The value of continuing education can be reduced to that three-word motto. I feel that we can never stop learning, in terms of as a society, and of course in terms of design, programming, and web development.
Chris is even quoted around here as saying:
“Long gone are the days of the set-it-and-forget-it mentality for your online presence. Your web identity is a living, breathing entity and without regular maintenance, it can wither, atrophy and eventually die.“
The same can be said for continuous learning in a chosen area, even if it’s an area you are an “expert” in already.
With that said, there’s the start of an excellent collection happening right now on my Kindle in terms of books relevant to what we do here at Strategic Insights. Here’s what I can be caught reading around the office these days (when I’m not designing!):
The Art of Client Service, Revised and Updated Edition: 58 Things Every Advertising & Marketing Professional Should Know by Robert Solomon
Sadly, this is no longer available for the Kindle, so I was lucky to grab it when I did. I’m currently in the midst of reading The Art of Client Service, and I highly recommend it for anyone in the design industry. It is admittedly geared specifically for project and account managers however, we can all benefit from learning as much as we can to see things from the client perspective at every stage of the design process.
Instead of shrugging our shoulders when we get feedback that doesn’t quite make sense, we can start to understand where to backtrack to to help bring the client through the process with is. After all, we’re all in a project or campaign together.
Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy by Dev Patnaik
A Kindle “freebie” at the time I downloaded it, this one immediately grabbed my interest as something up my alley. I’ve had an interest in “emotion-based” industries since college (thanks to an internship for a group of hospitals my sophomore year) and was immediately inspired when I saw this title to bring me back to my “roots” with a resource based entirely around creating empathy.
Marketing in the Moment: The Practical Guide to Using Web 3.0 Marketing to Reach Your Customers First by Michael Tasner
I also grabbed this one while it was free for the Kindle on Amazon, but am still intrigued by it. While I find the title to be cliched (I hate using terms like “Web 3.0 Marketing”), I’m hoping the book will contain either some new pieces of information on the increasingly expanding options available to our clients for spreading their message, or at least offer some nice refreshers and reminders on things to keep in mind.
Flexible Web Design: Creating Liquid and Elastic Layouts with CSS by Zoe Mickley Gillenwater
This is the newest book to make it on to my Kindle, and probably the one I am most excited to dive into. For those who don’t know, flexible web design is a not-so-new approach to building a site so that it will adapt and self-optimize for a large variety of viewing options. In other words, it’s the attempt to design for any screen size, resolution or orientation that a user could choose to view your website on. While it does not replace specific-use situations (such as mobile devices) completely, it helps bring a more cohesive experience to a website by understanding that absolute pixel-perfection across all possible circumstances is not the ideal.
It’s about matching the experience, and not necessarily the layout, to provide the best presentation of information possible.
It’ll take me some time to get through all these, but I’m always on the lookout for more books to add to the list. How about you? Any books you’ve read or are excited to start reading? Share your inspired reading lists in the comments.