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December 18th, 2014
As our 13th year on this earth, 2014 was a wild and wacky one at NavigationArts. We did our best work, we experienced some teen angst and tears, we welcomed a new class of exceptional consultants and said goodbye to some of our old friends. But we also had a bit of fun. Some highlights from the year:
January was a big month for Sitecore. Our practice lead, David Mead, was named a Sitecore MVP– a distinguished honor bestowed upon only 107 developers worldwide.
December 16th, 2014
This applies when you have the following:
What happens is:
December 11th, 2014
Web content is so important because it has the ability to tell a story and capture the hearts and heads of your users – which is necessary to nurture brand loyalty. However, online users are less likely than ever before to spend time reading long, textually dense pages on their computer, phone, or tablet screens. This puts an increasing amount of pressure on content creators to write for the web in a strategic and concise style. If content doesn’t engage your users it will be a struggle to keep them coming back to your site.
December 10th, 2014
Our work in digital strategy confirms a central truth in today’s world of big data: both the CMO and CIO are on the hook for turning all that data into measurable growth together. In many cases, it’s a marriage of convenience, but it’s one that CMOs and CIOs need to make work. CMOs have an unprecedented amount of customer data, from which they need to extract insights which will increase revenue and profits. The CIO has expertise in the development of IT architectures and the execution of large programs needed to create the big data backbone and generate the necessary insights.
December 4th, 2014
Sometimes, a project won’t benefit from the best ideas in the room because the people with those ideas are afraid to speak up. Why? Simple: People don’t like to have their ideas shot down. As a result, an opportunity or a keen insight may be lost forever. How do you ensure that everyone’s ideas are heard in a nurturing, nonthreatening environment?
“The Worst Idea” exercise will loosen up your group, lighten the conversation, and encourage people to think creatively without abandon. The exercise allows all ideas to be heard, considered, critiqued, and eventually turned into good, actionable concepts. Tell your team to save good or potentially-good ideas at first, and ask them instead for bad ideas. Preferably really, really bad ideas.
December 2nd, 2014
We’ve all been there: In the conference room at the end of a project, facing the dreaded question: “How did this project go so wrong?”
There are a few common responses to this. Scope creep is often cited as the culprit along with a lack of clear direction for the project in the first place. Time and time again these issues haunt all projects, often due to the pace and scale of the technology involved.
November 20th, 2014
Today, if you are not “LinkedIn,” know how to “Facebook,” or share your thoughts and ideas in a tweet, you are considered to be from the Stone Age. The social media age is alive and well, but that is nothing new. What is new is the growing rate at which employers, specifically hiring managers, are using social media sites to assist with the hiring process for their organizations. In 2013, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) reported the results of a multi-year survey of its members and found that 77 percent of organizations used social media in an employment context, up from only 34 percent in 2008. Social media has become such common practice that perspective candidates are including LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Twitter handles on their resumes. However, giving an employer access to your personal social media profiles has the potential to be a dangerous practice that could potentially cost you an interview or the position.
November 18th, 2014
November 13th, 2014
Sure, blogging drives traffic to your website, increases your SEO friendliness, and provides additional measurements for customer engagement. We all know that “content is king” and that without good content you are far less likely to reach your target audience. However, blogging can serve several personal as well as business goods that are more intangible but also highly beneficial from a wider perspective.
November 11th, 2014
As user experience designers, we do our work for a distinct group of people: users. But how do we come to understand who they are? Google Analytics will tell you their average age, where they live and what they click on, but it won’t tell you who they are as people or what drives their actions. A persona is a tool you can use to find out more about your audience, why they think the way they do, what they like and what they don’t, so you can predict and anticipate their needs more intimately on your site. So, how exactly do you successfully construct accurate personas?
November 6th, 2014
Inevitably, website redesigns often initiate significant rework of internal IT systems. This is a common pattern I’ve noticed throughout 15 years of working on website redesigns across many platforms. New website features, new integrations, and enhanced business processes all come into play with a large-scale redesign. But what I’ve seen in recent years is that internal systems that deliver capabilities to and from a website can remain unchanged during a significant web redesign—but only when architected “correctly.” In order to figure out which systems those are, and what exactly “correctly” means, I have to go back a few years….
November 4th, 2014
Remember the voice in the movie Field of Dreams, urging Kevin Costner’s character to plow under his cornfield to build a baseball diamond? “If you build it, they will come.” It seems an entire digital industry is working on that same faith these days, especially in Wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Many folks (myself included) have claimed Wearables + IoT to be the technology wave of the future. I believe it will disrupt many existing technologies, devices, and learned behaviors. In actuality, no one knows how long will it take the planet to adopt Google glass, talking wrist watches, and arm-band motion sensors– if ever. Information overload seems to be biggest problem we face these days with all the new stuff being introduced.
October 31st, 2014
Our 2014 Halloween Showcase was an immense success! Check out some photos from our day of costumes, presentations, and sangria.
October 29th, 2014
These days there is virtually no excuse for failing to stay on top of current events, emails or texts. While this interconnectedness allows us to keep in touch with one another, it has encouraged an addiction to instant technological gratification. We feel as though we are entitled to unlimited information as we please, and this notion is seeping into our everyday social interactions.
October 23rd, 2014
Project managers work with a variety of clients on a broad range of projects – as a result, a PM needs to wear a lot of hats. In the UX and web development arena, this can mean working with subject matter experts of all kinds: information architects, designers, developers and other technical gurus. As a PM, it’s important to understand what these individuals are responsible for, but you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in any of these disciplines – your primary responsibility is to manage scope, schedule and budget, and the relationship with your client, of course. That is your area of expertise, and it requires its own unique skill set.