Instagram's 3 keys to success by Mike Takahashi

At the beginning of 2012, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom sat down with Kevin Rose to talk about the company, how it was started and what made it successful. A few months later, it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion.

When Instagram started it had 3 goals:

  1. Make photos beautiful and inspiring
  2. Integrate social so people would share photos
  3. Create a great user experience
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Will 2013 be the year of the video meme? by Mike Takahashi

According to Billboard, as of last week the Harlem Shake has had a combined view of 30 million+ on YouTube. It’s the latest viral hit to succeed Psy’s Gangnum Style. Everyone from UCLA to Facebook employees and Obama have created their own versions of the Harlem Shake.

Why is it so popular? At its core, the Harlem Shake is an extended 30 second video meme. As Josh Constine explains, “A five-minute video? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Not to watch one, or to make one. But Harlem Shake dance videos are capped at 30 seconds. That’s why we’re so willing to watch just one more incarnation, and why it’s easy to recruit friends to make them.”

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Social Media Governance by Mike Takahashi

A big challenge at UCLA is the oversight of hundreds of different social media accounts for departments and organizations. As the Associate Director of Digital Marketing, one of my roles is to oversee UCLA’s main institutional social media channels. Like many universities, UCLA is a highly decentralized environment. Each department or organization has their own IT infrastructure, web team and social media presence. Anyone can create a website or social media account. (If you work in higher education you’ll know the feeling).

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Usability: When icons fail by Mike Takahashi

A common design pattern that is being used extensively on mobile apps has been the use of icons to illustrate specific functions. By now, there are specific icons that almost everyone is familiar with. An icon of a trash can represents deleting something or a printer represents the print function. But what happens when icons are used that users are unfamiliar with? I’ve been using the Gmail app on my iPad and it helps illustrate a great example. There were quite a few icons that I was completely unfamiliar with, and as a result, I had never used them.

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