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Brilliance@Work: Jordan Girman Creates Experience with Context

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar marketing professionals and their best practices at work.  During the next couple of months, we’ll feature market research experts.

Looking at user experience from a holistic viewpoint is critical to help grow your organization and change the way you innovate for your customers. Once you understand your customers, you can design experiences they will strongly identify with.


Jordan Girman

Jordan Girman is Senior Director, User Experience Research at Glassdoor. He’s also a presenter at The Market Research Event (TMRE) on Nov. 5-7, 2019 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a preview to his presentation, Jordan shares his perspectives on “Designing Connected Experience with the Context of the User in Mind.”

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your experiences in UX design shape your character and career?

Jordan Girman: When I started my career, there wasn’t really a field called UX. There were the beginnings of it, but most people were termed as information architects and the field was still getting defined. I think that what really drew me to it was that I could be a part of that definition, and I liked the “wild west” feel of developing process and seeing what worked and what didn’t. So, the first thing that UX taught me was to say “I can do that,” and then realizing I could actually figure out how to do it. It felt empowering and made me feel valuable.

The second thing I learned was how to separate myself from my work. When I first started to design, I would look at how I did something, then apply that to my design. Very much “I like the color blue, so everyone else must like this color too.” Changing my approach from “I think it should be this” to “What would the user do in this situation” radically changed not just how I design, but how I approach leadership and problem solving. Research and understanding context or the problem and people I work with are all major parts of why I have been successful.

Additionally, as I advanced in my career, I really learned how to step back from the item that I was working on and then view the project from a holistic perspective. Being able to see how what I am working on extends to a larger world, being able to zero in on small interaction and zoom out to a larger view of the experience translated into strategy and vision work.

PB: What role does UX play in the performance of a brand?

JG: Really any touchpoint plays into the user experience for someone interacting with your product. What that means is that someone who sees a YouTube video, listens to a radio advertisement, talks to a CSM or has an interaction with your website plays into that person’s perception of the company. Too often companies ship their org chart and think their users perceive their product the same way as the company does internally. But to a user, they are not interacting with ‘the mobile channel’ or ‘the brick and mortar,’ they are just interacting with the company, and it’s one thing to them.

Because of this, UX is tied to the brand, and the brand is tied to the UX. If the advertisements and overall design of the marketing assets are vastly different from the product design, then experience of transition from buying to using suffers. Same goes true if the user experience is poor on the product, then the perception of the brand suffers.

At Glassdoor, we are working on ways that brand design and product design collaborate to make a seamless experience throughout every touchpoint for the job seeker and employer. It’s not easy, but we will get there.

PB: What are some of your most notable projects?

JG: In my early days, I was a big part of redesigning the Mercedes-Benz USA site ( for an agency called Critical Mass. From there, I was part of starting a UX agency working with a variety of clients. Eventually, I transitioned to product design working on large scale video games for Electronic Arts. There I did redesigns for NHL and the first iteration of UFC, and eventually building design systems for the overall EA online marketing experience. Currently at Glassdoor, we are looking at how to radically change how people search for jobs in the future.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?

JG: I hope to see people change their perspective of how their users interact with the internet and they can take the learning and apply it to their product. As we transition to mobile devices, user experience has so many more influences outside of the screen and every company needs to start thinking about how to accommodate those outside influences.

Want to hear more from Jordan? Join us at The Market Research Event (TMRE). Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in market research. Stay connected at #TMREVENT.


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Brilliance@Work: Antony Barton Helps Bring Intel’s Technology to Life

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar marketing professionals and their best practices at work.  During the next couple of months, we’ll feature market research experts.

Bringing technology to life includes having the creativity and imagination of an artist. It also requires having the insights and analytics to ensure sustainable success in the marketplace.

Jen Mahoney Photography

Antony Barton

Antony Barton is Director, Global Insights and Analytics at Intel. He’s also a presenter at The Market Research Event (TMRE) on Nov. 5-7, 2019 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a preview to his presentation, Antony shares his perspectives on “Leveraging Insights to Drive Intel’s Future Vision of the Laptop.”

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How is Intel’s Insights & Analytics team helping to shape the organization’s future success?

Antony Barton: Our insights function is focused on driving insights into product development (e.g. 12 to 36 months) and marketing strategy (e.g. 0 to 18 months). This includes helping our business unit (focused on the development of next generation PCs) to bring forth the best products as possible; and support our marketing strategy team to develop effective marketing campaigns that communicate the benefits of Intel’s new technologies. We deploy a number of different types of insights methodologies to drive our insights into decision making including ethnographic studies, more traditional qualitative techniques, quantitative approaches including feature prioritization and optimization, pricing studies, audience segmentation, and message testing.

PB: What role does Intel’s Insights & Analytics team play in helping to measure brand performance?

AB: Measuring the health of the Intel brand among our target audiences (both B2B and consumer) is a key part of our insights function. From time to time, we also deploy more in-depth methods to better understand what our brand means and stands for; including looking by different age groups. This is important as perceptions of technology brands are constantly changing as new products and services arise.

PB: How does Intel’s Insights & Analytics team help tell a compelling marketing story?

AB: Helping our marketing colleagues bring our technology to life in an easy to understand and compelling fashion that encourages our target audience to buy a new PC is a super important part of our job. We are also often working with our eco-system partners to ensure we are coordinated in our approach (e.g. Microsoft and Dell and HP), including sharing insights.

PB: What will people gain from your conference presentation?
AB: Today the ability to impact significant decision-making with insights is often dependent on how you can best bring together multiple streams of insights into a coherent story that executives can quickly understand and take action on. My talk will center on what I believe are best practices as its relates to leveraging multiple research methodologies (e.g. deep ethnographic, synthesizing secondary research, and traditional qualitative and quantitative) and the resulting insights that significantly impacted Intel’s most important mobile computing innovation decision in the past 10 years.

Want to hear more from Antony? Join us at The Market Research Event (TMRE). Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in market research. Stay connected at #TMREVENT.

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Collaboration is its Own Reward

Purple SkyPhoto: Pixabay

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge

It all began with “It’s About Sharing Success.” Three years year, I’m still driven by this purpose. And for being committed to helping people succeed, I continue to be rewarded for my collaboration efforts.

I’m honored to be invited as a guest blogger for relevant resources that support global communicators. Recently, I collaborated with these two internal communication experts:

I’m also proud to support these highly interactive collaboration and learning events:

If these resources helped you, please pay it forward by sharing what you’ve learned with others. The rewards are greater than you may realize.

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” – Dalai Lama XIV



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Collaboration@Work: IC Kollectif Links Global Communicators with Key Resources and with Each Other


IMG957630Welcome to Collaboration@Work, a series of features dedicated to share collaboration best practices that inspire highly engaged, productive environments.

Lise Michaud is Founder of IC Kollectif, a collaborative effort with IABC/Montreal that brings together the most comprehensive internal communication (IC) resources and content under one roof.

Lise Michaud

Lise Michaud

Read on to learn how IC Kollectif helps communication professionals find and share highly relevant IC information to support organizational communication success.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did IC Kollectif get started?
Lise Michaud: 
IC Kollectif’s venture started five months ago. We kicked it off on Twitter  and with IABC/Montreal’s February newsletter, an issue entirely dedicated to internal communication. Our initial partnership with IABC/Montreal provided us with high visibility and credibility from the start, and we are grateful for that.

We reached 1,000 followers on Twitter within 100 days and over 1,500 followers within 125 days. More significantly, we have grown organically and globally, bringing together in-house communication practitioners, IC thought leaders, consultants, professional associations and other participants from across five continents.

We held our first joint event with IABC/Montreal in April 2016, a two-hour workshop with Stephen Welch on how to become a strategic communication advisor. We reached a new milestone with the launch of our website on July 18.

PB: What inspired IC Kollectif to support internal communication professionals?
IC Kollectif was born from a desire to simplify and accelerate the process of connecting communication professionals with knowledge, resources and our global community. It is intended for professionals in internal communication and other business communication disciplines.

As communication professionals, we are called on to be creative, innovative and keenly aware of the constant evolution of our practice. I have more than 25 years of experience in senior communication roles across the public and private sectors in Canada including internal, external and change communication, media relations and social media. Like any other communication professional, my job kept me very busy, and I had little time to search online for the latest study findings and best practices related to organizational communication.

There is a huge amount of information on corporate communication online, but these sources are not all equal in terms of quality and reliability. Yet there are many indispensable sources of information that can help us in addressing our day-to-day professional challenges. Knowing where to find them and having easy access is a great help.

Connecting IC Kollectif

PB: How does IC Kollectif’s efforts promote collaboration?
LM: IC Kollectif is a connector. It is the only global initiative dedicated to bring together, under one roof, numerous sources about IC and organizational communication. We are not an additional communication business competing with existing communication organizations, agencies or consultants. Quite the contrary.

Our role is to identify great resources, make them known and facilitate access to them for global communication practitioners. We constantly receive notifications and messages from Twitter and LinkedIn followers with relevant information and sources to share.

We’ve also received many endorsements from global communication professionals. US-based Paul Barton wrote that “we bring the brightest people and the best ideas together in a unique way that is inspiring and enlightening to the profession.” Mike Klein, in his Netherlands-based blog, Changing The Terms, called IC Kollectif “a potent example of an effort that accelerates connection between communication professionals and expands their access to resources and networks.”

IC Kollectif brings together not only resources and information, but it also promotes the people who produce this relevant content, and hence, creates connections among communication practitioners. Our Top IC thought leaders list created by IC Kollectif’s followers is a tangible example of this.

PB: How was the top IC Thought Leaders list created?
In April, we asked our Twitter followers to tell us which IC thought leaders they read and listen to. Within a few days, we received more than 50 names of IC experts that we published in a blog post. The list was viewed and shared thousands of times on social media. We also created a public Twitter list to follow the IC thought leaders on Twitter. Since we keep receiving requests for additions to the list, we update it frequently.

PB: What are the key features and benefits of your new website?
In this first phase, the website includes four main sections: SourcesIC Thought Leaders listCalendar of global communication conferences and events, and our new Blog.

Under Sources, we list organizations, agencies, publications, professionals associations, research and reports, blogs for communication professionals, a list of relevant Twitter Chats and hashtags to follow, a compilation of Communication LinkedIn groups, books, resources as well as glossaries.

Each element listed under the different sections has a link. With one click, you have a direct and immediate access to the information. We will update current sections on a regular basis and new sections will be added.

IC Kollectif focuses on a wide range of topics including change communication, digital communication, employee communication, social media, and much more. Although tactics remain an important aspect of the communication profession, we put a high focus on the value of managing communication strategically.

PB: How does your site tell the story of your business?
LM: The IC Kollectif website celebrates the people and the organizations around the world who offer relevant content in organizational communication. We do this by taking a valuable role in bringing these sources and resources under one roof and in pointing communication professionals in the direction of useful information and connections to empower them in addressing their day-to-day professional challenges.

PB: What’s next in the collaboration journey for IC Kollectif?
LM: Recently, we forged alliances with Australia’s Cropley Communication and US-based ALI Conferences. We are currently speaking with other organizations for possible partnerships.

We have a special interest in Communication and Public Relations research.  We already have a section called Research and Reports on our website. Eventually, we’d like to expand this section by adding academic communication research to help bridge communication and PR research with global communication professionals.

Over the next weeks, we will introduce guests posts on our new blog by inviting communication professionals and experts to participate. Our aim over the next 6-18 months is to become a must-visit resource for communication professionals eager to stay on the cutting edge of practice and who value a strategic approach to communication management and leadership.

Special thanks to Lise for creating this unique collaboration effort to support global communicators in their quest to lead collaborative company cultures for their organizations!



Bonfyre Inspires Collaboration@Work

Fireworks over city skylinePhoto:

When’s the last time you experienced great collaboration at work?

When I heard about Bonfyre’s Lunch and Learn program, I just had to find out more about this fabulous example of collaboration so I could share it and inspire others to be more collaborative at work.

Chris Dornfeld is President and Co-founder of Bonfyre, a mobile, social engagement platform used by people, brands and companies around the globe. When I met Chris during the ALI’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, he had exciting news to share about Bonfyre’s new website.

This month, Chris shared with me how Bonfyre’s Lunch and Learn program increases collaboration among his employees so they learn from each other, learn about each other, and continue to be inspired to help their clients create increased collaboration in their organizations.

Bonfyre employees collaborate on white-boarding and visual communication during their monthly Lunch and Learn program

Bonfyre employees collaborate on white-boarding and visual communication during their monthly Lunch and Learn program

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How does your Lunch and Learn series support your business goals?
Chris Dornfeld: The Bonfyre Lunch and Learn program accomplishes three objectives for our team:
(1) Exposing people to new ideas and knowledge.
(2) Getting to know one another. Employees present on a broad range of topics. Most are in some way interactive.
(3) Reinforce our culture of collaboration and learning.

These outcomes help us build a more engaged, innovative and collaborative team of people.

PB: How does your Lunch and Learn series promote collaboration and a positive company culture?
CD:  Occasionally, we bring in an outside expert, but most of our Lunch and Learns are organized and presented by employees. Some of the topics are directly related to our business and some are just things people find interesting and they want to share. People take them pretty seriously and do an excellent job making them interesting and engaging.

Recently, one of our graphic designers did a Lunch and Learn on white-boarding and good visual communication in meetings. After the first 20 minutes, we divided into pairs and created visual stories for one another. Not only did we learn about visual communication, but we learned a great deal about people in other parts of the company.

PB: Tell us more about your Lunch and Learn series program.
CD: We try to conduct a program once a month. The topics vary widely from how stock options work, to travel slide shows of exotic places, from client events, to hacking Bonfyre design ideas. We have also hosted authors, motivational speakers and experts in their fields.

PB: What is some of the feedback you’ve received so far on this series?
CD: Incredibly positive! It’s always nice to get a free lunch with your co-workers, but learning more about things you are interested in is even better. The topics are pretty diverse, and attendance is voluntary. Everyone participating is engaged.

PB: What are some other collaboration activities or initiatives you’ve launched?
CD: We build technology to help employees around the globe love their job, so we are constantly thinking and testing new technologies, ideas and programs to improve the work experience.

Bonfyre employees team-build during a human foosball game.

Bonfyre employees team-build during a human foosball game.

We have company team building events like human foosball and escape rooms. We encourage cross-department brainstorming/hackathons to help solve problems. We have project tables for Lego and “maker” builds. And of course, we have Bonfyre communities for everything from project teams to “foodies,” so we can stay connecting and collaborating, no matter our location.

Bonfyre’s collaboration techniques inspired me to create a new series called Collaboration@Work, where I’ll share more examples of fabulous collaboration at work. Stay tuned!

What are some examples of fabulous collaboration you’ve experienced at your organization?

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Hope is in the Stars and on YouTube

Meteor showerPhoto: Looking for the Perseids meteor shower in Luhasoo bog in Estonia. In the photo there is one Perseid, Milky Way and Andromega galaxy and light pollution on the horizon. By Martin Mark. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Vincent van Gogh said that “Hope is in the stars.” Looking at the stars and featuring them in his work was a way to help give him comfort and hope. He wanted to bring that feeling to others too.

That’s what inspired me to create Starry Blue Brilliance in 2013. Through my work in communication (also an art), I want to bring hope and success to others. In turn, I receive hope and success through the work and inspiration of others, through you, my followers and future followers.

Most recently, I began a new adventure of building a whole new Starry Blue World, based on collaboration, the foundation of hope and success. See what I mean in my new video, “Collaboration Begins Here.”

Collaboration begins here. With all of us. Together.

Thank you for continuing to inspire me, and most of all, giving me hope. 🙂

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A Whole New Starry Blue World

IMG_0527“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent van Gogh

That’s my feeling as I’m creating a whole new Starry Blue world dedicated to growing your business legacy through communication design.

I’ve updated my website and “conversation” materials (aka marketing materials) with a fabulous new design by Kong Cheong, design entrepreneur.

A huge thank you also to Stephanie Graf, UI/UX designer, for designing my logo, which expresses the heart of my brand.

Please check out the new content on my Home page and About Me page and let me know your thoughts.

My new Starry Blue world will be on exhibit at the Intranets for Internal Communications Conference, Dec. 9-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re planning to attend, use Priority/VIP Code SBB when registering to receive a $200 discount on Regular pricing.

My mission remains the same: To provide you with masterpiece communications, resources and insights that will help you succeed.

Starry Blue Brilliance will always be our collective masterpiece. For that, I’m truly grateful. Thank you for your continued support and readership!

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The Key to Your Digital Transformation Success

"Fairy Kingdom", a cave inside the Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes in Germany by Ansgar Koreng / CC BY 3.0 (DE)Photo: “Fairy Kingdom,” a cave inside the Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes in Germany by Ansgar Koreng / CC BY 3.0 (DE)

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker, U.S. management consultant and author

Starting a business and staying in business takes courage. It also takes engaged employees.

According to in “Transforming Internal Collaboration for the Digital Economy,” “the secret ingredient is culture and best practices.”

And what ties culture and best practices together? CollaborationIt’s the key to your organization’s digital transformation success.

Join me Dec. 9-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada for Advanced Learning Institute’s “Intranets, Content, & Collaboration” Conference. Together we’ll learn about reinventing our intranets and creating digital workplaces that drive productivity, engagement, innovation and measurable business results.

To help direct your digital transformation success, be sure to attend these pre-conference workshops:

  • “How to Successfully Build and Manage Digital Platforms that will Engage Employees, Transform Company Productivity, and Rebuild Culture,” presented by Heath Applebaum, Owner & Principal Consultant, Echo Communications
  • “Strategic Priorities for a Digital Transformation within Your Organization,” presented by Shannon Ryan, CEO, Nonlinear

As a conference supporter, I can offer you special pricing to attend this event. Use Priority/VIP Code SBB when registering to receive a $200 discount on Regular pricing.

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_Intranets.

In the meantime, watch for my conference posts on LinkedInTwitter, Google+ and Starry Blue Brilliance.

And be sure to stop by the Starry Blue Brilliance exhibit table during the conference to discuss collaboration opportunities!

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How Writing Led to My Next Adventure

Starry Blue Brilliance logo

I’ve always been a writer. And I’ve always used this talent to help people be successful at whatever they are trying to do. Engaging blog posts. Relevant content marketing and branding strategies. Stellar relationships with customers and employees. Collaboration and continuous learning. If it involves improving people’s lives, I am always willing to help! 🙂

It’s this passion for writing and helping others that led me to create Starry Blue Brilliance, a collection of masterpiece communications, resources and insights. Through this website, I’m dedicated to helping you build your business legacy through communication design.

Vincent van Gogh inspires my work. Through the iconic The Starry Night, van Gogh mixes “dreams and reality, observation and imagination.”  My goal is to make masterpiece communications that people will recognize and remember today, tomorrow, always.

Please let me know how I can help you and your business succeed. After all, “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” – Vincent van Gogh.

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Collaboration Begins Here

Peggy Bieniek, ABC at Switch SUPERNAP's Innevation Center in Las Vegas, Nevada

Switch SUPERNAP’s Innevation Center in Las Vegas, Nevada inspired creativity and collaboration during WordCamp Vegas 2015. It’s the perfect venue to showcase how WordPress and its community supports continuous learning and success.

Collaboration thrives in creative environments. Your organization’s success depends on it.

Environments also affect your emotions and how you feel about your work. In “How to Design Your Workspace to Encourage Positive Emotions at Work,” Beatriz Arantes asserts that “it’s when people are in environments that promote positive emotions that they’re able to do their best work.”

This premise also applies to digital environments. Join me Dec. 9-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada for Advanced Learning Institute’s “Intranets, Content, & Collaboration” Conference.

Together we’ll learn about reinventing our intranets and creating digital workplaces that drive productivity, engagement, innovation and measurable business results.

As a conference supporter, I can offer you special pricing to attend this event:

  • Now through October 28, anyone who uses Priority/VIP code SBB when registering will receive a $200 discount on Early Bird pricing.
  • After October 28, anyone who uses Priority/VIP Code SBB when registering will a receive a $200 discount on Regular pricing.

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_Intranets.

In the meantime, watch for my conference posts on LinkedIn,Twitter, Google+ and Starry Blue Brilliance.

Collaboration begins here. With all of us. Together.