Have you ever walked into a room and immediately knew you made a mistake? If you haven’t, here is how that situation might go. You open the door and step in, starting to utter an apology for being a little late. The conversation inside stopped, heads could turn to look at you, and the overall energy is just tense. You weren’t supposed to be there. Feeling suffocated and slightly embarrassed, you’d back out of the room while mumbling a quick apology. After shutting the door you release a breath and try to shake off the experience, but that scene is burned into the inside of your eyeballs.
As children, we try to make sense of the world as we are learning it. During that process, we use advanced mediums of communication like linguistics, written words, movement, and exaggerated emotion in order to share exactly what we may be thinking or feeling. If you were like me as a child, you used a combination of those – plus the addition of hand-drawn scribbles – to make EXTRA SURE that people understood. Through the collective power of drawing, writing, and too much imagination, I was able to create stories. Throughout elementary school, we were handed blank books and tasked to create our own fantastical saga, complete with novice illustrations. Nearly twenty years later, I still have these sentimental novelettes tucked away in the bottom left drawer of my white oak desk.
For the past six weeks, I have been honing my ideation and prototyping skills in order to create an app for my hometown of Hillsborough, NJ. Why would a township need an app? Good question. I believe that a township app could help maximize their communication efforts for a fraction of the cost of what they are currently doing. Although the project would require budget, the township throws away so much money by creating paper flyers, posters, sandwich boards, and other forms of advertising that just doesn’t reach the intended audiences.
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.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about towns in New Jersey lately. While I’ve never lived anywhere else but my childhood home (besides dorming for college), I’m trying to be proactive about my future. In the next two years or so, I have aspirations to move in with my partner. After being together for nearly five years – it’s about time. During the mindless hours on my computer at night when I should really be asleep, I find myself frequenting Apartments.com and Zillow in the hopes of finding a place that we could one day call home.
This week, I’m tasked to write an email to a prospective client who is reaching out to me with the interest of expanding her online consulting business. She would like to explore using social media and email marketing in order to obtain a larger following, but is very hesitant to do so because of privacy concerns. In the below email, I suggest some methods to keep her information safe and that email and social media marketing is necessary for someone who wants to ensure a thriving online business.
If there is something that humans value the most, it is their right to privacy. No matter what job they have, how much money they make, or how much of a social butterfly they might be – people enjoy being able to swaddle back into their personal cocoon and just exist without being bothered.
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).