I often find myself stuck in the middle.
I’m a middle child, middle aged, parent of needy children and child of needy parents. In addition to that, I’m often debating in my head between two options, or sides. Work or home? Red or white? Star Wars Ewan McGregor or Long Way Round Ewan McGregor?
What if the answer is not to pick a side, but to embrace indecision? What if the result can be something far better? Is it a bad thing to see more than one possible outcome in a situation? Maybe that—let’s call it “open-mindedness”—is the best way to help people reach a common goal and see each other's sides?
As a project manager I've got, on one hand, a highly skilled team of strategists...
Three years ago a small crew of D7ers left the mothership in Abbotsford and settled into their very own outpost on the edge of Vancouver's Yaletown.
When I joined the team I was the fifth member of our Vancouver office. Not long after, we grew to six, then ten, and now on any given day we might have as many as 15 people in our Cambie Street townhouse. It's a sign of exciting times for Domain7, but it's also a recipe for a lot of tripping over each other, taking phone calls in hallways, and scrambling for chairs around the lunch table.
So we are incredibly excited to announce that this Friday, we're moving to our new home in Railtown!
Where is Railtown? you ask!
It's just east of Gastown, and north of Chinatown/Strathcona near the foot of Main. It's an interesting mix of social housing, design studios, independent eateries, and manufacturing facilities. We've got some great neighbours like Union Wood Co., Anchor Guitar Studio, the Vancouver Urban Winery, ...
If I told you we are all Cyborgs, would you believe me? Would you know what I mean?
This weekend I joined some of Vancouver’s smartest at Cyborg Camp YVR. An amazing lineup of speakers told us about the integration of technology and humanity.
This wasn’t a room of techno-nerds geeking out (well maybe a little) but a time to contemplate deep ethical and cultural questions about technology and its impact on humanity. This was about Cyborg Anthropology.
Here are my 5 takeaways from my day at camp:
1. Data becomes relevant with context
We are all digital hoarders. We create and store more information than we can use. Think about the value you place on all your digital assets (pictures, video, music, etc.) but do you really know what to do with them?
We’ve lost any constraint on the content...
What's the one thing to watch in digital marketing right now?
That's the question answered by seven of Vancouver's savviest strategists at BCAMA's Digital Agency Panel on May 8, 2013.
Following a Pecha Kucha format (20 slides, set to auto-advance every 20 seconds), each speaker had 6 minutes and 40 seconds, to tell us the single most important thing they need to know in the world of web.
Along with a panel of smartypants from TAXI, Invoke Media, Burnkit, Engine Digital, Noise Digital and Graphically Speaking and moderator Steven Cox, our own Kevan Gilbert brought his usual warmth and wit to a super insightful presentation.
The one thing he thinks we need to watch for in digital: FOCUS.
Watch it here!
[personal side note: Kevan knocked everyone's socks off. He was, hands down, the highlight of the evening, and this is well worth your 6.6 minutes]
I can’t overstate the importance of testing what you build for the web.
When we design and build without testing the experience with actual users, the entire project becomes one big assumption. The assumptions are often skewed because we have different, web-oriented domain-specific knowledge that the actual future users often don’t have.
There are plenty of reasons why testing gets skipped in the build process: limited time/budget, overcomplicating the process, or not knowing where to start. But the main reason is that it’s not a perceived necessity in the same way design and development are. We can pass from start to finish without it.
It’s easy to overlook, but the consequences can be dire—you risk building the wrong thing altogether, and returning to the drawing board just when you thought you could hang up your keyboard and bask in the digital glow of your thriving web project.
Building user testing into a web project doesn’t have to feel like a burden or an interruption.
There is this mysterious, soft, intuitive, abstract part of strategy work that is hard to label and name. The part where a company or person manages to totally rock at something, and still retain this natural air of self-awareness and humility while doing it.
That’s what strategy wants to bottle.
I’d call that “heart.”
Think of a company like Pixar:
They are clearly successful, but they embody their success with such honesty and class that it just feels like they all must be doing what they love. (Granted, that’s an outside perspective; secretly inside the animators’ complex it could be a world of lagging software and corporate hell.)
I see this aspect of “heart” in friends I most admire—people who have managed to bring their whole selves to the game. People who can succeed (or fail), but not at the expense of those around them. People who are busy being happy and doing what they love, not waiting for happiness to happen after they achieve something.
How do you...
Arconas is one of our oldest clients. I’ve worked with them since my earliest days at Domain7—nearly 9 years ago!
This Canadian company has an international corner on high quality public seating—for spaces like airports, train stations, justice buildings, government service centres and libraries.
One of my geeky habits when travelling around the world is trying to identify their products in airport terminals. They really are everywhere. Chances are you’d recognize their Bernù line. I love the subtlety of the cross-sections in the armrests and wing shape of the benches—it reveals the care and artistry that Arconas puts into each of their products.
Recently they reached out to us about a new opportunity: their first consumer-facing product.
It’s a product they’ve carried for decades—a favourite among their line and a big hit over the years: Bouloum. The design has been around since the '60s but...
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