A series of Sixty Seconds With With … blog posts will be published in the run-up to the IWMW 2019 event. The series begins with interviews with speakers and workshop facilitators at the event.
The first interview is with Gemma Wilks, who submitted a proposal for a workshop session on “In a Nutshell: Photography for the Web“. Gemma also joined the IWMW 2019 advisory group for this year’s event.
1. How do you describe to your friends/parents/next door neighbour what you do for a living?
I start off by saying I’m a Web Designer. Some people just nod and say, “Ah, cool”. For those that look blankly back at me I tell them that I make websites look good and work well. When I say I work for the University of Nottingham they immediately ask, “Oooh, what do you teach?”.
2. Tell us something really cool about your job at the moment
I’m designing a responsive Periodic Table of Nottingham to celebrate the year of the periodic table. For each element, we’ve asked the public to tell us what Nottingham means to them. My favourite so far is H – HP Sauce – did you know your favourite bacon butty condiment was developed in Nottingham back in 1899?
3. What’s the most exciting thing about web and digital in the HE sector right now?
Probably the shift in the ways we are working. I know in Nottingham we’re working towards an agency-style approach to projects and campaigns. It’ll feel pretty alien but I’m excited to see how things change.
4. What’s your proudest moment in your career so far?
Introducing web drop-in sessions. I identified that our web community were disengaged and felt ill-informed when it came to the latest developments with our CMS etc. I run these sessions every 2-3 months and so far, 100% of attendees have learned something new at each session. Receiving 4-5/5 stars makes me feel pretty proud too!
5. If you weren’t doing this career what would your dream job be?
I’d be a full time dating profile photographer. Oooh, or an interior designer.
6. What will delegates take away from your session at IWMW this year?
They’ll leave with a broad understanding of the essentials everyone needs to consider when using photography on their websites. And hopefully a few new friends 🙂
7. Any fond/embarrassing memories of previous IWMW events (if attended previously)?
Definitely the socialising part. Everyone is so friendly and it’s such an inclusive event.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to play squash several times a week, get out and about with my camera and I like a bit of salsa dancing when the mood takes me.
9. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Now that would be telling!
10. Sum up IWMW in one word?
As an experiencer herself, Gemma Wilks utilises her knowledge in visual and user experience design to decrease frustration and increase satisfaction for end users across the institution’s online platforms. She loves working with customers to shape the future of the University’s digital presence.
Aside from digital design, Gemma runs a sideline, Photography by Gem, shooting eye catching photos for dating and professional profiles. She also dabbles with salsa dancing so if you vaguely know how to follow a beat, show her your moves one evening at IWMW!