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How to Work in a Social Media World When You Hate Social Media

I have a confession to make: I lied in my Domain7 interview… I hate social media.

I love the web and all it enables in terms of information, equal access, and human connection; but I do not love social media. I’m a closet social luddite.

In my role I work with incredibly savvy people who get and embrace every aspect of social media. I’m thankful for them because it means I don’t have to go near Facebook’s political rants, Twitter’s relentless stream of context-less conversation and LinkedIn’s gentle nudges to congratulate my friends on their work anniversaries.

Do I sound pessimistic? Relax—here’s the other side of it: I actually love Instagram. It’s fast and relevant. I can quickly get a picture (figuratively and literally) of what my friends and loved ones are up to, without the barrage of opinions, advertisements, click-bait etc that seems to cloud my other social channels.

As a marketer or a business owner it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the perceived demands of social media, or mesmerized by a shiny new social platform. But here’s the good news—like me, your...

The Intuitive Mind: Expanding Your Creative Vocabulary

Some problems are just really, really difficult. A few minutes ago I was gazing off into nowhere, my brain adrift in a complex problem. My screensaver caught my eye—a slow progression of nature photographs I've taken over the years. Something clicked.

As a strategist, designer or marketer, the job is often to know how to make sense of highly dynamic situations. The world moves fast. We lack complete information. By the time we make a decision the environment will change. Individual techniques expire—they seem to evolve and become obsolete as fast as they are invented. So how do we keep ahead of change? We need a device that’s inherent, something internal, an intrinsic tool we can carry with us no matter the circumstances.

Beloved photographer Cartier-...

Domain7's Mobile Manifesto - 4 Years Later

Four years ago the Domain7 team published a document that, at the time, felt pretty bold. We saw the web shifting to mobile and we wanted to take a stand, indicating that we’d lead that shift for our clients and future clients.

Enter the Mobile Manifesto. It was a valuable guiding tool for our team as we made decisions about what technology we would and wouldn’t pursue. It was our stake in the ground saying, “We believe this is going to be big. This will significantly change the way we approach the web.” We weren’t mistaken—and that stand helped secure our role as leaders in the mobile web and responsive design.

But in a way, we underestimated the impact. Issues emerged that we couldn’t anticipate back then—the ubiquity of access to information and the constant nagging feeling of having your phone in your pocket—and there are new opportunities that we need to respond to.

Almost half a decade later, we thought it was time to revisit the original 6 tenets of our mobile stance:

1/ Mobile is no longer optional

Many businesses balked at this statement four years ago. Now it’...

Web Components & a More Modular Web

There has been a lot of talk about web components lately. In a nutshell web components are new standards that allow us to create custom elements for use on websites.

Out of the box, web browsers let us use such elements as img and ul for images and lists respectively, but web components let us extend the browser ourselves and create our own elements.

The world without web components

A classic example of a web component use case is the slider. Right now to create a slider with 4 photos, you'll probably have markup like this:

<div class="slideshow">
    <ul class="slides">
        <li>
            <img src="url/to/photo.jpg" alt...

Thoughtful Discomfort: weighing the impact of human-to-technology interaction

The future of technology can feel limitless and exciting. But even as a “digital guy”, I admit there were a few times at the recent From Now conference, organized by Vancouver's very own Nikolas Badminton, when I felt uncomfortable. The conference was designed to bring people together to talk about how technology is integrating into our societies—in some ways, quite literally.

Feeling uncomfortable is often an indicator that we are outside of what’s normal to us. And being confronted with something outside of our regular experience provides a good context for learning. It wasn’t the vision for a slick digital city delivered by Nora Young or the heartfelt exploration into human empathy toward machines presented by Toby Barnes that made be feel uncomfortable. And it wasn’t the deep insights into game-play psychology explained by Michael Fergusson or the mind-bending exploration into the philosophy of time by...

Pulling Weeds: Tackling Tough Project Management

I love weeding. Something about it scratches an itch for me. I love the feeling of grabbing hold of the base of the plant and slowly pulling, until I feel the roots let go of the soil around them, then tossing the weed aside to wither and die on a heap of other unwanteds.

I’m pretty tough, right? So why, then, do I find it so difficult to do the same thing with other insidious “unwanteds” in my life and my work?

Let’s say that our projects are our healthy plants. Our job is to provide all the things they need to grow into strong, productive, living organisms. We plant a seed and ask ourselves if we have everything this project needs. Where will it live? Will it survive and grow in this environment? Is there a market for the produce? Then we feed it, water it, even prune a bit, followed by a sigh of relief when the piece we’ve removed gives room for something better than the original. Things are looking good! We can see the growth, the client can see the growth and the fruits of our labour are starting to show.

Inevitably, though, weeds appear and start to use up the resources and energy that should be going to the project. They can show up as problems between the people (both...

3 Essentials for Amazing UX in Everyday Life

At Domain7 we talk a lot about really amazing user experiences (UX). Afterall, we pride ourselves on our user-focused approach.

When something is so simple that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing—that’s amazing UX. It’s the addition of a new feature or function you suddenly realize you can’t live without. It’s when all the graphic cues are so intuitive, you can accomplish a task with no formal instruction.

In recent years we’ve invested much thought and practice into great UX. As the web increasingly facilitates every aspect of our businesses, these online tools are our brand experience for customers. As I interact with brands I’ve noticed three components that are essential for bringing amazing UX to real daily life:

1/ When things are made easy

I hate paper receipts. They pile up in my handbag and, despite my best intentions to file them away, I get annoyed and eventually throw them out. Square is a perfect example of great UX in real life. This popular payment system for small retailers not only offers a clean and minimal customer interface, it stores payment information to enhance your...