14 Books That Will Make You More Innovative in 2014

14 Books That Will Make You More InnovativeA lot of people use the words “innovation” and “creativity” interchangeably, but my favorite definition helps differentiate the two: “Innovation is the value-added application of a creative idea.”

Of course, knowing a snappy definition is one thing — putting it into practice is something else altogether. If you’re struggling to truly innovate, or if you just want to refresh your creative mojo, start with this list of books that will make you more innovative in the new year.    Read More →

Natural Selection: A Noah Scalin Exhibition

Natural Selection Noah Scalin

Natural Selection is an exhibition of new portraits of scientists and their skulls created from everyday materials. The artist, Noah Scalin, is the creator of the award winning Skull-A-Day project. He’s also our friend and a long-time Hired Gun. Check it out!

Natural Selection
Krause Gallery
149 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
Thursday 10/17 – Sunday 11/24

Get tickets and more info here.

Why Images Make Us Click

Lascaux Cave PaintingA century ago, iconic newspaperman Arthur Brisbane first told readers that a picture is worth a thousand words. Dear old Arthur didn’t know just how right he was. But the folks at Curalate do.

We all know that images are powerful. They have a singular ability to excite and engage. They start conversations. They spark friendships (and sometimes end them.) What we don’t quite know is why. To find out just what kind of images move us most, Curalate — a visual marketing and analytics firm — studied 500,000 Pinterest images to identify the visual elements that drove the most re-pins. Here’s what they learned.    Read More →

6 Rules for Creating Web Properties That Work

Good design is hard.In the beginning there were web pages. Brands staked their claims on the newly invented World Wide Web. Web 1.0 met basic consumer expectations, namely that every brand would have an 800 number and a web page as points of contact.

Web 2.0 was about finding, developing, and embracing interactive technologies to engage customers, prospects, and other constituencies. It was about Flash, bells and whistles, and keeping up with the Joneses. Having a cool website mattered.

Web 3.0 was about business results. It was a phase of encyclopedic websites. Governance was split between marketing and IT. The Holy Grail was a fully realized, multi-dimensional, interactive relationship between a brand and its customer base. Metrics, rather than showbiz, finally began to be important.    Read More →

No One Goes There Anymore: Home Pages and the New Wisdom in Traffic Patterns

Back in the day (I’m talking 2002-ish), our sales team was keen on promoting a “home page takeover” or other home-page-based advertising executions to really give clients that WOW factor. After all, everyone comes to the home page!

Today (10 years later, if you can believe it), I still hear salespeople get all worked up about pitching a home page takeover. But no one goes there any more.    Read More →

THG @SXSW: Revealing Design’s True Power

We have a bumper crop of Hired Guns presenting their ideas at next month’s SXSW Interactive. Over the next few weeks we’ll be profiling them, so that you can get a taste of their ideas — whether or not you’ll be making it to Austin yourself. Today’s selection, Jeff Gothelf, will also be cochairing next week’s AgileUX New York City conference.

Demystifying Design:
Fewer Secrets, Greater Impact

Sunday, March 11, 5:00
Presenter: Jeff Gothelf

Your Twesume
(your resume in 140 characters or less):

Interaction designer, author of upcoming book on Lean UX (O’Reilly, June 2012), founding partner at Proof.

Why did you want to speak at SXSW?
SXSW offers an international audience of creatives and technologists with whom conversations about the web, design and technology are always interesting and diverse — plus it’s one hell of a party.    Read More →

Digital Dream Team Wanted to Redesign Big TV Site

We just nabbed exactly our kind of project, a soup-to-nuts redesign of a top TV brand’s website that includes total social media reengineering, and the team will be made up entirely of Hired Guns.  Here are the kind of Guns we’re looking for … make the jump for any role that sounds like you!

If you’re looking for a project where the growth story is going to be dramatic and tied directly to your ideas and innovations, this is it!

Bullet Points: Suboptimal Bosses and Clients; Making Time for Vacation

How to Make Sure Your Senior-Level Design Title Doesn’t Lead to a Dead End

Keeping your career on an upward trajectory requires some planning.You paid your dues. You put in the long nights. You suffered under bosses who never “got” design and those who thought they’d invented it. And finally, you got there. You got the director role, the VP title, or the creative director position that you worked for during your entire career.

And this was good. As the department leader, you made a name for yourself. You grew the team and tightened up the company’s design discipline. You mentored junior designers and churned out some fairly impressive work. And then it came time to move on.

It’s right at that moment that it hits you—when you were an up-and-coming designer, there were lots of entry- and mid-level jobs. As a designer near the top of the heap, the opportunities for you now are few and far between. Rarely do these positions open up, and even more rarely are new senior-design roles created. By working yourself up the corporate design ladder, you may have placed yourself in a situation where potential new gigs are scarce.    Read More →

Bullet Points: To Err is Human; Planning for Job Loss; Couch-potato Multitasking

  • Are young, female employees a risky investment for financial companies, because they tend to leave? The Vault steps into a bit of a minefield….
  • Think you might lose your job? Lifehacker has come advice on battening down the hatches so that you’ll be in best possible position if it does happen.
  • “Millions of people are watching their favorite shows while babbling about them on Facebook.” Joel Falconer of The Next Web finds all this leisure-time multitasking more than a little pathetic.
  • Why is it so annoying to be wrong? The journalist Kathryn Schulz has some answers–and also looks into the upside of erring. [CNN]
  • Speaking of erring: Milton Glaser, Wally Olins, and three other “design demigods” were interviewed by Swedish students about what they learned from failing. Inspirational. [CoDesign]

Product Management, User Experience, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Usability Testing

Project Management, Program Management, Production, Content Production

Animation, Art Direction, Creative Direction, Corporate Identity, Flash Design/Dev, Graphic Design, Web Design

Content Strategy, Editorial, Copywriting, Copy Editing, Research, Blog Outreach

Brand Management, Business Development, Sales, Product Marketing, Event/Conference Planning, Promotions, Marcomms, Corporate Comms, Direct Marketing, E-Marketing, Public Relations, Market Research

Account Management, Account/Brand Planning, Media Strategy, Communications Planning, Media Planning/Buying, Social Media, Search (SEM, SEO), Web Metrics & Analytics

Web Development, Front End Development

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