It’s a new year, and yup! you’ve guessed it: I’ve got some goals. The goal spanning my personal and professional life is to learn more about art history in hopes of developing this into a lifelong habit. As I continue to deepen my understanding of art and design history, decisions I make in my professional work will become more informed. I always loved my art history classes in school. They were a departure from my other classes since the coursework didn’t require me to solve anything, just study visual patterns over the course of history. I found that whenever I had an art history class on my schedule, my concurrent creative work got a lot better. The subject matter covered in my art history classes varied quite a bit, but always gave me an existing art movement or piece of art to relate to in a fresh way and take into other aspects of my work. Even if I didn’t particularly like an artifact or era, it brought something of value to my work.
We’ve written 4 blog posts about Research. View all topics »
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.
“We don’t have the budget or time for user testing,” is something I’ve heard all too often during planning and estimating meetings. Testing with real users has traditionally been an expensive and time-consuming line item in project plans—usually one of the first to be cut when budgets are tightened. It’s no mystery why: most testing methods have classically been stressful to set up, requiring a tremendous amount of scheduling, coordination, resources, and time.
Remember the childhood game of “Telephone”? One person whispers a message into the ear of their friend, and that action is repeated until everyone in attendance has heard and relayed the statement. The last person blurts out to the group what they heard, and, usually, laughter ensues.
Everyone understands why this happens. Translation and less-than-pristine reinterpretation damage the fidelity of the message. There is no copy-and-paste equivalent for verbal storytelling. A photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of an image will always render that image indistinguishable from the original.