Heading out to OMMA East -- come see us a booth 200! It's going to be a great time!
When I say we're a passionate bunch here, don't take it lightly. JAM, our "User Experience Queen" literally eats, drinks and breathes UXP. Here's her take on our new mascot:
There’s a Bat in My Belfry and Other User Experience Urban Legends
It’s all about the user experience. This is my mantra. Everything eventually goes back to the user experience, or so I say. Recently, some DG employees had a discussion about a Google error message, and I was made fun of for “replying to ALL” (a dangerous move at DG as you then open yourself up to both private and public ridicule from your fellow colleagues) to point out how the format of the error message was a great UXP practice. So, when the company-wide email went out about our new mascot, the DigiBAT, one of my wonderful colleagues challenged me to somehow relate that to User Experience. So here it is.
With the discovery of our bat came some urban legends (okay, okay- I am the one who propagated these falsities but it was late and I needed to amuse myself somehow) as well as some truths. Among the lies:
Some of the truths:
How is DigiBAT related to User Experience? Like our poor little mascot, users are often mis-viewed and misunderstood. Too often, marketers buy into rumors or beliefs based upon outdated or a complete lack of actual evidence and research. For example: I walk into a client’s office and they tell me, “We know what our users and prospects want/are thinking.” Thrilled (yes, thrilled, I do get that excited about this stuff), I ask to see the data or source they got that information from only to be told, “Oh, we just know,” or “It was from a survey we did five years ago!” That’s when my poker face comes into play.
As much as you think you know about your users, as much as I think I know about your users … we don’t really know unless we’ve asked them. There are many cases where we’ve thought we knew how a certain group of users would think or act only to be completely surprised when we did some testing. In short, you don’t really ever know until you ask your actual audience.
Companies will say that they don’t have the time or budget to conduct testing, that it’s safe to move forward using some assumptions. I say, if you’re going to spend a lot of money building a web property or creating an online marketing campaign, it’s too costly not to. Getting the thoughts of your prospects/users can prevent you from making rather large and expensive mistakes AND show you what you’re doing right and where you can make improvements and optimize. Testing doesn’t always have to be in a formal lab environment with eye tracking and one-way mirrors, there are many other efficient and effective ways to capture the voice of your user. (You will, however, want to be sure that you are using a sound methodology and that it has been implemented correctly so as not to skew your results. In other words, don’t try this at home, kids. Be sure to consult a professional).
You may think you know your users, but you probably also once thought that bats fly into people’s hair or are blind or all have rabies (and if you still think that, shame on you! Plus, even if you knew those were lies about bats, it still doesn’t mean you know your users, it just means you know something about bats!). So don’t make assumptions – instead, gather some real data. The only real way to know what your users want or how they will behave is to ask.
Our tiniest team member seems to have found a home with our sales team in their space on Main Street. (We've since renamed the space "Guano." It was called "The Pit," which I suppose is equally fitting.) Our VP, New Business Development is on vacation this week, but I imagine DigiBAT will start his official training in early September.
I've asked DigitBAT to join the events committee. I mean, who better to help plan the Halloween party, right?
(You have to admit -- he *is* kinda cute.)
Anyway, welcome to the team, little guy!
UPDATE: I neglected to give props to Nicole D for risking hair and blood to get such close-ups shots of our furry, typhoid-carrying little mascot. Sorry, Nicole!
Have I become so jaded by our many victories that I've actually forgotten to write about them? Looks that way.
DigitalGrit was recently voted one of the "Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in America" by the Society for Human Resources Managment. No small feat. The honor was accepted by our founders in front of over 12,000 people in Washington DC.
Can't believe I didn't post this earlier!
We celebrated by having a huge party for our staff and their families in a local park. Lots of fun (and water pistols) for all.
Oh, yeah...and we've got some job openings again, too. ;-)
Part of what makes DG so cool is our office space. We don't just have a 20,000 square feet of cubes -- no sir, we shy away from the prarie dog lifestyle.
Instead, we have a campus-type setting occupying several spaces along Main Street in good ol' Boonton, NJ. (Yes, we're well aware that "Boonton" sounds suspiciously like "Boondocks", but we assure you -- this is a pretty darned cool place to be.)
What's cool about it? For one thing, instead of just taking an elevator to meet your co-workers, we actually have to hit scenic Main Street to get from one funky loft area to another. So you can grab a coffee and a paper at the cafe between meetings (time permitting, of course) and you're forced to get some fresh air from time to time.
Of course, this also means that you may have to take your coat or an umbrella to get to a meeting in another department...but it also means you can leave your car parked all day and still have a choice of Thai, Mexican, Italian or Chinese for lunch.
So, today's the first day of official new-hire training at DigitalGrit. The official launch of DigitalGrit University.
New staffers are in for a full day of training, featuring an overview of life at DG and discussions led by each department head. In the past, we'd just kind of show people around, tell them what their job responsibilities were, and point them towards the correct party when they had any questions. Which, when you're a really small company, is fine.
But as we grow and increase our staff, office space, and service offerings, we're seeing that we need to do more, to formalize the process a bit.
Hence, the birth of DG U.
This is something that's probably a real snooze at most companies, but I'm guessing that when I hound each attendee for feedback on Monday, all reports will be that it was a lot of fun - and really, really helpful.
And if that's not what we hear, we'll change things so that the next time, it *is* really helpful and really fun.
Truth is, we have such a cast of characters here that I can't imagine anyone will be boring.
But just in case, I'm still looking for a multi-media Scooby-Doo PowerPoint template for my marketing presentation....
Just in time for the official summer kickoff -- we have a ton of new jobs available. As far as I know, every job opening on this blog is still availalbe.
Apply now and join the team in time for the company picnic at the end of June!
Want to learn a little more about the kind of people we're looking for? -- Well, some of them, anyway?
Read this article on Monster. It includes an interview with Scott Delea, our SVP & GM, eMarketing Servies.
So you don't need to excel in both marketing and IT (Lord knows I don't! Although I did setup my own wireless network at home.) but if you're in marketing, you've gotta love and respect IT, and if you're in IT...well, try really hard to do the same. (Or at least pretend you do.)