Published May 01, 2023
Faculty Spotlight: Matt Hindla (Course Director, Media Integration)
Matt Hindla is bridging the gap between learning technology and effectively utilizing it to design and market successful products.
Have you ever sped through check-in at the airport thanks to the helpful automatic airline kiosks? Well, you may partially have Matt Hindla – the course director for Media Integration – to thank for that.
“I worked on [the kiosks] you saw for Hawaiian Air, Delta, Southwest, a lot of them, because they essentially all went through this one particular brand at that time,” says Matt, who has also been involved in projects for several other notable companies, including Hilton, Centex, and Disney.
This marketing and design experience has taught Matt how to bridge the gap between learning the technology and actually putting it to use for the right project. It’s all about staying current and keeping up with the industry.
“I've always enjoyed learning and applying new things,” begins Matt. “I don't want to say I've been a yes man, but I'm always interested in, ‘Well, can I actually do this? Or can I figure this out? Is it something that's possible?’ Learning and maintaining whatever software is out there is very important.”
But Matt believes critical thinking skills and an acute awareness of the design industry are just as important as the technology he teaches in his course.
“It's important to be aware of trends in design more so than the software specifically. If you have this foundation of design principles – the fundamentals, color theory, hierarchy, design layout – then the software is kind of a byproduct of how you express those concepts and designs.”
Matt’s passion for design inspires him to get his students excited when learning about software and its infinite potential. “I try and relate things to more of the creative side [of Media Integration]. I give them examples of thinking about how it may relate to what they're interested in or give them topics so that they're able to choose what they want to work on, so they're more passionate about it.”
However, much like any creative, Matt has had to learn a valuable lesson when it comes to constructive criticism. “I kind of had trouble initially with [receiving] critiques,” he admits.
He had to ask himself: "What can I get out of this feedback? How do I improve this? How do I grow from this?” Now, as a course director, Matt ensures that his students use critiques as a tool – not as discouragement.
At the end of the day, Matt prides himself in setting a good example for his students. “You can learn the software, you can learn design, but I think that learning from somebody else's path or their experiences is very beneficial.”