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

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

October 4, 2021

User Experience (UX)

From: | ARTICLE - 8 min read: Graphic Design to UI/UX: A Comprehensive Guide to Transitioning by DESIGNERUP

Many of the design principles are the same in UI/UX as they are in graphic design. Still, there are some different approaches you need to learn if you're thinking about making a career change. This article covers a few areas of study that you'll want to focus on the most: 

  • Think in dynamic graphics instead of static ones
  • Analyze your own experience
  • Look for overlap and fill in your knowledge gaps 
  • Understand the reality of product design
  • Get more experience in the right areas
  • Get narrow
  • Sell your ROI, not your skills
  • Don't just show your process; narrate it
Graphic designer in Minnesota makes a career change to UX
From: | VIDEO - 23 min watch: Youtube has recommended you watch this website design video. by Adrian Twarog

In this video, Adrian reviews and redesign's a viewer-submitted website. This video is an excellent example of how to apply design principles (like spacing, sizing, alignment, and color) to your website.

From: | ARTICLE - 7 min read: Minimalist UX Design for Healthier Smartphone Engagement by Florence Dairo

Designers are working to create ways to promote healthier smartphone usage. One solution is to develop more minimalistic user interfaces. This article outlines how this might give users more control over their screen time.

freelancer in the twin cities develops inclusive designs


From: | ARTICLE - 4 min read: Three ways to design for everyone—and the planet by Elissaveta M. Brandon

In many ways, design has the power to make our lives easier. Still, it can also perpetuate inequality if it only serves one portion of the population. This article offers three tactics to help us create designs that solve problems for everyone, not just a select few. 

How to design with social justice and the environmental crisis in mind:

  1. Respectful Design - recognizing the ramifications of bad design and respecting different cultures, lifestyles, and environments.
  2. Democratic Design - using a diverse approach that is accessible and inclusive, using clear visuals that communicate concepts visually.
  3. Truthful Design - honoring the culture and history behind your design.

From Grant: Whenever you're creating something, make sure that you have good representation, and everyone in the room has a chance to weigh in on the details. Not sure if something will offend a particular group? Make them a seat at the table.

From: | ARTICLE - 3 min read: The Rolls-Royce logo, the Spirit of Ecstasy | Logo Design Love by David Airey

The 100-year-old Rolls-Royce mascot has a fascinating design history. Before these vehicles donned their iconic hood ornaments, owners began attaching statues of their own. To protect their brand, the company developed the Spirit of Ecstasy statue. Read this article to see the design process that led to the current day depiction!

From: | ARTICLE - 5 min read: Case study: How do we make learning languages more effective? by Leah Wang

This website allows users to submit UX case studies. One such designer, Leah Wang, challenged herself to redesign some of Duolingo's features to make learning more effective.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Highlights

From: | ARTICLE - 6 min read: How to Find What’s Trending: 14 Tools for Topic Inspiration by Paul Schmidt

Do you ever struggle to find trending topics in your industry? These 14 tools can help inform your SEO and content marketing campaigns:

  1. Google Trends
  2. Exploding Topics
  3. SparkToro Trending
  4. FrontPageMetrics
  5. Feedly
  6. Podcast Notes
  7. Buzzsumo
  9. Treendly
  10. Product Hunt Topics
  11. Trendwatchers
  12. Conference Agendas
  13. Publications’ Editorial Calendars
  14. Trendhunter
small business owner in minneapolis discovers new online trends
From: | ARTICLE - 4 min read: Google Announces Search Redesign Using MUM Algorithm by Roger Montti

Google plans to redesign the Google Search to include a new way for users to explore topics. This update is called the Multitask Unified Model (MUM), and it will work to surface more content for every Google Search.

woman in minnesota performs a monthly social media audit for her content strategy

Digital Marketing Strategy

From: | ARTICLE - 19 min read: How to Conduct a Social Media Audit in Just 30 Minutes by Neil Patel

Performing a social media audit is an essential step to knowing what works and what doesn't. This article walks you through the process of conducting a social media audit so that you can make sure you're creating the content that your audience wants to see. 

From Grant: This is a solid guide. It's not a bad thing to do a monthly social media audit for whatever organization you're involved with. This way, you can watch for trends or significant changes in your analytics. Once you get good at assembling these, you might want to check on "Google Data Studio" for even fancier looking dashboards!"

From: | ARTICLE - 1 min read: Best Trends forever: 15 years of Google Trends by Sue Hottrytenow

What were you searching for back in 2006? This article compares the Google Trends from 2006 to 2021, including the most searched song lyrics, actors, and TV shows. What were you searching for back in 2006?

From: | ARTICLE - 8 min read: 13 Brainstorming Techniques to Spur Creativity on Content Marketing Teams by Darren DeMatas

If your content calendar needs a little inspiration, this article is for you! It covers a few brainstorming processes that help ideas flow, including strategies like gap filling, brainstorming, and the 5 whys.

Career Advice for Creatives

From: | ARTICLE - 6 min read: When Everyone’s Quitting … Except You by Nihar Chhaya

It’s no secret that there is a historic wave of job turnover right now. This article goes over how you can handle becoming a senior member of a team of new recruits. It includes strategies such as: 

  • develop your own “re-onboarding plan,”
  • be a teacher and a student
  • stay competent, not complacent.
woman in minnesota looks for a new job

From Grant - "There are some good tips in this article about how to re-invent yourself, which is why I decided to keep it on this list. Overall though, I can't entirely agree with the overall sentiments. It's not a bad thing to move to a new organization if you've stopped learning at your current one. It's often difficult for an organization to see you for what you can do vs. what you've been doing for them so far. This stagnation can prevent you from getting promotions, taking on challenges, or chipping away at intense boredom."

From: | ARTICLE - 5 min read: Everything You Should Know Before Talking to HR About a Problem at Work by Alison Green

Is it true that you shouldn't trust human resources? This article from Vice explains exactly what HR does and what you should (or shouldn't) tell them. 

From: | ARTICLE - 8 min read: interview with a person who responds to Glassdoor reviews for her company by Alison Green

This month Alison interviewed an employee who is responsible for responding to her company's Glassdoor reviews. The employee explains her company's Glassdoor goals, what makes a good response, and whether her company takes the feedback seriously.

From Grant: "whether you're a professional or a business owner, this is some great context as to how Glassdoor works, and how you can use it as a tool. If you have not used it yet, I highly recommend it!"

Marketing team in the twin cities performs a competitive content analysis

Thinking Strategically

From: | ARTICLE - 5 min read: How To Do a Competitive Content Marketing Analysis by Ellie Mirman

To create differentiated content, you need to know what your competitors are doing. Follow these three steps to do that analysis.

  1. Take inventory of your competitors’ content.
  2. Evaluate content quantity and quality.
  3. Tag and analyze content topics.
From: | ARTICLE - 11 min read: Rethinking the Customer Journey: A Strategy for Marketers : Social Media Examiner by Michael Stelzner

How do people choose to become your customer? It’s essential to understand every step along their journey. This article provides a guide to help you optimize your customer journey

From: | ARTICLE - 4 min read: How to design inspiring conversations that have an impact in the workplace by Jenn Graham

Do you talk to your team members about topics like racial equity, social injustice, or climate change? Having these discussions can help improve the workplace for everyone. Next time you’re leading a team discussion, follow these tips to design a more impactful conversation: 

  • Know your audience
  • Embrace discomfort
  • Bridge the gap between your expectations and those of the other participants

Fun Finds

From: | DESIGN: Moleskine sketchbook 39 by Mattias Adolfsson

Check out these whimsical hand-drawn characters by Mattas!

From Grant: This is inspiring! But try not to feel intimidated; this is someone who has probably been practicing drawing their whole life. Probably every day.

From: | DESIGN: Selected illustrations, spring 2020 by Polina Ugarova

These storybook animations are so playful and imaginative! They will probably be the cutest thing you see all day.

design inspiration in minnesota for freelance creatives
From: | DESIGN: In harmony with nature. Children's puzzles. by Mari Currant

According to the artist, they created these illustrations to show the importance of working in harmony to preserve the environment for future generations.

From: | DESIGN: Chinese Garden by Oamul Lu

These beautiful illustrations by Oamul depict a peaceful Chinese garden.

From: | VIDEO - 15 min watch: Watch me redesign an Ice Cream Brand in Adobe Illustrator by Abi Design

In this video, a professional designer takes another look at an ice cream brand she created for a college assignment. 

From: | DESIGN: Natural Gems by Jennifer Esseiva

If you’re a fan of nature photography, this one is for you! This photo series features Swiss lakes, including St. Moritz, Lugano, and Lausanne.

From: | ARTICLE - 3 min read: These tiles may look like marble, but they’re made entirely of fish scales by Elissaveta M. Brandon

Product designer, Erik de Laurens, developed these surprisingly elegant tiles made out of fish scales. Erik is diminishing the amount that often winds up in landfills by repurposing fish waste (like bones, heads, fins, and scales).

From: | DESIGN: "CROCODAIR" by Diego Della Posta

Would you wear this sneaker designed to look like a crocodile? I sure would.

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