Experience Planner has some great posts today on the value of T-Shaped thinking in the workplace. Don't just sit there. Go check it out.
Experience Planner has some great posts today on the value of T-Shaped thinking in the workplace. Don't just sit there. Go check it out.
I'm Starting a new series where I’ll be looking at artifacts from the not-so-distant past as a way to see how things have progressed since—it's called REWIND.
In August of 2005, Businessweek featured and article making the case that the business world needed to think more creatively—more like designers. The article goes on to mention some of the Schools that have embraced Design Thinking, creating new curriculum geared at combining business training with creative problem solving:
“At the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, Sara L. Beckman, a senior lecturer in operations, teaches a course called Design as a Strategic Business Issue. Beckman has teamed up with IDEO, Berkeley's School of Engineering, and California College of the Arts to teach a course called Managing the New Product Development Process. For many MBAs, it's the first time they have ever worked with non-business people on projects. "The analytical MBA focuses on solving a problem, but the design process focuses on problem-finding," says Beckman.”
The article goes on to point out that major corporations are embracing this thinking from the top down:
“Many companies are going directly to top design firms to set up customized executive-education sessions. Most of these involve getting the CEO and his top managers out shopping for the things their company sells. It's a game of "be your customer" that, despite its simplicity, can have enormous impact. Samsung has learned a great deal about design by attending various sessions at IDEO and other consulting firms.”
So nearly a year later, the D-School movement seems to be going strong. The Rotman School of Management talks about the “creative age”. The IIT’s Masters of Design Methods program is gaining traction, and even the Kellogg School of Management has gotten into the mix.
But do you have to go back to school to “get with the program”? Depends on your current career. Whenever I go to an event and listen to the case studies—though usually inspired, I realize that I am practicing much of what is being taught in their schools. If you are not in this boat and want to be—then going back to school can be an option, but the biggest distinction between Design Thinking and general education is that regardless of learning methods—with Design, something needs to be produced. I learned this early on in my time spent at Pratt. Design is a creative process—at it’s core it’s problem solving. If you haven’t demonstrated how a problem has been solved, then you’re only learning theory. And in the world of Design—theory only flies so far.
Luke Wroblewski over at Funtioning Form has put together a nice set of links that compile Design Thinking and Strategy approaches. Some of the resources include Tim Brown, Dan Pink, Roger Martin and Dan Saffer. Definitelty one to save.
Q: What do you get when you blend a designer, information architect, planner, and anthropologist?
A: Experience Planner
“Experience Planner is a blog written by Scott Weisbrod, Senior Information Architect and a Practice Lead at Critical Mass in Calgary, AB. Experience Planner is devoted to customer insight, experience planning, and information architecture for the web.”
With Experience Planner, Scott Weisbrod explores the intersection of account planning, and digital experience design with an acute focus on the interactive medium and how it’s evolving. Experience Planner blends useful links and resources with in-depth thoughts on where the industry is heading. Scott also has his ear close to the ground concerning all things Agency 2.0.
Experience Planner provides a glimpse into the emerging skills needed to drive marketing 2.0. It’s a T-shaped blog, written by a T-shaped author. Planner embodies key thoughts captured by Cathy Clift in The New Age of Customer Centricity. “
“As the power of the image makers is eroded, we now have an opportunity to re-invent ourselves as “experience planners” and borrow new tools of insight from the worlds of anthropology, psychology, biomechanics and similar disciplines to power our success.”
But aside from this—Experience Planner serves an an effective signpost, pointing out how the marketing landscape is changing into a customer-centric discipline which blends user centered design+strategy with big ideas.
There’s been a good deal of examples on the internet recently of experimenting with live data in visual formats. Etsy did this a while back by offering some very non-standard ways to browse products.
Here are two more. Swarm shows you activity on the Web (based on people who have registered) then shows you linking paths. You can also click on each of the screens for more info:
“Swarm is a graphical map of hundreds of websites, all connecting to each other. It updates itself every second with where people are going and coming from. As sites become more popular, they move towards the center of the swarm and grow larger. Conversely, sites that lose traffic move away from the center and grow smaller.
Website traffic is symbolized with thin lines. Each time you see a line appear, it means someone has moved from one site to the other. You can gauge how many people are swarming around based on the number of lines.”
We Feel Fine is a another data visualization that takes peoples entries from all over the globe and randomizes them into an organic living interface. It’s hard for me to describe—so I’ll reference their own words:
“Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling". When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the "feeling" expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved.”
Check them out. Visualware is picking up steam.
This visual is illustrating the gap that exists between new bloggers and the audience they desire to connect with. This is where Logic + Emotion was back in Febuary. It existed, but no-one knew. So to bridge the divide—I had to “join the conversations” which are happening across the Social Network.
Each “community cluster” has their own conversation going on. This illustration shows one cluster. By planting seeds in individual clusters—your “community garden” grows slowly and steadily. The more you nurture it, the more it grows—one conversation at a time.
"I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attraction for some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and most important for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters. I'm already itching to rewrite my traffic post below. So, given a choice between a blog with comments or no blog at all, I think I'd have to choose the latter.
So, bloggers who like comments, blog on. Commenters, feel free. But not here. Sorry."
I respect Seth's POV—but I don't think this is consistent with the marketing principles that he evangilizes. So, I'm taking him off my blogroll. For authenticity—please see Jaffe Juice.
Oh yeah—Mr. Jaffe is also a published author.
Seth Godin’s last post includes the option to post comments! I’m heartned by this gesture. In Seth’s most recent post, he cites that bloggers should “Include comments so your blog becomes a virtual water cooler that feeds” as way to drive traffic, and community.”
But the irony is that Seth’s own blog does not support comments. Until recently that is. I don’t know if Seth will continue this moving forward—but I encourage and applaud the gesture. As a young and impressionable blogger myself—when I see something like this, it’s, encouraging—there is a certain authenticity to the move.
Seth’s been getting some flack recently on not supporting comments. Mack Collier recently had this to say on the Viral Garden:
“Seth Godin is really hard for me to get a fix on. He will sound like a genius for a handful of posts, then leave a stinker like his infamous 'we're talking too much' post about how bloggers need to post less (interesting viewpoint for a guy that leaves multiple posts a day). And don't even get me started on him not allowing comments...”
And I recently had a brief e-mail discussion with another prominent blogger asking if Seth’s blog was actually a blog since it didn’t allow for comments. She said “no”. The whole thing made me question what a blog is supposed to be.
So, Seth is “walking the walk”—at least with this latest post. I hope that the blogging community is supportive of this. It’s one of the things that makes blogging so fantastic—we can call people out—but we can also give “Atta boys”. Atta boy Seth—we are all watching you.
From Seth Godin. A fairly comprehensive checklist to help maximize traffic to your blog:
Here’s a visual I’ve used a number of times. When I reference the customer experience across multiple touch points and channels—this is it. It’s looking at the entire customer experience holistically. Brands will continue to tell stories in linear fashion—but they will also be experienced in a variety of ways. Every time you use a website, interact with customer support, see an Ad, share a story, use their product,—you are in “fellowship” with that brand.
Apple is still one of the heavyweights in this area. From the products, to the marketing, to the stores, to Apple.com—it’s consistently Apple (and for the most part constantly good). So I’m really just stating the obvious here, at a very macro level—but here’s another way to look at it. Think about all of the disciplines that go into making every touch point matter: designers, architects, engineers, marketers, businesspeople, project managers, technologists, administrators, artists, writers... the list goes on.
Now think about the incredible coordination that occurs between all these distinct groups—both internal and external. I’m sure that behind the scenes it’s messy business, but it’s pretty amazing to witness when it all comes together.
Yet another sign of Agency 2.0. The shift from bloated traditional strategies and creative geared to the traditional marketing channels to a more nimble, Creative Strategy. It's not an Oxymoron. Creative Strategy is just that, applying a creative process to inform strategies and decision making across multiple channels and touchpoints. Prototypes, personas, customer insights,—they're all the tools of the trade. P&G has been a trailblazer in reforming their corporate culture to be more innovative—and this shift in how Publicis is working with them is yet another manifestation.
From Advertising Age:
"As the first of such moves within the network, we plan to introduce a sharper strategic focus to the creative work, initially for P&G, and extending to all our global clients," Mr. Roberts said. "We want to be able to conceive and execute bigger, more directional creative ideas that can drive all forms of communication. Creatively, Cliff has led P&G to new levels. Our next challenge is to deliver on planning's potential to impact the big picture for our clients' brands."
"Mr. Francis will work with P&G account planners to develop "tightly focused briefs with powerful consumer insights," said Kevin Dundas, Saatchi's worldwide strategy director. "Equally, he will ensure the creative execution measures up to the strategic promise."
This has probably been done a number of ways before—but here is my version of the Social Network Visualized Download viz_net_copy.pdf . The “community clusters” are tightly linked communities that interact with each other while the green dots represent interactions which occur between community clusters.
It’s meant to be ultra simplified—yet show how online communities are linking, and interconnecting with each other through blogs, feeds, online forums, mobile etc.
Social Networks are expanding and evolving into a sustainable form of digital community. These communities, composed of clusters are helping to fuel Marketing 2.0.
“online advertising still remains a fraction of the overall advertising
budget in the United States. Young adults in particular are spending a
far larger percentage of their time on the Web. Which means there's
still lots of opportunity in this 21st century online gold rush. "The
shift is on, from television, newspapers and radio to the Internet,” ~ Oversee.net. Founder Lawrence Ng from Newsweek
That's right. Draft and FCB have just merged to form Draft FCB Group.
"The widely expected move by the struggling ad agency holding company is a bid to create a new offering on the agency landscape, one that combines the behaviorally driven focus of Draft, known for its direct-marketing and promotions expertise, with one of the ad industry's oldest giants. It also marks the end of a 133-year-old journey for FCB as a stand-alone brand"