Remembering That You Don’t Have To Reinvent The Wheel

While the COVID driven operating environment can make your tasks feel like changing a tire on a moving car, it’s good to remember the value in taking a step back when a task feels overwhelming.

Odds are, you’re overthinking it and the good news is there’s a wealth of resources to help you stay on track. When it comes to anything communications oriented, I like to visit Laws of UX.

While the site is developed for user interface designers, I’ve been applying the practices they cover in a wide range of arts admin tasks for decades.

What I love best is how tight they present each practice. They make otherwise complex psychology heuristics easy to grasp and since they don’t take any deep dives into the ways designers can implement a practice, it’s easy to apply the approach to your task at hand.

Jon Yablonski designed posters for each practices that you can buy online.

For example, the Serial Position Effect, which dictates users have a propensity to best remember the first and last items in a series, can be applied to a wide range of content generation and display tasks.

Moreover, it’s just as applicable to strategy-oriented challenges where there’s more than a single action item. You can see how it really helps keep your content from going off the rails. It’s equally useful as a guide for those venturing into new territory and aren’t yet familiar with psychological blueprints that guide user behavior.

Since the beginning of the season, I’ve been pointing clients to one or more of the practices when they feel stuck, and it became clear this would be an excellent resource to use for a series of articles.

Stay tuned…

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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