Corporate Lesson Of The Day: Don’t Punch Above Your Weight

An Introduction

Hi, Reader.  A note before I get started.
This series is because people don’t talk about the importance of workflow, in the digital trend websites.
They talk about “innovation”, “gamification”, and “UX”.  This year, the new cool things to say are “responsive design” and “wearable tech”. 
(Sorry, in advance. I’ll probably keep showing my cynicism towards buzzwords).
Marketers and digital strategists never really say things like “chain-of-command” and “proper documentation”.  Or “proper client facilitation”.
When THOSE can be the keys to actually executing great products.
(I’m not claiming that I learned these on my own.  For readings on these pertinent topics, please read Things That Are Brown, A List Apart, 37 Signals’ Signal VS. Noise, Boxes and Arrows and MIX Online.)
So here I present my “workflow lessons” series.  
This is for the people who love the workflow. 
This is for those who care about the grind.


 Don’t Punch Above Your Weight

You know a simple two-step way to solve all project issues?

1)  Tell the person directly concerned. Yes, to their face.

2)  Having done Step #1 (and you must do Step 1) — if that doesn’t resolve or clarify the situation — inform your boss, so he/she can tell that person’s boss.

Really. It’s that simple. You’ll be surprised at how many things those two steps can actually solve.


You know what the hard part is?  Working up the guts to do (1).

It is tough to talk to a person directly.  Especially about work conflict.

Continue reading

LFTD: “Think of storytelling before responsive design”

Useful, well-written post by Jani Modig on Medium.

There are many articles these days on the importance of content, but Modig’s proof seem to be the clearest, and simplest to remember:

“according to the latest statistics (verified by The Associated Press)and even the goldfish have an ability to concentrate longer than us”
“I had spent couple of all nighters watching Game of Thrones on my laptop and in the following mornings I realized I was explaining to clients that people are just browsing web, not really concentrating on the content.”

Jani Modig is a UX designer.  See more of his work here.

Jani Modig Portfolio (Skype)
Jani Modig Portfolio (Skype)

Tae-yang’s Music Video launch and what it means for digital marketing

Or how Korean music moguls managed to distill American Pop’s secret sauce, then sold it to the world.

So many people who were born before 1985 wonder why K-Pop is a thing.

To illustrate why it’s a phenomenon, I want to ask you to watch two (2) videos launched this past month.

1) This was the first video launched for Tae-yang’s new single. After he hadn’t released songs for more than a year.

Note that this isn’t the music video yet.

2) This is its music video.

K-Pop industry articles mention that they shot the video first, and THEN showed it to the managers to see what they wanted to do with it.  This is the future of promotion.  Spontaneous, responsive, not old-school branding-heavy.  But still knows how to grab its audience by the ovaries.

It’s the Vevo version of Oreo’s “Dunk in the dark”.


Grab bag: Rural America technology, Facebook-brand tracking, bacon salt and party kit packaging design

Open-tab cleaning.

1. The High-Tech of Rural America

Why do I like this?  Because it’s an example of how design and technology serve people’s needs (and yes, businessmen’s pockets).
Too often, my job revolves arounds trying to plan applications that seem so unrelated to what people need or are going through.
Hooray for rural America!

The DeLaval AMR Circular Cow Milker
The DeLaval AMR Circular Cow Milker

2.  The Wired Social Index

Let’s see how this works out.  Tracking the financial performance of the strongest brands on Facebook.
The Wired Social Index

3. The Donut Project

I’m partly biased towards the name.

But, nice source of interesting images and videos.

Boys & Girls' reception area
Boys & Girls’ reception area
Jason Bacher wallpaper

4.  Bacon Salt and a Sundae Kit.  Ideas from Buzzfeed’s 38 Ways to Give the Gift of Food.

Bacon Salt
Bacon Salt
Sundae Kit
Sundae Kit

This entry led me to…

5.  Manic Design’s Merrymaking Must-Haves Kit on Lovely Package

Smart, smart, smart.  And cleanly designed.

Merrymaking Must-haves Kit - Manic Design
Merrymaking Must-haves Kit – Manic Design
Shillington Design Blog - MaricorMaricar

5 Ideas I liked (since January): Pie + Creative brainstorming, Google work philosophy, Watercolor Typography, Facebook Userflow

1. One of my favorite ideas in the past year.

Pie + User Feedback or Community Involvement + Design = PieLab

2.  This PaidContent article on the insensitive coincidences of online ads and tragic news stories (e.g. shooting massacre articles and bloody novelty shirt ads).

Screencap by Evan Brown

3.  “Why Google Does Things The Way It Does“, by The Guardian.

Thought-provoking.  Because you keep hearing about how Google is revolutionary, but they’re never as suave at branding themselves as Apple, plus they have weird ideas like Google glass, and annoying decisions like killing Google Reader:

“In its behaviour and vocabulary, Google oozes scientific method. A couple of times recently I’ve heard Google executives say in public, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’. …engineers are trained not to act on intuition. You are allowed to have intuition, of course, but you use it to make hypotheses, which you then test. You act on the results of those tests…

When an experiment is completed, you either choose to follow up on it, or you terminate it and move on to something else. A scientist doesn’t get emotional about this; it’s the way the system works, and everyone knows that it’s all for the best.”

4.  I don’t know which I enjoyed more – the Maricor/Maricar watercolor typography exercises…

Or the Shillington Design Blog “I Love These Guys” category page, where they were featured?

Shillington Design Blog - MaricorMaricar
Shillington Design Blog – MaricorMaricar

5.  Facebook sharing its “Report Abuse” interaction flow.


“The best way to get approval is not to need it.”: Advice day!

I should just admit that I am NEVER going to run out of tabs to close.

A compilation of lovely advice from all over the web.

1.  Very helpful: Time to Give Up Your Dreams?

Smart.  Talks about how you should gauge your progress against the distance to your goal.  “How far have I gone?” versus “How long left to go?”

Really relevant for me.  At this time where I’m trying to line up my goals and see how they all fit, or which ones I still like (Do I really want to exert the effort to own three public parks?  Would I really want to get that rich or earn a landscape architecture degree or marry insanely wealthy just to achieve that?)

2.  15 Things You Should Give Up to be Happy. via my facebook feed (Thank you, Kai!)

Because I always need reminding.

“‘Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?’ - Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

The need to always be right.  Need for control. Blame.  Self-defeating self-talk. Limiting beliefs. Complaining.  The luxury of criticism.  Need to impress others.  Resistance to change.  Labels. Fears. Excuses. The past.  Attachments.  Living up to people’s expectations.

3. From my favorite Brain Picking article, “How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love“:

“28. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.” – Hugh Macleod

4.  From Lifehacker: adaptation of the 5 biggest regrets of the dying, by Paul Graham.

Desktop Wallpaper by Alice Lee

5.  Thought Catalog’s checklist for women below 30.

“2.   Try to be kind to the people who are rude to you. It’s not personal, they’re just having a really bad day/month/life.

7.  Surround yourself by only the books, images, music and people that make you happy.

8.  Your ability to speak honestly about your weaknesses, failures and disappointments is your greatest strength.

9.  Nothing is more fulfilling than helping other people.

17.  Be careful about confiding personal information. Relationships change.

18.  Go to events and parties and lectures you have no interest in going to.

19.  Ask yourself what you want. Then take the necessary steps to get it.

28.  Let yourself be happy when you’re happy.”

Random clippings. A grab bag of stuff I love on the web. All links to images are embedded in the images themselves.