Marketing - Advertising - Design

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Multi-screen Mania

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2012 at 5:39 am

This is an interesting article about the climate of a multi-device user – which is us and all of our B2B clients. When we are creating programs designing them out this is interesting to keep in mind.

The full article has additional constant which cleverly illustrates the point. Designers should check out the link for business info graphic inspiration.

Multi-screen Mania
How our devices work together

By Ryan Kim
Aug. 29, 2012, 8:04am PT

The reality of our multi-screen world is that consumers are increasingly turning to different devices throughout the day to accomplish tasks. A user might rely on a smartphone to dash off a quick text message or to scan a product in store, then use a tablet to plan trips at home and then turn to a PC to do more heavy research.

But we’re not just tackling discrete jobs with each device. We’re spreading out tasks between devices, starting something on one screen and then completing the task on another machine. That’s the conclusion of new research from Google, which set out to understand how we’re using our network of devices. And that has implications for publishers and marketers, who are trying to understand how to stay in front of consumers as they use more devices.
Google teamed with Sterling Brands and Ipsos and studied the media habits of 1,611 people across the country in the second quarter of this year.

Working between devices
It turns out that 90 percent of people move between devices to accomplish a task, with virtually all of those people completing their task in one day. The most popular starting point is the smartphone, which is used to gather information, shop online and engage in social networking. In most cases, the tasks are continued on a PC though tablets are also becoming a popular option for continuing social networking and watching videos. Shopping, for example, is a popular task, with 67 percent of respondents moving from screen to screen to complete a purchase.
PCs are becoming the workhorse for more complex duties such as planning a trip and managing finances. About 30 percent of those tasks are carried over to smartphones. Tablets have much less penetration but they are most used to conduct trip planning, online shopping and video viewing with carryover usually extending to a PC. Search is often the link for many tasks, helping users pick up where they left off.

Pivoting between screens
It’s not just sequential use, consumers are also spending a lot of time using devices at the same time. For example, 77 percent of the time when consumers are watching TV, they’re also on another device. The most popular screen combination is the TV and smartphone (81 percent), followed by smartphone/PC and PC/TV (both 66 percent). More than three quarters (78 percent) of simultaneous use is multi-tasking, or tackling two different jobs at the same time such as watching TV while emailing. But 22 percent is complementary use, in which a user begins a task based on what they’re seeing on another screen, for instance looking up an ad or an actor seen on TV.

The smartphone is becoming the go-to device for a lot of tasks because it’s often the most readily available device. But it’s also prompting a lot of new tasks that aren’t planned. Google found that 80 percent of smartphone searches were spontaneous, meaning people began a job based on something they encountered or remembered. That’s very different from PCs, where half of the tasks are planned.

How to capitalize on the multi-screen usage
Jason Spero, Google’s head of Global Mobile Sales & Strategy, said the implications for publishers and marketers is that they need to build their strategies around this multi-screen reality. They need to be everywhere that their customers are and they should present a consistent experience between platforms. If they can, they should consider ways to follow users as they move between devices so they can maintain a seamless experience.
“You have to be there when the customer is looking for you and the customer is looking in a new combination of ways,” Spero said. “There are a series of starting points all along the way and if they have a crummy experience somewhere, then you’re not in consideration.”

Of course, this is largely beneficial to Google, which has been pushing advertisers and publishers to gear up for mobile and has been trying to get a TV platform off the ground. And the insights on how search connects multi-screen usage also boosts the
importance of Google’s core product.
But the results are still interesting in painting a picture about how intertwined our device usage is. This may be obvious to some but people these days are really using them all in concert, turning to certain devices when it’s more convenient or more helpful for a specific task. This may present a challenge for marketers and publishers, who have to contend with more screens. But it’s an opportunity as well for companies that understand how to hold on to a user’s attention as it increasingly zips back and forth between devices.

We’ll be talking about smartphones and tablets at GigaOM’s Mobilize Conference on Sept. 20-21.


From TCG: Growing as a Designer and a Leader

In Competitive landscape, Design, Inspirational/Advice on September 5, 2012 at 11:31 am

I thought this article was a great inspiration piece so I wanted to post and share it. It comes from one of the companies I regularly stalk, TCG.


Growing as a Designer and a Leader

As a professional designer, it’s important to push ourselves daily to be the best that we can in order to create outstanding work. To be successful in our industry, we must continually grow and try new things that will enhance our design skills, and just as important, our leadership abilities. There are tons of ideas on the internet on how to become a better designer through Photoshop tutorials, HTML best practices, and new jQuery techniques. There aren’t as many about becoming a better leader in the design community, although it’s an important trait to have as a professional and a necessary skill to possess in our competitive industry.

Become a better leader

Leaders in every industry are considered trusted sources and experts in the field, which is a coveted spot for anyone and a great position to be in. Promote yourself as an expert and a leader in your community through different leadership positions and organizational roles. People will recognize your ability to lead and think of you when they need your services. Teaching others is also a great way to show your design knowledge and helps to further your own skills at the same time.

Leadership can also be a fulfilling experience, and is not solely about showing off and promoting yourself. Helping others learn a new skill or achieve something they couldn’t before, is a great feeling. It’s also fun to network with other professionals and connect people for the greater good of the community.

Push yourself

We’re taught to learn a skill and then use those skills to perform in our everyday profession. As a designer though, we must continually build our knowledge and never be satisfied with where we’re at currently. It’s important to be your own coach; push yourself and be persistent in your path for greatness. Keep looking for ways to motivate yourself so you don’t burn out or become tired. Finding rewarding and unique ways to get involved while promoting yourself is a great way to build skills and do something different from your everyday work.

Further the education of others

Strengthening your design and leadership skills is also about giving back and helping others, and sometimes this is the greatest way to learn more yourself. Remember, these ideas aren’t necessarily a means of making loads of money, they are about getting out there and meeting people in order to promote yourself.

Host a workshop

The workshop can be on learning Photoshop, basic HTML skills, or anything you feel qualified to teach. This gives you a chance to show off your designer knowledge to your local community but also gives you the opportunity to give back by teaching others and helping them further their skills. Knowledge is power, and it’s always fun to see others discover new things. Plus, they may discover that this particular skill is tougher than they thought and they just want to hire an expert (you!) to complete these tasks for them in the future!

Write a book

Getting published involves a lot of hard work, so don’t take this on and think it’ll be the easy idea on the list! But the results are rewarding, seeing your name in print and happy reviews from people that have read it, would be well worth all the work. Plus, it’s a really great opportunity to dig deeper on a subject that you know a lot about, since there’s always more you can learn.

Be a speaker at a conference

There are tons of local, regional and national conferences that go on every year with many quality speakers on a variety of topics. Make a list of what you would like to talk about and then look into different conferences to see what’s out there. Then connect with a contact person for the conference of your choice to see if you can get on the speaking list.

Help out the design department of a local college

Colleges and universities are always in need of help and inspiration from those in the field. Volunteer to come in to speak one day, run a workshop for them, or work on a project together. It would be a great way to connect with past professors or find new talent if you need to outsource some of your work.

Connect with people

Networking is a great way to spread the word about your services. In large cities and small towns you’ll find business people getting together to promote their businesses and learn from one another. There are tons of ways to connect with people, but it’s always a great way to find new business and learn something new.

Start a networking group

In a small or large community, this is a great way to connect with local business people that might not know about your design services. Many small businesses need affordable design work but aren’t sure where to look. Starting your own group is a great way to promote your services and be the star of the networking group because you’re the leader.

Create a collaborative design group

Getting together other designers is a great way to expand your ideas and come up with better and more creative work. A collaborative group can get together to share ideas, resources or work together on projects. It’s your group, and you can do as much as you see fit with it!

Become a mentor

Helping someone else get to the place you’re at takes some work, but is one of the more rewarding ideas on the list. Seeing someone achieve success with your help is a great feeling and knowing that you had a hand in their accomplishments is fulfilling.

Start a blog community

Community blogs are a great source of inspiration and knowledge for everyone in the design community from newbies to veterans. Starting your own blog community gives you the opportunity to connect with the design community in a big way. You’ll be the main person running the show so you can do anything you like your own way.

Growth is never easy but very rewarding and worth the effort. Try some different ideas and find things that will work for you in your online or local community. It’s important to keep growing in order to be the best at your job and keep providing quality work through the years. What ideas do you have to become a better leader and designer? Have you tried some of the ideas listed here?

About the Author

Shannon Noack is a designer in North Dakota and the Creative Director of Snoack Studios. Designing is her passion in life, she loves to create websites, logos, print work, you name it. She blogs regularly on the Snoack Studios Blog and you can connect with her on Twitter as well.