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Resume Redux: 8 tips for resumes in the digital age

I’ve heard claims that the resume is dead—that its era is over and value limited in a web-based world. I’d argue there’s still merit in accounting for your professional experience, but it’s time for the resume redux. It starts with critically evaluating what you’re sending out and why—and probably throwing out the formula taught by your high school career counselor.

Resumes may look any number of ways in the digital age, and that’s fine as long as you’re following a few key principles:

1/ No blasting

Surprise: I can tell when you’ve repurposed a cover letter and simply changed the name of the company (it’s even easier when you forget to change the name of the company, which happens all the time). Employers expect some level of effort and personalization—it shows commitment and enthusiasm. Get to know the organization and what they value, and tailor your application to them. Be unique, give me an original work of art not some crummy copy.

2/ Be web savvy

You don’t need to be a web developer or a designer (unless you are a web developer or a designer). But we’re a web company—we...

Anthropomorphism, Teams and Brands: a useful cognitive crutch

Seven billion people is cognitively impossible to calculate. Our human minds work inside the Dunbar limit—constrained to understanding, at most, around 150 individual relationships and their interconnections.

How do we function in a world so vastly greater than our cognitive abilities?

To design the future, we have to design into (rather than around) our human limits. One example is to think in terms of teams. Teams help our human minds cognitively adapt to a world of seven billion people. They allow our anthropomorphic brains to create a humanoid identity for entities that live larger than their constituents. Sports teams, political parties and brands become "human" in the sense that we ascribe to them human qualities, give them human wins and losses, and expect human emotion. There’s danger in that—we give human qualities to things that don’t have human responsibilities or consequences, creating a moral hazard. But there’s also great potential.

Businesses, brands and organizations have taken advantage of this for years. In this era of “the Great Re-Sensitizing” (as Kevan Gilbert calls it) and the coinciding...

Disrupt the Disruptors: 4 ways to stay ahead

In our (almost) 18 years of making digital products and platforms, we’ve seen entire industries born through disruptive innovation, but even more that have become obsolete.

Here’s what disruption looks like in action—and what you’re likely experiencing yourself:
A new competitor with a new business model enters the market. Existing shops and industry leaders ignore them or shift their offerings to safer, more immediately profitable activities. The disruptor, whose product was just good enough to begin with, suddenly sees uncontested market space, undermining the position of longtime leaders. Suddenly, the game is changed.

The internet makes it that much easier for them to enter the market. If there’s one thing we know about the internet, it’s that it cuts out the middle man. It’s a level playing field for smart businesses looking to make big splash, and a breeding ground for disintermediation.

So, what does this Golden Age of Disruption mean for your organization?

1/ Don’t get comfortable

Change is coming (insert Game of Thrones meme). Whether you’re in the cosmetic game...

The Redesign Your Customers Really Want

My home office features a Persian carpet that my parents found in the Dubai carpet souk when I was kid. The buying process was intense, occupying the better part of a day, requiring us to sit down for tea with several competing merchants. Deal-making in the Middle East is a pastime, and in the open markets you get to see everyone’s A-game. It’s highly relational, competitive, and fun. It’s also a far cry from the “Buy It Now” buttons of online retail—at least on the surface.

A few years after that carpet purchase, a little booklet called The Cluetrain Manifesto made what sounded then like a crazy claim: that the internet was driving us back toward, not away from, the highly interpersonal dynamics of public marketplaces. At a time when most people understood the internet as an “Information Superhighway,” Cluetrain argued that the internet was a global marketplace—the open space where companies would find themselves and their customers all together in one massive conversation. And in that future, customers would care less about what you said to them (advertising), and more about how you conversed with them.

The book...

Prototyping Deconstructed: Back to the Basics

Design has become very sophisticated thanks to the web—we can show clients designs in action through working prototypes, made functional with bits of code. Digital prototypes are amazing for testing, validating and iterating.

But the more we delve into user testing here at Domain7, the more we realize that user experience can begin at the most basic level—before we even think about design or power-up our computers.

The Domain7 Design team recently put this into practice. We wanted to find a better approach to this very blog, for a future redesign. We started on a whiteboard, but as we went on, we wanted moving parts. So we rummaged through the office and turned to the resources we had—some 8.5x11 paper, sharpies, Post-its, pencils, scissors and tape—and cobbled together the frankenstein of webpages: also known as a paper prototype.

“Interactive” has become synonymous with digital, but it doesn’t need to be. Here’s...

3 Keys to Project Success

A few weeks ago Tim Kolke shared a list of things we can do as teams to ensure web projects thrive in the planning and development process.

He’s dead on, but the more I think about it, the list could really be simplified down to three essentials that really make or break our mutual success:

1. Collaboration

Domain7 used to have a tag line we liked to toss around: “You know your business. We know the web.” It was cute, and probably true at the time. But more and more we find, our clients really know the web; and likewise our clients’ businesses benefit from an outside perspective and insights we glean by working closely with their customers. We need each other, but our skills don’t need to function independently, and there may be a bit of overlap in our expertise. That means collaboration is key. It means being open to learning from each other—even learning something about our own field of expertise—and being aware of our own weaknesses. Collaboration isn’t easy, but by relentlessly pursuing clear communication and transparency we can get the best out of both our teams.

2....

Meet a Digital Native

Sometimes the internet just feels like a part of my brain. Most of my friendships and communities touch this whirling mass of data in ways that feel like natural extensions of the physical world. I depend on it for my work, planning my weekly schedule, keeping up with friends and family, and finding obscure pieces of information on a wikipedia rabbit trail.

The internet is such a constant part of my life that I've completely stopped thinking of it as a bunch of zeroes and ones, and begun thinking of it as an extension of my ability to think and speak. Here's the thing, though. Not everyone feels this way about it.

In fact, I'd venture to say that the majority of people on the internet—people interacting with travel sites, finding the phone number for that one restaurant, watching Netflix—feel that the internet is a pretty alien environment. I'm not thinking about people who have difficulty using the internet, though they certainly feel it's alien as well. I'm talking about people who have trouble thinking past the machine they're using to the big picture of how the whole thing fits together. People who can't see past the pixels.

I believe it's a big...