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Storytelling - How To Work Backwards From Landing Pages via Curagami

Storytelling - How To Work Backwards From Landing Pages via Curagami | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

2016 The Year of the Story
Storytelling may be the most important and least understood online marketing craft. This Curagmai post shares a 5 Tip "How To" craft a story working backwards from your landing page.

Tips included:
 

  • Create A Landing Page and Work Backwards
  • Place your offer in context
  • Repeat 3 to 5 key brand specific themes
  • Share your creation story
  • Define your audience
     

http://www.curagami.com/online-marketing-5-storytelling-tips/

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Burn Down Your Website: 5 Web Design Implications

Burn Down Your Website: 5 Web Design Implications | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Burn Down Your Website
As we noted on G+ (Inevitable Lightness of Being) websites are a tyranny few will be able to afford soon. Let's follow the rules of improvisation (always a good web marketing idea) and say, "Yes, and" to the issue of burning down your website. What are the web design implications of embracing the next generation of consumer marketing?

* Build for Curation Not Creation

* Remember about THEM (customers) not you so build community in
* FAST, FLAT and FURIOUS
* Don't forget profiles, timelines and shares
* Read behavior THEN create the page (i.e. More Google-like)

Curation Not Creation
Friends @Scoop.itsuch as @Guillaume Decugisand @Marc Rougierare sitting in the cat bird seat. After the latest Google changes, and the last time we will know when Google makes algorithm changes, the curate don't create rule is strong.

Strong because you can't afford to put content on owned properties that isn't insanely great. In a world where the NY Times gets gigged for poorly supported content you need to test BEFORE you write.

Scoop.it is our favorite, "Test before you write" tool. Content curation is more democratic tool. Nothing like finding a cool post, sharing it and explaining why you think it is cool with rich snippets to create relationships. Doubt that? I have 45,300 followers on Scoop.it. Curate don't create and build your next site to make your curation easy, sticky and shareable.

Them Not You
One of the wooden stakes in the heart of tactical web development is it assumes too much control for the creators. As a creator I can attest where the power lives - THEM (your customers) not you. Your future web development needs to build community, make your curation of your user's content, the User Generated Content (UGC) every web miner needs to win today. If you don't have a plan to create user profiles, timelines and following better get one.

Fast, Flat and Furious (in Real Time)
If you haven't watched Joi Ito's TED talk about Nowism do so. The web only has one time - NOW. We've noticed anything we do, share, or create close to NOW does better. Figure the need to share and have content pinging (updating and being shared) constantly will be a huge need in tomorrow's web development.

Building flat and fast sites influenced by mobile's less is more philosophy is highly recommend. If your dropdowns are War and Peace novels you need to reconsider. EASY, simple and beautiful works better in a mobile, connected, and FAST world.


Profiles & More
Changing your role from creator to curator opens your thinking. If your site is about what THEY (your customers) do with it include them in your web design. Create profiles, timelines and make it easy for your customers to speak to and interact with each other. 

Gamified and Predictive
No one gives things for long without reinforcement. We agree with Daniel Pink's great book Drive. Paying = jobs. Don't pay money, but do find ways to share your legitimacy. 

Share your position and site and your community will help build it. Make sure to curate too. When you find great content THEY (customers) gave you, share and elevate the example everyone learns. 

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Want To Beat Content Shock? Magazine Your Content Marketing

Want To Beat Content Shock? Magazine Your Content Marketing | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Beating Content Shock
We don't disagree with author and web marketing guru Mark Schaefer. There is too much content chasing too little attention. Once you have attention you need to convert visitors to buyers.

Creating content "magazines" is a great way to beat Schaefer's content shock, create trust, win hearts and minds and engender loyalty. This LinkedIn Post shares a synopsis of tips shared on Curagmai including:


  • Find 3 – 5 content groups that interest your visitors.
  • Decide your schedule (we recommend monthly updates at first because that is a big commitment that must be kept to gain trust).
  • Curate content from trusted sources such as brands, manufacturers and even competitors.
  • Automate at least one of your content groups with feeds.
  • Find and nurture free visual media sources such as Haiku Deck.


The Curagami post is here:
http://www.curagami.com/ecommerce/5-tips-magazine-content-marketing/?v=7516fd43adaa 

And The http://www.Moon-Audio.com example is here:
http://www.moon-audio.com/chord-hugo/magazine.html#

The LinkedIn Synopsis is here:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-magazine-your-content-marketing-martin-marty-smith 
 

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SEO, Canonical URLs, Rel=Canonical & Meaning of Ecommerce Life

SEO, Canonical URLs, Rel=Canonical & Meaning of Ecommerce Life | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Canonical URLs Explained
The Yoast post provides an easy way to understand why rel=canonical is a powerful new SEO tag. Yoast has a dog in the hunt. They make a Magento plugin that easily writes the rel=canonical tag into a product page's head.

The explanation about WHY canonical URLs are so important is only half right. We have a million ways of expressing and sharing URLs these days. Without rel=canonical we end up duping content to distraction.

Here's the rub. All ecommerce sites dupe content. They must. When I was a Director of Ecommerce a single product accounted for 50% of our profits. You better believe I merchandised that product into every nook and cranny our site offered. I duped that product and it's content to distraction.

There are other ways to limit duplication including:

* Use of your Robots.txt file.
* Locking content behind a firewall.  

* Use of blockquotes & rel=canonical tags. 
* Rewrite duplicated content so it's not as duplicated (lol). 

We included our email output into a folder with a "no follow" line in our robots.txt. You may think such a move is enough. It isn't. Be sure NOT to drive links from spiderable content INTO that folder or you eliminate the effectiveness of the robots.txt.

In the end every ecom site worth it's salt MUST duplicate content. Rewriting sounds like a good strategy, but it isn't. Content = time and time = money when managing million dollar commercial sites. You will be duping content.

Best to use rel=canonical because it shows Google you aren't trying to STEAL anything. Reminds me of what a friend shared about the disavow tool (used to deny inbound links or signal they may be untrusted).

 My friend was using the disavow tool daily on his clients accounts. "So you are brown-nosing Google," I kidded him. "Exactly," was his answer. Rel=canonical tells Google you are TRYING to do the right thing and sometimes that is enough. 

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SEO For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck

SEO For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Web Designer SEO
Our SEO Tips for Web Designers hit a nerve. It is heading to 13,000 views (probably today). We hit a nerve because web Designers are where SEO rubber meets the road. This Haiku Deck is full of SEO tips for web designer including:

* Know who has the banana and why.
* Know how much SEO you need to know.

* Learn what is MIST vs what is Gorilla.
* Listen Digitally.
* Understand how SEO & Content marketing work together.

* Design to Win Hearts, Minds and Loyalty. 

And More SEO tips designed for designers.  

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10 Top Design Websites for Every Designer via @HOWbrand

10 Top Design Websites for Every Designer via @HOWbrand | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
HOW art director Adam Ladd shows us 10 more of the top design websites, many of which are sure to give you the graphic design inspiration you crave.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great resources from one of my favorite web design teachers.

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3 SEO Things To NEVER Do Again

3 SEO Things To NEVER Do Again | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

The New SEO
Search Engine Optimization may be different, but it isn't dead. Until search engine spiders can understand context YOU have to provide it. Today team Curagami discovered 3 big things to NEVER do again while working with our great customer http://www.Moon-Audio.com :

* Original Copy Only
Never copy a manufacturer's product or brand copy. You MUST write original copy for every page or risk being put in the "dupe box". Duplicate content from THEM (manufacturers) is foolish for another reason - few manufacturers write great copy about their products, services or brands.

If you do copy manufacturer notes or specifications either 1. blockquote them out or 2. use inline rel no follows to tell the search spiders you know you've duped the content and aren't looking for kudos on it.

* Never Assume Branded Sites Know SEO
Working with Moon Audio team Curagami realized we could make a killing JUST helping major electronic brands such as Shure, Astell & Kern and Chord Hugo improve their SEO. The team at Moon assumed since the manufacturer's site was coming up high in the Search Engine Results Pages they had their SEO down.

NOPE, not even a little bit. The manufacturer benefits from all those links being driven into their pages by people who DO KNOW SEO. They don't so don't copy them.

* Do Use the SERPS
If you want to know who is doing well on your keys logout of Google (this won't kill all the filters but will help) and search for sites consistently showing up for keys you want. Next use Mike's free keyword tool to see how well the site you found ACTUALLY ranks for your keys.

You have to use a tool to see THROUGH the float. Used to be when you and I typed the same search at the same time we saw the same results. Not so much anymore thanks to Google's "floating" their index and making decisions about what you see based on a host of new things like what your friends see & like, what you've liked before (you in this instance is your computer's IP address) and other filters so secret no one really knows.

Watch Pariser's Filter Bubbles TED talk for more on why search is just showing you what you already know these days and NEVER steal copy or SEO advice from dumb and dumber manufacturers.

They win their brand name FOR FREE. If you want to know if they understand SEO type a phrase like "portable audio" and see who shows up (the usual suspects like Amazon, Wikipedia, Cnet Mashable, Techcrunch, HuffPost, etc...).

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Responsive Web Design 101 - Learning The Basics

Responsive Web Design 101 - Learning The Basics | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Responsive web design is the practice of creating websites that display evenly on all devices. Understand the basics of responsive web design with examples.

Marty Note
Don't make the common mistake of thinking responsive design is all about look and feel. Yes some WordPress templates can make it FEEL that way since they are built to accordian with different receptions created by phone, laptop and computers.

The important idea for marketers to understand is to THINK Mobile First. Thinking mobile first brings a slew of changes such as:

* Flat web design.
* Limited Colors.
* Less functionality that is easier to understand.
* Content snippets instead of novels.
* Emphasis on VISUAL MARKETING.
* Need to make content & communication feel & act like a game.

Those last bullets speak to the gamification of marketing so implied by smartphones and a mobile / social / connected world. Mobile means never having to say you're sorry because you listen and curate more than you talk, create sustaining community and engagement and understand all the implications of "the network is the computer".

Just shared an overview of Marketing Timelines on G+ (https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/EkXN57uJyjq ). All that said, you still need to understand Responsive Design 101 so appreciate this Scoop.it suggestion from @David Fournier. .

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Funk Up Your Web Design: Find Your Site's VOICE

Funk Up Your Web Design: Find Your Site's VOICE | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Marty Note
Watching the excellent HBO Documentary about James Brown Mr. Dynamite made me think of FUNK and web design. Web design is easy to get WRONG (lol).

It is tricky to design online with a sense of surprise, beauty and novelty. I like the Digital Invaders design as it feels free and spontaneous. Other designs such as Monster CSS and Creative With A K feel like they are trying to appear spontaneous and free.

Trying too hard is EASY in web design too. Remember all websites are STAGES we designers SET. The trick is to set a stage that feels like it is happening now and won't feel dated tomorrow. Feels like there are enough visual hooks in Digital Invaders it would be easy to keep it fresh with minimum fuss.

I like Emigre too. Emigre creates the same sense of happening now but that design is at the other end of the spectrum from Digital Invaders. Its hard to beat the grid. First website I created, in 1999, used a Mondrian grid.

Grids help organize massive amounts of information without that mountain feeling like it is about to crush you. I like the funky NOISE contrasted to the quiet grid because they demonstrate the need to find a visual VOICE in your web design. That voice can be anything as long as it feels authentic TO YOU.

The web is very good at finding and amplifying DISSONANCE. When you try to FUNK IT UP and aren't really funky it shows like you are wearing the wrong decades fashion (painful). Your customers are your audience.Set the stage anyway you want, but do so with an eye toward YOUR TRUTH.

The closer you stay on the tiny beam of "authentically us" the more success your web design has. This is why there are no web design maxims that apply all the time. What works for Emigre is very different than Digital Invaders but both work, both are authentic and have that hard to describe but know it when you see it TRUTH great web design must have.

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Remarkable Websites For Boring Products: 5 Tips [Scenttrail Unburied Lead]

Remarkable Websites For Boring Products: 5 Tips [Scenttrail Unburied Lead] | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Angela Jones, a freelance designer in St. Charles, Illinois, uncovers how 7 websites promote their products in exciting ways.

Marty Note - Great From Boring
Loved this post, but they bury the lead. Their tips aren't sub-heads but buried in the copy about the example. I liberated their 5 tips to create exciting sites for boring products:

* Employ imagery and icons that speak to the benefits (i.e. tell a story and match with cool visuals).
* Focus on HEADLINES that describe your benefits (i.e. use trusted sources and let THEM tell your story).
* Write creative copy (there are NO BORING PRODUCTS only boring stories lol).
* Minimal and easy to navigate (always a winner in my  book too, but especially if what you are selling is boring. YES I will spend 3x the time it should have taken to order the new iPhone despite the horrible web design, your product...not so much, so make it easy to buy.)
* Create Community & Let THEM (your customers) supply the amazing stories. When YOU tell your brand's story it is always more boring than the same words from a customer.
* VISUALS - boring products benefit from great visuals. Tilt your boring product, hang it from the rafters, find a way to depict excitement and excitement flows downstream to your product.

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What is SEO? Content Tips For Graphic Designers - HOW Design & Scenttrail Note

What is SEO? Content Tips For Graphic Designers - HOW Design & Scenttrail Note | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

How strong is your content marketing strategy? What is SEO, anyway? Read 6 SEO tips and tricks to help you boost the visibility of your web content.

1. Strong Copy Trumps SEO.
2. Do Keyword Research.
3. Share Link Love (i.e. create great content).

Marty Note
Interesting to see how How Design explains SEO to graphic designers. I would take a slightly different tack. Let's reframe SEO in ways graphic designers can understand and adapt.

I create content daily and am learning SLOWLY how to make headlines sing and links flow in. As competition for links goes UP with the rising tide of content publishers are the right side of the bell curve where more than average links reside will learn a few tricks from graphic designers such as:

* ARRESTING Images.
* Demand hierarchy.
* Clear Calls To Action (CTAs).
* Headlines that GRAB and HOLD.

Content that doesn't get read doesn't help. The first rule of getting your content read is find an ARRESTING related image you won't get sued to use. Haiku Deck (http://www.haikudeck.com) is one of my favorite visual marketing tools. Need lawsuit free arresting images? Use Haiku Deck.

Demand Hierarchy is keeping demands on your visitors LOW. When I was a Director of Ecommerce we did extensive analysis of our 40+ homepage links and 5 mattered. Vicious 90%/10% rule in links. Key is to lower choice and eliminate the superfluous. 

CTAs don't have to be "buy now" anymore. We love asking a question with the link between the present page and the answer. Want To Be A Great Internet Marketer? Highlight and underline that sentence and it will get clicked because it is an IMPLIED CTA.

This doesn't mean we are above a good "Learn More", but too many "old style" CTAs can get boring and lose their punch.

Finally your HEADLINE or subheads matter. Headlines should set a hook. Subheads should organize the answer so readers can scan and skip sections. I try to live by the 7 word rule.

I read this rule about roadside billboards. Billboard creators limit their copy to 7 words because who can read more zipping buy at 60 mph. We all zip by at 100 mph on the web these days so short, punchy headlines that align with your arresting image and plant a hook work best.

We like KEYWORDS, Brands and questions in headlines too. Questions create curiosity. Keywords create scenttrail and brands create comfort and "like me" feelings of trust and security.


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Finding Stories Inside Paintings via Tracy Chevalier TED Talk [+ 3 Find Your Story Tips via @Scenttrail]

Finding Stories Inside Paintings via Tracy Chevalier TED Talk [+ 3 Find Your Story Tips via @Scenttrail] | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Storytelling & Content Marketing
Tracy Chevalier imagines the stories behind paintings:


* How did the painter meet his model?
* What would explain that look in her eye?
* Why is that man … blushing?

She shares three stories inspired by portraits, including the one that led to her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring."

3 Find Your Story Tips
One of the most common "we can't do it" complaints we hear is, "Our content is boring and no one on out team knows how to tell a story".  There are no "boring" products or services and we are surrounded by stories. Here are 5 tips to help you find the magical content needed to wins hearts and minds online.

Story Finder Tip #1: Your Employees
You never need to look far for great stories. Stories of heroic efforts against great odds are sitting in your office now. There are cancer survivors, triathletes and parents with special children in your company as I write this.

You might think, "I don't want to invade their privacy," and we aren't suggesting it. We suggest explaining that any company really only exists in the minds of its employees. Since publishing costs are now zero you can afford to explain who you are by proxy - via your employees stories, passions and loves.

This is "Employee Story of the Month" instead of a banal award your customers learn about the journey your team members have experienced and so feel close to them, you and your brands and products. "I feel like I know you," a woman said hugging my ex at the Gift Show in San Francisco.

Our potential customer learned about Found Objects and Janet McKean from our monthly newsletters. Those newsletters led to the hug and made doing business together easy.


Oh, btw each month I included a short story about Janet's life, experiences and family. May be why I'm divorced (lol), because Janet hated sharing so much. "You married a storyteller, " I would say smiling and writing and well you can figure out how well that worked in our relationship. Worked GREAT with our customers though (lol).

Story Finder Tip 2: Be Like Tracy Imagine An Image's Story
Tracy wrote a best seller by imagining questions implied but not stated. Your online marketing uses images all the time, but what are the questions BEHIND the image.

If you have a picture from a company event who is there? What was being celebrated? What in the image doesn't make sense? Is there something that hints at a mystery o some enigma? Work backwards from an image. Begin like Tracy. Ask questions. The answers are your story.

Story Finder Tip 3: Ask For Customer Stories
Take the image in example #2 and ask your customers to share their questions, stories or answers to hidden riddles. Asking for a story may be too hard and intimidating, but asking what these people in the corner are doing could be fun and spark imaginations and lead to stories.

Once you have an "Ambassador" group of customers / advocates established ask them to help shape your ASK. Ask your advocates to help you know the best way to engage and hear stories your customers are itching to share.

Writing this tip reminds me of a story (of course lol). I left home for the first time. I was in the 10th grade and enrolled at The Choate School. My mom cried when she and my father dropped me off. Now I was sitting in my first English class.

Mr. Noland, a bearded thirty something teacher dressed not unlike every preppie in the room (straight leg corduroys, button down oxford shirt) asked, "Tell me the story of this pencil". He said this hold a pencil inches from his nose and staring at it as he rotated it and waved it up and down.

Dutifully I set out to describe the pencil. "Pencils down," Mr. Noland said asking a student he clearly knew to read his story first. "She couldn't tell why. All she could smell was stale cigar...." the novella this student wrote about a possible murder, broken hearts and a love affair gone wrong made me realize I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

If Mr. Noland's shill can write 500 words on a pencil, YOU can tell a captivating story online about you, your company, brands and products.


Web Design & Stories
Now that you know WHERE to find stories don't forget to DESIGN them in. Sharing stories online is tricky. You want to make readers do a little work to get to a place they can read and read.

Don't do like some and break your stories into tiny 200 word bites. Too much clicking ruins the "all in" feel of a good story. Make your readers click a couple of times to pan out readers from scanners and then let them read.

Will cover more "story design" tips in another post. First FIND your stories since that is often the hardest task. Next create a design that does the impossible - makes it fun to read online.

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5 Quick Tips About Images & Web Design

5 Quick Tips About Images & Web Design | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Hard Won Lessons
I spent almost a million dollars of OPM (Other People's Money) learning these five lessons about images and web design, so lessons learned the hard way:

1. Portraits Are Powerful
Portrait images where the model looks directly at the camera, are powerful "welcoming" images great for home, about and category "splash" pages.

2. Babies are DYNAMITE - Use Carefully
Thanks to our ancient caveman brain we can't NOT look at babies. Problem is that is not a secret so babies are now overused to hock insurance, tires and shampoo. If you use a baby my preference is to have the baby looking AT something.

Visitors eyes go where the eyes of people (or babies) are looking, so point your baby image directly at an important Call-to-Action and bet your conversions go up.

3. People Talking To Each Other = DANGEROUS
There may be context where it makes sense for you to have an image where people in the image are huddled together, but I doubt it. If you have two people huddled and a third looking directly out at the camera the image works better.

We respect a huddle. We don't want to intrude, so your web image is working against your online marketing purpose. Your image says we are here having a conversation and YOU (visitor) aren't invited. Not a good idea.

4. People Sell Better Than Widgets, but...
I  prefer to tell human stories even about the most widgety widget, but people bring "like me" problems too. Every visitor is looking for "like me" signals. If you know your archetype and tribe well enough to risk it use images of people consistent with your understanding.

If you have a wide variety of customers and members best to avoid single archetype "like me" images. This is yet another reason I like portraits. Portraits are "universal" meaning the welcoming look directly at the camera removes some of the "must be like me to engage" requirements.

5. In Action Shots Use The MOVEMENT
If your image is riding a bicycle POINT the movement at something important. I don't like movement images as heroes (largest images on a page is called a hero), but I love them in "sub-hero" images because movement creates excitement and allows me to direct the visitor's eyes where we want them to go.

Use these 5 hard won tips and your images won't fight your site's desire to connect, create community and convert visitors into buyers and members.



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Michael Allenberg's curator insight, July 25, 2014 8:48 AM

Having spent over a decade as a professional photographer, this is spot on! Of utmost interest to Experience Designers interested in persuasive design methodologies! 

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How To Add Haiku Decks To WordPress Blog via @Scenttrail

How To Add Haiku Decks To WordPress Blog via @Scenttrail | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Adding Haiku Decks To WordPress

I love  Haiku Deck tool and figured out a way to add our decks to our blog:

http://www.curagami.com/marketing-haiku-decks/

I've been prodding  Adam Traitt, one of Haiku's founders, for a user profile (done) and more control over display (Haiku Deck team is working on it). In the mean time I decided to add my decks to Curagmai's  blog. Here's how we did it. 

*How To Add Haiku Deck To Your WP Blog*

1. Create a new Haiku Deck category on your blog. 

2. Create posts for every Haiku Deck to be added. You may want to use a date from last year or the year before to fool WordPress into moving your new Haiku Deck posts to the back of your stack. 

3.Create a grid we used WP Ultimate Post Grid and we upgraded to premium for the ability to filter by category. 

4. Redirect your WP posts to your Haiku Deck (we cheated and used the Twitter links, better to grab the nasty URL you can find in the embed area since we will drive up our Twitter share numbers artificially) we used Redirection plugin by John Godley. 

We wrote copy into this page mostly for   reasons. You can see a grid without copy here; http://www.curagami.com/magazines-2/ ;

We also use embedded  feeds behind the "Magazines" link. Each "Magazine" is firing from our Scoop.it feeds. This is how we see "websites" changing. Instead of a place where you creating everything tomorrow's sites will share your creations from all over and encourage visitors to collaborate and share too. If that sounds like we suggest you create online community you win a cookie (and I'm writing this from  so just tell me what kind you want :). Marty 

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Stealing Ecommerce Tips from the Museum of Modern Art

Stealing Ecommerce Tips from the Museum of Modern Art | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

MoMA's Store Rocks
Wow, I don't usually think of museums as sources of ecommerce inspiration and learning, but the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has a special team you can learn a lot from. MoMA's team excels at ecommerce blocking and tackling such as:

  • Great email followups (abandon cart, push emails)
  • Great promotion schedule understands DEADLINES and web's constant NOW 
  • Easy to understand and use navigation
  • Great clean lines and images 
  • Tells great visual stories


Best ways to make money online is to excel at the basics. MoMA doesn't stop there they excel at advanced ecommerce ideas too such as:
  • Bundled and "this = that" merchandising
  • Developing exclusive products and bundles
  • Email marketing


MoMA's backend could be better. They take too long to ship, but once their products arrive they are packed carefully and with a sense of how special the order is / was. If you want to learn ecommerce you should follow and visit the Museum of Modern Art. 

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Why SEO for Web Designers Went Boom - Curagami

Why SEO for Web Designers Went Boom - Curagami | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
With 22,000+ views SEO for Web Designers blew up thanks to a defined tribal audiences, advocates and luck. Discover tips on how to blow your content up too.
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What Do 17,162 Know About SEO You Need Too? #seo For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck

What Do 17,162 Know About SEO You Need Too? #seo For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

17,162 People Later
We've been asked to make the presentation that created our most viewed Hiaku Deck again at the Iron Yard Code Academy again (made the first presentation six months ago). There were important ideas we shared last time:

* SEO THRIVES or DIES with graphic designers.

* Graphic designers are heroes under siege by many groups.

* Set REALISTIC expectations.
* Set reasonable boundaries (with gorillas looking for bananas).
* Shared a few easy to remember tips to help designers improve their technical SEO skills.

Obviously we hit a nerve. We will be updating benchmarks shared six months ago to see how those we mentioned fared since.  Remember technical SEO is important, but your content must engage, be exciting (visually too) and develop sustainable online community to win over time. 

Good luck and if you have SEO questions we didn't cover email them to martin(at)Curagami.com and we will include and send you a Curagami Rules tee.  

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Web Design Bleeding Edge: China

Web Design Bleeding Edge: China | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
In this article, Kendra Schaefer examines the things all web professionals should know before swan-diving into the Chinese market, including how mobile-only social platforms have become the revolutionary new frontier of Chinese web design, and who’s designing beautiful websites in China today.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cool post. China is ahead of us on MOBILE leaving "Mobile First" for "mobile only" and they take more web design risks that pan out more often than you think.

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Contribute To The Web Design Revolution in 2015

Contribute To The Web Design Revolution in 2015 | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Design Is Revolutionary
Don't have to be Steve Jobs to know design is revolutionary. Our Web Design Revolution feed on Scoop.it is one of our favorites. We love THINKING visual because most of us (save one poor CTO) are marketing geeks who visualize in our sleep.

If you visualize in your sleep consider contributing a Scoop or two or three to The Web Design Revolution in 2015. Several easy ways to contribute:

1. If you are on @Scoop.ituse the Suggest Feature. We appreciate all the great suggestions we've already received and promise a new focus on collaboration in 2015.

2. If you aren't on Scoop.it you are missing one of the best "do less, get more" tools we know, but you can still contribute ideas for stories we should include by:

email: martin(at)Curagami.com

Twitter: @Curagami

Call For Help NOW
Right now we are interested in creating a year-end mashup of all the web design predictions for 2015. If you have a favorite prognosticator and they write about what they think is going to happen in web design next year send us the link and we will mash your contribution up into a summary with early views going to contributors.

Thanks for a great year and hope you will contribute to The Revolution in 2015.




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Responsive Design Advanced Class by @jakerocheleau

Responsive Design Advanced Class by @jakerocheleau | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

When I think of responsive web design I think of Transformers: Websites in Disguise. With one set of code you can build a website layout that runs flexibly...

Marty Note
Yesterday we shared thoughts on the marketing side of responsive web design along with some design basics. Responsive design creates a flexible membrane adapting itself to any receiving device.

Creating responsive design is INVOLVED. You can trash your SEO (Search Engine Marketing) without really knowing it, confuse your web designers and customers and do more damage than good.

I like this Jake Rocheleau "ultimate guide' because its a natural part 2 to yesterday's responsive basics (http://sco.lt/4ob6DR ). Responsive design is a MUST, but, as you will agree after reading Jake's Ultimate Guide, not to be undertaken lightly or without some reading about what is happening under the covers.

Great job by Jake and V

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Wiki-ization Of Marketing: Here, There, Everywhere A Wiki

Wiki-ization Of Marketing: Here, There, Everywhere A Wiki | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Here A Wiki, There A Wiki, Everywhere A Wiki
What is a Wiki if not an invitation to create online community. The "open source" like collaboration Wiki's provide is a blueprint for creation of online community. After months working on http://www.Curagmai.com we've discovered how close Wikis are to...well everything.

Wiki Ideas To Steal Include:


* Open Source Like Content Collaboration.

* Use community to steer and de-spam ecosystem.
* Depend mostly on social reward.
* A healthy and competitive contest never hurts.

* Feature and thank contributors.
* Provide ways for contributors to know where they stand vis-à-vis other contributors.
* Create ways contributors can follow and communicate with each other.
* Include ways for contributors to create mini-tribes.

* Make sure "rules of the road" are understood and published.

* Communication with sponsoring agents must be easy too.
* Normalize greatness by sharing across ecosystem.
* Role of sponsors becomes more curators than creators.
* Ask for help.
* Provide social rewards (such as features) to contributors.
* Create ways to identify contributors in the world (t-shirts, stickers).
* Appreciate, be nice and thankful (always no matter what).

Following a few simple rules will dramatically increase the most important content you can't buy (User Generated Content or #UGC) and build sustainable online community. Sustainable online community means costs go DOWN even as other material rewards (UGC, followers, traffic, money) go UP.

This Haiku Deck is about why we are all in the Wiki business whether we realize it or not AND how to design for the Wiki-ization of marketing, brands and online community.

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65 Best Responsive Web Designs 2014 via SocialDriver.com

65 Best Responsive Web Designs 2014 via SocialDriver.com | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Responsive Web Designs
Responsive design, forming a website's information so it looks great on any device, is becoming mission critical. Here are 65 of the best responsive designs in 2014 via SocialDriver.com.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I like Salesforce and SquareSpace and was surprised I didn't hate the Microsoft design.

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Helen Stark's curator insight, September 30, 2014 3:53 AM

Unusual and creative responsive designs that look great on a huge monitor and a tiny smartphone screen - that's great

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10 Website Design Tips for Your Small Business

10 Website Design Tips for Your Small Business | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Learn what to include in your website design before you build and find out the 10 ‘must-haves’ to drive more traffic to your site.

1. Incorporate Keywords.

2. Multiple points of contact.

3. Consistent branding.

4. Call To Actions.
5. EASY to read (font size, short paragraphs, bullet points).
6. EASY to navigate.

7. Important above fold.

8. Load time (faster is better).

9. Build credibility & trust.

10. Social

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great tips every one of these. My faves are clear CTAs and keywords are your friends :). M

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Genius Transitions In User Experience Design - Smashing Magazine

Genius Transitions In User Experience Design - Smashing Magazine | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
This article looks at some examples of interaction design in which smart interaction, defined by subtle animation, gently improves the user experience. We’ll share some lessons drawn from various models and analyze why these simple patterns work so well.



Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

add your insight...



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David Swaddle's curator insight, August 31, 2014 7:28 PM

This article got me thinking. It's about transitions in user interface design with some very nice animated examples.

 

Are the transitions shown here useful in a learning context, or are they merely window dressing that detracts from learnability? Personally, I think that while they look nice the first time, most of these transitions become annoying with time, simply delaying users. Mayer and others have shown how eye-candy can often be detrimental to learning.

 

Is it time for some generous academic to re-evaluate the situation in light of recent UX designs, preferably in a corporate setting? Or, maybe somebody already has and some kind soul could post here and point me in the right direction?

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Contests Are KING - Web Design For Contests Example Inspires via @HomesDotCom

Contests Are KING - Web Design For Contests Example Inspires via @HomesDotCom | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Designing For Contests
I love home Homes.com doesn't kid around. They create CONTESTS not CONTENT. Why? Because contests have the added value of helping to create community too.

Erica Campbell Byrum How To Create Contests Video (start at 1:41)
http://sco.lt/6myquH VIDEO

Contest and games are FAVORITE engagement tactics because:

* They work (more new people come to play and share their playing).
* They are inexpensive WINNING is the main thing not the prizes.
* Contests have a LONG shelf life.
* Contests help unearth power Contributors and Social Supporters.


That last bullet speaks to the Gladwellian "Mavens, Salespeople and Connectors" tribes within your visitors. When you create a contest you will be visited by "contest trolls" and Ms. Byrum discusses how to deal with them in her video (link above).

This link is to Homes.com's Contest Page. This is a "Contest Splash" Page that shares the many simultaneous contests they run. I would add an ask for their "Blogger Ambassadors Program" too. They use contests to unearth their bloggers, but why not cut out the middle man and ask for those Ambassadors straight out?

Doesn't hurt to do both and I like have a page that explains the elite nature of our "buzz team". Don't think I'm saying Homes.com is missing it. They clearly GET the value of contests and you should STEAL the "ditch digging" design they do to "Splash Page" their contests.

Highly recommend watching Ms. Byrum too as her video is nothing if not comprehensive http://sco.lt/6myquH


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