Continuing the AMACOM Reads series, we’re switching gears this fall to tell you about our reading for professional development. Working at a business publisher, you absorb a lot of information about management, marketing, leadership, supply chain, human resources, manufacturing and a bunch of other topics. Without even trying. And since so much of what we do is built around the importance of individuals staying on top of business trends and developing professional skills, it becomes second nature to identify skills we’d like to develop in ourselves.
I just finished Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug for the second time. I first read it over the summer, and wanted make sure the insights in to web design and usability really registered.
I decided to read this book because I’m one of the primary author contacts at AMACOM, and I also do a lot of social media and internet publicity. So naturally, my opinion and feedback on an author’s website is frequently solicited. While I’ve always found it easy to say what needs to be changed, like a header image is too big or that white text on dark backgrounds is hard to read, I thought it would be helpful to have a broader understanding of how people use the internet beyond my own experiences and preferences.
I’m not a web designer, but since I’m requested to provided feedback so much, I thought I needed to get a better handle on the basics. So, I’ve taken some classes on HTML, CSS, and XHTML. An intro to web design and usability seemed like the next logical step since both have a huge impact on digital marketing. These types of skills are becoming more and more expected of publicists today, so from an overall career management standpoint, it’s also important.
What I’m Planning to Read Next
Lately I’ve been taking classes through the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and the classes often involve group projects. It’s always challenging to manage a team when no one reports to you, but it’s especially difficult to do when team members all work for different companies and industries, and have different levels of work and managerial experience. The second edition of Results Without Authority: Controlling a Project When the Team Doesn’t Report to You by Tom Kendrick will be pubbing in January, so that’s definitely on my to-read list.
Now that it’s fall and we’re returning to an ingrained back-to-school mindset, what’s your next business read?