Turning Technical Concepts into Approachable Illustrated Metaphors - with Maggie Appleton

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There's a kind of "black box" mystery that surrounds illustrators and programmers, to someone who isn't one their skills seem like a form of magic, but to someone who is these skills are just the tools that they've been learning to use through time and hard work.

Maggie is the course logo illustrator at egghead.io, and she has the challenge of turning the concepts being taught in the course into something more visually concrete. The challenge isn't necessarily the drawing, but the research that is needed to understand a topic to the point of being able to create an accurate metaphor that people who don't know what is being taught can grasp. Maggie discusses her process in research and creative thinking to get to that point.

The beginner's mindset is critical to Maggie for creating these illustrations. When someone becomes an expert in something, they tend to overlook things that have become muscle memory to them that make beginners struggle. You don't have to be an expert to teach something to someone! The problems that you ran into when learning a topic and the things that helped you wrap your head around it are still fresh in your mind and can be extremely valuable for other beginners and even those with experience.

Maggie started a site called illustrated.dev to bring visual learning perspective of web development and internet concepts. There is a lot of content out there that teaches with language, but for many people, that style of learning makes it difficult for things to click. Never be afraid to teach things that are already being taught, often it is the way that you teach that matters most.


Resources:

Maggie Appleton:

Joel Hooks:

46 episodes available. A new episode about every 12 days averaging 33 mins duration .