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4 Faces of Value Driven Design

- Monday, March 05, 2012 |

Creating value through design is an out-of-the-box skill that some people may call entrepreneurship, while others may describe it as vision. Whichever side you are on, the ability to create value through design leads to the same outstanding result: CHANGE. Advances in design and technology have led to significant changes in world's economy, arguably more than any other social or political event so far.

Therefore, as a value-driven designer, you will constantly be looking to solve problems and remove dead-ends, in an attempt to help people embrace change before it's too late. This article reveals the four faces of value-driven design, and shows how your work as a designer can generate more value, rather than revenue alone, for the next generation.

"You Don't Need Planning Permission to Build Castles in the Sky" by Banksy
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Better Marketing with UX Design

- Friday, August 12, 2011 |

Design has evolved to be an important part of how brands are built and perceived in modern markets. In this article we are going to address an interesting question: can design serve brands better than marketing? The answers may not be easy to digest, and getting to these answers is just the tip of the iceberg. Our purpose is not to denigrate the role of any business or marketing practice, but to point out to how design can be equally important to a brand. Here's why...

Engaging through design. Photo by Rafaeldesigner on Flickr.
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The Designer Who Changed the World

- Monday, April 18, 2011 |

Design can change the world. As a matter of fact, we absorb and adapt to changes every day, using products and services that didn't exist months ago, exploring new possibilities of interaction and re-designing the world we live in, our life style and our tools. 

In this article we will talk about change driven by design. In each section and give an example of a solution or product that significantly changed our perception, behavior or interpretation of the world, to support the idea that change through design is not only possible, but a fundamental aspect of a discipline that drives innovation in every industry we have known so far.

Photo by Martin Borjesson
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Why Content Will Always Be King and How you Can Get Started Building your Own

Bryan McAnulty - Friday, August 13, 2010 |

Over and over it's burned into our heads that we need to create unique and remarkable content. How important is it really, and will it always be as essential as it is now? Businesses with big budgets can spend tons of money on SEO, SEM and PPC advertising campaigns, but that is not a substitute for great content. In the long run, the business that spends huge amounts on visitors, but has no quality content to retain interest will lose to the business with great content. The business with great content can get interested, and more importantly, motivated visitors without spending money. When visitors see quality content they will tell their friends and networks about it through social media. Paying for eyes is temporary. Content is permanent. Advertising as a way to direct more views to your existing great content is great, but it isn’t a replacement for content.

gary vaynerchuk content social media
Photo by: Velora Studios

It's Hard to Build Quality Content

Creating great content is not something that everyone can just do. If you are a professional coach, consultant or trainer looking to attract more students then start by sharing your knowledge, experiences and opinions. Provide value to your potential customers with your content. By doing this your visitors will see that you are real, they will gain value and trust in your brand, and as a result they will be motivated to choose you over your competition.

Business owners used to think they wouldn't stand a chance against their high-spending competition, but now the playing field has been leveled. If you can create great content, the position is flipped the other way around because many older and larger businesses still struggle to create remarkable content. Big ad budgets and high spending can't compete with great content in the long run. With the amount of people consuming content and the amount of devices to view it on increasing all the time, it is more important than ever for businesses to create content.

Content is supplemented by advertising, not the other way around. Not only does great content provide credibility for your brand and help with search engine optimization, it helps build an audience of followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. Traffic from ads goes away when you stop buying them. Content you create lasts forever, and people will continue to find it long after the time it was posted.

Don't try to pull one over on viewers. It is great content that is king, not any content. Avoid trying to get traffic by just talking about the hype and using buzzwords. Sure it may give you a short term boost, but in the end you'll be losing more fans than you gain. Great content comes from skill, experience and being real. It's not something that you can fake. You’ll never be first place by following trends and being unoriginal.

web design ted conference speaking
Photo by: Robert Scoble

How Do You Get Started?

1. Talk About your Passion:

Tell the world about what you know best. Show them your passion. If you know your passion really well, chances are you will have tons to talk about. Customers love working with people that are passionate about what they do.

2. Show Personality:

Be yourself, be genuine. You are probably more interesting than you expect. When you show your personality people will feel like they can relate to you and will begin to follow you. Don’t be afraid to be the real you, because there is an audience out there looking for someone exactly like you.

3. Teach and Share:

Establish yourself as a leader and build credibility. Teach people about what you know. When potential customers or fans see you know your stuff, you'll build credibility with them. Don't be afraid to share some of your best tips or secrets. Your competition isn't going to beat you just because they know a few of your tricks. Ideas are easy, it's implementation that is the hard part.

4. Tell a Story:

Everyone wants to hear a story and feel like they are a part of something. If you can make your content and brand tell a story to your visitors, or viewers you will be able to grow a very passionate fan base.

At this point hopefully you've been inspired to create some remarkable content of your own. Most of the time though, it's not as simple as build it and they will come. You will have to hustle a little and get your content out there. Engage potential fans, or answer people who are asking questions (even if they aren't necessarily asking you directly). Don’t be afraid to reach out with your content, because if are truly providing great value, then it is not selfish to promote it. In fact, you should feel obligated to get your valuable content in front of as many people as possible. Give your content a good kick out the door and it can start spreading like wildfire. If you can consistently put out quality content then eventually you will get enough dedicated fans that your content will spread more and more on it's own.

Endnote: Remember that great content is something that will always be appreciated and its effects and benefits can last indefinitely. When you create something great, people will want to see it, they will want to share it, and you will grow as a result.

Don’t let your great ideas go unseen. Create more remarkable content today.

We've shared this post on the blog for our newest product: Heights Platform where you can build and sell online courses. See the updated version of Why Content Will always Be King on the Heights Platform Blog.

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Does Your Website Help You Reach Your Goals?

Bryan McAnulty - Thursday, May 14, 2009 |

As technology and browsers advance, websites are growing closer and closer to regular desktop applications. The days of a website acting as a simple electronic brochure are over.¬†Every business should have goals for their website.¬†For a website to help a business become more successful it needs to function in a way that helps a business achieve their goals online. More specifically a primary and backup goal. Read More