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5 Disappearing Web Design Trends & 10 We Wish WOULD Vanish (fat chance)

5 Disappearing Web Design Trends & 10 We Wish WOULD Vanish (fat chance) | Design Revolution |
If you’re looking forward to changes that come with starting a new year, you may also be excited to learn what sorts of trends are emerging in the web design
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great post and here are my takes on web design trends that will disappear next year:

Sliding Banners - AGREE and good riddance.
Flash Intros - Agree and bye to the pad and SEO killers.
Too Many Fonts - Agree


10 web design trends we WISH would go away (but won't)

Ubiquitous, nasty popunders demanding email subscription.
Bad headlines or poor "tease" intros.
Visuals that don't align to the content they are on.
No contrast CTAs.
No clear CTAS.
The more than 2 minute long online video.
The "White Paper".
The lack of great storytelling.
The "lowest common denominator" design.
Too much color misaligned with the brand or the site


Intriguing Networks's curator insight, December 7, 2013 9:08 AM

A good weekend subject thanks

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Rethinking Real Estate Marketing Online - Stories, Storytelling & Heroes

Rethinking Real Estate Marketing Online - Stories, Storytelling & Heroes | Design Revolution |

My real estate agent Stephanie Lane just sold my home in Durham so I could move funds into my nonprofit Story of Cancer Foundation. I was thinking about how I would help redesign even as friends such as Phil Buckley (@1918), Mark Traphagen (@MarkTraphagen) and Bill Gassett (@MassRealty) have been thinking about creating a new real estate online design revolution.

This post is about that revolution and about why the old print based real estate model, something still exerting pull, doesn't and will never work online. 

Wrote a companion piece to this titled, "5 Could Tell You, But Then Would Need To Tell You Internet Marketing Secrets SHARED" about the "inside baseball" reasons I made the decisions I made in this design sketch.  

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Why "Apple Design" Works and 60 Apple Inspired Websites

Why "Apple Design" Works and 60 Apple Inspired Websites | Design Revolution |

Apple's clear navigation, romantic heroes (largest images on the page) and easy to understand information heirarchy (based on a grid) are design tactics any website should steal as this excellent post about websites who've stolen direclty from Apple's design shares.

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Making Modern Art Mobile at MoMA

Making Modern Art Mobile at MoMA | Design Revolution |
The Museum of Modern Art goes mobile with MoMA Audio+, a new interactive platform to enhance visitors' museum experience.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cool thinking here by MoMA's design team as they redesigned an old museum tour audio model from stem to stern.

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Cause Marketing And Emotional Design

Cause Marketing And Emotional Design | Design Revolution |

Doing good is increasingly the right thing to do and that is the good news. The bad news is many companies are jumping off the "cause marketing" ledge like so many lemmings. 

This new website explains how to embed cause marketing into design, sales and marketing in order to enrich all.  

Steal emotional storytelling tips from these top 10 charities ($ is expenses and use as a model gauge):  

1. American Red Cross $3,329,153,7072
2. Feeding America $1,559,486,3353
3. Smithsonian Instiute $1,101,404,2234
4. World Vision $1,078,549,1555
5. Dana-Faber Cancer Institute $965,097,7186
6. Food For The Poor $950,853,3607
7. American Cancer Society $943,813,2978
8. City of Hope $898,752,8669
9. St. Jude $896,335,00610
10. Nature Convervancy $756,406

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One Week Creative Tune-Ups For Designers - HOW Design University

One Week Creative Tune-Ups For Designers - HOW Design University | Design Revolution |

Cool idea for quick "tune ups" for designers here from How Design. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great idea from How Design Magazine to help designers with one week tune ups via online learning. 

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Avoid These 8 Deadly Sins of Site Design | Infographic

Avoid These 8 Deadly Sins of Site Design | Infographic | Design Revolution |
Attracting a potential customer is hard enough. Grabbing their interest and retaining them is even more difficult. It's important to design your site
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Of these 8 very deadly sins the most deadly in my experience is the first one. When customers don't know where you want them to go and what you want them to do or where they came from (within you site) they get confused. Confused customers do many things buying is never one of them.

Michael Allenberg's curator insight, November 13, 2013 7:36 PM

An info graphic about UX... WIN WIN!!!

Louise Robinson-Lay's curator insight, November 15, 2013 3:53 PM

More on great design for maximum impact. This time, websites.

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Lean Design: Images, Ideas and Stories | Nate Williams Creative

Lean Design: Images, Ideas and Stories | Nate Williams Creative | Design Revolution |
Images, Ideas and Stories | Nate Williams Creative

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I like this approach of telling a story in a series of related images. Lean is visual and design keeps makes connections needed to move the "story" forward. Well done and a tactic worth stealing 

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Top 10 Design Revolution Scoops of All Time

Top 10 Design Revolution Scoops of All Time | Design Revolution |
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Top 10 Design Revolution Scoops of All Time Infographic - Color Is Master Of Us All Blog Post - 20 Web Design Trends In 2013 From Responsive To Storytelling Blog Post - Top 10 B2B Website Designs Blog Post - Learning GREAT Website Design From Websites That Suck Infographic - Latest Trends in Web Design Blog Post - Pledge Allegiance To The Red, Black and White Website Designs For Inspiration Infographic - The Role of Color in Marketing Infographic - The Complete Guide to Color Psychology Blog Post - 8 UI, UX Tips For Amazing Software or Website Development Blog Post - Roundup of Top 10 Best Websites For Designers - How Magazine

Creating a Scoopit Content Marketing Conversion Study. Learn more:

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CSS Class - Call For Good Resources To Learn CSS

CSS Artistry: A Web Design Master Class (includes full-color Transcending CSS book and 2 1/2-hour Inspired CSS DVD video training) [Andy Clarke] on *FREE* super saver shipping on qualifying offers.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I need to learn CSS since my old HTML markup doesn't go far anymore. Does anyone have experience with this or other products that could help a right brain marketing guy learn CSS without much PAIN? Let me know in comments or email Martin(at)

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5 NEW Revolutionary Web 3.0 Design Features Of

5 NEW Revolutionary Web 3.0 Design Features Of | Design Revolution |

Didn't ASK for a Web 3.0 site (necessarily) from the design and UX team at Atlantic BT, but they built me one anyway. Here are 5 Web 3.0 features they built into :

* Cloud Content Management via CDN.

* Control to "Users" and math. 
* Control to "Visitors" & MVP. 
* Highly Responsive. 
* Framework to Unique Backends. 

Cloud Based Content Delivery Network
I used to have to worry about image "weight". Now talented programmers can use the cloud and caching to keep page load snappy even as the traditional "weight" of the page is high. Large images with large file sizes can be stored and cached in ways so they look great and don't slow the page presentation.  

Control To Cancer Centers & Algorithms
The IDEA of is to create a framework with more and more control available for "users", a term I hate but in this case users=cancer research centers. Even things like Hero image management will be managed by the framework code and an algorithm (when we have hundreds of cancer research campaigns on the website). The key is to design with as small a "designer" footprint as possible passing more and more "control" over via the Content Management System (CMS). 

Control to Visitors and MVPs
Visitors will be cancer patients, their friends and families so we created personas for our main groups of donors. Personas help understand the behaviors of any websites archetypes, something very important with donations. We are lacking a few features such as the ability to donate in someone's name and the ability to create tribes (groups and sub-groups), but the framework ASSUMES these features are coming (i.e. Atlantic BT's team coded a flexible framework capable of moving in any number of directions). We got something UP and LIVE (Ries stresses MVPs in The Lean Startup). 

Highly Responsive
We are working to make the framework SWIPE so IOS devices aren't compatible yet, but the site plays like an accordion (moves to meet the device looking at it be it phone, pad or computer). 

4 Unique Backends We Can't See
Perhaps's most revolutionary idea is to take the Facebook Framework idea and extend it via to an individual backened for each platform user (cancer center). pipes donations directly into the account of a cancer center. 

We pass the ball over to the cancer centers and so 100% of donations go to them. This pass does mean we are helpless when UNC has trouble setting up their environment (as they are now), but they will work it out with the bank and then the GENIUS of Mark Foulkrod's idea comes to the front - it is possible to divorce merchandising from payment systems with this methodology. 

I want to add commerce features to, Facebook and GPlus, but haven't been able to figure out a seamless way to do so. Once the environment is established it is AGNOSITIC to where transactions come from. This means ecommerce is simply a matter of a link, some graphics and an individual can accomplish the same thing as PayPal (easily transportable shopping cart). 

Explaining that is the Charge To if you are on my may be needed, but the ability to easily add commerce into any corner means the distance between content and conversion just got shorter. 

KUDOS to the programmers and designres at They rocked this one!  


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Thank You Note As Works Its Way LIVE Today

Thank You Note As Works Its Way LIVE Today | Design Revolution | Is Launching Today - Marty's Thank You Note
Here is what I just wrote on our blog. Blog is acting a little…
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

My Favorite part of a THANK YOU NOTE I wrote this morning as we launch into the world:

"After sixty days of riding a bicycle 3,300 miles during Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer we saw the ocean and a large BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) was struck from my bucket list. Today feels like we've arrived in Colorado. Colorado is where Martin's Ride RUBBER met ROAD, where everything we ARE or ever WILL BE was tested. When we reached Colorado I rode with my sister Caroline in a land so beautiful and challenging everything seemed right, true and real. feels right, true and real too. Creating a view behind the cancer research curtain is fascinating, wonderful and empowering. POWER is something every cancer patient understands perhaps better than anyone. When I was diagnosed power felt stolen and my life force dimmed. Cancer was driving my life suddenly and in directions that only the Big C could understand.

If I could visit that day, the day I heard "cancer" and my name in the same sentence, the news may have felt a little less devastating. When a doctor tells you about your fate you feel like an iron curtain comes down isolating you from every other human, isolating you from family and friends. You are never more alone than in that moment. is here to say NO CANCER PATIENT is ever alone."

Thanks to all of my friends, teachers and coaches. Couldn't have gotten HERE without your help, love and support.


Kelly Hungerford's comment, October 16, 2013 10:47 AM
Good luck Marty. We are all behind you and this amazing platform. Together we can and WILL help cure cancer!
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First Views of Cure Cancer Starter Cancer Center Pages Now On Facebook!

First Views of Cure Cancer Starter Cancer Center Pages Now On Facebook! | Design Revolution |

First views of cancer center main pages such as UW Carbone Cancer Center from are now on Facebook:

Like Us! Hope to launch Monday.

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7 Basics of Great Website Design Are NOT What You Think

7 Basics of Great Website Design Are NOT What You Think | Design Revolution |

The purpose of this post is not just to present the state of today's web design - it’s more pragmatic. Seven basic principles of a good web design are presented here.

Marty Note
This is a great post about what web design IS and IS NOT. I'm going to include my notes here so they follow the post since the writing, though brilliant, is not as direct as I like. Here are my much more direct interpretations of the 7 Basics of Great Website Design:

1. Website Design Can’t Win, But You Can Sure LOSE Due to It.
We've past the period when shinny websites work. Every website has seconds before a visitor clicks off to find what they are looking for on some other website.

2. Create Website Surfaces For Scanners and Skimmers since Readers will work for what they want.
Key to know not all information is great for "scanning" and "skimming". Tease the click don't drown it is another way to think of this idea. Also, content such as news, Q&A and testimonials have more attention hooks than sharing complex or highly detailed material. If your website depends on sharing complex and highly detailed content tease it with snippets and with graphics firs.


Stay with simple, clean and useable as your guide.

3. Avoid NEW until it is UNDERSTOOD.
You don't have to wait until some new thing is old hat, but avoid using The New simply because it is new. New hurts conversion because it requires explanation and is hard to tease since visitors don't have "made to stick" context. If you must present "new" present with an "old" analogy.

Read Made To Stick by Heath brothers for more.


4. Confused customers do many things, BUYING and CONVERTING and never among them.

5. Hierarchy of information and navigation is LIFE online.
People know there is a YOU or a team behind your design. They want to know what YOU want them to DO and why they should do it with YOU. Sites that make the curator's hand visible via navigation, images and copy win. Those who challenge visitors to figure everything out for them selves lose.

This is NOT to say some mystery can't work in a web designer's favor, but make sure the mystery is immediately solved before posing another one. Daisy chain one mystery on another and visitors get frustrated and leave since benefit doesn't equal the work to realize it.

6. Colors can ruin a website.
Colors have so many overt and covert signals they should be used sparingly and consistently with the brand. If you use RED for a Zen website do so in accents and carefully since red is an ALERT color and so may be inconsistent with the brand.


7. Devil is in the web design details.
In my almost 15 years of experience NOTHING on this list is more true. Once you make a website simple and clean any small dissonance becomes LARGE because it sticks out like the proverbial "sore thumb". Make sure your site is a smooth surface with a clear message.


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

One of the best posts about website design I've read in a long time. So much of what WE think is "website design" either "was website design" or is more an expression of someone's ego than what is happening NOW. This post is one of the best "what is happening now" in website design articles I've read. M

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2014 Marketing Trend: Smaller More Visual Messages, Bigger Impact [great #startups tip]

2014 Marketing Trend: Smaller More Visual Messages, Bigger Impact [great #startups tip] | Design Revolution |

The new word in content marketing is small. Increasingly, brands are marketing via short-form social media like Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Instagram video and the newer platform Snapchat--not by broadcasting their silly old messages but by treating their prospects and customers with respect, engaging with them directly through brief snippets of conversation, personality and humor.

But it's not just for fun: Consumers who engage with brands via social media demonstrate a deeper emotional commitment to those brands and spend 20 to 40 percent more than other customers, according to a report from Bain & Company.


Taco Bell has been killing it on Twitter, creating a hip, fun presence to turn customers into evangelists. Based in part on its snappy, very human interactions, the fast-food giant generated enough early buzz to make Doritos Locos Tacos its most successful product launch to date....

Via Jeff Domansky, luigi vico
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great post for content-phobic startups. If sitting down and blogging daily is too much find alternatives for "little messaging" and do so more frequently and more visually (video, graphics). 

I'm a content and social marketer so would prefer to have both long form and short form content, but if creating the one is too intimidating create the other (short form) since some content marketing is always better than none.

Jeff Domansky's curator insight, November 25, 2013 11:47 AM

Ann Handley says increasingly, brands are marketing themselves via short-form social media.

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What is conversation and How can we design for effective conversations?

What is conversation and How can we design for effective conversations? | Design Revolution |

The social web is about conversation. This is a fascinating post about exactly what is a conversation and how we can design an environ,ent that supports them.

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BIG Simple Visual Storytelling In Motion Creating Lean Design Movement & Inspiration

BIG Simple Visual Storytelling In Motion Creating Lean Design Movement & Inspiration | Design Revolution |
Charlotte website design and marketing firm Fame Foundry is a trustcasting agency dedicated to helping businesses grow.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great post here may include in Lean Design book we are putting together. Can't afford to print al those beautiful pictures though, so be sure to read/look at these great inspiring examples.

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Levis Make Your Mark A Magnificent Social Media Marketing Mess

Levis Make Your Mark A Magnificent Social Media Marketing Mess | Design Revolution |
Levi Make Your Mark A Magnificent Mess
When I studied art at  +Vassar College Alton Pickens, my professor, would never say something sucked. He would say…
Patrick Townsend's curator insight, November 25, 2013 10:46 AM

Levis "make your mark" is great way to show perional style!

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Why Is Holiday Ecommerce Website Design So BAD?

Why Is Holiday Ecommerce Website Design So BAD? | Design Revolution |

I'm not sure what to blame such a poor showing on basic holiday ecommerce design on, but this year's November crop is flat, uninspiring and junky.

L. L. Bean usually sets the holiday standard. This year their November offering is marred by an obnoxious animated image that includes their great Free Shipping Offer. I HATE putting such a great free shipping offer on a roll because it is easy to miss in the 5 to 9 seconds most visitors give a webpage before moving on (granted this is BEAN so maybe 15 seconds). 

Bean has the tough job of competing with themselves and, in past holiday selling seasons, they define how to create great holiday look and feel. Holiday look and feel can be tough. I like Patagonia's approach - put up snow scenes AND a surfer on a massive wave (hey its Christmas in Hawaii too). 

The other faux pas that is unforgivable after all these years is Free Shipping obfuscation. Many leading retailers are going free shipping all orders and some are going the Zappos route and offering free returns too. Of the 37 websites reviewed only 6 earned A ratings on three criteria:

* Free Shipping.
* Holiday Look and Feel. 
* Holiday merchandising via categories such as For Him, Her, Kids. 

The other big miss is websites who think they are too cool for the holidays (, Restoration Hardware). Black on black at the holidays is expensively too cool and self absorbed. 

If you know smaller websites who know how to do the holidays right please share in comments or email Martin.Smith(at) 


Randy Ksar's curator insight, November 13, 2013 7:40 PM

interesting topic on #ecommerce UX design. any other websites that you know are doing innovative desktop or mobile ecommerce design work?

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Web Design's What If Future In Pictures

Web Design's What If Future In Pictures | Design Revolution |

I've discussed web design's "What If" future before. Friends challenged me to explain what I see in pictures instead of words. The Google presentation here explains the cross functional team we will need to create great websites soon. 

Tomorrow's websites will be crated by:

  * Graphic Designers.
  * Quants.
  * Content / Social / Video Marketers.
  * Financial support so creative costs don’t drain profits.

And probably 5 other skill sets I'm forgetting. There is no going back. Our What If web design future is sure and coming soon to a website near you. BTW, you don't want to be 4th or 5th to this party :).  

Public Google Doc is here  

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Graphic Design Inspirational Sources #33

Graphic Design Inspirational Sources #33 | Design Revolution |
a weekly article intended to always follow the trends happening in the world of graphic design and visual arts

Via Yesta Desamba, Adriana Montoya
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I love the bridge here between two of my favorite topics - visual art and graphic design.

Yesta Desamba's curator insight, December 17, 2012 2:01 PM

Graphic Design sources #33

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Create Conversations Not Websites: The Lean Design Movement Why Web Designers Will Design Less and Partner More

Create Conversations Not Websites: The Lean Design Movement Why Web Designers Will Design Less and Partner More | Design Revolution |

I'm involved in a very cool project right now called ( This project is forcing the team at Atlantic BT to THINK about the future of web design.

We hinted at the "lean design" movement a few days ago in a Scoop (Designing for What If ). Today we see how we aren't really designing websites anymore.

We are designing conversations.

The design example above embeds's trending campaigns inside of one of our cancer research partner's websites. Once the number of cancer research campaigns is more than 100 the best way to control and navigate to our content isn't on and that realization hit like a TRUCK.

We would be better served to NOT SCALE a new website but embed the campaigns back in the already scaled websites of our partners. We design the "crowdfunding cancer reserach" conversation and create the easy to plug in widget our partners can use to speak to their existing customers.

We started thinking the best approach was to create a new scaled commons (the Kickstarter or cancer research), and there can still be a "net the new fish" role for such a website, but the web is more and more about TRUST and trust doesn't come FAST or EASY.

Now we can see, given the current state of Internet marketing, why our jobs as web designers are changing. Instead of designing sites to scale we need to feed off of existing scale. When I started creating websites in 1999 no one had scale so everyone was equal.

1999 was before Google's decision to eliminate spam by elevating trusted sources. The problem is YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE. You don't have the TIME to work your way slowly up your business vertical's ladder. Instead you should be thinking about creating partnerships and widgets.

Design LESS and collaborate more will be our web design future.

Read more about my big V8 web design SLAP on G+:

Seth Storey's curator insight, November 11, 2013 10:59 AM

Design less and collaborate more. Interesting article about creating conversations into your web design.

Vigisys's curator insight, March 28, 2014 11:33 AM

From now on, all websites should be dynamic & collaborative. Constant work-in-progress, the same way we communicate or do things in real life. Static websites, however, are more like graveyards, some of them beautiful, but designed for tombs and dead anyway. With (soon to be released), we are working on an innovative solution for Web publication & "conversation"...

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5 Ecommerce Checkout Tips - How To DESIGN For More Conversions Next Year

5 Ecommerce Checkout Tips - How To DESIGN For More Conversions Next Year | Design Revolution |
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight: Lessons In Checkout Mechanics
We did a lot of things right with our initial design of our crowdfunding cancer research website, but there are some "checkout mechanics" that need tuning including:

* 1,2,3 Graphic.

* Trust Marks.

* Ability To SEE what is happening. 

* Too many Steps (superfluous information requested). 

* Doesn't FEEL Secure.


Your ecommerce or charity donations page should be in lockdown until next year. While checkout process changes can often bring the biggest ROI, they are to be avoided this close to a major deadline like 12.25.

1,2,3 Graphic
Always MAP your checkout process and then use a different color to indicate YOU ARE HERE. This repeatable graphic is a great TRUST creator and costs NOTHING other than the design time to create it.

Trust Marks
When I use the Trust Mark I DON'T use their widget. Widgets allow visitors to click on the logo and hear all about how great they are. NO ONE clicks on that link and the overhead for carrying the JavaScript is too high. I take a picture of the logo and use that (no link). If you must link to something link to your privacy policy, but be sure to include the same graphic at the top and begin with an explanation of the Trust Mark in your copy.

SEEING What Is Happening
Our current checkout has a popup to save a credit card. PopUps are horrible as they destroy confidence. Confidence is lost when customers can't SEE what they've done and how it relates to the end goal. "Relates to the end goal" is why the graphical map of your checkout process is so crucial.

Too Many STEPS
We have a profile creation page in our current checkout and we aren't doing anything with that data so a BIG NO NO. Don't PROFILE your customers during checkout since you will lose half of them. Profiling should be done via incentives and email marketing WHEN you have a curators need for the data (and not before). Once I can actually USE a picture of a donor THEN and ONLY THEN should that information be requested.

Must FEEL Secure
Trust Marks are so common no one sees them, but boy you sure see their ABSCENCE. Why make me wonder if you are secure. Slap a logo on your checkout and write the words TRUSTED and SECURE under them. Research shows the presence of the words is valuable as it provides context to the logos AND increases trust.

When we redesign's checkout I will be sure to share it so we can do a BEFORE and AFTER comparison (and a real graphic designer will polish my rough drafts).


Seth Storey's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:15 PM

Great tips on good checkout design

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Go On A BUG HUNT on To Win Some Cool Cure Cancer Socks

Go On A BUG HUNT on To Win Some Cool Cure Cancer Socks | Design Revolution |

I know there are GREAT designers and Internet marketers out there in land and we need your help. Yesterday we launched and need your help finding bugs.

Report bugs here

Best bug hunters will win Cure Cancer Socks (being created now by same people who created Cancer Sucks Socks).

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Designing For WHAT IF: Why Website Designers Are About TO DESIGN LESS

Designing For WHAT IF: Why Website Designers Are About TO DESIGN LESS | Design Revolution |
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Working on has been a lesson in web 3.0. Not QUITE here yet but BIG hints of What's Next include:

* The Cloud changes what and how we store.
* When you change what we store you change information architecture.
* You can see the beginning of "appification" of everything (smaller amounts of code executed faster and then updated frequently).
* Websites are becoming contingent on two THEMS (visitors and users of the Content Management System backend).

This last bullet is where the real design revolution lives. Once we design "what if, then..." contingent frameworks based on the needs of visitors (fully modeled based on personas and segments) and those using the CMS we've built we are DESIGNING less and THINKING more.

Each time we've placed limits on how our CMS will be used we've seen the need for LESS structure and more freedom. The logic of WHAT IT, THEN.... dictates a different approach to "designing a website".

This new approach will be less DESIGN and more flexibility, frameworks and user controlled functionality. Web designers, and this is not a new idea from me LOL, are becoming more like video game designers creating environments and contingent presentations.

So prepare to DESIGN less and LISTEN more as you use the new tools of web 3.0 to think in terms of contingencies and environments.


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