5 Practical Tips: Implementing a Social Media Policy at your organization

You and your organization get it… You need to be on social media.

But how do you protect your organizations brand and voice and also get a whole bunch of people in your organization using social media? How do people know what is and isnt acceptable to post? How does the brand voice stay unified? What happens when someone gets too rowdy who isnt part of the org?

You need a social media policy.

Compelling youth theater requires a compelling website and brand redesign

Mudlark Theaters Artistic Director Andrew Biliter and Executive Director Michael Miro stopped by our Studio one day with a problem: they needed help positioning their organization as something special but had a limited budget. They had previously received pro bono work to conduct some brand discovery and direction but it fell short of solving their problem of how to communicate what makes them most unique.

Which Newsletter Does the Job?

The traditional answer for many businesses and nonprofits is a newsletter. It seems like I don’t go more than a couple days without someone inviting me to join their email list, or for something to appear in my mailbox.

While it’s easy to keep doing whatever you’ve traditionally done, mixing up your newsletter game may keep things interesting for your audience, and possibly save you time and money.

Trendspotting: The one where I talk about Skeuomorphism & Flat Design

Skeuomorphism intends to solve a problem common to designers and developers: How do you design software experiences that users can learn quickly and use easily? The skeuoporphism answer is to make the software seem inherently easy to use by making graphic elements look like things users are already familiar with.

For example: If youre making an online notebook, you might design it to look like a stack of papers bound together by a spiral ring. Youre assuming that users will understand that the pages are part of a system and it is possible flip them.
Some designers really hate this approach and some love it. It made a lot of sense to make an online calendar look like a desk calendar when it was a new technology, but not so much anymore.

If I were alive in the 1970s, Im pretty sure ITC would have been my H&J.

I want to start this post by apologizing for my ignorance as as related to my age in certain areas. I spent the earlier part of my formative years in a town whose mind is about as far removed design as can be, and any exposure I’ve gained in the area has been either self-taught, or through the mentorship of co-workers. Naturally this leaves holes in ones education. A hole in mine: the typefaces of ITC.

Stop telling me where to click

Sometime near the beginning of links on the internet, people decided that click here was a good way to get people to click there. If I had to guess, the reason for this is probably that at the beginning of the internet people didnt know what links were, so you had to explicitly tell them to click here. The good news is that now its 20 years later, and people know what to do when they see links. Here are some reasons you should change your click here ways…

Flat Web Design? Finally!

I dont do a lot of graphic design anymore, but I still spend a lot of time designing solutions to user experience issues. These problems can range from what messaging and callouts should go on each page, to how the sites navigation is organized, or even on occasion deciding what UI elements will work best. My design passion is problem solving. I never really cared much for the fluff of deciding on fonts and colors. This is why I love flat design; Its what Ive been doing all along!

Is it a trend, or is it a movement?

I’m a designerand I’m always exploring the world around me. I collect beautiful and interesting things and try to use them later. Most of the time the pretty things become the popular things – like the chevron craze thats happening right now. But sometimes, really ugly things become popular, so I try to find the good in them and learn how to use them in the best way. This combination of exploring and open-mindedness is great for learning, but it also makes it pretty easy to get caught up in trends.

Three neat things we learned about first-time website visitors

Weve done a lot of user interviews for the various sites weve made. Yes, every user is different and every site is different, but were seeing common themes in user behavior, especially when someone first visits a site. Usually they are looking for something specific, or they are making comparisons with other sites so you’ve got to act fast and communicate your message fast!