Street Advertisment for the KiS Event @Harras Metro Station, Munich

DE Anbei eine Beschreibung meiner ersten Kunstaustellung in München

UK On the weekend 9-11th October, I partook in the “Kunst in Sendling” Event with an Art exhibition of my own. The KiS Event is hosted annually by the Kunst In Sendling e.V. Artist Group.

My show was hosted in the “Literaturkeller” of Stemmerhof, a great and atmospheric Event location centered around a historic farmhouse, from 18oos in the middle of Munich – 10 minutes walking from Theresienwiese.

As my first solo show, the exhibition was a great experience – resulting in many new contacts with art fans and professionals in the art scence. Below I put some first impressions.

This first show centers around digital art and the frontier of the physical, real depiction in photographs and the realm of the emotional and imaginary. Check out the impressions below. Let me know what you think. Am always happy for feedback

cheers

Boris

UK As any web developer will tell you, in order to improve your website visibility/ranking and performance, next to obviously providing relevant and good content it is key to improve the user experience (UX) on the web presence. There is a huge amount of approaches and resources online, so I started compiling a list for personal usage, which strategies worked our best for me. The following might help you get started as well. Broadly, I now follow the process below:

  • testing out ideas: tweaking for better results and ranking, for details check out the section below
    • PART 1: content & structure
    • PART 2: performance & functionalities
    • PART 3: legitimacy & trust
  • collecting data/feedback:  measuring traffic to and on your website
  • improving iteratively towards your goal (back to step i)
    • Some improvements are are difficult to pull off, or have unintended or even comical consequences for example the WP plugin ‘Imagify’ completely backfired by changing all my picture catalogue by changing the image resolution to the wrong dimension for their intend use 
    • Hunting for mistakes / errors in your web code, strategy or design and correcting them (e.g. broken links: these can be tracked found with tools such as the dead link checker)
    • You will have to experiment by trial and error to get to where you want to go your self

PART1: Improving your website content and relevancy

You can start thinking about and working on the following aspects:

  • Choosing the rights semantics / domain name:
    • Short domain name that is easy to remember
    • Domain name containing or related words to the website content
  • Creating relevant & compelling content: this recommendation was brought to you by captain obvious ?
  • Presenting the content in a fashion that can be understood by your audience as well as by search engine/web crawler:
    • Always using adapted HTML, JavaScript identifiers
      • Having a page header HTML format
      • A clear and readable menu and page structure
        • By using a simple menu listing the main content into groups/by key words
    • Building and submitting a sitemap to the different search engines

To collect feedback on the  your website traffic & behaviour  between the menus and pages you can use the behaviour flow tool from Google analytics:

 

PART2: Improving the website performance

To improve the overall experience of a website as well as to improve the search engine ranking, a key ingredient is the loading speed. In nowadays mobile phone era this has become even more important. For enhancing the website performance and functionalities, it’s useful to look at these items and Tipps such to improve website speed:

  • Clean & compressed code
    • Using a clean theme and code on your website as well a regularly updating these packages to prevent bugs
    • If you use WordPress you can try out the following add-ons which perform these tasks for you: G-Zip Enabling
  • Smart loading & Caching of Data
    • If you use wordpress you can try out the following plug-ins which perform these tasks for you: WP-fastest-cache
  • Fast Webhosting
    • It’s best to shop around for the most convincing deal you can find. A serice I have personally had good experiences with is the hosting offer by GreenGeeks, a eco /renewable energy hoster (affiliate link)
  • Secure Webhosting: especially if the website includes a shop or personal data
    • Providing a mobile friendly interface by using a responsive web framework
    • Reduced file sizes: especially images throughout your web presence:
      • Image scaling: to screen/shown size as of publication anything beyond  2000px in width or height is probably overkill
      • Image compressing: by using Photoshop Tools (Paid) or RIOT Image optmizer (Free) for example.
      • Image formatting: by using new formats such as .WEPB which are ca 25% smaller than comparable .JPEG, .PNG images at comparable quality.

To measure your website speed and change results you can use the following tools

Check out some sample screen-shot below of some of my intermediary results. As you can see, I still have work to do ^^

PART 3: Gaining on-line legitimacy, trust and authority

Akin to the scientific community, a publication gains in legitimacy through the number and the quality of references, quotes i.e. “links” it gets. Humans and by extension search engines will judge the importance of a website in the same manner.

To collect and to measure the number of backlinks referring back to your website domain, you can see the number and quality on backlink checkers such ahrefs.com

From my experience this is an area where there are no tricks or quick & easy solutions that will help in a sustainable fashion (for example by using dubious content networks to post your domain across all etc.) since search Engines are constantly being further developed to identify these strategies.  

So, in order to promote the website, you can look at the different tactics to place your “signature/domains” links – which all essentially boil down to various techniques of networking:

  • Obtain exposure/guest posts/interviews in relevant magazines and media outlets
  • Sign-up on various reference social networks and contribute/fill in your profile referencing back to your domain*
  • Getting listed in/on local directory as well as on the various map applications

Last but not least remember to have fun along the way, the internet is a layer cake of different technologies and the outcome of you experiments can sometimes be unpredictable ?

For further useful tools and link head over to my resources page.  I am happy to hear your feedback if this compilation helped you! Cheers, Boris

ADDENDUM BACKLINK SEO LIST: for photographers and visual artists some good places to start setting up profiles & backlinks to your site are:

Book Review: following up on a summer course I attended on Mixed Media some time ago at Central Saint Martins College – UAL London, I recently picked up a copy of the book: CSM Foundations – Key Lessons in Art and Design to freshen up the lessons and to get further insights in modern art education.

Central St. Martins College – University of Arts London

The foundation course is a famous entry-level course to build up one’s own portfolio. It provides a 360 introduction to the art world, and is structured into different sections that give introduction and insights in the different elements of artistic creation. The curriculum is builds upon international ideas and curriculum such as the preparatory art courses at the BAUHAUS school of art in Weimar, Germany.

The book reflects the course and is structured into different chapters starting with ideation/research and then moves on to exercises in: drawing, reflection, crafting. The next part of the book then details further the artistic exploration and critical, topical positioning process, necessary for an artist to explore and diagnose one’s creative potential.  

Thus, the book gives good jumping off points for exploring new ideas and deep diving into specific areas of interest. This makes it a nice book to browse certain chapters and concentrate on exercises and parts that are relevant to yourself.

Very useful sections include practical thoughts experiments and short exercises to jog the mind and asking yourself:  on the differences between art & design, meaning & metaphor, or to challenge oneself in generating 30 ideas in 30 minutes, writing a proposal, contextualizing image and narrative, and many more.

My verdict: a practitioner’s book to start out in the at world and explore your own position & voice within it.

Available: In English under the following link

UK After the website relaunch. I am also reposting a selection of deprecated posts in the new format/website. The first blog entry to receive this treatment is a summary on my MOOC short course in “Design Thinking” from the Ecully Campus of my Alma-Mater (EC Lyon/EM Lyon).

IMHO, a useful definition of Design thinking is:

“Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. At the same time, Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods.” – from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-design-thinking-and-why-is-it-so-popular

In retrospect I believe that Design thinking is useful tool – amongst others – to come up with new solutions/innovations ideas, when classical techniques stall.

The holistic Design Thinking approach was popularized through the IDEO design practice stemming from Stanford University in the USA in teh 1970s and has since gained traction around the world and is being taught and practiced throughout the world, including the HPI Institute in Germany for example.

Caution : Design thinking can lead to disruption 😉

In practice the Design thinking process can be broken down in the following phases

Design thinking Phase 0

The first phase -phase 0 – in the IDEA /IDEO design thinking process consists in the interrogation of the original problem and considering the the situatioi in a new light and to see what can be learnt by looking at the question / problem from different. angles. The hypothesis being that the project is probably ill defined. Neither client nor company will necessarily know what the want in reality.

At this stay it is important to keep track of all the possible normal in case there is the need for further consultation at a later point in time

The underlying idea of this first analysis is to explore the different perspectives and go try and find the limitsonly by knowing the limits -benchmarking them – you can bypass them.
Exploring the theme in different lights without censoring own ideas for this it important to keep an open mind.

Exploring transforming the thematic in a structured manner. And searching crossover and opportunities for hybridisation

It is very important to explore the key ideas but to keep track of ideas to cartography the thoughts
These can be organised in lists or in matrixes.

Design thinking Phase 1: hypothesis proposals and selection

In phase 1 of design thinking consists in understanding the vast field explored in the previous phase and to identify the patterns and develop hypothesis from the available information. Narrowing down the hypothesis is the next step

Asking what if?

Design thinking Phase 2: ideation

Asking what wows?

Brainstorming: ideation = idea finding based on hypotheses

Design thinking Phase 3: finalisation and integration

The third phase  consists in experimentation and finalization of prototype options,

The objectives are prototyping from the precedent found solutions.
Definition of the use case and fabrication details :materials techniques etc

The finalisation has to respond to the objectives of

Important keys to the finalization :
Communicate the the project in the Form of
– general concept
– use case
– identity what Form it will have etc how it will be used
– stakeholder
– respect :desirabilty, feasibility, viable
– describe . Transmit the project

In sum : this phase amounts to  story telling

The viability lies at the intersection of emotional innovation and process innovation
The viability has to hold its ow  on a  economic and and a social context

What is the value proposition ?
To whom? there can be more than just one group

for the prototyping fables can become really useful:

All along the process integrate the stakeholders and identify them as early as possible
The stakeholder network is created throughout the project

This final phase is divergent from an initial phase. to illustrate/finalize the that the customer/user is at the center of each of each DT stage

deliverables are based on previous results:

  • aspect ito. technique
  • aspect ito. situation
  • feasibility / deployment

For industrialization of the ideas chosen it is possible to apply the waterfall design principles from the software industry.

Hello again! Due to covid-19, I have a bit more time on my hands currently as the  great outdoors are more or less shutdown right now.

So I decided to relaunch my website and give the back-end some improvements such as an integrated shop platform, HTTPS support and many more features. Whilst also taking into account the EU GDPR norms.  To build the website I mainly used WordPress in combination with specific themes (by QODE) plugins  and (WOOCommerce, MAILchimp etc.)  as well as some CSS fine-tuning behind the scenes.

To make the navigation easier I decided to break down the differents topics and aspects into 2 mean categories:

  • Part 1: “.reWORK” for work, vita, professional musings and interests
  • Part 2: “.rePLAY” for my passion project and hobbies in the
    • i. mixed media and
    • ii. photography arts

 

Check out the before after changes below! Let me know what you think. To contact me or in case of questions please use the about or contact section. I look forward hearing from you 🙂

Boris

Before

After