Your friends at Viget present Flourish, a Viget News & Culture Blog

Smell More Festive with Vigebreeze

Vigebreeze packaging

We love traditions at Viget. Way back in 2003, we were gearing up to mail a few hundred holiday cards — just like every other business does — when we decided to try something more creative. Instead of simple cards, we hand-made and delivered a few hundred mini-gifts of Vigorbalm. We had fun crafting something non-digital, and a tradition was born.

Icing on the Cake:  Easy Steps Toward Improving your Writing

Making a good first impression is essential when meeting clients for the first time. Making this impression often translates into practicing presentations in advance, preparing lists of questions, researching the client’s competition, and reviewing the client’s own internally-generated materials. In addition, however, there are other important actions we all take on a more personal level: we get haircuts; we dress up a notch or two above our usual jeans and t-shirt attire; we smile and engage in friendly conversation; and we extend firm handshakes to those we meet. These two lists represent substance and style, if you will. Neither is effective alone.

When you write, the same factors are in play. And, you won’t make a good first impression through your writing if you don’t pay attention to both. Yes, your writing should convey substantive information. But, if you don’t pay attention to how that information is presented, you risk it not being considered thoughtfully or read at all.

In this post I concentrate on the “style” aspect of writing -- the “dressing up” of your documentation for maximum effect. Below I suggest some tips for making a good impression with your writing that are easy to adopt.

Sabotaged by Interruptions

We work in an interrupted state — between open offices, IMs, notifications, and second screens, the opportunity to be interrupted during a task is higher than ever. 

Even as long as 9 years ago, there was research showing that knowledge workers deal with a surprisingly high number of interruptions. A study of 24 knowledge workers found that they only worked on a single project for 11 minutes before switching or being interrupted. This work concluded that an average day is chunked up into a lot of small periods, and that frequently, workers don’t have control over when those periods begin or end.

Introducing JamBells: Start a Holiday Handbell Choir with Your Phone

One of the best things about working at Viget is a culture of playful experimentation that’s often manifested through Pointless Corp., our innovation lab for products, explorations, and flights of whimsy. Falling within that last category is JamBells, a web game for smartphones that’s guaranteed to add some good cheer to your holiday season.

JamBells was designed to capture the cooperative spirit of a real-life handbell choir: each player is assigned a single bell tone and it’s only by playing together in coordination that a jaunty holiday tune emerges.

To play, gather some nearby friends and visit on your smartphones. You can choose from a few holiday favorites like Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls or go rogue with a freestyle session.

JamBells home screenJamBells lobby screenJamBells gameplay screen

Building Pearl in Two Days

Last Saturday evening, our team of five sat in the waning light of our Durham office, typing away as Justice streamed from Billy’s speakers. Across the table, alongside our laptops: the remains of lunch, some coffee paraphernalia, and a couple plates of donuts. We were putting the finishing touches on Pearl, a product we were building as part of Viget’s latest Pointless Weekend. For the uninitiated, Pointless Weekend is a hackathon of sorts: each office gets two days to conceive, design, build, and launch a product. We were in the last hour, and focus was intense.

Two days isn’t a lot of time to build something, especially if you don’t know at the outset what you’ll actually build. Here’s the story of why we chose to build Pearl, how we did it, and what we learned.