ECRM launched its new corporate branding campaign and a corresponding Web site redesign. The campaign reflects ECRM's aim to offer its marketing partners and end-users a more "business-friendly" online source for pertinent industry information, the company said. Architected by iMarc of Newburyport Mass., the new Web site offers dealers a partitioned area for industry data and in-depth product information. For end-users, a dealer locator enables visitors to locate ECRM dealers throughout the world. The site also includes an ECRM Newswire for finding pertinent industry news and allows visitors to have access to relevant case studies and white papers. The Web site went live Sept. 1, at www.ecrm.com. "The rebranding initiative has been driven by our desire to be more proactive in serving the business needs of our customers and the channel partners that support them," said ECRM's director of marketing, Jim Luttrell.
It's official as of this afternoon: The Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX) just announced the preliminary results of their annual awards competition and iMarc sites have been chosen as finalists in 7 of 10 general categories, more than any other entrant in the competition.
We're obviously very happy to have our work favorably recognized by a panel of our peers, particularly considering the quality of the work of the other entrants. To be certain, we're in good company. Thanks MITX! Thanks, wonderful crew and clients!
It's worth pointing out that the quality of our projects is a direct reflection of the effort and committment of our staff and our clients. Following is the list of the sites recognized.
The awards dinner is on November 8. Wish us luck!
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
Education and Learning
Seacoast Science Center
Harvey Tool Inc.
Nonprofit & Government/Utilities
Wolf & Company
Training and Support/Corporate
Wall Street Prep Inc.
Last week, I attended a fairly large meeting with Nils, Rob, the client, the client's team, and the client's consultants. This three and a half hour meeting was probably semi-productive for some of the people in the room.
Wait, did I say three and half hour meeting? Since there were 10 of us in the room, that really makes it a 35-hour meeting.
Thirty minutes (or 5 man-hours) into the meeting we were still vigorously debating the project's first feature. There was lots of brainstorming and whiteboard note taking, but we were still on point number one of a ten-point agenda. That's when the heavens opened, a non-florescent light of hope shone down through the suspended fiberglass ceiling and our client professed the following:
"If this is a good start, then maybe that's where we should stop."
Everyone who's ever designed, programmed, built, or authored anything should consider that advise. Write some ideas down, get off to a good start, and move on to the next thing.
Even if we spent 2 hours completely solving feature number one, features two through ten would have some impact requiring us to circle back to the beginning.
Unfortunately the client's brilliant advice was largely ignored. Instead of stopping, and moving on to another feature, we felt compelled to fully "solve" the first issue. With ten people that would prove nearly impossible.
Short meetings that present problems, not solve problems, are the most productive. In 5 minutes, the problem could have been presented to all 10 people in the room. All 10 of us would have heard, first hand, exactly what needed solving. On our own time, we all would have thought about solutions. Then, through quick emails, mock-ups, a Wiki page, or in smaller sub-committees, we could have solved the problem.
The final solution will most likely be better and more innovative if one or two people come up with the idea on their own. With a large group bickering about the final product, the lowest common denominator probably wins.
The key to a successful large meeting is that all the people involved hear and agree on exactly what the problem is. Solve the problem later. That's what attending a meeting should be about.
The grid is more than a theory of design. It is a way of thinking.
A (perhaps the) fundamental trait of the human mind is to identify, categorize and analyze: We identify elements of our environment; then We categorize them according to our previous experience, or create new categories; then We analyze them according to past experience, known relationships, and anticipated future experiences, finding patterns and identifying the greater context.
Which neatly brings us back around to step 1: identify. The cycle repeats in ever-widening circles.
The grid method of design facilitates understanding by creating a framework that aids in identification and categorization of content. Each item exists in a self-documenting, self-reinforcing structure which becomes an aid to rapid identification, categorization and analysis of additional content. The reader's comprehension improves geometrically. Thus: the grid is a human-centric design methodology.
The grid is a concept, of course, not a methodology. The grid doesn't have to be designed from squares or columns; it can be just as effectively based on hexagonal tiles, isometric overviews — any pattern which we can recognize and use to organize information. (See also: Grid Systems in Graphic Design)
It's officially the busy season. iMarc launched five sites in the past few weeks: WallStreetPrep.com - a global full-service financial training firm; GastonScout.com - a flat-fee acquisition and divestiture ("A&D") firm; MatSysInc.com - a developer and manufacturer of sub-systems, components, and advanced materials; Dexsil.com - a manufacturer of portable test kits and instruments; and NEVOG.com - a veterinary oncology facility.
Wall Street Prephttp://www.wallstreetprep.com/
The new Wall Street Prep site was updated to provide a more secure, extendable infrastructure that can support more programs and options. Wall Street Prep administrators can add and edit training courses and materials, post news updates, manage their members, and track their site usage easier, safer and more reliably than ever.
Gaston Scout is a private company creating a new process and market for middle-market mergers and acquisitions. The firm needed a web presence to market it's self to investors, buyers, and sellers. iMarc created a clean site that allows Gaston Scout to manage their firm news and publicity, and attract clients.
Materials Systems Inc.www.matsysinc.com
Materials Systems Incorporated manufactures advanced materials for defense and commercial systems customers. iMarc updated MSI's site to reflect their current identity and business strategy, and express more compelling calls to action for visitors. Through the iMarc SiteManager, MSI can author, maintain and publish product documentation, post employment opportunities, manage news items, and offer the latest information on their tradeshow and expo participation.
Dexsil is a manufacturer of portable test kits and instruments for the detection and quantification of contaminants in soil, water and oil. iMarc updated their site with valid XHTML and CSS, and created a new design to replace their outdated web presence. Dexsil needed a way to make their expansive product documentation easily accessible to their customers, reducing some of the load on their customer service department. Through dynamic tools created by iMarc, Dexsil can now manage an extensive database of FAQs, MSDS information and product manuals all through a single, online tool. Shopping cart functionality drives the commercial site, where Dexsil now offers it's full line of products online.
NEVOG (the New England Veterinary Oncology Group, LLP) is the only private referral veterinary oncology care center in New England. Their state-of-the-art facility was designed exclusively to serve the needs of veterinary oncology patients.
Three quick things:
- Christian: What's that smell?
- Dave: Lamb stew.
- Christian: Mmmmmm.... It doesn't smell baaaaaaaaaaaaad.
Say hello to our new Director of Sales and Marketing, Karin Klapak.
A couple of days ago Fred sent around a link to the best song ever. I can't get it out of my head and, quite frankly, I'm glad.