It’s Friday and we had some fun in the Schipul offices today! There are tons of Harlem Shake Videos out there on the internet – and we decided to contribute our own!
Get to Know Steve!
Schipul’s unofficial mascot is the Polar Bear. And when former Operations Manager April Kyle (now April Nassi!)Â was looking for a visual reminder to set on someone’s desk when it is their turn to take kitchen duty – she followed suit and purchased a stuffed polar bear and named him Steve.
He has been a part of the Schipul tribe ever since.
Steve’s Many Outfits
In true Schipul fashion, we want to make sure Steve is taken care of in his time here with us. It is my duty (and privilege) to keep up with Steve & maintain his growing wardrobe, which over the years has grown to include outfits for summer, Christmas, business meetings, and of course Halloween.
Steve’s Newest Outfit
Steve’s newest outfit is a special one. Schipul is about to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary as a company! And what is more fitting for a fifteenth birthday than aÂ quinceanera? Appropriately, Steve’s latest frock is a mariachi outfit complete with sombrero and maraca!
Happy Friday the 13th!
Today is Friday the 13th – known as an unlucky dayÂ – but we’re not scared! In honor of today as Friday the 13th, we’ve collected some superstitions from some of the Schipulites. They range from holding your breath while driving by a cemetery to how to choose (and not choose) a potential mate!
Did you know? Fear of Friday the 13th is calledÂ friggatriskaidekaphobia
We asked the Schipulites: Do You Believe in Superstitions?
Check out our video interviewing the Schipulites on their superstitions.
Happy Friday the 13th! We hope it’s not too scary!
Here at Schipul we kinda sorta REALLY â¤ website design. And as a designer, I love spending hours scoping the internet in search of beautiful sites that push the envelope in terms of skill and creativity. I’ve come up with a list of six of my favorite popular web design trends (for designers and non-designers alike!) to catch a glimpse of what’s out there on the web and maybe giveÂ some ideas for anyone thinking about updating their own website!
Scrolly-Scroll is what I like to refer to for sites that seem to go infinitely horizontally or vertically with content built onto just one page. The navigation of the site will not direct you to another page but will take you somewhere else on the homepage. This technique is definitely not for everyone (especially for folks that have a lot of content on their page) but for people with minimal content and a need to stand out from the crowd, Scrolly-Scroll is a fun site option for navigation.
#2. Illustration Skillz
Site Illustration is a growing trend with site design and can be done in a variety of ways – vector graphics, simple hand illustration, collage,Â water color effects. The possibilities with illustration are endless but it’s also important to note that some website illustrations can get too overwhelming and distract from the content. Strong and memorable sites are able to find a happy balance with their illustrative graphics and the content of their website.
#3. Texture Love
Texture is something many designers are beginning to frequently use to add more depth to their layout. Whether texture isÂ just the background or to various elements of the website like buttons, a logo, the navigation, etc., adding texture to a website can make the site feel more personable, tangible, and welcoming.
#4. GINORMOUS Images
For a minimalist effect some site designers go for large images on a page with small navigation that sometimes almost seems secondary. Sites that use large graphics and backgrounds are visually eye catching but may not be the best for navigation and sites with large amounts of content to share. Some sites with large graphics and backgrounds like to add a dynaminc element which changes out the picture periodically, giving the viewer more eye candy.
#5. Type Treatment
Some site designers like to completely shift their focus away from graphics like large images or illustration and focus solely on typography to make their design stand out. This sites give prominence to type by making large words and numbers the sole feature of the layout. Adding texture and using specialty fonts (aka NOT papyrus or comic sans) help draw the viewers eye to the beautiful lettering.
#6. Color Minimalism
Some websites have a minimum color scheme to achieve a certain aesthetic. This simplicity can be nice while others may view the layout as dull and not “pop” out as much as colorful websites. Color minimalism is definitely a personal preference, just like all the other trends I mentioned earlier, and should be used only if it matches the content of your site.
Feel like I forgot to mention a web trend you love? Drop a note in the comments and let us know which trends you’re really loving right now!
When did the word “athlete” become a label? Or maybe its just always been and we had not taken a moment to notice.
What does it take to be considered an athlete? Running in a marathon?Â Competing in the Olympics?Â Â Winning a medal?
Maybe its none of the above. Maybe it is all.
In my opinion, anyone who gets out, is active AND especially has passion, can beÂ consideredÂ an athlete.
People exercise for various reasons: weight loss, healthier lifestyle, feeling/looking better..
Whatever the reason, those people have a passion to be able toÂ succeedÂ in something they have set their mind too.
And guess what?!? Yes, some peopleÂ exercise justÂ for fun!
I recently started getting into workout regimes such as Insanity and P90x. These are the programs that everyone sees on infomercials and usually thinks “HAHAHA, yeah right, NO way!” And Guilty as Charged, I was one of those people.
Which brings me to my next and last point: The 2011 Metro Dash
A 30 element obstacle course that tests physical and mental limits.
Trying something new is scary, thoughts of failing can be even more daunting but in the end, accomplishment really is a warm, fuzzy feeling. You never know what you can do until you try. Don’t knock it ’till you try it!
Quotes Build Culture
Part of the culture here at Schipul is to “Learn and share knowledge”, and one of our favorite ways to do that is sending a “Quote of the day” out to our entire office. In fact, we love quotes so much that we have an entire page dedicated to quotes. Sending out and make quotes a part of your company culture can lead to some quotes of your very own! Here are a few “Schipulisms” you may hear when you come to visit us:
“New guys don’t have names.”
Servant leadership is a key consideration when we hire at Schipul. In Ed Schipul’s article “What are People Paid for?” he talks about how doing small tasks relates to how someone will handle a large task. With that in mind, we affectionately refer to a new hire as “New Guy” as they learn the ropes and take on servant leadership style tasks.
Quoting around the office can also help instill core values. Here are some more Schipulisms that do just that:
“Security is #1”
“Trust, but verify.”
“Ease of use changes behavior.”(As a side note, we never miss the opprotunity for a good “That’s What She Said” around the office 😉 )
Quotes can Inspire, Motivate, and Deepen your Understanding of the World Around you.
He has achieved success–Bessie Anderson Stanley, 1904
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;
who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,
the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children;
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others
and given them the best he had;
whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.
That inspires me. It encourages me to stop for a second and really think about what I am reading. How do I measure my success? Are my priorities in the right order to accomplish some of the beautiful truths laid out in this quote? I can confidently say that if I had not read that today, I may have not thought about these things.
How to Write a Good “Quote of the Day” Email
So, now that you’ve gotten inspired and are ready to craft an email that will inspire everyone around you, let’s take a look at some handy tips from our very own Ed Schipul about how to compose a great quote of the day email:
- It should be positive.
- It should be a concise encapsulation of a concept that helps people.
- It should be able to stand alone without further explanation or editorial.
- It should do good.
- It should be simple in words, although frequently quite complex in thought.
- It should be in the default font if possible to keep it consistent and emphasize the words, not formatting.
- It can come from *anyone* within the company. Or even a friend outside.
- Feel free to copy external people if you think it will be a positive thing for all.
- It should be FUN and make you feel good sending it out.
Things to avoid, although this is hard, but try to avoid.
- If you have to say “I am sending this quote out because….” or “xyz situation made me want to send this out….” then it is NOT a quote of the day. Those are emails with related quotes in them really, right?
- Snarky and mean spirited humor is frequently quite funny, but it is NOT quote of the day material. Those are joke emails, not QoDs. OK?
- Delete your footer. Anything that creates visual clutter is bad. So remove ALL text of the email except the quote, the author and perhaps link the author name to the source of the quote.
Here is an example:
Subject: Quote of the Day – Resourcefulness
“The defining factor is never resources, it is resourcefulness.” – Tony Robbins
Note the subject consistently starts with exactly “Quote of the Day” so people can create inbox rules to save or file them.
Note there are two spaces above and two spaces below the quote. This makes it stand out visually both when you open the email and on Outlook preview.
Finally, check out this presentation by Enjoy Work to get you started with some awesome quotes:
Want more quotes? Check out our Schipul quote page!
Haven’t had the guts to ask your boss for an iPad yet? Wish you had one… um, you know, for work? It would be sweet, right? The ipad2 will be available for purchase on March 11th so here’s what you need to know.
Haven’t had the guts to ask your boss for an iPad yet?Â Wish you had one… um, you know, for work?Â It would be sweet, right?Â Well, even if you’re still swooning over smooth display screen and the dozens of other amazing features of the iPad, perhaps it’s better that you’ve held off.
The New iPad2 had been revealed and you have just enough time to convince your most favorite-est boss in the world that it is imperative that you have one for the good of the business.Â (And it has TWO cameras, just check out the specs!)
So, what’s good, iPad2?
The truth is, smart devices such as the iPad2 are great for many businesses and employees; being connected in the office or on the go makes huge differences in the way we do business. Â The iPad2 will be available for purchase on March 11th so here’s what you need to know.
1.Â Knowledge Sharing
Many consumers are huge fans of the iPad already because it is a great learning tool.Â Students can take notes, download reading material, put together presentations, and stay organized by being able to track project with the ipad.Â Hey now, doesn’t that sound like it can be used in the office?
- Share notes and books/book reading apps
- Share and send reports
- Put together proposals
- Share and distribute training materials
- Set up meetings
- Take photos
- Keep track of opportunities and sales
2.Â Takin’ Care of Business
I’ve got one thing to say to you, TCB.Â Every boss wants multi-tasking employees who can Take Care of Business.Â The iPad2 is a TCB rock star.Â Easy to use apple business apps or iWork apps are available from $9.99 each (some apps are free) and let you conduct business from anywhere, even print – all with a touch of your finger from the iPad2 .Â Want more reasons?
- iWork:Â Pages, Keynote and Numbers applications
- Professional:Â Spreadsheets, Financial Reports, Mock Designs/Sites and Presentations.
- Skype: Conduct business meetings or share your screen for training
- Media:Â Video Presentations and stunning graphs, charts, and presentations.
- Email:Â I think we all get the importance of email in today’s work place and lifestyle.
- Access: Access documents on your company network and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
3.Â Staying Connected
What better way to help brand yourself and stay connected to work, clients and networking connections than social media; and with the iPad2, you can do this from anywhere!Â Respond to client inquiries, concerns or mentions on the internet instantly.Â Photos and updates on work related news and events can be sent out anytime, anyplace.Â Social Media connections also allows you to put in virtual facetime with connections as well as personalized correspondence.
- iTunes (want to transfer iTunes to the iPad2?)
Your boss won’t have to worry about information security once he buys you an ipad2 either.Â The new iPad2 has great security features that I only wish my laptop or phone came with.Â Apple’s MobileMe can perform all the security functions you need from one spot.
- Find my iPad App
- Remote Lock
- Remote Wipe
I can’t talk about security without mentioning the gorgeously geeky and functional new iPad2 magnetic cover.Â This thing is awesome and has more moves than a “Saturday Night Fever” television marathon (which you could watch in HD quality on an iPad2 – just sayin’).
5.Â Social Objects
Social objects areÂ the reason we correspond, socialize and contact one another.Â What social objects do you, your boss, clients or audience share?
- User Experience Stories and Photos
- Product Photos
- Promotional Materials
- Company Brands
Share something socially, build business and create connections (sounds like a job for the iPad2).
So, let your boss know that “going forward, in order to put all of your ducks in a row, you’ll need a new iPad2 to help you think outside the box and bring your A-game.Â The iPad2 is already on his radar so it’s best to push the envelope and get one for you.”
For those with an iPad now, learn How to Transfer your iTunes to from an iPad to the new iPad2!
If logic doesn’t get you an iPad2, you can always try puppy eyes…iPad_2 and .melanie under the Creative Commons License.
I’ve been ranting and raving about it like a crazy woman since the eventÂ made its U.S. debut in Houston last Friday. And I’ve been twice since – and I’m planning a third trip this evening. It’s that good.
Red Bull Illume is a worldwide action and adventure sports photography competition. Â More than 22,000 images were submitted to the contest of which 50 finalists were chosen by a panel of 53 photo experts. Â The photos from those finalists are the Red Bull Illume exhibit.
When – 6-10pm each night through Jan. 17
Price – Free – absolutely Free. You’re welcome.
The Scene – 50 photos aligned in neat rows on 4-ft tall illuminated displays; a DJ and free Red Bull with beautiful Discovery Green as a back drop. Priceless.
How to do it right –
- Make it a date ! The cold weather gives you Â are reason to get close. The photos give you something to talk about. The music makes great filler for potential awkward silences.
- Grab a free copy of the program. It’s pretty and features a print of each Â photo, the photographer and the story of how they got the shot.Â (For my photography nerds – the technical details for each photo are included as well (Camera, Lens, ISO, F-stop and Shutter Speed) – I’d faint if the histogram was included.)
- Dress warm with cozy shoes – it’s chilly this weekend in Houston and the exhibit is on the lawn.
- Check out some other attractions at Discovery Green to tailor your experience even more!
- Post photos from your trip to the Discovery Green flickr!
As we come to the end of 2010, I’d like to take a look at the fastest growing segment of social media this year, Location.
There are 3 you should know, but you only need 2
Location is dominated by three major companies, Foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR. You only really need Gowalla and SCVNGR. Gowalla now allows you to check-in on Foursquare. All that means is you no longer have to choose between the two, and Gowalla has always been more fun and had more functionality, although Foursquare’s recent update evened that playing field.
As for SCVNGR, I see it becoming the eventual winner of all three. It gives users more freedom to create ways to interact with different locations, and is just more fun to use.
It will NEVER be okay to check-in to your house
Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, add your home to any of these services. This would also include never checking into your apartment complex or building. It’s irresponsible, dangerous and just plain STUPID. Get your home off these services ASAP if you were ignorant enough to create the location. It should go without saying that you should never add your friend’s home either.
Seriously, don’t be an idiot.
Privacy shouldn’t be an issue
Of course, you don’t want everyone to know where you are at all times of the day. Using these services effectively does not require you check in EVERYWHERE. The whole point of these of the check-in is to share an experience at or with a particular location. If you’re not in the sharing mood, don’t check in! 🙂
Share on Facebook and Twitter . . . sparingly
All of the apps will allow you to share your activity via Facebook and Twitter. #1 thing to know is you should turn off ALL automatic updates. Everything you do one these services is of interest to your friends and followers. Generally speaking, you only want to share those instances where there is a point to you being at a particular location. This is a really gray area, and one that even I don’t really get right all of the time. However, you need to go into using these apps with the understanding that sometimes the activity is for these apps only. Common sense should be enough for you to figure this out on your own.
Those people annoy me too
You, I, someone we all know are one of those people from time to time. And that makes the thought of checking in everywhere you go another opportunity to be one of those people. I’ve been thinking about this lately as I have started using Gowalla and SCVNGR more and more. My tip for you here is to check in BEFORE you walk into somewhere. Before leaving your car, do all of your checking in.
One of the goals of these services is to provide insider information for different locations like bars and restaurants. What to order, what to drink, etc. If you take the time to peruse this information BEFORE you walk in, you look that much better when you walk in like you own the joint.
Always remember, Location, Location, Location
The purpose of these services is to share your experiences at a particular location. Use them when those stories happen. Have a great meal? Share a special memory? Share it with your friends! And as always, HAVE FUN!
Happy New Year from your friends at Schipul!
Help us decide our 2010 champion. Vote on the best looking Schipul Christmas Sweater Outfit today!
Congratulations to our winners for best sweater and best caption!
Sweater Contest Winner: David Stagg “The Elf Playboy”
Caption Winners: Chilly- 1st Place | Nicole – Runner-Up
In honor of our attractiveness (and, really, our complete inability to be impartial in choosing the most attractive outfit), we’re putting it up for you all to vote on. Help us decide our winner! Peruse the candidates and vote at the bottom. Leave a comment with a caption of your fave Schipul sweater for a chance to win a $15 Starbucks gift card!
David Stagg – The Elf Playboy
David Stagg pranced in here with quite the vest this season, sporting multiple active Santas in a variety of sleepwear. Under the vest is quite the cozy cream sweater embossed with iron-on presents trimmed in fabric paint, and a large forest green Christmas tree made of ribbons, rubies and red bows. And to top off what is soon to be every girlâ€™s fantasy, a hat with cut-out felt elf ears, a single jingle bell and lovely hand-stitched embroidery that reads, â€œJingle This.â€ – assume what you must.
Aaron Long – Bad Santa
Aaron Long has taken a more traditional approach this December with the ever so popular cherry red coat and Santa hat. As you may have guessed, the suit is carefully lined with soft, white fabric leaving many to believe his presence is that of an angel. Bringing a more modern feel to the garment, he has added a silver zipper from the chest to the neckline which only solidifies the fact that everyone loves a good zipper. While he has foregone the beard this season, we believe that his golden salt and pepper locks have made up for his lack of facial hair.
Courtney Pemberton – Grandma Coco
Courtney Pemberton has channeled her inner grandma this Christmas and opted for the classic red cardigan with two sequined, embroidered snow globes. Each snow globe has been carefully sewn to tell a story about a jolly man named Santa embracing his best friend Rudolphâ€¦who of course, can stand upright due to his sweet dancing skills. Adding a bit more pizazz to the garment are 20 fabric-glued snowflakes accompanied with individual brooches that include a dog holding a bone, an assumingly drunk Santa Claus, 2 bears playing footsy and a cat tangled in Christmas lights. To bring the outfit together, a Grinch T-shirt resides under the cardigan and of course, the beloved Trapper hat has been placed upon the head for final effect.
Ben Gillin – Creepy Christmas Neighbor
Ben Gillin in channeling his inner redneck this year wearing a somewhat smoked, cherry red, house robe. You can’t miss this flamboyantly styled A-line hem with Santa Claus, candy canes and gum drops galore lining the inner fabric. The hood reflects an Avant-garde mood and is a perfect addition for fetching the newspaper in the rain. If conservative is more your style, this outfit offers flexibility with a built-in belt to keep everyone guessing at all times.
Derek Key – Wise Ol’ Candy Cane
Derek Key is relating to young and old alike this season with his hand woven sweater vest accompanied with an abnormally small pocket detail. The sweater comes just above the belt line proving that this garment can be purchased at 10 and worn till you’re at least 35. Iconic images of sailboats, stockings and Christmas cheer add just enough spunk and that abnormally small pocket – well, it’s perfect for holding pennies.
After you vote – leave a comment with a funny caption of the Schipul sweater of your choice. The Schipulites will pick their favorite on Tuesday, December 28th and send off a $15 Starbucks gift card!