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Things I Have Learned This Semester

May 16, 2014

I learned how to do tests of usability and user experience, both alone and with a group. I learned the cognitive walkthrough method, the heuristic evaluation method (still learning that, to be honest), and how to devise and conduct user tests. I learned how to write reports based on these that look visually snazzy as well as informative. I also learned that some websites are possibly beyond what I know how to test and fix. I won’t name names, but I have seen websites make my instructor wince and tell me they had too much wrong to use as homework.

I learned about the history and evolution of personal computers and the Internet. I learned some steps to take when confronted with a damaged file. I learned how to do a SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to a project, in a class that was more computer history and project management than I expected going in.

I learned how to make a poster about my research, and present the poster and said research in a group! I learned that making a poster is definitely a team effort, through multiple drafts. But it can be done!

I learned how to work at a circulation desk of a library! And I learned the answers to some questions students are likely to ask, as well as learning that I know some of the answers to those questions already. (A student asked me for help on a project about social media and web design. How cool!)

I learned that using multicolored markers and paper, and larger sheets of paper are absolutely essential when I’m working on writing or understanding something important, complex, or otherwise not easy. Sometimes I try to skip this step. It does not end well.

I learned that there are more classes in any given semester than I can possibly ever take. This semester’s classes I wish I’d taken were: Records Management, Data Librarianship, and the graphic novel class. Time to reach out to students lucky enough to have taken those classes and see if they’ll trade readings and notes!

A good semester!

And today is graduation for several friends and classmates. I wish them all the very best luck- the information profession is lucky to have the Pratt Class of 2014, wherever their work takes them.

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