Best 15 Awards Ceremony Broadcast Packages & Titles

Best 15 Awards Ceremony Broadcast Packages & Titles

With the 2019 Academy Awards around the corner, the time is ripe for awards season content. Whether you’re shooting a video from the red carpet, interviewing Oscar nominees, or reviewing nominated movies, here are some fantastic broadcast packages and titles you can use for your project.
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Video Marketing Guide: 5 Steps to Success

Video Marketing Guide: 5 Steps to Success

These 5 steps will help guide you through the discovery phase, identify your audience and the channels you should be using, build a video creation process, and measure the results.
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UX For Enterprise: 3 Biggest Challenges (and How to Tackle Them)

UX For Enterprise: 3 Biggest Challenges (and How to Tackle Them)

When was the last time you created the perfect UX design for an enterprise application? For most (if not all) of us, the answer is “never”. There’s always something we’d like to go back and fix after we design enterprise applications, if only we had the time.

And let’s be honest: perfection is a high bar to reach for any development team, especially when building applications that enterprises rely on for day-to-day operations.
But it is worth aiming for perfect UX for enterprise apps every single time. Why? Because research shows every $1 invested in UX brings a return of $100, and 90 percent of users have quit using an application because of poor performance. (Other issues harming app retention rates include too many ads and slow load times, but that’s to be discussed another day.)
Aiming for the best UX design your team’s capable of is crucial, for the good of the application and its users. And the best way to do this is to understand the biggest challenges you face—and identify how you can fix them.
Here are the top 3 to help you get started:
Challenge 1. Giving Users What They Need
When you design an enterprise application, it’s too easy to focus on the aesthetics and flashy features rather than an intuitive, user-friendly UX. 
But while good looks are important (especially with UX for enterprise apps aimed at brands willing to pay for the most cutting-edge, trendy designs), it shouldn’t be the core focus.
You want users to enjoy exploring the app and find its aesthetics pleasant, but it’s vital to remember that functionality is paramount. Users may spend hours upon hours interacting with the app every week, whether it’s a CRM, a billing system or anything else.

part of achieving outstanding functionality means giving users what they need rather than what they want.

And part of achieving outstanding functionality means giving users what they need rather than what they want.
Speaking to existing or prospective users about what they’d like to see in the final product is a good idea in the early design of an enterprise application. They’ll provide you with clear pointers to aid effective enterprise information architecture and identify what they don’t want, but they also can suggest features that seem appealing yet only go to waste.
So, how do you fix this? By analyzing user behavior and determining which functions prove most beneficial or necessary during hands-on tests.
First, invite users to try the application and provide them with a list of tasks to complete. Study them. What features do they use most? What functions do they seem to miss when trying to find a solution?
Test the app with users from different backgrounds or departments, to see how user-friendly it is for those who may not necessarily have used a similar product before. Do they find navigation easy within seconds? Can they understand how to locate certain features?
Ask how the design of the enterprise application impacts the user’s experience. Are the colors in the enterprise dashboard design too garish and causing them to strain their eyes? Does the layout and button placement allow for smooth performance and fluid navigation? Try to find a way to make the app’s presentation eye-catching without being a distraction.

Challenge 2. Putting Pride Before Good UX
A strong skill for UX designers to have is being a “feedback wrangler,” according to this post by Suzanne Scacca. And that’s true: embracing user feedback is essential when trying to design high-quality SaaS applications. But it’s not always so easy.
The best-designed SaaS products are built on a thorough understanding of the user’s goals, pain points and expectations. That means performing comprehensive testing and inviting users to address issues that could cause problems down the line. The same is true whether you’re focusing on SaaS web design or SaaS products for a small business.

The best-designed SaaS products are built on a thorough understanding of the user’s goals, pain points and expectations

But building enterprise applications is hard work. Lots of hard work. And hearing someone tell you it’s not right is incredibly tough.
You might feel as if the problems being highlighted “don’t really matter” or “won’t really affect performance too much”. And if users can find a workaround that adds a few seconds onto a task, what’s the big deal?
Sadly, that’s putting your own pride above the product’s quality. And the standard of UX for enterprise apps affects the users’ work in one way or another. Leaving glitches or clumsy design elements in the final app just because you don’t want to fix them is a big mistake that could prove costly.
How can you fix this?
Recognize that creating the best enterprise application with the strongest UX you’re capable of is an ongoing effort. Right from the start, tell yourself (and your team) that you won’t get it right first time.
Encourage collaboration and transparent communication in your team, to ensure nobody feels too intimidated or shy about raising issues before a user does—this will save everyone time and may reduce frustration.
Try a lean approach to UX design, which incorporates real-time feedback and adapting to necessary changes more than traditional design processes
Remember: if a user struggles with an aspect of your application, this creates a valuable opportunity to make it better—and that means you’ll make a bigger impact on the market

Challenge 3. Giving Users Too Much Choice
What are the elements of good application design?
All the right ones.
Apologies for such a vague (and, frankly, frustrating) answer, but it’s true. Good UX for enterprise apps hinges on equipping users with everything they need to accomplish their respective goals (managing customer communications, staying on top of billings, etc.).

Good UX…hinges on equipping users with everything they need to accomplish their respective goals

That’s why the two fixes we’ve covered so far are so important: You create only the most practical, necessary functions and take user feedback on board. Without doing either of these, you run the risk of creating a product with more elements than it needs. And that can lead to poor UX.
Here’s your fix:
Validate all additions you make to the enterprise application: analyze user behavior to see whether new features and options are actually used.
Identify why any unused elements aren’t necessary and try to determine if they can be tweaked to offer the user more value.
Remove aspects of the application that don’t add to the user experience and ensure their extraction doesn’t affect the product’s performance elsewhere.

Quality function and performance both have the power to aid users in a wealth of tasks, but failure to overcome the above challenges will result in a sub-par experience. Follow these tips and take action to deliver a higher standard of UX design in enterprise applications.

Exciting New Tools for Designers, January 2020

Exciting New Tools for Designers, January 2020

We typically start the month with a roundup of new tools and resources for designers, but with the start of a new year (and new decade), we thought a roundup of things to help you get more organized would be appropriate.
Some of these tools have been around for a while with features you might not be using. Other tools are on the new side and offer great functionality. How many of these tools are part of your kit? Which ones will you resolve to use this year?
Here’s what you need to get organized this month and start 2020 off right.
Dropbox is one tool that’s hard to live without. Not only can you use it to manage files and share, you can also use it to run presentations directly with Zoom conferencing or in Slack. Free plans are enough to get started and upgraded plans provide greater storage capability for individuals or teams.
Working from multiple locations with desktop sync and sharing client files are features that make this tool something I use every day.
Feature you need to be using: Shared link expiration dates. When you share files via link, set an expiration date to ensure files aren’t hanging out with access indefinitely.

Slack is probably a tool that you are already using, but are you making the most of it? Channels, hashtags, and integrations are the key to ensuring that Slack works for you in the way you need it. Take the time to set these up for an efficient, and organized, workflow across multiple teams.
Feature you need to be using: Sync Slack and your Google Calendar for real-time away statuses that work for you.

Cloud Libraries
We all work from a variety of locations—home, work, on desktops and laptops—so cloud-based libraries are a must. Save common files in a location that you can access from anywhere.
Feature you need to be using: Adobe Creative Cloud comes with a place to save libraries, but you can save and connect library files from any cloud-based tool.
Trello is a free organization and collaboration tool for just about any project. Think of it as a giant project checklist that allows you (or other team members) to keep an eye on how anything from a website build to planning a trip. It works cross devices and isn’t hard to figure out.
Feature you need to be using: Workflow automatons with due date commands and rule-based triggers to make tedious processes happen on their own.

Google Keep
Google Keep is the notetaking app you always wanted. Take notes from any device—sync across all devices—and share or keep notes to yourself. You can take notes by typing, with photos or audio (and it will transcribe messages for you). The best part is this notes app is free and pretty much makes anything else you are using obsolete.
Feature you need to be using: Location, and time-based reminders help keep you on task just when you need it.

Grammarly saves time and effort by checking your messages, everything from documents to website content to emails or social media posts, as you type. Use it to avoid embarrassing mistakes in your writing.
Feature you need to be using: Emojis help you track the tone of your message so that it’s on point and audience-appropriate.

ClickUp takes all your other apps and merges them into a single location and dashboard for easy organization. You can use it to manage your own workspace (free) or collaborate with teams (paid plan). There are multiple views—I’m a big fan of the list option—and templates help jumpstart using the tool.
Feature you need to be using: Use the messages option to create tasks or comments. Boom!

Filing System
Nothing beats a solid filing system. The key benefit of a system is that you store files and folders in the same way every time, making it easier to find things later.
I keep folders first by year. Within annual folders are folders by client name. Then by project name. When projects are complete, I end up with two folders: WORKING and FINAL. Use the same format for naming files. (I use Client Name-Project-Year.)
Feature you need to be using: Date project files. Relying on “date modified” settings isn’t enough if you resave an old file by mistake.

Invoicely makes it easy to work as a freelance designer. The platform is made for sending invoices, managing clients, and allows you to accept online payments. It’s secure and offers a free plan (as well as a paid option).
Feature you need to be using: If you are trying to get organized, time tracking tools help you know just what an individual client costs. You can enter time, expense per client, and mileage so you can get a realistic picture of revenue by project.

HelloSign is for anyone dealing with documents that need signatures. Send and sign online with a platform that’s secure and easy for users to understand. Plus, you can sign items right from common tools such as Gmail or other G-Suite apps.
Feature you need to be using: Store all your signed documents in the interface so you can find them later. (HelloSign will also automatically send reminders if someone hasn’t signed a form.)
Traditional Planner + Online Calendar
Pair a paper planner with your online calendar to keep track of tasks (paper planner as a checklist) as well as events and appointments (online calendar). Daily deadlines are best managed when you can jot them down and check them off throughout the day. Plus, that note is right in front of you to stay focused.
Feature you need to be using: Try a weekly paper planner, tear off sheets, or a dry erase board for task management that doesn’t seem overwhelming.

WeTransfer makes sending large files a lot easier. There’s nothing worse than a file getting lost in cyberspace because it’s too big for email. WeTransfer allows you to send and receive big files with just a click. (And you don’t have to have an account to download files.)
Feature you need to be using: Integrate WeTransfer with other tools such as Slack, Sketch or Chrome for direct sharing from wherever you are working.

JotForm is the ultimate tool for creating any type of online form, from simple surveys to signups to payment collection or image uploads. The service has free and paid plans, depending on usage and everything is customizable, so forms can be branded with ease.
Feature you need to be using: PDF Templates are ready-made forms for everything from a simple invoice to contracts or photo waivers. Start with a PDF and tweak as you need. Plus, you can set it up to be filled out digitally and returned to you. This is a huge timesaver, and you can save custom forms in your account to use over and over again.

Featured image via Unsplash.