Content Anywhere: Using Mobile Devices for Content Production
By Jerry Silverman
Just because hammers were designed to drive nails doesn’t mean people won’t use them to crack walnuts. Mobile devices are perceived as tools for consuming content, but now people use them for producing content. They take pictures and videos, compose texts and emails, and write notes and documents.
Creatives are just like everyone else. They have smartphones in their pockets and tablets in their bags, and they’re going to use them in unexpected ways. They’re going to snap a photo of a sunset to capture a palette. They’re going to identify an interesting font during a subway ride. The use of mobile devices to capture inspiration and solve design problems isn’t just something just a few creatives do; it’s a growing trend, and it’s a good one for government agencies.
Equip Creatives to Capture Inspiration
Agencies are recognizing the benefits of encouraging mobile production of content. Forrester found that 62 percent of leaders in organizations that value creativity said they use technology to help their staffs find creative solutions to problems; 53 percent said they have an advantage over their competitors because they adopt new technologies early. But in each group of employees, some will be early adopters and others will stick to what they know.
Getting workers to adopt new technologies isn’t a new problem, so a body of knowledge exists that leaders can use to promote change. Many organizations start with small steps, like these:
Corral the influencers. Ask early adopters to give lunch-and-learns to demonstrate how they use their mobile devices to produce creative content.
Make the tools accessible. Collect a list of apps like Adobe Photoshop Mix, Shape CC, Illustrator Draw CC, and Color CC, and make them available in the department’s app store—or just profile apps in the department newsletter.
Go for a quick win. Start by promoting an app that’s easy to use and ask everyone to try using it on their next project.
Fostering creativity in the workforce is not only good for the organization; it’s good for the workers too. In the Forrester survey, 69 percent of organizations that said they foster creativity on the job received recognition in the form of ‘best place to work’ or other awards in the past three years.
Increase the Capacity for Creativity
Will creatives produce masterpieces on their little screens? Perhaps not, but managers don’t need masterpieces. They need more productive, creative, and agile workforces. And workers who can capture inspiration when it strikes, even if that happens on a bike ride or in a traffic jam, are more productive and creative by definition. Once the content producer is back in the office, those random little flashes will make their way into agency projects. Mobile is transforming the creative process in the real world by offering a truly untethered workflow.