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Sticky Notes
Workplace

Become a Better Project Manager by Better Managing Yourself

If you have any job function where you manage others, especially in an agency setting, you know that the phrase “organized chaos” may come to mind when describing the day-to-day. With almost 3 years under my belt as a Project Manager at Liquid, seeing projects and clients come and go, I think I’m pretty well qualified to outline some tips (and gifs) to help you keep all the plates spinnin’ and hold on to your sanity in the process.

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Desk
Workplace

Your 6 Step Guild to Starting a Project

Getting a project started can be a daunting task. It’s likely the first impression you’ll have with a client and the perfect time to establish expectations, roles, and responsibilities.  Ultimately, a proper kickoff sets the stage for a successful project.  While every organization will approach beginning a project differently, following these few steps will create a solid foundation for nearly any effort.

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Open Book
Design

Deconstruct, Reframe, Reimagine: A Look at the Creative Process

I’m always fascinated by good thinkers, good ideas and the exciting ‘A-ha!’ Moments that keep us inspired.  To me, that creative impulse is what I love about my job. Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, said, “The skills, perspectives and networks that promote innovation and creativity also create strong thinking individuals with resources that extend beyond any single measure of worth or productivity.”

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HTML Header
Design

Why build wireframes for responsive websites in HTML?

Our processes and methodologies for building client websites evolve all the time. We’re always looking for a better way to work—whether that means finding ways to increase our efficiency, improve our communication, or reduce friction points for end users—we never stop looking for ways to keep doing good.

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Sharpener
Design

Tools I'll probably use for every design project in 2018

Call me old-school, but I’m historically a fan of designing with straight-up HTML and CSS with as few frameworks and frills as possible. And, while that’s still typically the way I work, I’ve introduced a small number of resources to my toolbox so I can iterate faster and design better responsive websites and user interfaces.

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Brand ID
Design

Why Your Brand's Visual Identity Matters

What is a visual brand identity, you ask? It’s only one of the most important things about your business. Branding is far more in depth than aesthetics. It delves into the core of why you exist as a business. It requires hours of research and analysis to ultimately cultivate something visually appealing that communicates your message: your visual identity. A visual identity is comprised of a system of external expressions such as a logo, color palette and texture, typography, iconography, illustration, photography, motion principles, and composition.

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Coffee Alt
Liquid

My Internship at Liquid: Myths vs. Reality

Internships are filled with stereotypes. And we know them all: An intern keeps to themselves, is asked to complete the work that others don’t want to do, and somehow finds time to fetch coffee for everyone in the office upon request. Prior to starting an internship, most people don’t know what to expect. Many college students just fear the worst and hope for the best. 

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Leaders
Liquid

Leaders Shine at Liquid

Lehigh Valley Business announced their 2016 list of Forty Under 40 honorees in April and Liquid was represented on the list for the second year in a row. Following up Executive VP Doug Mancini’s inclusion last year, Director of Digital Marketing Bret Ludlow was recognized as a top young professional for his contributions to his company, industry and community in 2016.

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Laptops
Liquid

Bret Ludlow Promoted to Vice President, Strategic Solutions

Bret Ludlow has been promoted to Vice President, Strategic Solutions. He joined Liquid in 2011 and has been innovating ever since. Originally helping to establish the Digital Marketing Department at Liquid, Bret was ultimately promoted as Director of Digital Marketing in 2015. Shortly after this, he transitioned to Director of Business Development in 2016.

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Coffee Alt
Liquid

The Saga of the Intern from the North

Sure, I could have slept in, only to spend my mornings watching Netflix and my afternoons poolside. There are a lot of things I could have done (or in this case, not done) with my vacation. But as my summer comes to an end, I can confidently say that completing an internship at Liquid Interactive was by far the best way I could have spent this summer.

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Diagram
Design

User Experience (UX) Demystified

When I tell people that I’m a user experience (UX) designer, most people nod politely as their eyes glaze over for a second, and they try to move the conversation along. Early in my career I thought they were completely uninterested, but over time, I came to realize that many people simply don’t know what UX is and might feel awkward about asking. On behalf of misunderstood UX designers everywhere, please allow me to introduce you to the wonders of quality UX and why you should care about it.

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2016
Design

Design Trends for 2016 & Beyond

One of the side effects of responsive design is that a lot of sites look similar, but responsive design isn’t solely to blame. The rise of WordPress sites and the booming theme market have also had a hand in it. The perception of websites having a similar look to every other site out there these days isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s partially a result of the new ways in which we consume the web, and it has resulted in a lot of common UI design patterns.

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Workspace
Design

Why Adobe XD is a Game - Changer

Throughout my 14 years in the design industry, I’ve used countless tools to work on my design projects. One of the first tools I used was the venerable design workhorse Adobe Photoshop, and it became my favorite tool for web and print design back in 2004. In the early days of my career, I considered Photoshop to be the most complete tool in terms of web design and mobile application design. Challenging Adobe’s dominance, Sketch arrived in 2010 and in my opinion revolutionized the UI/UX design process for Mac users. I loved Sketch and used it whenever I could for my web projects, but its lack of compatibility with PCs proved to be an inconvenient limitation in mixed-platform environments.

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Globe
Liquid

A Letter to Future Liquid Interns

Dear future Liquid Intern, If you’ve decided to click on this blog, well, I’m happy you did because that means you’re doing your research! In this blog I’m going to tell you a little bit about my internship experience at Liquid Interactive and share some advice with you before you begin yours.

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Camera
Technology

Demystifying Video: Behind the Process

There is a lot of effort that takes place behind the scenes when video content is created that either goes unnoticed, is greatly downplayed or just generally misunderstood. I would like to shed some light on some of these time consuming tasks to uncover some common misconceptions and to reveal what actually goes on during the process. 

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Ping Pong
Technology

Unity Game Engine & HTML5 Socket Mashup

Back in March I revised the HTML5 multiplayer node.js example to use WebSockets instead of RESTful calls. Moving to this event based system of communication allowed for more streamlined code and native multithreaded performance. If you haven’t had a chance to read the previous posts in the node.js series, you can catch them here:

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Drone
Technology

Elevate Your Brand with Drone Video [Infographic]

The value of video in marketing is no secret, but it’s a crowded space. Getting your audience to not just watch, but keep watching your videos can be challenging. Drone videography offers a solution for producing high-quality video content that is engaging and tells your brand's story in a new way. Here's how drone video can go to work for you.

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Shopping
Technology

Track Your Real World Traffic with Beacons

Well, “big brother” might be a bit of an exaggeration, but beacons are watching, and you should be watching too. I mean, you’re closely monitoring your Google Analytics reports and analyzing that data in an effort to maximize your web presence, aren’t you? You can monitor traffic from your physical customers or visitors too. So why aren’t you trying to maximize your physical presence and track all that foot traffic just like you do online?

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Plains
Technology

Adventures in Encoding

Recently I sent an SD spot to a television station in DG approved MPEG2 specs. I heard from the producer a half an hour later that they requested a H264 QuickTime movie rather than an MP2. I thought, “Really everyone it’s not all that hard to convert a MP2 to a QuickTime movie”.  It seems that many TV stations and others have a set way of doing things and if something is out of their standard operating procedure they just don’t know how to cope with it.

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Sheep
Technology

Extending Umbraco: Contour and Campaign Monitor Integration

I was recently tasked to move our company’s email campaign sends out of our own servers to the Campaign Monitor service. This meant we would need to customize our Umbraco Contour forms to integrate with the Campaign Monitor api. I must admit I was excited. I have admired Umbraco for its flexibility and its extensibility. However, beyond a few simple proof of concepts, I had never gotten a chance to dig in and extend its functionality for a real world application.

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Goat
Technology

A Simple Alternative to Umbraco Courier - Part 2

In my previous post, I described a simple alternative to using Umbraco Courier for basic staging sites and how it could be accomplished through just a few lines of custom code.   In that post, however, I did not cover any means to set and store the host names for which we wanted to display the staging data.

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Action
Technology

Demystifying Video: Color Grading

This is the first in a series of posts I’m writing called Demystifying Video. From the tools and processes we use to the terms we employ to talk about them, the nitty-gritty of producing video can be a little bit intimidating. I’ll let you in on the lingo and help you understand what we do both behind the camera and behind the desk in the edit suite. First up – color grading.

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CMS
Technology

Sitecore 101: Understanding This Powerful CMS

Have you recently found yourself Googling, “What is Sitecore?”  Or maybe you’ve heard about Sitecore and are considering taking the leap of faith into digital adulthood, so your search is something more like, “Why do I need Sitecore?” or “Why is Sitecore important to a business?”  You may even already be a fully matured Sitecore stalwart but are unsure if you’re maximizing its potential. All great questions.  So, lets jump in.

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Cartoon
Technology

Demystifying Video: An Introduction to Motion Graphics

Our “Demystifying Video” blog series continues with an introduction to motion graphics. Missed the other posts in the series? Catch up on Episode 1: Color Grading and Episode 2: Drone Cinematography. From the tools and processes we use to the terms we employ to talk about them, the nitty-gritty of producing video can be a little bit intimidating. In this series, we let you in on the lingo and help you understand what we do both behind the camera and behind the desk in the edit suite.

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Deck Lights
Technology

Deck the Halls with Code

In the holiday spirit, a buddy of mine and I decided to build a project that would bring joy to the world (no pun intended … errrrr … okay, pun intended) and fulfill our need to do something nerdy. As with most of us nerds, our “home” projects usually get left unfinished.

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Steve
Technology

There's an Extension for That

The development team here at Liquid has a wonderful culture.  We have running jokes, make silly banter and rib each other on a regular basis.  We each have “specialties” in the humor department.  Some are masters at dry sarcasm.  Some are masters at self-deprecating humor.  Myself?  My specialties are obscure music references and “Dad Humor.”

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Mac And Phone
Technology

Enterprise UX - The Weakest Link in Mobility

What is Enterprise UX? UX, or User Experience, is a broad term describing a person’s, group’s, community's or populace’s experience with a particular product or service. Enterprise UX narrows down that definition to describe how your employees and partners interact with your internal products or services. For context, any software, hardware, environment or department that employees interact with is a service or product of your organization.

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Sheep
Technology

The Beauty of Belle is Not Just Skin Deep

It’s been 2 years since my first post on integrating campaign monitor with Umbraco.  This spring we at Liquid refreshed our website.  Umbraco V7 (codenamed Belle for its beautiul new UI) had since been released, so it was time to retire our trusty Umbraco 4.x site and move to the world of Umbraco 7.  This change, of course required a custom editor for our mailing list settings.

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Brand Purpose
Marketing

How Defining Your Brand Purpose Drives Performance

The times they are a-changin’. The generation everyone loves to hate on — #millennials — is estimated to now have the most spending power of any generation (Forbes). Millennials make up a good portion if not the majority of the target audience for most brands, and it’s unlikely that yours is the exception.

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Mouse
Marketing

Intro to Heatmaps: Understanding User Experience – Part 1

Attempting to understand how a visitor uses your website by analyzing your web analytics platform alone could cause you to make inaccurate assumptions. Quantitative metrics like bounce rate, conversion rate, time on page, and page load time can help you begin to understand user experience, but when matched with a heatmap, you can truly see the full picture.

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Lights
Marketing

Top 5 Takeaways Everyone Should Know from Liquid’s 2019 Digital Summit

Another successful Liquid Summit is in the books! At our second annual client summit, business executives and their colleagues from leading brands in all industries came together at the ArtsQuest campus for a day packed full of inspiration, education, and connection. The theme of the 2019 Summit was creating innovative customer experiences. Whether you joined us at the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem or missed the event, here are some of the key takeaways: 

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Kid Car
Marketing

How Important is Page Speed for SEO?

Ready. Set. Gone. In the time it took to read that first sentence, people (and search engines) expect your website to be fully loaded. In fact, if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, half of your potential visitors will have given up. That’s why when it comes to websites, Google and other search engines are obsessed with speed. Not only is it a ranking factor from an SEO perspective, but it spills over into user experience (UX) as well. If you think about it logically, this makes sense, too. What good is a beautiful website if visitors never get to it? While there are many factors at play when optimizing your website for SEO, one of them is page speed.

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Typing
Marketing

5 Important SEO Trends in 2019

The SEO industry is a moving target that is constantly changing. As 2019 ramps up, there are some strategies and tactics that can help boost your business and earn you more traffic. Here are 5 trends to consider when looking at 2019.

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Dark Desk
Marketing

Before You Use a QR Code...

Some say QR (short for Quick Response) codes are just a fad, and they’re bound to fail. As marketers scramble to find dozens of ways they can work these scannable barcodes into their materials with little research or thought (because they’re the cool-Web-thing-du-jour), they’re quickly giving QR codes negative attention to the public.

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Overlook
Marketing

The Message is Still the Thing...

When I was 23 years old, fresh out of college and sitting at my first “real” job at a video production house, my boss explained something I’ve never forgotten: “Good video is expensive… Bad video? That’s even MORE expensive.” He then talked about video’s superior ability to tell a story, demonstrate new concepts and share a focused message.

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Spiderweb
Marketing

The Tangled Web We Weave

The problem with most marketing departments is that more often than not, they don’t communicate well with one another. So many times I have run into a setup where one person is responsible for social media, another is responsible for email, yet another is responsible for paid search and so on.

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Skydivers
Marketing

Understanding Marketing's Next Strategic Challenge: Part I

The past several years there has been an increased focus on the need for better performance-based measures in marketing. Most importantly - marketing’s ability to prove the impact it’s making on the business in terms of sales attribution. As a result, terms like “revenue marketing” were coined, books were published and thought leaders emerged. In 2017 we saw widespread acceptance and adoption around this approach to marketing.

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GDPR
Marketing

Tips for Marketers to Prepare for GDPR

Disclaimer: This blog post provides background information to help increase your awareness of the GDPR and improve marketing processes. It is not legal advice. If you or your company has questions around the information in this post and how it specifically applies to your organization, please consult legal counsel.

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B2B
Marketing

B2B Doesn't Exist Anymore

Even in the B2B space, everyone is a consumer. There are typically many people involved in the B2B purchase decision and every single one of them is going to go online to research your business and your brand.

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