Jordan Nelson

2014 Graduate, Designer at Microsoft


Ask Me


How long have you been working as an artist and/or designer?

Professionally for 5 years. I was doing work about 2 years before then, but it was pretty rough. 


What geographic regions do you work in?

I was a remote employee at Microsoft for about a year and I had to travel to Seattle quite a bit.


In one or two sentences, what is the focus of your work?

My work is primarily focused on user experience and interface design. However, a another large chunk of my focus is motion design, illustration, branding, and-in general, making stuff. 


How did your education at NDSU prepare you to be an artist and/or designer?

NDSU put me in position to make an impact as a designer. A lot of my projects were "real" and not just class projects that were for a grade. I was taught a lot around "people centered design" and that by far has made the most impact on my career - it helped me understand empathy in design. I also gained a lot of insight from traditional mediums - you'd be surprised to hear how many designers have never painted, set letters on a letter press, developed film in a dark room, screen-printed, etc.


What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned here?

Don't use exacto-knives after 10pm

Clean up after yourself

Explore as many mediums as you can - you might not get the chance later on in life.


What advice do you have for current art and design students? 

Meet people - and not just other students. Make it known to the community that you are a designer and you care about what you do and build a network - design is about people, not pixels, not colors, not grids, not fonts.

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