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Cognition

learning

We’ve written 6 blog posts about learning. View all topics »

  1. Content Strategy for Designers

    Two weeks ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Confab Central, the ultimate content strategy conference. I am a designer with no formal training in writing or content strategy. As a non-content-strategist, I thought I’d be entering a whole different world. A world I had only a rough understanding of. While I had read about content strategy in a few books years ago, before the conference I couldn’t clearly articulate what it was. The gist of it from my fuzzy point of view was: It’s the practice of charting a roadmap for future business writing. But how guidelines were to be created, in my mind, was still alchemy.

  2. Learning to teach from a seven-year-old

    11/20/15

    by Abby Fretz

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    Last weekend my best friend’s gregarious seven-year-old (we’ll call her Ellie) took over our lunch date to ask if she could teach me to play the board game Sorry!. Ellie has known, since she was four, that she wants to be a teacher. She wakes up early to play school, goes to school, then comes home and promptly starts playing school with her 2-year-old twin sisters. SHE LOVES SCHOOL. But really, she loves teaching.

  3. Back to the Basics: Experiment and Get Real Weird

    In our industry there is pressure to always be posting and sharing our work: full projects, design snippets, writing, photos, tiny thoughts, and conversations. Each of these mediums come with their own degree of expected polish.

  4. Leaving the Nest

    A few months ago I was asked to assist leading some moderated qualitative usability testing sessions. I’ll be honest: I had little-to-no experience speaking with users, so at the start of the project I didn’t feel like I was fully equipped for the task. The idea of being in a room with someone I didn’t know for an hour and guiding them through a handful of scenarios to validate our design didn’t sound as good as one of my typical design days. However, I knew it would be a good learning experience and said I’d help out.

  5. Hover-crafting

    As a designer, my involvement in projects’ front-end development varies. Sometimes, I spend most of my time in code; other times, I work solely in Photoshop. But, there is one part of every front-end engagement that I always love to jump into the browser for: to create hover animations.

    Hover animations are a site design element just like typography and color, so it’s important that designers take ownership of this step. Not only do hovers add to the look and feel of a site, but they also add an extra layer of usability for users with a mouse. A finished site may “work” without them, but these nuanced touches add polish and really reinforce a site’s personality. I like to think of their addition as “bonus design”—it’s an opportunity to better what’s being built.

  6. Everything I Know About the Web I Learned on the Job

    When I graduated college with an English and Fine Arts Degree, my school’s career services office didn’t know what to do with me. They handed me a giant book of jobs for English majors. Nothing interested me, but I wasn’t going to let some lady in a university office dash my dreams. I went to Monster.com and found what seemed to be my dream gig at a startup. I applied, selling myself as a creative type eager to learn anything and everything.

    I got that job over 15 years ago, and I’m happy to report that that description of me still hasn’t changed. I’ve always wanted to learn on the job, and I still do. Somehow, I’ve made a career in an industry perfect for learning while working.