Coffee: Jordan Honnette, Designer
Location: Copa Vida - Pasadena, CA
About: Jordan Honnette is a Los Angeles based graphic designer hailing from Granite Bay, CA. His undergraduate degree is from Azusa Pacific University and he is now attending the prestigious Art Center in Pasadena. His freelance clients have included Nike, the Getty Museum, and Bayside Church.
How We Met: Jordan and I led the communications team for the Student Government Association at Azusa Pacific during my sophomore year.
Coffee: Jordan Honnette, Designer
Jordan and I meet about every other month to stay in touch and today I made the drive up to Pasadena from Orange County and he made the short bike ride from his cubicle at Art Center. Partial incentive for me coming his way was a date I had planned in Glendale after but his expertise in design was also worth the drive and we had an awesome conversation.
I started off by asking about how Jordan finds and retains good clients for his freelance gigs, I was delving into this because of some positive and negative conversations I had with my own "almost clients" this week.
Jordan specializes in designing user interfaces and thinks a lot about how the user perceives what happens on a website or in a work space or interacts with a live product. This is the main way he helps clients.
This led to a critique of my own web page and we hit on an interesting rabbit trail.
1) The Internet Craves Authenticity
This was the main point that I took away from the next 45 minutes of us talking and walking around old town Pasadena. Several of our friends are working on building online audiences and sharing the cool things that they're doing in the world. What separates those that are building their audience effectively with those that aren't?
2) Make Your Ideas and Visuals Agree
I called Jordan out on this one for talking design jargon. I've read this idea in every business management book I've ever bought and still couldn't tell you what it means.
Here's what Jordan thinks: "Take your idea then ask yourself point blank: Who is your audience? and What do they enjoy looking at?" If you can't answer that question your goals for creating content is not concrete enough yet. After you know the kinds of people who want your content then don't make it complicated just put it in an easy format for them to interact with. And as Jordan would say, "Make sure it doesn't suck."
3) Know Your Place and Learn From Others
When you're in the audience building stage, the worst thing you could do is act like an expert on a topic that you're not an expert at. Jordan pulls no punches when consulting on websites social media usage in this area. We all just graduated and we're all hustling. There is a place for marketing speak but at the end of the day, back to the main point, the internet craves authenticity.
Another great point, Jordan made in this area was explaining that this is why young employees have a hard time interacting with their older counterparts in most cases. Graduating college does not give us permission to think we can walk into any workplace and rewrite the rules. There is a time for out of the box thinking definitely but not at the expense of believing that you can do things 100 percent better with no track record yet.
4) People Don't Want to Read
The internet is not an affective interface for reading information. The internet is built for absorbing information. Make sure your blogs are appealing and easy for people to scan with clearly defined headers and follow a logical progression in thought with important points having attention drawn to them.
Jordan's Website - www.jhonnette.com
Jordan's Picks for Good Online Personalities - Aaron Draplin