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Why GRUNGE and BEAUTIFUL Is NOT An Oxymoron: 10 Beautiful Grunge WordPress Themes

Why GRUNGE and BEAUTIFUL Is NOT An Oxymoron: 10 Beautiful Grunge WordPress Themes | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
WordPress themes are very popular. While minimalist & clean themes are high in demand, there are also other types of themes which are less popular but still beautiful, creative and original. Here
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I am NOT a big fan of black on a website, but the color black does make images pop off the screen.

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The Difference Between Good and Bad Website Design Isn't Complicated [NYT + Marty Note]

The Difference Between Good and Bad Website Design Isn't Complicated  [NYT + Marty Note] | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Well-crafted sites need to fulfill their functions efficiently and engagingly.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I like this article's approach. Alice Rawsthorn makes understanding what good website design is easy. Good web design makes finding information easy. Love this idea, 

"...the most important purpose of most Web sites is to enable us to access information, helping us to find it effortlessly is essential."

As website designers if we were to put that sentence on a wall and check every new design element against it we would be better off. We don't check ideas against the real reason we created the website in the first place, Rawsthorn speculates, because:

* Technologyitis - love new tech without understanding it.

* Lack of imagination or too much imagination.

* Designers easily get lost in a "Curse of Knowledge".

This last bullet is true to my 7 years as a Director of Ecommerce. We looked at our website for hours every day. Our ability to "see" it was zero. What we thought was "easy" could be hard. What we thought was "hard" could be easy. We had, as the Heath brothers describe in their excellent book Made To Stick, the curse of knowledge.  

My team created an important rule. We called it the "Because Rule". Our because rule stated that BECAUSE you CAN do something doesn't mean it is the RIGHT thing to do. RIGHT = helping people find our content and intent (what we wanted them to do) faster, with less effort and with more fun. 

Here's the rub of our Because rule. Every website communicates in overt (click this next) and covert (we are easy to work because you can find what you want) ways. Our "Because Rule" like this article from Alice helped check the inevitable mission creep every Internet marketing team experiences. 

What is your "Because Rule"? How do you craft great website design? 

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Miriam Murphy's comment, February 18, 2013 1:36 PM
I think you've got some good points (as does Rawsthorn), but something about her approach rankled me a bit. Web design isn't like architecture; it's much younger and has had to grow much faster. While we may not like to admit it, I think that web design is still riding that very chaotic wave of the early years of the Internet; we may have streamline what we do and how it should look, but we're only just pinpointing that and examining further strategies for a long-run approach. Frog on Top has a good criticism of the article, http://www.frogontop.com/detail.php?id=52 . I agree that bloated animations and navigation issues are really problematic and that sites are prone to dumb mistakes, but there's a larger historical context to consider sometimes!'
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Awesome Content Without Social Shares Is Tree Falling and No Sound: 10 Tips For Designing Effective Social Media Shares

Awesome Content Without Social Shares Is Tree Falling and No Sound: 10 Tips For Designing Effective Social Media Shares | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Just create great content. That’s the clearest most useful advice anyone can give you about content marketing. The better your content the more effective it
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great tips here on how to insure your Awesome content gets social shares. Oh, and here is a post I wrote a few days ago:

6 Secrets To Create Awesome Content 

http://scenttrail.blogspot.com/2013/01/6-secrets-to-create-awesome-content.html 

 

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Mercor's curator insight, February 15, 2013 1:01 PM

Rescooped by Ricard Lloria from Design Revolution ontoBussines Improvement and Social media

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20 Web Development And Design Trends 2013 From Creative Maniacs

20 Web Development And Design Trends 2013 From Creative Maniacs | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Designer Tom Muller thinks big brands getting on board will lead to agencies “increasingly using responsive design as a major selling point, persuading clients to future-proof digital marketing communications”.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Here are my top 5 from th:

1. Baked In Responsive Design.

2. Leaner more systems architected websites (less static design).

3. Growth of open source design.

4. New tools for web design and management.

5. More Video, storytelling & personality.


Great list and I agree with most of it especially those five. 2013 feels like a watershed year anyway you cut it. Some stuff is baked enough to be useful other stuff is new and cool. Growth in Ecom will continue and we are all going to be doing more with less thanks to cool tools.



Read my 5 Magical Do More With Less Curation Tools
http://www.atlanticbt.com/blog/internet-marketing-5-magical-do-more-with-less-curation-tools/ 

 

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What's HOT In 2013 Web Design? Expert Panel

What's HOT In 2013 Web Design? Expert Panel | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Another year has passed, which means it’s time for our annual instalment of design predictions for the coming year. In technology, one year can make a
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great panel here on what is hot in web design for 2013. Here is my favorite list from David Sachs:


  • Responsive and adaptive design: amid the constant search for future-friendly products, responsive design is the most reliable tool used nowadays.
  • User-centric design concepts: web designers have realized they need to pay more attention to the user, to context, objectives, metrics, etc., and not just the technical or visual aspects of the project.
  • Mobile first: I don’t need to say how important it is for a website to be accessible on mobile devices. The most respected approach so far is the mobile-first approach.
  • HTML5 and CSS3: no return point here. This is the future, and it still needs to be mastered by a majority of web designers.
  • Parallax scrolling: I have seen a lot of great websites use this technique. I believe in 2013 we will see more and more websites, even mobile sites, using it.


Well said, well argued and concensus around the first 4 items from other panel members. Parallax scolling, the infinite waterfall thing, is something I believe we will see more of too. What I really want to see is the A/B test showing it works, that parallax scrolling converts better. 

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Cure Cancer Starter First Look

Cure Cancer Starter First Look | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Cure Cancer Starter Campaign Page
This is my very ROUGH sketch of the Cure Cancer Starter campaign page. Never before seen because it was only in my head before today.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cue Cancer Starter - Tech Cures Cancer
It appears we are going to have some of the leading cancer centers in America in our Cure Cancer Starter pilot program. Cure Cancer Starter is a crowdfunding platform to connect cancer researchers to cancer patients their friends and families.

I am NOT a graphic designer, but I like to put roughs of my flow and functionality ideas into detailed functional specifications documents so a coding and design team isn't working with a blank sheet of paper.

This design is the very FIRST time any of these ideas have been anywhere other than my head (lol). This is the campaign page where the rubber meets the road in Cure Cancer Starter.

There are five sections to the page once you are past the header. They are:

* Video about the research from the doctors doing it.
* Thank You Awards gamification "stickers" (working out what that means now lol).

* Back This Project area with how much as been raised and time to go.

* Social Shares - if a person's profile settings allow sharing here their picture will appear with a snippet about why they donated. Can also click to see the donor's profile again depending on security.
* Researcher Bio and Link - This area is about who is doing the research and links back to a page similar to this where all current research is summarized.

 

Instead of highlighting someone else designs, I thought I would share a very early and very rough draft of where we are going on Cure Cancer Starter.

 

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I Shop Therefore I am: Artist Barbara Kruger Talks Art In The Digital Age

I Shop Therefore I am: Artist Barbara Kruger Talks Art In The Digital Age | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

The legendary artist discusses "Belief+Doubt" at the Hirshhorn Museum. with Complex.com.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Kruger's legendary use of Madison Avenue tactics as subversive art help create a movement. By coopting the mechanics of Mad Men era advertising Kruger created arresting designs usually with three basic colors: red, black and white.

Kruger's contemporaries have projected words on buildings (Jenny Holzer), helped elect a president (Obama Hope from Obey Giant artist Shepard Fairey) and helped create west coast cool (Ed Ruscha). In this interview with Complex.com Kruger reviews an influential career.

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Fred Zimny's curator insight, January 2, 2013 6:26 AM

Her work is highly recommended for anyone interested in design, customer service and photography

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13 Websites Worth Staring At Inspire

13 Websites Worth Staring At Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
The design and personal development blog of Ash Menon, graphic and web designer.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love this format. Don't agree with every "noteworhy" point, but, on balance there is a lot to learn here about what makes a website design special, engaging and worth staring at. 

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Big Busy Bold Website Designs Inspire

Big Busy Bold Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
A powerful color scheme can make or break your entire website. It's important that when designer's plan on a layout they take all aspects into consideration. If properly planned you can turn some o...
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I tend to live more on the organic, small and elegant side of the design divide, but there is something to be said for grabbing visitors by the lapel and using big bold colors to focus attention and generate conversions. 

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21 Parallax Scrolling Web Design Examples Inspire

21 Parallax Scrolling Web Design Examples Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

The Parallax effect or parallax scrolling in web design is the technique that features layered images that move around the website in different speeds/perspectives creating a nice and interesting 3D illusion.


We gathered some examples of websites using the parallax effect to inspire you. This effect certainly makes scrolling around websites an interesting experience.


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Some of the amazingly talented designers at Atlantic BT (http://www.Atlanticbt.com ) can create amazing parallax scrolling effects. Would love to A/B test to confirm the higher levels of engagment translate into greater conversion.

If anyone has tested parallax scrolling effects please share your data :). Thanks. I would think time on site and click through would go up significantly.

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Adopt A Yeti And 200+ Cool Website Designs Inspire

Adopt A Yeti And 200+ Cool Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Web Design Gallery / Best Design Awards - updated regularly with new designs, Wordpress Themes and a design blog.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cool website design examples here to steal from :). 

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19 Amazing Non-Profit Website Designs Inspire

19 Amazing Non-Profit Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

No one tells a better story than nonprofits and these 19 nonprofit websites combine story, website design and great causes to inspire.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

They forgot a few of my favorites such as RobinHood.org and City of Hope cancer center, but these 19 nonprofit website designs are great and there is something to be learned from each.

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The Fantastics - 30 Eye Catching Website Designs Inspire

The Fantastics - 30 Eye Catching Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
The web design world seems to be changing rapidly as designers push the boundaries on what can be done on the web. There are a lot of inspirational website lists out there so I wanted this one to be different.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

37 Signals does rock and there are a handful of rockers in this group of "fantastic" website design. 

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A Brief History of Time and Web 3.0

A Brief History of Time and Web 3.0 | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
If you ask some, they'll tell you Web 2.0 as we know it is probably on its way out the door.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Web 3.0 Sure TO ROCK
Great primer on the difference between the structured Web 2.0 and the vastly less structured Web 3.0. Mobile, the cloud and WE are shaping web 3.0. 

We are different. We've been using the web for years now. Some of our children ONLY know a web enabled world. Web 3.0 will detach the presentation layer from its current pre-conceived and static code. 

In less than two years such static presentation will seem old hat and ancient. Web 3.0's on demand structure will create frameworks and what if statements where static HTML structures a presentation layer now. 

In Web 3.0 a website's presentation will be controlled by branching AI-like algorithms and trimmed paths developed from analytics that fit to the behaviors and personas moving through the ecosystem. In fact path creation will be so fast and seamless novel combinations of elements is possible on the fly. 

The future converts better because we will "surf" environments that anticipate our needs and use wisdom of crowds and analytics to fit any website to our experience like hand to glove.  


Web 3.0's implications for designers and web developers include:

* Need to understand conditional logic (If/Then).

* Understanding of predictive analytics will help.

* Creative right brain skills + left-brain analytics.

* Presentation and program layer are connected twins.

 

It may be hard to have visual creators become more analytical and vice versa, but that is the journey Web 3.0 is on. Until the next generation, the generation who will only know this kind of hybrid web mashup, arrives teams will need to round out the skills needed to win with Web 3.0 designs.  


see Also
Website Design In 3 Dimensions
http://www.scoop.it/t/curation-revolution/p/3995705467/website-design-in-3-dimensions-why-google-s-float-is-a-blueprint-for-web-3-0  

 

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Top 10 Websites For Designers - January 2013 | HOW Magazine Blog

Top 10 Websites For Designers - January 2013 | HOW Magazine Blog | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Every month HOW scours the web to find the best design websites. Then we compile the top promo sites, design tools, resources and sites for creative time-outs.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Designers look at website design differently. Love this list of power website designs from How Magazine (one of my favorite design resources because even non-designers can understand it :). How's list focuses on designer "self promotion" websites, but plenty of :#StealThis in these designs too. 

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Seing It Means We Can Cure, Fix, and Love It: Big Data Visualizations Fight Cancer (And Rethink Basketball)

Seing It Means We Can Cure, Fix, and Love It: Big Data Visualizations Fight Cancer (And Rethink Basketball) | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Creating visualizations of huge data sets is big business. Companies like Palantir have been turning big-data visualization into huge profits for quite some time.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

A Different Design Conversation
Designers I have a request. Read this post about the difference SEEING can make to projects that might just save the world and realize your job is bigger than you think.

In A Whole New Mind Daniel Pink says we've engineered as far as we are going to get. Engineering isn't enough anymore. Any innovation feeds on diversity. My request, no matter what you design, is that you view your calling as helping us SEE.

Here are the most important "RULES" we need you to remember as you help us SEE:

* The less we know you (the designer) are there the more magical the design.

* As the data gets bigger the visualizations must get better.

* There is NO data that can't be improved by visual presentation.

* Visualizations require NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE to understand.

* We will mashup, change and alter your visualizations.

* You WANT us to mashup, change and alter your creations.

* There is nothing already so simple it can't be made more so.

I scooped this amazing post about how visualization can help cure cancer to make a point. If curing cancer requires diversity in THINKING and magic in presentation then so too does whatever you are going to do next.

 
Help us SEE and we cure cancer. Help us KNOW and we love you forever :). See your job as "designer" in the broadest terms possible and you get both.

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40+ Clean, Minimal, Quiet Website Designs Inspire

40+ Clean, Minimal, Quiet Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
The web industry nowadays is very productive. During these years there have been many trends followed and every day the designers experiment new techniques creating new tendencies in the art of making website.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I've created more than 100 website designs (easily). I'm creating one now for Cure Cancer Starter and the hardest thing (by far) is to create simple clean lines where visitors know where to go without stress. 

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Cure Cancer Starter Homepage First Look and Marty's Steals

Cure Cancer Starter Homepage First Look and Marty's Steals | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cure Cancer Starter Homepage
Here is the rough of the homepage for Cure Cancer Starter (remember I am NOT a graphic designer :). This is right from the functional specifications I'm on my 3rd day straight writing. 

Sole cool ideas here from:

Ideo.com - love their top navigation and am using the idea to create curation into the site in order to make the site hyper-real time. 

Mashable.com - love Mashable's total share's count (the 950 at the very top). 

PatternTap.com - I grabbed the cool button graphics from Patterntap.com (great site for lifting cool ideas). 

UNC Lineberger Cancer Center (http://unclineberger.org/ ) is going to be well prepared for Cure Cancer Starter since they have AMAZING pictures of their doctors and researchers. NOTE the way they have the view directly at the camera. 

Using people can be tricky in a web design. You have one of two choices. Point the eyes at the Call To Action or straight out at the camera. CTA view increases conversion, straight out increases engagement. 

Cancer researchers are heroes and won't be hard putting them in heroes (largest graphic on the page is often called a "hero") with UNC's great photography. 

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TIME's 25 Best Blogs Of 2012 Inspire

TIME's 25 Best Blogs Of 2012 Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
TIME's annual tribute to the best in blogging covers everything from the economics of gadgets to the Civil War to Kate Middleton's fashions
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

What makes a blog great? At least PART of what makes a blog great is dows it create the community the author wants. This is why I like this list of 25 Great Blogs from TIME. Time asked the right question - what blogs did their job the best. Well done.

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32 Cool Homepage Designs Inspire

32 Cool Homepage Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
CoolHomepages best websites design gallery of homepages, website designs and templates features thousands of the best website design examples and cool pages for inspiration - browse, search, learn, get inspired.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Some real gems in here. This is a multi-author submission site so you see designs different people think are cool. This page is their "vote it up" page and has several homepage designs you can steal idea from. 

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50 Beautiful Green Website Designs Inspire

50 Beautiful Green Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
After showing you a list of Yellow Web Designs and one of Blue Web Designs, today is time to show you a list of green websites!
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Green is soothing and reassuring online especially the way these talented web designers use it to create 50 amazing green websites.

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Smooth Scroll One Page Website Designs Inspire

Smooth Scroll One Page Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

As much as I love the smooth scroll in concept its SEO implications feel immense. Google, as a friend so accurately told me recently, indexes web PAGES. One thing that makes your website more valuable to Google is page spread.

Amazon has 1.4B pages (give or take) indexed. How can a 1 page smooth scroll site compete with that? Not sure it can, but interesting to try. What is clear is competing in the same way as Amazon built their now enviable content archive and partner network is impossible. That ship has sailed.

The only option is disruption.

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Pledge Allegiance To The Red, Black and White Website Designs For Inspiration

Pledge Allegiance To The Red, Black and White Website Designs For Inspiration | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Red & Black Website Templates
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

One of the first books I read about website design, this would have been in 1998 or so, said use red, black and white because nothing looks better. These templates demonstrate how powerful these three colors can be all by themselves.

They also demonstrate the power of Occam's razor. Remove things down to a simple core and your website becomes more powerful due to one of those web design anomalies - less is more.

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Festival of Ecommerce Lights - Top 10 Holiday Website Designs

Festival of Ecommerce Lights - Top 10 Holiday Website Designs | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Creative ecommerce merchants such as L.L.Bean use the weather and traditions to increase website conversions. The 2012 Top 10 Holiday Website Designs.
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70+ Cool WordPress Magazine Themes Inspire

70+ Cool WordPress Magazine Themes Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
This is one of the largest collections of fresh WordPress magazine themes
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

My friend Phil Buckley @1918 shared these cool magazine WP themes. Going to move ScentTrail Marketing to a look like the one above. 

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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, December 20, 2012 2:27 PM

Some good WordPress themes here. The most important thing is many are mobile and tablet optimized.

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, December 20, 2012 8:11 PM
Jeff makes a great point I walked right by. Thanks Jeff. Marty