SXSB: Data Visualisation, Holistic UX, & the Modern Browser

I brought a few things back with me from SXSW  this year: 1- an unquenchable desire for Texas BBQ, 2 – an uncontrollable urge to yell ‘NERD‘ when I see people segway-ing around town wearing google glasses, and 3- a wealth of knowledge and re-invigorated passion to do great digital work!  Below are some of my key takeaways from Austin.

Visually Turning Complexity into Clarity: Illustrating data relationships in compelling, intuitive, and beautiful ways.

Vision of Humanity GPI

Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index is the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness, based on 22 indicators.

  • Clarity is key. At first glance, the user should be able to take away key data points and feel an intuitive understanding of your visualization (2 second rule).
  • Example #1: Fernanda Vieagas and Martin Wattenberg, who lead google’s “Big Picture” visualization research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, created Wind Map to show current surface wind data from the National Digital Forecast Database in an easily digestible visualization. They spoke at SXSW about process, technical hurdles, and key insights gained from building this great visualization.
  • Example #2: Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index is the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness. The GPI measures peace according to 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators.


    When thinking tablet first it forces the design to be ‘touch optimized’ rather than ‘touch enabled’ #tabletfirst

Holistic UX

  • Create ubiquitous multi-device experiences, with a balance between utility, usability and beauty.
  • Research and understand your customer first. Then design a holistic experience without regard to device or screen size by sketching and storyboarding elaborate user journeys.
  • “The user is a mobile person – not a mobile device – who moves across screens and devices.” -Christian Crumlish, Cloud On
  • Prototype experiences to uncover design flaws and continually iterate your work.

    Have fun. Do good work. Make money. Build business.

    I created this demo to illustrate a brand new css3 feature called ‘background-clip’ using a gif and webfont. Its only currently supported in webkit browsers, so fire up Chrome or Safari and take a look.

The UI Capabilities of the Modern Browser

At SXSW, I learned about all of the newest browser features that allow front-end developers to build incredibly rich and immersive experiences on the web. This is one of my favorite new sites, showcasing what we can do with WebGL and the Web Audio API.


Post by: Andrew Baker, Senior Experience Developer at Karsh Hagan

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Ivy Vaughn: Media Coordinator

Ivy with a cup of coffee

Ivy with her favorite drink, coffee!

We were so impressed with Ivy when she was Media Intern for us in Fall 2013, and we are thrilled to have her back as a Media Coordinator. Ivy is doing amazing work on the CU Denver, CU Boulder, Innovage and VISIT DENVER accounts.

Ivy grew up in Springfield, IL with her parents, three siblings and two dogs, before she heading West to Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. While at Pepperdine, Ivy joined Pi Beta Phi sorority and Sigma Tau Delta, English Honors Society. Ivy spent her sophomore year of college at Pepperdine’s campus in Lausanne, Switzerland. One might call it a “Swim-Ski” curriculum that included a summer seminar in Creative Writing at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England. Ivy graduated from Pepperdine with a B.A. in English Literature.

Ivy at the top of the Manitou Incline

Ivy hiking (conquering) the Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs, CO.

After college, Ivy stayed on the West Coast and worked in marketing, advertising, and sales positions at boutique fashion stores in Malibu, Los Angeles and Denver. Before joining Karsh-Hagan, Ivy worked as a Social Media Strategist and Project Manager for a Denver-based PR and Marketing Firm.

When Ivy’s not at work, you will find her running through Wash Park, or going the distance in marathons. To date, Ivy has crossed the line in 5 half-marathons and 2 full marathons. During the winter, you will find Ivy on the slopes. She hasn’t missed a season since her parents put her in ski school at the age of three!

Post by: Tom Hagan, Co-Founder (1977)

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Colorado Tourism – We ♥ Results

KH_newsletter_infoG_moneyFilled with images that awaken the senses, both the summer and winter ‘Come to Life’ campaigns for the Colorado Tourism Office resonated with visitors and created huge results.

The campaign influenced more than $2.6 billion in economic impact for FY 2014, given the number of trips the advertising resulted in and the level of spending by those visitors. The campaign also resulted in an ROI of $344 in travel spending for every $1 invested in paid media.

The Come to Life campaign influenced $2.6 B in economic impact

Last fall we shot photos at The Denver Beer Co to promote the city's breweries scene as well as the city's unique meeting spaces.

Last fall we shot photos at The Denver Beer Co to promote the city’s breweries scene as well as the city’s unique meeting spaces.

Our 20-year client, VISIT DENVER, is also seeing great results. Denver saw a record 14 million overnight visitors in 2013, who spent an all-time high of nearly $4.1 billion.

KH has built an unparalleled expertise in tourism and we are always searching for more opportunities to garner results for our great state.

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Five Steps to Align Social Media with Your Business Goals

According to BazaarVoice, 74% of CMOs believe they will tie social media metrics to hard ROI this year. If you want to ensure your social media campaign is optimized to achieve your business goals, follow these 5 steps.

Guide to choosing the right social media platforms for you

This infographic by Social Media Today is a great tool to help you choose the right social platforms for your business. 

Understand your target market. Research the demographics of your consumers using website analytics tools. Google Analytics is a great place to start, giving you a full picture of your consumers across websites, mobile, social media, ads, videos, phones and tablets.

Choose the right platforms. Decide which social media platforms to engage in based on your target market, your business goals and the type of media that is best suited for your brand. This infographic by Social Media Today is a great tool to help you choose the right social platforms for your business.

Create engaging content. Tailor your social media strategy and content calendar to engage your target market. Using a social media management system, schedule content to reach your target market during optimal times. This article by Social Health Institute will help you choose the right management system to fit your social media needs.

Measure your success. Based on your business goals, decide which metrics are viable. If your goal is brand awareness, then metrics such as reach, engagement, and shares will help you measure your success. Search Engine Watch offers an overview of 11 online tools that will help you track links and analytics data, and provide insights into your social media ROI.

Tailor your approach. Pay attention to the data and determine what is working and what isn’t. Customize your social media strategy to build meaningful relationships and achieve optimal business goals.

If this all sounds a little overwhelming, let Karsh Hagan’s social media experts help you improve your social media ROI and meet your business goals.

Post by: Brooke Olson, Community Manager

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Meet Ashley Roybal

Ashley is the new Integrated Producer at KH and is our go-to gal to get things done! We go to Ashley with questions about schedules, budgets, assignments, deadlines and client needs.

Ashley came to us from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts and a minor in Religious Studies.  She was the president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and also filled public relations and recruitment chairs during her time there.  After college, Ashley moved to Denver and worked in Account Services at a couple of different agencies before coming to us.

Ashley in her Taco Bell Sauce costume

Ashley made a Mild Taco Bell Sauce costume for Halloween

During her free time, Ashley enjoys rafting, rock climbing and playing with her bunny rabbit, Cupcake.  Ashley loves to do crafts, and says she uses lots of glitter and gold spray paint. Ashley also sews a lot; she makes bags and even sewed an impressive Taco Bell sauce costume for Halloween one year!

Despite what the taco bell sauce costume may lead you may think, Ashley prefers plain foods.  She admits that a plain hot dog from IKEA is her perfect meal.

You won’t find Ashley on social media – she is too busy honing her skills in Adobe Creative Suite, DropBox, Prezi, Keynote, NeoFinder, Workamajig, Basecamp, and Automator.

While Ashley didn’t get a smartphone until last year, she’s tied to it now (literally – she wears it on a lanyard around her neck). And we are happy she is available, because we are not sure if anything would get done around here without her!

Post By: Tom Hagan, Co-Founder


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Breaking Golf Ad Conventions

KH developed the ‘Husher School’ campaign to promote Colorado’s 2014 BMW Championship golf event at the Cherry Hills Country Club from Sept 2-7. The campaign increased ticket sales, gave Professional-Amateur and sponsorship acquisition a jump start, and created national exposure for the highly anticipated event.

John Elway, Peyton Manning, Chauncey Billups and John Lynch joined ‘Husher School,’ to learn how to use ‘Quiet Please’ signs, and get in on the golf action. Read our blog about making the ads.

“The Husher School campaign broke the conventional approach to golf tournament promotion. We had the opportunity to localize the BMW promotion with world class Colorado athletes that created a buzz in our community and heightened interest in the tournament,” said Pocky Marranzino, Co-President, “At the same time, we coupled the event to the great sports offerings available in Colorado as part of the appeal for people to come visit our great state.”

Watch one of the custom features we did with Gov. Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock, promoting Colorado, during the BMW Championship on the Golf Channel.

The Sept 2-7 tournament brought the world’s top 70 golfers and thousands of spectators to the Mile High City. Considering the mammoth numbers, the Denver Post reported, “the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club is teeing up a record-breaking tourism season for Colorado.”

Check out the Husher School Outtakes:

Karsh Hagan Credits:
Account Manager: Emily Rundles
Art Director: Nick Marranzino
Co-Presidents: Pocky Marranzino, Kathy Hagan Brown
Copywriter: Karen Morris
Creative Director: Matt Ingwalson
Director of Broadcast Production: Becky Ferguson

Creative Partners:
Film: Roshambo Films / Jim Elkin
Photos: Bryce Boyer
Sound: Rocky Mountain Recorders / Chris McNaughton
Color: Postmodern
Editor: Tom Welborn

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