Your new post is loading...
Top 5 Black Friday Websites Curagami's annual list sees Big Boys move in. Amazon tops the list. There are surprises & we share our Black Friday scorecard.
Bauhaus is not only one of the most important design movements in history, but an especially relevant style for Web Designers. Alex and Simone tell you why.
In an ambitious 9 part series Business 2 Community @b2community explores the meaning and relevance of 9 design principles created by one of lions of design - Dieter Rams. You may not think you know who Dieter Rams is, but you do.
Good Design Is Innovative
Good Design Makes a Product Useful
Good Design Is Aesthetic
Good Design Makes A Product Understandable
Good Design Is Unobtrusive
Good Design Is Honest
Good Design Is Long-lasting
Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail
Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly
Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible
Here A Wiki, There A Wiki, Everywhere A Wiki
* Use community to steer and de-spam ecosystem.
* Feature and thank contributors.
* Make sure "rules of the road" are understood and published.
* Communication with sponsoring agents must be easy too.
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.
The "Web Design" category of general interest covers its fair share of ground. Informative articles on everything from UX to client management, to conversion psychology,...
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:
YES, seeing all 10 of these trends from flat design to content ISN'T king anymore (not true) and SEO isn't getting easier (true).
If you were to ask me what’s the best way to showcase your creativity, then I would definitely say that it is in designing a website.
Best In Class From Conversion IQ
* Offers, deadlines and a sense of time (of the year today is Columbus Day for example).
This infographic illustrates what responsive web design is, how it works, and why you should make the switch.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:
Responsive Web Design
* Move from novels to linked snippets.
* Rely on tags (tags are about to be HUGE because they create new dimensions into the data).
* Can open a site's content for social (reduce distance between THEM [customers] and US [site creators / managers]).
* Create clear meta data (goes with connected snippets).
That last bullet puts stress on current database thinking and tech. With this many windows into the same data a developer must know about how to cononicalize a URL (or the dupe penalties will be crushing). Responsive websites become an evolving puzzle. As new pieces get created they must fit the existing framework or blow the whole thing up.
That said, I don't see any way BUT thinking mobile first from here on out. In the end that is going to be a good thing for all of us, but transitioning is a bear :). Marty
Best Black & White Web Designs
* Easy to manipulate ( shades of blue work online see LoewyDesigns).
* Works as accent or background.
* Z-Index.it - for how calming blue can be to chaotic multiple image Pinterest-like heroes
Jenny Odell is a gifted artist, web designer, writer. The icon page in the Red Bulletin with a tiny name was intriguing enough to prompt a Google search. The Red Bull Bulletin is one of my favorite publications.
|Suggested by India Art n Design|
Paul & Shark's new flagship store demonstrates how design can refresh a brand...
Rejuvenating a brand speaks volumes about the brand identity, its USP and its projected future, all rolled into a single wholesome experience. When B+H Architects were asked to work on the new flagship store in Hong Kong to augment the launch of Paul & Shark into the Asian markets, they capitalized on two aspects: fine craftsmanship and innovative spirit of the brand.
Appreciate India Art & Design sharing this post. The post is about how Paul & Shark used design to rebrand their stores and it gives us a chance to discuss one of our favorite aspects of web design.
All the world is a stage.
When team Curagami (http://www.Curagami.com ) helps design an ecommerce website NOTHING is left to chance. In an ideal world we TEST everything before we pull triggers.
Ideal world's rarely exist, so we model many core details based on other similar tests or intuition (influenced by thousand of tests, reading and stealing from those we know test a lot lol).
NOTHING is left to chance.
Just as a store wraps around its shoppers websites wrap around visitors. Great ecommerce websites such as REI.com or Threadless.com understand HOW they set the stage frames the play. Websites as stage are far from a passive communication medium.
When you walk into a store the store's stage communicates a million messages to our "shopper brain". One day standing in Nordstrom I looked UP. Thousands of lights carefully directed reinforced store as stage. Nordstrom's display team must spend HOURS directing those lights (look up next time you visit a big box store).
Web designs use COLOR as "light". Color is a web designrer's klieg lights. Images come and go, but color is forever (lol). Online color creates excitement, awareness, a desire to take an action and chances shoppers will join, buy and share.
Look HARD at how B+H used color to reinforce Paul & Shark's "Brand Ideals", Unique Selling Propositions (well articulated in the article) and what we call Unique Customer Aspirations or UCA (how customers want to use a brand to actualize their aspirations and dreams for themselves) and ask yourself, "Does our web design do that too?".
5 Problems With Faceted Search
Faceted search, those data sorting criteria you see on so many websites (on the left in the VW example) creates several web design issues including:
* Infinite Pages that can destroy SEO.
* Too Much Choice.
* Merchandising hierarchy based on attributes and sort.
* Data or engineering presentation that can overwhelm stories.
* Power moves from merchandises and marketers to tech.
Infinite Pages & SEO
Smart move is to robot.txt faceted search pages. Sending thousands of pages without social shares or much content to search spiders in this day and time is not a good idea. Faceted search tends to produce low social value pages when used by itself.
Faceted search can be used in combination with category page copy and social share widgets (highly recommended). Even in combination we suggest prioritizing pages that matter and sharing those with the spider while limit access to the infinite combinations even simple faceted search installs create.
Too Much Choice
Choice is a paradox one of my favorite books (Paradox of Choice by Schwartz) proclaims. Because you CAN do something doesn't mean its the right thing to do. Faceted search without help can quickly become overwhelming. Help can take many forms including:
* Top 10 Lists.
* Best Seller or Most Viewed badges, icons and ribbons.
* Sharing analytics such as people who bought x also buy y.
Cut down choice with feedback loops. Move your analytics closer to the "front" and your design and merchandising becomes less overwhelming.
Faceted search can make a merchandising team lazy. As we discussed in the previous Too Much Choice segment finding ways to curate, combine and merchandising within faceted search results based on analytics, curation and social preference creates collaboration between faceted search and your merchandisers. A website's merchandising team should be one of the most creative a powerful groups Don't let your merchandising team think your site merchandises itself (they never do).
DATA not EMOTION
We buy with emotion and justify with logic my P&G boss taught me a lifetime ago. The web is awash in DATA and we have a tendency to "widgetize" the emotionally resonate stories OUT of our websites thanks to tactics such as faceted search. If you use faceted search your team needs to find ways to build emotion IN. Testimonial teases, arresting images and snippets that lead up a ladder to a story are a few of the ways you can add emotion into a faceted search installation.
Power To TECH not PEOPLE
Curagami, our Durham, NC startup, works in an area with many startups. Startups tend to love and focus on the tech they create. We BUY PEOPLE not TECH. We trust PEOPLE not TECH so any faceted search installation needs a strong about page and a sense of who the team is behind the search results or trust is blown and the site riffs itself to itself. Finding ways to tell YOUR story inside a faceted search installation is a CSF (Critical Success Factor).
Marty (Scenttrail) Note: 27 Bad Ecommerce Designs
These CSS Design Award Winning sites illustrate why designers shouldn't be in charge of your commercial website. In a recent G+ post I shared our journey across time, place and money online (Why Time Is Money Online: https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/RdjAjWoJTHw ).
It's easy to get lost. We kept trying to make narrative, movie and book-like) logic work on our ecommerce site and it never did. To the extent we told stories we depressed conversions and we conducted these tests before the web was drowning in content.
Not that the web has been fully "content shocked" to within an inch of its life one of the FIRST jobs any ecommerce site must accomplish is loudly and clearly proclaiming their STORE-NESS.
These 27 "pretty picture" designs are find for big established brands people trust, but they would CRUSH a new commercial site. The "store-ness" is confusing. Are these content sites or can we buy stuff here.
Some communicate some "store-ness",but none have the "ditch digging" realities of large, successful ecom sites such as REI.com or Schwan's.com (highest converting ecom site in world). Call-To-Actions are missing (mostly), navigation is murky and not keyword dense and images don't you line of sight rules (viewers' eyes go where people's eyes in your images go).
Real ecommerce needs a few things to be successful that most of these sites ignore, miss or don't know such as:
* Email subscription forms (email list = your most profitable channel because YOU OWN IT, don't believe BS about email marketing being dead mobile is making email marketing different but dead =nope.
* AN OFFER - see REI.com's "daily deals" or Amazon's ability to sell any and everything.
* Great navigation balanced between seo and customer engagement.
* Images mapped to produce CLICKS where merchants want them.
* Every image, click and share creates analytics and data so part of what you need to map into an ecom design is WHAT DATA YOU NEED. Can't figure out what actionable thing I would know after a month's traffic on these designs.
* Sense of TIME and PLACE (what season are we in? Where are these sites?).
* TRUST and that comes from other people (testimonials, curation of User Generated Content and NONE of these have anything like that so unless they are major brands they won't pass the trust test with many shoppers).
* TRUST MARKS = didn't see a VISA or MC logo either. One way to create trust online is to align with brands and marks people already trust. Those badges look like ugly scars to designers and they help make merchants millions.
* Content - we love VISUAL MARKETING but some context such as the context one satisfied customer would share is a must.
* Design = Trust - we grant that these sites look amazing and looking amazing helps with creating trust, but junk 'em up a little and make more money.
That last bullet reminds me of a story from my P&G tenure. My boss Russ Mills taught me to never leave a display too neat. "People won't disturb a display that is too neat," he explained. These ecommerce designs are too neat for me (by half). If you aren't a major brand ignore every one of these 27 "inspirational" ecom web designs.
PS. Favorite has to be the example in the picture above. Not only do we chop people in half we ask visitors to kiss their behinds (lol). Opposite of the welcoming atmosphere I want to create on my ecom sites (lol) back when I was responsible for millions of online sales yearly. At my core I remain an online merchant, but I don't miss not sleeping and sweating sales numbers from now until Valentine's Day. Don't miss that at all :).
Flat Design Rocks Mobile
Flat web design looks great on any device so it is one of he hottest trend i 2014. My faves from this group of great flat designs:
VeloSport (more because I'm a cycling nut)
Flatness in and of itself doesn't make a web design look good on mobile. Responsive design is the holy grail of platform agnostic design. Responsive + Flat more powerful than either of those ideas alone.
In March 2011 Jake Price, a freelance producer for the BBC, journeyed to Tohoku, Japan to document the devastation left in the wake of the Pacific tsunami.
The result of his trip is evident in his powerful and beautiful immersive web documentary, "Unknown Spring," which was awarded the World Press Photo Multimedia Awards...'
Agree with the @Art Jones note. The mashup of many channels into an immersive environment as illustrated by Unknown Spring is a fascinating and a sign of things to come. The execution on my mac was a tad bumpy, but the convergence of media, narration, navigation, image and "hero's journey" storytelling is powerful.
Here is the link to the Unknown Spring site:
Article about the "new" convergence storytelling:
I like Salesforce and SquareSpace and was surprised I didn't hate the Microsoft design.