Data Defense 101

Do I Have Something to Hide? Maybe a better question is; Do you have something to lose? Do you want to spend potentially weeks or months clearing your good name after your identity has been stolen? The stakes are high, so you shouldn’t trust any communication without running it through a common sense detector.


Which Millennial/Gen-Y Perks Matter?

Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash It’s fun to read about the perks of working in tech companies, like: $20-75K signing bonuses to transition from an intern to a full-time role at Microsoft; $10,000 to upgrade your computer hardware and peripherals from Asana; or a paid, paid vacation from FullContact where they give you $7,500 to go on… Continue reading Which Millennial/Gen-Y Perks Matter?

Flash Cards for Everyone

Recently, I saw that the EU used colorful flash cards to explain trade policy to President Trump.

While it makes for an interesting headline and article, it isn’t like it’s an inherently bad thing—if simple visuals were effective in this case, why not think about using this in our work as a best practice?

Regardless of whether you’re sharing information with someone inexperienced with a given subject or who has a doctorate in the topic, people like information that is more easy to digest. I am a very visual learner—while I can learn from information that is restricted to a single format like text or audio, with visuals too? Total recall a week later is within the realm of possibility.

“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” C. W. Ceran

Here is a great example of how smart people benefit from simplicity. I love the example of explaining how a computer works in terms of a library, something that most of us already understand. And, see the bit in there about sales? All too often companies fall into the trap of talking about points of parity, the company story, and all kinds of other things whilst not starting at what should be the start: Understanding pain. After you understand what pain exists, you can work on speaking to it and ultimately solving it.

What do people care about in your audience? Like, really care about? If you can speak to that, they’ll perk their ears up, and you can also have a brevity of information—containing only the most important information to that audience—that will make your message ring loud and true.
Going back to flashcards though, what else can we do beyond understanding the audience? Design can make your message easier to remember as well.

How I’m Using Accessible Design

I enjoy thinking about how people use things like websites or their mobile devices. To that end, I have recently done things like:

  • Added hardcoded subtitles to video because I learned that some 2/3rds of mobile users watch videos without sound;
  • Begun introducing more consistent use of imagery, color, and tone to the site and social channels I manage and co-create content for Monday to Friday;
  • Leveraged redundancy of bits of information to aid retention, keeping things fresh (right? …guys?) with different word choices and types of visual aids; and
  • I made this graphic just below, too. So here’s the visual excitement for this post. By the way, you can check out more things on my ADS+MARKETING page.

What Could You Buy for One Dollar in the Past? - Ryan Krym

I could say that inflation devalues money over time, currently by about 2.1% per year, or I can show you. Two things that would make this visual even easier to process are if I were to introduce greater contrast between the brightness of the purple and pink text toward the top—and maybe some larger font sizes.

See More For Yourself

I found these cool examples of good v. bad design as well. Check them out for yourself and you won’t be able to say you didn’t learn something today.

So my quick take? Simple and effective visuals and design are not a “trumped up” technique at all. Let’s put clear and memorable information to good use in our work!

Educational Engagement

You learn by doing. You’ve heard it before, and I subscribe to this notion personally. How, though do we develop the class time where new concepts are to be shared and reinforced? Frameworks provide a logic by which instructors can design instruction, but it’s possible to have too much preparatory work in place during these… Continue reading Educational Engagement

Skills that Raise all Ships

Don’t be hesitant to learn new digital tools. Your studies may teach you not only that tool, but help you with software generally.  This can also be true of programming and societal languages. For example, language researchers have found that being bilingual helps develop early empathy and aids understanding of language as a whole. It’s a… Continue reading Skills that Raise all Ships

Know Thyself, that you may Sell

You have a product or service, and you want to raise awareness. Are you ready? Let’s explore a little bit of that process today. Inbound marketing is great for increasing your marketing return on investment – MROI. I’ve explored it quite a bit this year, especially in the wonderful, automatable HubSpot CRM. However, as good… Continue reading Know Thyself, that you may Sell