the first day because of the terminal,” she admitted. But she didn’t let that keep her down. In fact, she created an Instagram account, @didicrytoday, that documents her development life.

Work hard, but have fun. You’re at NSS to make a change in your life and I’m pretty sure no one comes to make their life more miserable, so try to enjoy your time learning. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes as long as you go back and learn from them.

Lindsay achieved her goal of creating interactive applications for art museums with her two capstone projects. Her mid-course capstone, Art Investigator, is an app that makes art relatable and fun to children 7-11 years old. She explains, “Art Investigator is an interactive tour through Nick Cave’s Feat. exhibit (that was) at The Frist Art Museum that focuses on learning, emotional intelligence, and creating interaction points for parents and their children. It features an emotional-intelligence-building, story-book-style introduction to the exhibit, an I spy game that uses the native camera features throughout the exhibit, and a retrospective page for the child to view what they accomplished on their visit.” Learn about her process for building Art Investigator.

She built Art Investigator with vanilla JavaScript, jQuery, Sass, Google Authentication, Firebase, Firebase Storage Bucket, Bootstrap, Adobe XD for prototyping, and Photoshop for image creation.

Her final capstone, called Canvas, is a multiplayer game that creates an interactive art experience. Canvas allows one to four players to recreate a work of art by drawing it on their mobile device. When they are finished, they can then project the full piece of art on the wall. This was Lindsay’s first time working with multiple users interacting together. She shared, “I’m most proud of how I was able to handle multiple players simultaneously interacting and receiving different, but coordinating information from the database without using authentication - something very important to my user. I accomplished this using Rebase data listeners, local storage, and chronological database calls.” She built Canvas using React, Firebase, Rebase, React Canvas Draw, React Color, React Router, Bootstrap, and Reactstrap. She used Adobe XD and Photoshop for prototyping. Learn more about Canvas.

Shortly after graduating, Lindsay started a part-time contract job that she found networking with NSS graduates. She described it as “the easiest job search of my life” and encouraged others to tap into the NSS network.

Check out all of the recent grads on Cohort 24's class website.

Hear the graduates talk to our friend, Clark Buckner, about their journey into development and about their experience at NSS.

Topics: Student Stories, UI/UX