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Mediacurrent Open Waters Podcast
31 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
A Conversation about Drupal and Open Source Security
In this episode, we welcome Damien McKenna, a prolific Drupal contributor and community leader. We will be talking about open source security, specifically the ins and outs of Drupal security. Transcript and show notes: https://www.mediacurrent.com/blog/open-waters-drupal-open-source-security
38 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
The Future of DDEV Is Bright: A Discussion with Randy Fay
In this episode, we're joined by Randy Fay from DDEV to discuss features and benefits of DDEV, the future of the project, and how you can get involved with contributing to the Drupal community. Randy provides his perspective on DDEV and the ways in which both developers and non developers can use it for projects. Transcript and show notes: https://www.mediacurrent.com/blog/future-ddev-bright-discussion-randy-fay
31 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
Decoupling Drupal: A Conversation with Shane Thomas of Gatsby
In today’s episode of the Open Waters Podcast, Shane Thomas, a Manager Engineer at Gatsby Joins Mark Shropshire and Mario Hernandez to discuss Decoupled Drupal with Gatsby. Shane helps us make sense of Gatsby Cloud and how it can help site owners and Marketers make the best of your decoupled architecture. Finally, Gatsby Preview is a hot topic and Shane tells us all about it as well as what's coming down the pipe for it.
25 minutes | May 25, 2021
Web Accessibility Considerations and Quick Wins
In today’s episode of the Open Waters Podcast, Donna Wicks, a Web Strategist at Kettering University will be joining us to discuss web accessibility in higher ed. We explore engaging accessibility-related topics including marketing to prospective students, user experience, accessibility tools and training, and much more. You can find us at mediacurrent.com/podcast and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. If you liked this episode, share it with your friends and tag @mediacurrent on Twitter. For more resources on open source technology, thought leadership and case studies, visit us at Mediacurrent.com.
25 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Design at Scale: The Playbook for Higher Education Brands
Hey everyone! Welcome to Season 2 of the Open Waters podcast by Mediacurrent. I’m your new host, Susan Cooper. My cohosts Mario Hernandez and Mark Shropshire will be coming to you each month to explore the intersection of open source technology and digital marketing. In today’s episode we’ll be speaking with Sheree Hill, Creative Director of Mediacurrent and John G., digital designer at Mediacurrent. Both have been doing extensive work in higher education, building design systems, addressing pain points of scale and velocity and bringing brand stories to life. We’ll explore some of the challenges facing marketers and designers in higher ed, touch on learning modalities and how they function in web and marketing teams, as well as some quick and easy tips to help sharpen your school’s brand strategy and maximize some production workflows. If you are a marketer, designer or tech lead for higher ed, this episode is for you! Challenges in higher education marketing: Inquiry based learning approaches, such as design thinking exercises to establish guidelines to create richer learning experiences Brand guidelines based on the brand workshops to help inform all design decisions and asset production. Foundational systems across all touchpoints, not just components, but cloud templates, and even consult on team structure and skill sets. Tools and Tricks: Cloud collaboration - Google Docs for ebook templates Processes - legacy content updates Brand guide & Brand Kits in Canva Component matrix Brand strategy planner Importance of Mission and Vision: Guiding light Helps inform decisions For more information, check out Sheree’s Webinar: Leveraging Design Systems to Streamline Web Projects You can find us at mediacurrent.com/podcast and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. If you liked this episode, share it with your friends and tag @mediacurrent on Twitter. For more resources on open source technology, thought leadership and case studies, visit us at Mediacurrent.com.
3 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Open Waters Season 2 Trailer
How can you use open source technology to maximize your Martech investment? Welcome to Mediacurrent’s Open Waters Podcast. Visit us at https://www.mediacurrent.com/podcast Mediacurrent is proud to announce Season 2 of the Open Waters podcast. We’re here to explore the intersection of open source technology and digital marketing. During Season 2, we will be covering topics including: How to optimize your digital strategy Accessibility as a business imperative UX Design Principles How it all works together using open source technologies like Drupal SUSAN: I’m your new host, Susan Cooper, and I’ll be here with your old friends Mario Hernandez and Mark Shropshire to bring you the best in digital marketing and technology. MARIO: Hello everyone. This is Mario. I’m back and this time with two new great co-hosts, Susan and Shrop. I am very excited about resuming the podcast and bringing you great content from guests who are leaders in the Open Source community. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast in your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss out on awesome discussions, resources and the latest in Drupal and Open Source. SHROP: Hi, this is Shrop. I’m a creative leader who has a heart for helping individuals be their best, while working with teams delivering best-in-class software projects built with open source technologies. At Mediacurrent, we value giving back. This is in our D.N.A. as an open source expansion partner. We want to share our approaches to successful digital projects, helping you gain the information you need to improve your important work. Not only will you get the details of our experiences, but you will get to hear from our fantastic clients and partners! We are so excited to bring you a fresh perspective on open source technology and digital marketing this season! Make sure to subscribe today so you will not miss a single episode! SUSAN: If you are a Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Software Engineer, or Director of Marketing, this is the podcast for you. Or if you're a marketer interested in Marketing Technology and Digital Strategy, you’re not going to want to miss what we have in store for you in 2021. So check us out at mediacurrent.com/podcast and subscribe today on your favorite podcast app.
23 minutes | Apr 8, 2020
Project Managing an Open Source Project
In this episode, we welcome a new host, Christine Bryan. And as a sort of initiation, we interview her about project managing an open source project. About Christine Christine has been working in marketing and technology for over fifteen years. She’s worked in government, non-profit, and for-profit industries. Her first Drupal project was on Mass.gov, the state website for Massachusetts, and since then she’s worked with clients including universities, manufacturing, and financial services. In her spare time she parents a pretty awesome one year old kiddo, plays video games, and likes to walk around the world at Epcot. Tool Pick Let’s talk about Jira. Interview Tell us about yourself and your role as a project manager (PM) at Mediacurrent. How did you get started in Project Management? What are some qualities you need to be an effective PMs? Are there specific challenges an Open Source project presents from a PM point of view? When we asked you what you wanted to talk about on your first time out on the podcast, why did you choose Jira? As a PM, do you interact with Marketers of the project you are managing? How do marketers get involved with your projects? What could potentially make a project fail if not managed properly? And how would you avoid failure? A project, although managed by a PM, depends on the execution of many people (devs, stakeholders, etc.), what do you think others can do to increase the chances of success? How do you define success when managing a project?
22 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
Enterprise Marketing with Lynne Cappozi
In this episode, we're joined by Lynne Cappozi, Acquia’s CMO. Lynne weighs in on how to maximize your investment in Acquia products, top digital marketing challenges, and how open source is changing the game for marketers. Lynne is one of Acquia’s boomerang stories, first serving as CMO in 2009 and returning to Acquia in 2016 to lead the marketing organization into its next stage of growth. Prior to her experience at Acquia, Lynne held various marketing leadership roles in the technology space at companies such as JackBe, Systinet & Lotus Development, all of which were acquired during her tenure. Outside of her work at Acquia, Lynne is on the board of directors at the Boston Children’s Hospital Trust and runs a nonprofit through the hospital. Project Picks CVent GoGoGrandparent Interview Tell us about yourself and your role at Acquia. What does Acquia do? How has open source changed the practice of marketing for Acquia’s customers? What kind of organizations make up Acquia’s customer base? Being a marketer yourself, what do you see as the biggest challenge for enterprise marketers as we head into 2020? What is Acquia doing to help marketers overcome those challenges? Where do digital agencies like Mediacurrent fit into Acquia’s ecosystem? What can marketers do to get the most value out of their investment in Acquia products? Thanks for tuning in for another episode of Open Waters! Looking for more useful tips, technical takeaways, and creative insights? Visit mediacurrent.com/podcast to subscribe and hear more episodes.
36 minutes | Feb 5, 2020
Agile Marketing in Open Source
In this episode, we talk with Steve Persch. Steve is the Technical Product Marketing Manager at Pantheon, a WebOp platform for agile teams. Steve began his career in the marketing department of the Lookingglass theatre company in Chicago, managing their website and other digital marketing efforts. From there Steve became a developer working with WordPress and Drupal. After many years in the Drupal community, Steve joined Pantheon in 2015. After four years in Developer Relations, Steve just moved over to Product Marketing. Project Pick: The Internet Button: Dev Ops Days Video (as Al Gore) Decoupled Days Video Interview: Can you tell us about yourself Steve and the company you’re Technical Product Marketing Manager for? Can you explain what agile marketing is for our listeners? How is agile marketing different? What kind of performance can organizations expect compared to traditional or textbook marketing approaches? How does open source software play a role in agile marketing? Do you have any success stories you can share about how agile marketing has improved a team or client's performance? How can our listeners get started in agile marketing? What are the 1st 3 steps? What well-known companies can you think of who are having a lot of success with agile marketing? For organizations who employ agile marketing, how much success are they having compared to those organizations that haven’t invested in agile marketing? How do you see the practice of agile marketing evolving over the next 5 years? Can you name one or two things that are critical to being a successful agile marketer? That’s it for today’s show, thanks for joining us! Looking for more useful tips, technical takeaways, and creative insights? Visit mediacurrent.com/podcast to subscribe and hear more episodes.
25 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
Gatsby for Marketers
After a well-deserved winter break, we are back with our first episode of 2020. In this episode, we will be talking with Linda Watkins. Currently, Linda is Senior Director of Marketing at Gatsby, a modern website framework that creates blazing fast, secure, instantly scalable websites. She is sought after for her marketing expertise and frequently consults with large brands worldwide. But first and foremost, she is a practitioner that enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience by engaging with marketers and technologists. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and in her free time, plays flute with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony and enjoys Netflix documentaries. Linda Watkins has worked for some of the biggest technology brands in the world including Amazon and Cisco Systems. She has also worked for various technology startups that specialize in modern website development. She has over 10 years of experience building scalable marketing programs, driving demand for new services, and planning and executing go-to-market strategies. She is a Stanford Certified Project Manager and has an MBA from Brigham Young University. Project Pick Gatsby Preview Interview Mario: Tell us about your role as a Senior Director of Marketing at Gatsby? Mario: For those listeners who aren’t familiar with Gatsby JS, can you tell us what it is? Bob: What benefits does Gatsby bring to large scale enterprise web teams? What’s attractive to marketers and IT managers? Mark: Are any notable brands using Gatsby? Who are they? Mark: Where does Gatsby fit into a martech (Marketing Tech
24 minutes | Dec 6, 2019
Streamlined Design With Rain
About Cheryl and Becky This episode, we welcome UX pros Cheryl Little and Becky Cierpich to talk about the Mediacurrent Rain installation profile. Hear how Rain, the recent winner of Acquia’s “Open Source Giants” award, can streamline your design project. Project Pick: Becky: nocoffee vision simulator Cheryl: Notion.so Interview: What is Rain? How did Mediacurrent designers help build Rain? What’s included in the Rain component library? Are you glad that you did/ how does this benefit your team? How do digital strategists interact with Rain? Do developers like Rain? How about clients? What has their reaction been? OK, how about project managers? Do they get anything out of Rain besides a more efficient project? Thinking about the editorial experience, how does Rain look to a site builder? Is there any reason a project shouldn’t start with Rain? What's next for the future of Rain? Resources Check out Cheryl and Becky's presentation Rain: A New Tool to Streamline Design with Reusable Components. Learn more about Rain's content authoring tools. Read about our Open Source Giants award on Acquia's blog.
22 minutes | Nov 12, 2019
Behind-the-Scenes With a Digital Strategist
In this episode, meet Danielle Barthelemy, a Senior Digital Strategist with over 10 years of experience in marketing and digital strategy. Prior to her role at Mediacurrent, Danielle led the digital strategy team at a digital advertising and social marketing agency. She also taught Mass Communication as an adjunct professor at a Minnesota university. She currently resides in Minnesota and when she’s not in her office, she spends her time with her family, trying out new recipes, and dreaming about her next trip to the mountains. Project Pick You can’t be data-driven without understanding data! Bounteous.com is a fantastic, easy to follow blog on all things data. Interview Tell us about your role as a Senior Digital Strategist at Mediacurrent. My role as a senior digital strategist involves a variety of different elements - I actively support clients in developing and executing on their strategy to accomplish their business goals through their website and digital marketing efforts. Often times that involves asking questions and diving into user data to help define priorities within the roadmap. It means collaborating with project managers, designers and developers to execute on the initiatives in the roadmap to ensure we are tracking towards the goals. It means supporting the content strategy and offering SEO recommendations. Essentially, what it means to be a senior digital strategist, is that I get to partner with our clients in whatever way I’m able to lean in to support them as we strive to accomplish their goals together. Also, as a senior strategist, I get to spend a portion of my days supporting the rest of the team of strategists and data analysts. Coaching and mentoring, peer reviews of our work, collaborating and problem solving - it is SO much fun to work alongside such intelligent, fun and empathic people. They are constantly impressing me with how they’re partnering with our clients and are pushing me to grow and continue learning! Tell us about your background - how did it bring you to your current role? I started out my career in market research. I led a team of 10 researchers and oversaw research studies for small businesses and government groups to better understand the perceptions and attitudes of their audiences. I transitioned into a digital marketing agency where I was a project manager and led the digital marketing for the agency. At that time I also begin working towards a master's degree in strategic communication. Following graduation, I transitioned into a start-up agency as a digital project manager where I led the social and digital advertising strategies for a variety of clients. I saw a gap in our offerings for a more strategic approach when it comes to digital marketing so I created a role for myself - head of strategy. In this role, I was able to coach and mentor other account managers to be more strategic and to oversee the strategy for our biggest accounts. The common theme in my previous roles is that I was leveraging research and data to understand how users were using current technology, websites, and platforms that were already in the digital ecosystem. When I was reflecting on my role at Mediacurrent, I realized that I am able to build on that foundation of understanding people and how they use technology to be able to help my clients now create new platforms, new websites, new portals for users to engage with. Creating something from nothing or staying ahead of trends in digital strategy is a tall task, but it’s an invigorating one. The knowledge and expertise I have gained throughout my career is a key piece of how I’m able to partner with our clients. What’s your favorite thing about being a strategist at Mediacurrent? I have too many things I enjoy to list just one. First off, the teams I work with are great - I’m challenged to be my best and supported as I continue to grow by the strategy team I just mentioned, by my project teams and from the clients I am able to work with. I love collaborating with other people and learning from their experience and expertise - there isn’t a week that goes by that I’m not learning and growing and I love that. I also love the nature of the work. The challenges and opportunities that our clients have are complicated, nuanced, and very often there isn’t a “right” answer. It’s part of my role to help figure out the best path. I step into typically very gray and confusing challenges and help chart a clear path. The way I look at it, I understand typical best practices when it comes to digital strategy, I am constantly learning about user behavior patterns, I collaborate with our clients to really understand their business and objectives, and then figure out how to apply best practices to their situation. The best practices that are well known across the digital strategy field serve as just a starting point for us. To really see success, we need to apply critical thinking on top of those best practices to make sure it’s best for the client’s situation. Just applying a blanket best practice and not considering the nuances of the situation probably won’t return the best results. What advice do you have for organizations in approaching their digital strategy? Make sure you’re asking the right questions! It’s so easy to jump right into execution because time is so limited and we all have endless to do lists. I try to follow a pattern in asking questions when I’m facing a challenge or opportunity - I first take it up to the 30,000 foot view and ask myself what the overall goal is - what am I trying to accomplish and how does this challenge fit into that? Often times I’ll realize I’m giving it too much attention - it’s so easy to focus on the shiny thing or squeaky wheel! Having a good grasp of the overall goal helps to keep me focused and also avoid saying yes to too many things. If it is something I need to address, then I start getting into analyzing all of the data/factors I have available. Most of the time I don’t have all of the data I would ideally like to make the decision, but I gather as much as I can and then use that for defining a path forward. All that to say, when you look at continually improving your digital strategy, ask questions! Why is it important for an organization to invest in digital strategy? I think in order to understand why they should, it’s important to understand why they don’t. I’ve never heard anyone saying, “strategy isn’t important.” No one ever disagrees with what we do. A strategic approach to any project is helpful and is the best way to ensure the highest ROI. The challenge often comes to budget or someone on the client team covers the role. For clients with budget constraints, we can scale up and down our support on any project. At the beginning of the engagement, we would want to discuss where our support would provide the biggest value within the budget constraints of the project. A similar response to those that have strategic roles already on their team - but first, that’s fantastic. It’s great to see an internal focus on a strategic approach! Second, we have a deep bench of expertise in the strategy discipline - it’s actually the second largest team at MC. Adding strategy to an engagement isn’t an “all or nothing” thing. We love being able to understand the needs of the project and the dynamic of the client team to best match our strategists to complement the team. We want to be an extension of the project team, not a duplication. If the client team has well-researched personas already created, we don’t need to engage our team to recreate the wheel. If there is a gap in data analysis skills on the team, we can lean in just that area if needed. How does a website project benefit from having a a digital strategist onboard? There are a lot of benefits of engaging a strategist on a project - SMEs on user research, persona development, data analysis, goal setting and measurement, SEO, content strategy… but the primary one that comes to my mind is that we are great connectors - we operate with client goals in mind and are an advocate for the user’s perspective, we help communicate those goals to the next steps in the project - design and development - and use that knowledge as a primary factor in the decisions that are bound to come up. For example - when determining an MVP, how do we prioritize what should be a must-have versus a nice to have? How do we frame the must-haves? There are obviously a lot of factors that go into this and strategy supports pulling that information together and making a data-driven decision. Are there different levels of digital strategy you could recommend based on organizations with a limited budget? Absolutely. We can scale up and down our support on any project. At the beginning of the engagement we would want to discuss where our support would provide the biggest value within the budget constraints of the project. For example, we had an engagement with a university library that had a very limited budget. In our initial conversations with them, we discussed how our team could provide the most value to them. Their biggest challenges was organizing the vast amount of content their site has in a way that made sense for the user AND the library, not just the library. We guided them through research to better understand their users and then applied that insight to a more intuitive and user-friendly navigation. We also audited their on-page content and provided recommendations of how the content on an individual page could better align with best practices and user expectations. There are certainly more things that we could have done with and for them from a strategy perspective, but the biggest “bang for their buck” was helping with their content strategy. In other engagements, we have strategists providing a litany of guidance on a variety of disciplines - SEO, data collection, data analysis, roadmapping, persona development, requirements gathering, user testing, usability testing… we have a deep bench with a variety of expertise that we pair with clients based on their greatest needs, their budget and our skill sets. Can digital strategy be implemented after a project has been launched? Are there any disadvantages to doing this? It’s never too late! Ideally you would start with strategy to ensure the decisions from the get-go are founded in best practice and research. BUT, we are agile-minded and focus on continuous improvement so adding in strategy at any time could have a positive impact on the ROI of the project! We have several engagements where a strategist was not involved in the build but was added to the team later. Sometimes that’s for a specific skill set - data analysis, SEO, etc. and sometimes it’s for the general strategic direction and roadmapping the future of the site. In an agile approach, strategy doesn’t have an end point. It’s not a matter of setting a strategy at the onset and then never adapting it.
20 minutes | Oct 22, 2019
Why Companies Should Contribute to Open Source
About AmyJune In this episode, we welcome AmyJune Hineline from Kanopi Studios to talk about the importance of open source to the community and organizations. AmyJune is the Open Source community ambassador for Kanopi. She helps keep her team connected to open source communities. Along with working in the WordPress and Drupal communities, AmyJune also co-organizes A11yTalks, a monthly online meetup where they promote community discussions on a variety of accessibility issues. You can find her at just about every Drupal camp or con, where she will coax you into buying a beer-like drink. Project Pick: https://www.drupal.org/community https://make.wordpress.org/ Interview Tell us about yourself and about your role as an Open Source Community Ambassador? How did you get started with the Open Source Community? What would you say is the biggest benefit for an agency to contribute back to the community? Why should an organization/company using Drupal invest in giving back to the community? A lot of people think contributing back means creating a new module or a new theme. Although those are certainly ways to contribute back, what are other ways in which an organization using Drupal or Wordpress can contribute back? What would be your advice to an organization who is interested in contributing back to the community? What is the process like or what steps should they take? How can an agency like yours or ours motivate or encourage clients to contribute back? What kind of resources are available for an organization to get started with contributing back?
32 minutes | Oct 1, 2019
Getting Into Gatsby with Jason Lengstorf
Meet Gatsby, an open source React-based framework for building super fast websites and apps. In this episode, we talk with Jason Lengstorf to discuss the GatsbyJS project and what it solves. Project Pick: https://gatsbyjs.org Interview What's your role at Gatsby, when did you start? How did you get involved in the project? What did you do before Gatsby? What is Gatsby? How do you feel about the response from the community about Gatsby? Did you think it would take off as it has? Why should an org choose it over a traditional CMS? What separates Gatsby from other static site generators? What features is the team currently working on? Closing comments Links: Jason’s site Learn With Jason Minus my thoughts (Jason’s Band)
17 minutes | Sep 10, 2019
All About Training with Mario Hernandez
In this episode, we talk with Mediacurrent's Mario Hernandez about why training is so important for web teams to grow and stay competitive. And yes, we are once again interviewing one of the hosts. About Mario In addition to his position as Head of Learning, Mario is a Senior Front End Developer with over 15 years of Drupal experience. He and I actually started on the same day, 5 years ago. Mario is a regular speaker and trainer at tech conferences including Drupal Camps and DrupalCons. He is a co-host of the Open Waters podcast and an active participant in the Drupal core project and other open source projects. Prior to Mediacurrent, Mario also has over 10 years of experience in the Federal Government. Project Pick Apollo GraphQL Server Client Platform Interview: The best way to learn is to teach. How did you get started with Drupal and front end development in general? How did you get started doing training? What is your favorite part of training people? Is Mediacurret’s training limited to only events and/or only Drupal? How do you think training is most effective when working with a client’s internal development team? In addition to FE training, does Mediacurrent offer training in other areas? Yes! We offer training in Accessibility, SEO, Back End, Digital Strategy, GatsbyJS and more How can organizations interested in our training offerings get more information?
24 minutes | Aug 20, 2019
Improving Drupal's Admin UI With Cristina Chumillas
In this episode, we catch up with Cristina Chumillas. Cristina comes from the design world and is passionate about front-end development. She works at Lullabot (though when we recorded this, she worked at Ymbra) and has been involved in the Drupal community for years, contributing with code, design, and organizing events. Her contributions to Drupal Core are mainly focused on front-end, design and UX. Nowadays, she's a co-organizer of the Drupal Admin UI & JS Modernization Initiative and a Drupal core UX maintainer. Project Pick: Claro Interview Tell us about yourself: What is your role, who do you work for, and where are you from? You are a busy woman, what events have you recently attended and/or are scheduled to attend in the near future? Which Drupal core initiatives are you currently contributing to? How does a better admin theme UI help site owners? What are the main goals? Is this initiative sponsored by anyone? Who is the target for the initiative? How is the initiative organized? What improvements will it bring in a short/mid/long term? How can people get involved in helping with these initiatives? Quick-takes Cristina contributed to the Out Of The Box initiative for a while, together with podcast co-host Mario 3 reasons why Drupal needs a better admin theme UI: Content Productivity, savings, less frustration Main goals: We have 2 separate paths: the super-fancy JS app that will land in an undefined point in the future and Claro as the new realistic & releasable short term work that will introduce improvements on each release. Why focus on admin UI? We’re focusing on the content author's experience because that’s one of the main pain points mentioned in an early survey we did last year.) How is the initiative organized? JS, UX&User studies, New design system (UI), Claro (new theme) What improvements will it bring in a short/mid/long term? Short: New theme/UI, Mid: editor role with specific features, autosave, Long: JS app.
19 minutes | Jul 30, 2019
Intro to Emotional Design: UX that will lead to conversions
Welcome to Mediacurrent’s Open Waters podcast. A podcast about open source solutions. I’m Mark Casias, surrounded by my wonderful co-hosts, Bob Kepford… and Mario Hernandez. This episode we will be talking with the creative director here at Mediacurrent, Sheree Hill. With 15 years of award-winning agency experience, Sheree has been privileged to work with iconic brands including Harley-Davidson, AT&T, Kellogg’s Special K, Tupperware, Budweiser, The Home Depot, Toyota Scion, Listerine, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Southeastern Conference Sports, NCAA and Sony Pictures to create branded entertainment, rich media, games and interactive motion marketing and product sites. With our design team, has recently launched projects including Georgia Tech’s Workforce of the future and Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business. Pro Project Pick Open Source Design Animation Tool - Airbnb Lottie Animation Inspiration - Motion Corpse Interview Q: Tell us about yourself: What is your role? A: As Creative Director at Mediacurrent, I lead the design team in brand-led engagements, website, design and user experiences by practicing empathy and behavioral science. We practice design thinking use a component-based design process to create scalable web sites for higher education, non-profit and financial services verticals. Q: Tell me a little bit about the component-based design process. A: Component based design is unique in that the design elements are reusable and scalable rather than one-off designs. Our team is versed in building well-structured design systems, this means that we design on an atomic level, viewing each component and design element as a part of a larger whole. Often we base our designs on our basic install profile, which is a set of wireframes we have created that address standard content needs. Basic components, such as heroes, cards, accordions, left/right components are already wired out. We can use them as a base, which eliminates the need to duplicate prior efforts. It's transformed our process. Brands are intimate and have personalities. We create moodboards to set the tone of the digital brand extension. We perform discovery including UX and brand audits We ask questions. There is power in knowing which questions to ask. Our digital strategists partner with our UX designers to create iterative design. We rapidly prototype and map out MVP needs for components and lay out with matrix’s. Q: What is unique about designing for higher ed? A: If you’re on a marketing team for a university there are many unique challenges. There are multiple stakeholders (often more than the corporate clients we work with) with different goals and objectives. Design needs to appeal/solve problems for a larger stakeholder audience in higher ed because there are often agendas and priorities that are duplicative or competing. We solve this by doing a deep onsite discovery engagement where we get to know an institution’s unique set of needs. We have a team of developers, strategists and designers that work together at the onsite to have an understanding of what is needed, we practice agile methodology and partner with your team to co-create a scalable solution. Agile methodology typically works well in a higher ed project because of the dynamics and evolving discussions on requirements between various stakeholders. When it comes to search technologies, universities have deep repositories of data that they need to get into their students hands, we worked with USC Libraries to create bento box search functionality. Q: What are some development challenges that you see in implementing UI design from a development perspective for higher ed? A: Often times if the Design process is not in line with development this can create problems. If designs have not accounted for realistic content flow or placement on different device sizes, this can lead to poor performance, poor accessibility and poor user experience. As you know our team of developers is brought into design discussions early to be able to identify potential problems. Solving these early on is a win-win for everyone, including clients. Q: What is your team studying right now? Our design and strategy teams are leveling up in psychology and persuasion certifications We learn and grow together. Importance of cross pollination (strategy and design) Our weekly design team check in allows us to discuss how we can apply the theory we’re learning to our current projects, in content strategy, UX design and art direction. Q: What is the importance of behavioral research in data driven design? A: When we understand why and how people make decisions, it informs our UX strategy and art direction. Understanding human needs informs and desires informs our content strategy through empathy and persuasion. So, if you’re a CMO at a university and wanting to focus on lead generation, it’s important to understand how to nudge visitors to sign up to visit your campus. You have to also keep in mind that not every visitor is a prospective student - some are faculty, staff, or donors. It’s critical to understand how each of these different personas interacts with a website. What’s motivating their action? When do they typically make decisions related to actions that impact a site’s KPIs? Understanding human biases and neuromarketing allows us to make a more compelling UX that will lead to conversions. Thanks for joining us Sheree! Check out the blog post reference in this podcast: Human Centered: Brand Intimacy in Emotional Design, and stay tuned for the next episode of Open Waters.
17 minutes | Jul 9, 2019
What is Serverless and What Problems Does it Solve?
In this episode of Open Waters, we talk with our own Bob Kepford, creator of the weekly newsletter The Weekly Drop, to discuss Open Source Serverless solutions. Bob presented this topic at DrupalCon Seattle and it was very well received. You can catch the recording on the DrupalCon site. Pro Project Pick: Serverless Framework Interview with Bob Kepford The big question: What is Serverless? What are the 4 pillars of serverless? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What do I have to know to get started? As a site owner, why would I consider using serverless? What are the security implications when using serverless? Who are the big players who are adopting and/or providing serverless solutions? Subscribe Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
5 minutes | Jun 17, 2019
Introducing Open Waters - A New Podcast for Strategic Marketing with Open Source
Mediacurrent is proud to announce the launch of our new podcast with the release of our pilot episode. Open Waters is a podcast exploring the intersection of open source technology and digital marketing. It’s made especially for CMO's, Directors and Managers of Marketing, technology, and digital strategy. Our Purpose We think open source is an ocean of opportunity to maximize your martech investment. We encourage you to listen and learn about using open source technology and forward thinking marketing strategy to generate and convert leads, improve security, increase speed to market, and identify the ROI of your digital investments. Our goal is to educate about the challenges and solutions we see with our own clients and in the market. In this episode: New format, shorter but more frequent episode release schedule. We're taking a different direction from our Mediacurrent Dropcast, no longer focused strictly on Drupal. Instead, we will be talking about the business benefits of open source software. We are going to change up some sections. A little less news, and more about solutions. We will probably still do the Pro Project pick from our Dropcast Upcoming Episodes: Ben Robertson, who presented at the GatsbyJS Days conference in December, will join us to talk about the benefits of Gatsby JS. Mario Hernandez will be on the podcast to talk about our upcoming expanded training for components. We’ll have an episode to talk about how to choose a CMS, whether it’s Drupal, WordPress, or any of the other bazillion options. Bob Kepford, you may have heard of him, will be on to talk about serverless 101 and the problems it can solve. We will have Jason Lengstorf from Gatsby on to talk about the project. And much, much more. Subscribe to Open Waters New episodes will be released tri-weekly on Tuesdays. How Can I Support the Show? Subscribe, leave a review, and share about us on social media with the hashtag #openwaterspodcast. Have an idea for a topic? Tweet at our hosts Mark Casias, Bob Kepford, and Mario Hernandez. Be sure to subscribe in your favorite podcast platform. Links to follow. Related Insights - https://www.mediacurrent.com/blog
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