Home Automation Podcast Episode #77: An Industry Q&A With Kendall Clark
Website Design 101
This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Kendall Clark. Recorded live on Wednesday June 5th at 12:30 p.m. EST.
About Kendall Clark
Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Kendall Clark
- Kendall's background
- Homepage analysis
Ron: Hello everybody. Ron Callis here, another episode of Automation Unplugged, episode number 77. Thank you for watching or listening wherever you're coming to us from. As I always do, let me take a quick look over at Facebook, see if we are in fact streaming live and let me just take a quick peak. Yep. There we are. We are live. Awesome. So today is Wednesday, June 5th. It is 2019. It is past 12:30. It's about 12:40 or so you know, had some technical difficulties as we do on occasion, Chrome decided to do an update and of course I had to update and then Kendall, my guests had to update and then I had to reboot and then she had to reboot and voila. Here we are. So fingers crossed and we'll see if this show goes live. I hope all of you are probably by this point. I'd imagine your kids are probably out of school if you have kids. I know my son Max has now been home for a good solid week and he's downstairs playing Fortnite. So in case you hear a little, you know, voice screaming and yelling and talking to his buddies via, you know, what does it play station, audio conference. That's what that is. And I am very excited to bring to you today our very own Kendall Clark, our head of our web team. And we've received a lot of feedback from our audience that you guys certainly appreciate all of the different guests that we bring on. We try to bring a nice diverse, nice diversity and our guest of integrators and manufacturers and consultants and other personalities from the industry. And but we are starting to get more and more feedback that you guys wanted to meet more of our team. So last week we had Kelly on and due to some show scheduling and show numbering that I think that was called show number 75, and Kendall very logically. Then the next week is show number 77. Right. So I hope you all you know, got that. We skipped one. But if you go to our website and you go to Learn down to Automation Unplugged, you'll see all of our guests. Everyone has their own dedicated page and bio's and you'll be able to get it if you're confused. Alright, let's bring Kendall in and get started here. Let me see if I can get technology to behave. Oh, right there she is. Kendall, how are you?
Kendall: I'm good Ron, how are you?
Ron: Now I know that all of the show art said Kendall Clark and then I see here it is populating your name and that's coming directly from Facebook and it's saying Kendall Ellison. So which one are you today?
Kendall: I am both.
Ron: I guess you are both.
Kendall: Yeah, Clark is actually my maiden name, so I got married, oh two and a half years ago. So Facebook says Ellison, but to the One Firefly world. I am still Clark.
Ron: Kendall Clark. Got it. Alright. Awesome. Well how are you doing today? I know you are super excited to go live. Yeah, no, not so much. I had to twist your arm a little bit, but thank you for coming on.
Kendall: No, I'm happy to be here. I'm honored you asked. So we made it.
Ron: We made it, we fought our technology demons and fingers crossed there will be no more. And if you are out there watching us live, make sure to like this post. If you have those burning questions about website design and SEO or marketing, make sure to post those in the chat. And I will be sure to read those off live to Kendall and we'll get some real time marketing education and knowledge thrown down from Kendall. So don't forget to do that. And if you are listening or watching after this so you're not watching live, but you're watching it on replay still do that still like and share and comment and we'll be sure to follow the the chat stream and, and provide comments and feedback as we go. So Kendall as a, you probably have watched one or two of these shows. And, and the little dirty secret here at one Firefly, this doesn't really fall into Kendall's plate, but if you ever, get hired by One Firefly, one of your elements of training is you have to go back and watch all of the videos and you get quizzed on them. And we found that it's a really good way to get industry knowledge. But Kendall, you probably, you, you, you were, this happened way, way after you joined us. How long have you been with us here at One Firefly?
Kendall: Yeah. So I think as of early July, that will be my five years with the company.
Ron: Five years with the company. So as I always like to do, let's go into your background. Where did you come from? What did you study and all of that. And I know all of our eager listeners here would, would love to know more about your background and how you actually landed here at One Firefly.
Kendall: Sure. Yeah. Well, a little bit, I guess about myself. I am born and raised a Floridian. I've lived in South Florida for pretty much my entire with the exception of college where I moved up to Tallahassee for a few years and attended Florida State University going to, and I am actually a third generation Seminole. So that means that both my parents and my grandmother went to Florida State. So it's something that's pretty, pretty meaningful to me. And then my senior year I got to witness the national championship in football. So, you know, it was a pretty good way to cap off.
Ron: We have this in common that my senior year I got to watch the Florida seminals at the national championship, but, and this was in 2000 and that was when they were stomping the, you know, what, at of Virginia Tech my Alma mater. But I'm just saying we do have that in common, but okay, keep going.
Kendall: Yeah. So at Florida State I received two degrees. So my first couple of years there I started off just kind of taking the art route. So I got my art degree. I took, you know, any of the typical classes you can imagine, drawing, color theory, computer classes, painting. It was kind of an art degree with a focus in graphic and web design. But I finished that pretty quickly. I was done within two years. And I realized I did not want to leave school. I was having a little bit of a lot of fun. And I figured there were some other things that could kind of compliment what I wanted to do with my career. So I picked up another degree and that one was in computer science, so that one was for the next two years. And that was pretty challenging. But it's something that I'm pretty proud of but I like to kind of compare it to is that my brain has always been both kind of left and right brain focused. So the left brain and I can have like an art focus, but then the computer science side kind of fills that need for that analytical thinking that I like. So web design is the perfect avenue.
"In my experience in life, that's a rather rare mix of seeing people that can appreciate art or do art and handle the technical side."
Ron: That's in my experience in life that that's a rather rare mix of seeing people that can appreciate art or do art and handle the technical side. When did you identify that about yourself? Did you know that when you were younger, did you like see that or practice that in middle school or high school or did that really get discovered in college?
Kendall: You know, I think I kind of had a hunch just by what classes I liked. So my favorite classes in school were art and math and I just, you know, before I entered college I thought, how could I kind of combine those two things? And that just seemed like the natural course.
Ron: When you were in college, I know, I know this about you because I interviewed you five years ago and I've known you for five years. You also were involved in your sorority. Can you talk about what your role was there and then you were involved in a charity that your sorority I think was a part of?
Kendall: Yeah. So all four years of college, I was involved in my Greek organization and I got to do various roles through their homecoming chair, things like that. And then my Junior/Senior year, I was fortunate enough to be elected president, so got to our chapter was little over 200 women at that point. So it was a pretty cool experience. It was definitely a learning experience, but it was something that I don't regret at all. One of the coolest experiences about school and then a charity that I was pretty involved in it's called Dance Marathon, but it's pretty big. It's some of the major colleges. Basically it's a year long fundraising event that raises money for your local children's miracle network hospital and it's capped off with basically a big celebration event at the end of the year where you reveal a fundraising total and there's dancing involved. I'm not really a dancer, so that was perfect
Ron: That wasn't a requirement to run it. It was only to to facilitate others dancing.
Kendall: Yes, yes, yes. Yeah. Every hour on the hour they taught a line dance. So we all had to learn that line dance and it's just kind of a fun part of the event.
Ron: Now, when you graduated, what sort of career path did you plan to go down and what did you end up doing?
Kendall: Yeah, so right after I graduated, moved back down to South Florida with my family. I think I took one small trip and then just pretty much immediately went job hunting. I pretty much knew I wanted to go the web design route. Just having had experience in kind of either ends of it, you know, I had the art route, I did the strictly programming route. I knew I kind of wanted something in the middle and I had some experience in that. So I just started looking for opportunities in my area for jobs that were web design based and kind of checked all of those boxes and I just happened to stumble upon one for One Firefly. And actually at the time, you know, I was living up in West Palm and the One Firefly office, we haven't always been remote as you know. So I was living about an hour and a half away from the office. So I did that commute every day.
Ron: Did you do the train from Palm beach down to Hollywood or did you drive?
Kendall: I drove. I always said that I didn't really need, I didn't need morning coffee because I know if you've driven on I-95 at seven o'clock in the morning, you know, it's stop and start.
Ron: Yeah, that's, that's commitment right there.
Kendall: Yeah, no, I definitely, I liked you guys.
Ron: Yeah, no, vice versa. So when you joined us, you joined One Firefly years ago. So what does it, 2019 now? So that would have been right around 2014 and that, that would have been when we were initially launching our first major website design model product called Mercury. Is that, is that what we brought you in to do? I frankly don't remember.
Kendall: Yeah. So I signed on as a Junior Web Designer I think was the official role and maybe a week earlier we had just released what we now call our mercury collection. And we only have three design models at that point. So I was brought in strictly to start designing and deploying those sites. So in my first couple of weeks I sat side by side with John, our Director of Product. He taught me all of that. And then I think I just, I went to work and then, you know, I think in my first year or two I did probably over a hundred websites. I mean we cranked out websites. It was, it was a lot of work. It was a lot of fun.
Ron: What did you learn during those initial say, year or two and kind of going from the school life into One Firefly and being thrust into the integration industry. What did you learn or what are some of the things you learned?
Kendall: Definitely a lot about the industry. You know, getting to know and speaking with our clients every day. You really just kind of get to pick up the trends and the ins and outs. I remember on my first week, it's funny, I drew, obviously this is the art side of me, but I would draw all the different interfaces to try and remember them and remember what each of them looked like because obviously we're customizing our sites to our client's manufacturer preferences and all that. So I remember drawing all the interfaces to try and, you know, retain all of the information about the industry. So it was a learning curve, but it definitely was a lot of fun.
Ron: And you're now the head of the web team and so what did that transition look like? What you know from what you started doing with us to what you, your responsibilities aren't today.
Kendall: Yeah, it was kind of a neat transition. So when I first started, the company itself was pretty small. I was the only, really the only strictly web designer that was deploying these sites. And as we grew, as the product picked up as more and more people got word and we were building out more sites, you know, our team started to expand. So there was, you know, it was more than just me deploying these sites and building. So there was kind of a need for more of a technical support and a little bit of a leadership role within our department. So the next kind of smaller leap I made was to be the lead designer for the department. So that was strictly really just providing technical support, you know, helping out others. But also during that time I got to help a little bit of development doing the design four and five for our Mercury collection. So I got a little bit of product development under my belt and I got to help expand that product, which is pretty cool.
Ron: And it's fair to say. Do you remember approximately the year of the models four and five were released or available? Is it maybe, you know.
Kendall: I know CEDIA was our deadline. So I want to say it was, it must've been 2016, 16 sounds about right. And I think four and five are rolled out.
Ron: Yeah. And those models obviously instantly were very popular and I think it's fair to say, well, just for those watching that may not know what was different, what were like a couple of the characteristics in web design that changed with the implementation of models four and five.
Kendall: Yeah. So the framework had advanced a little bit. So we were able to do a little bit more animation, have a little bit more flexibility. Some of our slideshows and more of the dynamic components on the site were a little bit easier for us to deploy.
Ron: I'm going to attempt to show a model four, sometimes ladies and gentlemen watching and listening this is when the whole show goes up in smoke because of my attempt to share my screen. But we'll give this a shot and we'll see if technology behaves here. So bear with me. Let's see if we get this to work. All right. And then we're going to do, do this. Here we go. So this is, this is a model. This is a Loach a v.com. So this is a deployed website. So what would you describe are some of the characteristics of this site?
Kendall: Yeah, I think one of the big flagship things about this, this model in particular was the ability to add video as a background. So video is very up and coming. It's still is a big up and coming thing within web, but the ability to have a full width, full screen video background, just it made for a different website experience. So in this case, I think Alex has just images with what's called the Ken burns effect. So that's that kind of zooming in animation. But we could actually put any kind of YouTube video streamed.
Ron: Do you have a website top of mind? Maybe that's featuring video. I know that my mind is a blur, so I'll probably.
Ron: Well actually I take that back. It's, it's different. It's not this model, but I can explain the concept cause I can show the Wipliance website. It's a different framework, entire room. But the concept of video.
Kendall: Yeah, video's becoming very, very important. And, and not just video. It's really the speed of video. I think in the past we've always had the ability to add video, whether it be in a light box or you know, people have attempted that video background. But really to be able to optimize videos, a background where it's loading right when you land on the page is a technology that has really refined over the years. And that's what this website showcases.
Ron: There you go. So here we have some questions. Kendall, I'm actually gonna throw this question up. It looks like JJ is watching, JJ Canon and JJ says, what are some of the key considerations for designing a website?
Kendall: No, I think I would answer that with really thinking about how you're gonna use your website. So, you know, different companies, different clients that I've worked with take different approaches. I think in general, you want something that represents your business professionally, that shows that you're, you know, you're a thought leader in the industry, you're professional, you're up to date, especially if you're working in the technology world. You know that you're up to date on your technology. But you know, different people have approaches on how they want to use their site. So if you want to use your site as a sales tool, you need to develop pages and content on your site. That's going to help that. If you just want to use your site you know, to send people to as more of a portfolio, then you need to make sure that you have high res imagery, photography of your projects and the pages on your site reflect that.
Ron: Awesome JJ, thank you for that question, sir. I also appreciate the, a good luck symbol there regarding sharing my screen and hoping that technology behaves. So I appreciate that. And as a followup question here from JJ and then I do have another question for you, Kendall. JJ says, what is the main objective of a website?
Kendall: So again, this kind of goes back to the previous question. The purpose of your website. Are you using more as a portfolio? Do you want it to generate leads? You know, I think in general, everybody wants their website to generate leads. So you do want to have a website design and content on your site that's going to kind of encourage the visitor to kind of move through a funnel ending with reaching out to you, picking up, you know, making that next move.
Ron: JJ, I hope that is helpful and if you'd like further clarification, just type that into the comments, be happy to do that. And so I had the Lelch website up here and this was an example of the model for which actually you are the key architect on Kendall and just to show that it isn't that models one, two, and three were bad. In fact, we have many of them deployed, you know, I want to say maybe hundreds of them deployed across the marketplace. And here's an example of this just for the audience and clarification of those original models. This is model one. Do you want to maybe give your take on what this is or how you would define models? One, two or three?
Kendall: Yeah. What I love about all of our design models, even starting with one, two and three is the focus on imagery. So people, people are really attracted to imagery. People spend more time on websites that have beautiful high res photos and all of our images are, all of our website models are using this full width design, which is new where you know all of them are mobile responsive.
Ron: So I'm going to attempt to demo mobile responsive here. I do not know what's going to happen. So let's cross our fingers. Let's just see. So if you could tell the audience what they're seeing as I change this browser width.
Kendall: Yeah, there we go. So what you're seeing with a mobile responsive website is that you build one framework for the entire site. So gone are the days where you have to go in and you have to edit your website, the mobile version, and then the desktop version. What you're doing is creating breakpoints based on the view box that someone is viewing your website on. So if they're looking at it on an iPad versus a laptop versus an iMac, you know those are going to be all different dimensions. And the site is basically coded to respond to show you certain things based on that viewport that you're viewing it in. So in this case, if you look, go ahead and scale it down again. Take a look at that top main menu. So you see all the menu items listed out and then as we get down to more of a mobile or an iPad view, you're going to see that hamburger menu that we're all so familiar with that's going to indicate you can open up the menu on an off campus. Okay. So all of our design models are still very relevant, still very up to date. They all have, you know, different technology on them and they're all, most importantly, mobile responsive.
"Stating the obvious for our audience we know this is a certainly a larger percentage men in this industry for better and, or for worse."
Ron: Awesome. That's very cool. And I don't want to push my luck here, so I'm going to take me I'm going to pull that screen down. Very cool. Yay. That worked. All right. We do have another question here for you, Kendall. And then I want to talk, I am actually a whole list of things I want to talk to you about, but let's give this question. It's a day in the sun. So Jordan says, what has been your experience as a woman working in a tech role in this industry? Are there any resources you've appreciated? So I think stating the obvious for our audience we know this is a certainly a larger percentage men in this industry for better and, or for worse. And so if you're a woman in this industry and I think I'm proud to say I think more than 50% of one Firefly's employees are women. And what, what has been your experience and what have you used to really get ahead or resources have been available to you?
"I think the industry in general has done a really great job at giving resources and providing resources to women that are trying to get their feet kind of wet in the industry."
Kendall: Sure. Well, I will mention that right now our entire web production staff at this moment we are hiring, we are adding to our team, but our entire production staff at this moment on the web side of things is all female. I think that's pretty cool. You know, I think this industry has grown a lot. Even in just the short five years I've been in it know we are seeing more women at trade shows. We always joke the bathrooms at CEDIA always empty on the women's side, which is kind of nice because there are less of us there. But I think the industry in general has done a really great job at giving resources and providing resources to women that are trying to get their feet kind of wet in the industry. One that I am a member of is a women in CS, women in consumer electronics. So I am a part of their they have like a circle program where you can meet up with other women in the industry. We meet monthly, we get to know each other, kind of get to know some familiar faces. And then you talk about any challenges or you know, things you may want to learn about your career or advancing yourself in the industry.
Ron: That's awesome. Do we have other members of team One Firefly participating in that or are you the only one?
Kendall: We do, I know we have Jo from our web team as a part of it. I know Allison has been reaching out since she joined the team. So it's neat because you learn a little bit from other female professionals that are not only maybe ahead of you in their career, but they're also in this industry. But then when you go to any kind of events, then you have some familiar faces. We all tend to kind of hang out together at events and see each other there. So it kind of adds that level of comfortability.
Ron: Awesome. And Jordan, thank you for posting that question. Greatly appreciated. I'm just looking at the other comments here. Let's see here. J J let me see if I can do it. Yup. JJ just threw up a hamburger. I think he liked the hamburger menu. I think the origin of the hamburger menu is all about the layers and the Maggie Magnolia, she's crying. I don't know if she's laughing or crying, but let me clarify for us. Maggie, what's going on there? That's, that's funny. All right, so those listening that maybe want a really neat takeaway regarding this mysterious topic of SEO, the idea that you can sprinkle pixie dust on your website and now you can start showing up in particular designated ways. Can you, for our audience, in your words, describe what is that and then maybe what are one or two things or three things that they could do to make a difference there?
Kendall: Yes. So, you know, contrary to what everyone might think it's not magic. There is a formula you know, a method to all of it. But basically SEO is based on an algorithm that Google has created. So it's this giant algorithm with I'm thinking thousands, hundreds of thousands maybe variables that make up how you rank in Google search. And that can be, you know, some are weighted a little bit heavier than others. Things like the content on your site is obviously going to be a little more important than maybe something like an image alt tag.
Ron: When you say content. What do you mean?
Kendall: So copy on both the front end of your site and then something called metadata, which is essentially content that's kind of injected into the code of the backend of the site that you as a visitor might not see. But Google is going to pick up when it crawls the site.
Ron: Got it. And so what would be the reason someone would SEO their website?
"Especially if you are a newer business and you haven't owned your domain for 20 years, you haven't been online for 20 years, you're really trying to put a foot hole in your market and get found locally. Then you really need to put some work into SEO on your website so that you're found for certain phrases that you want to be found for."
Kendall: To get found! You know, I think if you, especially if you are a newer business and you have not, you haven't owned your domain for 20 years, you haven't been online for 20 years, you're really trying to, you know, put a foot hole in your market and get found locally. Then you really need to put some work into SEO on your website so that you're found for certain phrases that you want to be found for.
Ron: Alright. So if I throw, I'm going to put a website back on the screen. I know I'm risking a danger here. So let's do this. Alright. Fingers crossed and I'm going to throw Lelch back up there. Tell me where to go. Point at something that you would want the audience to, to identify as making a difference with SEO.
Kendall: Yeah, so one of the easiest things, if you're looking, how can I do this on my own? What are a couple little things I can do right now to add a little SEO value to my site is to look and see through site has an SSL certificate. So up in the top left corner, right next to the URL bar, you'll see that the Lelch website has a little lock icon and what that means is that this site has an SSL certificate. So what an SSL certificate is, is really, it's technically a secure, secure shell walk it or socially
Ron: Socket layer protect, I don't know. S S layer, secure socket, layer?
Kendall: Socket layer, sorry.
Ron: We'll edit that out. Don't worry. No one live heard you stumble over that.
Kendall: Yes. But what it actually is, it means that any data that's passed from the browser, so the browser that you or your visitors are looking at and the actual web server is being encrypted and basically being protected. So in past years, what that means was when you had an eCommerce site, so when people were passing sensitive information, like their credit card information or you know, making purchases online, you had to have an SSL certificate in order to ensure that your information wasn't getting released. So that's actually changed within the last, gosh, less than a year. Google made this update to their algorithm where now they want to see that every site online has an SSL certificate.
Ron: I think it was August of last year at least this July or August is when the browser started giving the warnings.
Kendall: Yeah. So that's, that's exactly my next point. So then shortly after Google made that released their algorithm Chrome, Google Chrome, the browser also released that any sites that did not have an SSL certificate, we're going to flash a big scary warning that says your site is not secure. Does that mean that your site is hacked? No. But to your visitors, they don't know that, so all they're going to see instead of this beautiful imagery, this beautiful video, they're just going to see that your site's not secure and they're going to be deterred from it. Yeah, so if you get an SSL certificate, it's very easy. You just need to really reach out to your domain registrar and your hosting provider and all of them offer these services. You can purchase one and they will install it. For you it's, it's pretty easy, but it's something you must do and it greatly impacts your rankings too because Google said they were going to start not breaking you favorably if you didn't have that.
Ron: Do you know approximately what that cost if they go to their host and buy a SSL certificate? I mean is it tens of dollars? Is it hundreds of dollars?
Kendall: Yeah, it's tens of dollars. A lot of hosts these days, we'll actually include it in their packages or they'll include it with their domain. There's usually there's a bundle that you can add. So I don't really know pricing off the top of my head because it really is much more common nowadays than it was even a year ago.
Ron: Got it. I'm going to switch subjects here a little bit and I'm going to be a bit mysterious cause I'm not going to tell our audience exactly what I'm talking about, but I'm going to leave them with some cliffhangers or maybe some teasers. If you were to look at some of the things online for our industry Kendall that we know we've identified that could be improved. What would some of those things be in terms of web presence? Because the teaser folks is we're well into product development on, on some game changing technologies for the internet, for industry and everyone will learn about that stuff sooner than later. But let's just identify or maybe just talk about some of the categories that would be interesting to solve. What are some of your thoughts there, Kendall?
Kendall: Yeah, I think number one thing would be video content. I've mentioned it a couple of times, even in this episode here, but video content that really speaks to the, you know, the user that you're trying to target. So thinking about, okay, you know, this is my target customer. These are the people I want to attract. These are the type of homes that I want to work in. If your website and the video, the imagery is that content doesn't reflect what you're trying, what you're looking for, then there's not going to be that connection. You have to have it.
Ron: Now, does putting video on a website slow the website down? I mean, I know we at One Firefly have had our customers emailing us these different speed tests, you know, which I'm a Bob's from the internet that tell them their side is faster, slow. Does loading video to a website or having it available on a website. Is that bad for the website?
Kendall: Not at all. Yeah, it can be done. It just has to be done. Right. So, for example you know, I've, like we talked about with this mobile responsive tests, we will program when your psycho is shown in an iPhone or even in an iPad viewport we're going to show you a smaller resolution video that's quicker. You know, because it's smaller in file size, we're going to show that to you because you don't need, you're not viewing this on an iMac, you don't need that high quality of video. So the most important thing about programming a site for video is only giving you what you need and then balancing that with speed. If we can take low time down by a second or two and you can't really tell as much with the quality by reducing the quality slightly in order to get those load speeds, we're going to do that because it's really all about the experience and the visitor. When they land on your site, they really only have seconds and that at most to make a decision on whether they want to stay on your site or whether they want to navigate away.
Ron: Got it. Alright, so video and specifically properly sized video for loads, load speeds. I see that I'm getting all pixelated here. I'm rasterized right before my eyes, I'm turning into pixels. Maybe I'll come back. Who knows? And excuse me one more. What's one more element regarding website design that you think should be or could be improved?
Kendall: Yeah, mobile design and I had something that we have been working on over the years. You know, it may be a surprise to some, it may not, but a couple of years ago Google released that if your site wasn't mobile responsive, then you would be impacted in your mobile ranking. So if someone searched for your website in Google or they search for a key phrase in Google on their phones, then where you would show up on that rankings would be impacted if your site wasn't mobile responsive. So nowadays we're seeing a lot of mobile responsive mobile friendly websites, but really refining what that means. So is it, I've been on a lot of really bad mobile responsive websites. It's not just about passing the test, it's not just about, you know, Google saying it's okay. It's about really making it a user friendly place that someone can navigate through, learn more about. And like I said, be brought down that tunnel where we want them to take a certain action, like pick up the phone or you know, put their information in a form.
Ron: Awesome. I'm going to completely go left field here and ask one or two more questions and then believe it or not, we've almost been live for 40 minutes. Wow. Time flies. Time flies. So real quick. So you manage a remote. Our team, as everyone probably knows by now at One Firefly, we're a remote workforce. Everyone is generally working from home offices. Myself included, I'm in my home office and although we do have an official office, but I just, I proudly say I never go. And so we do have an office here in Davie, but you, you manage a team remotely. And I would challenge in terms of managing people that you know, amplifies the difficulty of managing people. Cause you're not even in the same time and spaces them. For those that are listening they may, these are going to be folks from throughout our industry at varying, these are going to be owners. Is there going to be business managers or, or department managers, project managers, installers, programmers, all different levels. Do you have any from your position now that you are in a leadership role here at One Firefly and you work with not only the leadership team at One Firefly but also with the various members of your team and other departments, any kind of maybe things that you've learned or, or pieces of wisdom or at least things that have worked for you that others might consider?
Kendall: Yeah, to me I guess two kind of main things come to mind. You know, first things first. The one thing that I was drawn to One Firefly about and working in a small business and the one thing I really want is, you know, a focus for my team is that, is that we're a family, you know, we are a small business. We get to know each other. I want us to have that kind of family environment where we're all here to support one another and we're all here to lift each other up. You know that there's, that there's, there's not this competition that we're all here to get. We're all here for the same objective and we're going to do whatever it takes in order for us to get there as a team. That being said, the second component is having just very clear expectations with your team. So I think that's something that One Firefly does really well is, you know, they really lay out to our staff, me included, these are what the expectations are. Here's where you can go to kind of track your goals, track the expectations that we're going to be grading you on. But if you need any help along the way, if you need any support, we're here and you have that family environment and that team environment to help you get there. So we're all going in the same place and we all know where we're going. And I just think those are two really important things in teams in general.
Ron: I concur. Well said. Well said. And if you have any last questions out there in the interwebs certainly post them. And if you even have lit your listen after the factor on replay and you have questions or comments, please do that. Make those comments and we'll reply. Kendall it was a lot of fun having you on the show.
Kendall: It was, I had a great time.
Ron: Oh, you weren't nervous? You, you were worried that you might be nervous. You, you, you did great. Or if you were nervous you didn't show it.
Kendall: Good. Good.
Ron: She's like, I'm not going to comment any further. Yep. Awesome. Well Kendall, thank you for being a guest number 77 on automation unplugged. Great job.
Kendall: Thanks for having me.
Ron: Awesome. Huh. Oh, I see another comment. All right Kendall, I'm going to say goodbye to you and I'm going to sign off. All right, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Show 77. If you want to see Kendall in person or in action, she will next be at CEDIA out there in Denver in September. And we do have some big things coming that we'll be announcing soon for our industry. And Kendall would be part of our, our training team. We're actually gonna do a, some product courses at, you know, One Firefly product courses at CEDIA. We haven't done that a long time and Kendall will be a part of those trainings as well. So until next time, have a great rest of your Wednesday. Have a great rest of your week and we'll see you next time on Automation Unplugged. Thanks everyone.
Kendall came to One Firefly after college as a Junior Web Designer. With passions and degrees from Florida State University in both Computer Science and Studio Art, Kendall has worked her way to Head of the Web Department for One Firefly. Kendall is responsible for the general management of the web team, providing leadership focus and guiding priorities for the department, while also providing web-related technical support to our other departments.
Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing in the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.
Resources and Links from the Interview:
- Lelch Audio Video site with SSL certificate
- Mercury Website Collection
- Bios for Kendall and other One Firefly staff