Category Archives: tips

Work Hard, Play Hard

From understanding UX, to learning how to manage working in a fast-paced environment, I’ve gained tons of knowledge since beginning my journey at the ‘Barn (you can read how intimidated I was when I first started here). One thing I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with is getting caught up in the typical “daily grind” that a majority fall victim to here in the DC area. Many people get lost in their 9-5 business infused life, and in turn are left with stress and frustration. In a recent study performed by APA, about 50% of DC-area residents report having been … Continue reading

Design with Kids in Mind

School’s almost out for the summer! For most kids, this means more free time. Hopefully much of that time will be spent outside, but it’s likely that a majority of it will be inside, and online, as well. They’ll be downloading new games, playing old favorites, and checking out new sites – whether it’s for fun or education. The best online experiences will be the ones that stick and the ones they tell their friends about. Most kids seem to be on computers and tablets almost as soon as they can sit up and move a mouse or tap a … Continue reading

Diving into Freelancing

Are you diving head first into freelancing? From moving through various clients, working on a range of projects and meeting new groups of people, daily, weekly or monthly, the life of a freelancer can be a fun and exciting one. But if this is your first rodeo, there’s a lot to know about when you start and what to expect. As with any job, you need to quickly understand the landscape, players and most importantly your role. Although you’re “only a freelancer,” you’re now part of a team and should act like it. And even if your role is temporary, … Continue reading

Think Before You Tweet

It was a combination of an editorial piece by Baratunde Thurston I read in Fast Company and a link a colleague and friend sent me in horror about the best 60 social media tools (how are there that many!) that got me thinking more about a company’s social media presence. I know there is not one “correct” answer, but Thurston makes a great point about how companies and organizations should be focusing more on making quality products and experiences and less on self-promotion and gimmicks on social media sites. The conversation about social media is at almost every product kick-off we have. How … Continue reading

WANTED: Effective Job Postings

A few weeks ago, we discussed the importance of customizing a resume to fit each client. But what if you’re a client on the other end of the spectrum? There’s a lot more to putting up an excellent job posting than meets the eye. The web certainly makes things easier since resumes can be easily uploaded and shared, but it also leads to millions of resumes floating around cyberspace. In order to increase the quality of responses you receive and decrease the noise, we have put together these simple tips for you to follow: 1. Make it search friendly Think … Continue reading

Keep Focused on the Right Hire

It’s rare that bad hires are accidental. Typically, you can look back and see where you went wrong or find the reasons behind why the candidate wasn’t the right one for the job. In order to avoid such issues, it’s important to maintain a strict hiring methodology that you stick to throughout the process. We stress this importance because we recognize that certain candidates can sometimes cause you to stretch and/or mold your process based on a number of factors. This is why it’s extremely vital to try and dodge such situations and adhere to your process as much as possible. … Continue reading

10 years of Ideas, Talent, & Insight

Preface This year, Mediabarn turned 10 years old. Our official incorporation date was January 1, 2004.  Some days it seems like that was 2 years ago, while some days it seems like it was 20. Being in business for 10 years has forced us into a tough task: self examination. We have been taking a look at ourselves in order to figure out what went right and what went wrong to allow us to stay viable for far longer than most small businesses. Our obvious goal for this introspection is to repeat the positives and correct the negatives in order … Continue reading

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Meetings Made Simple (& Productive!)

How many times a day do you find yourself dreading an upcoming meeting or conference call? We have all seen the many videos and cartoons that parody meetings, client relationships, conference calls, [insert latest video viral topic here], etc. Although some of what I’ve seen and read is funny, and a lot usually rings true, what I do know is that productive meetings certainly don’t have to be extremely long or unpleasant! Mediabarn’s projects typically start as documented business requirements or simply a collection of back and forth emails and a few sketches. Some may begin as an existing product … Continue reading

How many times have you formed an opinion of a business based on how you were treated? Whether it was at a grocery store, a doctor’s office or even a market research facility, we’ve all had both good and bad customer service experiences and memorable stories to tell. Because we believe it’s the way we’re treated as consumers which can make or break a business, it makes sense that there’s significant value to understanding how your business falls qualitatively – especially if there’s room to make improvements. And, let’s face it, even the best have off days! So, the question … Continue reading

Getting Hired II: Online Portfolios

Consider this: Researchers from NYU found that we make major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.* Aside from your resume, your online portfolio could play just as an important role in those initial seconds. Branding, let alone branding yourself, is vital element in today’s UX market. Whether you’re on the job hunt, selling your services, trying to gain a better name for yourself, or simply networking, building an online portfolio proves to be a great way for others to get to know you and for you to get hired. Here’s a quick list of points … Continue reading