In the early 2000s, I remember sitting in my 4th-period health class listening to the teacher drone on about nutrition, exercise and what would happen if you did drugs or alcohol. The framing of all of this information was exceedingly mind-numbing and as a 10-year-old, I didn’t care to pay attention to it longer than I had to. One week stood out to me in particular though. When we were going over the topic of obesity and nutrition, I remember my teacher wheeling in a television and a DVD player on one of those carts. Excited for what I thought might be a Disney movie, I perked up. She inserted the disc and that was when I watched one of the most disgusting and eye-opening videos I had ever seen.
When we create projects within a team – especially those that take months to complete – we fall victim to the worst thing imaginable if we don’t user test: failing to actually solve the problem we were supposed to. But how could that be? You’ve worked for hundreds of hours to solve that PARTICULAR issue for your target audience. Your team has gone back and forth with revisions, and leadership approved of the final product. How could you actually fail to produce something that doesn’t yield success?
If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that paper rules. Paper houses the scribed words of history, brings joy through art, and helps us document our life experiences. While many people believe that paper is falling to the wayside due to the digital revolution, paper is still as relevant now as it was centuries ago. Think about it. The physical presence of one piece of paper is enough to qualify a human being. A birth certificate, a diploma, a resume, a marriage license, a letter of recommendation. The list goes on. It’s amazing how this material can stimulate creativity or rigidity – just by how we envision its purpose.
In order to be successful, businesses should always be asking themselves, “What can we be doing better? What can we be doing differently?” If you find that your current employer doesn’t think that way – run for the hills! A stagnant culture and overwhelming sense of complacency means that the business isn’t ready for the future. For those that do drive forward with vigor, analytics should be assessed on a regular basis.
What I love most about living in today’s world is the speed at which I can find or learn anything I want within seconds. With just a couple of keyboard clicks or a voice command, I’m able to find the artist of that one throwback song that’s stuck in my head or the coolest new restaurant near me. Search engines, like Google, make life easier through its detailed algorithms. By leveraging websites’ SEO (search engine optimization), only the best and most relevant sources are served to users in an organized fashion in SERPs (search engine results pages).
I’ve always marveled at people’s ability to create power out of letters. By itself, the English alphabet consists of 26 letters – 21 consonant letters, 5 vowels – but the combination of them yields over 170 thousand words. As language changes throughout time, words are added or deemed obsolete. Through the power of social media, people can communicate every one of their words on a global scale – instantaneously. As these words hold omnipotent power, it is important for businesses to understand what people are saying and use these insights to their advantage.
Imagine you’re a social media professional. Your daily routine involves monitoring all of your company’s social pages, creating and scheduling content for the upcoming week, and making sure that your work is providing value to the business. The work is fast and furious; your stakeholders want content featured when they want it, on their terms – which usually translates to “do the hard work for us.” In a “perfect” world that might be possible, but as stewards of the company’s persona and online reputation, we – the social media professionals – need to know how to make everyone happy while still delivering upon our key objectives and task lists.
In this era of digital consumption, pieces of information are being catapulted across the Internet at speeds that defy traditional methods of sharing. Word of mouth, newspapers, and even television have succumbed to mighty online sharing avenues like social media, websites, and apps. Within seconds, information can be published and shared all across the globe – reaching huge, diverse audiences that digest content in a variety of ways. Some audiences are serial sharers that click “retweet” or “share to timeline” without even batting an eye. Other audiences are keen, silent absorbers that thoroughly investigate content that grabs their attention. Whichever audience you may fall into, one thing rings true – it is becoming harder and harder to decipher what is real, honest content and what is faked.
In the design world, especially in an agency, projects are ricocheting in and out of inboxes. The barrage of pings and pop-ups are not only disorienting and distracting, but they are a rather poor way to keep track of work. People interject changes in the thread wherever they want to, download links to assets expire, and many larger projects have multiple pieces that need to be accounted for. After working in the design field for nearly 5 years, project management is not just a fancy word organizing an inbox, but rather, it is a complex and personal necessity.
Data is all around us. It is within the books you read, the numbers at work, and it resides in your personal life – hiding in your computer, bills, and cell phone. If you work in a modern corporate environment, you would know that “Big Data” is all the rage right now. Big data is essentially more complex data sets stemming from new data sources. By utilizing top-of-the-line technology, these massive volumes of data can help us solve problems that were once very difficult to define solutions for like operational efficiency, customer experience, and product development. In a very short amount of time, big data has become extremely important capital and drives some of the most successful tech companies today.