Before You Click...

A friend of mine recently shared with me his desire and dream of going into web design as a career. He was looking to not only expand his increasingly insufficient salary from his current employer, but to also provide himself a safe landing for an inevitable future exit to full-time self employment. I was delighted to hear this, especially as I had always hoped he will improve his knowledge base and skill set beyond his current job description, and position himself for career growth. But I was concerned because he was far from anything I considered the creative or tech type, and his current job didn't require any such attributes. I also felt that he may not have a good reason, so I asked him what his aim was, why he thinks he needs to do this. The answer I got wasn't encouraging: He felt that it is a good and lucrative line of work (perhaps since he knows a number of people making some money from it), and that it is about time he learned a decent skill. These weren't his exact words, but I got the message loud and clear. He has no passion or desire to excel at it. When he meets a brick wall, he will drop it.

I often have people ask me how they can quickly learn to use an image composition platform like Photoshop or a vector editing tool like CorelDraw or Illustrator; an interactive motion design resource like Flash, or a video editor such as Premiere, and the first thing I ask is "what do you want to achieve with it?". It is of ultimate importance to know what the desired end-result will be. It need not be rendered in ultra-hi-definition 3D in your mind's eye, but you should have a pretty good idea what it will generally look or feel like. Whether you are gifted enough to conjure up the entire vision from the depths of your own creative genius, or you simply identified something done by someone else that you would like to emulate, this objective sets the tone for the tools. What do you want it to do for the end user? What attributes would you like it to possess?

There is a truth that applies not only in the creative process, but in most aspects of life itself: You must know your objective (your WHY) before trying to figure out HOW to achieve it. Most people tend not to have an objective, and this usually leads to them ultimately thinking that they are "not

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creative". Yes, there are some apps and tools that give you the power to click on a few buttons or menu items and "voila" you have a design! But look closer. You will find that those who are fairly intentional with their objective always have a more effective output than the guys who jumped into it hoping that the app will figure it out for them.

You don't have to be working in the advertising or creative design industry to have a cool grasp of the art of generating efficient, high-impact communication material. In this age of rapid content output, everybody who has a marketing function is a potential creative director. Whether you work in a bank, telco or on the sales team of a toothpaste brand; whether you own a bookkeeping startup or a high-tech auto repair shop, you will send emails, post content on social media, make PowerPoint presentations, put together eBooks and hopefully make a video as part of your content marketing effort. And in the midst of the noise of today, they had all better be attractive, engaging and efficient in delivering your marketing objective.

This program is intended to help people who didn't think they had creative capabilities to learn the secrets of putting out great-looking visuals on their own! This program is designed to help small and big businesses turn their marketing communications budget on its head by empowering everyone in that organisation to be a brand-publishing asset.