Organizations today are spoilt for choice when it comes to online collaboration tools. The market for document-centric team collaboration software alone is expected to grow 10% from 2018 to 2023. It’s clearly not a question of whether a solution is available, but of which tools are most suitable to meet a company’s needs.
Whether small or large, remote or on-site, teams can use online collaboration tools to share ideas, streamline workflow, track progress, and communicate more effectively. Many of these tools are designed to be scalable, making them attractive for planning and implementing on both personal and enterprise-level projects.
We put together a list of 50 team collaboration tools that can be deployed in both small and large group settings. These tools offer multiple functionalities, but we’ve categorized them according to their main purpose.
We’ll also list the best features of each online collaboration tool, as well as their prices, where available.
Events. They come in all shapes and sizes, but at the end of the day are meant to gather people in a genuine and bonafide human connection kind of way. If you’re organizing one, your task is this – get the attention of your audience and convince them to come to your event. What better way to do this than with a beautifully designed flyer?
Despite having 20+ flyers for you to choose from within Piktochart, we get that some of you will want to design your own event flyer from scratch. So in this tutorial, we’ll be teaching you to do just that.
How to Create An Event Flyer in Just 5 Minutes - YouTube
If you prefer learning through a video format, you can watch the video tutorial above. Or, we’ve also created a step-by-step guide for you to follow as well.
Let’s Make An Event Flyer!
Today, we’ll be designing together the below event flyer that is eye-catching and has quite the artistic flair.
Start off by setting a background color that corresponds to your branding or event color palette. If you aren’t working with any particular brand colors, think about the theme of your event and select your colors accordingly.
You can set this up by selecting ‘Background’ in the panel and then type a HEX color code in.
Next, you can add some text to your event flyer. You can do this by clicking on the text tool panel. In this case, we’ll be adding a title for your flyer which is “2018.”
You can change the color of your font easily through the color drop down menu as seen below. Don’t feel limited by the colors we’ve displayed here, you can always add your own colors by entering in HEX codes.
Remember, you can change your font by choosing from a list of Google fonts in the font drop down menu, as seen below. In this case, we are going to change it to ‘Abel.’
As for scaling your text, you can either use the font size menu next to fonts. The quickest way to do this is to hold down the ‘Shift’ key, while dragging the little dots on the side of the text box.
Now it’s time to add some structure, and we can do this by adding some dividing lines. This is a great way to break up your visuals while giving structure to your compositions and layout.
To do this, click on the ‘Graphics’ panel on the left and click on lines. From there on, you’ll be able to drag it onto the canvas. By default, lines are in black, so you can change it to white by using the color tool. You can also adjust it whether you’d like your lines to be solid, dashed, or dotted – and also do some dragging on the corners of the boxes to modify the width of your lines.
Now we can add extra elements such as QR codes, social handles, and other icons which will make it easy for people to learn more about your event or contact you. You can do this by browsing through the icon library, which is housed under the ‘Graphics” panel, and search for what you need.
You’ll also want to consider adding your website URL at the bottom of the flyer to make it even easier for your audience to reach you. You can also put the URL in all capital letters, and play around with letter spacing for a cool visual effect.
5. Photo Frame
In this particular event flyer design, we’re going to add a brush shape which will double as a photo frame. It’ll add a fun, artsy flourish to your flyer, and also act as a focal point for your audience. To do this, head again over to the ‘Graphics’ panel, click on ‘Photo Frame,’ and then select the brush stroke image and drag it onto the canvas.
To add an image to the brush shape, head over to ‘Photos’ where you can select from Piktochart’s gallery of built-in gallery of images, which are all royalty free. Simply use the search bar to find a photo you’re looking for. In this case, we are going to select something car related.
Next, change the overlay to green and lower the opacity to 50% for our car photo that’s hidden underneath to become visible.
6. Color Schemes
A way to quickly change the look of your flyer is to use a feature called ‘Color Schemes.’ You can either choose from our predefined color schemes for this particular poster, or you can create a brand new one made up of your brand colors. The sky’s the limit with this one.
Time To Make Your Own!
So there we have it! A beautiful and actionable event flyer created in just under 5 minutes. Now it’s time to try these new skills on for size by making your own.
Luckily in Piktochart, we have a bunch of professionally designed flyer templates for a variety of event themes and moods. So whatever great event you’re trying to pull off, we have you covered.
Imagine that you work in education, and your role as a training consultant has you focusing on developing the likes of course materials, presentations, and videos. So naturally, when there comes the need for marketing and communications related initiatives, the work would fall into your inbox.
For one of our users Eunice Ng, the Principal Consultant with the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute in Singapore, she focuses mainly on running training sessions and developing the course material for them. She is also expected to do a bit of marketing in her role, which can be tough if you’ve been specializing in learning and development your entire career.
Luckily for Eunice, she is comfortable with channeling her inner artist so she didn’t take much of an issue with tackling marketing work.
“I have always been a visual person. When information is presented in a visually appealing way, I feel happy. When I was in school, I used to write and draw my notes out.
Others would think I was just doodling, but I actually would draw my notes out in order to help me remember. It just helps me think, and I still do that at work – I am always doodling on my iPad during meetings,” she said.
The interesting thing is, amidst her doodling, Eunice found that she would come up with a myriad of ideas and solutions in this way. She likens the infographic as the “digital version” of her notes and believes that the strength of the infographic lies in its ability to combine information with graphics to tell a story, which is useful for her marketing work.
When asked to “revive” the organization’s internal communications, Eunice knew that she wanted to use infographics to communicate messages that were convincing and easy to understand. So she Googled ‘How To Create Infographics’ and came across Piktochart – which she deemed “easier to use than the others.”
She would need an easy-to-use visual tool to help her resuscitate those newsletters after all.
“Our newsletters used to be in prose form, long paragraphs of descriptions which nobody read in my opinion. Although they were well-written words, they are certainly not eye-catching enough and I think we get put off by too many words on the screen,” said Eunice.
“Based on my personal experience, I hate to hunker down and read the words on the screen, I prefer to be able to get to the gist of the message instead of reading it in full detail. Which is why I believe that infographics do well – it presents the main message and details quickly.”
Then, Eunice was also asked to create an “internal circular,” which is a document for organizational announcements from upper management. The circular was urgent, so she quickly used an existing template on Piktochart and was able to push out the circular within two hours.
The idea behind this particular circular was to communicate the need for the entire organization to change, evolve and to keep up with the times. Certainly a message that, in order to be successful, would require a certain level of persuasiveness. Not an easy task, but luckily for Eunice she was able to use infographics to her advantage – and the circular was very well-received.
“Everyone said that the story and position behind the change was clearly communicated and easily understood,” she said. “Plus, they all said it was visually appealing!”
Click to see the full infographic.
Based on her experience, Eunice believes that when text is replaced by graphics, a message automatically becomes more “palatable” for the audience. And as our goal is to create messages that persuade others to take action, visual communication has worked very well for Eunice as a platform to convince and sway people into some form of decision making.
While new users to Piktochart typically start off being supported with templates, some of our power users, like Eunice, sometimes enjoys creating projects from scratch.
She recommends for those who want to venture off and use a blank slate within Piktochart to “start with an end in mind and know what look you want to create. Next, familiarize yourself with the different functions of the tool and understand what it can and cannot do. From there on, you’ll be able to think about how to achieve the look you want with the different functions of the tool,” said Eunice.
“Be open to experimenting. Try and if it doesn’t work – you can always hit undo or delete. Nothing is set in stone. Remember, ctrl-z is your best friend!”
Are you a power user of Piktochart and feel you’d be a good fit for one of our user stories? Join our Pikto Community on Facebook (if you haven’t already), and share your story with us there. We’d love to hear from you!
You may have noticed that we recently did a big overhaul here at Piktochart. It wasn’t just a website facelift, but a complete rebranding where we redid our logo and re-wrote our messaging to fit how we had evolved as a company.
Armed with our bold new mission to pioneer the future of storytelling, our tagline also had a bit of a mindset shift. When we first got started, we wanted to help our users “Make Information Beautiful,” but now we’re getting them to “Picture the Difference” with our tool.
The idea is that, in a world where communication doesn’t always come across as genuine, we wanted to provide a platform to help people tell stories that facilitate a bonafide human connection.
While the rebranding was a new effort, a people-focused approach was always the foundation on which Piktochart was built – a place where our HOPEFUL values reign supreme.
We talk a lot about these, but better than to talk about it, why don’t we show you with a new video on our company culture?
Why Join Piktochart? - YouTube
This latest video was shot back in February, when a bunch of remote teammates descended upon our Penang headquarters for a big reunion. It was a whirlwind two weeks of hackathons, workshops, and bonding activities. The purpose of this video was to capture, in less than five minutes, the culture that we’ve collectively built at Piktochart over the last six years.
Below are some quote visuals of the Pikto-peeps that were featured in the video, along with some context so you can get an inside look into what life is like at Piktochart and the way we like to work.
Emboldened by our new mission to pioneer the future of visual storytelling, we are really zeroing in on helping our users create real human connections with their audience. The idea here is to create a message that comes off as genuine and relatable – it’s not easy but it’s attainable if you’re equipped with the right tools and mindset.
In a world where people are inundated by information from too many channels to count, it’s getting really difficult to cut through the noise. We believe it is possible to become stronger and more effective communicators, and we can do it easily.
Ai Ching and Andrea, a pair of married co-founders, struggled with the Monday blues for many years before starting Piktochart. For awhile, they were well-acquainted with the anxiety on Sunday night and the elation that a Friday afternoon brings.
But they soon realized that it was indeed possible to build a people-focused business on a foundation of values. Starting with a small group working out of a warehouse, Piktochart is now a semi-distributed team of almost 60 that’s just celebrated its 6th birthday.
We’re proud to say our teammates hail from 15 different nationalities, from the Americas, to Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Working in an international environment is a constant challenge to upgrade yourself when it comes to learning new perspectives and approaches to your work. It’s the kind of environment that nurtures a consistent flow of new ideas, and you are encouraged to take ownership of new initiatives and run with it.
The diversity of our teammates really impacts the experimental, “fail fast” startup culture at Piktochart where we are constantly trying on new tools and processes on for size – and fine tuning the way we do things.
We think that there’s too much negativity associated with failure in general, which is why we encourage our people to constantly run experiments to not only face their fears – but to also forge new paths that lead to growth for the company and also for themselves.
Piktochart was built up on a foundation of its HOPEFUL values. Standing for Humble, Open Up, Passionate, Excellent, Fun, User-Focused, and Love – these values serve as a guiding light for us in everything we do, and we hire thoughtfully and carefully based on how well our candidates resonate with these values as well.
Keeping people happy and healthy is important to us, because if our people are feeling good – they’ll naturally be able to produce their best work.
Besides our flexible working arrangements, which has our teammates working out of office (in whatever workspace of their choosing) on Fridays, we also have weekly yoga, badminton, and basketball to bond over.
We’re growing as a semi-distributed team and are looking to meet talented folks in engineering, design, marketing, data, and product that want to work in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Print isn’t dead, it’s just evolving. The printables world is still just as important nowadays, but it just requires a combination of old school tactics and digital elements to make them effective.
Just like the event flyers that promote them, events are gatherings that leverage real human connection, something that will never get old.
Which is precisely why these one-page printouts have to work extra hard – they cannot fail to make a genuine impression. In a world where people are inundated by endless streams of information, not only do they have to be aesthetically appealing and eye catching, but they also have to contain cleverly-crafted concise content (how’s that alliteration?).
When it comes to creating a successful event flyer, inspiration is usually your first port of call and so we’ve created an interactive site to stir up your imagination before you roll up your sleeves. Click the below preview GIF to access it!
There is a lot of thought that goes into a successful event flyer, which is why we’re sharing a mixture of marketing and design tips to give you a leg up on your next project.
Ready? Let’s get started!
1. Include A Call To Action
A Call To Action (CTA) is of course, important in any piece of content that you produce with the intent to get people to do something. The same goes for your event flyer. After people have seen your flyer, they should be prompted to take immediate action by following a compelling CTA – whether it’s to read more about it on a website, or make a purchase.
Examples of this could be an early bird discount as an incentive to get people to act quickly. Whatever you choose, make sure that your CTA stands out with large typography and eye catching icons.
The more is not the merrier when it comes to adding information on your event flyers. While some people might think that filling a flyer to the brim with event details is going to be persuasive, the reality is that less is more.
To achieve this, stick to key details such as your event name, venue, date, time, and a short description. Remember, you can always direct your audience to your website through a link or a QR code.
The below music festival poster is an example of too much information. While listing a line up may be important, it’s possible to let your audience follow a link to access the rest of the list.
3. Add A QR code
If you have a lot of information to share, this is where a QR code can come in handy by giving people who want to read more about the event a chance to.
A QR code will help reduce the amount of text in your event flyer, and can also double as a channel for people to send in their RSVP.
If you choose not to use a QR code in your flyer for aesthetic purposes, you can also consider shortening and customizing your flyer links with bit.ly instead of showing the full link.
The event flyers of the past were all printed out in the traditional A4 paper size, but now more attention should be paid to the channels that the event is being promoted in. You have to keep in mind the platform and tailor the format.
For example, a Facebook post will look very different from an Instagram story. And event websites such as Meetup or Eventbrite will have different dimensions so your design should be optimized accordingly.
And if you’re running a campaign, make sure to have the flyer resized to fit your Facebook cover photo – having every visual consistent across the board will help in your promotional efforts!
6. Keep The User Experience In Mind
Simon Sinek said: “Communication is not about speaking what we think. Communication is about ensuring others hear what we mean.”
To this point, when creating an event flyer, we should be aware of the purpose of the flyer – who are we trying to reach out to and why? A good event flyer isn’t just a vehicle for information, and we should be also aware of the experience that people have with it. How does the flyer make them feel? Are they getting the information they need from it?
See the below flyer example – by using pastel colors in a gradient – it succeeds in helping the audience get into the ‘night market’ mood while also passing on all the necessary information.
7. Be Honest With Your Content
Which leads to this point – honesty will get a lot of points with your flyer. As much as your goal is to stand out and get as much attention as possible, you need to make sure to represent yourself in an honest way.
For example, if you are hosting a career fair for developers – then it is acceptable to use blocks of code or dabble in a bit of geek jargon. But if you are trying to promote something unrelated to tech, then it’s best to avoid these kinds of references as it may be perceived as misleading – as eye catching as it may be.
8. Include Company Logos
Make sure to include the logo of whichever company is organizing and sponsoring the event. This can be especially useful when these organizers and sponsors are well-known, which helps with the credibility of your event.
Have an independently organized event that’s linked to a big name like TED? Use it!
9. A/B Test Your Flyer
Chances are, you’re not just creating a flyer to be plastered on the walls of your neighborhood, so you can A/B test your flyer to try to create the best version of it as possible. To do this, try making subtle changes to see how people respond to your flyer, such as changing your CTA buttons or the colors of your hyperlinks.
10. Create Visual Hierarchy
Your poster should be attention grabbing and also easy to skim, so ensure that you are creating visual hierarchy ranking information in order of importance.
Here’s how to do this: use big headlines and also group information into sections of text that can be easily digested by your audience.
See the below flyer as an example – big headline, check. Visual hierarchy? Also check.
11. Use Color Schemes
The common mistake that most people make when tackling a visual project is adding too many colors. The solution here is to stick within a color scheme, which can be developed by having a main color be accompanied by sub colors.
You can also consider using different shades from within one color while still staying within your color scheme.
Of course, there may always be an instance where more colors are necessary – especially when you’re designing a flyer for a kids event. Something to consider!
See the below flyer as an example – the color scheme only contains a few colors, but it still varies visually because of the shades in the image.
12. Get Party Ready With Metallics
Besides selecting the right color scheme, you’ll also want to consider the types of colors that you’re using and the mood it conveys. If your event is a party, then consider using metallics in your color scheme.
Metallics doesn’t just exude glamour, it also brings a certain atmospheric mood to your flyer. So go ahead, play with a bit of gold, silver, and copper in your flyer.
Using large typography as the focal point of your event flyer, as it could have far more impact than adding a lot of text or using an image. As the purpose of a flyer generally works to attract attention and disseminate information, using a short and catchy title can do the trick.
Which leads us to this point – if your poster is led by typography, otherwise known as typographic design, you’ll want to enlist the help of banners and dividers to help make it look less text-heavy. Not only will it break up the sections on your flyer, but it will also make it more visually interesting than if you were just to use plain text.
Although most flyers are not supposed to be very text-heavy, it is important to make sure that whatever text you’ve selected is well aligned. Paying attention to alignment doesn’t just help with readability, but it also helps with giving your flyer some much needed breathing room – also known as the very important white space!
White space is really important, not just to your event flyers, but to every visual project you will create. Fact is, no one will be drawn to a flyer that looks messy and overcrowded. Not to mention a claustrophobic flyer will decrease its readability.
As mentioned above, you should give your flyer design plenty of room to breathe so viewers will be able to parse through the information with ease.
The world of work is evolving fast, with companies of all stripes trying new things to help their people be happier and more productive. While some companies have chosen to leave their offices behind and go fully remote, others keep an office while offering flexible working arrangements.
For us at Piktochart, we’re a semi-distributed team of 54 people based mostly out of sunny Penang, an island in Malaysia.
While our product, engineering, operations, HR, and most of our design team is on-site, we also have our marketing and customer support teams working remotely from the Americas, Europe, and in Asia. We’re also currently working to expand our team by hiring talented folks from Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City.
One thing we do at Piktochart is promote flexible working arrangements. Besides our ‘Work From Home Fridays,’ where everyone is welcome to stay at home or work from a cafe (or virtually any workspace of their choosing), we also allow our Pikto-peeps to work remotely for a month every year from another timezone.
We have an international team (15 nationalities and counting), with teammates living in Penang that hail from all around Malaysia, other parts of Asia, and also from Europe and North America. We’re like a family at Piktochart and are very family-oriented in the same way, so we get that our people might want to spend time with their families without having to take vacation days off.
We also understand that an occasional change of environment is like a breath of fresh air, a necessary ingredient to spark creativity and inspiration. Or it helps with focusing on a project may require a bit more peace and quiet – away from the collaborative buzz of the office.
So we wanted to share some stories from those of us who take advantage of flexible working arrangements, whether it’s to take time for their families or personal well-being. Here’s an inside look to what it’s like to work at Piktochart – straight from the roving workstations of our teammates.
“This was taken last spring when I worked from my dad’s home, which is an oasis of nature and peace. In that moment, he brought me breakfast to “my office,” and outside the window I could hear chirping birds and sounds of nature. What I cherish about my flexible working arrangement is that I can go visit my family in Poland and spend quality time with them while working, without having to sacrifice vacations days off.” Marta, Head of Marketing
“I’m a graphic designer and having the flexibility to work out of the office gives me the chance to stay creative as I explore all the cool cafes around Penang. As a foodie and a coffee lover myself, I love cafe hopping as there are quite a number of cool cafes in Penang serving different types of main courses and desserts. I also find inspiration in the different themes of the cafes, which inspire me to create different themes for a new templates.
Besides the ambiance itself, the music and people watching helps the creative juices flow during brainstorming sessions. And thankfully, most of the cafes in Penang have pretty good WiFi so I can stay connected when I’m doing my design research.” Natasya, Assets Designer
“As a web developer from another state, the flexibility of being able to work from my home in Johor Bahru, Malaysia is one of the best perks. I’m able to spend time with my family without taking leave and I’m able to find some work-life balance.
The desk in the picture is my workspace when I was at home. An external monitor for good posture, a mechanical keyboard for fast typing, a portable wireless mouse, and my ThinkPad laptop are all I need to be productive. From time to time, I will get up and to chat with my mom, pet my dog, and I get to hang out with my friends from my hometown after work.” Likit, Web Developer
“Home is where the heart is, and my office is where my laptop is. While I’m usually full-time remote, during these past weeks, I had the pleasure of working from the company’s headquarters in Penang, Malaysia. And while going to the office can be very fun, “Work From Home Fridays” are also a good excuse to work from nice cafes alone or with colleagues, using this experience to bond and create memories with them. The picture is from one of those days – coffee mandatory, cake only optional!” Romi, Social Media
“To be honest, I really like working in our office because it’s easier to have direct discussions with my teammates. But sometimes, I really need to take up my responsibilities as a wife, mom, or daughter-in-law at home. It was hard time for us when when my father-in-law became sick, and we needed to be there to monitor and keep an eye on his condition. The flexibility of working from home, as pictured above, makes this possible – I was able to take care of my family while still being active at work.” May Syn, Finance & Operations
“As a remote graphic designer, I need a good WiFi connection and a huge space, not only for my laptop but also space for a mouse, a notepad and a tablet. I find very hard to work in coffee shops, mostly because of the space, but also because my job involves hours of design-thinking that I can only find in coworking spaces or in a home environment.
Since I’ve been traveling for the last two and a half years, my house is an Airbnb around the world. And one of the filters when I’m looking for homes is always WiFi and a laptop friendly workstation. I also always work with mate tea in the morning to wake me up.”
Maxi, Assets Designer
“Trust and flexibility are the two things that make me enjoy working with others the most, and that’s what Piktochart offers. Being a full-time programmer in Penang and also having a family in my hometown Jakarta, Indonesia, I need to go home around four times a year.
With the flexible working processes that our team uses, such as video calls, weekly scrum updates and good development workflow (git management, code review, slack channel), I can keep up with my work despite being miles away from HQ. And the best part? I can see my family and friends at the end of the day.” Albert, Front-End Lead
“The main benefit of my work is that it is flexible. This means I get to work from wherever I feel most productive, as pictured here, a cafe in Porto, Portugal. My preference ever since I studied for exams in college is coffee shops. It takes an exploratory period to find the best ones, since they vary a lot in terms of comfort, WiFi connection and prices.
But overall the background noise in these kind of places hits the sweet spot to keep my productivity levels high without being, well, boring. I also appreciate the fact that I can easily order a cappuccino to keep the creative juices flowing!”
Bruno, Marketing Insights
“Lima, Peru is a bustling metropolis of over 10 million inhabitants and is quite loud, so finding a quiet space to work can be difficult. So when I’m not traveling, I work from my home office as seen here. I keep things simple in my work room, since having too much clutter can be a distraction.
One major advantage to working at home, though, is that I never have to go far for lunch; the kitchen is only a few steps away. I prefer to have natural light while working, and watching the Metro Train pass silently by every few minutes is like observing urban wildlife.” John, Customer Support
“As much as I love interacting with colleagues in the office, I do enjoy having the flexibility to have alone time for focus and creativity. My team members are used to me taking a month away from office every year, although we still have our weekly scrums and sharing sessions by using Google Hangouts.
During this period, I usually get an Airbnb or hotel with big windows (hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia pictured above). Working with a view helps to boost my creativity and productivity. Plus, a touch of Vitamin D helps me be more positive and happy.” See Mei, Head Of Design
Job hunting. It’s a full-time job, and standing out in a sea of resumes requires a bit of effort. You might have a lot of relevant experience, but if your resume is not eye-catching – you run the risk of getting passed up. And for those of you that are applying for the dream job without fulfilling all the required qualifications – there might be a different way to leverage what you’ve got.
Check out this recruitment yield pyramid from Workable which visualizes the hiring process based on a recruitment process standard that most companies have. Say out of 240 applications, only 15 candidates were selected for a first interview. That’s around 6%!
Luckily, we’ve perused the web for expert tips and we’re putting them all together in this blog post. It’s a mix of content and design suggestions that will help you put your best foot forward. So you can make it into that 6%.
Ready to go? Let’s dive in.
1. Make Your Job Skills As Modern As You Are
Beyond your design and coding skills, your employer also wants to know if you’ll be a cultural fit and a team player – and these depend a lot on your soft skills. We might even call these 21st century job skills, a combination of social and process skills, and it is important to include them in alongside your technical abilities.
Here are a handful that might be a good fit:
2. Make Sure Your CV Is Mobile-Friendly
While it’s worth pointing out that most headhunters out there are tapping away on LinkedIn via their laptops, you should consider that your CV and cover letter might be opened on a smartphone. And that’s where a mobile-responsive document really comes into play.
3. Keep In Mind Your Target Industry When Choosing Color Schemes
Of course, you won’t always be trying to create a mobile-friendly resume, especially when you’d like to get a bit creative. Color schemes are a great way to create a certain kind of mood in your resume, which could attract the attention of the right HR manager.
One way to do this is to match your resume’s color scheme to the industry that you’re looking to be a part of. For instance, if you are applying for a role in more conservative industries such as banking or law, you might want to go with black or darker tones to show you mean business.
If you’re applying to a creative agency or a tech startup, you’ll have a lot more flexibility in terms of the color schemes you can use. Don’t be afraid to go bright to attract eyeballs. If you really want to go above and beyond, you might be able to use the color scheme of a company that has a more open culture.
See the below GIF for the color scheme possibilities within Piktochart. You can either select from our available color schemes or create your own.
4. Use Your Resume To Tell A Story
To really capture the attention of your audience, whether it’s a recruiter, hiring manager, or your future boss, you’ll benefit from telling a story with your resume. And believe it or not, you’ll actually be able to use storytelling tactics that are old as time to do this.
Include characters – you are the star of the show, but remember to include your boss, customers, employees, and co-workers. Be clear about how your role operated in relation to them – who did you report to? How many people did you manage?
Don’t forget the setting – Could be the company you’ve worked for but also the division, department, region, or team. This gives context, but can also show things such as international experience.
Make sure your resume has a plot – Perhaps all the odds were against you but you solved the problem and achieved success (dragon slaying). Or you worked with others to achieve a major goal while overcoming challenges along the way (the hero’s quest).
Don’t skimp on the conflict – Giving context to the conflict you’ve faced in your career shows growth and initiative. Did you redesign an inefficient process or reverse declining sales? Make sure you talk about it!
Immanuel, our content specialist told a story by creating an interactive application that was sleek, fun, and well-designed (you can view it in full here).
5. Give A Design Nod To Your Line Of Work
Consider your resume as an extension of yourself and the work that you do. So why not use design elements that will give a nod to your profession?
For example, if you work in the publishing industry – you should try to give your resume a “bookish” vibe which can be accomplished by:
Structuring your resume layout to look like a book page
Using classic typography such as Caslon
Or, if you work as a web designer – you could try to use your resume to emulate a beautifully-designed web page, complete with digital elements. See below for an example.
6. Use Your Resume As A Personal Branding Document
For those unfamiliar, a personal brand is a way of marketing yourself through a number of avenues – which is usually done by crafting a cohesive persona through social media accounts and a website. The idea here is to create an online identity that helps you put your best foot forward, especially when it comes to landing professional opportunities.
So why can’t your resume also be a part of your personal branding strategy? Here are a handful of tips that you can use to build a personal brand through your resume.
Create a personal logo for yourself using a symbol or even just your initials.
While you want to make sure your resume is legible, you also want to stand out while everyone else is playing safe with the likes of Arial or Times New Roman. The right font can help you stand out, and also keep eyeballs from bouncing away from your resume.
Keep your font sizes between 11 and 13 points – you want a happy balance between being able to fit enough items into your resume, while it still being legible.
Keep font sizes consistent – headers should be all the same size for example.
Serif fonts work well for digital fields or roles that involve creative work, while sans serif fonts are a better fit for more conservative industries. This is because serif fonts generally have an extra design and stroke embellishment at the end of letters, while serif fonts keep it simple.
9. Emphasize Your Contact Info Section Visually
It is widely known, and sad fact, that recruiters apparently spend just six measley seconds reviewing your resume. To make sure that your resume gets picked out of the crowd, and keeping those six seconds in mind, why not place a lot of visual emphasis on your contact information section?
Here are a number of things you can do to make your contact info section stand out:
Use icons to add live links to your social media, email address, and portfolio.
Use white space to draw the recruiter’s eye into your contact information.
Use color – you can change the color of the text itself, or create a new background color just for your contact info section.
See the below example where Paolo Pettigiani uses a pop of color and white space for his contact info page.
10. Make Your Content As Skimmable As Possible
Again, not to remind of the brevity that is the recruiter’s first interaction with your resume, but you have just six seconds to impress. Which means that you should make your content as easy as possible to skim through – so that readers should be able to pick up your strengths and essential information as quickly as possible.
Here are a few ways to make your resume skimmable:
Use columns to organize those resumes that are bursting at the seams with info. You can also experiment with using columns that are different sizes.
Format your content by using headings, subheadings, bullet points, and white space.
Try using an infographic – help those text-weary recruiters by using visuals instead
The product manager. A visionary responsible for product strategy and roadmap. The cross-team role that works hand in hand with marketing, design, support, and engineering teams. Besides overseeing product launches and new feature rollouts, the product manager has the very important job of managing relationships with other teams.
In many ways, the product manager is one of the key liaisons between the teams – carefully toeing the line between the inspirational and visionary, and a focus on facilitation and bargaining.
Besides the balancing act, in what ways can the product manager foster close ties in these very important cross-team relationships?
At Piktochart, we really prioritize the product manager role. In fact, we have two of them – Deepan Manoharan and Steven Neoh.
Deepan, our ‘Core’ PM.
While Deepan is in charge of our ‘core’ product, which is the latest version of Piktochart users are enjoying today, Steven runs ‘Teams’ – which is our newly launched collaborative design tool for groups. They both manage their respective product teams which are made up of a hardy group of front-end and back-end developers, but also work really closely with our design, UI/UX, marketing and support teams – which requires them to put on different communication hats.
Steven, our ‘Teams’ PM
According to Deepan, the key elements of building strong relationships across teams is made up of:
Mutual respect and appreciation
A common goal and overall vision
A common vocabulary
Establish A Shared Vocabulary
Deepan points out that the most difficult part of building team relationships and fostering communication by far is having a shared understanding and alignment to a common goal. And that requires establishing a shared vocabulary, the basis for meaningful discussion.
The product manager’s role, in this case, is to bring about alignment by clearly defining these two things:
The company’s vision
The role the product plays in that vision and also the role it plays in people’s lives
“When teams discuss about a feature or functionality, people tend to use even simple terms in very different ways. When someone from the support team says that we have identified a major ‘pain point’ for users, they might actually be talking about a feature request. Simple terms like ‘need, requirement, feature, functionality, and user experience’ may mean very different things in the minds of team members,” said Deepan.
To bridge the gap between varied vocabularies, Deepan suggests to ask more questions such as: “What do we mean by a user need vs. a user request?” And also equally important to determine is what some of the best ways to think about those user requests to make sure everyone understands them the same way.
Marketing, design, and product teams mashup at HQ
“When it comes to solutions, one can be wild in their imaginations to dream up whatever they can. But when it comes to understanding the problems for which we need solutions, it is very important that teams have a common understanding of what is it that we are all talking about,” he said.
Find Ways To Break Down Silos
Deepan also points out that important aspects of cross-team communication, such as trust and mutual respect, are actually earned over time due to team members contributing to a common goal.
To achieve this, he suggests creating collaborative work settings, such as group activities and workshops centered around product challenges, to help teams appreciate the role that everyone plays and to also foster trust and mutual respect.
“When teams work in silos with one team passing their output to the next team and not understanding how they use it, it’s a nightmare for building good relationships. It also helps people to have a fair degree of understanding on the processes, methods and tools that the other functions use,” said Deepan.
A way to prevent silos? Ask for input and suggestions on how to improve their methods and processes in order to work better with other teams. This will create a sense of shared intent and an understanding of how other teams operate.
Steven also believes that product teams struggle with silos, even if everyone is working on the same project. What ends up happening is that people start focusing only on their own deliverables, but have little to no connection or understanding as to “why” they are doing it.
Wilson, our community manager, works alongside folks from design and back-end teams.
Collective Ownership of the Squad Goals
To create a clear connection to the “why,” Steven believes that there needs to be a sense that the overarching company or product goals truly belong to everyone. If each individual feels a connection to the end goal, then it’ll be easier to break through silos.
“Each functional unit, whether it be engineers, designers, or marketers, plays a very important role in creating value for the user and the company,” he said. “A clear way to measure and protect their contribution can help each team to channel their energies into delivering their best.”
Steven says that goals should be framed in such a way that they “communicate with the diversity of interests represented on the team. Each team is part of a larger system that evolves with each project as we chase user value, and sometimes will perceive these systemic changes as for or against their own long-term needs and interests.”
“A transparent system helps everyone see both their contribution to and stake in a project’s final outcome, and helps me keep sight of how my projects can benefit the great work the teams do.”
Encourage Liberal Praise
Once a transparent system is created, besides getting more invested in the project endgame, teams can also tune in to the contributions of others – which makes giving praise where it’s due a lot easier.
Acknowledging the good work that others have done can help bridge the gaps that silos creates and build camaraderie between teams. This is especially when it’s reward-based and done publicly.
“Encouraging team members to acknowledge and thank one another for their work can help erode silos. We take this so seriously at Piktochart that we built Kudos, an internal platform that allows teammates to publicly acknowledge the good work that others are doing, and to be able to reward them with points that they can trade in for prizes,” said Steven.
Below is an example of Steven giving “kudos’ to all the teammates involved in the ‘Piktochart For Teams’ launch.
Besides trading in their points for gifts, team members can also use Kudos to do good and donate to a charity of their choice. In fact, Piktochart teammates donated $13,500 (USD) to charities last year via the Kudos platform.
Embrace Difficult Conversations
On one end, there’s giving praise which perhaps promotes a warm and fuzzy feeling that contributes to a robust culture. And on the other – there’s also those difficult conversations that need to be had.
As product decisions are usually cross-functional, whether it involves competition for traffic rights on the server or trading-off between code and interface – Steven notes how the product manager will, at some point, be forced to make a difficult decision. Some micro-decisions feel like Pareto-optimal choices where someone has to lose for someone else to win.
“Asking a stakeholder to sacrifice one of their aims, or accept a solution which isn’t ideal for them, often means having a conversation. These conversations may involve leaving some people disappointed, but are really the bread and butter of cross-functional project management,” he said.
Steven also adds though that within each of these conversions is a golden opportunity to understand the competing motivations and values in his team.
“Beyond prompting me to look for other ways to fulfil their goals, this helps me to develop the vocabulary and register I need to address their concerns, and ultimately enables my project to win their trust and commitment,” he said.
Adding To A HOPEFUL Future
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same can be said for a company that has collaborative and communicative teams.
So we hire slowly and thoughtfully at Piktochart, making sure to bring on board people that not only embody our HOPEFUL values (read about them here), but also care deeply about building cross-team relationships that work.
If this resonates with you, feel free to check out our careers page for the latest roles that we’re hiring for. We’d love to hear from you.
Using images with your content is indisputably important. Imagine being subjected to an hour-long presentation that contains no images. Brutal, right?
Images, photos and infographics all have more of an impact on the viewer when compared with standalone text. In fact, research shows content with compelling images gets, on average, 94 percent more views than your boring counterparts. The images enhance what the text is communicating in a way that can be both informative and entertaining.
As an added bonus, images may even drive more traffic through image search results.
To get the most out of your images however, you need to make sure they are as well-optimized for search engines as they are for living, breathing humans. In this article, we are going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to optimize and obtain your images to give your search engine optimization (SEO) a big boost.
Step 1: Choosing Your Image
When choosing your images, you should consider the user experience (UX). Bad UX leads to high bounce rates, and most search engines use that information as a ranking signal. Choosing the right images for your site can be just as important as how you optimize them for SEO.
Relevance is the key element when choosing your images. To make sure your images are relevant to your content, ask yourself these three questions:
It’s important to strategically place images that are relevant to the copy that surrounds it. This is because search engines routinely look at the content surrounding an image to determine what the image is showing, and Google will use this as a signal to determine relevance to a keyword.
While you might be tempted to use stock photos, resist the urge. Stock photos have the tendency to make your content look like a marketing brochure. Best practice is to use your own images, but that’s not always an option. We’ll get into that a bit later.
Step 2: Legally Obtaining Images to Use
Use your own images whenever possible – that way you have full control matching the images you use with your content. Additionally, you don’t have to deal with the legality of obtaining images if you use your own.
If you can’t create your own quality images, there are several tools and services that can help you.
Freepik: This is an image search engine that inspects thousands of free images and returns results based on your search terms.
Google Images: Google Images has a giant selection of pictures, but it will give you every result regardless of copyright status. You can filter results to those you can legally use by selecting “Labeled for reuse” in Usage Rights (under Tools).
3. Creative Commons (CC), Wikimedia Commons:These are collective search engines for copyrighted images that are allowed for distribution. With both of these resources, you have to pay attention to the image licensing agreement as most images on CC will ask for attribution. This generally would include a link to the material, copyright notice, name of the image creator, and so forth.
4. Flickr: This is probably the largest image hosting/sharing site available. Flickr users share their work under the Creative Commons license, which allows for reuse with certain restrictions.
Reuse licenses can be complicated, like you can use an image if you give credit, or you can use it if you don’t edit it and don’t use it commercially. To get a better idea of the different types of licenses, check out this guide.
Stock Photos vs. Royalty Free
In general, there are two types of images online – stock images and royalty-free images.
As we said earlier, you should always use your own pictures and images if you can. But, if you can’t, stock images are the next best thing.
The pros: stock images are high-quality and you can filter the selection to find something that’s really relevant to your content.
The cons: stock photos can look generic, and even though suppliers limit the amount of times that photo is sold, there’s no guarantee your competitor won’t use the exact same photo.
Stock images have limited usage rights; you need to specify how you plan to use the stock image and use it only for that purpose. For example, if you purchased a stock image for an advertisement, you can’t repurpose and use it on any of your pages.
Stock photos courtesy of pexels.com
Other limitations attached to stock photos involve size, duration of use and geographic distribution.
Royalty free images are less expensive and you can use them several times on different projects without needing to shell out more money. Royalty free images are also high-quality, but they don’t have the same resale restrictions that stock photos do. This means you will probably find your same image elsewhere on the web.
The most popular places to get royalty-free and stock photos are:
Getty Images has around 35 million images that are free to use for non-commercial purposes. Other sites that offer free content also have a library of images that are up for purchase.
Public Domain Photos
There are two types of no-attribution photos that don’t require a link back to the author:
Public Domain Photos
Photos that you, or a photographer you hired took
Public domain photos have no rights reserved and no usage conditions. You can change them, reuse them and place them anywhere without any extra cost or required attribution. Here are some sources to find public domain images (and what makes them great):
Pixabay: Can filter by category, and no restrictions about sharing images on social media.
PDPhoto: Section entitled “Tacos I Ate” – which comes in handy for any digital marketer.
Public-Domain-Photos: These images can be used for any reason, any time. They also have a selection of clip art to use without restrictions.
PublicPhoto: Really helpful catalogue for designers/bloggers. Logo templates, site design templates, vectors – all free of charge.
Public-Domain-Image: You can filter your search results by color (which I think is cool) and everything is completely free to use without restriction.
Photos-Public-Domain: Can find generic or oddly specific photos that are free to use (they had me at the photo of ‘Pouring White Wine’)
PDPics: All the photos taken on this site were snapped by in-house photographers.
PicDrome: Huge collection, and they will provide the original quality photo (on request).
4FreePhotos: You can filter their giant library by new photos, popular photos or collections.
PublicDomainFiles: This includes free video clips as well (not a huge selection, but still an advantage).
Phototeria: Beautiful selection of images (check out the nature section!) and super easy to navigate.
Clker: Free clip art, if you’re into that sort of thing.
You can use these pics without restriction on blogs, though they might not be high-quality enough to use on a professional website. Your business website is representative of your brand as a whole, and you should be using the highest quality images available.
Your Own Photos
Using your own photos is the best option in legal terms, but it will also help you present your brand more authentically. For instance, your ‘About Us’ page looks better with real photos of your staff rather than stock models.
These people definitely don’t work for you. (photo from Pexels)
Custom graphics will also work really well on your blog. Take a look at WooRank’s blog to see a consistent use of images that all follow the same illustration style and color guidelines.
Now that you know how to best obtain an image for your site, it’s time to learn how to optimize your images for SEO!
Step 3: Naming Your Files
Once you have found your image, it’s time to start optimizing! Optimization begins with choosing the right file name.
File names provide a benefit to your SEO and are really important when trying to rank well in image search results.
Just as you would when creating a URL, use your target keyword in the beginning. It’s foolish to use the default file image name, like “RCD00093.jpg.” Only do this if you have no other option. Most content management systems (CMS) use the file name to create the image title, so this is helpful in the long run.
Other SEO best practices for naming your image file include:
Using hyphens as word separators rather than underscores between words. Search engines can recognize hyphens between words but cannot understand underscores. Meaning, they will see “monkey_wearing_a_suit.jpg” the same as “monkeywearingasuit.jpg”. This is important to distinguish, because human searchers will clearly be using spaces while searching for an image of a monkey wearing a suit.
Include as many accurate details as you can. This is important because if Google can’t find the right page content, it will use the image’s file name as the page’s search snippet for image search results.
Use your keywords in a natural way. Don’t use too many keywords or unrelated keywords, because this will look like spam and hurt your SEO efforts.
Step 4: Crafting Your Title and Alternative Attributes
Image titles and alternative attributes (better known as alt attributes, alt text or alt tags) are all attributes that are included in the image tag.
An image tag will look like this:
<img src=”https://www.example.com/example-image.jpg” alt=”This is the alt text”/>
With alt attributes, you can add more details that you weren’t able to include in the file name. Consider it a way to describe the image to someone who can’t see it. The alt text is used by text-only browsers and screen readers for the visually impaired. Additionally, search engines rely on the alt text because they can’t physically see an image….yet.
When the browser can’t load a graphic, it displays the alt text in the image container instead. Take a look as this example:
Alt text is one of the most important aspects of image optimization. You can see Google’s emphasis on this in their image publishing guidelines. Your alt attribute should accurately describe the image and include your target keyword. There is no set character limit, but you should ideally be using about ten words or so.
Here’s a good example of a well-optimized alt text for a monkey wearing a suit.
<img src=”monkey-wearing-a-suit.jpg” alt=”Monkey wearing a black suit” />
Using just “monkey suit” or “monkey wearing suit” is less specific, but is better than nothing. The keywords should be specific to the image and not an obvious attempt at keyword stuffing. An example of keyword stuffing would look like: alt=”monkey wearing suit monkey in a suit monkey wearing black suit” and this will not help your search rankings.
Image titles are not as important for optimization; they should ideally give additional information that wasn’t in the alt text. Google doesn’t use image titles as a search signal but are sometimes helpful for human users.
Step 5: Optimizing Your Image Size
Page speed is critical to optimize your site both for both UX and SEO purposes. There have been several studies that show users will leave a page if it hasn’t loaded in three seconds or less.
But what does this have to do with your images?
You can actually speed up your loading time by scaling down your images. Ideally, you will create the smallest file size possible without sacrificing quality. If you are using Adobe Photoshop to create your own images, use the option “Save for the Web.” Adobe will automatically minimize your file size while maintaining the image quality.
If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use tools online that will compress your images and get rid of extra things like Exif data:
ImageOptim: This will compress your images without losing quality and get rid of the invisible junk slowing down your download time.
PunyPNG: Can dramatically reduce file size for free. Option to upgrade if you need more than generic file reduction.
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