Design Thinking 101

In a previous blog post, I introduced several of the most popular project management methodologies that are used by professionals today. Included methodologies featured were: Waterfall, Agile, Kanban, and Design Thinking. These diverse methods help individuals – and teams – prepare and execute projects. An established and organized approach means that time is spent in a more meaningful way, increasing the likelihood of stronger solutions. Today, we are going to dive a little bit deeper into the Design Thinking methodology to dispel some questions and show you how it can be used in quick exercises to get you thinking like a seasoned pro.

Barnes & Noble – Community Management

There is nothing so universally delightful as a good story. A good story invokes emotion, keeps us hanging on the edge, and encompasses our thoughts. As a child, I took to reading fairly quickly and threw myself into the world of literature. Reading about fantasy worlds sparked creativity and led me to write my own stories. Going to the library was a family weekend event. As a proud library card owner, I’d check out all of my own books and made sure to return them on time for fear of those dreaded late fees. Each library visit would yield a literal pile of books that I stacked up neatly on my bedside table. As the weekdays went by, I read through the stack and brought back the completed reads on Saturday morning. It was habitual.

Constructing A Content Calendar

Before even starting up a social media page, an organization must understand content. In previous blog posts, I’ve talked about how to construct a content strategy and have pulled together a quick guide identifying the differences between content strategy, content marketing, and content creation. In this week’s blog post, I will be walking you through how I created an example content calendar for a local nonprofit organization.

Nails Prevail on Social

It’s no secret that the beauty industry thrives on social media. Many of the premier makeup and skincare brands have built empires – millions of followers, a horde of influencers, and a brand presence that conveys exactly their standpoint on aesthetics. While the beauty industry has been rather concerned about products that go on one’s face, the nail industry has been booming as well. Influencers like SimplyNailogical, cutepolish, and Nail Career Education have made nail polish exciting again in the past couple of years. Because of the hype from these online influencers, consumers – especially young girls – began to take an interest again with nail polish. This was great for the industry, but for the brands themselves, they needed to make focusing on social media a priority.

Second Chance For Animals – A Local Non-Profit Analysis

A few years ago, when I was completing my undergraduate degree, I wanted to be able to put some of my free time to good use. With only a few classes left, I figured that volunteering would be a great way to keep my time occupied and help my community. Years prior, I learned of the Franklin Township Animal Shelter and knew that they took on volunteers – however they had to be over 18 years of age. At the time I offered to volunteer I was only 16 and was so saddened to hear that I couldn’t help out. Going back, then as a proud 20-year old, I was excited to get involved. Although my time as a volunteer only lasted around half a year, it was a great learning experience. The amount of time and effort that the volunteers put in is astounding and I applaud every one of them for putting the needs of the animals first.

Trader Joe’s – An Abridged Social Media Strategy

Trader Joe’s is a specialty grocery store, popular across the United States. Their brand is eccentric, fun, and showcases unique food products and ingredients from around the world to encourage their customers to try new things. Founder, Joe Coulombe, started the business to bring interesting, hard to find products to local communities. Today, Trader Joe’s still follows this mission. With innovative products like Cauliflower Gnocchi and their infamous Cookie Butter, Trader Joe’s fulfills customer’s needs for affordable, diverse, and healthy eating.

The City of Calabasas’ Content Strategy

Recently, the City of Calabasas, California released a Request for Proposals in an effort to get started with their website redesign project. While the City’s intentions are good, they made no indication of prioritizing a content strategy that would help them to keep pushing out useful, organized information out to the public.

A Matrix, A Sitemap, & Wireframes

The City of Calabasas in California recently released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking guidance for its website redesign and content overhaul. Through this extensive project, the city hopes to launch a streamlined, easy to navigate website that can be readily managed by non-technical staff. The City of Calabasas states that their current website was redesigned in 2009 and is in dire need of a refresh – and after trying to navigate it myself, I strongly agree. To hone my skills and practice some of my recent learnings, I’ve created a content report in response to the City’s RFP.  My content report for the City of Calabasas includes a core page matrix, sitemap, and wireframes for some of the high-visibility pages. These three devices will ultimately help to organize and prioritize content while taking into account the front-end design and user experience.

The Ethics of Fake News & Clickbait

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.