How do businesses make the most of using Popplet? In the second part of our Popplet People Profile, we talk with Nicholas McGill from business consultancy Heroik Media about how his team uses Popplet to collaborate, innovate, and inspire.
Nicholas told us that one of the benefits of using Popplet with business clients is that it is easy-to-use and immediately allows business clients to start working on the real organizational challenges in a welcoming and intuitive interface.
More complex business tools can slow down initial discussions as participants first need to understand how to use the software before they can start collaborating to build a new organizational mission. Nicholas told us that by using Popplet, he is able to start recording group discussions and mapping ideas immediately. The colorful straight-forward design creates immediate buy-in and the simplicity of the tools mean that teams can start using tech to collaborate straight away, and can graduate on to more sophisticated business tools in future.
While Popplet has maintained a minimal aesthetic as part of our focus on effective, easy-to-use design, there are also a lot of features that can be leveraged by savvy power users.
In the second part of our interview, Nicholas shares some of the techniques that he uses with Popplet in his business.
For this month’s Popplet People, we interviewed website design professional Adam Iscrupe about creating a sitemap using Popplet.
Adam lives and breathes website design through 3 complementary roles:
He works at Hats Off Creative where he designs custom websites and print materials as part of a team of design professionals
He volunteers on the Board of Directors for AIGA Charlotte, where he coordinates a monthly breakfast meetup to inspire the next generation of design creatives entering the industry, and
He writes and edits for the forthcoming design blog Pixels & Picas, sharing his love of typeface design and website inspiration.
Adam has been using Popplet with his design team during website creation projects with clients looking for a new approach to their brand. We asked him about why he used Popplet for creating a sitemap and what features were useful for this type of design project.
Sitemaps present all the webpages – and links between pages – of a website in the one place. “A designer is a visual person, and in order to interpret the mechanics/hierarchy of a website, a visual presentation of how the website will look helps me tremendously,” explains Adam. “What I mean by that is a sitemap helps organize mass amounts of page content for a website in a clean, simple interface for a clear understanding. Without a sitemap, confusion without a doubt will set in.”
A sitemap example from a forthcoming project by Adam Iscrupe’s design team
Q: Why use Popplet for creating a sitemap?
Popplet is one of the most friendly user interfaces I have come across in terms of online apps for building sitemaps. The design of it may look simple, but it is beautiful how each popplet can be easily resized, moved, or linked to another. Popplets can be color coordinated to correspond with other popplets if the user wishes (perfect for distinguishing navigation, an optional secondary navigation, and internal pages or external links), and my favorite aspect of the design is that each popplet snaps to a grid when moving them around. For me, it is also a huge plus that Popplet has developed an iPad app since the website is flash. This is another feature I don’t see a lot in other sitemap apps.
Q: How does the rest of your team find using Popplet for web design projects?
Our team uses Popplet as an internal tool in order to collaborate on developing a website. One of our team members is always travelling so he has the Popplet iPad app, which is a great tool for him to continue to update a sitemap remotely in real time. Since we are typically working on one sitemap as a team, Popplet has developed a great feature that labels each popplet that a team member has created, which makes it very easy to distinguish who has created what and has the ablility to leave comments for one another.
Thanks to Adam for sharing his insights into using Popplet for creating a sitemap. You can keep up with Adam’s work at his website, follow him on twitter, or keep your eye out for Pixels & Picas when his team launches the site in September with more design related articles.
Have you used Popplet for creating a sitemap for your web design projects? Share your sitemaps and website examples with us on our Facebook page or tweet us your links!.
A buyer persona template is a marketing tool used by businesses to describe target segments of their customer market and online audience. Popplet is an ideal online visual thinking tool to use as a buyer persona template.
How Online Environments are Changing Business
The internet and mobile devices have fundamentally changed consumer patterns around the globe. We research and decide what to buy and which services to use by checking our smartphones, chatting in forum discussions, asking our social media networks, and by reading online blogs and reviews… we know that you know what we mean: because we’re all doing it!
As a result, we’re usually about 70% sure of what we want to buy before we even make first contact with some of the businesses on our list of preferences. For anyone in business, this has changed how to go about connecting with potential customers. Media marketing business experts like Nuria Gimenez, Head of Digital Services at GroupM predicts that “By 2016, we will no longer be buying space. We will be buying audiences”. What she means is that more and more often, businesses won’t get noticed by buying advertising space like internet banners or radio spots, but by buying the time and interest of audiences online, who connect with a business and then go on to share their experiences within their wider networks.
The Buyer Persona Template Technique
Internet marketing leaders, like Adam Singer at the Future Buzz, Barbara Gago on Content Marketing Institute and Lee Odden at TopRank all encourage businesses to enhance the experience of customers by really thinking about what customers want. You can use a buyer persona template in your business planning to describe your potential audience segments. This is a technique that can help you describe how your audience connects to businesses online, and what your customers want from the experience.
Above: Buyer personas: definitions and discussion from the experts
Hopefully, using buyer persona templates will mean your business is better able to respond to customer needs. This creates a deeper connection so that there is a personal, ongoing relationship between your brand and the value people get from it.
Singer, Gago and Odden all suggest asking yourself questions that help to understand your customers, and from the research you uncover, you can create a few profiles of different target market segments and their preferences. The thinking behind this is that you can better provide the type of online content for each audience segment if you have a clear picture in your head about who they are, how they move about online, and what are their common preferences and interests.
The Buyer Persona Template in Practice
Globally, many businesses are looking to connect with new consumers in the emerging markets of China, Russia, Brazil and the Middle East. We have used the internet marketing experts’ techniques to describe one of these new audiences. Here’s our Popplet buyer persona describing Russian consumers.
Above: Buyer persona template for Russian consumers using Popplet
For our buyer persona template, we drew from a combination of data sources and categorized our information by using some of the questions suggested by Adam Singer, Barbara Gago and Lee Odden to understand the audience better.
(Behind the scenes, we also filed all of our source materials (including the funky images we sourced from designcollector) in a delicious stack. Our monthly newsletter to blog subscribers will include links to these background tools and source materials. Our first newsletter edition also includes a step-by-step guide on how to build your own buyer persona template, and access to a blank template so you can start collecting data about your market straight away. Subscribe to our newsletter before December 31 to make sure you don’t miss out on these extra goodies!)
You can use a buyer persona template to dig deeper or step back to a broader level and understand your audience better. Our Russian consumer persona, for example, could be broadened into a category like ‘consumers in emerging markets’ or become more focused, for example, ‘Russian women aged 16 – 35’. Collating your information in a Popplet can give you new insights into your audience that improve your business operations and your customer’s experience with your business.
Work Collaboratively with your Buyer Persona Template
Popplet works as a collaborative tool that lets your business discuss who your customers are and what they want. You can share ideas within your business teams by selecting collaborators who can contribute to the popplet. Use the Popplet labs settings to decide who can add to the popplet and who can edit your existing popples.
How do you use Popplet as a business tool? Share your thoughts in our comments below.
Popplet lets you share ideas and work collaboratively on projects. We have developed three levels of permission to let you manage your groupwork using Popplet and will continue to improve these capabilities. We get queries every week to our support email and to our online community page asking for clarification on how to use Popplet collaboratively. (Which reminds us – if you have a question or feedback, please share it with us by email or at our community page!)
Share ideas at three permission levels
You can use Popplet to work collaboratively in three ways:
Share ideas: This level allows you to show your popplet to others. You can email the page reference, embed it in your blog, or share it via Twitter or Facebook. When you share the popplet URL page or embed it in your blog, your readers will be able to move around your popplet and zoom in and out, but they will not be able to alter any content. You can see the choices for sharing your popplet board by clicking on the share button in the right hand top corner. First, you will be asked to make your popplet board public, and after that you can email it, embed it, tweet about it or post it to your Facebook page. (Don’t forget, you can also save your popplet as a PDF or JPEG and send it to people as an attachment.)
Collaborate (add): This level of permission allows you to share your popplet and nominate others in your team as collaborators. They will be able to add to your popplet with new popples and connectors. When you work collaboratively, the name tag function comes in handy: you can see who has added popples and expanded on your original work. Your team can also use the comments function to explain the thinking behind their popple content. Click on the peg people symbol and add your team mates. To work collaboratively, your team mates must already have a Popplet account, or you can enter their email addresses and they will be sent an email and invited to join.
Collaborate (edit): This level of permission lets your collaborators make changes to your existing work, as well as add more popple content. Under the gear cog (settings) symbol, choose “Popplet labs” and “Popplet permissions” from the drop-down menu. Select the option to let any collaborator edit your original popplets and click OK to save.
In 2012, we will be adding more features to help you to work collaboratively using Popplet. Please let us know on our Facebook page how you use Popplet to share ideas, and what additional features you need.