Category Archives: Web

Dear Future Me…

What would you say to your future self if you had the opportunity? Work harder, work less? Tell someone you loved them? Choose a different offer and see what could have been? As Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford Comencement Speech: “We cannot connect the dots looking forward, we can only connect them looking backwards.”

Future Postbox allows you to write a letter to your Future Self or to the Future Self of someone else and have it delivered in 12 months time.

Creator Lee Crockford said: “The simple question behind Future Postbox is: ‘What would you say to the future version of yourself or someone else?’. It is a way for people to write a letter to themselves or to someone else that ‘time capsules’ their thoughts and feelings.”

“We’re seeing people using the site in many different ways,” Crockford said. “Some use it as a diary and post daily, others use it to send love letter to the future.”

“Especially given the time of year a large number of people are writing new years’ resolutions, too.”

Even if you aren’t brave enough to post your own letter,  there is a charm in reading the letters of those who have already posted a note to their Future Self.

Letters can be shared and viewed publicly on the site or kept secret. “It’s a shame that only a tiny percentage of people share their letters. There is some beautiful, hilarious, tragic and poetic writing out there!”

 

To my Future Self: Did you and your beau buy the house you’d been saving for? Did you begin planning your overseas adventure together? Did you play hard, love completely and live every day with passion and purpose? Did you finally give up gluten and how are you feeling? Did you finally accept that you’re worth it? Did you make sure to take time for you (no digital distractions, just time for you)? What did you read in the past year? What did you learn and what challenges are you excited for in the future?

So what would you say to your Future Self?

I guess when we have the opportunity to look back and ask ourselves these things we can start to feel accountable for achieving them so our Future Self has something to look forward to!

Yours in looking to the future,

Justine.

Christmas Stress Relief

It’s called the silly season for a reason, right?

How many times have you been pushed out of the way at the shops this year for some other greedy person to get to the bargains (which you didn’t even want anyway!)?

Is all the stress of thinking about the family getting together on Christmas day causing you to bite your nails back to your knuckles?

If so, here is a nice little site that can bring some relief to you this silly season and make you smile again this Christmas!

www.youbetternotstress.com

Check out some of the ugly holiday sweaters and be glad you don’t have one!

Preview the best holiday movies for people who don’t like holiday movies!

And check out the best predictions for 2012!

It’s all in good fun… enjoy!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas,

Paul.

Google in the future

How often do you ask someone a question they don’t know the answer to, and their response is “Google it”?

I came across this video about the evolution of the Google search and it made me realise how much has changed since we started using Google. Little things like Quick Answers (where the answer to your question is listed before your search results) and Instant (where your results come up before you’ve finished typing your sentence) are part of Google’s ever-evolving quest for ultimate user satisfaction. They are working towards being able to provide the answers for questions like “What is the best time for me to sew seeds in India, given that there was a monsoon earlier this year?”
And once they’ve achieved this, they’ll start providing answers to even more complex questions!

Yours in search results,

Anya

Get Organised Online… Evernote

Do you have a scrap book filled with clippings, loose pieces of paper and not really have any idea of where anything is? Or know that you kept ‘that’ clipping for some reason but have no idea where you put it, but it’s in a ‘safe place’.

You’re not alone!

But I recently started using on online system called Evernote. It has an iPad & iPhone app as well so you can take and make notes wherever you are.

So what can it do? On the front page of the Evernote website it describes what it can do as:

1. Capture Everything: Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see.
2. Access Anywhere: Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there.
3. Find Things Fast: Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images.

Out of those three things, the one that appeals to me most is the third—Find things fast! Evernote allows you to ‘tag’ your notes so you can not only categorise all of your items but you can do keyword searches on everything.

I love that you can add in things like, audio notes, website links, photos, videos, files (in the premium version!) and text notes.

And it’s not only for your personal items, it can be a great tool for business too. I would use it when doing a research for strategies and keep a library of ‘tagged’ items that I can refer to at a later stage. The possibilities are very broad, think a bit laterally and maybe use it to store recipes, website bookmarks, Christmas present ideas and on!

All of the basic functions are available in the free sign-up version. Why not give it a go? Let us know if you have any other useful utilities you use to help organise your life.

Visit evernote.com

Yours in online apps,

Paul.

Sharing the Christmas cheer

Portable North Pole

I will be the first to admit I am a big, big fan of this time of year. Christmas would have to be my favourite holiday of the year and really what’s not to love. I really enjoy the spirit of giving at this time of year, so in honor of this I thought I’d share a wonderful Christmas website, so you can spread the Christmas cheer too!

Well Santa has embraced the 21st technology and developed The Portable North Pole, so he can communicate with us from afar. This website offers a service that lets you create a free personalised message from Santa to a special someone, whether their young or old.

The site asks you a number of questions about whom you’re sending the message to. Such as their name, age, favourite toy, how they’ve been good and so on. You can then upload some photos of them and the present they want and the site creates a personalised video message using the options you’ve selected.

Last year I and a great time creating messages for family and friends. It definitely brought out a spark of that Christmas cheer and magic in everyone. I love that technology has developed in a way that lets you create the magic of Santa for the young ones we love, that believe, and those that like to enjoy the innocent magic of Santa and Christmas.

Below is a video sample, so you can see the wonderful message that has been created and I enourage you to send out some Christmas cheer to those you love.

 

 

Yours in Christmas cheer
Dawn

Key lessons from Designing for Emotion

I recently read Aarron Walter’s book Designing for Emotion.

Walter is the lead user experience designer for MailChimp where he is the chief responsible for making the online e-mail campaign program’s interfaces more human.

As someone fascinated by the psychology of the things we do, I rushed through this book at an eager pace.

My key lessons from the book include:

  • It is easy in the rush of daily business to build what Walter calls “fast and cheap sites with no reverence for the craft or the relationship we build with our audience.” Take the time to develop a solid strategy before diving into the design just to get a job out the door.
  • Design for humans and the human condition. For example, attention is finite and we are running on low supply. Make it easy for visitors to your website to subconsciously identify patterns and as a result see predictable user behaviour and an ability to retain the information on your site.
  • Give users/visitors freedom and don’t oblige them to fit into a mould. Walter draws upon the example of how Twitter gave users the option to continue using the old interface for as long as it was available. By empowering users of your service to choose for themselves you are automatically changing their tone of their response. This, according to Walter, is companies saying. “You may.. instead of “You must…” You only have to look at the outcries when Facebook makes changes to their interface to see how this works.
  • By employing good design and positive experiences consistently from the start you can build enough of a reputation that when disaster strikes, as it inevitably will, your community will forgive you. Similarly, when disaster strikes be brave and transparent enough to admit to the mistake and ask your community for forgiveness.
  • Know that not every customer, client or viewer of your website is the right fit for your company. It is ‘OK’ to admit this.
  • Make the experience as frictionless as possible. This seems obvious, but as exemplified by this great blog post by Nick Crocker when trying to sign up for The Australian’s paywall service, it is easy to forget that users want the least resistance to the end goal as possible.
Excerpt from Nick Crocker's article "The Australian Shoots Itself In The Foot"

Remember:

We’re not just designing pages. We’re designing human experiences. Like the visionaries of the Arts and Crafts movement, we know that preserving the human touch and showing ourselves in our work isn’t optional: it’s essential” - Aarron Walter

 

You can purchase the book from A Book Apart here as an e-book or hard copy.

Yours in psychology,

Justine.

 

What’s in a manifesto

 

The 99 Percent
99 Percent's thoughts on manifestos

 

A few projects I am currently working on at Brio have got me thinking about manifestos. What is their worth and what makes a great* manifesto?

The manifestos that stick in my mind and are on instant recall are:

Umair Haque’s The Generation M Manifesto

Gen M is about passion, responsibility, authenticity, and challenging yesterday’s way of everything.

Former Brisbane-resident Clare Lancaster’s Women in Business manifesto

LuLuLemon Athletic’s manifesto

Apple’s manifesto for innovation and success

And for those fluent in design, internet and all things aesthetically pleasing you’re bound to have seen or been told about the Holstee Manifesto.

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/qQAzi8q_2LY?[/briotube]

If you fancy printing it out for your home, office or to give to a friend you can, here.

What makes a great manifesto? A few things to consider when you are creating a manifesto:

  • Does it inspire action? A good manifesto should encourage action or change.
  • It should guide your personal or brand intention.
  • Recognise that a manifesto will evolve as you or your brand evolves. Be prepared to reflect upon it regularly to ensure it is always relevant.
  • It doesn’t always have to go public. A manifesto, especially if for yourself, may be something you keep for yourself – a reminder of what you have set out to achieve.

This all begs the questions:

Do you have a favourite manifesto?

Do you have a personal manifesto? Do you think businesses need a manifesto? Are they the new mission and values statements?

Keen to hear your thoughts.

Yours in manifestation,

Justine.

 

*definition of “great” is open to interpretation. Afterall we all like different things, don’t we?

Yellow Bird missing. Ransom note found.

I received a rather ominous email the other day from Yellow Bird Project. If you haven’t heard of them, Yellow Bird Project is an organisation that sells t-shirts that have been designed by an array of indie rock musicians. The profits from the shirts go to the charity of the musician’s choice. Their mascot is a little bird who, until now, has been safely residing across their branded materials. As part of a very cool new campaign to get their Facebook ‘likes’ up, the yellow bird has been abducted. According to the demands of the ransom note, the only way to possible to save his life is to ‘like’ the Facebook page. If they get 10,000 likes, the bird might be spared!

The campaign is supported by a range of ‘have you seen this bird’ and ‘save the bird’ posters.

This online social media campaign is effective because it makes you feel emotionally involved with the situation. Will it work? Well, I liked it.

Yours in online marketing,

Anya

 

Spare Ticket announced as AMI National Finalist

Ok shameless plug warning! We’re super excited to see our client Spare Ticket announced as a National Finalist for the Australian Marketing Institute’s Awards for Marketing Excellence in the ‘New Brand’ category. We’re up against some ‘stiff’ competition: Warnie’s underwear brand SpinnersSimplot’s Quorn and Queensland winner Mater Mother’s Private Redland; so fingers crossed!

The awards are a part of the AMI’s two day conference, Focus on the Future, held at the Hilton Sydney from October 19-20. The conference will showcase a number of high profile speakers from Microsoft, Commonwealth Bank, Spreets, Telstra and Nestle, to name a few, bringing together some of the world’s greatest marketing minds.

Will you be going?

Yours in marketing coolness,
Janet