Category Archives: agency life

A Digital Agency Gift Guide

A Digital Agency Gift Guide

By | agency life | No Comments

Ah the holidays are nearly upon us. I’m sure at this point your inboxes have been bombarded with holiday specials and deals, 12 days of giveaways, and gift guides galore. Since we’re not the kind to disappoint we’ve come up with our own kind of gift guide, one meant for the digital agency types.


Let’s be honest, devs are either the easiest or the hardest people to shop for. Gifts can usually go one of two ways, they either think it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread… ooh, bread mmm… or pfft it’s so last month. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered and if the gift is a total fail, don’t worry, we’ll take the fall but we don’t think it’ll come to that. So without further ado, here are our top 3 gifts for developers:

  • DeviceLab

    • Developers are constantly switching from screen to device back to another screen. Help keep their desk in working order with DeviceLab, it’s the perfect solution for devs who are constantly testing responsive sites all at once. DeviceLab keeps your desk clean and tidy as you test multiple devices in a single place. 
Device Lab

Image via


  • WD My Passport Wireless
    • What do you think a developer’s biggest nightmare is? Losing all of their work, obviously. Put those fears to rest with WD My Passport Wireless portable hard drive. Having a reliable backup in the first commandment in development and having a wireless option makes the process a whole lot easier and more convenient.  
  • Website Deck of Cards
    • Come on people, developers like games, they’re still people! Okay so these UX cards aren’t all fun and games, they’ll actually help you map out a sites infrastructure off of the screen. The UX KITS deck is made up of 53 cards carrying common UI’s of websites or apps. Bonus they’re an attractive presentation tool for devs to showcase their designs to clients. Well aren’t you fancy! 
UX deck of cards

Image via



Where my marketers at?! Shopping for our fellow marketer this time of year is no easy task. We usually live and breath our industry and like to think of ourselves as connoisseurs of emerging trends. With that said we’ve gone out on a limb and pulled what we consider the top 3 picks for our marketing friends.

  • Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes

    • Because marketers read… a lot. Content creation continues to be on the rise of marketers to do list for 2017 so why not get them the book that will give them a jump on the new year?  Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes will be a content marketers go to in the coming year. Give them a head start with the perfect book.
  • Livescribe Notebook by Moleskine

    • Every marketers heard of Moleskine and many of us have a desk drawer or bookshelf full of them. Kick your field notes up a notch with a new notebook, designed for Livescribe smartpens and the Livescribe+ app. Each page contains a dot pattern that makes handwritten notes appear in digital form with speed and accuracy. Now we can have the best of both worlds and keep our love for hand written note taking alive.
Livescribe with moleskine

Image via

  • Facebook Like and Dislike Stamps

    • Ahh, finally! It’s a social media lovers dream come true. Let your favorite marketer put their stamp of approval… or disapproval all over everything with the coolest gift ever. Note the Facebook Like and Dislike Stamps could forever change office interaction. Purchase at your own peril.  


Ahh the designers, the creative bunch. Usually eyeballs deep in stunning 4K graphics and coffee, lots of hipster coffee. What do you get the creative person in your life? They can be a little tricky to shop for, but not to worry. We’ve surveyed a few of our designers and chosen our top 3 gifts for digital designers.

  • The Slate

    • Wish your illustrations would just seamlessly move from paper to computer? Say no more, The Slate is here to make your day! Use your own paper and pencil, when paper is placed on top of The Slate and The Magnet is placed around your pencil 32 sensors detect your every move and transcribes it accurately onto your tablet. Oh the possibilities!
the Slate

Image via

  • 3Doodler 2.0

    • 3D printing at your desk? Okay! Bonus- you don’t need all of that fancy equipment when you have the 3Doodler 2.0. It’s a 3D pen that brings your drawings to life. The 2.0 is the updated version of the world’s first 3D pen. It’s easy to use and requires no knowledge of photoshop.



Image via

  • Just My Type by Simon Garfield

    • A modern classic that any graphic designer would love to have on their desk. Just My Type isn’t just a practical guide of typesetting, but a cultural history who enjoy all things font related. It’s a real visual joy for all graphic designers.


Oh the strategists, typically the researchers of the bunch and probably the hardest to shop for on our digital agency list. They’re a group of people who are always behind their computer screens, constantly reading and always ready to rattle off some fun fact or another. So what do you get someone who knows a little bit about everything? Here are our top 3 choices.

  • Beverage Warmer

    • Since they typically only venture away from their desk for 3 things- the restroom, food and coffee. Why not make their life a little easier with a beverage warmer. Keep their mug warm for hours on end while they sift through their next deep dive on consumer behavior in relation to New Year’s resolutions.
  • Noise Canceling Headphones

    • If they don’t already have a pair, this is probably one of the most coveted gifts on an agency strategist’s list. Concentration is the name of the game when you’re running the strategy department a pair of noise canceling headphones is what’s going to get you to the finish line. CNET has a great list of their top picks for 2016, check it out here.

Noise canceling headphones

  • Music Streaming Subscription

    • When your job consists in burying yourself under a mountain of research documents it’s really important you get yourself in the right frame of mind. Music can really help with this. So this year get your favorite strategist a monthly subscription to their favorite streaming platform. Trust us, they’ll love it!

Project Managers

Project Managers can go one of two ways, they’re either the most outwardly organized people you know or they’re living in a world of organized chaos. What we know for sure is that choosing the perfect gift for the PM type can be tricky. Check out the the top 3 gifts we came across, perfect for a project manager.

  • Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns

    • Bing a PM is no easy task, you’ve got a million and one things happening at once and if that wasn’t enough on your plate it’s the end of the year and clients are in a frenzy. Time to destress with an adult coloring book, filled with stress relieving patterns. The adult coloring book was a hot ticket item and it’s back again this holiday season for another run. Go ahead, give it a go. Your PM will thank you.
  • Monogrammed Flask

    • Because you never know when the moment will strike. There are a number of reasons to raise a flask- you’ve finally launched that impossible website, clients crushed their ecommerce goals over night or all hell’s breaking loose. Everything looks a little better with a monogrammed flask in your PM’s hand.
  • A Team Lunch

    • Project managers are notorious for sitting at their desks all day. Since they’re constantly grinding, organize a team lunch so that they’re forced away from their desk. It’ll probably take a little coaxing, but once you’ve got em out it’ll probably be hard to get them back to work. Just kidding!

Team Lunch

That about wraps up our gift guide. We’ve covered the major bases of gifting for all of your standard digital agency teams. If we left a few out, well you’re on your own. Sorry, Google it. Happy Holidays! If you need help with your own marketing, design, strategy, or development efforts please reach out, we love meeting new people!


Meet DO's newest employee

Welcome, Nick!

By | agency life | No Comments

 Meet Nick Powell:

The team here at Digital Operative would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Nick, he’s joined the team as our Customer Experience Strategist. Nick has been a great addition to the team, he’s got a great attitude and is always down to participate, even from Florida! That’s right folks, Nick is working remote from Jacksonville, where we hear he’s got a sweet little piece of ocean front property. Side note- if you need company, I’m sure we could find a few volunteers to keep you company!

Anyway, we really wanted you to get to know Nick, so we decided to let him tell you a little bit more about him self. Nick, the floor is yours….

Hi, my name is Nick. Some interesting stuff about me:

In 1999, I joined the United States Navy. I operated the tactical weapons and targeting systems through 7 beautiful all-inclusive luxury cruises. I spent 2 whole years of my life underwater which I’ve been told is interesting and even got a medal for fixing a leak with chewing gum.

After the Navy, I tried my hand at being a Rock Star although ended up a marketing professional. I then double dipped from the University of North Florida with a BBA in International Business and MBA. My professional life has been largely devoted to understanding and improving customer experiences.

My wife and I have two babies, a beautifully strong 5-year-old daughter and my 3-year-old man (my mini-me). We are rounded out by our 8-year old Golden/Jack Russel mix whom I’ve been told is the chilliest dog in the history of the world. (My buddies are always asking to take her to the pubs at the beach). I enjoy running, sailing, hiking, camping and generally looking at the night sky. I love reading classic novels; some of my favorite authors are Alexandre Dumas, Ernest Hemmingway, and Jack London.

Let’s get to know Nick a little better with a few RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:

  • Website you visit the most:
  • iPhone or Android: iPhone
  • Favorite phone app: Tadpoles
  • Favorite industry related website:
  • If you could only visit one website for the rest of your life, what site would that be? Youtube (little bit of everything really)
  • Something you say frequently: “Awesome Sauce”
  • First thing you do when you get to the office: C&C (Coffee and Calendar)
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be: Aston Martin Test Driver
  • How do you take your coffee: Truvia and half and half
  • Fun fact about yourself: I was lead singer/played rhythm in a rock band.
  • Favorite thing to do on a Saturday: Run, then watch college football, Go Buckeyes!
  • Cats or Dogs: Dogs
  • What would you sing at Karaoke night: Bohemian rhapsody
  • Do you have a nickname, what is it: The Commish
  • If you had an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be: wontons
  • What was your favorite childhood injury: Broken Arm, still use it to get sympathy from my brother who was responsible for breaking it in the first place. I just wanted my Leader-1 Gobot (poor kid’s transformers from the 80’s) on the top shelf of my closet and he totally pulled the stool out from under me.
  • Name the movie title for the story of your life: ‘The Journey to Awesomeness part 1’
  • Which store (online or brick and mortar) would you like to max out your credit card:
  • Can you play any instruments: Guitar, Sing
  • What’s your favorite snack: Popcorn
Meet DO's new employee

Welcome to the Team, Elle!

By | agency life | No Comments

Meet Elle Woods! JK, Elle Rudick:

We love meeting new people! So, obviously when Elle joined the crew we were stoked. She packed her bags and drove from one coast to another, what a champ! We couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the team and we can’t wait for you to get to know her a little better… well since there’s no time like the present, let’s do the thing! Elle, take it away…  

HEY! My name’s Elle, which is pronounced “L” (like the letter)- not short for Eleven.

I’m an east coast transplant originally from a small town in Central Massachusetts. I studied Architecture at Syracuse University in Upstate New York, where my love for design is rooted. After graduating from SU, I lived in Boston for a year, then moved to Brooklyn, NY, practicing architecture for 4 years. 

I was introduced to UX design, and sold by the idea of shaping the world through a digital medium rather than physical one, through a very similar process of creative problem-solving. So, I eventually decided that I wanted to work on projects for the digital space, and also wanted to live a life where snow wasn’t a part of my day-to-day. I pursued an immersive online bootcamp in user experience in addition to self-teaching, dabbled in a few side projects, and made the move to San Diego! I love new adventures, so super psyched for an entire new coast to explore, and so thrilled and honored to be a part of the wonderful and collaborative DO team! 

Let’s get to know Elle a little better with a few RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:

  • Website you visit the most: ehh Facebook.
  • iPhone or Android: iPhone.
  • Favorite phone app: Instagram
  • Favorite industry related website: UXPin’s blog, UserTesting’s blog, and Dribbble are all amazing resources
  • If you could only visit one website for the rest of your life, what site would that be? Google! There are just too many things I “Google” on the fly to give it up, even though I wouldn’t be able to click on the links, at least I could have a little preview. Plus it has everything including email, images, maps, docs, hangouts, etc.
  • Something you say frequently: Cool.
  • First thing you do when you get to the office: Pour myself a fresh cup of coffee and greet the marketing early birds.
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be: Umm is this a trick question??
    …After some internal deliberation, I’m going to say a food critic traveling around the world and specializing in all things chocolate.
  • How do you take your coffee: I usually prefer a light roast, with some almond milk. If it’s iced, I like to add sugar in the raw for a little crunch in my sip. Really though, I’m not picky… I’ll take it room temp and black 
  • Fun fact about yourself: I spent two months exploring the west coast, and bicycled from Montana to the border of Mexico. That’s how I met SD!
  • Favorite thing to do on a Saturday: Some element of exploration whether getting away, biking to the beach, or strolling through a farmer’s market
  • Cats or Dogs: 100% dogs. Sorry cats.
  • What would you sing at Karaoke night: Oh boy! I try to assess the audience and go for crowd-pleasers, which typically includes… “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Celine Dion. It’s SO underrated and the way that song builds up is guaranteed to amp up the crowd!
  • Do you have a nickname, what is it: Elle is my nickname, it’s short for Elizabeth, though in the past I’ve been called a combination of names including Lizzy, Rudy, Elle Belle, and Flip.
  • If you had an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be: Energy.
  • What was your favorite childhood injury: I’ve never broken a bone (knock on wood), but had a pretty dramatic sledding accident when I was 11. I flew off my snowtube and slammed my leg against a massive pile of ice-crusted snow. 
  • Name the movie title for the story of your life: Just Go With It.
  • Which store (online or brick and mortar) would you like to max out your credit card: I’m still settling into my new pad in San Diego, so most likely IKEA.
  • Can you play any instruments: Not well. I played the clarinet back in my elementary school days, and I’d like to think my air drum skills are up to par. I can also do background vocals for any 90s/00s pop song. The short answer is no.
  • What’s your favorite snack from the snack cart: Peanut butter filled pretzels.
DO Disrupt

Disrupting the Space

By | agency life | No Comments

That’s a wrap!

One week ago today Digital Operative got to do what we do best- create! We loaded 120 of San Diego’s finest creatives into Moniker General’s sweet downtown warehouse as we teamed up with Invision for a screening of their coveted documentary, Design Disruptors. While we may come off as a little bias- it was a hit!

The evening opened with a little networking, while our friends from 32 North Brewing helped us keep everyone, uhh hydrated-ish with a craft beverage or two.

Local artist Hugo Fierro was cool enough to come down and work on his latest piece right in the middle of all the action. Spoiler, he didn’t even break a sweat. Right, Hugo?


To see more images from the event head over to our Facebook page and check out the entire album.

Boochcraft was on the scene providing their version of kombucha, they’ve got a unique process where they ferment their kombucha a second time using champagne yeast. The end result is a delicious and bubbly libation, flavored with fresh cold-pressed juice.

The evening’s main attraction was the exclusive screening of the InVision-produced documentary DESIGN DISRUPTORS.

DESIGN DISRUPTORS revealed a never-before-seen perspective on the design approaches of 15+ industry-shaking companies. As the movers and shakers within an innovative industry we relished in the moment of celebrating such a unique event.

We here at Digital Operative consider ourselves design oriented people. As creators in our own industry we feel it’s important to talk about the evolution of design, staying sharp with new and emerging trends, and the value of continued education. Stay in touch with us on social and reach out if you’re looking for more information on the services we provide or if you just want to say “Hi”. Until then, check out this cool recap we made of Disrupt.


2 minutes with Jessika Jake

Two Minutes With Jessika Jake

By | agency life | No Comments

What’s up Jess!

Jessika’s our Director of PMO over here at Digital Operative. She’s been at her craft for a sweet minute and we love having her around. You can usually find her moving from meeting to meeting with her trusty ball of fluff- Theodore, a pretty talented Pomeranian.

Jes, allow us to stereotype you for a second. You’re from the east coast, therefore you’ve got to have the quick wit thing down. Let’s see how you do with our RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:

  • Website you visit the most:
  • iPhone or Android: Android
  • Favorite phone app: Instagram
  • If you could only visit one website for the rest of your life, what site would that be? Please refer to answer number one. But seriously, one and only one? I would have to say YouTube, because it has it all… news, education, entertainment, lifestyle content, and the ability to connect with others. 
  • First thing you do when you get to the office: Let my dog out of his bag so he can go stalk the sales guy.
  • How do you take your coffee:  In a can… marked “Celsius.” 
  • Cats or Dogs: Dogs.
  • What would you sing at Karaoke night: There is but one song I can sing in key through and throughout. It is the Fastball song “The Way.” 
  • If you had an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be: Dogs.
  • What was your favorite childhood injury: It was probably that time I got amnesia, though I forget what happened.
  • Name the movie title for the story of your life: The Girl Who Thought She was Funny
  • Can you play any instruments: Violin, and I’d like to learn the uke.
  • What’s your favorite snack from the snack cart: A pretzel, but the Auntie Annes or Wetzel’s kind of pretzel…preferably jalapeno.
Happy 4th of July from DO

Happy 4th of July!

By | agency life | No Comments

Digital Operative- an agency that really digs being outside amongst the spacious skies,

with nothing but amber waves of grain separating our two offices…

who are we kidding, there’ll be a few cities in between too.  

Our Colorado team gets a glimpse of those purple mountain majesties on the reg,

while fruited plains dot the space between.

So from sea to shining sea, happy 4th of July, folks!

Do Gets to Know Katie Boué

DO Gets to Know Katie Boué

By | agency life | No Comments

Working at a digital agency has its perks. We get to work on some awesome projects and sometimes those projects get us invited to some pretty cool happenings. This past week Digital Operative got to hang with a bunch of outdoor junkies at the prAna headquarters where the Outdoor Industry Association was hosting a happy hour as part of their OIA Roadshow- West Coast Tour. But before we raised our glasses to the outdoor festivities DO was getting to know one of OIA’s own- Katie Boué. The Social Media and Community Coordinator is making her way around the west coast hanging with OIA members, hosting a few happy hours and documenting outdoor industry culture, rad! Read on to see how this whole thing shook out.   

First off mad, gratitude to prAna for opening their doors and letting us all hang out at their office. This company knows a thing or two about bringing the outdoors in. The space is truly a sustainable work of art, making it the perfect backdrop for the sustainability happy hour.

prAna cornhole

Shout out to the OIA tribe- Katie Boué, Nikki Hodgson and Jenn Brunson! They did an amazing job bringing some of the outdoor industry’s finest together for a great night of mingling, cornhole, education, San Diego craft beer and raising a few bucks for Parks4Kids.

OIA- Nikki Hodgson

As members of the OIA we love seeing the community come together to celebrate our commitment to sustainability. As we travel further down this road we’re learning that there’s more to a brand than just their logo, it’s the legacy they want to leave behind long after they’re gone. The companies, big and small, who travel down this road with OIA will be known for their sustainable practices, their passion for ethical industry standards and so much more.

Needless to say we were pretty pumped to be in the company of so many great brands and individuals, so naturally we had to put a video together. Check out our quick interview with Katie Boue and the Sustainability Happy Hour and feel free to hit us up if you want to learn a little more about the services we offer.

Till the next adventure,


Welcome to Digital Operative

Meet and Greet with Scott Smith

By | agency life | No Comments

Meet Scott Smith:

Scott is one of Digital Operative’s Senior Visual Designers and since nobody know’s Scott quite like he knows himself, we’re going to let him tell you a little bit about himself. Take it away, Scott!

Hello everyone. My name is Scott Smith and I am excited to be here at DO. I have been designing for the last 8 years and am still incredibly excited by it.

A long time ago I was born near Pasadena in a small town called Temple City. I have an older hippy sister who lives in San Francisco and retired parents who spend most of their time sending me pictures of the awesome things they are doing while traveling throughout the south west. I lived in Temple City until I moved to San Diego to attend SDSU in 2006 and do not see myself leaving any time soon.

I love being outside and being active. I have a strange obsession with nutrition and human physiology. Although, I have done two Ironmans and one 50 mile trail running race, I am still a little fat kid at heart. I love pizza and “Little League Nachos” (fake orange cheese). I have a cat named Richard Parker (after the tiger in Life of Pi) who could really care less if I existed. I am always down for an adventure. So, if anyone is planning one, let me know.

Let’s get to know Scott a little better with RAPID FIRE:

  • Website You Visit The Most:… Alright fine, Facebook
  • iPhone or Android: iPhone for life!
  • Favorite Phone App: Headspace and Freedom
  • Favorite Industry related Website: Friends of Type
  • If you could only visit one website for the rest of your life, what site would that be? for sure
  • Something you say frequently: “…and it was so funny.” Usually after I tell a story that really wasn’t that funny.
  • First thing you do when you get to the office: Compliment Cody on his hair
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be: Acclaimed Pizza Critic and Lazyboy Tester
  • How Do you take your coffee: In a large cup 
  • Fun Fact about yourself: I have a titanium cheek
  • Favorite thing to do on a SaturdayGo cycling

Meet the Newest DO Intern: Eric Herzog

By | agency life | No Comments

Meet Eric Herzog!

DO is really excited to welcome back our fall intern, Eric Herzog, this time to the marketing team. Eric worked with our Senior Strategist, Steven Shyne during his fall semester as our Strategy Intern.  So without further ado, let’s get to know Eric!

What’s up new team members!  My name is Eric Herzog and I am the new marketing intern.  I am originally from northern California, Lake Tahoe, if anyone knows where that is.  I lived there my whole life until I moved to San Diego to attend SDSU.  I just graduated in May, so it’s kind of weird getting used to post-grad life.  My favorite things so far are the lack of homework and the lack of countless hours spent in the library.

I really enjoy surfing, skating, and pretty much any other board sport, or outdoor activity for that matter.  Don’t get me wrong though, I can easily spend the day inside playing Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty, or getting heavily involved in an HBO or Netflix series.  Soooo, if anyone has any great recommendations on new series I should check out. let me know!

I look forward to working with everyone over the next few months!

  • Where did you go to School? What was your Major? SDSU, graduated May 2015, International Business major with an emphasis in Marketing, Spanish and Latin America
  • How did you hear about Digital Operative? I was researching digital marketing companies and DO really stuck out to me, so I applied to the internship.
  • What do you hope to learn from your internship? There are many things I hope to learn from my marketing internship.  Primarily, I am really interested in branding, for instance brand creation and re-branding.  Following up with branding, I am really curious to see how market research and strategy are used to develop marketing tactics through different marketing channels.  The part I am most excited for though is the unknown.  Digital marketing is such a volatile industry, so there is always something new to learn!
  • 1 week down – 11 to go……How do you feel after your first week of interning? One week down, I feel great!  Everybody who works here has knowledge and expertise in one field or another, so I am really excited to tap into this wealth of information.
  • What do you hope to do after completing your internship? After completing my internship I hope to get a job in the digital marketing world.  This internship is the first step to starting a career in a very exciting industry, but first, a surf trip to Central America would be the perfect vacation before pursuing such a career.
  • Tell us something interesting about yourself? I am fully bilingual.  I was in an immersion program starting in kindergarten, so technically, I learned Spanish before I learned English.  

Digital Operative is stoked to have Eric back! If anyone is interested in any of our internships please check out our careers page for additional information.

Like what you see? Contact us for a quote. Get Quote