This is B TEST

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Cras tincidunt tristique turpis id dapibus. Etiam ut nibh posuere, vulputate sapien quis, lacinia sapien. Nunc enim velit, condimentum sed rhoncus ac, fermentum vestibulum massa. Nulla nec nunc porta, sodales neque vel, tincidunt dui. Nulla interdum lobortis risus ut pretium. Pellentesque metus lorem, pellentesque non porttitor in, porttitor rhoncus ligula. Cras a convallis nisi, eget rutrum nulla. Mauris a libero at augue pellentesque aliquet. Integer non felis porta, rutrum nibh eget, finibus risus. Cras maximus lectus ullamcorper velit imperdiet, vel ullamcorper nibh fermentum.

Ut tempus eleifend condimentum. Ut leo metus, iaculis ut quam eget, molestie interdum felis. Fusce tristique rhoncus est ut luctus. Suspendisse vitae elementum massa, quis semper diam. Vivamus id tortor ligula. Curabitur condimentum elit in ipsum sollicitudin, eget pellentesque metus tempor. Proin quis enim sed risus faucibus dapibus. Pellentesque vestibulum risus in sodales tristique.

Morbi malesuada sem at tortor aliquet rutrum. Praesent rutrum orci lectus, nec iaculis ex lobortis nec. Nam in dictum enim. In pulvinar lorem eu orci imperdiet dapibus. Vivamus rutrum commodo velit id porta. Nulla dictum tempor dui, et accumsan ligula sollicitudin nec. Proin porttitor nisi mauris, id malesuada nunc lacinia et. In scelerisque purus elit, vitae ultrices erat congue id. Phasellus eu risus eu lorem convallis tristique gravida eget mauris. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. In sed lacus tortor. Proin tempus, ante at ornare laoreet, dolor odio vehicula dolor, eget vestibulum ante ex nec augue.

This is my A test

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam pellentesque ligula id ipsum hendrerit, et hendrerit sem maximus. Vestibulum eleifend orci ut gravida dapibus. Donec in quam orci. Nunc vehicula, quam et facilisis sollicitudin, orci velit gravida urna, dignissim volutpat ex dui quis leo. Proin fringilla feugiat euismod. Duis ullamcorper eget turpis eu semper. Nam sit amet nunc eget turpis fringilla venenatis. Donec faucibus velit vitae dolor scelerisque mollis. Aenean mattis dui eget urna efficitur, id venenatis urna sodales.

Cras tincidunt tristique turpis id dapibus. Etiam ut nibh posuere, vulputate sapien quis, lacinia sapien. Nunc enim velit, condimentum sed rhoncus ac, fermentum vestibulum massa. Nulla nec nunc porta, sodales neque vel, tincidunt dui. Nulla interdum lobortis risus ut pretium. Pellentesque metus lorem, pellentesque non porttitor in, porttitor rhoncus ligula. Cras a convallis nisi, eget rutrum nulla. Mauris a libero at augue pellentesque aliquet. Integer non felis porta, rutrum nibh eget, finibus risus. Cras maximus lectus ullamcorper velit imperdiet, vel ullamcorper nibh fermentum.

Ut tempus eleifend condimentum. Ut leo metus, iaculis ut quam eget, molestie interdum felis. Fusce tristique rhoncus est ut luctus. Suspendisse vitae elementum massa, quis semper diam. Vivamus id tortor ligula. Curabitur condimentum elit in ipsum sollicitudin, eget pellentesque metus tempor. Proin quis enim sed risus faucibus dapibus. Pellentesque vestibulum risus in sodales tristique.

Morbi malesuada sem at tortor aliquet rutrum. Praesent rutrum orci lectus, nec iaculis ex lobortis nec. Nam in dictum enim. In pulvinar lorem eu orci imperdiet dapibus. Vivamus rutrum commodo velit id porta. Nulla dictum tempor dui, et accumsan ligula sollicitudin nec. Proin porttitor nisi mauris, id malesuada nunc lacinia et. In scelerisque purus elit, vitae ultrices erat congue id. Phasellus eu risus eu lorem convallis tristique gravida eget mauris. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. In sed lacus tortor. Proin tempus, ante at ornare laoreet, dolor odio vehicula dolor, eget vestibulum ante ex nec augue.

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3 INSTITUTIONS FOR START-UP SUPPORT

When I decided to found a start-up 5 years ago, I made an investment with my own capital and put the wheels on. I didn’t have any idea about accelerators, incubators, angel investors.  At that time entrepreneurship ecosystem had just started to develop and I was trying to find my own way. Now, working on a new project in Canada, first thing in my to-do-list is to look for financing from other sources rather than my own investment.

My project-myglamtime-, for which I am searching investment is a beauty-on-demand app trying to solve time management problem of business women. Basically, the app brings together users with mobile beauty artists. In this app users can review the background of mobile artists; choose among them; make an appointment with them and evaluate their performance. Service providers can market themselves and fill their empty slots.

Having the lesson from my first experience, this time my starting point is looking for governmental agencies for start-up financing. My biggest problem is to find funding.

BDC- Business Development Bank of Canada is my first stop. This bank is the only financial institution in Canada devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. As stated in  BDC Linkedin Account, its mission is to help, create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, consulting services and securitization, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

BDC has financing services. If you demonstrate realistic market and sales potential (my project is targeting to reach 100,000 users in 5 years) , provide a solid business plan ( I don’t just have my business even my analytics plan), have experience or expertise in your chosen field (I have already my start-up in the same sector)  and demonstrate key personal characteristics of a successful entrepreneur ( I am a self-motivator and  life-time learner) then you can get from BDC investment for:

  • working capital to supplement an existing line of credit
  • Fixed assets
  • Fund marketing and start-up fees
  • A franchise purchase
  • Consulting services

I think this institution is cool because it’s not just concentrating on financing. As an entrepreneur, if you don’t have a co-founder, you can feel lonely very easily. Sometimes you just want to have advice, of course for free 🙂 I think BDC is a very important source to use. According to the information given on BDC advisory services site,they have a national network of consultants and specialists who can be consulted for business scale up, increase productivity, innovation and globalization.

Last but not least, one highlight of BDC for me is that it has special support for women. They created $700M in loans over three years, and supported 335,000 women in Canada with an incorporated business.

I think I am a high potential finance support taker from BDC, until one small but crucial  point as stated on their site:

You have reached the age of majority in the province or territory in which you live to have access to BDC sources 🙂

In a  discussion session about governmental agencies in class, I heared about OCE, Ontario Centres of Excellence, another governmental institution that drives the development of Ontario’s economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.

 

 

I think this institution is interesting for my project as a potential finance source. It has a financing program called SmartStart Seed Fund. This program is mainly targeting young entrepreneurs from the ages of 18 to 29. However, they also support  entrepreneurs from 30+ years (which is me : )  ),  launch and build their businesses. Actually SmartStart provides up to $70,000 to support incorporated Ontario-based start-ups. However, because I am not in my twenties anymore, they categorize me under  Non-Youth-led investments and provide up to $30,000 investment. Prerequisite is that, you have to have 1:1 matching cash contribution from a third-party investment and/or customer sales. What I understand is either I have to find another investor for the same amount or have like 1000 appointments to access the fund. They have also advisory services like BDC but you have to have training item in the business plan to get advisory support. Again like in BDC you have to be Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. I think I can apply to this institution as a second choice.

 

In the same discussion in class, my colleague has explained about Federal Trade Commission. I think this agency might be very useful in the future if my main problem changes from seed funding to globalization. Let’s say you already found your company and you want to expand your business outside of Canada let’s say to Nigeria. If you apply to Federal Trade Commission then the agency the agency gets in touch with the embassy in Nigeria and you can receive the market research for this specific country. It means the agency makes all the market research for you. I think this research is valuable like gold. So, I made a note about this agency for my further expansion.

 

My takeaway from my first experience was that first I have to find the funding source before making any investment. Accordingly, this time I collect information about funding at the beginning. Let’s see the result together. 

Legal or design stuff?

When it comes to legal terms, I was thinking that it is just lawyers business to create terms of conditions to protect my app. I was so wrong…

What changed my understanding is realizing that as a product owner you are the best person who knows “what to protect”. Every feature you add to your app or every decision you take for the framework of your business is subject to terms of conditions- namely the agreement between the user of the app and you.  

In my business model, women who don’t have time use the beauty-on-demand app to request beauty services wherever they are. Even in this simple description of the business, there are 3 legal issues appearing:

  1. What if the customer pays online for the freelancer and make an appointment and then doesn’t appear at appointment time?
  2. What if service is taken but the service provided was not satisfactory?
  3. Are mobile freelancers allowed to give beauty services in any place?

This thinking about legal issues did help me to determine design constraints of my app. Is myglamtime just a marketplace bringing the users together with freelancers or do we have responsibility on legal issues like security?

To answer these questions I have researched terms of use documents of similar apps. Stylisted is working with a very similar business model to ours.

After reading the Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Client Terms of Service of Stylisted  I can see that they position themselves in a not-responsibility-taking edge. I think this approach affects whole user experience. If I am going to overtake the same approach, I think then I am responsible for giving very detailed information about freelancers throughout the site so that users can choose the best for themselves.

In addition to that if I am excluding myglamtime from any responsibility, then I have to write Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Client Terms of Service in a very user-friendly way. Stylisted has written some of the parts of these documents with capital letters which look like they are yelling to the user. However, to make the users buy-in your not responsibility taking the approach it should be easy to read and understand the policies in a very friendly way. I think a very good example is Homestarts Terms of Use. After each clause or paragraph they are rephrasing very shortly, what is this clause saying.

A feature of Stylisted that I like is that they encourage users to contact them as a starting point of a dispute. I am going to make this point not just in Terms of Use but also as small tip throughout the site.

Going back to the third question, if freelancers can give any service in every place landed me to the government site for passing and licensing. This thinking about licensing is not just for governmental bodies important but also for the customers. According to this site, there are courses available for protection from infections. I can make this course obligatory for the freelancers who want to work with us. At the service spot, freelancers can place a visual of this certificate as an offline user experience improvement. This certificate can help for trust building and professionalism and so decrease in possible disputes between user and freelancer.   

According to online Terms of Use, I think the most critical part is the privacy. To make an appointment we are going to collect personal information of the users. I think we have to explicitly tell the customer for what this information is collected. I think for example if there is a box where the user has to fill in the address or the telephone number, we can put a message where the user has to put information that the phone number is going to be used, to send a confirmation of the appointment and maybe give the option to opt out.

To sum up, I think design constraints of my product and legal stuff is tightly connected. As a product owner, you are the best one to know what to protect and also according to legal issues you are going to change your product design.

 

 

                                                       –REALLY?–

–”100 things every designer needs to know about people” 2011, by Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D.–

I am not a visual designer and my background doesn’t support design. When I did choose to read the book “100 things every designer needs to know about people”, I decided to read it from the perspective of an aspiring Interactive Media Manager. I thought, that this book might help me, how to shepherd users throughout my application or site to take the desired action. I have to say, that I received more than I expected. I could relate each piece of information to my experience.The book is giving great insight about, how you can design user experience by using the psychology of design. The book analyzes like in a BuzzFeed, in 100 steps how people see, read, remember, think, focus their attention, feel, decide, get motivated and make mistakes.My reading journey was full of discoveries. Many times I found myself, asking:

                                                                  “Really?”

really

                                                            memesuper.com

I started to read the book with a big curiosity. I recognised that “diversity” is a crucial element of design. Did you know, that there is a special part of the brain outside the visual cortex whose sole purpose is recognising faces Fusiform Face Area (FFA)? The book talks about the research by Karen Pierece(2001) proving, that people with autism don’t use FFA, but they use regular pathways, which are normally used for object recognition. It reminds me, the first day of Interactive Media Industry class, our instructor said, that she cannot identify faces when she is walking in the hallway. Interestingly related!

Another interesting fact about diversity is that most of the color genes are on the X chromosome and because men have one X chromosome and women have two, men are more likely to experience color vision problems than women. In addition to that, an important advice of the book on page 26, is that there are some websites, you can use to check, how your website will appear to someone with color blindness. E.g www.vischeck.com.

On page 28, the book gives also perfect insight, how to embrace cultural diversity on your designs. It advises to pick some target cultures and check them on www.informationisbeautiful.net to avoid unintended color associations for these cultures.

Takeaway 2: Embrace diversity in your design. If you forget about it, it is almost guaranteed you are going to fail.

diversity

http://www.ronaldmason.com

Throughout my reading, surprisingly, I recognized a pattern in the book.  Let me share with you, what is this:  

When I reached the section called “How people remember”, the book was advising not to ask people to remember information from one place to another, because short-term memory is limited. Wait a minute! Is it not similar to “recognition rather than recall” rule of Heuristics, that we learned? By the way, Heuristics are rules of thumb to evaluate interaction design

I kept reading and saw a second coincidence: The book talked  about that people have mental models of what they want to see and where they want to see it. Is this finding not  related to “consistency and standards” rule which says, that if people cannot see the things, where they need them intuitively to see, they get confused. I kept continuing. In the next section it is explaining that people act according mental models. “Mental model” is a person’s understanding of the surrounding world and in the field of design, a mental model refers to representation of the real world. Is this not another way of saying “System should match the real world.”? I started to discover, that the book is explaining the psychological basis behind the Heuristics. Another tip about human psychology, that I could associate with Heuristics was “recognition rather than recall”. On page 80 of the book, I met another link to Heuristics: It is explaining that people learn better by examples. The “help and documentation” rule of user experience is directly linked to this. And  here comes another one : I feel like I am solving the mystery of the book! “People are more motivated as they get closer to goal.” Does is not explaining “visibility rule”? In my opinion it explains totally, why we have bars on our web sites showing up, that  our request is under process.

I kept reading the book and the more I found pieces of information of Heuristics, the more the book started to have a story for me. And then I met the other rule hidden in the 55th tip. People are motivated by control.” Is this not explaining the rule of “user control and freedom”? When I reached towards the end of the book I was sure that next I was going to find another Heuristics rule  and here it comes: “People will always make mistakes.” and “People make predictable types of errors.” which made me to think about “Error prevention.” As 40th tip of the book also mentions maybe my attention was selective, but I could figure out that the book is based on Heuristics without mentioning any of them.

Takeaway 3: Use Heuristics Rules for , whatever you design. These rules are based on solid facts about human psychology.

rule_of_thumb_-_Google_Search

boomerandecho.com

This book is not talking just about Heuristics. It is full of other interesting facts. Do you know what “mind wandering” is? It is different from day dreaming. Mind wandering refers to doing one task and then fading into thinking about something unrelated to that task. It is stated that minds wander 30% of the time. The article advices using hyperlinks to switch from topic to topic which allows mind wandering. Really? I didn’t thought about the hyperlinks before  as an enabler of mind wandering. It’s exciting!

I am very happy, that I did choose specifically this book to read. It is like an approval what we learned until now in IMMT Program. 33rd tip of the book is:”People process information best in story form.” This explains, why we are  looking for a story in everything we are doing in this program. Takeaway 3:  Explain everything  in a story: it helps you to organize your information in a chronological order and such creates a causation.

storytellig

                                                                     blg.hrn.io

Last but not least, t I was so excited when reading this book. It says that there is the “strong tie”group size limit which is 150 people. Recently, I read about the same information in the book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yual Novah Harari . 150 is the number for your survival community in close proximity. If you feel, you don’t have this tribe around you, you may feel isolated. This relations made me to “mind wander”: Is this the reason that  Facebook is successful? This book helped me to question facts from different angles.

Takeaway 4: “Read 100 things every designer needs to know about people by Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D” !

100 things book foto

                                                              www.amazon.ca

 

Join our conversation!

diversityimage

www.marketingweek.com

Every Interactive Media Manager probably  knows that “Content is a conversation.” Starting a conversation and keeping it engaging needs awareness of the diversity.

A good explanation  of diversity is “… understanding that each individual is unique and recognising individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.”

Relating it to interactive media management you  have to know your audience very well. Who are they? What’s their background? What are their interests?

We can take Canada as an example of audience. Canada is like a small model of the world. Can you imagine to create content without taking into consideration the diversity dimension of this society? Different genders, nationalities, social status, religious beliefs are all the colours of the audience. All parts should be feeling that they are presented in the specific content and are part of the conversation.

Content, that includes touch points to different personalities of the society, welcomes people to start the conversation. It’s like the tendency to decide going to a party with a friend. If you know somebody like you will also be there, your tendency to participate will also be higher.

fast

www.enstarz.com

Back home, I was always wondering why in American films there  always are one person with  blonde hair and blue eyes, one person with African, another with Hispanic roots were represented. If it is a film or a web site, you have to start with creating possible personas of the content. In a persona, you are describing the potential user of your content with details related to the purpose of them interacting to the content.

Mark Hurst in Creative Good, which is published in January 2013, is talking about the personas like:

“.. good UX work requires a genuine interest in observing, listening to, and learning from other people: primarily the customers themselves, but also the organization that owns the product. That observation, and that listening, must stem from a genuine human interest in people.”

Actually, to take diversity into consideration by content creating means,  a genuine interest for people. Interactive Media Manager should be willing to learn and discover about people in every detail, such that a product for them can be created. Creating different personas, or users of your content with regard to the diversity will make the content “closer to truth” like stated in the article of Diverse Content for a Diverse Audience People. Diversity isn’t about creating an idealised picture of the world. It’s about reflecting what the world actually looks like. Less diverse content is less accurate.”

There are many ways to create content for the diverse audience:

I will now talk about a very small but crucial detail: Let’s say you are creating a new web site. You are writing the code and you are adding a picture. Do you know that by only adding an attribute to the code of the image, which helps to write the definition of the picture , you can help a visually impaired person to understand what the picture is? It is so easy.

Or if you are talking about some professions who are associated with men, if use newer versions of the word which are unisex. Like vocabulary choice instead of fireman firefighter. It is again a small step but you already added the other 50% of the population to your content by adding gender  consideration to your work.

As a result, if it is an app or website or a video,  I think the trick is  being able in creating common denominators for the different facets of the society to engage them to our conversation.

5 reasons, why Interactive Media Management rocks ;)

I will give you a secret: I am getting older. Seriously.  🙂  But if I look at my life path, I feel like, I am still in my 20s.  😉  I did my masters in Germany. I was a brand manager in Turkey. After 7 years of full employment, I quitted my well-paid job to found my own start-up company.  And now I am a student in Canada for studying Interactive Media Management! And I am enjoying it! But for what?  Is it worth to get out of your comfort zone for a pursue of a career in Interactive Media Management ? Come on! Be courageous with your life! Catch the wave!

1- Dynamic:

dynamic

Source: http://cheezburger.com/6589763072


What do you think an Interactive Media professional does? Preparing a rigid web site and giving information about the company? Of course not! We are talking about revolution and about a market accumulated around a dynamic media. It is not about explaining what you want. It is about adapting to your company, what you hear. So, the content is not stabile. It is changing maybe every second. Interactive Media is dynamic. It acquires lots of energy. I love it!

2- Conversation: 

conversation

Source: http://www.flickr.com

Have you read Cluetrain Manifesto? If not, you have to do it 🙂 It explains in 95 theses how the rules of the market have changed. People exchange information very fast. During this exchange, they learn many things. The hierarchies are subverted with hyperlinks. The market is getting smarter through Interactive Media. Something is going on here. Having read about my background, do you think I can be left out? I want to be a part of this powerful, smart conversation! And asap!

If you would like to dig in more: www.cluetrain.com Continue reading

Why didn’t you tell me in advance?

First thing I have learned after my arrival to Toronto is: “If you want to act like a real Canadian, you must have a tumbler!” 🙂  If you bring your tumbler with you, you will get a discount.” tells me the girl behind the counter in the coffee shop. What? Discount? Now I am interested in that. 🙂 “By the way” she adds “you can keep your coffee hot for a while.” That’s logical. Let’s start online with my search after “the tumbler”!

thingsremembered.com? Interesting name. They sell personalised products. Amazing! Maybe later I can buy a gift for my husband here. Great. Do they have insulated bottles?  I will click on the Home+Bar section. Here they are: Travel Mugs and Water Bottles ! I don’t have to search  around any more. 🙂  I like this one. Let’s see the product details. Here they are. Easy to find. Ok, I must have this bottle! Let’s choose the colour! I want the metallic one. This site is not like other sites, where I have a default picture of the product. I can apply the exact colour to the product. I can see every detail of it. There is the “Personalise” button. I feel like these guys are talking to me. They are strictly following heuristic rules in terms of minimalist design and matching with the real world. 🙂 Maybe one of them has graduated from IMM at Centennial. Who knows?

I am clicking on “Personalise”. Nothing happens. I click again. Still nothing. Am I doing it right? Now, I remember Donald Norman’s book: “Design of Everyday Things”. On page 22 he was talking about that if an action has no appearing result, you may conclude, that the action was ineffective and you repeat it. It is so matching to my situation now. Maybe I have jumped to conclusions about the guy and heuristics. Which heuristic criterion was that? “Visibility of system status” I think. I don’t get any error message. It’s weird. Let’s scroll up and down. Oh, here it is. On the top of the page it says: “Please select an occasion.” Is it so important or relevant? Ask it on the next page! 

Anyway now the best part is coming. Let’s choose my initials to be engraved. I would like to have my initials in “Futura”. Or “Rockwell”? These guys are really great! I am enjoying this experience now. Let’s choose “Rockwell” and add my tumbler to the bag. Horray! I am one step nearer to my dream bottle. 🙂 One moment! Maybe “Futura” is better? I want to go back again. There are “Check Out” and “Edit Cart” buttons. Let’s choose”Edit Cart”. I liked the user control and freedom skills of the site. I am back to my product. Where should I click now to edit my settings? There is only check out option. Oh no, I don’t want to start from beginning. I have to say that  error prevention of the site is really weak. They could have warn me before, that I cannot make any changes after going to my bag. I would like to see the product again and make my small changes. Anyway I will take as it is. I don’t want to lose time any more. Let’s check out. Let’s choose my delivery country. What? Can I only select United States? They must be joking. Now, I am at the end of the process and they tell me they don’t deliver to Canada. Very disappointing! They didn’t warned me upfront. In terms of error prevention they failed. I have wasted my time and my dream is  now “puff”! Gone!

I am not happy at all with my user experience. I think the guy is not from Centennial!