Program Duration12 Months
Next Start DatesMarch 11, 2019 September 3, 2019 March 9, 2020 September 8, 2020
As a leading centre for new digital media, Vancouver is the ideal place to study Web Development and Interactive Design. At VanArts, you will receive the city's only program which offers a 40-40-20 split between web design, programming and business development, all under the guidance of working professionals in the field. Through hands-on classes based on current and future trends for web and mobile development and design, you emerge fully equipped with the necessary skills and industry contacts to launch your career in this thriving industry.
Here at VanArts we are proud to watch our graduates become fully-fledged developers over the course of the program. Our students work as UX designers for creative agencies, as front-end developers for tech companies and have gone on to launch their own successful freelance businesses.
What You'll Learn
Basics and Fundamentals of Commercial Website Development
At VanArts we start from the beginning with design basics and how to write code so candidates with no experience will not be overwhelmed. At the same time our industry-professional instructors pass on instrumental skills and principles which are often lost or overlooked by individuals with more experience in the related fields.
Term 1 at VanArts sees you introduced to the industry standard tools for art and design. You will build a solid foundation in the area of design after learning the core concepts and key principles that make up the industry. The fundamentals of programming as well as how to effectively plan and develop your own scripts are taught. You will learn to code and design your own functional static websites from scratch.
In the first term your introduction to project management sees you develop interpersonal and communication skills for dealing with clients. You will be exposed to key business trends such as online promotion and Search Engine Optimisation that will lead to improving your websites’ popularity, visibility and relevance.
HTML5 CSS SEO Programming Fundamentals Flow Charts Photoshop Illustrator Mock-Up Development Blogging & Content Development Latest Design Trends Online Promotion
Refining Your Skills
Term 2 is all about refining your design and coding skills. You graduate from creating static sites to highly dynamic, interactive and enriched websites. Responsive design and adopting a mobile first approach to development are key areas of note in this term.
The business concepts of online web analytics and how to increase conversion rates to maximise monetization and business exposure are taught. In programming you will learn the world’s most popular web development languages. You will develop your critical thinking skills to the point where you will write code that will not only improve user experience but also solve complex problems. Design-wise, you will become highly proficient in Photoshop and Illustrator developing detailed mock ups not only for the digital world but for print media as well.
By the end of this second term, you will be able to build and design a custom-programmed Content Management System (CMS).
Real Life Client Interaction and Team-Based Project Management
In Term 3 a big emphasis is placed on learning the industry’s most highly sought after Front-End development frameworks. These modern advances in web technology are incredibly important industry skills to have in today’s market and will allow you to vastly increase the interactive capabilities of your projects. Students learn how to design compelling user interfaces for eCommerce applications and how to improve overall design usability across a wide range of web development disciplines. You will study the history and trends of typography and will employ these new skills to develop your own personal font.
Students will embark on a major team project that sees them adopt the highly popular Agile Scrum software development methodology. This will prepare you for working in technology start-ups, big web/software companies and design agencies. You will put your skills in project management to the test as Term 3 sees you develop live projects for real clients.
Angular.js Node.js Font Pairing Expressive Typography UI Typography Wordpress Development Monogram Design Agile Scrum Project Management XML Git & GitHub AJAX 3D WebGL User Experience (UX) Design Creative Planning Strategy Resume/Interview Preparation
Developing Entrepreneurship and Preparing for Industry
The goal of Term 4 is to finish and polish, to inspire, and to allow your creativity to emerge in a more powerful, meaningful and professional way. Your key focus is on creating your portfolio and preparing intensively for your new career.
In addition to setting you up for the rigors of a freelance, agency or industry career, Term 4 seeks to spark your entrepreneurial persona by taking you through the process of developing your own viable business venture and seeing it through to test launch.
As a student you will learn to develop cross platform mobile applications for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Throughout this process, emphasis is placed on keeping usability and user experience at the forefront and staying in-line with best design practices. You will learn to develop useful plugins for the lucrative WordPress market and will perfect your overall design planning, presenting and artistic skill set. Your programming skills will be honed to allow you to interface with the biggest platform APIs in the world such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Ultimately as Term 4 draws to a close, as a VanArts graduate you will have become a very versatile and competent professional that is fit, prepared and excited for the thriving web industry.
PhoneGap jQuery Mobile InDesign MongoDB Adobe Premiere Pro Video Production & Editing Business Planning & Strategy APIs for Facebook, Twitter & YouTube React.js Angular 4 Typescript UX Personas Wordpress Theme Development
Nathan LeggattDepartment Head
Working in technology for almost 20 years, Nathan has founded a number of companies including Abendago, an international online software firm which produces back-end web services for small to medium sized businesses. At Abendago Nathan set the technical direction of the company, worked with developers, managed projects and oversaw a team of developers.
In 2008 Nathan founded a startup, raised money, secured patents, and networked with influential tech leaders from Facebook, Yahoo, Dropbox, Twitter, and Microsoft. Nathan was also invited to present at some of the largest technology conferences in North America, including DEMO, MetaBridge, and SXSW.
Along with other affiliations and accolades, Nathan is an alumni of the invite-only C100 in the Valley, and has been covered in TechVibes, Startup North, Startup America, The Globe and Mail, Business in Vancouver and Yahoo Finance for his technical accomplishments. Producing over 500 software projects during his career, many of which he was directly responsible for the entire coding stack, makes Nathan an ideal member of the VanArts Interactive Design Program.
In his spare time, Nathan enjoys hiking, backpacking and having coffee with other entrepreneurial individuals.
Alicia Carvalho is a certified graphic designer with a number of years of experience, working both with in-house teams and running her own design studio.
Formally trained as a print designer with a keen eye for composition she excels in all things layout design and typography. However, worked closely with both marketing teams and web developers she has a deep understanding of how design can work across a variety of on and offline mediums. In her studio Alicia works with a variety of small to medium-sized businesses, specializing in branding and custom type projects.
Anne has been a professional graphic designer for 10 years and has had an astonishing breadth of experience in the industry, from flying across the world to work on an eCommerce project in Moscow to creating album artwork and marketing materials for local musicians. She has done freelance, in-house, and ad agency work, but her favorite projects are the ones that bring together music and graphic design. Her current focus is her freelance business, which caters specifically to clients in the music industry.
Dan has been teaching web technologies for 10 years while maintaining full-time employment at various high tech companies in Vancouver. He has worked in a small web studio using Microsoft’s stack, a large enterprise company releasing every two days with low downtime to over a million unique visitors daily, and is currently working for a CCTV security company interfacing with HD cameras. His current project is building a travel app: PlanLazy.
Aside from teaching, Lloyd is a nerd who loves to learn. He just can’t get out of school. Even when he was working full time as a creative director for Blenz Coffee helping them come up with their next latest and greatest marketing campaigns, he managed to squeeze some time outside of work to take a couple of classes. He believes everything that he learns can aid him to be a better designer. Over the years, he has met many amazing teachers that have helped him discover the joy of learning. Now, he wants to pass these teaching styles and share his knowledge with his students. When he is not working on projects or in a school teaching or acquiring new skills, he loves to meet up with his friends, have a couple of cans of cider and play board games, cause Lloyd is a nerd.
Michael is a matte painter and environment concept artist. Currently Michael is at Zoic Studios doing matte painting in episodics (the Hundred, Falling Skies and the upcoming Wayward Pines among others). Previous studios include MPC (Malificent) and Gener8. Prior to visual effects, he was in the games industry in environments at Electronic Arts. His base is in the traditional arts, having studied at Emily Carr prior to getting into digital world.
Mustafa is a Full Stack Web Developer with over 10 years’ experience working at companies like Oracle, Foresee, Bitstew Systems, DNN, etc. He began his career as a Web Designer and then went on to work on various platforms and technologies. He is working on his current startup, a maker/retail sharing app called Coshelf, and is also assisting various startups in Vancouver and Canada, He is an expert on front-end frameworks, which he sees as a mix of logic and visualization, and a new medium for thinking and communicating.
Patrick is the Executive Director for DigiBC, a non-profit organziation that represents BC’s diverse digital industries, such as video games, digital marketing, wireless technologies and digital visual effects. Previous to his time at DigiBC, Patrick served for five years as the Creative Director and Senior Copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Before that, he created a popular movie news website called Coming Attractions that broke hundreds of scoops about blockbuster Hollywood films.
He is an experienced digital leader in the areas of: creative direction, team leadership, copywriting, ideation, eCommerce strategy, growth hacking, social media, gamification and world-building. He has received a Top Entertainment Website Award from IGN (2000), was nominated for a Webby Award (1999), and has been interviewed by the New York Times, Vanity Fair, People, Entertainment Weekly & others about online subjects.
Patrick has created, supervised and launched successful strategies for websites, e-mail campaigns, social media and viral campaigns for over 60+ companies working for digital marketing agencies. His focus is on delivering a positive return on investment, be it for a VanArts graduate just launching their new online business, or an established bricks-and-mortar business seeking to up their digital results.
Ron built his first commercial website in 1996. He has since worked as a software developer for Vancouver-based Maximizer and Telus, Bay Area-based Disney Interactive and Tel Aviv-based startups. Through the years Ron has founded startups in all three locales and sat on the other side of the table at a dot-com era VC. Ron attended the Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program at Tel Aviv University and holds an MBA majoring in Information Systems and Management of Technology. He is also a Level 2 CASI certified snowboard instructor that spends most of his winters up and down the local mountains.
Scott has been a media producer, consultant and instructor since 1997. Most recently he has worked with Identify Photo on a number of video productions as a producer and sound engineer for non-profit organizations and is an active musician and entertainer. Scott’s work experience also includes many years with the Gulf Islands Film & Television School as 3D Animation program manager, soundtrack composer, video mentor and co-producer of the school’s official YouTube Channel launch. He has developed websites, print materials and produced animation for his award-winning short Frog Song, the documentary Contact the People (2002 Sundance Film Festival premiere), plus sound design for Lisa Jackson’s NFB short Suckerfish and Richard Reeves’ camera-less animated film 1:1
Shu-Wen is a UX and Visual Design veteran who has engaged users with inspiring creative work across all communication platforms for over 15 years. Shu-Wen began her design career as a Graphic Designer at EURO RSCG Worldwide (now Havas Worldwide) before she entered the Graphic Design program at California Institute of the Arts. Since receiving her MFA degree in 1999, Shu-Wen has leveraged her award-winning creative capabilities for nearly 70 corporate and entertainment brands ranging from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, MGM Resorts International, and The WB Television Network to Jack in the Box, BMW, and Curves International. Shu-Wen possesses broad knowledge and in-depth experience in strategic digital planning which includes brand-based online advertising, social media campaign management, lead generation website design, and cross-media responsive experience. With a solid understanding in visual communications and traditional advertisement, Shu-Wen has also developed successful campaign-based visual identity systems to leverage clients’ corporate brand imagery. Shu-Wen currently resides in Vancouver and runs her own design studio.
From Diploma to Degree
VanArts has articulation agreements in place with several well established universities/colleges in Canada, the USA, Australia, and the UK. These degree pathways allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as one year after your studies at VanArts. This gives you the advantage of two credentials; a professional diploma and an undergraduate degree.
These partnerships may not only save you money in tuition cost, but allows you to transition easily from VanArts to the partner institution while continuing your educational pathway in your chosen field of study. For international students, completing your BA degree in as little as two years of additional study with our local university partners provides you with the option to apply for a Canadian work permit, which may lead to permanent residency or Canadian citizenship.
This list represents the pathways, universities and specific degrees available for graduates of Web Development & Interactive Design at VanArts:
Meet Tammy Duarte
Tammy came from Brazil with a Bachelor in Publicity & Advertising, plus 4 years of marketing experience. Upon moving to Canada to study English, she discovered our Web Development & Design program. After taking a school tour and auditing a class, she couldn’t wait to get started!
In her own words, “The environment at VanArts is great; you meet people from all over the world, the instructors are all from the industry, and besides your own work station, they provide any kind of equipment you can imagine. As an international student, it was also important for me to have people I could count on, and VanArts helped me with everything from housing to other issues that come from living far away.”
Hired Before Graduation
With only two weeks left to go in our one-year program, thanks to the recommendation of her instructors, Tammy landed a design internship here in Vancouver at York & Chapel. She is now there full-time and loving every minute of it.
“It’s been an amazing journey. Thank you, VanArts!”
-Tammy Duarte, Design Intern – York & Chapel
Meet “Mack” Raicevic
With a background in Business Administration and a passion for music and the arts, Marijan “Mack” Raicevic enrolled in VanArts to take his career in a new direction. Despite having no experience with web design or programming, the mix of creativity and logic present in the lucrative digital industry appealed very much to Mack. He successfully juggled family life with a busy college schedule along with numerous freelance projects which saw him redesign websites and delve into front-end and back-end roles for local start ups.
Hired Before Graduation
Before graduating, Mack secured a Junior Web Developer role with Pace Creative headquartered in Gastown, Vancouver. His first day of work with the digital agency, which sees him developing creative responsive websites, was on the same day he received his diploma. He has since moved on to work at KIMBO Design, one of the top design agencies in Vancouver.
Visit him online at mackraicevic.com
Scholarships Available for September 2018 Start Date
Time is running out, but we are still considering applications for partial scholarships. Start your application today and state in your letter of intent why you think you deserve a scholarship.
10% deposit upon acceptance to hold your seat
40% six weeks prior to start date
50% by end of Term 1 (3 months into studies)