Watching Gutenberg from the Trenches

On my first full-time gig managing a university’s web presence, the head of the Criminal Justice department grumbled about a photo on her site of the building where the program was located. She didn’t have a specific criticism; whenever the subject came up, she just said it looked funny.

Months later she showed me a set of images she wanted to use for new pages and I finally realized: Criminal Justice. When she sees pictures she evaluates them solely from the standards of her profession, meaning crime scene photos. When she said the picture looked funny, she was trying to convey that she didn’t understand photography optimized for aesthetics rather than forensic use.

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