Faculty PROFile: Art Department’s Dr. Robert Whyte

Meet Dr. Robert Whyte, Assistant Professor of Web and User Experience (UX) Design and Graphic Design & Digital Media within the College of Communication & Creative Arts.

What is your area of expertise?

Robert Whyte standing at a table in the Campbell Library Web and User Experience (UX) Design and Graphic Design & Digital Media

Share an “aha!” moment that you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your field.

I have been hooked on the immediacy and sheer scope of the internet since the late 90s when I went back to school. Early on I had no idea how many seriously sharp folks were working in the background trying to connect with people in contextual communication.

Describe for us an experience you’ve had with a student that made you feel excited about educating the next generation in your field.

After a crash course in learning new XD software in web class and the usual OMGs from all the students, one student returned next class with a full blown series of user-experience designs, along with task analysis and customer journey maps. It made cohesive sense and all the right questions were asked and answered. Something kicked in, I was blown away.

Robert Whyte helping a student with a project in the Campbell Library

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus?

How important it is to make things that are useful, meaningful and impactful for our fellow humans, not just look good. This requires human research and iterations.

What’s your favorite thing about being on campus on a typical Thursday?

I love the smell of Westby Hall on Thursdays. Students have been working on art and design for days — bad ideas in the trash cans and good ideas on the board for further critique. Art is a process.

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Story and photography by:
Chad Wittmann, rising senior journalism major

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