Online Class: Writing Basics 101 — Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Writing Structures

[2022] 175+ Free Online Writing Courses to Improve Your Skills

Becoming a better writer can help you achieve professional and personal goals. Whether you’re preparing for university studies, drafting résumés and cover letters, writing sales copy, or trying to preserve your own memories, you need to be able to communicate through writing. Fortunately, free writing courses abound to guide you in your writing journey.

Want to start writing fiction? There’s are several writing classes for that, several actually. There are also free writing online courses that will teach you to write better business emails, create compelling online posts and social media updates, and prepare technical reports. English language learners, teachers, and grammar nerds will also find some courses on this list. In short, whatever it is that you’re writing, chances are you can improve your craft with one or more of the courses below.

Quick note: While many of these courses do come with fees, all of them are available to audit in full or in part. If you’re new to MOOCs and want to learn more (including how fees work in these courses), check out our Beginner’s Guide to Massive Open Online Courses.

Free Grammar Courses

Perfect Tenses and Modals
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
In this course, you will learn about important intermediate verb tenses, including present perfect, present perfect progressive, past perfect, and past perfect progressive. You will also learn about common modal verbs used in English.
★★★★★ (7 ratings)

Effective Writing
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee via Swayam
The purpose of this writing course is to familiarise students with the nuances of effective writing so that they can better understand the subtle art of writing. It allows them to write with clarity, precision, and subtlety to express their ideas on various occasions while considering the concepts of appropriateness and accuracy.
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

English Composition
Arizona State University via edX
Learn to develop and express your ideas effectively for a variety of personal and professional purposes, audiences, and occasions in this comprehensive introduction to English composition credit-eligible course.
★★★★☆ (8 ratings)

Grammar and Punctuation
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
After completing this course, you will be able to: – identify the correct verb tenses to use – use commas effectively – utilize several different sentence types – write more effectively in English
★★★★☆ (33 ratings)

Verb Tenses and Passives
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
In this course, you will review the verb tenses that you learned in beginning English classes and learn about a few tenses you may not know very well.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing)
Mt. San Jacinto College via Coursera
Learn to become an effective builder of sentences using the basic tools of English grammar, punctuation, and writing in this FREE and open course. This is a fundamental English writing course.
★★★★☆ (25 ratings)

English Grammar and Style
University of Queensland via edX
Learn key concepts and strategies in grammar and style to help enhance your writing and confidently respond to the demand of high levels of literacy in the 21st century.
★★★★☆ (33 ratings)

Tricky English Grammar
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
While it’s easy for non-native speakers to get overwhelmed by confusing grammar rules, in this course, we’ll provide you with tips that will help you understand the rules more easily and give you lots of practice with the tricky grammar of everyday English.
★★★☆☆ (3 ratings)

Adjectives and Adjective Clauses
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
Adjectives and adjective clauses are very common in English, so students need to be able to understand them when they see them or hear them.
★★★☆☆ (5 ratings)

Just Reading and Writing English 2
Tsinghua University via Coursera
Do you want to read and write better in English? The course consists of 6 units with different topics: education, manners, personal communication, purpose of living, cultural studies, life science. From this course, you will have a good knowledge of intermediate English reading and writing skills.

Just Reading and Writing English 1
Tsinghua University via Coursera
Do you want to communicate with English speakers fluently? The course consists of 6 units with different topics: feelings, staying healthy, learning, university, cultural differences, and cities. From this course, you will have a good knowledge of primary English reading and writing skills in your daily life.

Writing and Editing: Revising
University of Michigan via Coursera
This fourth and final course in the “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” series will help you master perhaps the most important step in the writing process: revising. You’ll learn about the difference between editing and proofreading.

Writing and Editing: Drafting
University of Michigan via Coursera
This third course in the “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” series will give you a number of strategies to help with what is often the most intimidating, even paralyzing part of the writing process: getting started. You’ll learn about the “planning fallacy” and “temptation bundling.” And you’ll continue to benefit, through our ongoing “Good Sentences” and “Takeaways” segments, from the models and advice of a diverse set of writers.

Writing and Editing: Structure and Organization
University of Michigan via Coursera
This second course in the Good with Words: Writing and Editing series will help you become an effective architect of information, both with your sentences and with your paragraphs. You’ll learn that the traditional advice to “Show, don’t tell” is incomplete and that skilled writers actually switch back and forth between showing and telling.

Who should take this course?

This course is primarily intended for anyone who needs help with their grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills or anyone who lacks confidence in their grammar, writing and editing skills. This course is designed specifically for busy professionals who need to refine or polish their writing skills or require a refresher course on how to write well. If you think you require more remedial help in grammar, spelling, and sentence formation, or if English is not your first language and you are unsure what level of English learning you are currently at, you may want to check out our extensive list of ESL courses for different levels of English language mastery.

Yes, there is an instructor who will review your assignment activities, provide feedback on your errors, and answer any questions you may have about the course material. You are not alone when you take this course, Ms. Daphnee St. Val is there to help you on your writing improvement journey!

Why do I need this course if I can just run a spell check?

Presenting yourself well these days requires competent writing skills. Sending out written communications without spelling errors doesn’t necessarily mean your writing is acceptable, conveys the meaning and tone you want, or correctly communicates your intended message. People will review your writing as a direct reflection of your voice, your personality, and your thoughts. If your writing is muddled, disorganized, long-winded, awkward, or difficult to follow, the reader will unfortunately believe that is who you are. Conversely, if your writing is clear, organized, concise and with purpose, people will believe you are smart, capable, and credible. This course provides several lessons and writing exercises to help you build better writing skills that convey the message and tone you want while using your own voice and style.

Yes, assignment activities and lesson exams to test your mastery of course curriculum are graded. This will provide the necessary proof that you are in fact understanding and mastering the lesson outcomes. Should you fail a specific assignment activity you may be given the option to redo the activity correctly for a better grade. Ultimately, this course isn’t about submitting flawless work–it’s about learning from your mistakes and improving your writing processes. Please note that this course and instructor are here to help you succeed! We want to help you improve your grammar and writing skills.

Observations

  • “Mina Shaughnessy had much to do with encouraging the acceptance of basic writing as a distinct area of teaching and research. She named the field and founded in 1975 the Journal of Basic Writing, which continues as one of the most important vehicles for the dissemination of research articles. In 1977, she published one of the most important scholarly books on the subject, Errors and Expectations, a book that remains the most important single study of basic writers and their prose. [O]ne of the values of her book is that she showed teachers how they could, by viewing errors as linguistic misconceptions, determine the causes of writing problems that on the surface might appear confusing and unconnected.”
    (Michael G. Moran and Martin J. Jacobi, “Introduction.” Research in Basic Writing: A Bibliographic Sourcebook. Greenwood Press, 1990)
  • “Every time a student sits down to write for us, he has to invent the university for the occasion–invent the university, that is, or a branch of it, like History or Anthropology or Economics or English. He has to learn to speak our language, to speak as we do, to try on the peculiar ways of knowing, selecting, evaluating, reporting, concluding, and arguing that defines the discourse of our community.
    “One response to the problems of basic writers, then, would be to determine just what the community’s conventions are, so that those conventions can be written out, ‘demystified,’ and taught in our classrooms, Teachers, as a result, could be more precise and helpful when they ask students to ‘think,’ ‘argue,’ ‘describe,’ or ‘define.’ Another response would be to examine the essays written by basic writers–their approximations of academic discourse–to determine more clearly where the problems lie. If we look at their writing, and if we look at it in the context of other student writing, we can better see the points of discord when students try to write their way into the university.” (David Bartholmae, “Inventing the University.” When a Writer Can’t Write: Studies in Writer’s Block and Other Composing-Process Problems, ed. by Mike Rose. Guilford Press, 1985)
  • “[T]he real challenge for us as teachers of basic writing lies in helping our students become more proficient at abstracting and conceptualizing and hence at producing acceptable academic discourse, without losing the directness many of them now possess.” (Andrea Lunsford, quoted by Patricia Bizzell in Academic Discourse and Critical Consciousness. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)

Where Do Basic Writers Come From?

“[T]he research does not support the view that basic writers come from any single social class or discourse community. Their backgrounds are too complex and rich to support simple generalizations about class and psychology to be particularly useful in helping to understand these students.”
(Michael G. Moran and Martin J. Jacobi, Research in Basic Writing. Greenwood, 1990)

“Many early studies of basic writing in the 1970s and 80s drew on the metaphor of growth in order to talk about the difficulties faced by basic writers, encouraging teachers to view such students as inexperienced or immature users of language and defining their task as one of helping students develop their nascent skills in writing. The growth model pulled attention away from the forms of academic discourse and towards what students could or could not do with language. It also encouraged teachers to respect and work with the skills students brought to the classroom. Implicit in this view, though, was the notion that many students, and especially less successful or ‘basic’ writers, were somehow stuck in an early stage of language development, their growth as language users stalled.

“Yet this conclusion, pretty much forced by the metaphor of growth, ran counter to what many teachers felt they knew about their students–many of whom were returning to school after years of work, most of whom were voluble and bright in conversation, and almost all of whom seemed at least as adept as their teachers in dealing with the ordinary vicissitudes of life. What if the trouble that they were having with writing at college was less a sign of some general failing in their thought or language than evidence of their unfamiliarity with the workings of a specific sort of (academic) discourse?”
(Joseph Harris, “Negotiating the Contact Zone.” Journal of Basic Writing, 1995. Reprinted in Landmark Essays on Basic Writing, ed. by Kay Halasek and Nels P. Highberg. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001)

Resource:

https://www.classcentral.com/report/writing-free-online-courses/
https://www.universalclass.com/i/course/writing-basics-101.htm
https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-basic-writing-1689022

How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

Top 8 Steps to Take When Starting a New Business

There are many things that go into making a small business successful. Inevitably, these are the same things that go into being a successful small business owner. If you can accomplish all of these efforts, you will be well on your way to achieving your business goals!

Without a clear vision, it can be challenging to know what steps to take in order to achieve success. Define your goals and create a plan of action that will help you reach them. Successful business owners have a clear idea of where they want to be and how they will get there. Without this direction, it’s easy to get lost or sidetracked. Define your goals and put together a plan of action that will help you reach them.

Additionally, make sure to review and revise your goals regularly to make sure they are still relevant and achievable. By revising your goals, you can also figure out what’s gone wrong and what needs to change in order to help you achieve success. Therefore having goals written down in your business plan is important as it will keep you focused.

Understand Your Customers

You can’t just open up a small business and hope that people will come. You need to know who your target market is and what they want. Understanding your customers is essential to being able to provide them with what they need and keep them coming back. To really understand your customers, you need to talk to them. Ask them questions about their needs and wants. Find out what they like and don’t like about your business and other similar ones.

The more you know about your customers, the better equipped you’ll be to give them what they want. You should also keep track of your customer data. This includes things like their contact information, purchase history, and any other relevant details. This data can help you better understand your customers and make more informed decisions about your business.

Refine your idea.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell online, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, only faster and cheaper), or you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.

Define your “why.”

“In the words of Simon Sinek, ‘always start with why,’” Glenn Gutek, CEO of Awake Consulting and Coaching, told Business News Daily. “It is good to know why you are launching your business. In this process, it may be wise to differentiate between [whether] the business serves a personal why or a marketplace why. When your why is focused on meeting a need in the marketplace, the scope of your business will always be larger than a business that is designed to serve a personal need.”

Consider franchising.

Another option is to open a franchise of an established company. The concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund your operation.

Brainstorm your business name.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s vital to understand the reasoning behind your idea. Stephanie Desaulniers, owner of Business by Dezign and former director of operations and women’s business programs at Covation Center, cautions entrepreneurs against writing a business plan or brainstorming a business name before nailing down the idea’s value.

Clarify your target customers.

“You need to clarify why you want to work with these customers – do you have a passion for making people’s lives easier?” Desaulniers said. “Or enjoy creating art to bring color to their world? Identifying these answers helps clarify your mission. Third, you want to define how you will provide this value to your customers and how to communicate that value in a way that they are willing to pay.”

TIP: To refine your business idea, identify your “why,” your target customers and your business name.

During the ideation phase, you need to iron out the major details. If the idea isn’t something you’re passionate about or if there’s not a market for your creation, it might be time to brainstorm other ideas.

Write a business plan.

Once you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? How will you finance your startup costs? These questions can be answered in a well-written business plan.

A lot of mistakes are made by new businesses rushing into things without pondering these aspects of the business. You need to find your target customer base. Who is going to buy your product or service? If you can’t find evidence that there’s a demand for your idea, then what would be the point?

Free download: Here is our business plan template you can use to plan and grow your business.

Conduct market research.

Conducting thorough market research on your field and demographics of potential clientele is an important part of crafting a business plan. This involves conducting surveys, holding focus groups, and researching SEO and public data.

Market research helps you understand your target customer – their needs, preferences and behavior – as well as your industry and competitors. Many small business professionals recommend gathering demographic information and conducting a competitive analysis to better understand opportunities and limitations within your market.

The best small businesses have products or services that are differentiated from the competition. This has a significant impact on your competitive landscape and allows you to convey unique value to potential customers.

Consider an exit strategy.

It’s also a good idea to consider an exit strategy as you compile your business plan. Generating some idea of how you’ll eventually exit the business forces you to look to the future.

“Too often, new entrepreneurs are so excited about their business and so sure everyone everywhere will be a customer that they give very little, if any, time to show the plan on leaving the business,” said Josh Tolley, CEO of both Shyft Capital and Kavana.

“When you board an airplane, what is the first thing they show you? How to get off of it. When you go to a movie, what do they point out before the feature begins to play? Where the exits are. Your first week of kindergarten, they line up all the kids and teach them fire drills to exit the building. Too many times I have witnessed business leaders that don’t have three or four predetermined exit routes. This has led to lower company value and even destroyed family relationships.”

A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it. When you’re ready to put pen to paper, these free templates can help.

8 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business may sound like an undertaking of epic proportions. The truth is, it’s not. Yes, you’re going to have to work hard, and commit to working on it at all hours of the day, but actually getting set up is simply down to making sure you’ve “checked all the boxes,” which is exactly what this business startup checklist aims to help you do.

We’ve broken the tasks down into manageable categories. Here is an overview of the “8 Steps to Starting Your Own Business” checklist. The SBA Guide will include more detailed information on each section and provide resources that will help you complete each stage of getting started.

Your answers to these types of questions will help you narrow your focus. This step is not supposed to dissuade you from starting your own business. Rather, it’s here to get you thinking and planning. In order to start a successful business, passion alone isn’t enough.

A great business idea isn’t just one that makes money. It’s one that’s a good fit for you personally and plays to your strengths and skills. Great businesses are fueled by owners that have a passion for what they do. Without passion it becomes a job. Hopefully you’re going to be in business for a long time, so pick something you love.

Once you decide on a business that fits your goals and lifestyle, you need to evaluate your idea. Who will buy your product or service? Who will your competitors be? At this stage you also need to figure out how much money you will need to get started.

Your “personal evaluation” was as much a reality check as a prompt to get you thinking. The same thing applies when it comes to researching your business and the industry you’d like to go into.

If you like, you can even take things a step further and consider the consumer needs currently not being met by businesses in the industry. This is a good time to take a look at potential competitors. And remember, the presence of competitors is oftentimes a good sign! It means that the market for your product or service already exists, so you know that from the outset, you’re not flying entirely blind.

While you’ve got the time, learn as much as you can about your competitors, about what they provide to their customers, how they attract attention, and whether or not their customers are happy. If you can figure out what’s missing before you even get started, your job will be made that much easier when you do finally set up shop.

Realistically speaking, registering your business as a business is the first step toward making it real. However, as with the personal evaluation, take your time to get to know the pros and cons of different business formations.

If at all possible, work with an attorney to iron out the details. This is not an area you want to get wrong. You will also need to get the proper business licenses and permits. Depending upon the business, there may be city, county, or state regulations as well as permits and licenses to deal with. This is also the time to check into any insurance you may need for the business and to find a good accountant.

While incorporating can be expensive, it’s well worth the money. A corporation becomes a separate entity that is legally responsible for the business. If something goes wrong, you cannot be held personally liable.

If you will be seeking outside financing, a business plan is a necessity. But, even if you are going to finance the venture yourself, a business plan will help you figure out how much money you will need in order to get started; what needs to get done when, and where you are headed.

In the simplest terms, a business plan is a roadmap-something you will use to help you chart your progress and that will outline the things you need to do in order to reach your goals. Rather than thinking of a business plan as a hefty document that you’ll only use once (perhaps to obtain a loan from a bank), think of it as a way to formalize your intentions.

Even if you do not think you need a business plan, you should go through the planning process anyway. The process of doing so will help to uncover any holes or areas that have you have not thought through well enough. If you do need to write a formal business plan document, you should follow the outline we’ve put together in Write Your Business Plan.

Depending on the size of your venture, you may need to seek financing from an “angel” or from a venture capital firm. Most small businesses begin with private financing from credit cards, personal loans, help from the family, and so on.

As a rule, besides your start-up costs you should also have at least three months’ worth of your family’s budget in the bank. In order to finance your company, you will need to match the company’s needs to the appropriate financing option.

You’ve got a long list of things you need to do: Find a location. Negotiate leases. Buy inventory. Get the phones installed. Have stationery printed. Hire staff. Set your prices. Throw a grand opening party.

Sources:

https://smallbizclub.com/startup/top-8-steps-to-take-when-starting-a-new-business/
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4686-how-to-start-a-business.html
http://sbaguide.org/8StepstoStartingYourOwnBusiness.html

How to Become a Successful Freelancer

How Freelance Finance Consultants Are Beating Big Firms

Freelance finance consultants are delivering high-quality results for clients at a lower cost than traditional consulting firms. How do they manage to do it? One of Toptal’s most in-demand finance freelancers, Michael Ng, explains how freelancers are able to outdo their more established competitors when it comes to communication, expertise, and ROI.

Having been fortunate enough to spend the better part of the last decade working as an investment banker, venture capitalist, board director, and freelancer, I’ve witnessed the evolution of professional services firsthand. A lot has changed, including the adoption of flexible operating models and success-based fee structures. But one thing has become clear to me: On a consistent basis, clients are happier with both the cost and results of projects delivered by freelancers.

Only having to deal with one person for everything related to the project was invaluable. It enabled us to better adapt as the situation evolved & execute more efficiently. Former client and CFO, leading European retail operator in the food & beverage sector

I’ve seen this from the client perspective as a board director and from the advisor side as a freelance consultant—and increasingly, it is becoming apparent to my colleagues industrywide. It is perhaps unsurprising, given the increased personal touch afforded by freelancers and the increased accountability at an individual level for each project.

While freelance finance consultants may have historically only served younger companies in the form of projects like investor presentation creation and modeling, we’re increasingly seeing them handling more multi-disciplined projects. Projects like cash management or post-merger integration would historically have only been outsourced to traditional, on-site consultants, yet today, clients recognize the value of hiring a multi-disciplined freelancer with the same skills and higher accountability.

Here, I’ll discuss what draws companies to freelance finance consultants, my personal remote freelancing experience with a traditionally on-site engagement (cash management), and the factors driving a high ROI for more mature clients hiring freelancers for finance projects.

Why Companies Are Shifting to Freelance Finance Consultants

Finance and management consulting came to the forefront following the Great Depression, when large corporations sought out expert advice in ever-increasing numbers. Since then, the profession has expanded and opened up its offering to companies of all different sizes, solving the most critical issues facing businesses today. However, given the inherent importance of their work and legacy of catering to large corporations, charge-out rates for top-tier consultants (senior partner level) can go as high as $16,000 per day (paywall).

However, corporate consulting rates are increasingly under pressure with the steep rise in the number of freelance finance consultants, who typically leave these traditional consulting firms to find a better work-life balance but critically offer top-tier experience at realistic rates (given their considerably lower cost base).

Freelance consultants are inherently less expensive than traditional consulting firms—particularly remote freelance finance consultants. Experienced freelance consultants have lower training costs and virtually no overhead expenses (e.g., expensive offices in which to entertain clients). Further, they are more open to working virtually and less likely to include potential travel expenses in their fee.

You may be thinking, why is this happening now? Perhaps this movement is only temporary. The truth is that there are multiple, long-standing secular trends that have bubbled this very situation to the surface.

Permanent employees are leaving full-time jobs at the fastest pace on record, and more people are freelancing than ever before. This has created a growing talent gap in the full-time employee pool, resulting in an increased demand for qualified freelancers. According to Morgan Stanley, more than 50% of the total US workforce could be made up of freelancers by 2027.

For companies hiring freelancers, they are increasingly seeking out those with deep, specialized skill sets (and not just those who are a “jack of all trades”). The reason they have been able to do this (and still be successful in finding the right freelancer) is the increasingly large freelance talent pool available to them. Furthermore, given the quality of specialized freelancers now available for hire, the delivered results continue to improve.

Freelancers no longer have to go it alone and build up their own business from scratch (including finding potential clients). They are now able to be hired through pre-vetted, high-grade freelancing platforms that manage everything from sourcing quality projects to managing payments, client communication, and timesheets. For instance, Toptal only accepts about 3% of the freelancers who apply to be on the platform, effectively optimizing value-creation for clients by granting access only to top-tier talent at realistic rates.

How to Become a Successful Freelancer

Becoming a freelancer can be liberating — and also a little terrifying. Where do you even begin? What processes and structures do you need to have in place? How do you find clients? And how do you know how much to charge?

What the Experts Say
“Going out on your own isn’t always a deliberate choice,” says Sara Horowitz, head of the Freelancers Union and author of The Freelancer’s Bible. Some people do make the switch consciously in order to capitalize on their unique skills and networks, earn more money directly, escape the corporate grind, and have more work-life flexibility. Others end up as their own bosses because they’ve left jobs and are trying to figure out what’s next, or they start doing a few projects on the side and realize the work is enough to be their main gig. Sumeet Goel, who founded HighPoint Associates, a professional advisory firm that staffs independent consultants at companies ranging from midsize ones to the Fortune 500, agrees that many freelancers often happen into it: “I’d say 90% go down this path because of circumstance. It’s not so much that they decide to do it; it’s more that they wake up one day and they’re an independent consultant.” Whether you chose freelancing or it chose you, you’ll only be successful if you follow some important steps.

Reach out to your existing network
A robust network is a freelancer’s best friend. The goal is to start your business with “a group of people who really care about you” and who are ready to support you along the way, says Horowitz. Reach out to the people closest to you to let them know what you’re doing. This doesn’t have to feel like you’re begging for work though, says Horowitz. In fact, she advises taking people you like out to coffee or lunch “before you have an ‘ask’” and offering to help them out in any way you can. “It’s the equivalent of doing informational interviews. You’re just making clear the kind of work you’re doing now and that you’re available to help anyone who might need it,” she says. Being in touch with your network isn’t just important at the beginning. Goel says it’s crucial to build time into your schedule going forward to continue networking. “You never want to be so busy that you can’t reach out to the people who can help you,” he says.

Make new connections
It’s important to have a few fellow freelancers you can turn to for advice and support in your network. Sure, they may be “the competition,” says Horowitz, but they are also a great source of information. Look for professional associations in your field, search LinkedIn for people who are in the same business, and attend conferences in your areas of expertise. Horowitz’s organization hosts monthly meet-up events for independent workers in 18 cities across the U.S. “It’s a great way to get to know people in the context of building your business,” she says. If you’re concerned about the networking aspect of being out on your own, you’re not alone. The Freelancers Union has a host of resources, including an “Authentic Networking Guide” that, according to Horowitz, “outlines some best practices for new or nervous networkers.”

Determine your fee
Knowing how much to charge is one of the things your network can help you with right away. Horowitz suggests asking your fellow freelancers what the market is like for your skills and what their rates are. Don’t make the mistake of basing your fees on what you need to earn. “This isn’t about your expenses,” says Horowitz, “so don’t add up your mortgage payment and your other costs of livings to figure out your hourly rate.” If you’re moving from a full-time job, Goel suggests this calculation: Take your cash compensation and divide by 250 (which is the number of billable days after factoring in vacations, sick time, and typical downtime) and then add 25%–50%. Then take that figure, compare it with the rates you’ve gotten from your network, and find a middle-ground number you can float as an experiment and then adjust based on feedback from potential clients. You may have to quote a lower rate at the beginning, while you’re still figuring how much you’re worth and trying to win work. But plan to raise your prices sooner rather than later. Horowitz says you’ll know when you’ve hit the right level: “When you’re reliable and good and you charge a fair rate, people rehire you.”

Find a good accountant
Even before you have money coming in, hire a trustworthy accountant. “I always recommend getting someone who can help you set things up properly,” says Horowitz. “This might be a lawyer, but I find that the kind of support you need is more about economics than law.” A professional can advise you on whether it makes sense to incorporate, how to save in taxes, and how to manage all of your expenses. Goel suggests setting up an LLC or similar designation to separate your business assets from your personal ones. He also recommends signing up for a business credit card right away, which will “make taxes and tracking expenses easier” and “get you in the right mindset.”

Define Your Niche

You need to stand out as a Salesforce Freelancer. To the average client you will be approaching, everyone appears to do the same thing. Listing your capabilities with Salesforce technology is unlikely to resonate with your prospects. Defining your niche shouldn’t involve focusing on an industry, or a Salesforce product/cloud.

Your offering is the services that you advertise to potential clients, like a catalog of your deliverables. An offering will group together multiple deliverables in a way that makes sense, to ensure your clients are left with a functioning Salesforce org, plus to be a more enjoyable and profitable experience for you.

  • Project – Fixed Cost: the cost is agreed upon before the work commences. For that amount, you will deliver the scope of work. The cost remains fixed for the whole duration of the project, and the client must raise a request if they want to make changes.
  • Project – Time & Materials (T&M): the client agrees to pay based on an hourly, or day rate. While you should still prepare a scope of work and estimate the time (and cost) it will take to deliver, there is no fixed figure. You deliver the scope of work to the best of your ability and ‘roll with the punches’ – if something unexpected happens, you work to resolve it.
  • Managed Services: an ongoing contract where you commit a certain number of hours per month to the client, over the contract term (anywhere from 3-12 months). If you’re looking to become a Salesforce contractor, this is for you!
  • Ad-Hoc Support: is exactly what it says – it’s unexpected, they are small chunks of work, and they are often the result of something going wrong (which means you are taking on risk). Examples include: fixing an automation issue, adjusting user permissions, or providing some training.

How to Get Clients as a Salesforce Freelancer

Option #1: Get Your Own Clients

‘Outbound marketing’ to get in front of potential clients, or to become discoverable (‘Inbound marketing). This includes writing articles, videos, speaking, prospecting/outreach.

ProsCons
Control over your day rates.Time consuming: upfront effort and ongoing time commitment.
Control over project scope.End-to-end responsibility puts more pressure onto you.
Able to operate with your personal brandNo escalation point for unexpected occurrences – it will all be on your head.
Stay laser-focused on your nicheRisk of overworking to progress as fast as you can.

Option #2: Subcontracting Through a Salesforce Consultancy

Option #3: Recruiters

Recruiters earn their commission by connecting organizations that need a Salesforce specialist with suitable candidates. Having an oversight on both the supply and demand side means that recruiters can match you with a high-quality opportunity – they can become your eyes and ears on the ground!

You will mostly find that these engagements are ‘full-time’ 40-hours-a-week for a period of time (usually 6 months). While common for recruiters to have contract opportunities on their books, some do come across freelancing opportunities from time to time. Staying connected with a recruiter will mean they will alert you about both.

ProsCons
Quality and speed in the opportunities they can find for you, and how fast they do it.Expensive for clients to hire you where placement fees eat into the project budget.
Can negotiate the day rate for you.Find yourself up against more competition.
Good sources of information.Risk you will be persuaded into an opportunity that doesn’t align with your goals.

Triangle diagram - Salesforce freelancing project priorities: fast, good quality and cheap.

I covered this topic when I spoke with Brian Shea, host of the Salesforce Freelancing interview series. The 3 Work Models & Getting Your First Clients (Ep. 1), read the full show notes.

Sources:

https://www.toptal.com/finance/business-consultants/freelance-finance-consultant
https://hbr.org/2016/07/how-to-become-a-successful-freelancer
https://www.salesforceben.com/freelance-salesforce-consultant/

55 creative marketing ideas for your product or business

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Innovative social media marketing ideas

Social media marketing is an easy way to get the best bang for your marketing budget buck. But with more content floating around the interwebs than we know what to do with, you have to get creative to stop the scroll. Try one of these ideas on for your marketing strategy:

Referral programs turn your customers into marketers. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by adding incentives for talkative fans. Be it a discount, a free trial, or a free bonus gift with purchase — if the incentive is good enough, you’ll get people talking.

Influencer marketing is big business. But there’s no need to aim for the Kylie Jenners of the world. You’ll find thousands of micro-influencers with valuable followings (and without the million-dollar price tag.)

Connect to the influencers who have an established relationship with your target audience, then offer to send them your products or aim for a more formal marketing partnership. If you don’t have time to slog through the social media ranks, plenty of influencer agencies can help.

But remember, a giveaway only works if you ask for something in return. As a requirement for entry, ask people to follow your brand (if they haven’t already), mention your handle, or tag a friend. Then sit back and watch your audience grow.

There is strength in numbers. Band together with a brand or account that complements your own but isn’t your direct competition. Launch a collaboration project, join forces for a good cause, or just feature each other on your socials with a sponsored post. If you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours.

Branch out from your standard static Instagram images and give video a try. Video is not only more engaging and better at getting your message across, but you get more time and space to be creative.

At the end of the day, the opinion that matters most comes from people who already buy your product or use your service. Distill your customer feedback to find loyal advocates for your product, and give their voice a platform with a customer testimonial video or graphic. Bonus points if you can manifest first-person footage of the customers themselves.

When the internet hands you lemons, make lemonade. Keep an eye on current memes and trends, and jump on the ones that work for your brand. Do the same for holidays and events. As a starting point, the Biteable Marketing Calendar offers timely content for every day of the year.

Facebook marketing ideas

Facebook is home to some of the most powerful advertising and targeting tools in the marketing game, not to mention its billions of users. Make the most of Facebook with one of these ideas.

The liveness of Lives is sometimes daunting, but you can’t deny the stats: Facebook Live consistently receives more engagement than almost any other content on Facebook. Get creative with the format and build a better relationship with your followers at the same time. Tell your audience about a new product, give them a behind-the-scenes scoop, or just answer their questions. Humanize your brand with a real, friendly face.

The 21st century might not have flying cars, but we do have Messenger chatbots. And these helpful little bots do more than just answer common questions; they are also a powerful tool for creative marketing.

Consider the Messenger bot your new marketing assistant. Turn your chatbot into a personal shopper with customized product suggestions, or use it to give your Facebook followers helpful information related to your service.

This one isn’t so much a creative idea as it is a chance to get creative. Facebook’s current algorithm loves meaningful content that users are inclined to interact with. Playful memes have their place, but make sure some of your posts have more meat on their bones.

Instagram marketing ideas

Influencers run Instagram. With their built-in loyal audiences, a well-placed influencer takeover is hard to beat. That person’s followers will jump over to your page to see what their favorite influencer is up to, and many will end up sticking around. If an influencer is a good match for your business, a takeover can nab you a whole lot of positive brand awareness.

Instagram Stories knows how to deliver on engagement — especially when polls and questions are involved. Get creative and interactive with a Story your followers can participate in.

Just like Facebook live, Instagram Live is a powerful platform for answering questions and building relationships. Instagram sends your followers a notification when you’re live, so they’re more inclined to stop by.

Content marketing ideas for creative minds

Partner up with other experts or interesting perspectives and invite them to write a guest post for your blog. They’ll likely share it, and their followers might just become new fans of your content. Plus, if the guest blogger has their own website, you’ll share a good old-fashioned link swap and a dose of SEO juice.

Turn your post’s content into a listicle video for easy social sharing, and then plop it at the top of your blog page. Search engines rank pages with video embedded near the top higher than those without, so you’ll feed two birds with one delightfully engaging scone.

Create content that gives people a reason to read it. Share your knowledge and expertise, and trust that you’ll be rewarded with clicks and engagement. You’ll establish yourself as a trusted knowledge source. This carries a lot of weight when it comes time for buyers to make purchasing decisions.

Help other people in your position by putting together a shareable content marketing calendar. Include suggestions for content ideas, events and holidays, relevant hashtags, and even graphics, images, or videos other brands can use.

6. Promote Your Social Proof

When it comes to marketing, social proof is invaluable. It’s way to capture the attention of a wide audience using the evidence of just a few. For a small business, consider using the following:

  • Testimonials – having a strategy designed to collect testimonials is a great way to utilize social proof. Because they come from your clients, not your brand, people will be more likely to view them as credible
  • Ratings – anytime you receive a 5-star review, promote it wherever possible – your website, social ads, etc.
  • Badges and Awards – remember those business awards you’re signing up for? When you win, display your badge on all of your marketing materials to further your credibility
  • Social shares – if your articles are receiving significant comments or shares, it’s a good idea to display the number with your share buttons. Be cautious though – you don’t want to display low numbers, so make sure you’re consistently receiving a hefty number before you turn your share numbers on

10. Look for Guest Posting Opportunities

By posting on the site, you and your brand will be exposed to a much larger audience. You’ll likely include links to your own site, which could have a positive effect on your traffic. And overall, you stand to collect a much bigger return on investment.

Your first job is finding a place to post. Luckily, you’ll find many top blogs are happy to accept guest blogs (if you’re a marketer, find a big list of opportunities here) . Otherwise, it’s a matter of searching them out, finding the proper contact info, and making your pitch.

Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses: Guest Post on Popular Blogs

Brand Awareness / Media Attention

While much of the world has moved online, print media is still a popular and worthwhile advertising vehicle. And in some markets, print media still thrives. In fact, as recently as 2014 , retail customers cited print materials as the chief source of information behind their purchasing decisions.

Small businesses thrive when they engage their local community, and what better way to do it than by advertising in your local media outlets? That being said, print is best used in conjunction with online marketing strategies to act as a complement and to create better brand awareness.

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Join Local Business Groups and Events

Joining a local networking group or attending an event will give you the opportunity to meet and connect with other like-minded people. While there are a lot of general entrepreneur groups, there might also be some niche-specific groups or meetups in your area. These groups are a great way to bounce ideas off other smart people, share referrals, find talent and identify new opportunities. Attending these events can also help you expand your network in the community you call home.

Well, there you have it. Building your marketing plan may seem like a daunting task, but it will reward you in the form of new customers and a growing business. Remember that utilizing several strategies and tactics will increase your marketing success.

Sources:

https://biteable.com/blog/marketing-ideas/
https://johnlincoln.marketing/marketing-ideas-small-businesses/
https://www.swiftlocalsolutions.com/blog/7-marketing-campaign-ideas-for-small-business

25 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Kindergarten Students

mindfulness activities | mindfulness activities for elementary students | 5 minute mindfulness activities

25 Mindfulness Activities for Kindergarten

Mindful activities are significant for building self-awareness, concentration, emotional intelligence, coping skills, empathy and more! Learning these skills when kids are young sets them up for success throughout their lives, not just the immediate scenario you’re addressing.

1. Taking Deep Breaths

Practicing mindful mediation can be helpful, even in as young as preschool-aged children. Try having them focus on their breath going in and out of their nose while using calming music or nature sounds as background noise. This activity will help kids feel calm and be more aware of their thoughts and actions.

2. Stop and Wiggle

Get the kids to stop in their tracks when they feel anxious, excited, or frustrated. Ask them to breathe in deeply and then let it out slowly while shaking their arms and legs for a moment (like they’re making snow angels). This activity will help them calm down so that they can work through their feelings healthily.

3. Mindful Listening

Give each child their own mindfulness bell and ask them to ring it whenever they need some quiet time, or just want the class to be silent for a moment. Before you start your mindfulness lesson, let everyone practice ringing the bells so that they will know what sound it makes when someone needs time to reflect.

4. Mindful Thoughts

Ask the kids to sit in a circle and give each of them an object like a stone, stick, or ball (not too big). Let everyone hold this toy for one minute while they focus on sitting still and concentrating on their breathing. Here, it’s good to teach them that even in their thoughts, they need to be mindful of how they think about certain situations and people.

5. Jack be Nimble

Play games during your mindfulness sessions with the kids. One fun game is called “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick” where you get them to walk around in a circle while they focus on their breathing and try not to bump into anyone or anything.

mindfulness activities for students | 5 minute mindfulness activities for students | mindfulness activities for the classroom

6. Self-Portraits

Take some time during mindfulness activities for kindergarteners each week to have the kids draw self-portraits. This art activity will help them get in touch with their emotions and teach them how to express themselves creatively! Kids can paint how they think of themselves and those around them while concentrating on an activity that stimulates the mind.

7. Dance Party

Turn on some soothing music for mindfulness activities for kindergarteners, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or something relaxing from your favorite yoga playlist. Play games while the kids dance, like making them do a pose every time you change songs. This will help them be more aware of their surroundings and other people in their space while providing movement and stimulation.

8. Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles for kindergarteners can be done in small groups or even individually! Fill a glass bottle with rice and add different objects from around your house to make patterns on top of it (like buttons, sequins, glitter and more). Let the kids shake the bottles until they’re calm or focused.

9. Mindfulness Rocks

Fill a jar with rocks that have different feelings on them like “calm,” “happiness,” “peaceful” and others. Each time kindergarteners feel a certain way, they can select a mindfulness rock from the jar and think about what it means. In doing this, you’re asking them to reflect on how they feel. Encourage them to think about how they’re feeling and how it could impact others around them.

10. Art

Art is a great class project! Ask the kids to draw what mindfulness looks like to them and then hang their artwork on your wall after it dries. You could even have an art contest where each child gets a prize for drawings that speak the most to mindfulness and how important it is! Encourage them to think about what they’re drawing and why they feel that way.

11. Muscle Relaxation

Most of us, including kids, aren’t always aware of the muscles in our body and how they feel or move. Practice this with kids to teach them when to know their body is stressed or tense. This will teach them how to tense and relax their muscles while being mindful of themselves. Self-awareness is key to this activity.

12. Glitter Jars

Take a mason jar and try filling it with water, glitter, and other various objects. This is a great tool for those kids who need a physical outlet when overstimulated or upset. This is also a craft project you can do with them to keep them occupied. The finished product is something they’ll be proud of and gain confidence in building coping and mindfulness tools.

10 Ways to Help Students Who Worry

Mindfulness with middle schoolers: a piece of cake or labor of love? I’ve had loads of fun teaching mindfulness to elementary-aged students, but when I first threw out the idea to some of my middle schoolers, they looked at me like I had three heads. I knew that buy-in would be a little tougher with this age group (but totally worth the effort). Keep reading to find out how I hooked my students’ interest and the middle school mindfulness activities that my students actually enjoyed.

Buy-In

We know adolescents need mindfulness, but how do we get them engaged? How do we get buy-in? Elementary students jump at the chance to breathe like a butterfly or do a silly animal-themed yoga activity. But middle schoolers aren’t always the easiest to engage! One thing is reliable, though: adolescents love to know why. Why are we doing this? Why does this matter?

Problem List

When introducing the concept of mindfulness, I begin by having my students create a problem list. What are their stressors? What are the things causing turmoil in their lives right now? I ask them to be as specific as possible. Is it just homework in general or one specific assignment? What about that assignment is troubling? Is it hard to complete a project that large? Is it hard to work in a group? We go on like this for a while. As you can imagine, this list is often long!

Students identify problems like interpersonal conflict, feeling stressed by schoolwork, being overwhelmed by responsibilities and extracurricular activities, feeling like they don’t fit it, and the list goes on.

Looking for middle school mindfulness activities that adolescents and teens actually enjoy? Read more about activities my class loves and how I got buy in!

Possible Solutions

Then, I challenge students to think of or find one solution that could help tackle all of the problems on the list. Students do a bit of research using iPads. We spend a lesson or session doing this task and the students report their findings which often range from silly things like quitting school to thoughtful responses like seeking therapy.

At this point, I introduce the concept of mindfulness, but I don’t just tell students what it is and tell them that it will help. I show them the research. I show them studies about how mindfulness improves memory and attention, lowers stress levels, increases happiness, and promotes social connections and altruism. Then I give them the studies to review and then give them space to research it on their own for a few minutes. When they are given the opportunity to review actual research and see facts and figures from studies, adolescents are much more like to buy in to the process because they can see the why behind it. When they can see studies that have been done with people their own ages who have benefitted from the practice, adolescents are more likely to be willing to give it a try themselves.

Getting Started

After I have some buy-in and have piqued their interest in this seemingly magical practice that can address a whole host of problems they have identified in their lives, we start small. Adolescents already feel like they’re on a stage in front of their peers at all times, so we don’t start with a tricky yoga sequence or a 30-minute guided meditation because that’s a sure way to discourage participation! We start with simple, 2-3 minute seated breathing exercises using tracing printables so that students can focus their attention on just what they’re doing and not worry about meeting eyes with others during the process.

As students gain comfort with short, simple exercises, we try longer activities and different types of mindfulness exercises. We also repeat activities. Students like to try again. They like to get better, practice, and feel like they’ve grown or accomplished something.

Breathing Exercises

Much of mindfulness hinges on slowing and controlling breathing to truly tune in to the body. To introduce breathing exercises, I first model controlled breathing on my own in front of everyone. When we have the technology available, I also let students practice using iPads and headphones with the Calm app. There are some great free activities students can do on their own without feeling like they’re on a stage. I also give students printables to trace while they practice controlling their breathing using figure 8 breathing, rainbow breathing, and star breathing to get the hang of it. Many of my students end up taping these printables inside their notebooks to use throughout the day.

Looking for middle school mindfulness activities that adolescents and teens actually enjoy? Read more about activities my class loves and how I got buy in!

Resource:

https://www.happierhuman.com/mindfulness-kindergarten/
https://confidentcounselors.com/2019/04/16/middle-school-mindfulness-activities/

Top 10 Personal Business Goals You Can Set and Achieve

Red dots bounce up levels from the words “short-term” to “long-term,” showing how your START goals can adjust to each situation.

SMART Goal Examples for Small Businesses

SMART — which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound — goals set the parameters for actions you and your staff take to improve personal performance and your small business’s overall progress. SMART business goals break down broad objectives into well-defined, attainable milestones to ensure success.

Why Set SMART Goals?

SMART goal-setting is an effective way to help refine your ideas, clarify your objectives, focus your efforts and productively allocate your resources. It also helps promote transparency and accountability throughout your company so employees can be empowered to prioritize their efforts and resources toward accomplishing common goals.

SMART Business Goals’ 5 Elements

Specific: Your goal should be well-defined and focus on a particular outcome. For example, instead of saying, “we want to increase sales,” it should state, “we aim to increase sales by 80% in the XYZ market.”

Measurable : Each SMART goal should have a starting point and a finishing point that can be quantified and tracked. Besides the key metrics, you should indicate a system, method and procedure used to measure progress.

Attainable: This criterion prompts you to take stock of timeline, budget and resource availability (e.g., talent), and even industry averages so you can evaluate how — and if — a goal can be realistically achieved.

The “A” in SMART goal also can stand for “acceptable.” It refers to getting buy-in from everyone involved, so you can rally employees behind a common objective and motivate them to take the initiative.

Your goal also should address market conditions and the realities of the business climate. For instance, a goal might not be relevant if you’re trying to increase your sales by 50% in an economic downturn.

SMART Goals Examples for Work

Consider applying SMART goals to several aspects of running your small business, including leadership, management and employee performance. Here are some SMART business goals examples of setting meaningful SMART goals that’ll help you achieve tangible results:

SMART Goals Examples for Employees

General Goal: Improve Customer Service Quality

Attainable: Provide training sessions to ensure all employees understand expectations and are prepared to execute proper procedures. Ensure we have standards in place to assess customer satisfaction. Customer complaints will be reviewed, and corrective action will be taken where necessary.

General Goal: Increase Blog Traffic

Specific: Increase blog traffic by 200% using search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing strategies . The web team will monitor blog stats and provide a weekly report to help fine-tune the tactics. Work will begin on [XX date], and the goal is expected to be achieved by [XX date].

Relevant: Robust blog traffic will expose our work to a larger audience and help establish us as an authority in our industry. We’ve also seen a healthy conversion rate from blog readers to paying customers.

SMART Goals Examples for Managers and Leadership

Managers need to set SMART business goals that aim to improve their performance and the performance of team members. Remember that it’s important to be a leader as well as a manager. Objectives for developing leadership capabilities include:

General Goal: Improve Communication Clarity

Specific: Develop presentation skills and improve the clarity of my communication to reduce the number of questions in team meetings by 30% in 6 months. This will reduce the time spent on answering questions and minimize misunderstandings to improve the team’s productivity.

Attainable: Take training courses to improve presentation skills. Assess previous Q&A sessions to assess where the confusion arises. Solicit feedback from fellow managers or staffers regarding communication clarity.

Relevant: Clarifying communications and reducing the amount of questions employees need to ask will cut back on misunderstandings and potential errors. Less time devoted to questions can also improve staff productivity.

General Goal: Improve Management and Coaching Skills

Specific: Develop management and coaching skills by having weekly 1-on-1 meetings with direct reports and quarterly 1-on-1 meetings with indirect reports to achieve a 10% improvement in employee engagement in 6 months.

SMART Performance Goals Examples

These SMART business goals can guide employee performance reviews to help workers focus on improving areas most relevant to their professional development and business objectives. Some of these goals focus on meeting specific performance metrics, while others revolve around acquiring professional knowledge and updating relevant skills.

General Goal: Grow Engagement on Business’s Social Media Accounts

Attainable: Take an online course and implement the lessons in my business’s social media strategy. Track account metrics to help chart progress and adjust strategy when necessary.

General Goal: Improve Cost Efficiency In the Procurement Process

Specific: Spend 2 days each month shadowing operation and sales teams to gain customer insights, which will be applied to the procurement process to improve cost efficiency by 10% in 8 months.

SMART Goals Examples for Small Business

Small businesses operate differently than large corporations and require setting SMART goals with a level of granularity that allows you to stay focused on results without losing sight of the big picture.

General Goal: Gain New Clients

Specific: Gain 4 new clients this quarter, each with a monthly retainer fee of 5000,000. This will be achieved by repackaging my services, increasing my fees, improving my lead-generation efforts so I can have 3 or more sales conversations each week and build a pipeline of high-quality prospects.

General Goal: Add Customers and Grow Profits

What Are Personal Development Goals for Work?

It can sometimes take a long time to achieve your career goals, they don’t often happen overnight. It’s important to embrace the experiences along the way instead of being narrowly focused on a singular path. Things can happen differently or unexpectedly, and that’s okay.

What are you willing to give up or sacrifice to achieve your career goals? For example, if being close to friends and family is important to you, moving far away for a dream job might not work out. Or, if you love to travel, committing to a job that keeps you behind a desk might be a recipe for disaster. You want your career path to be fulfilling, not draining.

There are going to be rough patches and moments of stress. You can work with a mentor or someone who can help provide advice and solutions to help you get through any struggles.

Paying it forward is one of those things that have unintended positive results. Help other young professionals or students through mentoring or by offering career advice. Do you remember someone who gave you advice early in your career and how helpful it was? Try and return the favor and give back when you can.

Goals and milestones are useless if they’re not attainable. Use the SMART goals process, which is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. This framework helps ensure your goals are specific and quantifiable.

Key Takeaways

Balancing work and personal life can become stressful. You want to make sure you are delivering on your tasks and responsibilities at work but you also want to have time at home with friends and family. It can sometimes be even more difficult to try and set personal business goals to achieve.

The good news is that there are tons of things that you can do to help you set your goals and ultimately achieve them. Becoming a thought leader, generating new business ideas or improving your focus are just a few of the goals you can set and achieve.

When you are figuring out which goals you want to set, it’s important to make sure that they’re attainable and specific. If they’re not, your journey to achieving them will become bumpy and will likely have some detours. Use the SMART acronym to help make sure your goals are quantifiable and contribute to your growth mindset.

Resource:

https://www.fastcapital360.com/blog/smart-goals-examples/
https://www.freshbooks.com/hub/leadership/personal-business-goals-examples
https://blog.hubstaff.com/business-goals/

How To Speak Spanish

Speak spanish

Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world with over 437 million people who speak Spanish as a first language. This makes learning to speak Spanish incredibly beneficial in a wide variety of professions and for personal reasons like travel and the arts. As one of the six official languages of the United Nations and the third most frequently used language in media, speaking Spanish doesn’t just make you more employable. It also makes you more attuned to cultural connections and influences both at home and abroad.

It is important, however, to distinguish which type of Spanish is the most beneficial to speak. The kind of traditional Spanish spoken in Spain, sometimes called Castilian Spanish, differs from the Spanish spoken throughout large parts of Latin America . While speakers would certainly be able to understand one another, there are some differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar that make each variety of español unique.

Rosetta Stone offers the ability to tailor your language learning experience either towards speaking Castilian Spanish or Latin American Spanish, so you can focus on learning the subtleties and colloquialisms of the region that is most useful to you. Whichever variety of Spanish you choose to speak, the differences are relatively minor, so you can feel confident that you’ll be able to understand and be understood as a Spanish speaker whether you’re on the streets of Spain or in the markets of Mexico City.

Learn How to Speak Spanish Words?

Before you can walk, you have to crawl and learning to speak a language is no different. Your introduction to speaking Spanish should start with some of the more common conversational phrases and greetings. This provides the opportunity to start speaking Spanish right away and gives beginners the chance to get comfortable with Spanish sounds and pronunciations.

Memorizing vocabulary lists or parroting words is not, however, the goal of language learning. Learning to speak Spanish involves feeling comfortable and confident engaging in everyday situations and conversations. Language learners are most successful when they can learn common greetings and vocabulary in the context of real-world interactions.

That’s why Rosetta Stone encourages language learners to start speaking Spanish from the very first lesson, offering bite-sized practice sessions that are rich with audio and visual cues. That way beginners learn Spanish vocabulary words in the context of real-world conversations, from saying “Buenas noches” at the theater to greeting your friend in the street with “¿Cómo te va?” or “muy buenas.” Rosetta Stone also incorporates a handy reference tool called Phrasebook that contains dozens of the most commonly used Spanish conversational phrases for quick access (find it in the app under Extended Learning).

How To Speak Spanish: What You’ll Learn

Learning how to speak Spanish means getting to know all the components of the Spanish language: pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, among others. Each is essential in its own way to mastering Spanish! Keep reading to learn more.

How To Speak Spanish: Spelling And Pronouncing Spanish Words

One of the most important things to do when you want to know how to speak Spanish is to learn about Spanish pronunciation. After all, you can’t actually speak the language if you don’t know how to speak Spanish out loud!

Luckily for those learning how to speak Spanish, each letter of the Spanish alphabet typically has one and only one pronunciation. This makes Spanish spelling much more uniform than that of English, which can be inconsistent and totally nonsensical sometimes. (Think about how a non-English speaker might struggle with words like “cough,” “colonel” and “knight.”) That makes it easy to know how to say a Spanish word aloud just by looking at it.

There are some sounds in Spanish you’ll need to learn that don’t exist in English — like the rolled rr sound. And there are a few spelling rules that require a little extra practice, too, like how certain letters change sounds when combined with other particular letters. (For example, the letter g before a, o, or u sounds like the hard “g” sound in the English “gate,” but it sounds like the “h” sound in English when before e or i in words like género or girafa.)

How To Speak Spanish: Vocabulary In Spanish

Learning a new language means you’ve got to get really familiar with the words that make up that language. If you want to know how to speak Spanish, you’re of course going to have to get familiar with Spanish vocabulary. After all, you can’t actually use a new language without knowing the words, expressions and phrases that make up that language! The more Spanish vocabulary you know, the more you’re able to talk about everything in your world — from what you do for work to your hobbies to your favorite colors and foods to the weather outside and everything in between. Plus, if you know authentic Spanish phrases, you’ll sound just like a native speaker.

The most effective way to remember Spanish vocabulary and phrases is to focus on the words and expressions that interest you the most instead of wasting time on vocabulary you find boring or will never actually use. You can tailor your Spanish vocabulary to your careers, hobbies, passions and everyday experiences and fill in the gaps where you want more words. This could include Spanish for business or the medical profession. Or perhaps you like talking about sports, the entertainment industry or politics. You can create your own specialized Spanish vocabulary depending on what’s important to you in your learning journey.

How To Speak Spanish: Grammar In Spanish

Learning the grammar of any foreign language can be tricky, especially if it’s very different from the grammar of the language or languages you already speak. Naturally, if you want to know how to speak Spanish, you’re going to have to get to know Spanish grammar. Luckily, many parts of Spanish grammar are easy to understand once you get a grasp on them.

There are, however, some elements of Spanish grammar that are known to be more difficult for learners than others are — especially those elements that are more unfamiliar to native English speakers, like complex verb conjugations or the subjunctive mood, tricky concepts many Spanish learners have trouble mastering.

You might struggle with some aspects of Spanish grammar and breeze through others. A lot of what you’ll find easy depends on the language or languages you already speak and how similar they are to Spanish. And you can’t forget that everyone learns differently, so the parts of Spanish grammar that give you trouble might be a piece of cake for someone else, and vice versa.

How To Speak Spanish: The Best Methods For Learning Spanish

If you want to know how to speak Spanish, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices out there for how to get started. But it’s important to remember that there’s no right answer. Each method for learning how to speak Spanish has its own advantages and limitations, so you should choose the methods that work best for you!

  • Classroom learning and tutoring — You’ll get more regular, personalized feedback from an instructor and be able to practice speaking, but it can take a regular commitment of time and often money, and you might not be able to work at your own pace.
  • Immersion learning — You’ll be challenged and required to adapt more quickly to a new language and culture, but the investment is quite extreme and requires money, time and the willingness to overcome major adversity.
  • Software and apps — You can work at your own pace and choose content that works for you, but you don’t get as much practice in conversations with actual speakers, and you won’t get individualized interaction with native speakers.
  • Spanish-language media — Through Spanish books, movies, TV shows, songs and podcasts, you get to hear and read the Spanish language as it’s used by native speakers in real situations (and often for free), but you don’t get to practice speaking or learn the underlying rules and nuances of the language.

Of course, the best way to learn Spanish is finding the right mix of all these elements that work well for you. And there’s no wrong answer! Part of learning how to speak Spanish is figuring out which methods fit your schedule, budget, and learning style.

Spanish accents from around the world

Spanish landmark

Spanish is the official language of 20 countries. With such a far reach, it’s no surprise that it sometimes sounds different from one region to another. Let’s see what are the most popular Spanish accents around the world:

Castilian Spanish: spoken in the north of Spain.
Andalusian Spanish: found in the south of Spain and spread out beyond Andalusia.
Canarian Spanish: spoken throughout the Canary Islands; has a lot in common with Andalusian Spanish.
Caribbean Spanish: introduced to the Caribbean region with the voyages of Christopher Columbus; is more similar to Canarian and Andalusian Spanish than Castilian Spanish.
Mexican Spanish: refers to a variety of dialects of the Spanish language spoken in Mexican territory.
Austral (Rioplatense) Spanish: spoken mainly in and around the Río de la Plata Basin of Argentina and Uruguay, but also found in south and eastern Bolivia and Paraguay.
Chilean Spanish: spoken in most of Chile.

Spanish landmark

Speaking Spanish has major benefits

Being able to speak with over 570 million Spanish speakers

Spanish is the 3rd most spoken language worldwide, so you’ll definitely have a lot to gain by learning conversational Spanish. For example, you’ll be able to interact with people anytime you visit Peru, Argentina or Spain.

Traveling to Spanish speaking countries gets way better

Whether you plan to travel to Mexico, Spain or Colombia, speaking Spanish will enhance your experience significantly. You will be able to experience Spanish speaking countries like a native and have an authentic experience in the process.

Speaking Spanish can save your career

Being able to speak Spanish increases your employability significantly and makes you stand out from the crowd. This means that you will have better chances of getting a well paid job in the first place, better chances of getting promoted or getting a better job in a Spanish speaking country.

Speaking Spanish makes you smarter

Studies indicate that being bilingual or a polyglot increases the grey matter in your brain. This means that speaking Spanish makes you smarter than you currently are. So, what are you waiting for?

Source:

https://www.rosettastone.com/languages/speak-spanish/
https://www.babbel.com/how-to-speak-spanish
https://www.mondly.com/how-to-speak-spanish

Got a Book in You? Here s How to Find the Perfect Ghostwriter

Got a Book in You? Here's How to Find the Perfect Ghostwriter

How To Find and Choose A Ghostwriter For Your Project

For authors who decide to work with a ghostwriter, the whole point is to make the process easier—less time, fewer headaches, more support, and ultimately a better experience and product. But the first step of that journey—finding a suitable partner—can seem every bit as daunting and challenging as writing the book itself.

That’s in no small part because ghostwriters are meant to be invisible, after all. Most pro ghosts typically don’t market themselves and certainly don’t showcase their clients. Moreover, outside of our agency and our friends at United Ghostwriters, almost all ghosts work on their own. So searching for a writer is extremely different from trying to hire a PR or digital marketing or pretty much any other less anonymous, atomized communications or creative related service.

What makes the selection process especially tricky is the unique, intimate nature of the work we do. In most cases, our clients make their careers, their lives, even their families an open book to their collaborators. It can be an intense, emotionally trying experience that demands reliability, care, and commitment. It’s a little bit like getting married for a moment.

That’s why we advise our clients to think about picking a writing partner like choosing a life partner. Skills and experience are important, of course, but ultimately, chemistry and trust matter just as much, if not more so.

With this installment of our Ghostwriting Confidential series, we share the most important insights and best practices we have learned from over a decade of matchmaking to provide a “ghost dating manual” that helps authors just starting their journey find the right person for their project. Specifically, we cover:

Decide what you want your book to accomplish and who should read it.

“You may want to do a book to raise your profile or position yourself as an expert or attract more clients,” James says. You should decide what your top priorities are for your book, what topics it will cover, and–importantly–who your target readership will be.

In fact, she says, it will help both you and your ghostwriter a lot if you can find one or two examples of the kind of book you want, similar in structure and style if not necessarily on the same topic. “Have something that you can say, ‘This is the kind of thing I’m thinking of,'” she advises. “Think about where it would go on a bookstore shelf and have some idea of what it should look like. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard to be happy because you don’t know what you’re aiming for.”

Skills for ghostwriters

Attention to detail

Ghostwriting involves researching, writing and editing, which require attention to detail to ensure cohesion and readability. Because different industries and businesses can vary in what citation or writing style to follow, attention to punctuation, diction and formatting is necessary to replicate a brand’s voice. Companies target different audiences and understanding those audience details can guide content writing in reading level and vocabulary.

Content management

Understanding how to manage the content you write allows you to remain organized and efficient in your work process. Clients may require you to use specific content management systems to track your work. Having a familiarity with these systems can help you navigate each one to optimize your performance.

Research

Research is an important part of the ghostwriting process for fact-checking and consistency. You may research to propose topics, understand topic trends and content performance. Researching after writing is necessary to make sure that published information is accurate.

Source:

https://gothamghostwriters.com/how-to-find-and-choose-a-ghostwriter-for-your-project/
https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/got-a-book-in-you-heres-how-to-find-perfect-ghostwriter.html
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-find-ghost-writer-jobs

What are UX and UI in the first place?

UX designers come from all walks of life, and you don’t necessarily need a university degree to break into the field. Employers tend to look for a mixture of design skills, business acumen and soft skills. Some requirements you will often see in UX designer job descriptions include:

Applying Design Thinking to Wicked Problems

First things first: What do UX and UI actually mean? The people you have eavesdropped on are actually discussing two professions that, despite having been around for decades, and in theory for centuries, have been defined by the tech industry as UX and UI design.

UX design refers to the term “user experience design”, while UI stands for “user interface design”. Both elements are crucial to a product and work closely together. But despite their professional relationship, the roles themselves are quite different, referring to very different aspects of the product development process and the design discipline.

A list of differences between UX and UI design

What is user experience (UX) design?

User experience design is a human-first way of designing products. Don Norman, a cognitive scientist and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy, is credited with coining the term “user experience” in the late 1990s. Here’s how he describes it:

Clear, right? Well you might note immediately that despite what I implied in the introduction, the definition has no reference to tech, no mention of digital, and doesn’t tell us all that much about what a UX designer actually does. But like all professions, it’s impossible to distill the process from just a few words.

Still, Don Norman’s definition tells us that, regardless of its medium plenty of non-digital UX (and there is out there!), UX Design encompasses any and all interactions between a potential or active customer and a company. As a scientific process it could be applied to anything; street lamps, cars, Ikea shelving, and so on.

UX and the digital world

However, despite being a scientific term, its use since inception has been almost entirely within digital fields; one reason for this being that the tech industry started blowing up around the time of the term’s invention.

Essentially, UX applies to anything that can be experienced—be it a website, a coffee machine, or a visit to the supermarket. The “user experience” part refers to the interaction between the user and a product or service. User experience design, then, considers all the different elements that shape this experience.

What does UX design involve?

A UX designer thinks about how the experience makes the user feel, and how easy it is for the user to accomplish their desired tasks. They also observe and conduct task analyses to see how users actually complete tasks in a user flow.

What is user interface (UI) design?

Despite it being an older and more practiced field, the question of “What is user interface design?” is difficult to answer because of its broad variety of misinterpretations. While user experience is a conglomeration of tasks focused on the optimization of a product for effective and enjoyable use, user interface design is its complement; the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product.

UI and the digital world

So let’s set the record straight once and for all. Unlike UX, user interface design is a strictly digital term. A user interface is the point of interaction between the user and a digital device or product—like the touchscreen on your smartphone, or the touchpad you use to select what kind of coffee you want from the coffee machine.

In relation to websites and apps, UI design considers the look, feel, and interactivity of the product. It’s all about making sure that the user interface of a product is as intuitive as possible, and that means carefully considering each and every visual, interactive element the user might encounter.

What does UI design involve

Like user experience design, user interface design is a multi-faceted and challenging role. It is responsible for the transference of a product’s development, research, content and layout into an attractive, guiding and responsive experience for users.

The history of UX design

Some of the most basic tenets of UX can be traced as far back as 4000 BC to the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, which focuses on arranging your surroundings in the most optimal, harmonious or user-friendly way. There is also evidence to suggest that, as early as the 5th century BC, Ancient Greek civilizations designed their tools and workplaces based on ergonomic principles.

A definitive timeline of the history of UX

In the late 19th century, great thinkers and industrialists like Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford began integrating basic experience design principles into their production processes. On a mission to make human labor more efficient, Taylor conducted extensive research into the interactions between workers and their tools—just like UX designers today investigate how users interact with products and services.

“When the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the [designer] has failed. On the other hand, if people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient—or just plain happier—by contact with the product, then the designer has succeeded.”
— Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Engineer

In the early 90s, cognitive scientist Don Norman joined the team at Apple as their User Experience Architect, making him the first person to have UX in his job title. He came up with the term “user experience design” because he wanted to “cover all aspects of the person’s experience with a system, including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.”

Since then, each of these areas have expanded into specializations of their own. These days, there’s a growing tendency for companies to hire for very specific roles, such as UX researcher or interaction designer, to cover all of the different aspects of user experience.

For centuries, humans have been seeking to optimize their surroundings for maximum user comfort. These days, the term UX design has strong digital connotations, often referring to apps, websites, software, gadgets and technology, but also appears is in the non-digital world.

UX design disciplines: The quadrant model

Diagram depicting the 4 quadrants of UX design

Experience Strategy (ExS)

UX design is not just about the end user; it also brings huge value to the business providing the product or service. Experience strategy is all about devising a holistic business strategy, incorporating both the customer’s needs and those of the company.

Interaction Design (IxD)

Interaction design looks at how the user interacts with a system, considering all interactive elements such as buttons, page transitions and animations. Interaction designers seek to create intuitive designs that allow the user to effortlessly complete core tasks and actions.

User Research (UR)

UX design is all about identifying a problem and designing the solution. This requires extensive research and feedback from existing or potential customers. During the research phase, UX designers will launch surveys, conduct interviews and usability testing, and create user personas in order to understand the end user’s needs and objectives. They gather both qualitative and quantitative data and use this to make good design decisions. Learn how to conduct user experience research in our article on it.

Information Architecture (IA)

The short answer is that information architecture is the practice of organizing information and content in a meaningful and accessible way. This is crucial in helping the user to navigate their way around a product. To determine the IA of any given product, information architects consider the relationship between different sets of content.

Within these four areas, there is a whole host of sub-disciplines. As you can see in the following graphic, user experience design is so much more than just a case of sketching and wireframing. It’s a multidisciplinary field, drawing upon elements of cognitive science and psychology, computer science, communication design, usability engineering and more.

A diagram depicting the different disciplines of UX design

UX vs. UI design: Which career path is right for you?

While UX and UI design do go hand-in-hand, you don’t need to be a master of both. If you want to figure out which career path is right for you, it’s important to consider the key skills required by UX vs. UI designers, as well as the typical day-to-day tasks of each. In the following infographic, we’ve highlighted the main hard, soft, and transferable skills for both UX and UI designers. And, in the next sections, we’ll consider the main tasks and responsibilities.

A list of the hard, soft, and transferable skills required for a career in UX design vs. a career in UI design

What does a UX designer do?

So we now know, in abstract terms, what the role of the UX designer entails—but how does this translate into everyday tasks? Here is a cliffnotes example of a UX designer’s typical tasks and responsibilities. You’ll find a more detailed account of the UX design process in this guide.

Strategy and content:

Wireframing and prototyping:

Execution and analytics

So part-marketer, part-designer, part-project manager; the UX role is complex, challenging and multi-faceted. In fact, the role of the UX designer varies hugely depending on the type of company they’re working in. You see that iteration of the product, as connected to analysis or testing is indeed mentioned twice, but in reality you would put it in between every other item on the list. Ultimately, the aim is to connect business goals to user’s needs through a process of user and usability testing and refinement toward that which satisfies both sides of the relationship.

What does a UI designer do?

If you like the idea of creating awesome user experiences but see yourself as a more visual person, you may be more interested in UI design. You’ll find a brief snapshot of the UI designer’s key tasks below, or a more comprehensive explanation of what a UI designer actually does in this guide.

The look and feel of the product:

Responsiveness and interactivity:

As a visual and interactive designer, the UI role is crucial to any digital interface and, for customers, a key element to trusting a brand. While the brand itself is never solely the responsibility of the UI designer, its translation to the product is.

You’ll also note the final point which states a responsibility for “implementation” of the design with a developer. While this is generally how UI jobs have worked in the past, you should be aware that the lines are blurring, as the term “web designer” (essentially a UI designer who can code) is being replaced by expertise of user interface designers. While UX has no need for coding, UI is a role that, as time progresses, will rely on it as part of building interactive interfaces. We discuss whether designers should learn to code in this piece.

Which is better paid, UX or UI?

On average you’ll find that UI and UX jobs have similar salary ranges across startups and minor tech industries. You’ll find however that in tech industries outside the web and mobile fields (e.g. car companies, medical equipment manufacturers, etc) there are more and richer opportunities for UI designers, as the field is not only more established but has a more direct, business-driven application.

Why do companies often advertise UX/UI roles as one?

The truth is, in the grand scheme of things, UX and UI are still relatively new fields—and, as already mentioned, they tend to be specific to the tech industry. Outside the worlds of design and tech, they’re not so widely understood, despite being incredibly important for business. While the business value of good design is increasingly recognized, there’s still a tendency for hiring managers and recruiters to assume that UX and UI are done by the same person—hence the catch-all job ads you’ve no doubt come across.

It’s not always a simple case of misunderstanding, though. Many companies will deliberately seek out versatile designers who can cover both UX and UI, or who at least have an understanding of UX or UI principles in addition to their main skillset.

So how can you work out what’s really going on? Whether you’re looking for a UI-only role, a purely UX-focused career, or a mixture of both, it’s important to look beyond the job title and pay close attention to the skills, tasks and responsibilities listed. Now you know the difference between UX and UI, you should quickly be able to determine whether a job ad is actually geared towards one or the other, or if it’s deliberately targeting both.

UX vs. UI: How do you work out which is a better fit?

If you’re keen to pursue a career in design but still aren’t sure whether to focus on UX or UI, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about where your interests lie, as well as what you’re naturally good at. Both UX and UI design are highly collaborative, varied career paths, placing you right at the cutting edge of technology and innovation. With that said, there are some key differences between the nature of the work and the skills required.

Why did I write this article?

I would like to quickly articulate the motivations behind this post. Firstly, there is seemingly a clear need for more articles of this type as I find few experts bothering to publicly define the differences of UX and UI design. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, the fields are confused, and unnecessarily so. My hope is that, whether beginner or expert, you can take something away from this article and share it with others who are as confused as the hiring managers writing the job posts.

Secondly, if you are interested in learning either or both of these disciplines, I hope to have made their definitions clear enough for you to better decide which to start with, or which may be inherently more attractive to you as a future profession.

For example if you think it’s UX that’s the path for you, you can start drawing up a step-by-step guide to your career change. In this video, professional UX designer Maureen Herben shares her advice on making a plan:

Lastly, I feel it important to stimulate conversation. I am hoping that some of you lovely readers disagree with me and that you will voice it publicly by getting in touch with us or publishing a response. If our industry is confused, it is our job to un-confuse it, and the more passionate professionals that step up and contribute to the definition, the better.

The difference between UX and UI: A visual overview

A full-page infographic listing the differences between UX and UI design in terms of tasks, skills, and where they fit into the overall product design process

Sources:

https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/the-difference-between-ux-and-ui-design-a-laymans-guide/
https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/what-is-user-experience-ux-design-everything-you-need-to-know-to-get-started/
https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/the-difference-between-ux-and-ui-design-a-laymans-guide/
UX

It’s common for folks to use these terms interchangeably, or sometimes incorrectly. If you’ve ever wondered, “What is UI, what is UX, and what’s the difference between them?” in today’s post we’ll dig a bit deeper into UI and UX to get a better understanding of the differences between them.

Qu’est-ce que l’UX Design ?

Contents

Simply put, user interface (UI) is anything a user may interact with to use a digital product or service. This includes everything from screens and touchscreens, keyboards, sounds, and even lights. To understand the evolution of UI, however, it’s helpful to learn a bit more about its history and how it has evolved into best practices and a profession.

A brief history of the user interface

Back in the 1970’s, if you wanted to use a computer, you had to use the command line interface. The graphical interfaces used today didn’t yet exist commercially. For a computer to work, users needed to communicate via programming language, requiring seemingly infinite lines of code to complete a simple task.

By the 1980’s the first graphical user interface (GUI) was developed by computer scientists at Xerox PARC. With this groundbreaking innovation, users could now interact with their personal computers by visually submitting commands through icons, buttons, menus, and checkboxes.

first graphical user interface (GUI)

The accessibility and prevalence of personal—and office—computers meant that interfaces needed to be designed with users in mind. If users couldn’t interact with their computers, they wouldn’t sell. As a result, the UI designer was born.

As with any growing technology, the UI designer’s role has evolved as systems, preferences, expectations, and accessibility has demanded more and more from devices. Now UI designers work not just on computer interfaces, but mobile phones, augmented and virtual reality, and even “invisible” or screenless interfaces (also referred to as zero UI) like voice, gesture, and light.

Today’s UI designer has nearly limitless opportunities to work on websites, mobile apps, wearable technology, and smart home devices, just to name a few. As long as computers continue to be a part of daily life, there will be the need to make the interfaces that enable users of all ages, backgrounds, and technical experience can effectively use.

L’UX est holistique !

Quelle est l’origine du terme UX ?

Pour rappel, Don Norman estimait que les termes “IHM” (Interactions Homme-Machine) ou “utilisabilité” ne couvraient pas l’ensemble de l’expérience. En créant le terme UX, il a souhaité insister sur l’expérience humaine dans sa globalité, non limitée aux interactions avec un système (IHM) ou à l’efficacité d’une interface (utilisabilité).

Une vision trop étroite de l’UX

Don Norman souligne – dans une interview datée de 2016 – à quel point le terme UX est mal utilisé désormais. Des concepteurs restreignent l’UX à la fabrication d’applications digitales ou de sites web alors que l’UX est holistique. C’est une expérience qui, dès son invention, est censé s’inscrire dans une globalité.

Cette notion de globalité est particulièrement importante à l’heure actuelle, où il est partout question d’écosystème. Les entreprises doivent utiliser plusieurs canaux pour atteindre leur cible et réfléchir à l’expérience complète, sans rupture ni “pain points”. Soigner l’UX favorise la création de valeur pour les clients ou consommateurs. C’est en cela qu’un Design centré sur l’utilisateur peut répondre aux désirs des utilisateurs et aux objectifs business. Cette valeur ajoutée de l’UX Design est aussi un élément déterminant dans le cadre d’une stratégie d’innovation.

Une marque telle qu’Apple l’a compris très tôt en développant une offre consistant à rendre un bon produit encore meilleur grâce au travail sur l’expérience utilisateur. Cela a donné le succès qu’on connaît à la marque à la pomme.

Qu’est-ce que l’UX Design ?

UX Design ou comment accroître la satisfaction de l’utilisateur

« Le Design de l’expérience utilisateur (UXD ) est le processus qui consiste à accroître la satisfaction de l’utilisateur en améliorant l’utilisabilité, l’accessibilité et le plaisir procuré par l’interaction entre l’utilisateur et le produit.»

UX Design ou comment faire coïncider les besoins de l’entreprise avec ceux des utilisateurs finaux

Le spécialiste UX (UX Designer), se pose ces questions mais tient aussi compte des objectifs business de l’entreprise. À partir de techniques scientifiques, le Designer évalue la qualité de l’interaction entre l’utilisateur et le produit. En définitive, l’UX Design permet de faire coïncider les besoins de l’entreprise et ceux des utilisateurs finaux. Cette caractéristique rappelle le Design Thinking en tant qu’approche de l’innovation comme nous le verrons plus bas. D’ailleurs, la « pensée Design » tend vers la résolution de problèmes.

UX Design ou comment provoquer une réaction émotionnelle

L’explication qu’il en donne est intéressante. La plupart des définitions de l’UX Design mettent l’accent sur la facilité d’utilisation du produit et la satisfaction ressenti. Or on peut noter que certaines personnes peuvent aimer jouer à un jeu angoissant, regarder un film d’horreur, vouloir prendre des risques etc. Une expérience pourra être perçue négativement par tel utilisateur et positivement par tel autre. Le principe est donc de concevoir le produit qui amène LA réponse émotionnelle recherchée par tel utilisateur, de là l’usage du Design émotionnel.

Курс 3

Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture

This course is focused on the early user experience (UX) challenges of research, planning, setting goals, understanding the user, structuring content, and developing interactive sequences. While the concepts covered will translate to many kinds of interactive media (apps, digital kiosks, games), our primary focus will be on designing contemporary, responsive websites. In this course you will complete the first half of a large scale project—developing a comprehensive plan for a complex website—by defining the strategy and scope of the site, as well as developing its information architecture and overall structure. Along the way we will also discuss:

– Different job descriptions in the web design industry and where UX and UI skills fall within this spectrum – The difference between native apps and websites – The difference of agile vs. waterfall approaches – User personas and site personas – User testing The work and knowledge in this course continues in the last course in the UI/UX Design Specialization, Web Design: Wireframes to Prototypes, where you will tackle—finally—wireframes, visual mockups, and clickable prototypes. This is the third course in the UI/UX Design Specialization, which brings a design-centric approach to user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design, and offers practical, skill-based instruction centered around a visual communications perspective, rather than on one focused on marketing or programming alone. These courses are ideal for anyone with some experience in graphic or visual design and who would like to build their skill set in UI or UX for app and web design. It would also be ideal for anyone with experience in front- or back-end web development or human-computer interaction and want to sharpen their visual design and analysis skills for UI or UX.

Sources:

https://www.usertesting.com/blog/ui-vs-ux
https://www.usabilis.com/ux-design/
https://www.coursera.org/specializations/ui-ux-design
UX

People react to their user experience at 3 levels of emotion, as defined by Don Norman: Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective emotions. Understanding these different types of emotions is important for better UX design.

marvel design platform

Craft

invision craft

Craft, a plugin from InVision, works right alongside what you might be doing in Photoshop or Sketch, with a sync function that updates what you’re working on. Along with this time-saving feature, Craft offers everything you need for prototyping and collaboration. Changes in styling, edits, and other tweaks are updated across the board so that everyone is referring to and working from the same version of a project.

Craft sets itself apart from other UI design tools with its placeholder content. You get access to both Getty and iStock photos, letting you fill your layout with better visuals. And if there’s data in your layout, you can use your own or bring it in from other sources. Not many UI design tools let you fill your mockups with more meaningful content. This special feature of Craft gives your mockups a more accurate representation of what a final design might look like.

Sources:

https://www.nngroup.com/articles/
https://webflow.com/blog/ui-ux-design-tools

Business leader

Hastings is the co-founder and CEO of Netflix. What originally started as a no-late-fees, no-due-dates subscription service soon transitioned into online streaming, which shook the very foundation of digital entertainment. In addition, Hastings constantly uses his position of influence to promote change and reform in the California State Board of Education and through charter schools.

World business leader Jack Ma is the founder of the Alibaba Group

What Is Business Leadership? Definition, Skills of Effective Leaders

Strong business leadership is a vital part of every successful company. A team with strong, skilled leadership is more likely to be productive than one without. If you are interested in being an effective leader, you will need to know what strong leadership looks like in the workplace. In this article, we will define business leadership, discuss several key leadership skills and offer suggestions for improving those qualities.

Business leadership refers to how individuals make decisions, set goals and provide direction in a professional environment. Business leadership can take many different forms, but usually involves a CEO or higher-level employees guiding and inspiring the rest of the team. The goal of business leadership is to find the leadership model that works best for a particular company and its team of employees.

There is always a need for strong leaders in business. No matter what your job title is, you can be a business leader if you have the right skills. If you can show your competence as a leader and an affinity for leadership roles, you will likely be given opportunities to use those skills to lead a team or project. Growing in your understanding of business leadership and what it takes to be a good leader can help you become a more valuable asset in any workplace.

11 qualities and skills for business leaders

are associated with strong leaders. Most involve your ability to accomplish tasks efficiently, influence others to perform well and consistently meet and exceed expectations. Some are personality qualities that you already possess while others are skills that might need development. Here are some of the most common qualities and skills seen in successful business leaders:

Self-motivation

A successful leader should be able to take initiative, which involves being able to complete tasks without asking for guidance or assistance. As you become more competent and skilled in your role, you will likely need less supervision.

Self-motivation involves completing a project or task on time without the constant encouragement or direction of a manager. If you can carry out your assigned duties and also take the initiative to go above and beyond what was asked of you, you will quickly set yourself apart as a leader.

Organization

Effective leaders recognize the importance of being organized in the workplace. They adhere to schedules, meet deadlines consistently and follow through with promised results. Organized leaders can keep track of multiple assignments and projects at once. If a business has an organized leader, the entire team is more likely to perform well and function efficiently.

Delegation

A critical skill for leaders is the ability to delegate tasks to other members of a team. It also requires leaders to recognize when someone else may be more capable or have more time to accomplish a particular task. To be able to delegate, a leader must know their team well enough to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Delegation also allows leaders to offer leadership roles to other promising employees. Leaders who delegate are better equipped to maximize their team’s potential and efficiency.

Communication

Good communication skills are a vital part of being a capable leader. In the workplace, efficient communication is often the foundation of a productive team. Leaders should set an example for their teams by creating open and efficient channels for communication. They must also be able to listen actively and speak confidently. Leaders who can effectively communicate their vision, address issues and exchange ideas with their team members are more able to foster a productive work environment.

Responsibility

Responsibility is one of the most sought-after skills in a leader. Taking responsibility means accepting the consequences of one’s actions whether positive or negative. A responsible leader views every success and failure of their team as if it were their own. Leaders speak on behalf of their teams and strive to make decisions with its best interests in mind. Responsible leaders accept every aspect of their role and work hard to both remedy mistakes and reward triumphs.

Goal setting

Strong business leadership involves the ability to focus on a vision for the future. Business leaders must set strategic goals to help the company succeed and grow. One of the primary functions of business leadership is to encourage all employees to work together to accomplish common goals. Setting achievable, meaningful objectives and communicating them effectively to the rest of the team is one of the most important tasks a business leader has.

Risk-taking

Effective leaders understand that the business world can be challenging. They aren’t afraid to take risks and be innovative to solve those challenges. Good leaders use data to make their decisions even when they are risky or unconventional.

Integrity

A team’s success relies heavily on the integrity of its leader. It involves the leader’s honesty and commitment to do the right thing even when it is difficult. Leaders with integrity lead by example. take pride in their work and deliver positive results.

Curiosity

Good leaders constantly look for new ideas and innovative solutions to move their company or team forward. The willingness to try new things can create inspire and encourage others to also be forward thinkers.

Interpersonal skills

A good leader makes an effort to know their team personally. This means taking the time to talk to their coworkers and provide guidance. Interpersonal skills involve the ability to successfully navigate conversations, meetings and other workplace interactions. Leaders with strong interpersonal skills can address disagreements, negotiate compromises and encourage productivity within their team.

Self-awareness

Before you can identify strengths and weaknesses in others, you must be able to do the same for yourself. Good leaders recognize what they can and cannot do well and then, take action to improve. Showing vulnerabilities inspires team members to step up and possibly become leaders themselves.

13 Business Leaders Who Changed The World For The Best

Just like empires, companies can come and go with the times. However, there are some that last for ages, and great leadership is the secret. Great leaders have the ability to motivate employees, help others see and believe in a vision, and lead innovation in the company. Having a great leader at the helm is something that all investors, consumers, and employees want. Here is a list of the 13 most influential business leaders that are changing the world.

Cook is the CEO of the most valuable company in the world, Apple. He took over Apple after the company’s founder, Steve Jobs, succumbed to cancer in 2011. Cook has helped navigate Apple through the transition after Jobs’ death as well as developing new product lines and opening Apple retail stores in China. He has also led a very public battle against the FBI and their demand that Apple creates a backdoor for users’ iPhones.

8) Jack Ma

Ma was the first entrepreneur from mainland China to appear on the cover of Forbes magazine. He is also the founder of Alibaba Group, a group of internet companies. Before getting accepted to Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute, Ma was rejected from university three times. After graduation, he applied for 30 jobs and was turned down for all of them. He first learned about the internet during a short trip to the U.S., and when he returned home, he created a small website about China and Chinese products. This would be his first step towards creating a company that would hold the record for largest IPO in history.

business leader and founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum,

Authorship:

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/business-leadership
https://cmoe.com/blog/13-of-the-most-influential-leaders-in-business/
https://www.wgu.edu/blog/11-principles-leadership2006.html