How did I get here?
While I started my career in a graphic design agency, I’ve been designing reference and textbooks for 20 years. I loved working with editors and marketers and super-smart librarians, just a big family of book lovers. Knowledge lovers. The lunch room, while filled with co-workers chatting, always had a few people happily off in a corner reading. It took a while, but I actually read War and Peace over my lunch breaks.
I also learned a lot. I learned how to use computer design programs really well. I learned about markup languages, and how they were fed by databases, since publishers were one of the first to apply automation to typesetting. Together we learned how to apply SGML markup language to some very convoluted and detailed needs — I can even tell you the coding needed to create redacted text, a lovely oxymoron. We all strove together to create the books our customers and readers wanted, as economically as possible.
But the publishing business isn’t what it used to be. So, with a bit of shoving by HR, I’m back in on my own, learning new ways.
With the help of the unemployment office and the State of Michigan, I’m back in school. Who knew that community colleges were so great at teaching technical skills? I had taken web design classes along the way, but, since the preferred programs always change, or get bought out and killed, I realized that I needed to learn the background systems: HTML and CSS coding, SEO, responsive web, how to do email marketing the right way. Exactly what is meant by UX design?
It isn’t as easy as the first time I got a degree. It’s a lot harder to get information into my long-term memory. Nothing seems to come with written directions, and the teachers don’t give us time to write notes. But, slowly but surely, I think I’m learning.
Share my Path
My goal in writing this blog, other than to fulfill a requirement in my Web 3 class, is to write a journal of how an older student adjusts. How I’m learning from both my teachers and my fellow (usually younger) students. And, maybe, just a bit, how I teach my teachers a few things. The best way to learn is to teach someone else 😉