My favorite take away this quarter was learning about all the different free program options for design and video creation. I liked exploring them and figuring out which ones worked for my needs and which ones didn’t. Knowing about all these programs is very helpful in my career. Most of my customers that I consult on marketing for are on a tight budget and usually have to do much of their own marketing. Being about to direct them to these inexpensive or free options is something that brings a lot of value to them. It’s also helpful tools to have on hand for small projects I do as gifts for family and friends. Adobe programs are so expensive and usually, in order to keep up with the latest versions, you have to buy the new program every year or two. Software like that adds up quickly and can take away from a marketing budget.
Everything I learned in this class was new to me, so I feel like I got a lot out of it. Although I don’t plan on following this career path, I did take away a lot from learning about, creating and taking the usability test. I thought it had interesting metrics for testing things that were successful and things that needed work, and in the end, it gave some great ways to give customers constructive criticism about things they may not want to admit need work. I don’t plan on implementing anymore usability tests, but I do often have to provide constructive criticism to customers about certain areas of their business. This test gave a great format for organizing those tasks that need to be tested, then sharing that info with customers. It creates an easy to understand template so that everything is organized and there is structure to what was accomplished.
The three marketing pieces that were created for Dillanos Coffee Roasters are an email newsletter, a postcard and a 30 second video about an upcoming event for the roaster. Each piece plays a significant role in marketing for the release party and the coffee that Dillanos roasts.
The email newsletter with a note from the CEO is sent to all current customers and anyone else who signed up for the newsletter through the website or at trade shows. It explains the upcoming release of the newest Dillanos single origin coffee and the corresponding event to celebrate it. It also offers a discount for early registry of the event. This is a great piece to send out to customers who have already agreed to receiving email offers and updates from the company so it wouldn’t be considered spam.
The postcard is something that can be sent out with all shipping and delivery orders, handed out at any prior event or trade show or left at the front desk for customers that come in to purchase coffee. The postcard outlines the upcoming event and gives time and place details so that people know when, where, and how to register and attend the event. It also includes a well photographed visual that might entice customers to want to attend the coffee release party.
The video is a sequence of photographs arranged in the order of “crop to cup”, or, in simpler terms. the order that coffee is harvested all the way up to you being able to drink it. It serves as a learning experience, a lovely visual, and the text on a few of the images shares the upcoming event info with whoever is watching it. The purpose of the video is to try to illustrate the hard work and commitment that goes into creating a new roast, like the one that the attendees are having the opportunity to taste at the event.
All of these pieces correspond together with the overall company marketing to show the commitment to the customers in bringing them the best roasted coffee.
In Kristine Remer’s article, 6 Ways to Improve Usability on Etsy she discusses her thoughts and habits on the wildly popular e-commerce website, Etsy.com. She talks about her browsing habits, which are probably similar to many others, and some of the more frustrating things that Etsy has on their site like pagination, to many search categories and no photography standards. As an experienced UX consultant, she is able to offer ways to fix each problem to make the user experience more pleasant.
I chose this article because the Pepper Pot Polish website I designed my test after was Etsy based. There are a lot of really great things about Etsy, but there is also a lot of work that needs to be done in order to make it a better experience. Since there are so many different sellers with so many different products on the site, making it as easy as possible for a customer to find a product among thousands of like products is very important. Perfecting the search functions and categories will ease the search process, as well as make some products or stores more visible that might not have been before.
I also liked her idea about creating photography standards. There is almost no excuse in this day and age, why a photograph should be dark, blurry and difficult to make the product out of. Most phones have a decent camera on them that will take worthy product photos for an online shop.
Remer, K. (2012, February 6). 6 Ways to Improve Usability on Etsy. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from http://juneux.com/blog/2012/02/6-ways-to-improve-usability-on-etsy/
This quarter I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and really enjoyed the content I read. In each section, broken up by the 7 habits, I took away plenty of leadership and personal/professional development tools.
For the first couple of habits I learned goal setting and how to write a personal and professional mission statement. These tactics will enable me to visualize where I’m going and how I’m going to accomplish it proactively. By creating goals and giving myself a vision for where I want to be, it will make it easier to move forward into the place I’m trying to go.
Other things I learned while reading through habits 3-6 included time management, delegations, active listening and synergy. Learning to prioritize what is important in order to weed out the unimportant tasks while achieving a goal is critical for developing leadership skills and moving towards my goals. Listening to those around me in order to be a strong leader, instead of a dictator and learning to work with others through delegation and teamwork are all important skills that are learned from these habits.
Habit 7 you learn to evaluate your progress and decided if you stay the course or change it up a bit, in order to reach your goal. Checking in with myself while I’m on this long journey is what ensures my success instead of being caught off guard.
I enjoy blogging when I am given a prompt for a post as opposed to having to come up with my own content. I think it can be easier to blog for a class than it is for personal or professional because it’s much easier to follow guidelines for so many words and an exact topic that we’re learning about.