I was a featured interview on the Midlandsbiz.com video podcast. Discussing AIGA South Carolina and our ConvergeSE conference. Thanks Alan!
Gene Crawford, President of AIGA South Carolina .
We think one of the coolest things about being an
entrepreneur is that once you start one business, other opportunities come
up. A great example of that here in the Midlands is Gene Crawford. Owner of the web site design firm, Period Three, Gene has launched numerous
other sites including colamovies.com and unmatchedstyle.com. A couple of
years back, he started a conference to bring together the web community that now
has grown into a regional, two-day event called ConvergeSE. To top it off, this
year, Gene is the President of the South Carolina chapter of the AIGA (the
American Institute for Graphic Design).
So now that the article has officially been printed in the December edition of .Net Magazine I can say that i’m a regular contributor now.
Well howdy! The Period Three/UnmatchedStyle crew (okay me and Giovanni) went to the AIGA SC 2011 InShow awards gala this past Friday night and our work on UnmatchedStyle and ConvergeSE won some design awards.
(These are the awards.)
When we were approached to work on the design for the political based web app Ruck.us we were honestly a little skeptical. After all, a political web app? We’ve been involved in building political based websites for candidates for over 5 years now so who could blame us for doing a double take on this project. Turns out the people behind Ruck.us are top-notch, these guys seriously nailed their idea and came to us with a clear idea of what they wanted to do and how they wanted to work to achieve it.
They’ve finally fully launched and to celebrate the launch they got themselves a pretty cool write up on TechCrunch:
Ruck.us users simply visit the site, sign up, and select the issues that are relevant to them individually — whether that’s one issue or 25. As the user pokes around the site and responds to the user-generated questions they come across, the platform serves the user with a “Ruck”, which is the 50, 100, or 250 people (the size is elastic) that share the same viewpoints. The Ruck then constantly changes as the site learns more about the user and their political DNA.
Next, the site establishes a communication feed, in which users can see what their Ruck is discussing, what links and stories they’re sharing, etc., as well as what your group is doing — the actions they’re taking, petitions they’re signing, who they’re donating to, and so on. Again, the focus here is on issues rather than political parties.
The AIGA InShow is a statewide design competition in South Carolina.
Entries are now open and drop-off sites are set up in Columbia 09.16, Charleston 09.12 and Greenville 09.13 to make it easy for us to submit our work. The competition is now open to anyone who works in the design field, not just AIGA members - which is cool.
A little background: the competition was designed to be the “Anti-Addy’s,” meaning that instead of having a huge category structure with many tiers and multiple awards, InShow’s concept was a simple one: You’re either “In” or you’re “Out.” Once submitted, work is divided up by category and three judges from outside of the South Carolina market decide their fate by judging it either “In” or “Out.” Judges are not given quotas, or rigid judging requirements, so the show totals and types of entries vary from year to year.
There are some pretty cool judges this year, who are really hip to interactive work. So you should seriously consider entering this year.
This week’s podcast (which is episode 67) features Jenn Downs (@BeParticular) from Mailchimp who came by the UnmatchedStyle office last month to do a remote usability study with Julia (@blueys). We
held her hostage asked her if she would do an interview with us for a short featurette on usability testing.
The UX team at Mailchimp seems to be pushing to get to more interesting info by visiting their users and also hosting in-house usability test viewing parties. In this blog post by Jenn, Sharing the UX Love, she goes into more detail on how they’re getting into these different approaches.
Jenn’s position at Mailchimp is Design Researcher. Coming out of QA she’s responsible for tracking user issues with the Mailchimp product. Conducting usability studies and helping the UX team to understand where users are encountering trouble and helping to make the product better. I especially think it’s smart that they focus on doing usability tests in their customer’s environments, which is where the product really get’s used, not in some lab setting. They come out to your office, meet you in a coffee shop or show up at your home to gather their information.
Hang on a minute there Google +1, i’m not so sure about you just yet. I get that you want to compete with Facebook’s like button. The appeal of tackling that is huge. But I think the problem here is that you’re wanting me to click +1 on something before i’ve even seen it. Granted I can come back and click the +1 and some stuff might show up in my search results that i’ve visited before. But unlike the Facebook like button - which is actually embedded on the destination and not the in-between page, I don’t yet have context for making my “+1″ vote just yet.
Here’s how Google sells it:
Use +1 to give something your public stamp of approval, so friends, contacts, and others can find the best stuff when they search. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.
I know it’s just an experiment, in Beta and all. I don’t want to shoot it down before it’s even really out in the wild yet. But i’m not grooving on it just yet.
If you send email messages as part of your normal marketing activities, you MUST watch this video seminar. Dan Zarella did this presentation for HubSpot after analyzing like 10 Billion email messages from the email marketing provider Mailchimp. Yes, I said that right 10 Billion… so the lessons learned from this study easily apply to all of us in the business of email marketing.
Our most recent podcast from unmatchedstyle.com - We investigate the strategic use of the login form and talk with Ron Lewis of Mailchimp about their creative login page designs.
You can check the full post here.
ConvergeSE is a two-day conference that we’re organizing again this year. The conference is for website design, development, online marketing and any kind of business professionals to collaborate on and gain insight to all things Web. We’ll have some of the best & brightest we could find working in our industry to speak on key topics. Seriously, the speakers we’ve lined up this year are awesome.
So I hope you can make it out, I know i’m looking forward to it!
ConvergeSE will take place on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26, at Amoco Hall on the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia, S.C. Geared for web designers, web developers, and marketing professionals, this two-day conference will feature industry-leading speakers and workshops.
Day one will be a series of workshops and day two will feature 12 speakers covering a wide range of topics.
ConvergeSE is for: Web designers, web developers, marketing professionals, content creators, business professionals that deal with the Web, and students.
Where: Amoco Hall, Swearingen Engineering Center, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Carolina, 301 Main Street, Columbia, S.C. with the workshops taking place at the South Carolina ETV campus, 1101 George Rogers Blvd.
When: Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26, 2010
1220 Pickens St.
Columbia, SC 29201
(888) 668.6110 Phone