Change Agent

Blazing the Trail:

As Technology Changes So Does Business

With technology constantly evolving and transforming in this digital age, business structures and practices also change.

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Who knows what technology will emerge in the next ten years? Maybe computer monitors will transform into 3D displays, or interactive holographic images will spring up from mobile phones. Flying cars? We’re still waiting on that one. As technology evolves, so does the way we do things, including in business.

As far as the next five to ten years, I predict that the Internet will get even bigger, web coding and technology will evolve and offer more options (more stuff to utilize but also more to absorb into our code-soaked brains). There will be more people getting into computer and design related fields because it will permeate our everyday lives even more.

Examples of Recent Changes in Technology

Responsive Design

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Just in the past few years, technology has moved at a rapid pace. Mobile phones (and other devices) have created the need for responsive design, a recent emerging technology that has worked itself into this field. It allows sites to be formatted automatically depending on the type of device, such as iPad, smart phones, tablets, etc.

Online Editing/File Sharing

Also emerging is the use of online applications and storage/file sharing. This includes: Adobe’s Creative CloudGoogle Drive, and file sharing/storage such as Dropbox or Hightail. Now files and programs can be accessed simply by logging in. That helps businesses, especially between designers and clients, who do a lot of file sharing (sometimes LARGE files), proofing designs, and presentations. It is also useful for designers who may want to access files and work on them from an assortment of devices or locations.

Cool New Tricks: HTML5 & CSS3

Another example of emerging technology is the updated standard of HTML5 and CSS3 that allows web designers to push the limits beyond what was previously possible. (Some examples are HTML5’s canvas, adding video/audio, CSS3’s rounded corners, columns and so much more.)

Another recent new technology  is 3D printing. These are just a few examples of the latest technologies. (I can’t wait to play around with some designs and “print” something 3D.)

Looking Ahead: Designer = Visionary?

300x216_greenarrowThis field requires a never-ending learning process. A designer must absorb a lot of information as much as possible (on a regular basis) because there is so much to learn and it evolves at lightning speed.

As far as considering myself as a “change agent” (one who brings about or contributes to change) I would do what seems like the right idea for the circumstance. I’d push the boundaries if it makes sense and feels right. It’s good to be willing to explore new ways of doing things if it works. There are standards that are good to adhere to, but it is also important to explore new possibilities.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

 ~ Pablo Picasso

Change is Inevitable

Life is change.

So we’ll just have to go along on the journey, learn the most we can and explore possibilities. Perhaps one day we will have flying cars or maybe…we’ll find a way to fly without them. Only time will tell.

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Blogging For Business

BLOG

Blogging is a very important marketing tool for businesses. It attracts potential clients, gives people information about your business and offers insight about your company. By maintaining a consistent blog, readers tend to return which creates a loyal base of clientele.

Blogging Statistics

There are a lot of blogs out there and even more viewers. In order to keep your business from falling behind, consider having a blog.

Good for Business

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“WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!” Blogging is a great way to let the world know your business exists, attracts potential clients and gives people an idea about your business and company.

“THIS IS WHAT WE PROVIDE AND WHAT WE’RE ABOUT.” Having a blog is a great way to showcase your company and its services. Some content could be samples of the work or service your business provides.

“JUST IN!” Blogging is different from just having a website because it is information that keeps readers coming back. Adding to your blog regularly keeps readers interested in anything new happening with your business. Some examples may be to let people know your business is using new technology or expanding to new locations.

“COME FIND US!” Having a blog provides keywords that help search engines bring in more viewers. Connecting your blog to social networks also spreads the word.

(Here’s an article from socialmediaexaminer.com about why blogging is useful for business.)

Ways to Improve Your Blog

Info & Answers: Offer tips and information about your field. This educates potential clients and lets them know that your business is knowledgeable.

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Grammar & Spelling: Correct grammar and well-written posts are crucial to maintaining a professional appearance. Spellcheck, edit and correct any grammatical errors or typos.

Comment & Share: When creating your blog, include links that allow readers to share your blog. This helps get the word out and can bring in more viewers (potential clients). Commenting is also a useful way to get feedback and connect with more people.

Plan & Publish: It may be helpful to write many posts ahead of time and post them regularly. Set a scheduled day to publish posts. This maintains consistency and keeps readers interested. A blog that just collects dust won’t keep readers coming back!

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Quality graphics: Images are an important part of creating an interesting blog. Low quality images can detract from the presentation of your blog. Make sure to include only high quality images, graphics and icons.

Easy to scan: The way to do this is to have good formatting such as pertinent headings and subheadings. Provide bulleted lists or text that emphasizes important ideas in bold or italics. (But don’t over do it!) Keep it simple and concise.

Future Blogging Ideas

I will be continually updating this blog with design-related tips and examples. Some of the topics may include:

  • Image quality and file types
  • The importance of white space
  • Tips on logo design and branding
  • Standard web practices
  • Latest trends
  • Tips for SEO

Check back periodically to learn more. Please feel free to comment!

So You Want to Start a Blog?

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Generally, I like to root for the underdog, to give the less commonly known a chance. For example, I’d rather discover some mysterious item on a bottom shelf of a bookcase in an antique warehouse, than buy mass produced mall knick-knacks. However, sometimes things are popular for a reason. When it comes to finding a blogging platform, I made the decision to go with a glaringly popular one: WordPress.

After researching available options for free blogging platforms, I discovered that WordPress and Blogger are the most widely recommended. There are other platforms that are good for specific purposes, such as  Tumblr for mainly images and video.

Features

WordPress logo

WordPress

  • Many templates to choose from
  • A plethora of plug-ins
  • Free and easy to upgrade
  • Option to transfer platforms easily without losing content

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Blogger 

  • Fast and easy to use
  • Many options such as fonts, colors and layouts
  • Google Analytics as well as other Google apps

tumblr logo

Tumblr

  • Combined social network features
  • Good for images and video
  • Focused more on visuals, less text

Choosing

Basically, the choice depends on what the blogger’s needs and personal preferences are. I chose WordPress because it offers a lot of templates and plug-ins. Since it is so popular, I also wanted to be comfortable using it for future clients. (Keep in mind, there is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. There is a useful article here that explains the difference between the two.)

So if you are looking for a good blog platform to use, decide what your needs are, do a little research and get started.

Want to know more?

While researching this topic, I found this article on noupe, one of my favorite resources for design. There is also a useful article at PCMagazine about blog platforms. Thirdly, this article from Six Revisions has some useful insight as well.

Other Resources:

PC Magazine

Noupe

Digital Trends