1. The platform.
By building a dedicated platform we are able to amplify our digital voices and build reputation. One good example is to think of making one podcast and publishing that to YouTube. In a sea of video content spanning any and all topics, one podcast can very easily get lost. On the other hand making one podcast published on this dedicated platform helps relevant stakeholders find your podcast more readily, gives you more credibility and because it is also published on other channels that are linked, improves your general SEO and discoverability.
Because we have a unified mission to discover and demonstrate the Value & Impact of CID in Business & Society, we are enabled to showcase our work and skills in demonstrable ways to promote our professional contributions to the industry.
To realise the mission & vision the platform can be leveraged in two ways or two channels. The first (MC) is the multimedia content channel, and the second (PP) is the professional platform. Both intertwine in many ways but they serve different goals. The media channel is relevant for any stakeholder interested in CID. The professional platform is relevant for CID professionals specifically who would like to leverage the platform to their advantage.
Example 1. Trine Falbe (MC)
We created an audio podcast and an experience portal together about ethical design, The Ethical Design Network, and with information about Trine Falbe. Anyone who would like to learn about any one of these three topics can view her content and it's relevant to a range of stakeholders.
Example 2. Ricardo Faria (MC + PP)
Riarco participated in a web series about KPI's in Design. As with Trine, any stakeholder may find the information relevant online. But Ricardo also used the platform as a professional to publish editorial content and a KPI's in Design introduction course.
Example 3. RANDSTAD UX (PP)
One of the 6 Areas on Design in Focus is Networks & Communities (N&C). *Read more about the areas below.
To showcase how the platform (PP) may be used by professionals to start their own N&C's, we've created a flagship network called RANDSTAD UX (RÚX). RÚX organises monthly events for UX designers in the Randstad region. Of course if you already have a network or community and do not want to use this platform to manage it, you can also just add your details to the directory so that relevant professionals can find you.
If you are a professional interested in any one or any combination of topics under these categories, you are welcome to add to the collective, either as a participant in multimedia content such as podcasts (MC), or using the platform (PP) to showcase or produce your own contributions.
Aside from using the platform for your professional benefit online, you can also become part of the Design in Focus organisation by contributing your professional skills to the organisation in person. We are building a foundation with Design in Focus so as to adhere to our mission and vision with honor serving the professionals who make up our industry. Success is a massive driving force behind Design in Focus, and we wish all our stakeholders financial gains, but to keep it relevant and avoid the pitfalls of other platforms, it's important to secure a not-for-profit structure. Two things to note here:
If you join the organisation as Volunteer or Board Member, you are not yet financially rewarded. Once we have a treasurer, we can finalise certain documentation and our sponsors may start sponsoring us, then we will start paying where possible. But, joining as an unpaid professional can still reward you in other ways such as personal growth, gaining skills, and adding to your portfolio. Design in Focus in its current state is an MVP (minimum viable product) and living prototype, therefore there is a lot of opportunities to lend your skill and showcase your capabilities. For example, redesign our hastily created icons, and add that to your portfolio, or create a cool campaign and add it to your resume, whatever skills you have can add a lot of value to the organisation and its gold on your resume & portfolio.
2. Org & Platform
The platform initiatives and the platform initiatives are seperate. While the organisation is a foundation, those who use it may still be profit oriented. For example if you are a Professional Design Mentor, you may use the platform to create visibility for your work by creating a podcast (MC) or publishing a free intro course on the platform (PP), these are two ways to bring awareness to your professional services, which is of course your bread and butter and therefore profit oriented. But if you are not profit oriented, you may join the organisation as a board member working on crafting that arena in meaningful ways for your industry and its professionals based on what you know about the industry and its needs. There are many existing opportunities and many ways you can create new ones.
There are four pillars that support the multimedia channel. You can participate in our media or create your own under these pillars according to your goals.
Industry talks - Showcase your knowledge and skills as an industry contributor
The human Experience - Have human conversations showcasing your personality and character.
The Dream Team Roundtable - Demonstrate how you fit in and how you help solve business problems.
The Dark Side of the Force - Raise awareness and solve challenges in the CID landscape.
We publish content in all of these formats. You may choose any one, combination of, or all media formats to create content in. Make some audio podcasts, write editorial content, film a web show, create some infographics or memes, or create live content in an online talk event.
Sketch from the initial brainstorm, the labels have changed a little bit, but most of the focus remains the same. In due time the map will be updated to the current landscape of the Design in Focus platform. Originally the Founders and Makers and Networks & Communities were one, but we decided to split it to make more sense. Also we had one focus area on events, but this needs more development so we support events, but the dedicated events portal is less prominent.
What remains are these 6 key areas that you can use to serve your goals.
Galleries When you use the platform to publish multimedia content, it all filters through the galleries. As a participant there are 3 starting routes that have been set up based on effort. The route with the least effort is called the leasure route. When we create content, it is only published to the galleries and media channels such as YouTube and Soundcloud.
Experience Portals (EP) An Experience portal is a fantastic way to create visibility and give context to your work. On EP's viewers may find more detailed information and additional links and content about the professional or organisation. There are two types of EP's * Standard EP - For content that fits within the predefined framework. Example * Bespoke EP - For pages that have unique requirements. Example We create EPs with Participants, Collaborators, Organisations, Universities & Companies. Typically EPs are part of the second and third routes on the platform, namely, the explorer and adventurer routes. To learn more please visit our Onboarding Portal. We offer various expressions of the EP for our different factions. We already have a few factions build, but the factions will increase over time as those areas are developed. Currently you can find participant EPs in the main navigation and under the factions menu you can see the different types of EPs created for different purposes such as volunteer EPs, and collab EPs. If you use the DiF platform to start your own network or community, you may choose to create EP's for your organisation. For example if you create a network for audio engineers, and you have professionals in that network that give talks or presentations, you can create multimedia together and publish it on personal pages. See the RÚX example for more.
Members Area The members area has been built to help achieve some goals for CID professionals and all members are manually approved. As with the public platform, the only data we use is location and number of visitors per day. This is to see how many people come to the site and which pages are popular in which regions so that we can build and improve the website. We do not use any personal information, we do not sell personal information and we do not have affiliations that profit off of your personal information. The members area was created to build a stronger professional platform where members can engage authentically and meaningfully with their industry peers. We offer membership two ways. * Standard Membership gives you access to our forum and groups. Start conversations on the Forum, or, join / create groups dedicated to your focus points. *VIP Membership is almost the same as Standard Membership and should probably be referred to as VIC (very important contributor) Membership as all our members are VIPs. With this membership we assign privileges to the members such as to publish editorial content, events and educational programmes. VIP's / VIC's are typically collaborators who share a goal, but can be participants, volunteers, board members, networks \ communities or founders / makers.
Networks & Communities (N&C) Being a member of a network or community is a great way to grow as a professional. Starting your own is a great way to demonstrate your passion. We serve CID professional N&C's in a couple of ways. a. We list them in our directory for other CID stakeholders to find. We will continue building the list out as resources allow, but you can easily add to the list while we build it and after. View Directory b. We create bespoke experience portals for them. External example. Internal Example. c. We provide the ability to create a group on this platform and publish events and content. We support external CID N&C's, those wanting to start their own unique N&C's or wanting to start N&C's under the Design in Focus Umbrella (internal).
Training & Mentoring (T&M) If you are a trainer or mentor or offer any educational content, you can publish free introductory or complete courses on this platform.
Founders & Makers (F&M) Choosing topics, themes and structures for creating content online can be a challenge. Have you ever thought of making a podcast but didn't know how to structure it? Have you ever wanted to manage your own channel related to a CID topic you are passionate about? There are many advantages to becoming an F&M, but the most obvious is power in numbers. By making stuff happen under one umbrella, we are able to improve discoverability, build credibility and share resources. We also already have a northstar and a couple of processes predefined.
Our three Categories can be filtered into 7 key channels.
The three CID categories seem quite basic, but when you filter into it, you discover that there are actually many ways to define content.
Creative Innovation or Innovative Creativity
Innovative Design or Design innovation
Design Creativity or Creative Design
Creative + Innovation + Design
We've identified eight main goals that this platform can help achieve and you can use your own creativity to imagine more. With all our initiatives we can reach one or more goals
For example, by participating in a podcast, you can create awareness of a problem you are solving. By starting a network you can demonstrate leadership through building a connected professional collective.
We've created nine levels based on general considerations. There are three main tiers that each have three sub tiers, resulting in 9 total levels of tiers. You're welcome to take things to whole new levels based on your personal situation.
Category 1 : Routes
Leisure Route - Based on the least effort possible needed to publish content or perform an activity.
Explorer Route - A little bit more effort, but not extensive enough to keep you very busy.
Adventurer Route - Go on a journey and exert all the effort you like, get active and dedicate working hours to build up in ways that delivers the most potential and reward.
Category 2 : Medium
Promotion - Efforts geared towards activities that may be interpreted as promotional in nature. E.g. Using the platform to create multimedia about your specialization.
Organisation - Efforts geared towards organizational activities with bigger impact. E.g Using the platform to organise activities surrounding your specialisation.
Direction - Efforts geared towards directing activities aiming to create movement. E.g leading the way to sustainable outcomes by becoming a Board Member and working on that as director.
Category 3 : Time
Although you are welcome at all times to partake and collaborate as you please, at any given time we typically exert effort on three levels.
One & done - Make one podcast, volunteer on one projects, or support one initiative.
Occasionally - Invest your effort in, on or during specific occasions.
Regular - Create a web series, work as a volunteer or board member for a committed period of time, or regularly use the platform.
Creating a single audio podcast that is published in the Galleries and Social Channels to be informative on a topic or area that you are knowledgeable about.
Occasionally assist the organisation with simple projects.
Create an experience portal filled with content surrounding your topic / specialisation such as a regular web show.
Become a (board) member and regularly spend effort to build up specific areas related to your topics or specialization.
It can all be very easy with a level 1 initiative, or you can incrementally increase the effort based on your own circumstance.
The final pieces of the puzzle is made up out of the roles that you may play as a Design in Focus stakeholder. Stakeholder may find one or more roles interesting, and all the roles serve to solve some specific problems and reach specific goals.
Viewer. As a viewer the platform may be interesting to you to find content.
Participant. Participants do not really engage beyond the multimedia channel and usually take similar predefined routes. *Outlined above.
Networks & Communities. Showcase, grow or start your N&Cs.
Collaborator. You do not want to be bound by our organisation, but you are working on mutually interesting things, being a collaborator means that we can work together separately.
Sponsor. Becoming a sponsor enables you to demonstrate and support CID professionals and industry.
Member. Join the platform and become a member. *Outlined above.
Leader. Lead you CID related industry, topics, or professionals.
Founders & Makers. Work as a managing director by founding your own regional, topic specific or language based chapter of Design in Focus, or make content specific to the pillars under your own art direction and viewpoint.
Mentoring & Training. Use this platform to upskill, update, teach and inform CID professionals.
Volunteer. Become a volunteer and make a difference, add to your resume or portfolio, or fill in some empty time.
This platform be leveraged in a myriad of ways ranging from simple to complex, from one and dones, to dedicated performance, and from many perspectives and angles. The best way currently to get started is by visiting the onboarding portal and exploring the avenues that seem most relevant to you. In the coming weeks we will be publishing assisted onboarding which will help you decide by answering a few questions, to make it more easily understandable.
12. Test Cases
1. Leisurer X would like to talk about a specific topic in a web show but does not have a lot of time to spare and would like to take the easiest route to publish the web show.
Step 1. Visit Onboarding
Step 2. Fill in Leisure Onboarding form.
Wait for us to contact you ASAP
Step 3. Introduction - We arrange an introduction to meet and align on topics, pillars, and categories. We then schedule a recording date.
Step 4. Record. After the recording you may decide to reshoot if it did not go well. If you are happy with the recording, you let us know and we start the editing. When we are done we send the final version and release form to you.
Step 5. Review the final cut and if you are happy please sign the release form. This form is an agreement that must be signed, please read the formalities on the the onboarding page. Do not sign or return it to us unless you are happy with the final cut.
Step 6. We publish the final cut to the galleries and social channels.
2. Explorer X would like to create a video & audio podcast about creative innovation so that she can find new opportunities, and can only afford to spend and hour or two writing her summary for the page, her introduction if she would like one, and adding her links and keywords she would like to be found on.
For this route Explorer X must follow the 6 steps outlined in the first example, and after Step 3, we have two additional steps.
Next step. Once we've made a plan for the podcast, we can build the experience portal. Generally the page can be created purely by what you have filled in during the onboarding steps. But we can align to make it more relevant and interesting with additional content, a story, a design style etc.
Last step. When the portal has been activated, we send you the link for approval. If you are happy with the page we can share it. The more content we collectively create, the more slots will be activated. Each time we create something and upload it to the database, the content is automatically added to the relevant slots and they appear on your portal.
3. Adventurer X would like to build out his professional services and work on his personal development by doing something to give back. He has a fair amount of free time that he wishes to invest in strengthening his professional and digital presence. Here is an invissioned example featuring the index items 1-10.
Using our vision To Discover & Demonstrate the Value & Impact of CID in Business & Society, he decides that he will create valuable design content aimed to make a positive impact on a professional.
He decides that he will use both the Media Channel and the Professional platform.
He selects Design as his main category
For the Media side he will create content in all four pillars
He chooses to create media in all 5 formats.
He is active in all 6 areas on Design in Focus. Adventure routes can include any three or more areas on the platform. a. Galleries *standard b. Experience Portal - Visit his experience Portal *standard c. Members Area - See his Member Profile d. Networks & Communities - He has his own community which he nurtures through the groups portal on Design in Focus, see his group. e. Training & Mentoring - He publishes mentoring content on the platform. f. Founder & Makers - He makes video content for his professional talk show on the Design in Focus platform.
He only focuses on Design and Design professionals & industry.
He has 6 goals which he can accomplish using this platform. Creating awareness, being Inspirational, growing Leadership, Solving professional insecurities, Building resilient professionals, Demonstrating his passion and dedication to the industry and its people through his efforts as board member Design Mentoring & Training.
He operates as a level 9 stakeholder which is the highest level of contribution possible.
He decides to take on various roles including participant, member, leader, and writer to maximise his toolbox.
Once he has an idea, he follows the same steps as outlined in Leisurer X and Explorer X above. This is an ongoing process and we have as many conversations as needed. Adventurer X needs to learn how to use the CMS to publish events, articles and training programs. He also needs time to act as board member and perform board member activities.
Adventurer routes can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on what level of adventure is within the candidate.
On the Onboarding Portal you can read more details and start envisioning your own adventure.
There are many ways that you can use this platform to your professional advantage. You can take it at your own pace, on levels that you are comfortable with and can fit into your schedule, based on what your goals and aspirations are.