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Storytelling Is The New SEO [Raleigh SEO Meetup 3.26]

Google Panda and Penguin algorithm changes have a secret implication - that content is truly and finally KING. Not all content is equal. Some content has higher engagement potential.

Storytellig Is The New SEO discusses how leading online storytellers such as and weave stories into their website, communication and marketing.

Developing a gamification layer is key to making stories resonate over time. SEO is the New Storytelling discusses how to create three types of gamification: Active, Passive and Real Time.

Presentation was created for Raleigh SEO Meetup: on Tuesday 3.26 and will be broadcast live via a Google Hangout.

And yes, SEO is the great white whale :).

6,000+ views on Slideshare with 30% of those comeing from this page (1735). Impressive AND Scoopit leads keep coming long after Slideshare removed the presentation from their homepage.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

A great Question was asked on SlideShare (where the link goes), here is that question:

Gael de Talhouet, Global Digital Director at Henkel Hi Martin, Great pres. Now, you worked for P&G so you will understand my question : I perfectly get story telling for brands like Patagonia, but what can that mean for detergent or dishwashing brands ?

My Answer
Every brand must build an emotional connection. Tide does 'Loads of Hope' when they bring truckloads of washers and dryers to disaster relief areas so people can have clean clothes. When they do that the brand's dimensions include emotional connection and social relevance. If you think of Jim Stengel's book Grow you realize Tide is about PRIDE and so restoring pride after a disaster is perfectly aligned with the brand. Good question. Hope that helps.

Parker Donat's curator insight, April 9, 2013 3:53 PM

I'm a huge fan of this Slide by Marty Smith. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, April 10, 2013 7:46 AM
Thanks Lisa, Jonny and Parker. You guys ROCK :). Marty
Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, April 10, 2013 7:47 AM
Thaks to the "other Martin" too. Martin Sturmer ROCKS too.
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Seven Great "Get It" or "Not" Content Design Questions

Seven Great "Get It" or "Not" Content Design Questions | Design Revolution |

Found these great questions on a site that was a tad too spammy to post the link here, but excellent questions for marketers and designers. Answering these six questions helps define if you get it or not:

* Always-on: Are you publishing at least daily?

* Editorial: Are you publishing content that is being shared?

* Independent: Do you own the platform delivering content?

* UX: Do you control all aspects of the user’s experience?

* Networked: Is content optimized for distribution?

* Measured: are Key Performance Indicators in place?

* Monetizable: Could your platform be someone else’s paid media?

Well done questions. How did you make out on the "get it" or "not" scale.


Instituto ICONOS's curator insight, September 2, 2013 9:22 AM
Seven Great "Get It" or "Not" Content Design Questions
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Your 2014 Website Can't Be Too RICH, THIN or FLAT - 40 Web Design Examples

Your 2014 Website Can't Be Too RICH, THIN or FLAT - 40 Web Design Examples | Design Revolution |
Flat web design has been a huge topic in the web, even Apple is adopting flat web design style and you need to make sure you upgrade your site too!
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Why so FLAT?
Mobile is the single word answer to why most websites are flattening out their designs. As phones outnumber desktops one of the manifestations of "mobile first" is we are adopting designs that look better on our phones and pads - FLAT designs.

Amazing how quickly this worm turned, but you won't have trouble finding hundreds of examples of great flat website design like these 40. My favorite is for its cascading windows feel and images that engage and point at CTAs.


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30 Fresh Examples of Web Design via @1918| Graphic Design Junction

30 Fresh Examples of Web Design  via @1918| Graphic Design Junction | Design Revolution |
There are hundreds of websites launched in every day and mostly web design are available in CSS Website Galleries for awards, reviews and inspiration for web
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Responsive vs. Adaptive Website Design: Similarities and Differences

Responsive vs. Adaptive Website Design: Similarities and Differences | Design Revolution |
The hot topic for web developers and website owners is the way that websites can now automatically respond and adapt to any device with any screen size. There is huge dilemma in proposing best web design method for Mobile responsive project to clients. There we are to help you. 
Lets discuss in detail about these two options for web design:
                   A) Responsive Web Design (RWD) 
                   B) Adaptive Web Design (AWD)
malek's curator insight, April 11, 7:18 AM

t can be hard to explain RWD. Per usual, Marty  hit it on the head, along with the reasons

massimo scalzo's curator insight, April 12, 12:12 AM

Please, let your audience see your presence on the Internet regardless of what device they use to access the Network !

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Designing A Social Media Savvy Website | @smexaminer & @Scenttrail

Designing A Social Media Savvy Website | @smexaminer & @Scenttrail | Design Revolution |

Marty Note
Social Media is a CSF (Critical Success Factor) for the future of any website. Why then are social buttons done so poorly on so many websites? Because not everyone believes the TRUTH of my first sentence.

In addition to these 9 excellent Social Media Examiner tips I would add a few:

* Don't change the COLORS of the buttons. Those brands are established now and changing their colors mutes their impact.

* Remember you have 2 kinds of needs - Social SHARES of your content and social shares of your site. Those are two different ideas easily confused. Look at Mashable for some of the best social media button design on the web. Clear buttons on posts with the "SHARES" total number and then buttons on the fiar right for

Some publishers may have 3 or 4 button groups such as: post, site, author and special content such as polls or Infographics.

* LARGE and IN CHARGE and if your programmers are talented create the total number like Mashable.

* Here is proper structure of an article link:
9 Tips for Integrating Social Media on Your Website  via @smexaminer

Short intro into the link & attribution at the end. Keep your character count down below 120 for maximum RTs.

* Here is a proper structure for a site:
Follow Mashable on Email, RSS & Social Media  via @mashable

Here are the 9 tips from Social Media Examiner:

1. Include visible social media buttons.

2. Integrate social where it makes sense.

3. Include up-to-date buttons.

4. Include share buttons.

5. Use analytics.
6. Pay attention to terms and conditions (of social media sites).

7. Don't over do it.
8. Stay knowledgeable.

9. Use or something similar to match social to analytics.

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Great Video + Web Design = HARD as Award Winning Videos / Web Designs Prove

Great Video + Web Design = HARD as Award Winning Videos / Web Designs Prove | Design Revolution |

Fantastic Video Website Designs for Inspiration. Selection of Awwwards winning video websites. Video is widely used in today's web design. Video is one of the most powerful tools of visual communication.

Video Online is Harder Than It Looks
These award winning video demonstrate a clear truth - creating a great video experience online is TOUGH. My favorite of all of these examples is Dick's Sporting Goods baseball videos. I like the visual storytelling of the Dick's videos.

I have a real feel for "being there" with Dick's. Problem is as Dicks makes the turn toward home and starts down the positions they lose me. They might lose a die hard baseball person less, but Dick's demonstrates some of video marketing's strengths and liabilities:

* Can tell a complex story simply and quickly.
* Holds attention better than reading.
* Creates more hooks to wind a story around.

* Easy to lose your way from a script / production / website integration standpoint (watch that Keecker and tell me if you don't get a little creeped out too).
* We watch a lot of video, so expectations are HIGH for both production quality and story strength.

* Video floats on top of websites more than it is actually part of them.

That last bullet in weaknesses is where the real design stress exists. How do we move back and forth between website and video without losing attention, being confusing or both losing attention and being confusing? Videos tend to dominate webpages.

When I was Director of Ecommerce we finally, after many tries, found a product page video size, style and length that significantly contributed to conversion. Problem is WE created those videos.

As we move into the User Generated Content social Media world of tomorrow we will need to create less and curate more. There is a way to create a web framework to support UGC videos and as soon as I see it I will be sure to share it (if you've seen a video website you think works WITH instead of against its videos please share).

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10 Visual Web Design Mistakes To Avoid

10 Visual Web Design Mistakes To Avoid | Design Revolution |

Don't Make These 10 Web Design Mistakes

1. Don't Use Flash.
2. Careful with fonts easy to do bad.
3. Text over images - Not So Much.
4. Too Many Ads.
5. No Clear Call To Action.

6. Too much text (break up with graphics or multiple pages).

7. Bad link colors.

8. Popups suck (don't do it).

9. Tiny font size.

10. Long paragraphs especially problem longer the post.  

Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 6, 3:08 PM

Quick list to refer to and avoid some Web Design mistakes.

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25 Beautiful Content Heavy Website Designs Inspire

25 Beautiful Content Heavy Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution |
There are many of content heavy websites out there, but very few seem to take good design into account. We take a look at those that do.

Marty Note
Content can KILL a website design. Content needs to be well thought out. How can you tease the click without frustrating your visitors and readers? How can you share all the content you need to share without wrecking your design? Here are 25 examples of how to use content as a helpful design element instead of ending up on content's rocky shores.

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Graphic Design – Does it Matter? | Abstrakt Marketing Group

Graphic Design – Does it Matter? | Abstrakt Marketing Group | Design Revolution |

Art as a form of creative expression has been around centuries. While the mediums artists use to create have changed, their work has remained important. Through advertisement, graphic design has been making its way into our lives since we were born.

Marty Note
As marketing becomes more visual with pressure to explain more detail in less time and space (can you say mobile) graphic design becomes of critical importance.

Via Dennis Staples
Dennis Staples's curator insight, April 2, 2:31 PM

Graphic design shapes your marketing message!

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Hot, Flat, Colorful: 33 Examples of Ultra-Hot Flat Web Design Trend

Hot, Flat, Colorful: 33 Examples of Ultra-Hot Flat Web Design Trend | Design Revolution |
Currently, one of the biggest trends in the web design industry is the flat design style. In case you are not yet familiar with the term, flat design is essentially design without the drop shadows, gradients, and textures that have been common in web design for some time. Flat design uses solid colors and often typography figures prominently into the design. In this post we'll showcase 33 excellent examples of the flat web design trend. Hopefully they can provide some inspiration that can be put to use in your own work. Buffalo
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Mobile is the secret driver of many of 2014's hottest web design trends. One of the hottest is flattening out web design. Small screens can't handle shading and three dimensionality as well as bigger screens, so flat is one of the HOTTEST web design trends as these 33 examples share. .

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UI Web Design Examples Inspire on Pinterest

UI Web Design Examples Inspire on Pinterest | Design Revolution |

An open board hosted by Awwwards where everyone interested in web design can share inspiration. | See more about web design layouts, web design and ui design.

Marty Note
Great responsive web design examples here and some beautiful web design from grids to water falls.

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Four Days In Paris and 14 Other Flat Design Examples Inspire

Four Days In Paris and 14 Other Flat Design Examples Inspire | Design Revolution |
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Flat design is amazing. Looks good on mobile, is clean and easy to understand and hard to create. Here are 23 great examples.

cees de roij's curator insight, April 7, 6:31 AM

On this website you can learn a lot and that is very good.

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10 Reasons Visual Content Dominates 2014 - The Wishpond Blog

10 Reasons Visual Content Dominates 2014 - The Wishpond Blog | Design Revolution |

10 Reasons Visual Content will Dominate 2014 What marketing strategies will we focus on in 2014? What will we leave behind? This article takes a look at the rise of visual content - and why 2014 will dominate in 2014:

1. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.

2. Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%.

3. Visual content is social-media-ready and social-media-friendly. It’s easily sharable and easily palatable.

4. Businesses who market with infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t.

5. Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.

6. 60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results.

7. Clear, detailed images carry more weight than product information or customer ratings say 67% of consumers.

8. Visuals show your products without telling people about them. This allows viewers to make their own decisions without feeling pressure from your business.

9. Visuals express ideas quickly - in a snapshot. This breaks through the overwhelming clutter of online content.

10. Visuals are becoming easier and easier to create as photo editing tools become more accessible


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I can think of a few more reasons visual marketing will dominate in 2014 including:

* Visuals are cross-cultural and global (don't have to speak english to understand visuals)..

* Mobile LOVES visuals and everything is going mobile 

* Visual marketing is more viral, more "shareable". 
*  Visual marketing is more fun. 

Wow, this post is  sparking a lot of great conversations including one on G+ about images and real estate thanks to Janis Bourgeuta: 

And this comment from Monida on

Grat Monica S Mcfeeters Comment:

This is one of the best reasons for art education. A visually or media illiterate citizen or consumer is very apt to be manipulated or make unwise choices.

From Wikipedia:

 Visual literacy includes in addition the ability to understand visual forms of communication such as body language, pictures, maps, and video.Evolving definitions of literacy often include all the symbol systems relevant to a particular community. Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture for personal and community development. In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to reading and writing.


Lynn Pineda's curator insight, March 14, 8:25 PM

All I can say, is thank goodness for Visuals in content!  I've always been a visual person being a visual learner. Information is easier to retain and comprehend when visuals are employed as it pulls you in.

The article's statistics further supports the importance of visuals. I love visuals!

mjboyce's curator insight, March 15, 10:17 AM


Carlos Bisbal's curator insight, March 16, 7:15 AM

10 Razones por las que los contenidos visuales dominarán el 2014


¿En qué estrategias de marketing nos vamos a centrar en el 2014? ¿Qué vamos a dejar atrás?


Este artículo echa un vistazo al ascenso del contenido visual y por qué 2014 será el año de los elementos visuales.


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Why The Bauhaus Is Our House As Web Design Moves Into The Future

The Bauhaus ethic applied principles such as "honesty of construction", "truth to ma...

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great work by Simon Collision (@Colly). Picks up for me on slide 17.

1. Acknowledge the machine.

2. Standardize production.

3. Experiment and synthesize. 

4. Form follows function.

5. Economy and simplicity.

Those values drove designers at the Bauhaus to create a new approach. How will those values influence our web design going forward?

1. Honesty of construction truth to materials.

2. Develop systems.

3. Holistic web design approach (slide 32 what's golden important). .

4. Mass production and individual expression.

5. Adapt and respond to an evolving world.

Here are points I would make about how Bauhaus values will play an important role in what is next online:

* The machine is increasingly SOCIAL and MOBILE.

* Smart Phones & Apps gamify routine (boring) tasks.

* Holistic design will increasingly mean Mobile Fist design.

* We are all in the community building business (whether we know it or not) & community creates mass production OUT OF individual expression.
* Our adaptations will be social & mobile, gamified & curated.

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Will Storytelling Web Design Be Magic in 2014? A: Yes

Will Storytelling Web Design Be Magic in 2014? A: Yes | Design Revolution |

Storytelling Web Design
How can a website tell a story? By rethinking websites as related content capable of telling a story in either direction and on their own we see the difficulty we face when telling stories using websites.

Websites go forward and backward in time because any page can become a "homepage" based on links or search. A webpage needs to be self sufficient - telling a story on their own - and connected in a dasiy chain where each step along the chain reinforces the chain's connections and "storyline".

This post discusses ways to use tools such as videos and arresting visuals. Graphics are a HUGE and helpful device online. If your story includes icons you've created a navigational language teaching readers to look for symbols when they want to move through the deck.

This is one of the reasons I love icons. Icons aren't fixed in space or time and their connection to each other can be strong or weak. The key is to keep readers reading. The challenge is thinking about information architecture that can easily pay off on its own and point in different directions based on how readers consume the content.

Best storytelling sites I've discovered include:

Notice a trend? Nonprofits tell better stories in general and their websites  function more as great story telling aids than most for profit companies. If you have favorite storytelling websites please share and we will curate in.

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65 Responsive Website Design Examples of 2014 Inspire

65 Responsive Website Design Examples of 2014 Inspire | Design Revolution |
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love the breakout by category. Great examples in each category. My favs are: and


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Going Beyond Convention In Website Design - Examples

Going Beyond Convention In Website Design - Examples | Design Revolution |
Over the past few years, we have gotten used to certain standards in web design. In order to make a lasting impression on your visitors, you need to build experiences that go beyond those of a plain, usable website. This does not mean usability has become any less important. It just takes on a different role in web design, now forming the basis for a great user experience for examples of great usability website.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Agree, some conventions are needed and expected others can be broken down and twisted into new shapes. Trick is knowing what you must do like everyone else and what you can afford to take some risks with in your website design.

massimo scalzo's curator insight, April 12, 12:19 AM

Developing a website goes beyond the simple usability. "Experience" needs also the right attire.... Appearance.  Ease of use is not the only thing important, aesthetics counts too!

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Does Your Web Design SING? New Neuromarketing Research Suggests It Should

Does Your Web Design SING? New Neuromarketing Research Suggests It Should | Design Revolution |

How does your web design SOUND? Strange question, but new neuromarketing research suggests we mentally sound out words we read. Implications for web designers are significant and new.

Most web designers care about how their design LOOKS, but maybe we should worry about how our sites SOUND too. Sound is a HUGE learning aid and one easy to overlook as we focus on colors, font and line.

Adds weight to how VOGUE uses alliteration to create powerful marketing as discussed in 8 Visual Marketing Tips from Vogue

and on

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Know How To Design & Curate Information? CrowdFunde is Hiring!

Know How To Design & Curate Information? CrowdFunde is Hiring! | Design Revolution |

If you know how to curate information we need to talk. Many content curators work for little recognition and no money. CrowdFunde, a Durham, NC based startup, wants to find the 10 best curators in the world.

If you are amazing with G+, Pinterest or we need to talk. We need help creating a revolution. CrowdFunde helps websites, brands and businesses tap wisdom of crowds.

Great curators are a CSF (Critical Success Factor) for our business model. So if you love thinking about information architecture, curating content and using cool tools you need to apply to work with CrowdFunde.

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100+ Clean, Simple and Minimalist Website Designs

100+ Clean, Simple and Minimalist Website Designs | Design Revolution |
Minimalism has been a popular website design style for years. It has so many benefits; minimalist sites load faster, take fewer server resources, and are often faster to develop than more graphically complicated designs. Plus, they give a professional, clean impression to visitors. Many people still view minimalist designs as ... Continue reading »
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10 Amazing Examples of Math Inspired Architecture & Why Web Designers Are Bedouin Surfing An Endless Wave of Change

10 Amazing Examples of Math Inspired Architecture & Why Web Designers Are Bedouin Surfing An Endless Wave of Change | Design Revolution |

The link between math and architecture goes back to ancient times, when the two disciplines were virtually indistinguishable. Pyramids and temples were some of the earliest examples of mathematical...

Marty Note
I share these amazing pictures of architecture inspired by math because Web 3.0 feels less wireframes and more movable feast. As the social conversation becomes the medium of exchange online we are LESS likely to GO TO A PLACE and more likely to seek the warmth of conversations with friends.

Math will become a building block of our web architecture just as the only way to imagine these buildings was with math. The math that will matter will be the predictive analytics of Wall Street combined with the artistic beauty of Gehry, the music of jazz and smooth surface of an Alex Katz or the broken plates of an early Julian Schnabel.

As we move into the web's social future our place will be where there are relevant conversations. We will be Bedouins moving from one conversational camp to another, brewing tea in the dessert and listening to the wind as we appreciate the rarity of rain.

More on web designers as Bedouin on G+

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10 Inspiring Portfolio Websites & 6 Web Design Tips ~ Creative Market Blog

10 Inspiring Portfolio Websites & 6 Web Design Tips ~ Creative Market Blog | Design Revolution |
Buy and sell handcrafted, mousemade design content like vector patterns, icons, photoshop brushes, fonts and more at Creative Market.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Many lessons can be learned from these 10 excellent portfolio websites including:

* Let your images BREATHE.

* Visual Storytelling is Key.
* Use creative juxtapositions to highlight key messages.

* Contrasts can make either side easier to understand.

* Manage colors (little goes a long way).

* Don't oversell, let your images do their job. 

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11 Resources Help You Create a Flat & Responsive WebSite Design

11 Resources Help You Create a Flat & Responsive WebSite Design | Design Revolution |

Learn why flat design responsive sites are so popular, and get 11 resources for getting the design elements you need to create your own.

Marty Note
Flat and responsive are the two 2014 pillars your website should be designed or re-designed with. This post shares 11 great resources to help with Flat & Responsive (most of these 11 resources were new to me).

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, April 2, 1:59 PM

Fascinating article. The topic is new for me and I need to digest it. 

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The Art & Science of Social Login Design

The Art & Science of Social Login Design | Design Revolution |
Social login, also known as social sign-in, provides users with one single login using an account they already have – their social network account.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

The NEW Web Design
Reading a new Social Media Examiner report (Scooped here ) social login is looming LARGE and IN CHARGE especially thanks to "password fatigue" and big F success as a universal trust mark.

Designing social lgoin can be tricking. When the Atlantic BT team created social login for

it became clear to me (as client) they were in over their heads. Here are some examples of the art and science of design social login in ways that blend, support and intrigue.

Why is social login so important? The next web is going to be more distributed and less go to a website and consume content. Facebook's dream of becoming infrastructure seems to be coming true, so we need to understand how to design websites with social signin and the social reach it provides.

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, March 23, 8:28 AM
Good note @wayne_b. I'm sure there are many "more technical" who will use password helper apps. I also see your point about, for a certain segment, Facebook = distrust (me included), but there is a big broad breadbasket of users who will use FB because they trust it and social signon because its easy. That being the case, I will always include a well thought out social signin option on the big stuff we create at @CrowdFunde and Scenttrail Marketing. Marty
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Google's Disparate Design Lesson - Agnes Martin Feature

Google's Disparate Design Lesson - Agnes Martin Feature | Design Revolution |

Google Features Work of Artist Agnes Martin
When I lived in Chicago the Milwaukee Art Museum was having an Agnes Martin exhibit. One Saturday I decided to drive the hour and a half to see the exhibition since I love the Milwaukee Art Museum (and this was before they got their amazing "cap")..

On the outside looking in you might think painting lines over and over again for most of your life would be boring to do and even more boring to view. You would be wrong on both sides of the equation.

Agnes Martin's work is a study in quiet power. Google's use of an Agnes Martin image today celebrating a great but hardly well known American artist teaches valuable design lessons including:

* Embrace the seemingly disparate.
* In a noisy world QUIET Design works.
* Simple and clean is the hardest design to do.
* Quiet repetition works too.
* Brand the unknown but beautiful.
* Share your brand authority with high quality but unknown memes.

If your designs can do any two of these six ideas you would be a hero and your company will WIN. Today Google did all six, but then they are GOOGLE :).

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Why The New World is FLAT: What Is Flat Design?

Why The New World is FLAT: What Is Flat Design? | Design Revolution |
With the release of iOS7 just around the corner, clamor over the changes Jony Ive will institute is growing. The general consensus--on this site and elsewhere--is that Apple is about to get a flat makeover. But for the uninitiated, “flat design” can be a confusing term. So let’s talk it out, shall we?
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Web Design Trends 2014
Like several other major web design trends this year flat design has its origins on our phones. Flat looks better on mobile and so flat is coming to a website near you too.

This is true for other design trends as well such as fewer colors, bigger heroes and better fonts. Since flat design is such a MONSTER trend in 2014 good idea to visit the question of What Is Flat Design. Here Gizmodo explains flat design and its mobile origins.  

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