Sparks November 2007 -

Sparks November 2007

In the News

Our Smallwood Plaza site design wins Prodigy Award
We are happy to announce that our design of the Smallwood Plaza website won the Prodigy Best Community Website award from the Indiana Apartment Association in November.

Prodigy award logoThe Indiana Apartment Association is a statewide trade organization representing over 200,000 members in the state of Indiana. Its annual meeting and trade show is the largest of its kind in the Midwest with more than 1,500 attendees.

The Smallwood site received the Best Community Website award for Buckingham Management, LLC, Smallwood’s management team.

Since 1991, the Prodigy Awards have recognized the “best of the best” in products, services, and marketing of multi-family housing. In addition to an elegant award presented to winners during the annual awards dinner, winning entries are promoted in industry and public press releases, as well as in publications of the IAA.

Would you like to receive industry recognition for your effective marketing materials? Contact us to discuss your next project!

Cairril attends conference exploring user experience principal Cairril Mills recently attended Designing for User Experience (DUX07), an international conference on the role of design shaping users’ experiences.

Sponsored by the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA), the conference is the premiere global forum dedicated to the exchange of radical new user experience strategies.

Peer-reviewed papers came from corporations such as Motorola, Yahoo!, and Google; from universities from five continents; and from thought leaders such as David Pescovitz, Adam Greenfield, Thomas De Zengotita, and Steven Berlin Johnson.

Topics ranged from exhilarating to downright frightening. Some highlights:

  • If you can explain what you do with any conventional terminology, you’ve already been outsourced to India.” -Bruce Sterling
  • Complex, hierarchical organization charts work only for producing consistent, predictable widgets. For innovation to happen, your organizational structure be small and flat (think skunk works!). -Peter Merholz
  • If you want people to perceive your product or service as simple, tell them it’s complex or takes a little getting used to. Expectations play a key role in perceptions: under-promise and over-deliver! -Elizabeth Goodman
  • We live in the “era of zillionics” (Kevin Kelly), where our senses are literally make anxious by information overload. “Will you be upgrading your brain to keep up with sensory overload?” -David Pescovitz
  • More businesses are using Second Life to hold meetings. Voice capabilities allow avatars’ gestures to reflect the sound of your voice (louder voice means angrier, for instance). -Stephany Filimon
  • There are no more Picassos. Through blogs, YouTube,, Second Life, etc, we create our own lives, make ourselves the stars, give ourselves attention and then try to get the attention of others. Consumers are no longer passive receivers of content; consumers are now content creators. -Thomas De Zengotita

An overriding theme of the conference was the power of people to create their own experience and their expectation that businesses make that central to their marketing and operations.




This month’s winner: Debi O’Heran!
Debi wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

More News principal Cairril Mills was recently a featured speaker at two area business events.

For Indiana University’s award-winning Networking Nights for successful entrepreneurs, Cairril joined panelists David Hosei of International Web Properties; Brandon Powell of Near Field Interactive; Chris Walls of 39 Degrees North; and Jason Moldoff of They fielded questions from student entrepreneurs about starting a business, keeping it going, and (in Cairril’s case) marketing it effectively.

Cairril taught a session of Marketing 101 for the the SEED Corp. Small Business Planning Course. In addition to prepared materials, she fielded a wide range of questions from the spunky class, critiqued entrepreneurs’ marketing materials, and helped class members translate marketing concepts into practical ideas that can be put into action quickly.

Cairril is a dynamic and instructive speaker on topics ranging from brand development to business development. To learn how to book her for your upcoming meeting or retreat, please contact us!

Sparks on holiday
Sparks will be taking a break in December for the winter holidays. We’ll be back in January with more news about the Design & Marketing studio and tips to market your business more effectively!