Just a short burst of info here. What are you drawn to? Do the colours play a significant role in your interpretation? What connections can you make with the chosen imagery attached to each hashtag?
A perfect brainstorming exercise for design newbies – make a list under each hashtag including transferable elements (actual aspects and items like a brand name or object) and attributes (descriptions and words) for each. Aim for 50 answers each, then narrow down to your top 10 answers, then again to top 3, then top 1. What conclusion can you draw from this experiment?
Always remember the acronym PRAC – Popularity, Relevance, Authority & Credibility. This will help you target your audience and ensure that your content is set up to improve your overall search engine ranking. Yes, yes…SEO is a lot more complex than a simple acronym, but sometimes starting off with something more general helps you to develop your digital marketing strategy or plan more succinctly down the road. I will have to get into this topic with greater detail in the near future!
Today’s topic is SMART Goals.
A brief definition of each objective and an example of how each objective can be applied to achieve an effective creative technical writing style.
Here, I am writing about visual transparency as it relates to an image I designed for Blocks, my first and ongoing social media management strategy. Blocks aims to explore left and right-brained thinking and our ability to control destiny (or in simpler terms, improve issues of self-image or esteem.) Note: Initially, I was going to include the image in this post, but the relevance of my imagery is too swift. I will always include my most recent works to keep you up-to-date with my current visual style and tone.
As an extra creative exercise, try to imagine a fruit to attach to each objective. How does it relate to the SMART goal and our definition of visual transparency? Could you affix these tasty symbols to a billboard? What would be the significance? How effective would say, a giant teal apple be at communicating a specific message?
I will post the fruits on my next post tomorrow!
HEADING: The heading is the text indicating the nature of the article below it. The large type front page headline did not come into use until the late 19th century when increased competition between newspapers led to the use of attention-getting headlines. (Wikipedia)
WILL IT ENTICE YOU IN A GLANCE?
SUBHEADING: For documents longer than 3 or 4 paragraphs, subheadings are an important usability and accessibility strategy to help readers both determine the overall outline of the document and to navigate to specific information on the page.
VISUAL TRANSPARENCY AS A COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
SPECIFIC: Goals that are specific have a significantly greater chance of being accomplished. It should be well-defined, clear, and unambiguous. Essentially a definition of your idea that allows your audience to understand your topic more accurately. (CFI)
Visual transparency, from an artist’s standpoint, is a form of contextual openness that allows viewers to become engaged on a more subconscious or subliminal level.
MEASURABLE: Goals that are measurable have criteria for measuring progress. Criteria can be in line with your vision, mission, values etc. The point is to measure your progress somehow, for example, how would you measure engagement or participation? Is the action itself significant enough? In writing, a statement of intent is a great way to achieve a sense of measurability. (CFI)
As a writer and digital specialist, the goal is to be transparent, accurate and responsible. As an artist, I simply want to be engaged with my work and for my viewers to participate. Note: professional transparency has more to do with how others perceive you and what your actions say about your brand.
ATTAINABLE: Goals that are attainable help you figure out ways you can realize an objective and work towards it. The achievability of the goal should be stretched to make you feel challenged, but defined well enough that you can actually achieve it. It would be a good time to insert your call to action here. (CFI)
With all of the outlets available, viewers can participate using whichever preferred medium they desire. And they don’t need to be 100% engaged for it to matter. For example, your interaction with a billboard might only last 5 seconds, so the argument could be that visual transparency is actually quite critical.
RELEVANT: Goals that are relevant must be realistic given the available resources and your timeline. What would be the innovative or mainstream approach? What are pertinent examples you can showcase? What will be the outcome? Ideal or realistic? Your exploration should be relevant to your life’s or work’s purpose. (CFI)
This is who we are today. We embrace a fast and furious approach to everything and criticize the results. From placing mobile food orders to providing subscribers with a mere minute to execute a successful Instagram (video) campaign – the faster we engage our viewers while applying visual transparency, the more likely we can succeed in delivering our message.
TIME-BOUND: Goals that are time-bound must have a sense of a start and finish date. What is it like today, what will it be like in the future? If the goal is not time constrained, there will be no sense of urgency or motivation to achieve the goal. What is causing the urgency for action? Are we in a position to answer or question? (CFI)
Perhaps one day it will be different, but for now artists and marketers must adapt to these swift modes of communication. Visual transparency will become the norm, then who knows what will be next…
Does using the SMART goal technique help you? I believe that it is a great stepping stone towards achieving a more clear and linear style of communication. Test it out!
Meanwhile, dear Alice is still falling…
We do what we do! Well, I do anyway…
I sometimes find myself questioning my work. Like, is it too complicated for the average reader? Does it come off as fluffy or at the opposite end of the spectrum, dense? And when my mind enters ‘the complex’, I literally have to stop what I’m thinking and revert to self-talk. I used to avoid self-talk for fear that it gave others the impression that I was crazy (my mouth moves when I’m thinking too hard), but now I use it as a gentle form of therapy, to get me back on track to believing in myself. That’s why today, when I came across the word consonance, I felt blessed and it quickly resonated with my current circumstance. Anyway, here’s a bit on consonance as it relates to working and the whole job interview process thingamajigger.
Scott Olster, Ideas Editor at LinkedIn, wrote a brief article around “the idea of business trends, perspectives, and hot topics you need to know to work smarter”. He says –
Success can easily end up feeling hollow when it’s defined and measured by other people’s standards. For our work to have lasting personal value, author Laura Gassner Otting writes that we need to focus on developing what she refers to as consonance.
Laura is a writer for Harvard Business Review and she defines consonance as –
“Consonance is not just purpose writ large (and lofty). It’s your purpose, freely and clearly defined by you, and put into action through awareness of and alignment with your life’s plan. Consonance is when what you do matches who you are (or who you want to be).”
As I enter the interview zone, I will remember consonance as another word that will help me stay on track. Thank you for the opportunity, now I have something to say – always remember, the value of the job is to you (Gassner Otting).
Do you relate to this? What is the interview process like for you? Easy? Intense? How do you prepare?
Using simple applications to turn out wicked images is fun. Sort of like the gamification of graphic design (what blogging is like to me). Gaming is portable these days, right? Here’s an interesting article on the history of gaming, maybe you can check for me!
Back to the matter at hand…
Here are 3 versions of an image I developed for a post (Start). I’ll try to share my process with you (unedited) about how it came together in a time frame of about 15 minutes.
Step 1 – Select a major topic from blog content. (the plague)
Step 2 – Decide if primary message will focus on an image or text. (text)
Step 3 – Decide on a colour palette. (complementary colours blue and orange)
Step 4 – For this image, I decided on text, so the next step was to figure out wording. Wording should be based on the blog’s content, and is usually more effective if it provides the viewer with a direct parallel or bold contrast to the primary message. (the plague)
Step 5 – Pair text with secondary element – image or text. For example, the post’s title is ‘Start’, so I looked for an image of a ‘start button’. (image)
Step 6 – Publish the featured image. Go back to the website to see if it’s effective. In most cases, the image will be cropped, so you may have to edit to ensure the desired elements you want to showcase show up in the frame. (edit to fix)
Step 7 – For this image, I didn’t like the way it was cropped. So, I asked myself – to add or remove? In this case, I decided to add another element in the centre area where visual weight was lacking. (edit for composition)
Step 8 – Again, return to your website and check to see if the image is effective. Still in this case, there was a lack of balance in the top left side corner. I decided to add a pop of colour to provide an additional element of contrast. (edit for graphic design elements)
Step 9 – Check the image on your website. If it works, you will be aesthetically pleased with its presentation or you have found a balance between image – text – colour. (satisfaction)
Step 10 – Double-check to see if there were any cropping issues, spelling or grammar mistakes. Ensure each element of the design is balanced and harmonious. And, you’re finished! (completion)
What’s your graphic design process like? Do you create your own images for your blog? If you could write 10 steps to finalizing an image for a post, what would it entail?
What type of woman would you hire to help brand your business? What marketing skills should she hold? What type of sales personality will she have? Is she strong, independent and willing to change in order to meet and exceed current industry objectives?