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We couldn’t decide on a color for the sitting room. Finally my husband and I, after much debate, 8 paint samples, and many trips to the local hardware store (shout out to Annie’s Ace for their help!) – we discovered the perfect shade called Blue Toile. Then more debate ensued: to high gloss or not to high gloss? After contacting friends and family with design and interior decorating backgrounds, we were still confused. Questions like “Can our 83 year old walls ever be perfect enough for high gloss?” to “What if we want to repaint it after and all millions of unknown paints that existed prior to us purchasing this house peel off?” Nevermind the fact that every single hardware store employee looked at me like I was crazy when I mentioned painting our living room in high gloss, a paint which seems reserved only for trim, bathrooms, and the great outdoors.

We turned to our friends on Facebook and Instagram and 97% of our friends warned us not to do it. Still, the glamour and dramatic appeal of high gloss called to me. So, after my husband sanded much of the wall, we went with a flat paint because all the research told us to  and at the end of the day, I wanted the room painted.

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All of this made me feel better about not going into a creative route for my full-time career and made me feel an extra appreciation for my friends and family who are designers, contractors, and architects. Oh, to deal with clients like me… 

There’s a certain amount of uncertainty with everything and differing opinions. For a room, it’s what you and your family like, ultimately – that’s the color that should win.

Not so for a website redesign.

For a website redesign, it’s what your members and users want and so much more. If only it were as simple as choosing a color or “look.” I was reminded of this again when perusing some of the recent responsive web designs within the association community. While designers seem to be moving in the right direction with designing for many devices, there’s one large area they’re missing: touch features. I was surprised to see homepages with photos and headers that were both lacking hyperlinks, instead forcing the visitor to move a mouse to a tiny hyperlink at the bottom of a block of text (which translates to mobile users having to pinch and zoom in with a fat finger to click a link). Here we have desktop computers now able to support touch screen and some designers & their clients are still out there designing for soon-to-be old school desktops, even while going responsive.

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Are we truly designing for the user experience? Do we put as much thought and precision into designing “the experience” of our website as we do for areas of our houses and homes – each room serving a different experience and function?

Responsive Design has been the buzz word along with “Big Data” in the association community for the past year and there’s a good reason why. With 2013 deemed “The Year of Responsive Design” by Mashable.com, as well as forecasted by many to be the year that mobile browsing surpasses desktop browsing, associations need to have a solid mobile solution.

As all of us have now become comfortable with carrying and relying on multiple devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops, desktops) to tackle our work and manage our communications, we will no doubt embrace even more as new and evolved products continue to infiltrate the market. Just consider the tabtop and phablet.

If associations want their content to be consumed, then they must think beyond traditional mobile sites and native apps as there one and only mobile solution, and really look at their website.

In a recent interview with ResultsDirect’s Cecilia Satovich on DelCor Sweet Spot Live, I asked her the big questions surrounding responsive design, the triumphs, challenges, and reasons why she considers it a solid solution.

Is your association considering moving to a responsive web design? What are the questions you still have?

Last week the annual ASAE Technology Conference took place in Washington, DC, as well as the Higher Logic User Group (HUG) and DelCor’s first ever user group, DUG. As an outgoing three year member of the ASAE Technology Council that helps choose the sessions for #Tech12, it was feeling of accomplishment, as well as reunion of sorts for the bustling association tech community. My overview on the Conference will be posted to the DelCor blog tomorrow, so look there for more details from the event! 

However, one moment worth mentioning twice was meeting the opening keynote of #Tech12, Brian Solis. A big fan of his books and blogs, it was an honor shaking his hand and grabbing a quick photo with the business analyst.

For more on the Conference, as well as my interview with Craig Sorrell, the Project Coordinator at AIHA, please read my post on the DelCor blog tomorrow.

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Wowser, It’s been a busy few months and my goal of blogging more is well, suffering as you can see. I’ve been a horrible blogger on my own personal site, as well as on DelCor’s, although I’m making one hell of a blog coach to the DelCor staff as our blogger competition ramps up. Whistles up!

So, in case you didn’t know, I host this little bi-weekly show for DelCor called Sweet Spot Live where I get to cover association and tech-related topics of my choice for an 30 mins to an hour every other Friday from 12:30-1:30pm ET. This Friday I just happen to be attending The Washington DC Chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association event, so it’ll be an extra little perk to share some of what I’ve learned during the morning sessions. I’ve had the opportunity to interview some outstanding guests from the National Association of County and City Health Officials  as well as Dave Coriale, my boss and the President of DelCor, on his travels to Dreamforce 12. Definitely check out the archived shows if you get a chance and join the next live show, which just happens to include a live chat too which goes great with a bagged lunch. *hint hint*

One thing I love about being a consultant is constant learning, and I recently just interviewed Vivian Zhang and Sammi Liu, organizers of the Council of Tall Buildings & Urban Habitats World Congress in Shanghai, China. Our podcast is on MCI Group’s blog if you get a chance to read the full post.  

Podcast – Council of Tall Buildings & Urban Habitats World Congress Shanghai – Part 1

 

Please share your blogging secrets with me if you got ’em! What are your tips for blogging on the run?  

Today is National Preparedness Day  

Is your association prepared for a disaster? What about your family or pet? Join me and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Team on Friday, September 21 from 12:30-1:30pm ET on DelCor Sweet Spot Live as we discuss tips on getting prepared and look at how NACCHO is using social media to spread the word. What your question answered? Join us live tomorrow and Tweet your question to us at @KyleeCoffman or #sweetspot.

Also, here’s a fun look at the Call Me Maybe meme the American Public Health Association (APHA) put together to get the word out about National Preparedness Month.

 

Associations have always been in the business of community building and advocacy. Like almost every other company out there, associations are (or should be) eagerly trying to catch up with technology trends and discover where discussions are taking place online surrounding their industry.

Many association executives struggle with learning the social media tools, messaging, and means of engagement and aren’t sure how to properly lead their organization and staff into building dedicated social media programs.

On Friday, June 29 from 12:30-1:30pm EST, Megan Berry will join DelCor’s Sweet Spot Live host Kylee Coffman to discuss what associations can do now to help build their online communities.

Megan Berry is the Founder of LiftFive, partnered with Lerer Ventures to help top startups with social. She previously led marketing at Klout for two years, after starting as the fourth employee. She blogs about social media on the Huffington Post, Mashable and more.  

Basically, yes, you will want to ask her questions while the opportunity comes a’knockin. Have a question you’d like to ask her in advance? Post your comment below! You can also follow her on Twitter at @meganberry.

Mark your calendar! It’s gonna be a good one.

For the last live episode of DelCor Social Media Sweet Spot I decided to explore that fuzzy and oh-so-popular term, “The Cloud.” There are a ton of misconceptions out there about what a cloud is and can/can’t do, so I met with Partner and Vice President of DelCor, Brian Sheehan to discuss in advance of the live show.

My DelCor Sweet Spot guest later that week was Laurence Hart, CIO, The Global Community of Information Professionals (AIIM), and master tweeter @Piewords. While he wouldn’t let me in on the secret story behind his Twitter handle, he did answer a wide range of questions surrounding cloud computing.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you can’t view the Sweet Spot interview with Laurence (above), please just follow this link.