Aaron Ganci, MFA

Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design
User Interface & User Experience Designer


Education

The Ohio State University

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Design Development
Graduation: December 2011

Eastern Illinois University

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Graphic Design
Graduation: May 2006


Professional Experience

Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University, IUPUI (Indianapolis, IN)

Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design

August 2012 – Present

Tenure-track faculty member teaching a wide range of visual communication design courses. Research interests include digital design, design’s place in the tech world, user experience design, and user interface design.

Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) (Dublin, OH)

UI/UX Designer

June 2011 – May 2015

Responsible for the redesign of the WorldCat.org interfaces. In addition to visual communication design, I am responsible for researching and reporting on user demographic needs, primarily generational differences in users. I work closely with Product owners, Agile development teams and other User Experience Designers to create a unified solution.

The Ohio State University, Department of Design (Columbus, OH)

Lecturer

January 2012–March 2012

Independently instruct and manage foundational courses in Design for undergraduate students. Duties include leading class critique, assessing student work, delivering lectures, providing student guidance, and overseeing studio environment.

The Ohio State University, Department of Design (Columbus, OH)

Graduate Teaching Associate

September 2009 – June 2011

Independently instruct and manage Web Design courses for undergraduate students. Duties will include leading class critique, assessing student work, delivering lectures, providing student guidance, and overseeing studio environment.

Lextant (Columbus, OH)

User Experience Design (UXD) Intern

December 2010 – March 2011

Assisted on several UXD and Design Research projects. While there, I built valuable insight into the UXD industry and including best practices. I had first-hand experience in note taking/data capture, data visualization, wireframe development, building personas, and data analysis.

Omni Communications Group, Inc. (Springfield, IL)

Creative Director

March 2008 – September 2009

Managed the creative department of a full service advertising agency. Directed designers and freelancers in all creative projects. Met with clients to develop creative concepts to meet their goals on a wide range of projects.

Omni Communications Group, Inc. (Springfield, IL)

Graphic Designer

May 2006 – March 2008

Responsible for working with the Creative Director to create top-level designs. Worked with entire staff to provide meaningful input on projects including identity packages, websites, advertisements, and a wide variety printed materials.

Prairie Art Alliance(Springfield, IL)

Volunteer Freelance Graphic Designer

October 2007 – August 2009

One Hat Design Studio (Peoria, IL)

Intern

Summer 2004, Summer 2005

Assisted with large projects as well as creating independently produced projects. Worked with clients on both print and web design.


Awards and Honors

2016 Design Incubation Fellow

Selected from a competitive call. Design Incubation Fellows commit to working on a research project for six months. The Fellowship begins with a three-day workshop where participants learn about different modes of publishing and writing strategies. During the six months following the Workshop, Fellows pledge to continue to work on their projects during which time they receive feedback and group check-in’s.

2015 Indianapolis CityCorps Fellow

Selected from a competitive RFP to research and implement an online Implementation Dashboard for Indianapolis' Bicentennial strategic agenda. The Bicentennial Fellowship program engages talented professionals from the Indianapolis area and across the country to infuse new research and cutting-edge ideas into all aspects of Plan 2020. Learn more about Plan 2020 or read my final fellowship report.

2015 Springer Family Innovative Faculty Award

Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI
Awarded $5,500 prize in December 2015 to conduct research project
Read more about the award and project

Graduate Teaching Associateship

The Ohio State University, Department of Design
Awarded in Autumn 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Autumn 2010, Spring 2011
Full academic scholarship in exchange for teaching design foundation courses


Publications and Papers

"On design scholarship, the struggle to write, and Design Incubation"

2016

Ganci, Aaron. AIGA Design Educators Community. Blog post. February 2016. View article

"Rethinking Visual Language in the Digital Future"

2015

Ganci, Aaron. Chapter in Spellbound: Rethinking the Alphabet. By Craig McDaniel and Jean Robertson. Publication September 2016. View Spellbound on Amazon.

"OCLC on the Responsive Web"

2015

Ganci, Aaron and Arnold Arcolio. Library Technology Reports. American Library Association TechSource. Chicago, IL. Summer 2015. View on ALA TechSource

“Exploring the curricular relationship between service experience design and interaction design”

2014 - View PDF

Ganci, Aaron and Youngbok Hong. Proceedings from NordDesign 2014. Publication Pending.

“Becoming a team player: the evolving role of design in agile development”

2013 - View PDF

Ganci, Aaron and Bruno Ribeiro. The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice. Volume 7, Issue 2. March 2014.

Finding Real Problems: Using participatory design research to help students propose and design new applications

2013 - View PDF

Ganci, Aaron. Proceedings from AIGA Educators Conferences at Head, Heart, Hand (AIGA National Conference). 2013. Online.

“2011 Stir Symposium Proceedings”

2012 - View PDF

Benzenberg, Elizabeth, Allen Cochran, Kelly DeVore, Erin Duncan, Aaron Ganci, Bruno Ribeiro. “Stir Symposium Proceedings” Stir Symposium, 2012.

“Redefining the Textbook: A User-centered Approach to the Creation, Management and Delivery of Digital Course Content in Higher Education”

2011 - View PDF

Ganci, Aaron. Redefining the Textbook: A User-centered Approach to the Creation, Management and Delivery of Digital Course Content in Higher Education. Thesis. The Ohio State University, 2011. (Master’s Thesis)

“Exploring collaboration between computer science engineers and visual communication designers in educational settings”

2011 - View PDF

Ganci, Aaron, Bruno Ribeiro, R. Brian Stone, and Rajiv Ramnath. “Exploring Collaboration between Computer Science Engineers and Visual Communication Designers in Educational Settings.” Design Education for Creativity and Business Innovation. Proc. of The 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London, UK. Glasgow, UK: Design Society Institution of Engineering Designers, 2011. 460-65. Print. (Peer Reviewed, International)

“Learning Through Touch: A Co-participation Interactive Learning Module for Children with Autism”

2011

Stone, R. Brian, Lindsay Beach, Aaron Ganci, Taurean Jones, Bruno Ribeiro, Emily Strouse and Elise Woolleyi. “Learning Through Touch: A Co-participation Interactive Learning Module for Children with Autism.” Design Education for Creativity and Business Innovation. Proc. of The 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London, UK. Glasgow, UK: Design Society Institution of Engineering Designers, 2011. 684-689. Print. (Peer Reviewed, International)

“Work in Progress–Computer Science Perspectives on Integration with Human-Centered Design

2011

Ganci, Aaron, Michael Herold, Rajiv Ramnath, and Bruno Ribeiro. “Work in Progress – Computer Science Perspectives on Integration with Human-Centered Design.“2011 Frontiers in Education Conference 2011. (Peer Reviewed)


Presentations, Guest Lectures, and Workshops

Designing digital experiences in 2020

15 June 2016

Peer-reviewed and accepted presentation at AIGA Design Educators Community Nuts + Bolts conference in Bowling Green, OH. View the abstract and slide deck

Twenty-First Century Design Scholarship

15 June 2016

Peer-reviewed and accepted roundtable discussion at AIGA Design Educators Community Nuts + Bolts conference in Bowling Green, OH.

The Forest and Its Trees: understanding interaction design through service design activities

28 February 2016

Peer-reviewed, accepted presentation at IxDA (Interaction Design Association) Interaction 16 Education Summit. Provided an overview of a revised senior-level interaction design course. View the slide deck.

Designing Desirable Experiences

8 October 2015

Invited presentation for University of Central Arkansas' Graphic Design program. This talk was part of their Design Lecture Series. This presentation gave an overview on how to plan and prototype digital products (websites or software). View the slide deck.

The Web and You

7 October 2015

Invited presentation for the AIGA Herron Student group. Topics included a discussion of my work experiences and insights for young designers who want to get into professional web design. View the slide deck.

Visualizing Progress: Designing a people-centered Implementation Dashboard for Plan 2020

16 September 2015

A final presentation to the Indianapolis community to summarize the work I completed as 2015 Indianapolis CityCorps Fellow. View the slide deck.

Becoming more than makers: the case to balance hard and soft skills in design foundations

26 March 2015

Peer-reviewed, accepted presentation at Tectonic Shifts: FATE 2015 National Biennial. Provided an overview of my recent research that points to the importance of perfecting soft skills before entering the design profession. View the slide deck.

Smarter User Interfaces

26 February 2015

Invited lecture at the Indy UX Salon in Indianapolis, IN. Provided an overview of how emerging technology might impact visual communication and user interface design. View the slide deck.

Design for the Dynamic Web

18-19 October 2014

Invited workshop for undergrad and grad students at Kent State University's School of Visual Communication Design. Provided an overview and exercises with Responsive and Adaptive Web Design. View the workshop overview page.

Using Visual Design to Improve UX (or The Importance of Visual Hierarchy)

18 September 2014

Guest lecture in IUPUI's School of Informatics' graduate course: Human Computer Interaction Design 1. Provided an overview of visual design principles for beginner web and UI designers. View slide deck.

Exploring the curricular relationship between service experience design and interaction design

27 August 2014

Presentation at the NordDesign 2014 Conference in Espoo, Finland.

The Work/Life Portal: An Innovative Tool for Faculty Benefits & Policies

19 July 2014

Presentation given in collaboration with the IU School of Medicine about the development of a new human resources web portal. Given at the 2014 Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Faculty Affairs Conference in Boston, MA.

Participatory Innovation: A Pedagogical Approach to Help Student Reveal Real-World Problems

11 April 2014

Poster presentation at 2014 IUPUI Research Day. This event is a showcase of cutting edge and multi-faceted research and scholarly activities at  IUPUI.
View Poster

Finding Real Problems: Using participatory design research to help students propose and design new applications

October 2013

Presentation at the 2013 AIGA Conference: Head, Heart, Hand in Minneapolis, MN. Topics discussed included an overview of participatory design research methods that can be used in design electives.

Becoming a team player: the evolving role of design in agile development

March 2013

Presentation at the 2013 Design Principles and Practices Conference in Chiba, Japan.  This presentation addressed topics covered in a paper that documented insights from interviews about, and direct observation of, the Agile development processes to provide context and insight into a visual communication designer’s ideal role and expected deliverables. Implications and challenges for visual communication design education will be derived from the insights obtained through this study.

From Content to Code: How Responsive Design Supports the Core Business

 February 2013

Presentation to 2013 Amigos LIbrary Services online conference: HTML5 & CSS3 Ready for Prime Time. This presentation described a collaborative process that was developed to help integrate the Online Computer Library Center's (OCLC) User Experience team with the Agile development teams. The audience was library professionals, web designer, and developers.

Designing the textbook of the future

2 December 2011

Presentation to the Center for Enterprise Transformation and Innovation (CETI) on the outcomes and processes of my Master’s thesis. The audience was a large group of undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Designing for your audience: Understanding generational preference in UI design & Using media queries to gain better control of UI element in mobile viewports

11 August 2011

Presentation to developers at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) about generational preferences in UI design. I also outlined the benefits of using scalable graphics for better control over mobile interface web design.

Exploring a new system to find supplementary course material

18 February 2011

Presentation to the Center for Enterprise Transformation and Innovation (CETI) on my thesis research. This was an introduction to my proposed system-wide revision to managing and obtaining course material in the Information Age.

Collaboration Between Design and Computer Science

19 November 2010

Presentation to the Center for Enterprise Transformation and Innovation (CETI) on more successful collaborative educational environments for designers and computer scientists.

20UX: Twenty  students. Twenty experiences.

3 June 2010 (Visit site)

Presentation to the Central Ohio Usability Professionals Association (COUPA) about generational expectations on the future of experiences.

OSU Solar Decathlon

30 April 2010

Lecture for the OSU team to show how experience can be affected through branding.


Grants and Funded Projects

Project Funding, Code Analysis Dashboard $6,000

July 2016

Funding to support the development of a web-based dashboard that enables programmers to compare code analysis tools. Done in collaboration with Dr. James Hill in IUPUI's Department of Computer and Information Science.

Faculty Travel Grant, Herron School of Art and Design, $1,500

February 2016

Travel expenses to attend and participate in IxDA 16 Education Summit in Helsinki, Finland. 

Project Funding, Plan 2020 Implementation Dashboard, $20,000

June–December 2015

Funding to support the design and development of a web-based dashboard for Indianapolis' Plan 2020 Bicentennial Strategic Plan initiative. Funded by the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.

Faculty Travel Grant, Herron School of Art and Design, $1,500

August 2014

Travel expenses to attend and participate in NordDesign 2014 in Espoo, Finland.

IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute IAHI Travel and Resources Support Grant, $4995

May 2014

Support for materials and travel expenses to conduct research on industry trends in contemporary user interface and interaction design.

Project Funding, Indiana University School of Medicine Work/Life Portal, American Council on Education/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (part of a larger IU School of Medicine grant) $7,500

November 2013-July 2014

Funding to support the design and production of a human resources work/life portal. Funding supported faculty stipend, undergraduate assistants, and school fees. 

Faculty Travel Grant, Herron School of Art and Design, $1,000

September 2013

Travel expenses to attend and participate in AIGA's 2013 Head, Heart, Hand conference in Minneapolis, MN.

Service Learning Assistant Scholarship, IUPUI Center for Service and Learning $4,500

August 2013 

Funding to support a scholarship for a Graduate Assistant for the course People Centered Experiences: Service + Interaction Design. The GA supported my work in both a teaching a research capacity throughout the entire 2013-2014 school year.

Course Development Grant, IUPUI Center for Service and Learning, $3,000

May 2013 

Funding to support the development of a new course that emphasizes a service learning pedagogy. Funding was used to support summer curriculum and development work associated with the course People Centered Experiences: Service + Interaction Design which was run in the Fall of 2013.

Project Funding, "The History of Western Medicine in China" Resource Portal, Luce Foundation & IUPUI Department of History, $3,850

February 2013–July 2013

Funding to complete a Luce Foundation supported "History of Western Medicine in China" web portal. Work was done in conjunction with the IUPUI Department of History's Program of Medical Humanities. Funding supported design and development of the web portal (http://ulib.iupui.edu/wmicproject/)

Project Funding, YouthMOVE Indiana, IU School of Medicine, Section of Adolescent Health, $1,700

November 2012–April 2013

Funding to support two undergraduate students and a contracted developer to design and build a website for YouthMOVE Indiana. YouthMOVE Indiana (http://www.youthmoveindiana.org/) is a youth-run organization that works towards positive and progressive change surrounding the areas of adolescent mental and physical health in the community, the nation, and the world. Their goal is to prevent discrimination, promote acceptance, and change negative societal perceptions that affect today’s youth.

Faculty Travel Grant, Herron School of Art and Design, $1,500

November 2012

Travel expenses to attend and participate in the Seventh International Conference on Design Principles and Practices in Chiba, Japan.


Academic and Professional Service

Committee Member, AIGA Design Educators Community National Steering Committee

2016–Present

The AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC) seeks to enhance the abilities of design educators and educational institutions to prepare future designers for excellence in design practice, design theory and design writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels while supporting the fundamental mission of AIGA. The DEC website has more information about the roles and responsibilities of the national committee members.

Member, IUPUI Campus Planning Committee

2014–Present

This committee acts as a representative of the Faculty Council in offering to the IUPUI Chancellor and the Campus Administration its continuing advice and the Faculty perspectives on academic and strategic planning. 

Member, Herron School of Art and Design, Admissions Committee

2012–Present

Herron's Admissions Committee is tasked with assisting the School in admission requirements, portfolio reviews, entrance performance-based scholarships, and student retention efforts. The committee has been instrumental in the establishment of Herron's new entrance portfolio requirements and new student recruitment and retention efforts.

Site Organizer, MidwestUX 2014

2013-2014

Provided logistics and planning support for MidwestUX 14. The conference was partly held at Herron School of Art and Design, specifically in my Junior and Senior VCD studios.

Member, IUPUI, General Education Task Force 

2013–2014

The General Education Task Force is helping to facilitate campus-wide conversations on a Common Transferable Core that would be based on learning competencies aligned with the Principles of Undergraduate Learning. School curriculum committees also have been encouraged to review general education requirements specific to their school in light of the document on general education developed by the task force.

Member, Visual Communication Design Department, Herron, Graduate Curriculum Committee

2012-Present

A subcommittee of the Herron VCD faculty, this committee has been tasked with monitoring, refining, and implementing the MFA graduate curriculum.

Board Member, Stir OSU Design Symposium

2011

Stir was an symposium that I helped found to serve as an exploration of transdisciplinary approaches to big social issues. Eighty people attended this inaugural event (continued) to explore new ways to think about global issues. I was a member of the executive committee that founded and developed this event. Specifically, I served as the Chair of the Speakers and Call for Entries Committee. I was responsible for crafting the event’s roster of speakers and other active roles.

Visit http://stir.osu.edu for more information.

Board Member, AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC) Student Community Initiative

2010

Establishing a space for students to have a more active role in AIGA National.


Organizations

AIGA Member

2009–Present

IxDA Member

2009–Present

College Art Association Member

2011–2013

Co-President, AIGA OSU Student Chapter

2009–2012


Exhibits

San Diego Art Institute Digital International Exhibition

2006

Eastern Illinois University All-Student Show

2004, 2005, 2006