iOS AND ANDROID
Topics:Choose a tag
I sometimes find myself over complicating project situations from time to time. I have also worked with colleagues and clients who notoriously do the same. I came across an article that speaks to this very topic. The article sites an example of what occurs when one over-complicates a situation and also outlines ways to keep things simple without needing to sacrifice planning for timelines.
Here are the Cliff Notes:
Why People Overcomplicate Matters
How to Prevent Over-complicating Matters
You can read the full article here: http://www.projectmanager.com/dont-overcomplicate.php
This weekend LW sponsored and participated in the TCNJ Hackthon 2013. If you don’t know what a hackathon is (thanks Wikipedia): “A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others in the field of software development, like graphic designers, interface designers and project managers collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week in length. Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software.”
Participation in such events is important to LW because they bring innovation to the forefront and allow students to solve problems in ways that we might not have initially considered. Sponsoring these events, allows us to give the students the opportunity to explore solutions to problems they feel are important.
We’d like to thank all the participants and organizers for putting together such a great event and allowing us to be a small portion of it.
When I got a chance to represent Local Wisdom as a mentor and judge at the recent HackRU Hackathon, I became a little nostalgic.
You see, even though I’m the UX/Design guy, I’ve always had my hands in technology and I’ve always been supportive of the “Just try it out and see if it works” mentality that the hacker ethic represents.
It’s summer time so whether you’re heading to the beach or hosting a bbq, one thing is certain – the weather is unpredictable and prior planning is a must. Local Wisdom Labs’ stylish iOS and Android friendly weather app is the perfect tool for organizing your summer itinerary, and our friends at eWEEK.com seem to agree. Weatherwise was just featured as one of eWEEK.com’s Top iPhone Apps to Kick Off the 2012 Summer Season. Here’s what they had to say:
Forget boring old Doppler scans and uninviting forecasts. This app features animated personas and moving landscapes to give your weather report some personality.
Weatherwise was recently mentioned on Mashable as one of the top 15 iPhone Weather Apps. Download it for FREE on iTunes or Google Play. Also, stay tuned for 2 new themes coming soon! A sneak peek can be seen on the official Weatherwise Facebook page. Click here to check out “Cliff”.
Conducting company meetings can be costly and eat up valuable time, which is why it’s important to make sure they are as productive as possible. Check out the meeting cost calculator that Mike found a few months ago. Here at Local Wisdom, we try to keep our meetings efficient and enjoyable. There are a few things we do before, during and after the meeting to make sure that we accomplish our goals. We’ve outlined some guidelines below to help you.
First of all, it’s important to have fun throughout the day. Creativity emerges when people in the room are enjoying themselves and engaging in conversation, so it’s important to laugh often.
Every meeting should have a facilitator who enforces the ground rules and keeps everything running smoothly. The leader is responsible for creating the schedule and agenda. Overall, it is this person’s job to focus all of the people in the room so that they are able to stay on task and move forward.
Who to Invite
Be careful about who you invite and always make sure to do your homework first. Those who are involved with the projects that are going to be discussed should definitely be invited. However, it might be beneficial to also include people who can provide input on the topic or gain knowledge about what is being discussed.
Provide as much advanced notice as possible. When meetings are planned ahead of time it is more likely that people will have clear calendars and be able to attend. Scheduling a meeting early also gives you a deadline to have certain work completed before the start of the meeting. Waiting until work is completed before scheduling the meeting can cause delays and missed opportunities.
Set up recurring meetings if you find you need to talk about the same topics or projects with the same group. For example, we began scheduling “scrum” times for reviewing work and answering questions. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning we meet to review architecture and design at a standing time. We no longer have to juggle times and locations for meetings and reviews. It may take a week or two to get this rolling but everyone’s schedule will eventually adjust around it.
State the Objective and Agenda
Whether the meeting is scheduled or standing, it’s important to state the objectives and agenda to ensure everyone is on the same page from the start. The objective should define what should be accomplished by the end of the meeting. The agenda could include a list of topics, activities, or discussions that will help us to achieve our meeting objectives. The goals and agenda should also be written somewhere for everyone to see. We keep a standard area of the whiteboard dedicated to writing these out. Following an agenda will help keep the meeting organized and productive.
Once the objectives and agenda are reiterated, introduce everyone in the room quickly and explain why they’re there. Sometimes not everyone is required to be there the whole time, especially during reoccurring meetings. As certain topics become irrelevant to people, they should be free to go if they wish.
It’s not uncommon for discussions to go into tangents. Identifying topics that are not specifically aimed at key points, but may be important later, are called our parking lot items. We take note of these topics and come back to them at a later time or maybe even a different meeting. This approach keeps the focus on the topic at hand and helps us achieve our meeting objectives.
Convergent and Divergent Thinking
Use convergent and divergent thinking in order to stay organized during ideation meetings. Convergent thinking encourages participants to think out loud and speak their ideas without any parameters. Ideas, good, bad, or irrelevant, are all accepted. Divergent thinking brings everything together and identifies which ideas are pertinent and can be made actionable. Splitting the two ways of thinking provides time for imagination while keeping a realistic mindset.
Who’s Doing What and When
At the end of the meeting, review who is doing what and by when. Make sure everyone is clear on what they should be doing next. Give people time to ask questions and get clarity. A follow up email of the meeting minutes should be sent to the attendees.
Following these guidelines has helped Local Wisdom stay efficient while not being stuffy and boring. There are hundreds of other meeting tips and tricks, what are some ways that your company conducts effective meetings and how have they been beneficial?
Local Wisdom brought home two awards from this year’s annual competition held by The Art directors Club of NJ. This non-profit organization is comprised of professionals whose creative services bring excellence and knowledge to the design world. Since 1961, the goal of the ADCNJ has been to discover new ideas and techniques while providing an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work.
We are proud to say that this year Local Wisdom won honorable mentions within the categories of Self Promotion and User Interface Design for localwisdom.com. Internal projects work a bit differently, we are able to communicate openly and often to adjust architecture, design, and copywriting based on progress. This is how the concept of the “slices” of content came to be.
This is the second year in a row that Local Wisdom has been awarded distinction in the ADCNJ competition, last year for our mobile app Weatherwise, and we will continue to submit new projects in the future. Entering these competitions is important because it gives us the chance to show off our talents while being vetted against industry experts. We feel that winning these awards helps our company grow with confidence and notoriety.
We have great respect for what the Art Directors Club does for the design industry in New Jersey as well as what they do for the next generation of talent in educational institutions. To find out more information about the ADCNJ visit http://www.adcnj.org/.
To read about the awards Local Wisdom took home from last year’s competition visit Two Gold, Two Silver, One Bronze…Five Awards Line the Shelves at Local Wisdom!
We would like to thank Pinaki Kathiari (Architecture), RJay Haluko (designer), Tracy Severino (copyrighter) and Melissa Penta (developer) for their creative genius and hard work to make localwisdom.com a success.
PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J. — Princeton-based digital agency Local Wisdom appointed John Ridgeway to the position of Director New Business and Digital Strategy, starting February 7, 2012. In his new role, Ridgeway will be responsible for identifying, securing and managing new business relationships as well as developing compelling and results-driven digital strategies to existing customers and accounts.
Ridgeway brings with him over 20 years of digital marketing experience and services in a diverse group of industries. He joins Local Wisdom from John Ridgeway Design where he served as a Digital Strategist, Integrated Marketing and Social Media Consultant to Fortune 100 Companies and was responsible for the creative execution, development and implementation of direct-to-consumer sales and marketing online programs.
“We are thrilled to have John join the Local Wisdom family. It’s a testament to our growth as a company to attract talent of his caliber,” explains Chief Marketing Officer, Pinaki Kathiari. “John’s experience and people-centric approach in working with executive teams to conceptualize, build, and manage digital platforms fits perfectly with the philosophy and approach of Local Wisdom.”
Prior to having his own digital marketing consulting business, John served as a Director of Digital Marketing for Merrill Lynch & Co., Chase Online Banking, and Vonage where he was responsible for helping define new product strategy, new product offerings, and first-in-category online marketing techniques. Ridgeway holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Graphic Design from School of Visual Arts and a Master’s of Science Degree in Integrated Marketing from New York University. “I am excited to begin my new role as the Director New Business and Digital Strategy,” says Ridgeway. “As a veteran in the online industry I believe Local Wisdom has a solid approach in building websites, mobile apps, intranets, and other digital platforms. Their passion for bringing a brand’s digital world to life is at the heart of what makes a digital agency truly successful.”
Founded in 1999, Local Wisdom is a digital agency headquarted in Princeton Junction, NJ specializing in architecture, design, development and curation of Internet and Intranet sites, web applications and mobile apps. Delivering custom, digital solutions that drive business growth, Local Wisdom’s roster of clients include Johnson & Johnson, ELS Educational Services, Purdue Pharma L.P., Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, and other Fortune companies. To learn more about Local Wisdom, visit www.localwisdom.com.
It’s time for our family to grow.
2010 has been a great year for Local Wisdom, and 2011 is looking even better.
We are on the lookout for talented, fun and dependable Internet-folk in Central New Jersey to join the Local Wisdom team.
We are seeking freelances (and if all goes well, eventual fulltimers):
If you, or anyone you know is looking for work in interactive design, development, or project management, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.