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Tapping Into Your Creative Community

When living and working in such digitally and technologically connected culture, its all too easy to sit behind a screen and think that you are getting all the information that you need to do your best work. Articles, webinars, streaming video and audio and project management tools (read: Slack) just to name a few – all provide the connectivity and information for us to get inspired, put the puzzle pieces together and ultimately get the job done. But is it enough to produce the best work possible? Think of it this way, usually in the morning, you are ready and rearing to go (fueled by caffeine at least)  – ideas are flowing and you get to your desk to knock those ideas out of the park. As the day goes on, the momentum seems to slip and finally the afternoon comes and the process doesn’t have quite the spark as when…

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1 year, 2 months ago
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Why User Experience Matters

We can all agree that design is important, and it’s even better when something that looks good works well. So, then why is user experience such a hard sell for some? With regard to design, UX is just as critical an element as the visual identity of a company. If the user can’t figure out how to navigate the site or app, they can be easily turned off, much like a bad logo design or unsuccessful packaging. User Experience can be of benefit to any digital platform, however when implemented strategically for ecommerce, complex applications, wearables or any experience where a user has to accomplish a task – the presence of UX opens up a clearer pathway to conversion. Ongoing user experience strategies and optimization can also greatly increase the longevity and scalability of a digital product. Focusing on the importance of user interaction is a key aspect in driving…

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1 year, 2 months ago
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Proof of Concept: 4 Effective Prototyping Tools

Whether it is with an internal team or client, having the tools to effectively present an idea and show the process to delivery is integral in gaining stakeholder approval and ultimately, the best end product. A creative team requires a toolbox to aid in the communication and visual aspects of the project, and prototyping is the main driver for helping this process along. Determining what method to adopt for a specific project, whether print or digital, will depend on the content, team cognition, budget & time constraints as well as the preference of the design and development teams. Sketching, albeit low-fi, is perhaps the most innovative route when developing a design. Sitting down to pen and paper leaves the possibilities open to all possibilities and no constraints. It allows the designer to explore the problem and come up with a solution through experimentation. Without the ‘walls’ of template suggestions and framework of what has ‘worked’ before,…

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1 year, 3 months ago
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The Positive Side of a Creative Block

The flow of creativity is a strange thing. Like precious a natural resource, it comes in waves – either a big rush or a slow trickle. A constant stream is a rare gift and can sometimes be taken for granted. The fact is, creative roadblocks can actually be a good thing. If you continue on the same path for too long, innovation is hindered and new solutions have next to no chance of seeing the light of day. It’s the action of doing something new, something as simple as taking a different path to work or ordering a different meal – that can be the catalyst for reinvigorating creative mojo. You might not even know you lost it, or were even looking for it, but the feeling will be unmistakable – an ignition of your creative self. Getting Creatively Un-Stuck Unplug This might be the most obvious, but the hardest…

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1 year, 4 months ago
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The Creative Process: Embracing Ambiguity

When working with a creative agency, the premise is that the creative team should know exactly how to proceed with any project – large or small. The pathway should be clear – a creative brief is employed and its off to the races. But if you look at it closer, all projects are vastly different, requiring every company, organization and brand to engage in a unique approach to meet even their most basic of needs. Unfortunately – many designers, agencies and strategists implement a formulaic approach that lacks longevity and impact. More often than not, the ideal end result derives from a process where iteration is the only way to reach an innovative product – not everything can be meticulously planned and crafted down to a formula. With focus turning away from traditional project management, its beginning to look like creative ambiguity is not such a bad thing – in fact it could be the optimal…

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1 year, 6 months ago
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Creating Stand-Out Visual Content

Visual storytelling and content strategies – no matter how well crafted – all come down to the visuals that drive the message. If a great story is paired with a bad visual, it will lose credibility and therefore, be rendered uninteresting to its audience. Add in the rapid pace of information consumption by the mobile set, and visuals become the most important channel in connecting a brand or message with the user. The simple truth is that users now depend on visuals to be the deciding factor in choosing what content is worth engaging with. In a content-first, social-first atmosphere because people are constantly bombarded with content its important to get your message across quickly, pack a punch, and make it as easy as possible to consume and engage. Without the right imagery – the audience might as well be looking at a blank canvas. There is no company or brand…

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1 year, 6 months ago
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2016 Tech + Design Conference Guide

While its certainly true that you can learn most anything from the comfort of your computer screen – it can be beneficial to get out into the wild and see whats happening in the creative community. With so many content streams and new conferences popping up what seems like daily, its become hard to separate the good from the bad. Many talks and webinars are now offered free, but many conferences come with a hefty price tag, so its imperative to do your homework. Whether looking to expand your client base, offer new services, grow your network, recruit or even get a new job – attending at least one well researched conference per year can be invigorating, inspiring and all in all – a solid investment in yourself or your business. To help make sense of it all, we’ve compiled a few of our favorites that have proven to deliver…

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1 year, 7 months ago
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Game Changer: Finding A Brand’s Differentiator

As popular as it may be the old saying ‘ if you can’t beat them, join them’ is the exact opposite of what a brand should do to compete in the market place. Many companies can simply exist for a time employing this mantra, but eventually, the model will fail with too many players offering the same service. If there is one constant, its that the competition will never let up – there will always be an upcoming launch, a new product or a lower price. In this constant and yet, even increasing competitive marketplace, a brand’s point of view must be distilled to its clearest message possible. The stand out aspect – the differentiator – is what will attract notice, garner attention and lead to conversion opportunities. Though it may seem obvious enough for some, finding a company’s differentiating factor can be a difficult task. Here are a few ways to ensure that a…

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1 year, 7 months ago
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Maintaining a Fluid Creative Process Throughout the Life Cycle of A Project

Throughout the life of a project, there are many peaks and valleys to manage. The process entails much more than just having the right project management software and following a tried and true pathway. As creatives, we must be constantly striving to innovate – even if it simply involves the generation of new ideas for the optimal flow of a project. For many, particularly in smaller creative groups, formal project management is something to steer away from due to fear of constraints and diminishing the creative process. And yet usually, there are no alternate processes put in place to keep the flow of a project moving resulting in stalled jobs, team discord and client dissatisfaction. Even if a ‘traditional’ approach to project lifecycle management isn’t implemented, a set of loose guidelines to reach the desired end result can be put in place, even heightening the positive impact for the agency…

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1 year, 8 months ago
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How Sites Are Designed When Working with a Web Design Agency

Are you on the verge of working with a web design agency or shopping around for a digital firm that can do the job? If so, you should understand how a web design agency works when such an organization is given a project. Getting this knowledge will help you work better with the agency and give you an idea of what to look for if you are still trying to find the right agency. Here is a brief process of how sites are designed by a digital agency. Creating Goals and Doing the Necessary Research Every client has a unique vision in mind when it comes to what they want from their website. To accomplish the vision, there are several goals that need to be met. The goals will vary and be broken down into small milestones throughout the project. Some clients have a general idea of what they want…

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1 year, 8 months ago