Zengobi Curio Applies Itself in School at The Art Institute of Tampa
Curio is first in its class!
RALEIGH, North Carolina and TAMPA, Florida — March 28, 2006 — Zengobi, Inc.'s Curio idea development software for Mac OS X is first in its class at The Art Institute of Tampa, one of the newest advertising, design and media arts educators in The Art Institutes system of 32 post-secondary schools. The Art Institute of Tampa has been utilizing this innovative software in their 30-station Macintosh G5 computer lab since October 2005. Originally planning to use the software on a three-month trial basis in its interactive media design courses, the college chose to purchase Curio after just one month of use.
"Planning and organization skills are not natural to some students and Curio helps solve that development gap," said Ryan Lowe, an interactive media design faculty member. "Plus it's intuitive, so students who struggle with learning new software can learn a lot in just a day. It doesn't matter if you've used computers before, you can sit down and use Curio — you just need to know how to drag and drop items."
As chair of The Art Institute of Tampa's Faculty Technology Committee, Lowe leads a team of faculty members who review software, hardware, and new technologies for the school and make recommendations for future purchases.
"Curio was brought to my attention when I noticed that one of my students in a Digital Visual Composition class was able to clearly develop his narrative project and storyboarding project to create quality work," said Lowe. "When I asked him how he organized his ideas, he said he had used Curio, which enabled him to focus in on his idea development. So I had to check it out for myself."
With features such as Sleuth and Dossier, users can brainstorm and build their creative ideas the way they think — with ideas and information rushing in, the user can place images, text and sound clips anywhere on the page, while keeping the goals at the forefront of a project. Built-in sketching tools enhance the interactive process, which can also be used with graphic tablets. Chalk boards and flip chart pads are passé – bring a laptop and project Curio on an interactive white board for large group brainstorming sessions.
Students at The Art Institute of Tampa are enthusiastic about Curio and its application to classroom projects. "I've been using Curio since it was introduced to us," said Anniryn Armstrong, interactive media design student. "Even when it wasn't assigned, I've used it on all my projects. I like that Curio can be used as a total brainstorming resource because you write down everything instead of keeping it in your head."
Lowe assigned Curio to be used in his Introduction to Authoring class for the initial planning and research of projects, and the diagramming of the overall structure of how CDs would be developed to work on both PC and Mac platforms. For instance, when students map out a development structure, typically rectangles represent instances whereas diamonds would signify a question (the user making a decision, like "yes" or "no").
"Planning tools are built into other programs, like Dreamweaver, but Curio helps design the schematic," explained Lowe. "This could be used for any interactive media design course to develop a mapping structure, or flow chart the variables. Some practical applications would be e-commerce and shopping carts." Added Armstrong, "Curio is a good layout tool for project briefs and I love it for flow charts. I can move things around and it links them."
Zengobi co-founder George Browning teamed up with Greg Casey in 2002 to create a new type of application for creative professionals. With the assistance of a focus group of graphic designers, they developed Curio's feature set and user interface to specifically match the needs of designers. Previously, the two programmers had worked together on a number of software development projects at companies such as Accipiter and Da Vinci Systems. In July 2005, Macworld awarded 4.5 Mice to Zengobi's Curio, which also won an O'Reilly Mac Innovation Award when the software was released in 2004.
"We love producing software that encourages creativity," said Browning. "The issues that creative users face are vastly different than those encountered by other professions. It's exciting for us to discover and provide solutions that will make their lives easier."
"Curio helps you feel out your ideas once you enter them," said Armstrong. "It shows where there are holes in your thought process and weeds out bad ideas. If I have a weak idea, Curio makes it stronger because it asks questions I hadn't even thought about. And I really like how it exports into a PDF file because you can print out your Dossier with your questions and answers, so you have something tangible at the end of the process."
"The keys to design projects are research and idea management," said Lowe. "If our students using Curio can build a concise Dossier and submit their ideas to a team of designers in a cohesive presentation, then there is definitely value in investing in this software. We want to get them used to using idea management tools now, so that when they're working on senior projects, they will have developed the ability to focus and hone their creative ideas. This will give them an advantage when they enter the creative design job market."
About The Art Institute of Tampa
The Art Institute of Tampa is one of The Art Institutes system of 32 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of advertising, design and media arts professionals. The Art Institutes system of schools has provided career-oriented education programs for 40 years. For more information, visit www.aita.artinstitutes.edu.
About Zengobi, Inc.
Zengobi, Inc., based in Raleigh, North Carolina, was incorporated in 2004 to create exciting and innovative software for creative thinkers and design professionals working on the Macintosh. For more information, visit www.zengobi.com.
Connie L. Brown
Director of Public Relations
The Art Institute of Tampa
Copyright © 2006 Zengobi, Inc. All rights reserved. Zengobi, Curio, and Sleuth are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Zengobi, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Apple, Mac, Mac OS, .Mac, and Macintosh are registered trademarks or service marks of Apple Computer, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.