Prepping for Usability Test

W8

MNGT 136

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Collecting Data on a Usability Test:

Record Your Sessions: This creates the opportunity to exam the session again to go over critical issues to analyze how the participants went through the task.

Video or Audio Recordings: Either will help to break down the tasks after the participant has left. Also, this will is a powerful tool to show anyone in the company that needs to view the findings.

Post Task Questions: Talking to the participants immediately after finishing the tasks, while the experience is fresh in their minds, to get feedback about the experience is an excellent opportunity to add more unbiased notes to the final report.

Time on Task: The length of time takes the participant to complete the task. When multiple participates are used then find the average length of time for each task.

 Explain the process of reporting data from the usability test:

  • After the test sessions, take time to make notes of observations and which problems arose that need to be addressed. Also what steps are going to be implemented to fix the issues.
  • If multiple participants were used, then gather all the notes to make a collective list of issues to address.
  • Now organize the list into the top 10 most pressing
  • Rate the list with #1 being the most critical to be addressed first.
  • From the list:
    • Brainstorm fixes for each issue
    • Who’s going to make the fix
    • Any resources that will be needed for the fix

Recruiting for a Usability Test:

When recruiting  participants for a usability test, there are many clever ways to resource people like Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. Other possibilities are your local Facebook community groups, ask friends and family, or parents from your kid’s sports/scouts group.

Talking to Participants:

I would follow Steve Krug’s recommendations for prepping the participants in the test. Have Steve’s script in hand to facilitate the session and begin with letting them know the test is not about them but the website, to put them at ease.

 

Customer Service in Problem Solving

W7

MNGT 136

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For this assignment, we are given a scenario; that as a web designer significant issues are discovered in the testing. The client does not want to pay any more to fix the problems and just “roll” with the site as it is. How would I deal with the problem?

In my Customer Service class, a student had described a company’s service he had received as “Customer Service on Steroids.” I took his point as a mantra I wanted for future business.

So, I will be referencing the steps I have learned in that class.

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First of all, I would like to say; I am hoping to make any situation as a “win-win” for all involved. To best resolve issues by keeping everyone’s dignity intact, and also have all involved feel that there is some sort of satisfaction for the end results.

The Problem-Solving Process:

  1. Identify the Problem: Begin the problem-solving process with apologies for any inconvenience that they have felt caused by you or your organization. Taking responsibility will show your client you are aware there is an issue, and you are working to resolve the situation. Then gather information about the issues at hand that need to be dealt with to resolve.
  2. Compile and Analyze the Data: To efficiently determine a course of action, you need a thorough understanding of the problems.
  3. Identify The Alternatives: Let the client know you are willing to work with them to find an acceptable resolution to the issue.
  4. Evaluate the Alternatives:
    1. What is the most efficient way to solve this problem?
    2. Which are the most effective options for solving these problems?
    3. Will the options being considered solve the problem and satisfy the customer?
    4. Will the selected alternative create new issues?
  5. Monitor the Results: Once a decision has been made, monitor the effects of the results. Do not assume that your client is satisfied, especially if any negotiation has taken place to resolve the issues.

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Also, keep in mind, that rolling with the site with issues, could become a calling card of the work you did, and could possibly affect future business. So finding a win-win situation to find a solution for all involved is critical for their business and yours.

Reference

Lucas, R. W. (2015). Customer Service Skills for Success(6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.

Zulily Utilizing Their Branding Voice

W5

MGNT 136

 

zu logo

Zulily Utilizing Their Branding Voice

In order to boost the success of marketing efforts, it is necessary to have a strategic branding voice for your products & services. Good branding conveys emotional engagement to the target audience. The element of human engagement is also essential in the branding tone.


 

Taglines

images

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download

(Zulily’s current “Tagline.”)

Something Special Every Day

Zulily’s taglines expresses a vital brand feature referencing that they have sales and events every day for moms.

According to “Elements of a Successful Brand 2: The Tagline”;by Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D.; Lee explains what a Tagline should do:

A good tagline should elicit a response from its audience. It should do one or more of the following:

  • Clarify (what you do, how you are positioned, etc.)
  • Express an important brand attribute
  • Support your positioning
  • Help people recognize and remember you

Know Your Audience

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Find Your Niche to Speak too

Zulily’s branding is targeting moms with incredible prices on clothing, home décor, toys, gifts and more. They use colors that are softer, the fonts are simple and clean, and the brand feels fresh in the design. The website shares the  energy of happy toddlers. The overall design feels like a young mom lifestyle.


Emotional Engagement With Your Target Audience

unnamed

Zulily has partnered with Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research

This is how they  show empathy through their branding. They are an advocate for childhood cancer research. Partnering with an organization in their community has a strong emotional appeal to family and community.

This humanizing element to their branding strategy, shows the company has values, and a company that stands for something stimulates loyalty from their audience.

References:

2015, L. F. (2017, October 26). Elements of a Successful Brand 2: The Tagline. Retrieved February 02, 2018, from https://hingemarketing.com/blog/story/elements-of-a-successful-brand-2-the-tagline

 

MGNT 136-PLN PLAN

MGNT 136-PLN Plan

My PLN project is focused on entrepreneurship and starting a new business plan.

Spending time with researching, finding resources and answers to many of the questions involved with opening a new business will increase the chances of success of my business.

Putting together my business plan with help to work through documentation necessary for possible investors and/or financing.

I feel other aspects of research prior to opening is things not to do in business planning, look into areas not to waste budgeted money or other advice from established entrepreneurs.

Another part of preparing a business plan is a marketing plan for your business. Designing a reliable strategy for using social media platforms can have an effective ROI for your marketing budget.

Working through designing a business, setting goals, examining the unknowns, creating a marketing strategy will lead to a path of triumph for success beyond the first year of operation.


Video Links

Video Links #1

10 TIPS FOR STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS in 2017

Published on Jun 15, 2016

 

Young Entrepreneurs Forum has put together ten key areas to work from in developing your business strategy. Designing a solid business plan will help to separate reality from expectations. In starting a new business, you need to be well informed about your industry, competition, and potential opportunities.

These simple vital ideas are a great starting point for me to develop a business plan. I would take each of these concepts and put into a binder. Each key point would become a section to work on developing the necessary information in creating a business plan. From those areas I can research by asking questions, surfing the internet, also reading books and articles.

Reference

“10 TIPS FOR STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS in 2017.” YouTube, Young Entrepreneurs Forum, 15 June 2016, youtu.be/wxyGeUkPYFM.

 

Video Links #2

The top 7 things NOT to do when starting a business

Published on Jan 13, 201

 

Taking Evans talking points into account that they are areas of business I feel is beneficial to put thought into before you are stuck in a bad situation. Looking at business partnerships as a marriage, before going all in, to try working on small projects together to see if you are compatible with working together 24/7. Get out and hustle, having creative ideas to use for  building a business  before you spend, such as using interns. As for limiting your beliefs, I will  always be open to learning from other people or resources. To find success remember to be fluid in finding answers.

Reference

Carmicheal, Evan. “The Top 7 Things NOT to Do When Starting a Business.” YouTube, Evan Carmicheal, 13 Jan. 2015, youtu.be/QsNdXC_2b1o.

Video Links #3

How To Write a Business Plan To Start Your Own Business

Published on Jun 29, 2016

 

Young Entrepreneurs Forum has put together nine essential steps to begin writing a business plan.

The explanations of each critical point are explained well enough to grasp the information you are gathering for a new business. I would go on clarifying the necessity of each step for a business plan will do more than just  preparation, but possibly help to determine if your business concept will be viable.

I feel this is a relevant source for the beginning stages of a business plan. Again I would take each of these concepts, make them a topic of research in a binder.

Reference

“How To Write a Business Plan To Start Your Own Business.” YouTube, Young Entrepreneurs Forum, 29 June 2016, youtu.be/Fqch5OrUPvA.

 

Video Links #4

Small Business Marketing 101: Creating a Marketing Plan

Published on Mar 5, 201

 

Dragons Awakening has put together essential marketing questions you should ask before diving into a marketing plan. With a plan well-designed marketing plan, you are driving business in all phases of ups and downs in revenue.

Having the answers to these questions will be my roadmap to designing a marketing strategy plan. I found the questions for understanding your marketing need to be the focus from startup and forward on, as apart of operations to continue acquiring new customers, retaining customers and how to win back a lost customers. Remember your customers are online looking for answers!

 

Reference

“Small Business Marketing 101: Creating a Marketing Plan.” YouTube, Dragons Awakening, 5 Mar. 2016, youtu.be/12ELgUPG4D8.

 

Video Links #5

Creating Your Own Personal Brand

Published on Oct 13, 2016

 

TeamBeachBody has leading coaches Bonnie Engle & Amy Silverman to explain how to build your personal brand and grow your audience through your social media. This would begin with thinking about what attracted you to the business. Was it the lifestyle, friendships, the ability/freedom, fun, or finding solutions to peoples answers? So how do you craft your messages, so your audience feels the same way?

I am happy to find this message structured for the fitness industry; it will better serve me to finding a branding voice. They continue to talk about finding a voice that feels natural to you and how to translate that into your social media content.

Reference

“Creating Your Own Personal Brand.” YouTube, TeamBeachbody, 13 Oct. 2016, youtu.be/a-te19fAIis.


Blog Links

Blog Links #1

soc med exam

April 27, 2017

 

Planning how to deliver your social media messages are essential for a business & marketing strategy. Warren starts with the importance of understanding your target customer to be able to convert them to a loyal customer.

Links are provided to different analytics or research to go into each platform to find best uses as it pertains to your business.

I feel staying up to date on how social media platforms are being used in the industry is vital to  be able to stay on top of  current trends, also to be aware if your message is not appropriately focused to your target market.

 

Reference
How To Create A Social Media Marketing Content Plan In 7 … (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-social-media-marketing-content

Blog Links #2

nerdwallet.png

How to Name a Business: 7 Keys to Pick the Perfect Moniker

The best business names are catchy but also have a story and clear message behind them.

 

July 19, 201

 

 

Benjamin gives you steps that will help the new business owner narrow down options as you create the perfect name.  But having a name is not the only part of the process, the critical step is finding out if you can legally use the name because of federal trademark laws. Don’t worry if you are struggling; companies change names all the time.

I feel would I use Benjamin’s steps in preparing for marketing strategies. I would also use the links provided to government agencies and domain registers; this will give the feeling of something real is happening for my startup business plan!

 

Reference

How To Name A Business: 7 Simple Rules – Nerdwallet. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/small-business/how-to-name-a-business/

 

Blog Links #3

nerdwallet

Business Structure: How to Choose the Right One for You

Choosing a business structure depends mainly on your tolerance for risk to personal assets and how you want the IRS to tax business profits.

 

July 19, 201

 

Careful consideration is necessary of what your business structure is going to be since they are creations of state law. This is another area that needs the business owner’s attention because of the implications it will have on how IRS taxes your business profits. Andrew provides brief explanations of each type of structure with links to follow for more information.

In choosing my business structure, words that caught my attention was “what’s your tolerance for risk to personal assets?” After reading on, taking into consideration how I will set up a business structure is important because of the potential of lawsuits.

Reference

Business Structure: How To Choose The Right One For You … (n.d.). Retrieved from https://blog.clearviewfcu.org/2017/06/business-structure-choose-right-one/

 

Ask yourself basic questions about your funding needs and goals, then prepare yourself and your expectations.

August 25, 2017

Understanding the process of taking out a business loan can seem intimidating, so having a guideline of what the bank’s expectations are and how to prepare to meet with the banks is provided in this blog.

Making sure I have a detailed qualified business plan prepared since it is often apart of the financing application, I would work on correctly putting together a knowledgeable plan that will have added benefits if financing is necessary. I feel this information is valuable in understanding the loan process, options and types of loans, gathering your documents, and expectations from lenders are broken down into manageable information put together to guide any business owner looking into financing.

Reference

How To Get A Small Business Loan In 5 Steps – Nerdwallet. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/small-business/how-to-get-a-small-business-loan/

 

Blog Links #5

soc med exam

17 Ways Marketers Can Leverage Facebook Graph Search

  

July 22, 2013

Marketers are using Facebook Graph as a powerful marketing tool. Christian Karasiewicz breaks down the many uses Facebook Graph for developing and building your audience for your services/products on Facebook. Learning about the  fans on Facebook,  the business can use this information in communicating more value to them.

For building a more significant audience before opening a new business, the opportunity to have begun developing content to speak  to this audience is powerful in predesigning posts  for scheduled posts. I could identify potential local competitors, find out peoples interests, and increase brand awareness.

Reference

Karasiewicz, Christian. “17 Ways Marketers Can Leverage Facebook Graph Search.” Social Media Examiner Main Page, 22 July 2013, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-graph-search-marketing/.


Article Links

Article Links #1

business new daily

 

Reference

Fallon, Nicole. “How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide.” Business News Daily, Business New Daily, 26 Dec. 2017, 11:00 am EST, http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4686-how-to-start-a-business.html.

 

Article Links #2

new york times

Small Business 101: How to Get Started

by Barbara Whitaker

May 2, 2007

Barbara puts out thoughtful questions that any new entrepreneur should ask themselves, to have realistic expectations about themselves since opening a business is time-consuming.

Questions to consider about yourself:

  • Are you a self-starter?
  • Can you get along with diverse types of people?
  • Are you risk-tolerant?
  • Flexible and self-disciplined?

Taking into consideration my personality type, work ethic, and expectations will guide my process of starting a business. These considerations will benefit in understanding my limitations. Working through the relevant links provided for resources, I could consider what would be better to hire for consultations or to handle the work necessary for the business.

Reference

Whitaker, Barbara. “Small Business 101: How to Get Started.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 May 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/02/business/smallbusiness/01websb101.html.

Article Links #3

entreprenuer

How to Create a Budget for Your Startup

Reference

Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. “How to Create a Budget for Your Startup.” Entrepreneur, 21 July 2015, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244990.

 

Article Links #4

entreprenuer

12 Must-Have SaaS Tools For Small Businesses

Megan Totka Megan Totka Contributor

In running operations of a small business, it can be overwhelming, the number of apps and Software-as-a-Service (Saas) tools from competing service providers.

Megan Totka helps to begin to narrow your search down to:

  • Research and Development (R&D)
  • Production
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Operations

For each of these areas, Megan clarifies what it means to business then reviews apps and software accordingly. I would focus on the areas of business that needs improvement so I can determine where to get the most “bang for the buck.”

The areas that I would investigate finding Saas/apps for my business would be:

  • CRM
  • Marketing
  • Sales & Inventory
  • Website & Social Media
  • Accounting
  • Music for Classes

 

Reference

Totka, Megan. “12 Must-Have SaaS Tools For Small Businesses.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 24 Jan. 2018, http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2018/01/24/12-must-have-saas-tools-for-small-businesses/#1ac94cab1a55.

Article Links #5

bplans

20 Business Laws Every Entrepreneur Should Know in 2015

by: 

 

There are many “startup to-do lists” for getting your business up and running. Well, she is adding another list to go through, that is knowing about business laws.

The more you know, is always better for protecting yourself, take for instance the email law, this is the CAN-SPAM Act. Another area that I feel is important for any business that is collecting customers information for their computer systems is Privacy laws requiring Data Security. Among many of the business laws that are expected; such as business licenses, Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws, and taxes.

Reference

Furgison, Lisa. “20 Business Laws Every Entrepreneur Should Know About.” Bplans Blog, 12 May 2017, articles.bplans.com/20-business-laws-every-entrepreneur-should-be-familiar-with-in-2015/.


Embedded or Linked Slide Presentations, Book Reviews, Social Networking Sites

 Linked Slide Presentation #1

 

slideshare

Does Your Logo Match Your Brand?

 

Your logo can create a lasting impression on people. It is important to understand how your logo speaks to your brand with the messages it sends to your customers.

The messages you could focus your logo to ‘say’:

  • Exude expertise & professionalism
  • Show sophistication
  • Exude confidence, spirit, or playfulness
  • A sense of nostalgia
  • Focus on a niche in the market

The takeaway is a logo should be adaptable and effective. Taking time to study other logos for the impression people get from those logos will hopefully fine tune the message I want to send with my logo, brand & business.

 

Reference

Staples Follow. “Does Your Logo Match Your Brand?” LinkedIn SlideShare, Staples, 23 Feb. 2016, http://www.slideshare.net/SUCCEEDStaples/does-your-logo-match-your-brand.

 

Podcast #2

social media examiner

Facebook Marketing Plan: How to Grow Your Business With Facebook

Amy teaches how to put a marketing plan together in 3 phases:

  1. Attraction
  2. Promotion
  3. Sales

Businesses should always be looking to attract new people, using a Graph Search is very valuable to get to know the business’ fan base  already on their page. This will help you find out where people are spending their time.

I would work on building a solid marketing plan for my business and put time into developing a great Facebook page, creating enjoyable content and posting consistently. If your fans know that you always there and able to answer questions you become a resource, they trust.

 

Reference

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-marketing-plan-with-amy-porterfield/

Podcast #3

yogiprenuer

How Much Does It REALLY Cost To Start a Yoga Business?

Host Racheal Cook

Host Racheal Cook interviews Francesca Cervero on Yogipreneur Radio.

Many new studios start with spending a lot of budget for branding, imagery, photoshoots, and expensive websites are where the initial budget does not need to be the priority. These expenses do not start to pay for itself in the beginning. There needs to be a focus on how they are going to do business first.

I appreciate the point of view these experienced ‘yogipreneurs’ explaining transitioning your yoga career to business owner of a studio? What expenses do you need to focus on now and what expenses could wait? Creating a sustainable, livable income should be considered when switching from teaching on the side to opening a business.

Reference

Cook, Racheal. “How Much Does It REALLY Cost To Start a Yoga Business?” The Yogipreneur, 24 Aug. 2016, theyogipreneur.com/episode29/.

 

 Slide Presentations #4

entreprenuer

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Location

With so many details involved with starting  a new business, finding a location needs careful consideration in the plan. This means to figure out what you can tolerate in finances but also  is the location ideal for the business you are planning to open. This part of the process is tedious and exciting but is an essential step. Some mistakes in a startup can be corrected  later; location is sometimes impossible to repair.

I would take into consideration the demographics of potential locations and if there’s sufficient population of my target audience to support my business. More to consider in finding a location is foot traffic and parking. What is my competition in the neighborhoods of potential locations? This slideshow breaks down 10 key points that I would use as guidelines for finding the ideal location.

Reference

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Location for Your Business. (2015, May 20). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/299849

 

 Slide Presentations  #5

slideshare

Empowered Presentations

 

Luke Tucker gathered a collection of tips for starting a business from successful investors & entrepreneurs. Luke identifies these tips and follows up with an “actionable” tip to use the advice. These tips I found are filling in the finer points in the critical areas of starting a business. As going through the process of putting together a business design, these tips are useful in expanding the research for better clarity to the plan.

Reference

Tucker, L. (2016, April 01). Startups are Hard. Like, Really Hard. @luketucker. Retrieved January 28, 2018, from https://www.slideshare.net/mrcoryjim/startups-are-hard-like-really-hard-luketucker-empoweredpres

Conclusion

In preparing for starting a business putting in the time to work out the unknowns of the business plan is time-consuming but well worth the efforts to finding success. I have found there are many common factors shared in all the resources I have gathered for my “Personal Learning Network.”

Find your passion in what you are looking to do, because starting a business takes a lot of your time and it will be more beneficial if you love what you do!

Take time to assess yourself in understanding the demands involved with opening a business.

Sweat equity, find resources and answers, ask questions and do research to limit costly mistakes.

Continuing education about business, social media marketing, other aspects of business is essential to preparing, maintaining and growing your business.

Get advice, consultations, and find mentors for guidance.

Know your market, demographics, economics necessary for your industry.

Remember, customers are spoiled with choices for their answers, products, or services, so excellent customer service, branding, and a grand marketing strategy are necessary to build customer loyalty.

Website Breadcrumbs & Stops Signs for Usability

W3

MGNT 136

Breadcrumbs

target-breadcrumbs

There are many ways to increase the usability of a website for the potential customer’s experience better. One way is to use breadcrumbs in the design strategy. Providing Breadcrumbs is vital for the user to navigate through a website with a vast database and feel lost in the information presented on web pages.

Pierce College Website:

Pierce uses tabs as a form of breadcrumbs to show where you are on the website. You can see that you are on the Academic Catalog page, also that you can still return to the homepage or other categories that are within the site.

breadcrumbs


 

Stop Signs

amazon navigation - Copy

Creating for usability is customers to be able to navigate the website to answer their questions. The design should have in place clear signs to the content they will find. If the design is not user-friendly in the organizational design, the user will leave the website.

Pierce College Website:

The stop signs on the Pierce website has the search box, access to MYPIERCE, CANVAS and the ABOUT US. Along with more areas that are related to your college education. The stop signs are apparent to the information that will follow when you access those groups.

stop signs

 

 

Reference

Krug, S. (2014). Don’t Make Me Think Revisited (3 ed.). (E. Bayle, Ed.) New Riders.

Designing for Scanning, Not Reading



W2

MGNT 136

Designing can be a Recipe for Success!

gma cookies

 

Just like a good recipe we borrow from mom, you can make it your own, but you still need to know the basics that make it a good recipe.

When designing a website, sometimes we get caught up in trying to be everything to everyone, which speaks volumes when you have frustrated everyone.

So start with a purpose, decide what the critical information is to your target audience. When you are clear about that,  then make it  clear to your audience.


 

Make everything that is essential to say on the top half of website or above the fold. Your homepage does not have a lot of scanning time to make a good first impression, so make sure you got your best bra on!

Keeping Life Simple

Sometimes the best answer is using what your audience already understands as the basic functons of using a website. To get a user on a website and quickly navigate is the best answer for good design.

 

  • Make obvious clickable buttons.
  • Make the homepage clear what the website is about.
  • Eliminate clutter, not everything is essential.
  • Group things logically in a clearly defined
  • If it is important use headings and subheadings.

Visually-Stop Shouting

Just like the fashion advice, take the last piece of accessory off before leaving the house. If the website is busy, complex and full of distractions, step back and take another look. Visual noise can take away from the user engaging with the website.

bad website

 

Everything That’s Not Apart of The Solution Must Go:

  • Clutter, clutter, clutter…let it go!
  • Is there more visual distractions than information?
  • Shouting! This is too many invites to buy, exclamation points, and pop-ups take away from the content.
  • Disorganized…I like the word “ransacked.” A good visual word to explain, “You are making my head hurt.”

 

When correctly put together, the website will not only be appealing to users but will encompass the message of trust and loyalty.