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Nice UX: The Rubadub App

Congratulations to Digital Media student Michael Loader for his recent publication on Medium. This piece was written for the ‘Analysing Effective Experience’ Assessment as apart of User Experience at Macleay College, Melbourne.

A quick background

Rubadub Records is a Glasgow-based record store & label that opened its doors in 1992. To music enthusiasts, collectors and DJs, Rubadub is iconic — particularly in the spaces of electronic music.

The store is widely known for its ability to introduce quality & undiscovered techno, house, disco, reggae, hip-hop (and everything in between) to the wider community.

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Credit: Wesley Gibbs

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Resident Adviser — Rubadub: 25 years later feature

 

These days, the store’s output is easily reachable beyond Europe with its online store that sells both records & music equipment such as turntables, modular synths & drum machines.

This means people like me (I am a bit of a fan) who live 16,000 km away, can easily access the goods.

Earlier this year, Rubadub increased their digital presence with the help of the team at Green Hill Digital, by creating the Rubadub App.

 

The purpose

As Green Hill highlight in their case study, there was no point simply recreating the online store in app-form when the mobile-site was already perfectly functional.

The mobile application had to have its own purpose. It needed to be a space where music-heads can discover fresh releases in a organic and random way.

“We tried to recreate the shop experience where you get fed tunes you wouldn’t normally listen to.”

Rubadub’s co-owner Wilba Sandieson mentions over email.

The app is available on IOS & android.

Music for heads and feet

The apps intention is to deliver an experience that mirrors the way one would flick through vinyl, select a pile and then listen to those records in a physical brick & motor store.

While this is a ecommerce app in which one user-journey ends with a purchase , I personally feel the success of the app comes down to the listening, discovering and the overall ‘digging’ experience, rather than the quantity of sales.

So, let’s have a look…

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Initially I (the user) am greeted with two clear options, Sign in or Sign up.

The apps ecommerce system was purposely integrated with the existing site meaning account holders of Rubadub.co.uk already have an account.

Additionally, this means all payments through the app go through the same system as the website. Meaning no further stock work on the backend for the Rubadub team!

Anyway, as a new user, I select Sign up.

I fill four form fills, tap the boxes, enter the information. Done.

Already in, no email confirmation needed ✓

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‘Killer vinyl recommendations tailored and fed directly to you’.

 

Next appears a four slide series that introduces the app and its features.

  • Intro: Logo and clear copy that delivers the purpose of the app.
  • Listen: Recognisable ‘sound icon’ and copy informing me of the ‘swipe’ function as well as the exclusive value I should expect in the app (ie: staff favs).
  • Save: introduces ‘❤’ icon— a bookmark style feature that allows you put aside your favourites. This also feeds the algorithm data about your personal music tastes, allowing it to cater for you more accurately as time goes on.
  • Buy: Informing you of the store function and ability to purchase records for delivery.

A nice trustworthy and contrasting blue button then leads me to get started, LET’S GO.

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Left: Music playing (great album) | Middle: Info pop-up | Right: Track pauses when cover-art is tapped

Interface

For me, the UI works nicely. The minimalistic layout keeps things simple and obvious. It roles with the model of a typical music player so things straight away feel familiar.

Additionally, the small use of colour provides the cover-art with the spotlight. The music playing is the most important factor here so this makes total sense.

The detailed description (INFO) is a nice touch that sits discretely as a pop-up that you can quickly exit back to the track (The 2 minute music previews are never interrupted).

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Left: Saved Items | Middle: Items in shopping cart | Right: Sign Out page

 

The nav-bar sits nicely as the footer making it in thumbs-reach no matter what sized device you own 👍

Any call-to-action buttons relating to purchases are green — this makes the action you are taking very obvious throughout. The ‘listen again’ is a great addition as most people may not remember every saved record by name or visual alone.

If a record is out-of-stock, the user will be notified well before they can purchase, avoiding any frustration.

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Killer recommendations

As for the actual discovering of music, it does well.

Shown in the image above, tapping the white arrows pans through the different tracks in a particular EP (in this case Krikor’s Pacific Alley In Dub).

Swiping left takes you to the next (random) record awaiting, while swiping right simply takes you back to the previous piece of music.

This allows you to effortlessly find new music, save it and then continue discovering all in one, uninterrupted flow.

Overall

The app has done an amazing job at expanding the Rubadub record searching experience beyond the walls of the Scottish shop.

While it clearly cannot replace the feeling of physically flicking through records, talking-music with staff or whatever moment of serendipity real-life throws at you, it certainly delivers as an awesome digital alternative.

I am personally excited to see where they take the application next with more features planned to be added.

I also look forward to what the future brings as other stores and businesses in the vinyl community embrace new technologies.

 

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By Michael Loader
Diploma of Digital Media

It’s About The Content Experience

Congratulations to Macleay College lecturer Zeina Khodr for her recent publication in  B&T Magazine. In her opinion piece (below) Zeina recaps her recent visit to the 8th Content Marketing World Conference in Cleveland and discusses why marketers need to think beyond ‘marketing’ their ‘content’.

 

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F#*K content marketing, it’s about the content experience.

This isn’t me making a statement – it was emblazoned on a stand in the expo hall, but it’s a statement that resonates.

In fact, I even Instagrammed it.

For the second year running, I made the long-haul to Cleveland to attend the 8thContent Marketing World 2018.

I’m amongst over 4,000 marketers in attendance and immersed in the content game, and it seems the conference has moved past its own name because I realise pretty quickly it’s no longer just about content marketing.

This content gig is getting harder to do, and harder to do right.

Over the last few days I’ve spent some time kicking the tyres of AI-driven content, sitting in on a hardcore AI masterclass learning how to use R and Python, wading through spreadsheets of social sentiments and navigating IBM Watson.

I know for sure what many of us have long felt creeping up – our creativity, no matter how brilliant, can only get us so far anymore.

We need to marry that with data and insights, and get ourselves sorted in these respects damn quickly if we want to keep up and cut through.

AI is still something that gives people the creeps, and marketers are still navigating ways around this.

Most are not prepared for how big a game changer this is going to be, and understand very little about the impact AI will have on their business as a whole, let alone their marketing.

This year, the newest addition to the conference program focused on tech, platforms and data.

In fact, you would have felt right at home if you were a data-scientist and probably a little out of your depth if you were a straight-up creative.

Conversational Marketing made its debut but is still in its early phases.

We’re rapidly moving from the era of ‘search’ to the era of ‘ask’.

Figuring out how to take your SEO-driven and optimized content and make it relevant for conversational marketing is still a far-off reality for most marketers.

But the rise of voice-assistants and the proliferation of voice, in general, will bring this to a head. Need to unlock an Alexa skill for your brand?

Emerging megatrends had a strong presence in the conference content and expo hall – it was all about AI (yes it’s a big category), Immersive Experience (AR) and digital platforms. Yet the biggest surprise was perhaps the slight reluctance of content creators and marketers to deep dive. Most of the breakout sessions had a smattering of attendees while long lines formed for the intro sessions. The sentiment was that this stuff is hard, complex and most are still wrapping their heads around it, and will likely need to get their digital peeps on board.

My fellow Aussie, Natalie Giddings from The Remarkables presented an excellent session on Influencer Marketing with standing room only. So yeah, marketers are still grappling with some of the fundamentals.

My feelings on this? You can’t expect your creatives (the marketers and content creators) to become experts on this stuff overnight.

They’re right to feel overwhelmed – it is new territory, complex and difficult. But you do have a duty to help them grapple with what the industry is facing and form tighter alignment between digital and creative teams to give them the insights that will help them navigate this new landscape.

If you don’t work to bring them up to speed, you do them a disservice and risk them being left behind as the industry moves on, and you will be unable to provide a service to your clients that is cutting-edge and forward thinking.

With proliferating customer touch-points, what marketers should most care about is consistency across all channels and the content experience their users have at every point along the brand journey.

Whether you’re an insurance company or an FMCG brand, creating and managing content is a team sport and no longer the realm of clever content creators and storytelling.

Having just written the Digital Content Writing course for Macleay College and in the early stages of mapping out a Masterclass for Content Marketers for the Australian Marketing Institute, I’ll be rethinking some of the materials but knowing the fundamentals don’t change.

You absolutely have to focus on the audience and make it meaningful, but you also need to push your ideas forward and explore, with confidence and credibility, the new technologies available to you if you want the delivery of your ideas to remain interesting, relevant and most critically create curiosity.

So yeah, F#*K content marketing.

And remember that the universal truth still remains – whatever bit of ‘content’ you’re ‘marketing’, focus on the content and audience experience and make it meaningful. Audience attention can’t be bought, it’s earned over time.

This is a long game.

 

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By Zeina Khodr
Content Writing Lecturer, Advertising & Media

This article was originally published by B&T Magazine on 12 September, 2018.

THE MELBOURNE AD-VANTAGE

Melbourne students, launch your creative career with Macleay’s one-year Diploma of Advertising & Media just like these successful graduates have.

Aislin Mcleod came to Macleay College from what she describes as an “impersonal” university. She was excited by the possibility of a class environment where the lecturers knew your name and took the time to discuss teaching and learning with you.

Before Aislin came to Macleay, she had already set up her own successful social media blog, The Beauty Collection – so she was naturally drawn to the digital and social media subjects in the advertising course. Aislin excelled in her studies and gained valuable know-how and experience to continue to see her blog becoming a go-to beauty resource for Australian women.

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Aislin Mcleod (left) during her studies at Macleay with Melbourne coordinator Chris Hewson (centre) and fellow student Gianni Piccolo.

Soraya Darwish was “desperate to get out of the hospitality game” and hoped Macleay’s Advertising and Media course would be the catalyst for that change.

With extensive real-world experience and enthusiasm, Soraya quickly made an impression on her lecturers, but she was unsure which creative discipline to pursue. One of Macleay’s lecturers suggested account management, a career choice requiring great verbal and written communication and a strong customer focus. At first reluctant, Soraya soon realised that an account executive role would not only be a dynamic career choice but one reflective of her vibrant personality.

Within months of graduation from Macleay, Soraya landed her first account executive role with Melbourne’s AJF Partnership.

Tell me more

Macleay’s new Melbourne campus sits right in the heart of the city’s thriving café, entertainment and agency precinct near Flinders Street Station. Macleay offers innovative and specialised courses in business, journalism, digital media and advertising – all tailored to meet the rapidly evolving needs of these industries.

The one-year Diploma of Advertising and Media is exclusive to Macleay and one of only two course providers in Australia offering a Higher Education Diploma award that can articulate successfully into a two-year Bachelor’s degree.

The Diploma qualification runs over three trimesters and entry is via interview, not ATAR. On completion, graduates can launch a career in either advertising or media, or use the Diploma as an entry point for further study. It can also help fast-track those who have previously studied graphic design, creative writing, psychology, marketing or communications directly into jobs in advertising and media agencies.

What will I learn?

Unlike other advertising courses, the Macleay diploma offers a complete overview of the job opportunities in the advertising and media industries. This includes creative, accounts, media, digital, marketing, social media and design.

Students learn the importance of research and strategic thinking alongside the practical creative and digital production know-how needed to launch a successful career. Macleay offers job-relevant, university-level learning that combines theory with hands-on skills as a practical entry point to a career.

Why Macleay?

Class sizes at Macleay are small and personalised (maximum size of 25 students) compared to the big universities such as RMIT and Swinburne – and Macleay students are taught by working  industry professionals rather than university academics.

The recent government QILT survey (Quality Indicators for Learning & Teaching) ranked Macleay’s teaching quality at 90.5%, around 10% above the national average and higher than many Melbourne universities. While traditional universities can struggle to develop and deliver up-to-date, industry-relevant content, Macleay students learn from industry specialists equipped with the current knowledge and skills sought by employers.

Macleay’s internship program complements the industry-focused learning by mentoring students to gain real-world experience with an advertising agency, media company or creative studio. Students also attend a variety of industry events and visit agencies and production companies to build their networks and increase their chance of employment.

If the Diploma of Advertising & Media could be the next step in your creative career, chat with one of our careers advisors by calling 1300 939 888 or emailing study@macleay.edu.au.

 

Chris-Hewson
By Chris Hewson
Melbourne Coordinator & Lecturer

Banner image:
Back row (left to right): Michael Loader, Andrew Warren.
Front row (left to right): Tareen Winter, Jennifer Van Merkesteijn, Jasmine Tambouras, Stephanie Vitacca, Nathan Kleinig.

Creating a Positive Disruption: #PozPots

Disruption can take a lot of shapes and forms. For Macleay College students, it recently involved #PozPots – a student-run event where participants were invited to decorate plant pots with positive imagery and messages. After the paint had dried, students planted a seed, then gifted their creations to a stranger – hoping to brighten their day!

The event was a huge success, with many students (and staff) dropping in throughout the day to join in on the fun. The creators of the project are now hoping to spread the word, and using the hashtag #PozPots help raise awareness around mental health worldwide.

It’s easy to do. Just get some friends together, buy some seeds, paint a pot along the theme of the positive word, then plant the seed and give the plant to someone who could benefit from a kind word (and a colourful pot).

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#PozPots was created by the Relevant Disruption and Engagment class (pictured).  Left to Right: Ian Thomson (lecturer), Brittany Hughes, Rebecca Wilson, Jahla Lawson-Bryant, Chelsea Stewart and Sam-Tsun Ma.

Follow the project online at the PozPots Facebook page.

More Major Project Presentations

Macleay College’s Bachelor of Advertising and Digital Media final year students recently celebrated the presentation of their major projects. The students presented to an industry panel that included Kristy Chilman from the Brand Architect and the marketing consultant Louise Chamberlain.

The student projects included:

SheFit Mockup

SheFit , a new women’s fitness app developed by Madison Pinkus.

 

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Project Pawsible, a campaign by Madeline Khalil to reduce the stray dog population in Bali.

 

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ReconGeneration, a program to introduce indigenous ingredients to community gardens in schools developed by Mitchell Dodds.

 

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L&S, a new skateboard company by Peter Bieri, creating boards for girls – designed by girls.

Major Project is the capstone unit of the Bachelor of Advertising and Media and prepares graduating students as they launch themselves into the industry. Based on their skills and passions, students are asked to plan, manage and execute all the stages of an original piece of work, to a high professional standard. The project can be: creative (print, audio, moving image etc); a digital media project (app, game, web, video, animation, interactive, social media):  strategic media project; or a marketing or account management project.

Click here for more information about the Advertising and Media course on offer at Macleay College.

#macleaycollege #advertising

Pictured above:
Graduating students (back row left to right): Peter Bieri, Mitchell Dodds, Madison Pinkus and Madeline Khalil. Industry Panel (front row left to right): Kristy Chilman from the Brand Architect and the marketing consultant Louise Chamberlain.

Guest Lecture by Simon Blangiardo: Digital Strategist at Straight Out Digital

The Advertising & Digital Media students at Macleay College Melbourne were given another great opportunity to hear from someone who has started up their own agency – something that scares a lot of us.

Simon “SIMO/BALD EAGLE” Blangiardo is the Digital Strategist of Straight Out Digital.

Straight Out Digital describe themselves as a ‘kick-ass digital agency that believes design doesn’t need to be compromised when adding in digital strategy and goals.’

Simon told us all about how he got to where he is today; from early students days, to his first job being an Account Director, to now working in the digital world.

It was really cool to learn about how things work in the digital industry and how it’s important to stay on top of everything because of how fast technology and social media is moving.

He delved deep into the services Straight Out Digital offer, especially focusing on SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

The digital world seems like a pretty scary (but also extremely awesome) place to live in.

Definitely check out their awesome website to see what they’re all about and all the crazy stuff they get to do on a daily basis!

 

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By Jasmine Tambouras
Bachelor of Advertising & Media

Guest Lecture by Ben Fettes: Co-Founder & Head of Strategy at The Lumery

The Advertising & Digital Media students at Macleay College Melbourne were lucky enough to be visited by Co-founder and Head of Strategy at The Lumery, Ben Fettes. The Lumery is a full-service customer experience agency that specialises in marketing and advertising technology. They make the connections between people, process, data and technology.

Ben spoke about how he started out creating his own agency and how The Lumery works. He mentioned that he first studied  Marketing & Advertising but left university early and took an extra 6 months gap until he landed a job at Clemenger BBDO Advertising Agency in Melbourne.

He and a friend often joked about starting up their own agency and working by their own rules. One night after a few too many drinks, they decided to turn their jokes into a reality. They knew everything was on the line, but they were willing to take that chance.

It took a bunch of sleepless work nights to get to where they are today – a year and a half later from their original idea at the beginning.

Ben gave us a sneak peek at what The Lumery can do for their clients. It was quite interesting to see all the website data that can actually be seen from the client end. It was also a little bit creepy to know that all that data is kept forever and that someone can see exactly what we are doing and what we are looking for.

It was interesting that they can also personalise sites for the consumer that is online at any given moment.

It was super cool to see what goes on behind the scenes and all the strategy that goes into it. Being able to find out all the different aspects of an agency really made us all excited to see what is in our own futures in regards to working in agency after graduation.

We’re all super thankful for this opportunity to witness first-hand the ins and outs of the advertising industry.

 

 

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By Jasmine Tambouras
Bachelor of Advertising & Media