I have had an interest in design for a long time but it was only with the coming of the web that I could put my interest in technology and design together. Luckily I was part of the first wave of web people who taught themselves and taught others at the same time. My interests include design (print, web, furniture, architecture), typography, drawing and music.
I also help out in my partner's flower shop doing the occasional delivery, so I'm well aware of how imperfectly the digital world models the real one.
I teach because the best way to learn a new skill is to explain it to someone else. If you can do that clearly and with insight into the context of that skill, then you have understood it. I have benefitted from the contributions that hundreds of other people have made in order to understand how the web and its technologies work, so it's time to add my contributions as well.
If you’re looking for the […] honest, truthful answer to pretty much any question on web design and usability, here it is:
It's the web, so we'll all be learning at the same time. I will try and steer you away from all the mistakes I've made in the past, and I will show you the best people to learn from in our industry. I'll introduce you to the big changes that have happened as a result of the new devices we use to connect to the internet, and show how doing a bit of thinking before you start designing can make your life easier. I will encourage you to design however you like but decide in the browser. We'll look at the never ending tension between how we want users and browsers to behave versus the way they actually do.
I gained a BA at the University of Adelaide, studying the classical world, music, anthropology, media studies and history. I then continued studying archaeology at Adelaide and Flinders Universities, graduating with a Graduate Diploma in Archaeology. This was all before there was such a thing as the internet.
I have worked on a wide range of in-house and freelance web projects, including many national banner ad campaigns and highly visible websites. I've also done a fair amount of print design, including a few hundred page plus books.
For me the technology is only one part of what web people do - they manage projects, other collaborators (including the client), they continually develop their own skills, and look for relevant ideas from other disciplines that they can use or experiment with online. There's also an increasing recognition that web work has a moral and ethical dimension that can't be ignored.
There's very few areas of human life now that aren't defined by, need, or work on the internet. And if you understand how it works it will be a rewarding career in the future.
I teach on
I am working on a PhD that is looking at the way change happens for web coding practices: specifically for the change to Responsive Web Design that occurred around 2010-2015 as a result of new sizes of internet-enabled devices.
I presented some initial findings at a RESAW conference in Amsterdam in 2019.
D. Wilson, R. Nawaz, O. Kayas, D. Dancey, K. Welch 'The web is not print’: tracing historical influences on changing web coding practices. Amsterdam, 19/6/2019.