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|Suggested by Sanjana Singh|
Great TechMagnate.com Post
Agree with all 8 of these TechMagnate.com Great Web Design tips and would add two more:
2. Creative (Develop A Process)
3. Organization (Wireframes & Nav)
4. Innovation (Include Some)
5. Responsive Design (Get Some)
6. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify7. Don’t Stop Testing
& Scenttrail's 2 Additions
9. Calls-To-Actions & Keywords are your friends.
10. Know your 80:20 Rules.
Here is our Curagmai.com post on how to find your website's 80:20 Rule: http://www.curagami.com/magica-thinking/new-seo/finding-80-20-rule/
Google trends helps redesign websites. We used Google Trends to understand headphones category for the Moon-Audio.com redesign launched the day after Valentine's Day. We share trends tips on how to use this powerful FREE tool in this 3 minute video and Curagami post.
Ecommerce Master Class: Conversion Metrics
There are only a handful of ways to increase sales from a website. Good idea to START with increasing your conversions since sending more traffic into a leaky boat is a fool's errand.
In this short Ecommerce Master Class Video we share three of our favorite tactics to increase conversion:
* Ubiquitous Free Shipping.
* Best Sellers.
As you design your next website make sure you DESIGN IN these three ideas and your site will convert better. Conversion is a magic number too. Tiny improvements in conversion create HUGE benefits to your bottom line as costs go down and profit go up.
Websites don't age well. Sooner than you think it's time for a web redesign, but don't forget the 5 CSFs (Critical Success Factors) shared here.
5 Critical Success Factors For When Your Web Redesign
This post features behind the scenes notes from our http://www.Moon-Audio.com redesign. Picture above is a "Before" and "After" view of Moon Audio's website. We spent a lot of time working on the site's information architecture.
We spent so much time because we have a lot of customer data now thanks to Google Analytics. We used that data to find the 80-20 rule and kept that finding in mind as we changed site navigation and categories.
This kind of "What Business are we In" work goes to the first two bullet point - Start with Why and Listen To Customer Votes. Another goal, not stated in the Curagami post, was to create an immediate sense of "I'm in the right place" scenttrail.
Ecommerce, especially in popular categories such as #headphones and #electronics, have two kinds of sties. One site is informational making money from passing customers over to sellers. Cnet.com is an example of a content site making money by capturing attention with great content and then passing customers on to a site where they can buy what they've just researched.
The New Ecommerce
We see the New Ecommerce merging Cnet and commerce to build sustainable online community. But there's a problem. Either of those missions is a full-time job - commerce, content or community. Merchants will need to delegate content creation to trusted members of their community and find ways to merchandise content and commerce more seamlessly than ever before.
The new Moon-Audio.com begins the move toward sustainable online content, commerce and community by clearly signalling THIS IS A STORE. Soon we hope to increase the signal to THIS IS A STORE WHERE YOU CAN LEARN TOO and finally THIS IS A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU CAN BUY AND LEARN.
Mashing up, curating and listening are the new skills needed to be a successful online merchant. No ecom site is GREAT at content, commerce and community...yet. Moon-Audio.com will fire on all three ideas over the next few months. Stay tuned.
Check out these 21 free and easy-to-use visual content creation tools.
Great Hubspot list of free tools. One caveat. There is no free lunch. Most of these tools are using a "freemium" model. They develop a robust tool and then give away a stunted version free in the hope they will hook users enough they pay to continue using the tool.
Most freemium models know where their marketing sweet spot resides. They will and can provide value. As you scale you will need to upgrade or lose your investment. Free tools require a learning curve too.
Smart move is to have the free tool be so simple anyone can use it. That limits any tool's ability to do more advanced things. "More advanced things" only happens every now and then, so never buy a tool for "every now and then".
Do protect your investment. If you learn a tool well enough to be comfortable with its use and it provides value AND you've outgrown the free version upgrade assuming the ASK isn't out of line with the market. The tricky thing to know is when to JUNK your time investment and move on and when to double down.
No hard and fast rules for "junking" a tool and moving on, but here are reasons I leave tools I've previously invested in:
* They don't listen or care about my input.
* They don't champion how my team and I are using their tool (see Haiku Deck's Featured and Popular galleries for great examples of SUPPORT for use of their tool).
* No easy to tap Applications Program Interface (API).
* The upgrade costs are not aligned with perceived benefits.
* Something easier, better and cheaper came along.
* Something more technically advanced was invented.
Those last two points are connected. Money isn't usually the most important of first consideration when thinking about tools that we use. We don't pay for enterprise level tools (say $30K a year and up), so everything is between $300 and $2K a year.
Biggest reason we change is something new creates efficiencies or is more aligned with our ideas and philosophy. Don't think your ABOUT page matters? Yeah you wluld be WRONG about that (lol).
If you are using or do use any of HubSpot's free design tools please report back as most are new to us.
Web designers shouldn't be SEO experts since keeping up with DESIGN is a full-time job. Nothing has made that truth more apparent than my first week learning CSS, SCSS and the like at The Iron Yard Code Academy in Durham, NC this week.
But web designers are where SEO rubber meets the Google Road so understanding a handful of ideas is critical to the online success of any designers creations. This deck was created to share with The Iron Yard's Cohort 3 Front End Engineering class Friday January 16th.
Includes our favorite FREE SEO tools and how we use them. Good luck and let us know your SEO / Design experience and we will curate into an upcoming post on http://www.curagami.com.
This time last year I made 7 predictions for web design in 2014, with mixed results (I’m looking at you SVG). This year, I’ve sought out 10 web design trends you'll actually see:
2. Goodbye to IE
4. The Internet of no thing
5. Mobile video
6. The decline of framework dominance
7. The beginning of the end for the old guard
8. Art direction
9. Pooled analytics
10. SVG will (finally) take off
Great post here and agree with every one of these 10 trends especially the glee in discontinuing support for IE 6 and IE7. Sounds like even Microsoft is about to turn away.
Parallax scrolling is a popular design technique used on websites in order to create an illusion of movement on the screen, to help engage website visitors and move visitor yes where you want them AND parallax scrolling plays beautifully on mobile devices!.
Here are 60 examples of great parallax scrolling.
Bait & Switch Parallax
Earlier today we shared a Scoop on ecommerce web design trends (http://sco.lt/5bADXl ). CycleMon is a good example of falling in love with an idea, parallax scrolling, and forgetting ecommerce basics such as 1. DON'T MAKE ME THINK and 2. You have 9 Seconds to tell me what you are all about.
Cyclemon forces customers to scroll to the bottom of a long list of designs BEFORE they proceed to a Cafe-Press like store. WRONG. Don't be so impressed with your designs you make me spend precious TIME scrolling through ALL of them.
OR if you do so ask me a question. What design best describes you? Cyclemon could use a tag or make their images clickable to clue their customers faster. Don't FORCE your customers to follow YOUR line through the forest of your products.
And, don't bait and switch. When Cyclemon LOOKS one way during the scroll and another after the click they violate the scenttrail rule - whatever is on the other side of a click must resemble and amplify what is on the other side.
Cyclemon violates the rule because they leave the ecommerce to after a long scroll and click. This is like inviting an insurance salesman to lunch. Be more clear upfront and you won't violate the Scenttrail Rule.
Oh and one more thing. The Cyclemon page defined our laptop as mobile. Make sure your sniffer is reading correctly before you expose it to the world or you lose trust and legitimacy both things needed if customers are going to open their wallets.
Best About Us Pages
Team Curagami is looking for great About Us pages. Our fav is http://www.rei.com/about-rei.html. hits all the "pillars" of a great about page including:
* It SOUNDS like them.
* Includes A Creation Story.
* Guiding Values Statement.
* Save The World Cause.
* Movement Outline (so people want to JOIN).
* Some external confirmation ( for REI).
REI.com's About page has each of these "Great About Page" pillars. The page is also social, aware of itself (thus the question about how does it land at the bottom) and community focused.
By using a picture from a customer, noting the customer's name and paining the page with social share widgets REI.com says, "We are a community, a movement you should join if you too care about having fun in the great outdoors".
Well done About Page that tells THEIR story beautifully and invites customers in. Share your favorite About Us page and, if we use your suggestion, we will send a Tech Cures Cancer Tee along with our thanks.
Find our Video about About Us pages on YouTube
Find our Ask for Help Haiku Deck here
Send to martin(at)Curagami.com or Tweet with tag.
Asking the right questions in the right way is key to online marketing success. How SMBs can compete with Amazon isn't as important as what is their why and how are they learning from Amazon's web marketing power.
Running into the web team from http://www.MoonandLola.com today after meeting them last week helped us realize we needed to add slides to our presentation. We HATE IT when that happens (lol).
Last week we spoke with about 40 Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) in a conference sponsored by FedEx and seeing the team at the Digital Summit today jogged our thinking. We forgot to discuss the importance of PLATFORM thinking.
We all know winning platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and my favorite Scoop.it. Platforms are winning because they play the "new SEO" game beautifully. We added Video Notes on YouTube to explain all of this (https://youtu.be/tSHeIxtrs4g ).
Find the Haiku Deck here: http://shar.es/1g7Kfb
We're boiling down 13 of the most prominent web design trends emerging in 2015. Will they change your understanding of a "modern website"? You be the judge.
Marty (@Scenttrail) Notes:
1. Make it big (Agree but not as easy to do well as they make it look).
2. The multimedia experience (agree and same as #1)
3. The Parallax effect mutations (Horizontal Scrolling) Agree
4. Animated storybook (Agree and cool).
5. Flat design (agree & effect of mobile)
6. No more boxes (Agree and YES!).
7. Tiles (Pinterest effect and agree).
8. Navigation widgets (Agree!)
9. Integrating Google maps (Agree where appropriate).
10. Mashup interfaces (AGREE grab those APIs :).
11. Minimize (Seems to contradict #1, but agree).
12. World Wide Wait (speed is going to be KEY).
13. Designer automation (Agree, can do a lot with templates now).
Gary Marshall shares 50 of the best free web tools to help build your site, from well known tools as WordPress and Drupal through to some you may have never considered
Lots of "new to us" tools on this comprehensive list of free tools to use in web design. "Free", in some cases, means freemium or you get to start for free and need to upgrade for more advanced features. Nothing wrong with this "try and get addicted" model since you don't invest in tools that don't get traction.
Haiku Deck Zuru uses the power of artificial intelligence to transform your ideas into polished presentations. Become a charter member to get 6 months free.
Haiku Deck is one of my favorite visual marketing tools. Our 41 "decks" have generated more than 100,000 views. We got the idea about slides being a new marketing channel by working with this magic wand of a tool.
Now they've got something new up their sleeve and the entry fee is a whopping $30 bucks (lol). Let's see, 100K views for $30 bucks, we signed up today and suggest you do the same. Whenever their new tool comes out of beta we know it will be worth many multiples of $30 bucks :). M
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.
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.
Updated! Some of the web's smartest thinkers reveal what they believe will transform the web.
Summary & Marty Notes
1. Huge Background Images (Agree, but hard to do well in responsive design).
2. Card Based Design (Agree and need to know more about this since cards = responsive and responsive i.e. platform agnostic is the way to go now).
3. Digital First Branding (Agree and this will be a big shift for many who think of their websites as additions not the MAIN THING).
4. Open Data (Need to know more about this).
5. Responsive Design...Evolved (Agree, Agree, Agree).
6. Privacy (not sure about this one, think that ship has sailed).
7. Isomorphic Java Script (Need to know more about this).
8. Iteration (Agree, we will make MVPs, ship them and then watch and improve them).
9. Vibrant Design (not sure about this one, the example made my eyes hurt).
10. Web Components & Adaptive Design (this is Internet of Things and I agree).
Sometimes, as the old saying goes, pictures really do tell 1000 words. And if that’s the case, what’s better than a picture with 1000 words included on it?
Love these especially the ideal vs actual. So true. M
In this post we will try to review the current status of web design scene and predict some trends for 2015.
Great summary of some "new to me" trends for next year such as video backgrounds and rise of website generators (still looking for a really good one of these, most suck).
Hope the stock photography and personal branding predictions come true.