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5 Must Knows BEFORE You Design A Website

5 Must Knows BEFORE You Design A Website | Design Revolution |

Team Curagami ( ) has, over the course of our combined careers, helped thousands of clients build websites and about 99% have cart before the proverbial horse. "What is our design going to look like," they ask.

Most think "web design" is creating the look and feel of a site. Actually the look and feel, while important, is at least #6 on the "do these things to create a great web presence" list. Here are the first 5 things on that list:

1. Elevator Pitch - Who Are You?
If we were riding in an elevator could you explain your business before we reached your floor? If NO is your answer you are not alone and you need to go back to the drawing board and practice until you have your "elevator pitch" down. All things flow from that defining snippet.

Tags can help define your elevator pitch. Cool Tools For Ecommerce Merchants explains what we do in 5 words. Note that I don't have the the site yet so do as we are saying not as we do (always :).

2. Pain Point - Whose Your Tribe?
We create stuff to DO SOMETHING. Your product or service must help some tribe. Curagami helps ecommerce merchants understand content marketing because finding the balance beam between content that works and content that hurts is a CSF (Critical Success Factor) for ecommerce merchants. So our tribe begins with ecom merchants and we address the PAIN of understanding content marketing. We don't LIMIT ourselves. We don't say, "Go away" to B2B SaaS clients but they are cream on the top of our core tribe and mission.

3. UCA - What Are Your Customers' Aspirations
Unique Customer Aspirations is a metrics we developed as Marketing Director for Atlantic BT. UCA speaks to the transformation your content, product and service creates. Yes Curagami helps merchants make more money, but we also relieve the STRESS of not knowing what to do and why. We help merchants have confidence in their content. No one can build sustainable online community (everyone's master goal whether they know it or not) without being confident in their ability to create, share and curate content. Content is king online and the implications of that statement go far and wide. It's not enough to know your tribes shape you must know their CHARACTER too. Our tribe is STRESSED OVERWHELMED and WORRIED. Anything we do to relieve any of that makes our content sticky and sure to be shared.

4. Know Difference Between Content CREATION and CURATION
Being able to create content is important. We suggest our clients create about 10% of content from unique brand based strings. 90% of the content we want clients to share, discuss and riff off of comes from gurus, customers and THE OTHER. The other is anyone other than you and keeping tabs on your category information, knowing what matters most to your readers and why and understanding the need to tuck ego in back pocket and share competitive information is one of the hardest skills we teach. Web marketing is MOSTLY about THEM not YOU so knowing when you need to blog vs. when you need to comment is key.

5. Know Social Marketing Basics
I'm staying at The Blackwell Inn in Ohio while being treated at Ohio State's James Cancer Center. I've tweeted several positive comments @theBlackwell. Noneof those comments have been ReTweeted and they don't follow me.


My social following dwarfs theirs so breaking the FOLLOW BACK rule hurts 'em. By not picking up my @tweets they discourage such shares and lose the value of that communication (that they actually LISTEN and CARE). I think they do listen and care, but they don't have the skills to do so ONLINE. Before you create a website you need to know what's up in social media.

The Blackwell's lackof knowledge isn't fatal since they are located on Ohio State's campus and are the ONLY such hotel so located. They can SUCK at social media (for a bit) without pain. Doubtful your website, especially if it brand spanking new can afford such a deficit.

Since the master goal of your site is the creation of sustainable online community NOT understanding the implied contracts and un-stated ways social media works can be DEADLY.

Know those 5 things and we can begin to discuss wireframes, look and feel and visual marketing :). Marty

One More Thing - reason this stuff is so important, as my friend Frank Pollock would explain, is the web is a lie detecting amplifier. If you lie it will be shared with the world and known instantly or before, so don't lie. If you are CONFUSED, as many SMBs are, get STRAIGHT before you put crayon to paper and design a site or risk having your confusion being your main message.

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5 Killer & Easy To Forget Web Design Basics

5 Killer & Easy To Forget Web Design Basics | Design Revolution |

Web Design Basics
Love these five web design basics:

* Learn TYPE Design.
* Pick Great Fonts That Fit Your TONE.
* Pick 3 Color Palette & STICK TO IT.
* Photos = RIGHT SIZE.
* When In Doubt, Give It SPACE.

This last tip is our favorite. Nothing we hate more than claustrophobic web design. Problem is claustrophobia is easy to create. We all WANT to do so much.

When I was an Ecommerce Director we studied our links carefully. We found that 5% of our links received 90% of the clicks. That equation turned out to be a fractal. No matter how small we cut it, no matter how we shifted the design, a small % of the links dominated.

This means MOST of what WE, as designers, think is important isn't. We learned to be Google - Vicious about what we added. Adding meant something had to COME OFF the design. This strange User Interface math means you have more ROOM than you realize.

Find what matters and LINK IT. Design what matters and eliminate the flotsam and jetsam so you have SPACE around what matters since it is that SPACE that signals IMPORTANCE to your visitors.  .

Lori Wilk's curator insight, November 11, 2014 9:04 PM

Fabulous#design #advice from Marty Smith. It reminds me that when you are not an #expert in something, get someone who is to help guide your #success

Art Jones's curator insight, November 12, 2014 12:26 PM

If you were only able to follow one rule, follow rule #5

5. When in doubt, give it space

The most important design tip is also the simplest: “Make sure your content has breathing room; give it proper margins will help with legibility and focus.

Jeff Domansky's curator insight, November 13, 2014 11:07 AM

Awesome web design advice. Highly recommended.  9/10

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Future Of Web Design: End Of Boxes & Borders via @HaikuDeck

Future Of Web Design: End Of Boxes & Borders via @HaikuDeck | Design Revolution |

Web Design
Cha Cha Changes are ahead for web design. Our social / mobile / connected world is blowing up our wireframes. and that's a good thing.

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Web Design For DIY the @Casetify Example

Web Design For DIY the @Casetify Example | Design Revolution |

*Web Design For DIY*
The Do-It-Yourself revolution is blowing up thanks to mobile apps and social media. This link includes one of our favorite examples: where we just created our logo case for iPhone 6Plus.

We are working on a series of posts about how to engage and empower your DIY customers & you can help. Send ideas, comments and your experiences with DIY marketing and we will curate into the piece with attribution and a link (martin (at)

Find more DIY Marketing thoughts and a secret code you can use to get $10 off your creations (8PGZX3). Sharing a code like that is powerful brand ambassador fuel.

Share your DIY tips and check out more notes on GPlus:

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The Hottest Web Design Trends of 2014: Updated | JUST™ Creative

The Hottest Web Design Trends of 2014: Updated | JUST™ Creative | Design Revolution |

An updated look at the hottest best web design trends of 2014 including a showcase of modern web design inspiration.

Marty Note
This @justcreative post hit many nails on the head when it was initially published and Jacob's update of Helga Moreno's post doesn't disappoint either. Things I REALLY agree with:

See Less of (PLEASE):

* Stock photography (no photos? ASK your employees / followers for help but please no more Stepford people in pics on websites).
* Flash (has killed more #seo and sites than you can shake a stick at and fact it is still alive is amazing).
* Capcha - spam sucks but so do capcha forms.

More of PLEASE:

* Content First (implied in Responsive or Mobile First Design is a new way of thinking about, tagging and presenting content).
* Interactive Exploring (BIG AGREEMENT see my post about Time is Money Online and tag this next to #gamification).
* Arresting pictures and Video (YES, your great content will be ignored or under-shared UNLESS it is paired with strong visual hooks and supports).

Great post by Helga for Just Creative and so TRUE to our experience of web dev in 2014 for leading ecommerce clients such as Moon

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Burn Down Your Website via @Curagami [& Share Your Web Pain Story]

Burn Down Your Website via @Curagami [& Share Your Web Pain Story] | Design Revolution |

Social Mobile Web Blowing Up Web Design
The boxy unidirectional web design controlled by wireframes (boxes within boxes) is gone. The social mobile web is crushing, spinning and recreating web design as we write this sentence.

Don't let old "web design thinking" enslave. Help create a revolution in web design by sharing your favorite story of website PAIN. Every shopper, web designer or marketer has a favorite Website PAIN story.

SHARE YOUR STORY to help change the story :).M

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Rebranding with Design via @IndiaArtNDesign

Rebranding with Design via @IndiaArtNDesign | Design Revolution |

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.

Marty Note
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 ( ) 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 or 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?".

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5 Web Design Problems With Faceted Search

5 Web Design Problems With Faceted Search | Design Revolution |

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).

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).

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27 E-commerce Website Designs Scenttrail Hates & Why

27 E-commerce Website Designs Scenttrail Hates & Why | Design Revolution |

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: ).

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 or Schwan' (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'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 :).

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50 Flat Fantastic Web Designs Shure To Look Good On Any Device

50 Flat Fantastic Web Designs Shure To Look Good On Any Device | Design Revolution |

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.

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Future of Storytelling Online? Convergence & Mashups as Illustrated By Unknown Spring

Future of Storytelling Online? Convergence & Mashups as Illustrated By Unknown Spring | Design Revolution |

Unknown Spring

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...'

Via siobhan-o-flynn, Art Jones
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

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:

Art Jones's curator insight, September 28, 2014 7:58 PM

Jake and his collaborators told this story using many different channels which provides a rich and colorful tapestry that became the fabric of this award winning documentary.

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65 Best Responsive Web Designs 2014 via

65 Best Responsive Web Designs 2014 via | Design Revolution |

Responsive Web Designs
Responsive design, forming a website's information so it looks great on any device, is becoming mission critical. Here are 65 of the best responsive designs in 2014 via

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I like Salesforce and SquareSpace and was surprised I didn't hate the Microsoft design.

Helen Stark's curator insight, September 30, 2014 3:53 AM

Unusual and creative responsive designs that look great on a huge monitor and a tiny smartphone screen - that's great

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MoMA Web & Graphic Design = Great Teachers

MoMA Web & Graphic Design = Great Teachers | Design Revolution |

Want To Learn Graphic Design?
Don't know about you but I learn best now by doing. I'm too old to sit in a classroom and listen. If I can't Tweet, G+ and Scoop I don't learn. I love the approach for how we train doctors for learning Internet marketing:

* Watch One.
* Do One.
* Teach One.

That last phase, teaching, is where whatever you are trying to do becomes solid and real. This is why social media, blogging and great tools like G+ are so valuable. We can share, teach, learn simultaneously.

When I created my first website in 1999 we couldn't afford to hire anyone. I learned photoshop and enough HTML to be dangerous and we set off on a journey.

Marshal McLuuhan was right. Today the medium is the message, so marketers need to speak graphics too or be too far behind (waiting on someone to create something). If you want to learn great graphic and web design FOLLOW, READ and LEARN FROM the Museum of Modern Art's design team.

Not a huge surprise MoMA would have a rockin design team, but more than brilliant designers these guys share and play well with others too and that was a tad unexpected. I would become a snotty jerk if my designers were good enough to work for MoMA.

Friends are laughing now. I know I will NEVER reach such graphic design heights, but that's okay because I know and can learn from great design when I see it (as can you). MoMA design rocks and they share so learn from these gifted artists / designers.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

add your insight...

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Bauhaus Web Design

Bauhaus Web Design | Design Revolution |

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.

Marty Note
Wow, love this post by's Web Developer Alex Walker and graphic designer Simone Sala because it both EXPLAINS Bauhaus Design Principles and then applies them with examples to the web. #toogood

The Bauhaus stressed form and function. Removing ornamentation in favor of clarity, ease of use and beauty. Sounds like MOBILE DESIGN to me.

Mobile is so SMALL it forces the right choices. Look how "mobile design" is not impacting web design. Mobile stared trends such as limited color palettes and flat graphics because of limitations (of smart phones), but those limitations can also help FREE up a website and point it more clearly at true north.

True north online is where visitors know what to do and why easily and are so engaged by your content they want to do (what you want them to do) AND they want to share the experience with friends. Mobile's "game console-like" BEING is reshaping marketing (see Marketing's Big Bang Manifesto ).

Great, helpful post.

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What Makes Design Timeless? Exploring Dieter Ram

What Makes Design Timeless? Exploring Dieter Ram | Design Revolution |

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.

If you've ever shaved with a Braun electric shaver or admired its lines then you know Dieter Rams.This series explores Rams' 10 Design Principles:

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

Lots to learn from Dieter.

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Wiki-ization Of Marketing: Here, There, Everywhere A Wiki

Wiki-ization Of Marketing: Here, There, Everywhere A Wiki | Design Revolution |

Here A Wiki, There A Wiki, Everywhere A Wiki
What is a Wiki if not an invitation to create online community. The "open source" like collaboration Wiki's provide is a blueprint for creation of online community. After months working on we've discovered how close Wikis are to...well everything.

Wiki Ideas To Steal Include:

* Open Source Like Content Collaboration.

* Use community to steer and de-spam ecosystem.
* Depend mostly on social reward.
* A healthy and competitive contest never hurts.

* Feature and thank contributors.
* Provide ways for contributors to know where they stand vis-à-vis other contributors.
* Create ways contributors can follow and communicate with each other.
* Include ways for contributors to create mini-tribes.

* Make sure "rules of the road" are understood and published.

* Communication with sponsoring agents must be easy too.
* Normalize greatness by sharing across ecosystem.
* Role of sponsors becomes more curators than creators.
* Ask for help.
* Provide social rewards (such as features) to contributors.
* Create ways to identify contributors in the world (t-shirts, stickers).
* Appreciate, be nice and thankful (always no matter what).

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.

This Haiku Deck is about why we are all in the Wiki business whether we realize it or not AND how to design for the Wiki-ization of marketing, brands and online community.

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Funk Up Your Web Design: Find Your Site's VOICE

Funk Up Your Web Design: Find Your Site's VOICE | Design Revolution |

Marty Note
Watching the excellent HBO Documentary about James Brown Mr. Dynamite made me think of FUNK and web design. Web design is easy to get WRONG (lol).

It is tricky to design online with a sense of surprise, beauty and novelty. I like the Digital Invaders design as it feels free and spontaneous. Other designs such as Monster CSS and Creative With A K feel like they are trying to appear spontaneous and free.

Trying too hard is EASY in web design too. Remember all websites are STAGES we designers SET. The trick is to set a stage that feels like it is happening now and won't feel dated tomorrow. Feels like there are enough visual hooks in Digital Invaders it would be easy to keep it fresh with minimum fuss.

I like Emigre too. Emigre creates the same sense of happening now but that design is at the other end of the spectrum from Digital Invaders. Its hard to beat the grid. First website I created, in 1999, used a Mondrian grid.

Grids help organize massive amounts of information without that mountain feeling like it is about to crush you. I like the funky NOISE contrasted to the quiet grid because they demonstrate the need to find a visual VOICE in your web design. That voice can be anything as long as it feels authentic TO YOU.

The web is very good at finding and amplifying DISSONANCE. When you try to FUNK IT UP and aren't really funky it shows like you are wearing the wrong decades fashion (painful). Your customers are your audience.Set the stage anyway you want, but do so with an eye toward YOUR TRUTH.

The closer you stay on the tiny beam of "authentically us" the more success your web design has. This is why there are no web design maxims that apply all the time. What works for Emigre is very different than Digital Invaders but both work, both are authentic and have that hard to describe but know it when you see it TRUTH great web design must have.

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Top 10 Web Design Topics of 2014 From Flat To Content & SEO

Top 10 Web Design Topics of 2014 From Flat To Content & SEO | Design Revolution |
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).

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Best-Designed Mobile Apps via @Quora

Best-Designed Mobile Apps via @Quora | Design Revolution |

Best Mobile App Design
Mobile apps are great web design teachers. Flat, clean and simple are mobile design trends any web design can benefit from. This excellent Quora thread shares powerful mobile app design best in class. Our favorite  

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Web Design Iterations and Algorithms - Smashing Magazine

Web Design Iterations and Algorithms - Smashing Magazine | Design Revolution |

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.

Marty Note
I love the "behind the scenes" honesty and accuracy of this Smashing Magazine post. Smashing Magazine is a trusted source for me and this post is true to my experience of creating hundreds of websites and helping clients to create thousands more.

The article I was looking for was how to design for constant change, for the smaller iterations we take now. If you now of a post like that please share. If I can't find it after more searching I will just write it since it feels like content marketing and web design have changed.

Content marketing is about QDF now (discussed recently here:

If you have insight or resources that help explain how to design a web environment for maximum flexibility and an ease with the constant change we labor within these days please share. Thanks, Marty

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Best-in-Class eCommerce Web Designs via @conversioniq

Best-in-Class eCommerce Web Designs via @conversioniq | Design Revolution |

Best In Class From Conversion IQ
The other day I complained about "pretty picture' ecommerce sites that make conversion harder. So much of ecom is ditch digging. Ditch digging to make sure you have things such as:

* Email subscription form (prefer presence to popunders).
* Clearly ECOM - looks like a store with things to sell not content to read.
* Social (easy to find theirs and easy to contribute).
* Content Curation from social / comments / reviews (should feel like a party with people who share love / interests).

* Offers, deadlines and a sense of time (of the year today is Columbus Day for example).

These examples from Conversion IQ are closer to "ditch digging" ecommerce websites. Conversion either BUYING or into a list are easier, more clear and so these designs make more money than the pretty picture websites I shared last ( ),

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How Responsive Web Design Works [Infographic]

How Responsive Web Design Works [Infographic] | Design Revolution |
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 
Here is an email I wrote to a friend this morning about responsive:

NO ONE understands mobile seo btw (lol). Not a huge leap to think that what makes a site responsive could also confuse the spider. Could also HELP the spider since the re-imagining of the information architecture should do things like:

* 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 


Tony Guzman's curator insight, October 6, 2014 11:28 AM

This infographic describes what responsive website design is and how to best accomplish it.

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Black White & Beautiful Web Designs Inspire

Black White & Beautiful Web Designs Inspire | Design Revolution |

Best Black & White Web Designs
Color is a tough master. Color sends many conscious and unconscious messages. Some websites strike out to create beauty with a simple palette.

Using only black and white these web designs show how powerful those two colors can be. Favorites include Sofa and Marck Ecko.  

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55 Blue Designs to Inspire & 5 Reasons Blue Rocks Web Design

55 Blue Designs to Inspire & 5 Reasons Blue Rocks Web Design | Design Revolution |

Marty Note
I LOVE Blue as a web design color. When I was a senior at Vassar I painted a common room in Main the blues of Keith Jarret's album Arbor Zena (in image). Took a week, but the room shared some of the same reasons I love blue for web designs.

5 Reason Blue Rocks Web Design
* Sends trust, strength, grace and beauty signals.

* Easy to manipulate ( shades of blue work online see LoewyDesigns).

* Works as accent or background.
* Images pop off of blue nicely.
* There are many text and font options with blue.

Here are my 3 favorites from the examples:
* LoewyDesigns (shades of blue).
* Black Sea Fisheries (for way blue caries type and fonts).

* - for how calming blue can be to chaotic multiple image Pinterest-like heroes

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Art Jones's curator insight, October 1, 2014 11:15 AM

The color of TRUST

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J E N N Y O D E L L Cool Website via @RedBulletinUSA

J E N N Y O D E L L Cool Website via @RedBulletinUSA | Design Revolution |

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. 

The Bulletin is visually stunning but that's not all. The Odell page is a great example of the intelligent and very NOW sensibility Red Bull's Bulletin uses with such grace.

To intrigue, take advantage of how the world is not how it was and engage is so important in today's social / mobile / connected world. Red Bull's publication and core branding GETS IT.

The Jenny Odell page of tiny icons such as the Eiffel Tower, Spiral Jetty and squiggly lines requires WORK to see and decipher. Work to find out what the page is al about. Red Bull GETS that their customers are connected so they build in hooks to those capabilities.

Brilliant marketing I wrote about for Curatti in Red Bull's Branding Lessons: Why We Are All Media Companies Now: 

Jenny Odell's site  

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