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Website Design: 5 Working With Templates Tips - Marty Tips

Website Design: 5 Working With Templates Tips - Marty Tips | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Had fun creating CureCancerStore.org with my friends Eric and Cynthia Garrison's Agile7 template. As I worked I was reminded of a few tips that may help any web designer, and aren't we all web designers now, work with templates including:

* SEO Don't Forget it.
* Adjust YOUR Perspective Not Other Way Around.

* Get Creative and Modify What is THERE.

* Improve Shopping Cart LATER.

* Tables and old HTML are TOUGH.

This last bullet is important. The world is HTML5 and CSS3 and if you don't have CSS skills templates are both a Gift from God and a Curse from the Devil. If, like me, you still can write <tables> don't expect them to look like what you expect because their display is controlled by CSS (style sheets).

I tend to bull forward and do the best I can until a firm understanding of where and how we are making money. Once I understand how the site makes money I can invest intelligently in designers with more talent than me (not hard to find those btw lol).

This post should help anyone know how to work with templates better to design a website or blog and templates are in all of our futures because they are great, getting better and cheap.

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Build Great SEO Friendly Mobile Websites

Build Great SEO Friendly Mobile Websites | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
15% of internet usage is done on a mobile device, and that's expected to climb to 20% by the end of 2013. Review the facts to build the best mobile site you can, whether it's a separate mobile site, a responsive site, or a combination of the two.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great SEO Moz tips here about a tricky subject - how to build SEO friendly mobile websites.

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70 Stunning Responsive Sites For Inspiration Before A Mobile Holiday

70 Stunning Responsive Sites For Inspiration Before A Mobile Holiday | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

This holiday season will be the Christmas of MOBILE devices. Here are some amazing examples of the art and science of responsive design.


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

This holiday selling season will be all about MOBILE. Responsive websites look great no matter what device is lookign at them. Here are 70 examples of how to do responsive web design right.

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20 Web Design Trends In 2013 From Responsive To Storytelling

20 Web Design Trends In 2013 From Responsive To Storytelling | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Predicting the future is tough, but with the fast-moving nature of the web, it’s good to know what lies ahead. Craig Grannell talks to top industry figures about the web design trends you should be mindful of over the coming 12 months.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Web design is changing fast and here are 20 trends we've seen this year.

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Raquel Oliveira's curator insight, September 24, 2013 4:54 PM

2 lovely subjects: Web designer and storytelling !

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Helvetica - This Time We Do Come To BURY An "Unreadable" Font

Helvetica - This Time We Do Come To BURY An "Unreadable" Font | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Everything about Helvetica is repellant: from its uptight aura to its smug, splendid isolation. How it persists in the face of such brilliant alternatives as Frutiger and Syntax defies logic.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Here Smashing Magazine's Alastair Johnston explains, in great detail, why Helvitica (and it's Microsoft knockoff Arial) is a hard to read font matter what pretty pictures a designer tries to paint with it.

See yesterday's post about the movie Helvitica for the PRAISE veiew;
http://sco.lt/8UvgiP

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Art & Design Cures Cancer Contest - Artists & Designers Cure Cancer

Art & Design Cures Cancer Contest - Artists & Designers Cure Cancer | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Enter Your Art, Product Design or Idea Into Story of Cancer Foundation's Art Cures Cancer Contest. Entry Deadline October 5th.
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5 Things Amazon Can Teach Your Ecom Site For THIS Holiday

Amazon is becoming a bit of a hot mess as they add streaming and move from things to digital bits, but the big A still has lessons every Ecommerce vet can learn for this holiday including:

* BIG Buy Now Button On Plane with Product Picture.

* Institutionalize Free Shipping (i.e. Prime makes free shipping a loyalty program). 
* Customers Who Bought, Also Bought (great up-sale) on product page.

* Reviews & Review the Reviewer. 
* Social prominent but not overbearing. 

Big Buy Buttons
I like BIG buy buttons (see REI.com) with high contrast. I also like how Amazon puts their Buy button in what is normally a dead-end gutter (far right side of the page) on the same plane as their product headline. 

Free Shipping As Loyalty
Prime is more than Free Shipping. Prime members get free streaming movies and other benefits. Amazon prime may have started as "free shipping" but it is rapidly becoming Amazon's loyalty program as they institutionalize it more and more (brilliant and a #STEALTHIS). 

Up-Sale and Cross-Sale
I like that Amazon tried to sell you the product on the page AND something else. Many ecom sites pitch cross sale and that can get confusing. Customers have worked hard to get to THIS product page so why hit them with a lot of option that create dissonance. Better to say People who've purchased the product you are looking at also bought these other things. This is UP-SALE instead of CROSS-SALE (where you offer other similar items in the hope of making a sale on one of them). 

Cross-Sale is most effective on products where you can move customers from THEIR products to YOUR products or from low margin to higher margin. I'm not in love with this kind of cross-sale because it can be confusing and distracting. Amazon includes cross sale WAY down the page in their "continue shopping" suggestions. 

Review & Review the Reviewer
Most ecom websites have reviews, but few go the next easy step and ask for feedback on reviewers. A simple thumbs up or down on the reviews themselves can identify star reviewers. Writers fight to get on Amazon's review team more for the social kudos than the free books. Your "review team" should be a hotly competed for club too. 

Social (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
I would suggest those three social icons at the very least for any e-commerce website. You may also want to add LinkedIn (if you re B2B) or a tool/net like Scoop.it or Paper.li.  

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Roundup of Top 10 Best Websites For Designers - How Magazine

Roundup of Top 10 Best Websites For Designers - How Magazine | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Check out an all-star list of some of the best website designs for graphic and web designers. This list is curated by HOW magazine's art director.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great list, as usual, from How (one of my favorite design resources). 

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5 Quick and Easy Holiday Website Design Tips

5 Quick and Easy Holiday Website Design Tips | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

How To Have A Happy Holidays
Easy to get caught up in holiday planning and forget some simple tips to maximize customer engagement and sales. Here are 5 Holiday Website Design Tips NOT to let fall through the cracks:

Holiday Website Design Tip #1: Relevant Images
Make sure your heroes (largest image on any webpage is a "hero") project holiday spirit. Snow if you sell snowboards is a good thing less so if you sell surfboards. Remember PEOPLE sell more effectively than things, so be sure your images communicate holiday spirit and include engaged people (try to avoid canned photographs if possible). 

Holiday Website Design Tip 2: People In Images
Using people in your hero images can be tricky. If people are talking amongst themselves in your images the feeling can be off-putting. Here are my favorite ways to use people in images during the holidays:

* Looking out at viewers (promotes engagement, welcoming).
* Looking directly at a Call-To-Action (CTA - increases conversion).

* One looking out on left of two or more talking together. 

* Baby looking at a CTA. 

Babies can be TOUGH. We all MUST look at babies but they can be distracting too, so I like to have them looking at something that matters. Why all of this attention to where model's eyes are looking? Viewers’ eyes follow the path of where your models look, so make sure they are looking where you want your customers' eyes to go. 

Holiday Website Design Tip #3: Less Copy
During the holidays we made a sale with only 1.1 visits (on average). During the summer it took just over 3 visits to make a sale. The holidays are about getting 'er done so cut your copy, lower the number of clicks (to links that have tested well) and rock images. 

Holiday Website Design Tip #4: Vox Populi, Vox Dei
The voice of the people is the voice of God during the holidays. Curate great ideas and comments from your social channels to make sure all customers have a chance to hear them and LISTEN more than you talk this holidays. If your social plan doesn't leave about a third of the time for RESPONSE it is wrong and you should change it. Social is about PRESENCE and you win by showing up, listening and responding. 

Build LISTENING into your website design with customer quotes, a "social corner" where you curate great riffs from your social channels, polls, surveys, contests and games. 

Holiday Website Design Tip #5: Integration
Create an "umbrella theme" this holiday and support your theme with consistent visuals across all channels. The more consistent, cool and fun your Internet marketing is this holidays the more shoppers you convert to buyers. 

Make sure your umbrella is good for 8 to 12 weeks, used in your mobile, email and social sites and when in doubt open YOUR marketing up to THEM (create ways for customers to use those ever present cameras and smart phones). 

 

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nadiva olivier's curator insight, August 24, 2013 1:58 PM

Big advantagens come from hollidays websites. Try them.

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Design For Designers - Story of Cancer Foundation First Look & Website Design Tips

Design For Designers - Story of Cancer Foundation First Look & Website Design Tips | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Story of Cancer Website First Look
Thought it would be interesting to share a very early design for Story of Cancer. I am NOT a graphic designer, but I…
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

The G+ post explains why I expose my amateur design skills to the pros (usually to a little condescension and derision :). I don't attach EGO to copy or website design anymore. EGO and GREAT aren't compatible when TEAM is required to do anything online.

This rough beta design for Story of Cancer Foundation is giving the great design team at WTE.net (my friends Eric and Cynthia Garrison) some ideas about what I'm thinkng. I "design for designers" because doing so makes sure my vision is in there (somewhat) and the process is FASTER.

Huge shout out to @HaikuDeck again (just wrote about why it ROCKS the other day on ScentTrail http://bit.ly/14xEvW1 and using it today to find royalty free images (really royalty free not the bait and switch most boards play) saved HOURS of image searching. THANK YOU HK.

We are going to have to ROCK and ROLL to get everything done by October, so "designing for designers" helps save time and they will be comfortable letting me handle filling in their designs if they see I can manipulate images and understand some design basics (and we all should).

You may think, "Wow this design sucks," and it may (only actual use can determine if a design is working or not), but its is FAST and EASY and it will help get the feedback needed to become great. Can't make money now (locked up in my head lol).


Be sure to share your ideas, thoughts, comments and we hope you will join and support Story of Cancer and the Tech Cures Cancer movement. Together we cure cancer in OUR lifetime (and remember I already have cancer so needs to be SOON please :). M

Link to the tips on G+
https://plus.google.com/u/0/102639884404823294558/posts/8KTyg2GwAbA

 

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Learning GREAT Website Design From Websites That Suck (2013)

Learning GREAT Website Design From Websites That Suck (2013) | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
These websites are contenders for the worst website of 2013.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Websites That Suck Is Great
Extend a bad itch to its most exaggerated point and you get websites that suck. When I started designing websites, a lifetime ago, I read Websites That Suck and it helped avoid mistakes (such as using FLASH). 

There is a great gallery of websites that may become the Worst for 2013. Read the commentary and remember to heed the website design lessons of Websites That Suck.  

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Future of Web Design 3: Semantic Web Is A Game

Future of Web Design 3: Semantic Web Is A Game | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Future Of Web Design In 3 Parts
What does the future of web design look like? So much is up in the air this Haiku Deck is my third and the topic is far from exhausted:

Future of Web Design 1: Web design in a SoLoMo world.

http://sco.lt/61eqNF 

Future of Web Design 2: Web  design when THEY and US &  OUT THERE and IN HERE are the same. 
http://sco.lt/7r6zkf 

Future of Web Design 3: How does a semantic and mobile web change design, marketing and sales. 

What happens when TIME becomes a perpetual now, sales happens in real time and marketing is about curation? Web design as we've known it is about to change as much as something can change. 

Why? I scratched the surface of why in How Entropy Is Creating Web 3.0 Right Under Our Noses:
http://scenttrail.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-entropy-is-creating-web-30-right.html  

Bottom line is everything is changing FAST so rewards go to the quick and flexible. If you have the courage to throw out almost everything you believe about everything once again you may just WIN BIG.  


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Storytelling in Web Design

Storytelling in Web Design | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Via The Digital Rocking Chair, Hans
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Yes your design tells stories perhaps more than you realize.

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Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, July 18, 2013 10:55 PM
Great comment Hannes. Marty
Tata Survi's curator insight, August 17, 2013 7:18 PM

Worth trying...

Mike Donahue's curator insight, August 28, 2013 10:05 AM

Had the good fortune to hear Denise present this earlier this year. Glad she put this down in writing because it really needs to be shared.

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CureCancerStore.org Is LIVE

CureCancerStore.org Is LIVE | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

First of our 2 New Idea Websites launched today
CureCancerStore.org (http://www.curecancerstore.org ) where you can "shop to cure cancer" went LIVE today with several innovative ideas including:

* Cure Cancer Varsity Jacket - a way for cancer patients, their friends and family to recreate the feeling of solidarity cancer patients feel when sitting in a chemotherapy ward. Cool and customizable this jacket is based on a Varsity Letterman's jacket Marty's wore at Central Junior High in Greenwich, CT a lifetime ago.

* Become a Cancer-preneur - if you are willing to give profits to help cure cancer WE will build an online store for you. Great way to create awareness and LOVE for your Etsy.com store.

* Cure Shirts, Caps and Socks - we love the word CURE and are ALL IN to help cure cancer in our lifetime (all profits go to Story of Cancer Foundation our 501c3 funding the NEW CANCER RESEARCH REVOLUTION).

The linked post is my exhausted #startup #journal for LAUNCH DAY (today) when we launched one of the two websites we are working so hard on. CureCancerStarter, crowdfunding cancer research, is set to launch Wednesday and Raleigh's WRAL (CBS) will run a piece about Marty and Cure Cancer Starter tomorrow night.

We still need great BUZZ TEAM members. Pleas join perhaps the coolest group of Internet marketers and tools ever assembled :).

http://storyofcancer.org/cure-cancer-buzz-team/

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Designing "Cancer" Products - The Cure Cancer Varsity Jacket

Designing "Cancer" Products - The Cure Cancer Varsity Jacket | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Cure Cancer Buzz Team Brief 10.4
Well when I started this brief it was the 10.3 brief (lol). This is the first time our exclusive Cure Cancer Varsity…
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Next Week = Going To Be AMAZING
Next week we are launcing perhaps the two biggest projects of my life: CureCancerStarter.org, working with leading cancer centers to crowdfund cancer research and CureCancerStore.org where you can shop to cure cancer.

Like EVERYTHING I do now all profits and in the case of CureCancerStarter.org all the money goes to help cure cancer via our Story of Cancer Foundation (501c3). I'm a cancer survivor and everything I have is dedicated to a single idea - curing cancer in our lifetime.

This exclusive and NEW Cure Cancer Varsity Jacket is for the toughest game we will ever play. Each jacket can be customized to tell a cancer patient's, friends or family's journey. This is the first time the jacket has been shown outside of our meetngs and its creation story will be familiar to FOMs (Friends of Martins).

Hope you will JOIN our Buzz Team and help create awareness on social media for these new ideas:

Join Form
http://jotform.us/form/32517495657162

More Info
http://storyofcancer.org/cure-cancer-buzz-team/

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John van den Brink's curator insight, October 4, 2013 6:52 AM

Join the Cure Cancer Buzz Team! We need more people to spread the message and help my friend Martin (Marty). Please reshare, donate or whatever you can do. Thank you! 

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20 Resources for Beginner Designers & Developers | Resources

20 Resources for Beginner Designers & Developers | Resources | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Getting started in the world of design can be both thrilling and intimidating. Sometimes, you feel like you just don’t have the tools or skills you need to

Via Brian Yanish - MarketingHits.com
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I found some of the resources listed here helpful and I created my first website in 1999. Great Scoop by Brian Yanish (a FOM and a MUST FOLLOW @MarketingHits)

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Top 10 Fonts Web Designers Love

Top 10 Fonts Web Designers Love | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
When I was starting out with Web and graphic design, I was always wondering about the fonts that real designers use.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Note where Hevetica comes in :).

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We Don't Come to BURY Helvetica But To PRAISE It [video]

We Don't Come to BURY Helvetica But To PRAISE It [video] | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

This is a great video by Objectified's (another great video) Director Gary Hustwit. The fact we CAN do something doesn't mean doing it is the right thing to do. This is so true with type.

Because we have more crazy "grungy" fonts doesn't mean we serve our designs well by using them. Sometimes the simple and true work best. Also, as many designers demonstrate in this great design film, the tried and true can be bent into a pretzel.

Helvetia has an innovative side too (shared in numerous examples), so font and typography are really just tools. They stand neutral and wait to see what we do TO them (lol). Helvetia is so clean it makes great headlines online where people don't want to read anyway.

They want to scroll and increasingly swipe so watch this video to learn new tricks for an old, reliable dog.

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Simple, Clean, Cool Website Design Examples via @awwwards

Simple, Clean, Cool Website Design Examples via @awwwards | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Fantastic Clean Website Designs for Inspiration. Selection of Awwwards winning clean websites or websites with a strong use of clean design. It is usually associated with concepts and emotions such as elegance.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

My three favs

http://www.vitamin2.ch/
http://www.pixartheory.com/

http://mustafademirkent.com/

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10 Best Food Packaging Designs - A #StealThis

10 Best Food Packaging Designs - A #StealThis | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Looking for inspiration for your food packaging design project? We've scouted 10 top food package designs to get your creativity going.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Food packaging is TOUGH. Little room and three dimensions means creating great food packaging is a bear. Here are 10 examples of great food packaging with #StealThis ideas for websiite design including:

* Present the essence of the brand (see the chocolate).
* Keep it simple.
* Pictures beat words (most of the time).

* Words can be pictures (some of the time).
* Find colors that look like what you are packaging (selling).

Great lessons for any designer. 

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The Complete Guide to Color Psychology | Visual.ly

The Complete Guide to Color Psychology | Visual.ly | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Amara presents the complete infographic guide to colour psychology. Covering the theory behind different colour psychology, cultural meanings, connota
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cool infographic on "color spychology". Take with a, "Always an exception to every rule" and your website deisgns will have great "color psychology".

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5 Jazz Influenced Website Designs

5 Jazz Influenced Website Designs | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

5 Cool Jazz Website Designs


Hero Roll Static Text

http://www.jetztzeitclub.de/

 

Love this idea of rolling the hero image while keeping a single textural idea. The impact is to EPHASIZE the text while allowing the visual field to create interest and calm. The problem with heroes that roll and bring new messages is the website can become ADD. You never know where or what to look at. Here the roll reinforces a single message. Cool. 

 
 
Color & Texture Shock 

http://www.austynweiner.com/

 

Same image shift with single text here but an explosion of color and texture. This is an example of going to an extreme to create a sense of visual shock. The only liability with this technique is showing your visitors where to go next FAST since the shock needs to work FOR not AGAINST you. 

 

Hero with Insert

http://thecarcrush.com/blog/2013/8/y3uaah5ojl6zi4iia95h10iircb8o0

 

Love the lush images with inserts here. The cars are seductive and romantic, but the insert allows the text and descriptions to add instead of distract from the hero images. 

 

 Magazine Like

http://boompa.ca/

 

This waterfall, the infinite scroll, magazine shows how you can build a visual and copy story with large hero images water falling on top of one another. There is real visual organization here. Very cool. 

 
Radically Simple Ecom 

http://www.lushtype.com/


Love tis ide of radical simplicity in ecommerce. Big icons sell icons. By selling one thing the page is easy to understand, easy to buy yet very cool and engaging too. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Web 3.0 Design Inspirations Pinterest Board From @Pupixel

Web 3.0 Design Inspirations Pinterest Board From @Pupixel | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Showcase of web 3.0 web sites (html5, css3, parallax, ecc...)

Marty
Great board from @Pupixel (an Italian web designer) sharing examples of web design leading the way to Web 3.0 - a semantic real time web.

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Pattern Tap Design Trend Confirms People NOT Things Sell

Pattern Tap Design Trend Confirms People NOT Things Sell | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Great Pattern Tap newsletter this month confirms a post I wrote over a year ago:

Startups - People Not Things Sell
http://scenttrail.blogspot.com/2012/06/startup-websites-people-not-things-sell.html

Pattern Tap (a great design tool btw) notes how much PEOPLE are dominating our new visual marketing. Love it when a year old post gets such strong support from a truste source.

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Future Of Web Design 2

Future Of Web Design 2 | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Web 3.0's Whaam!
Just as Roy Lichtenstein’s Whaam! 1963 seemed to blow abstract painting off the walls web 3.0 will change everything we call "website design". After creating The Future of Web Design #1 (http://sco.lt/7r6zkf) Haiku Deck I realized some shots were fired but not enough.

Web 3.0 powered by a ubiquitous web for people and things with semantic intelligence changes how we create websites and Internet marketing. Math will be a future web designer’s friend. 

Websites will float based on predictive analytics and real time behavior. Behavior responded to with tested creative designed for personas and segments to CONVERT is more Google-like than anything web designers create now.

David Merrill's siftables are the best demonstration of how content will become intelligently self aware AND agnostic to the kind of hubificaiton web designers practice now.

http://youtu.be/JP0w9lZoLwU Siftables

Hubificaiton is about bringing THEM to US. APP-ificaiton is about creating agnostic widgets. Widgets easily placed anywhere (as Amazon's mini-cart widget demonstrates here: http://sco.lt/4iahNZ).

Web 3.0's mobile ubiquitous web will reverse hubification's emphasis on traffic density (bring visitors into a hub). Distinctions will change too. THEM and US will fade in favor of relevant experience in a commons. 

In this context CONVERSION becomes an extension of an experience instead of the other way around. We rarely shop / search for things merely for the pleasure of the search.

 

We may start with one goal in mind and end up achieving a different set of goals, goals created on the fly in real time based on how the web responds to our journey, but our process feels like US.

Predictive analytics, personas, segments and an increasing amount of tested creative controlled by math means our unique feeling of US or ME may continue to exist, but THEIR sense of our next behavior make this feeling a distinction without a difference. 

If you fit a persona that persona predicts what relevant content you need and content wraps around you like a blanket. The feeling of having Big Brother on your shoulder could be overwhelming. Mutual benefit is why consumers won't revolt. Relevance is good since it saves our most valuable commodity - TIME. 

When websites convert 40% of their traffic, as Schwan's does now, their efficiency trumps density. Efficiency trumping density describes Web 3.0 perfectly.  

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