Personality Matters

Posted Jan 9, 2008 & filed under Opinion

Companies and businesses, like people, need a strong personality to stand out. Consumers want to "connect" with brands/businesses/companies -- these "connectors" or "evangelists" are recommenders of products and services that they feel strongly about. The memorable personalities are the ones that stand out when competing for mind share. It's impossible to please everyone. A stronger approach is to build deep relationships with the "sweet spot" targets (read about Apple on FastCompany.com for some insight on how they've built strong relationships).

Read more »

The Importance of Original Content

Posted Dec 20, 2007 & filed under Opinion

In addition to your brand / business / organization having personality, it's also important to develop original content. This content may simply support your personality, but it also builds deeper relationships with your customers (and can differentiate your brand). I'm a huge believer in the power of blogging (I've been blogging since June of 2004) -- it's a great way to build a personality, offer original content, highlight expertise, and offer an opinion. Original content has value beyond the web (and should be leveraged in as many ways as possible). This content could be used as white papers to support specific business functions, email blasts, printed newsletter, topics for presentations or speaking engagements -- or simply in conversation.

Read more »

A Holiday Gift For Our Clients

Posted Dec 19, 2007 & filed under Boise, News, Opinion

I've always been fond of giving back to the community -- it's part of being a good citizen. Giving back has always been a high priority for Oliver Russell. During my 11+ years of employment there, this was one of many things that made working there a blast.

Read more »

Speculative Work Vs. Pro Bono

Posted Oct 26, 2007 & filed under Work, Opinion

I've had a couple recent conversations with local organizations about the difference between spec and pro bono. My point in blogging about it is not to bring attention to those situations, but to help clarify the difference. I do a ton of low- and pro-bono design work -- I believe it's a designer's responsibility to help in any way we can. As a new business owner, I'm in no position to give money (yet), but, I often donate my services to help causes I believe in (or good people I want to help).

Read more »

Encourage Dissent in Decision-Making

Posted Oct 9, 2007 & filed under Work, Opinion

A recent article from the Harvard Business School titled, "Encouraging Dissent in Decision-Making," points out the value of speaking up (and leaders being able to listen up). I agree with much of what the article states -- I can't count how many times the loudest opinion can squash a great idea. The best ideas can come from the places you least expect it. An optimal situation is to set up a forum for ideas to germinate (and ensure everyone loses their egos at the door). Group dynamics are only possible when the leader or manager is a participant in the session (be it brainstorming, ideation, or a discussion).

Read more »

How to Ruin a Web Design

Posted Sep 30, 2007 & filed under Technology, Opinion

I've recently enjoyed an article about the pitfalls of design by committee, called "How to Ruin a Web Design — The Design Curve". The author sarcastically writes about the situation of "design by committee" (and has some great charts to "prove" it). The article is humorous, but makes a great point: more time spent or more people involved does not equal better work. The situation can take on external factors and lose the focus of the intended target audience.

Read more »