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The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) — the leading association and voice of the internet business & marketing industry. MITX is about all things digital, about what is next for the web and how it impacts the marketing and business worlds. We are passionate about creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to connect, grow and thrive. And we are committed to showcasing the ideas, the innovations, and the contributions that are fueling a thriving and integral industry in New England and throughout the world. Our mission is to capture and convey the essence of what our industry is doing, and to challenge us all to think differently, think big about what is next, because what is next is here.

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How Top Innovators Sell Big Ideas, FutureM Recap

  
  
  
Hayley Prendergast

We are wrapping up the month of October with a great recap from FutureM. Hayley Prendergast, Associate Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency highlights some key take-aways from one of our sessions on selling innovative ideas.

Hayley Prendergast is an Associate Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency of Boston. At AMP, she helps to drive the strategy behind new business opportunities to tell a compelling story about AMP’s integrated and innovative offerings. Her experience at AMP has allowed her to gain a deep understanding of multiple industries and provided her access to exclusive industry events, such as MITX’s FutureM.

Her background is in sports marketing where she worked with two popular athletic brands, gaining insight into various categories of work including retail, digital marketing, ecommerce, sports partnerships and grassroots initiatives. Beyond digital and sports marketing, Hayley is also a retired Division 1 college soccer player, avid runner, YouTube aficionado, and currently serves on AMP’s Culture Team, adding “spirit” to the agency in various ways.



The Best Things in UX…

  
  
  
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We have two more UX and Design posts to wrap up our theme this month. This post is written by Michael Moore, Product Marketing Manager at Pegasystems Inc. Michael provides insight into why invisibility should be a key characteristic in UX strategy and execution.

Michael (Mike) Moore, Product Marketing Manager at Pegasystems, brings a fresh perspective to enterprise software from his experience developing his marketing and analytical chops in the worlds of finance, private equity and even fantasy sports.  He’s always happy to engage in a spirited discussion on Twitter, LinkedIn or Email and just to clarify… he’s not THAT “Michael Moore” 

…Are invisible!



Context is Magic: How Disney is Creating the Future of Consumer Engagement

  
  
  
Mark Berinato

As October comes to a close we have a few more fantastic UX and Design posts to share with you so stay tuned! To start off the week we have a blog by Mark Berinato, Creative Director of Experience Design at SapientNitro. Mark discusses the latest integrated experiences Disney is implementing and what we can all learn from their successful strategies. Interested in guest blogging? Next month's theme is eCommerce, e-mail taylor[at]mitx[dot]org if you would like to contribute.

Mark Berinato is a Creative Director of Experience Design and leads the UX practice at SapientNitro in Boston.  When he’s not at the whiteboard sketching out solutions to client problems you’ll probably find him restoring his 130 year old barn.

Just over a year ago, Disney introduced MyMagic+ into their park experience. MyMagic+ is powerful: these RFID-enabled wristbands take the place of a park ticket, serve as your hotel key and allow you to cut the line and easily purchase things along the way. And if you happen to have a bad experience – like waiting too long in line, for example – Disney can make it up to you with a special offer or discount through the RFID wristband. All of this by storing personal information and preferences.



The New Customer Journey: Think Value Not Touchpoint

  
  
  
Ken Sigel

Continuing with our UX and Design theme we have a post by Ken Sigel, Manager of Experience Design at SapientNitro. Ken discusses how we can better customer touchpoints to ultimately improve engagement. 

Ken has been designing user experiences for large and small clients for much of the past decade, split between Chicago and Boston. As Manager of User Experience at SapientNitro he’s lead the design of several large-scale retail ecommerce sites, with a focus on extending the experience across digital devices – from desktop to mobile, from tablet to in-store kiosk.

It’s a familiar situation: You enter a department store, shopping for a shirt (a pair of shoes, pants, jewelry, etc.). As you walk through the front door a sales associate approaches, perfume tester in hand, sprays you as you dodge out of the way and asks if you’d like to learn more about the perfume. “No!” you say gruffly, dismissing the associate and continuing on to your department.



Desktopocolypse & the Data Deluge

  
  
  

Are we reaching the "end of days" for our desktop-centric advertising and marketing ecosystem? A desktopocolypse if you will? Geoff Ramsey, Chairman & Co-Founder of eMarketer asked the question at an iMedia marketing conference earlier this year. It really stuck with me, because I believe that this shift underlies the challenges in capturing and utilizing data right now for marketers.

Evolving Beyond The Experience: How Brands Are Connecting With Today’s Consumers

  
  
  
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We have a few posts from our friends at SapientNitro to share with you this week! The first one is written by Katarina Loughlin, Experience Designer at SapientNitro. Katarina give a fantastic recap of her experience at FutureM and how various session discussed the relationships people have with brands.

Katarina Loughlin (@katarina) is an experience designer at SapientNitro. In a past life, she was a product designer for Skype and the enterprise level unified communication client, Lync. She believes in crafting experiences that deliver the most information to people with the least amount of obstacles.

I attended FutureM 2014 as an Experience Designer. However, my job is more than providing a better web experience for customers.



Hedgehogs, Foxes, and the Future of UX

  
  
  
Jonathan Follett

Lots more UX and Design posts coming your way this week and next so stay tuned! Today we have a post my Jon Follett, Principal at Involution Studios. Jon discusses how one-track thinking can hinder design skills and strategies. 

Jon Follett (@jonfollett) is a principal at Involution Studios where he is a designer, business lead, and an internationally published author on the topics of user experience and information design. Jon is the lead author and editor for "Designing for Emerging Technologies: UX for Genomics, Robotics, and the Internet of Things", which will be published by O'Reilly Media in December, 2014. He is a father of two boys, and a classically trained pianist who dreams of one day having a family rock band.

In his essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox” writer and philosopher Isaiah Berlin describes two types of thinkers. Those people who excel in a multivariate environment, looking at many different things and approaching each situation in a new way, Berlin refers to as “foxes”. Those who want to focus on only one thing, who seek orderly specialization, he calls “hedgehogs”.



So, What Exactly Do You Do For a Living?

  
  
  
Hilary Basch Headshot

Here is another excellent UX and Design post for you by Hilary Basch, User Experience Designer at Communispace. Hilary takes a look at the intersection of psychology and technology and what exactly a user experience is at its roots. 

As a User Experience Designer at Communispace, Hilary focuses on integrating the voice of the customer into the design and implementation of easy-to-use interfaces for Communispace's community platform. She’s found that by combining her technical chops with her artistic sensibilities, she can speak the language of both the engineer and of the customer. When Hilary isn't spending her time advocating for a better user experience, she can be found baking cupcakes, solving Rubik's cubes, painting landscapes or going for runs around the Charles River.

You may be astonished by how many friends, family, and even coworkers sheepishly (and repeatedly), ask me this question. Undeniably important and simultaneously ambiguous: a good user experience (UX) is something we innately know we need, but can be hard to craft and even more difficult to define. When I try to explain my job to curious inquisitors, I often find myself referencing bad UX. A bad experience is easy to understand and identify: pushing a door that’s meant to be pulled, changing your address when you move, reading a menu with a tiny font in a dimly lit restaurant, reasoning with a cable service provider… the list goes on.



After Omni-Channel: Preparing for Digital Context - A FutureM Review

  
  
  
Andie Tilden

This month we are combining our UX and Design theme with some awesome reviews of FutureM. This review is written by Andie Tilden, Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency and recaps a fan-favorite session from our Customer Insights track at FutureM 2014. 

Andie Tilden is an Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency of Boston. At AMP, she helps to drive the strategy behind new business opportunities to tell a compelling story about AMP’s integrated and innovative offerings. Her experience at AMP has allowed her to gain a deep understanding of multiple industries and how social media can be integrated into their core marketing strategies. Her background is in account management where she worked on brands from various industries including casual dining, healthcare, alcoholic beverages, toy manufacturing, and non-profits. Beyond digital marketing, Andie’s interests revolve around fitness and wellness. She is a part time spinning instructor (with the best playlists in town) and enjoys improving wellness programs in the workplace.

One of the most interesting seminars I was able to attend at FutureM was titled “After Omni-Channel: Preparing for Digital Context” presented by Stone Mantel’s Martie Woods as well as Stacey Symonds, Senior Director of Consumer Insights at Orbitz. The content of the seminar focused on what many agencies claim to do already: owning today’s consumer purchase journey and what that means for the future.



Where Did “User Experience” Come From?

  
  
  
Dirk Knemeyer

We have another excellent user experience and design blog post to share with you this week. This post, written by Founder of Involution Studios, Dirk Knemeyer, takes a look at where the idea of "user experience" came from and what's next in this space.

Dirk (@dknemeyer) is a social futurist and a founder of Involution Studios. He envisions new systems for organizational, social, and personal change, helping leaders to make radical transformation. Dirk is a frequent speaker who has shared his ideas at TEDx, Transhumanism+ and South by Southwest along with conference keynotes in Europe and the United States. He has been published in Business Week and participated on the 15 boards spanning industries like healthcare, publishing, and education.

User experience is a nearly ubiquitous term in business today. We gobble up the latest and greatest on methods, case studies, principles, and practices, but do we really know very much about where it came from? Happily for you in 2005 I researched the origins of this creative field and the recent surge of popularity has compelled me to dust that off and share it with you.



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