design+development=webbuilders?

There’s so much going on right now as it relates to the web 2.0, digital is everywhere whether it’s a website, mobile app/site, e-commerce, video games or interactive experiences. What all of these platforms have in common is that they all need to be built by someone. This brings me to a current thought I had concerning designers and developers, the very people who make all of these wonderful and hopefully useful innovations happen.


Both play an integral role in the process.


Designers are responsible for making the site or application LooK the way it does with their knowledge of, color theory, typography and UI design. In addition to using production tools such as adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks including web languages (HTML/CSS, javascript etc.) They also layout how the site will navigate when users interact with it.

Developers are on the other side of the coin sort of. A good developer is well versed in computer languages like the above mentioned and many more… They also tend to delve deeper. Writing clean functional code is what matters most to developers so that the created site will function properly and is maintainable either by themselves or someone else, which usually relates to coding it in CMS if the latter. Another piece of the dev side that needs to be considered is front-end development (client side) or back-end development (client facing). That then brings to languages being broken out for specific uses, html/css, javascript, xml etc…are generally front end client side languages while PHP, SQL, C etc.. are back end server side languages.

I started to ponder how the line between both disciplines are so blurred now to the point that there’s no true blue distinction anymore really, unless an agency is looking for something specific. If you browse today’s job listings whether it’s for a designer position or developer most agencies ask for the applicant to know code from basic html to complex server side languages. Today’s web designer must get into coding and on the other side of the coin developers can make themselves more valuable by getting into design &

motion graphics(Flash, After Effects, Maya 3D etc.)
even though now with html5 canvas tag you can convert flash objects into native web applications. This in itself makes developers more useful and takes a little away from web designers giving designers more reason to study and learn code further blurring the line.

I feel that the line is so blurred and skewed at this point even titles should change in my opinion. I think at this point the term “web designer” or “web developer” is null in void, it’s probably more appropriate to just merge the two and title them web builders.

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Companies who block Social Media are hurting potential business.

I have to wonder why some companies/agencies would ever consider shutting it’s social media doors by blocking it’s empolyees from socializing with the outside world?

Any good agency knows that in order to grow it’s business or brand it needs to stay connected to others on the outside, it brings us back to that social media bubble I spoke of in past entries (see google+ circles=bubbles?) by not allowing new ideas or interactions you’re just killing your brand slowly. Our society thrives on being social with sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and now Google+ why wouldn’t you want your employees to market your company’s brand? This reminds me of My good friend and co-founder of RobRobCreative Robert F. Peterson (@robertfpeterson) blogged this very subject in his blog It’s a (M)ad World. Robert writes in Employees, the best marketers he states “For a long time I have preached that your employees are the best marketers and marketing strategy you could invest in. When you love your job, which seems to be rare in most cases today, you love to brag about the company you work for and how great they treat you.”

Ah ha! therein lies the problem, most cool agencies or places you would love to work at don’t wouldn’t have a problem with their employees being connected to the outside world. A happy employee will boast about how cool or fun it is to work at X company just as long as they are appreciated and taken care of, that kind of employee is loyal and will work hard for you. So after mentioning that it makes you wonder what exactly is a company saying when they block employees from such sites? What does a agency like that have to hide? This kind of action speaks volumes about a place without any words. It can be perceived that management has a old way of thinking and is not innovative or up to speed on social, doesn’t trust it’s employees to speak about their experience at the company probably because they realize they don’t treat employees well and might be spoken of in a negative light. A negative culture is not a healthy place anyone would want to be. Employees should look forward to going to work and look forward to a new day of exciting possibilities.

As the other co-founder of RobRobCreative along with Robert we strongly feel that anyone who comes on board our team is given the right to enjoy themselves and have fun, in-fact we prefer that they do. Of course we work hard at concepting new ideas and innovations, it’s only fair and right for team members to enjoy themselves as well. Work hard play hard. Taking part in fun activities can sometimes lead to new ideas, you can never know where a brand new idea might emerge from or an innovation on an existing one.

FYI any new team members must learn this in it’s entirety prior to joining the team. This will give us the analytical insight we need to make an informed decision.
https://www.youtube.com/v/pQpTf2wuuno?version=3

Additionally social media is an extremely powerful tool that companies/brands should take advantage of. It can be used to connect with future customers or possible partnerships this can only help a company generate more business. But for this to happen the company must remain constantly social, customers are smart and can spot rubbish from far away. As a company looking to speak with consumers you must carefully inject yourself into their conversation, speak to them as a friend not someone looking to sell a product, be sincere. Consumers are more responsive to brands that get it.

Think!

There’s no secret that I love designing for the web and mobile space and as I continue to do so my love for it grows each day. But…it didn’t start out that way. In-fact before I fell in love with digital I couldn’t stand it. Even though at the time I wasn’t into digital and web design I was still into technology. Like a teenage girl I would glow with joy anytime I acquired a new video game or any other gadget. I’m also into illustrating comic books, growing up I’ve always been into Marvel & DC Comics and followed each the same way a couch potato would dedicate each day to their reality TV, parish the thought that I would miss an issue of Batman or X-Men.

I am aware that I have an intro post but I thought to re-post or better yet delve more deeply into how I managed to find the road I now travel. I started out probably in a typical manner reading and drawing comic books, I would wake up in the morning toss on some tunes and create my own from morning to night. The only time my mom would get a glimpse of her son would be if I was starving and in need of food, or to make a pit stop @ the bathroom. I was a crazy kid with a crazy dream of working in one of the better known comic book companies, that pretty much meant Marvel or DC comics, as those were and still are the two top dogs.
As the digital space grew I became more interested, now as a web designer I cannot imagine not tweeting, checking in on foursquare, writing on a facebook wall or most recently sharing with my circle of friends on Google+. Digital (social media) has become so integrated into my life that I don’t realize how much I tend to use it on a daily basis. I sleep with my iPhone right next to my head for christ sakes and am checking my phone each time I get a notification! I must be sleep deprived?! But who cares there’s a digital revolution happening and I’m playing a part in it, I’m not quite sure how big or small just yet, only time will tell that tale.
Regardless of anything I’m super grateful of all the people I’ve come across in this industry, I’ve connected with genuine people who are willing to help in any way they can. It’s really cool to share the same passion for an industry with so many others. Last night I attended the monthly social networking eventDigital DUMBO for what’s you status run by Carrot Creative and sponsored by Bigfuel.

I attended the event with my good buddies/RobRobCreative team @robertfpeterson and @awayofart upon entering the event we were given t-shirts to write on indicating our status and contact info. It was pure genius on the part of Bigfuel! Everyone had a complete blast, plenty of drinks and opportunities to be social. We shot the breeze with Mike Germano president of Carrot Creative which was an honor, he’s a super cool dude and someone so full of passion for creative that it’s coming out of his pores class act all the way! Avi Savar of Bigfuel is another individual who’s also a gentileman and worth getting to know. We also hung out with  fellow creative @RonnieLordi a graphic designer out of New Jersey, it was his first digital dumbo and he told us how awesome the event was and will continue to attend future events. Good for you Ronnie we always welcome anyone new creatives to the digital district.

All of this is but a small fraction which makes what I do so rewarding. As a creative I love being able to creative new exciting innovations that are functional, useful and fun to use. I realize how lucky I am to be able to do these things on this scale and I look forward things only getting bigger and better. When you love what you do and can do it on a professional level, that is the best feeling ever!

Think

Google+ Invite =myThoughts

Disclaimer: My opinions on Google+ are my impression of this new application presently, these thoughts can change later and most likely will due to learning about the platform. At the moment it’s pretty cool, maybe later it could suck maybe not idk?

Ok so yesterday I wrote a post about Google’s new Google+ project stating that maybe their “circles” idea could possibly cause one to isolate there self from new opinions or points of views. In fairness I would like to give my point of view after being one of the view to actually receive an invite (Thanks @Jerlyn). So upon entering the application it seemed as though I was logged in but not fully, it took some time for it to fully let me in (or at least that’s how it seemed?) after fumbling around for a good 10-15 minutes trying to figure out how the project functions I finally started to understand.

First impression are the most visceral usually upon entering you immediately can see that this was design in Google fashion, minimalistic, clean and fully functional. Circles seems very flexible in which you can create one with any title you so choose, the default are friends, family, acquaintances, follows and on the far left one more (blank) to create others. I’m still not sure if these circles interconnect in some way? Meaning if I add a friend to a circle which has others in it and that friend creates a circle will those two circles overlap in some way, leaving the possibility open for new connections? We’ll have to wait and see, but you can search for people who have a Google+ account.

Another feature I noticed is that Google has adopted the Facebook wall but instead call it a stream. It functions in pretty much the exact same way as FB does the difference is that it’s broken up just like your created circle groups, keeping content sharable to selected individuals. Google’s version of the like button is the +1 button so you can +1 photos, comments, videos etc… Posted photos are broken up into separate albums clickable/side scrollable and allows the viewer to comment, the background is black giving the photos a cleaner look and allows for more depth. While writing this I received a notification that someone commented me back, on the upper right of the black bar that has been getting a lot of negative reviews, there’s a red box which informs you with the number of notifications.

Now on to the users profile. It’s set up kind of in Facebook fashion but tweaked, profile picture is on the left with your friends listed beneath, the rest of the content is set up like this Name (title) then you have a gray bar underneath with post, about, photos, videos and +1’s accompanied with a blue edit profile on the right. More insights/reviews as I discover more while playing around with it.

In the meanwhile here are some shots of Google+

Google + circles = Bubble?

Yesterday Google announced its new social networking component Google+, touted as a possible Facebook killer Google+ aims to fix social media sharing. Google stated social media sharing at the moment is ridged in the fact that sharing with an individual’s network when posting an updated status is then shared to their entire network. Google says they fixed this with “circles”, circles is a function used by the application in which makes sharing a lot more streamlined. Any media updates are controlled and made possible to share within a specific group of individuals. Basically circles functions as within a social networking platform so that you can break up your entire network into subgroups or smaller specific networks.

I think the initial idea is great but it makes me wonder about another post I’ve read from Chris Matthew (@cdmtthws) of Dumbo’s Big Spaceship. In a past Think blog post “The Power of Potential” Chris mentioned “Arguably one of the strongest assets to social networks is the ability to connect yourself with people or things you may never actually be physically or socially connected to ever in your real life.”. This makes me wonder about Google+ did they take this into consideration when creating this social platform? This circle feature (while a great idea) enables the user to create social networking bubbles, I just wonder even though Google circles allows the user to create multiple bubbles (at least that’s how I understand it) will it become stale or will it entice the user to continue using the application?

From a web designer’s perspective it’s beautifully simple and put together nicely, clean, colorful and filled with easy usability the very things Google is known for. I think Google should allow these circles to inter connect in some way shape or form, while still giving the creator of the circle to admin those connectivity interactions. I for one am intrigued to see how all of this will unfold for Google.

Hello Comrad!

You commie bastard

I’ve learned quite a few important lessons these past few days. I’ve learned in order to have an awesome creative team at the root of it must be trust. Trust is vital to success, some of the best creative shops encourage a culture in which everyone gets along and can fully trust each other. These are people who you spend more time with than your own families! How can one create never before seen creative if you can’t trust someone on your team?

I can sense a strong camaraderie when I check out other agencies and see how they interact with each other. And that’s the kind of shop I would like to be at, people that I know will have my back till the end-who will walk into the fires of hell with you with a smile on there face.

When choosing members of a team, everyone must gel together like a well oiled machine, like a transformer (I’m fond of the deceptions). The camaraderie should be strong. I mean you will already be faced with tons of challenges from the outside (client pitches, new business), why introduce them within the team and self sabotage?

There’s no way a creative team can function to full capacity when there’s a weak link. Just as the saying goes “your only as strong as your weakest link”. I look to surround myself with positive people that I can trust, not someone that when I turn my back I’m going to have a Rambo knife stuck in it.

To all the cool agencies out there who have members that cherish each other, you’re all cool with me! Continue to nourish this because it’s special. Keep rocking!

The Trickster’s Way. When your word holds no merit.


in·teg·ri·ty 

[in-teg-ri-tee]

–noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

The advertising world is unrelenting and a fast paced industry, all that is involved in it must go with the flow or risk drowning. Understandably so in order to keep pace with all the new trends an everything, when you think about it as a whole picture it’s pretty nuts. The ad game must stay on the latest trends in web technologies/mobile, fashion, entertainment, automobiles, food etc… The list can go on forever! And with that unrelenting fast pace you can be assured that you will run into a few maybe more who are just as unrelenting, unrelenting in a good or bad way. For the purpose of this post we’ll concentrate on the latter.

We dabble in a creative industry full of ideas and collaboration, we also partner with clients to create deliverables in order to innovate new things to be placed out into the world. Not every time the partnership is going to work which is ok, there’s not an agency out there that can say they’ve never lost an account or something got botched up. It happens to the best of us. Maybe the client was a difficult one who was too stiff in the creative process, or the agency wasn’t the right fit for the project? In any way all of those scenarios are good and can actually aid you in learning, you can just chalk it up to life’s experience.

What I did want to mention is how you conduct yourself under those circumstances is what’s important! An example would be giving false information. I know of a story in which a person let’s call him “Jeff the strategist” approached someone let’s call him “Mike the developer” claiming he was commissioned by a client for a web design project. A few exchanges of words and contact information and a meeting was set to take place the following week (Wednesday @ 3:30pm), the night before Jeff contacted Mike asking for examples of work for a “pre-meeting” 1st mistake. Jeff should have asked for examples a lot sooner than the night before. The day of the meeting about an hour and a half before it was to take place Jeff cancelled claiming the work shown was not too his liking, now at this point Mike never had a chance to speak with the “client”.

The next piece of information is when integrity’s name was thrown into the mud. Mike did his research on Jeff the strategist and his “client” it turns out that there never was a client in-fact Jeff the strategist was a full-blown partner (Manager) to the client and he led Mike to believe that he was commissioned by the client, and was on the lookout for a web designer. So at this point how can anyone take Jeff the strategist word as truth? Your word is part of your brand as an individual in this industry, if you burn bridges word in this industry travels fast and you can pretty much kiss your career in the ad game goodbye! No agencies will want to hire you or any creative’s will want to partner with you as well.

Your word carries tremendous weight not only in this industry but life in general. So take heed and don’t dig yourself an early grave.

Think!