The Best of November 2021: Marketing & Technology Highlights, Tools, and More!

December 10, 2021

User Experience (UX)

From: nngroup.com | VIDEO - 3 min: Sympathy vs. Empathy in UX by Sarah Gibbons

This video neatly lays out the difference between sympathy and empathy. In it, Sarah Gibbons clearly explains why you should always empathize with your users. It is an essential pathway into users' minds that allows us to design with intent and challenge assumptions.

From: a11ymyths.com | TOOL: Accessibility Myths Debunked by A11y myths

Show this website to any manager or client who is resisting accessibility changes. This quick cheat sheet provides data-backed responses to 22 of the most common accessibility misconceptions. 

UX designer in Minneapolis designs a healthcare app
From: trends.uxdesign.cc | ARTICLE - 11 min read: The State of UX in 2022 by UX Trends

Based on what we've learned since the pandemic, this article takes a holistic look at the UX industry's impact on the world and asks how we can improve moving forward. It has a compelling list of trends and challenges that will likely affect the UX industry's community, processes, impact, and future.

Listen to the podcast version of this article on Spotify 

From: nngroup.com | STUDY GUIDE: Growing in Your UX Career: Study Guide by Mayya Azarova 

If you're interested in learning more about UX, this is a fabulous collection of articles, videos, and free advice. The study guide covers the basic skills and responsibilities every UX designer in the industry needs to know.

Graphic designer in Minnesota works on latest design trends in 2022

Design

From: creativeboom.com | ARTICLE - 12 min read: The biggest trends in graphic design for 2022, as predicted by leading creatives by TOM MAY

Design trends are moving more quickly than ever since the pandemic has pushed people and businesses to spend more time online. This article gathered some of the leading voices in the design world to help determine which trends will most likely emerge in 2022.

The 10 trends covered in this article include:

  1. Brands in motion
  2. The new Wild West
  3. Breaking down (design) borders
  4. A shift away from self-indulgence
  5. Back to the 1990s
  6. Maximalism goes big
  7. Typography gets more vibrant and playful
  8. Creative crossovers: the merging of design, fashion, and brand
  9. Environment action matched with eco-aesthetics
  10. Unapologetic realism and subversive design
From: ilovetypography.com | ARTICLE - 2 min read: Steven Heller’s Font of the Month by Steven Heller

In this Font of the Month, Steven Heller examines the history of stencil fonts, starting with the first stencil template invented by Ruth Hormats, a Baltimore, Md., school teacher in 1940. 

From: uxpamagazine.org | ARTICLE - 8 min read: The Importance of Designing for the Elderly in a Post-COVID World by Hossein Raspberry

The pandemic has forced many older users online to access telehealth resources and keep in touch with their families while staying socially distant. Given this quick and widespread shift, it’s more important than ever to design products that consider the abilities of older generations.

From Grant: If you work in the healthcare field, this is a must-read. The digital design work we do in that industry seriously affects people's well-being.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Highlights

From: searchenginejournal.com | ARTICLE - 3 min read: Meta has a ‘moral obligation’ to make its mental health research transparent, scientists say by Nicole Wetsman 

What responsibility do tech companies have regarding how their products affect mental health and development? A group of academics recently published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg calling for more transparency around Meta's research into how Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp affect children and adolescents. 

From: meta.company | PRESS RELEASE - 2 min read: Facebook Stole Our Name and Livelihood by Meta Company

Facebook allegedly stole its new name, "Meta," from another company. In this press release, the Meta Company lays out its side of the story.

From: searchenginejournal.com | ARTICLE - 9 min read: What’s The Ideal Blog Post Length For SEO? by Sam Hollingsworth

This article does an excellent job of answering the age-old question of how long your blog post should be for SEO. It turns out, your subject matter and searcher intent are the two main factors that will help determine your perfect post length.

Digital Marketing Strategy

From: socialmediaexaminer.com | ARTICLE - 29 min read: Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022: Predictions From the Pros by Lisa D. Jenkins

Are you setting up your plans for next year’s marketing strategy? In this article, 21 top marketing experts share their predictions to help you prepare your marketing plans for the coming year.

Here are the first 10 (out of 21):

  1. Reels Contribute to Overall Instagram Marketing Success
  2. Facebook Ads Performance Is More Effective
  3. What’s Old Is New Again: Long-Form Content Retakes Center Stage
  4. Niche Facebook Experiences Become Prominent Marketing Channels
  5. Marketers Ignore Marketing Basics
  6. Organic Instagram Video Builds Intimacy and Trust
  7. Instagram Feature Overwhelm Forces Strategic Focus
  8. YouTube Shorts Is a Distraction
  9. Video Leads Organic LinkedIn Marketing
  10. Ecommerce Grows on TikTok, Trend Lifespan Shortens
social media digital marketer in the twin cities works on marketing strategy

From Grant: This is a good list if you want to find people to follow on these platforms! There are some excellent comments as well.

From: contentmarketinginstitute.com | ARTICLE - 5 min read: Get the Most From Your Webinars With These 13 Repurposing Ideas by Along Shalieieva

When it comes to B2B marketing, webinars are an excellent way to engage with leads. This article is full of ideas for repurposing your webinar content after the event to reach new audiences and reinforce your brand’s expertise on the subject. 

The 7 Best Ideas from this Article:

  1. Create content for social media
  2. Transform into a podcast
  3. Write an article
  4. Share the unplanned surprises
  5. Use quotes to emphasize content
  6. Publish an e-book
  7. Start a discussion

From Grant: This is a good reference list to keep on hand. These are some great basics for stretching your content. 

From: neilpatel.com | ARTICLE - 10 min read: How to Use Google Trends in Marketing by Neil Patel

If you're new to Google Trends, this article provides a good overview of how you can use it to improve your marketing strategy. Google Trends is a tool that shows you what topics are currently trending. Staying on top of the latest trends will help you deploy relevant content at the right time.

According to this article, here are 5 Ways to Use Google Trends for Marketing:

  1. Get Ideas for Blog Posts
  2. Get Ideas for Social Media Campaigns
  3. Use It to Improve SEO
  4. Find Long-tail Keywords for Paid Campaigns
  5. Find Trending Topic Ideas for Webinars
From: 99designs.com | ARTICLE - 19 min read: Email marketing strategy: uncovering industry fails and holy grails by Rhalyn Claire Maske

Email marketing is still a super effective way to reach your target audience. In this article, you’ll find examples of great email campaigns as well as lessons learned from the ones that flopped. Plus, you’ll learn some of the key elements and tips to build a successful email marketing strategy.

freelancer in minneapolis deals with a client that doesn't want to pay her rate

Career Advice for Creatives

From: medium.com | ARTICLE - 4 min read: My (Exact) Response To A Cheap Client Who Offered Me $500 For A $5,550 Job by Jano le Roux

Have you ever had a client who wasn’t willing to pay you what you’re worth? Jano provides some advice on how to find clients who value you and what to say to those who don’t. He even includes a polite template email you can use!

From Grant: Never compromise on your hourly rate. One of my mentors shared this excellent strategy with me. If a client can't (or doesn't want to) pay your rate, take something off the table. For example, if you charge $100/Hour for XYZ and the client says they can only pay you $80, then adjust and only do X & Y for them. This policy will keep your actual worth firmly in the client's mind - which will deter them from taking advantage of you.

From: creativeboom.com | PODCAST - 48 min: Amanda Rach Lee on doodling, building an online brand and coping with millions of followers by The Creative Boom Podcast

Amanda Rach Lee built a successful social media career as an artist and digital content creator. Hear her tell the story of how she gained millions of YouTube subscribers and social media fans with her quirky doodles and tutorials.

Thinking Strategically

From: nogood.io | ARTICLE - 14 min read: 12 Best Marketing Books You Should Read in 2021 by Mark Arpaia

This article is from last January, but it still has a solid list of marketing books that you may want to add to your new year's reading list! The list includes some more contemporary case studies backed by recent research, plus timeless advice about human behavior and psychology.

From Grant: I like this list, but I'm feeling grimmer and grimmer about some of the behavioral psychology books. We face many problems today because this field of study has been distorted into a weapon against marginalized groups of people. While it's good to know the tricks of the trade, I would ask that you use this knowledge ethically and not to further harmful ideals.

From: blog.hubspot.com | ARTICLE - 8 min read: The Marketer's Guide to Process Mapping by Sheryl Green

Process mapping helps you create a visual representation of a project that everyone can understand. This article explores how you can use this for marketing to reach your goals.

The 7 Steps of Marketing Process Mapping Covered in This Article:

  1. Do your research.
  2. Segment your audience.
  3. Target the best fit segment.
  4. Position yourself apart from the competition.
  5. Determine what you will offer.
  6. Implement your process.
  7. Measure your success.
From: interaction-design.org | ARTICLE - 19 min read: How to Create a Perspective Grid by Christian Briggs

A perspective grid is a simple way to combine multiple perspectives and create a shared understanding of users' goals and barriers. This article walks you through creating a perspective grid and even provides you with a template you can download and use for your projects.

Fun Finds

From: behance.net | DESIGN: The Importance of Bees Designed by Featherwax Studios and Eliott Johnson

This series of CGI images and animations draw attention to how bees contribute to many crops in addition to flowers. Many of these products would not exist without bees. 

From: behance.net | DESIGN: Mushrooms Designed by Diana Hernández

Diana creates wonderful hand-drawn Mushroom characters that have a trendy look and feel.

designer finds inspiration in the twin cities
From: behance.net | DESIGN: Respect Poster Designed by Pofo Illo

These hand-drawn characters have a vintage inspiration and help promote diversity and respect on a Kids Poster.

From: printmag.com | DESIGN: On the Bones Limited Edition Cider Packaging and Branding Designed by Gleb Nazarov

Gleb Nazarov created this bold packaging, branding, and illustrations for a local brewery's season ciders. 

From: nerdist.com | ARTICLE - 2 min read: TikToker’s Ugly Redesigns of Iconic Brand Logos are Hilarious by Eric Diaz

You’ll get a laugh out of these famous logos redesigned by TikToker, Emily Zugay.

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