15 Feb 2018 by Kerryn North
Being Open to Other Perspectives





blog photo 2We often attend different meetups or presentations to connect with our industry peers and learn from others. Some of the talks we’ve attended recently have covered social media influencer campaigns and advances in artificial intelligence. It’s always interesting to go to these things and hear what others are doing, especially if it relates to your work. That’s the piece that always intrigues me. I want to come back to the office with takeaways that I can share with my coworkers and discuss how it relates to the type of work we do, projects we currently have on the go, and the kind of work we see ourselves doing in the future.

But it’s not always easy to see the common thread when you sit in on someone else’s presentation. At nForm we work in the digital space, but we are not a marketing firm or an advertising agency. We don’t develop marketing plans or sell social media strategies. Our expertise is in building relationships with clients and helping them make lasting change within their organization. The end result just so happens to be with the digital tools they use – or maybe more importantly, how they use those tools.

Even when it’s not blatantly obvious what role social media or other digital trends play in the work we do, it’s still interesting to think about. And it’s okay to borrow ideas from other disciplines, but sometimes you have to translate them into your own context. So I start to wonder how we could tie these things together. I mostly wonder how different trends could work in the world of intranets. We do a lot of work with public facing web, but recently the work that we’ve become known for and where we’ve had a defining impact on organizations has been with their intranets.

Would one of our clients ever use internal influencers to grow adoption of a governance strategy, for example? Many businesses are starting to leverage influencer campaigns to promote their services or products. They make an arrangement with a celebrity or someone well known in the community who agrees to use their social media channels to talk about said services or products. In return for promoting it to their followers, the influencer gets paid in cash or products. What would that look like if we tried it on an intranet project? What kind of influencers would they want to engage? Who would an internal influencer even be? How would their staff respond to it?

What trends are happening in AI that we can use on internal collaboration tools or even customer-facing services like applying for a loan? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself lately. On the surface, the tactics don’t seem to directly relate, but if you took the concepts and strategies and applied them in different contexts, the results could be very interesting. What kind of problems could artificial intelligence help us solve? Will there be a day when someone asks Alexa to tell them what’s outstanding on their utility bill? Can she pay it for them? What would it take to integrate that kind of technology into current systems?

I don’t seem to have any of the answers. In fact, the more I think about all the information shared at the presentations we’ve attended lately, the more questions I seem to come up with. There are endless possibilities of what you can do in the digital world. I’m curious to see where things will go in the next few years and how we can make practical use of it all.


07 Feb 2018 by Kerryn North

We’re hiring: Information Architect / User Experience Consultant

Please note: this posting is now closed … Read More

01 Mar 2018 by Kerryn North

In Review: World IA Day 2018

On Saturday, February 24, we hosted the local celebration of World IA Day 2018. The annual event is held in communities all around the world and brings together like-minded professionals and enthusiasts who share the common goal of practicing, learning, teaching … Read More