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Deigning Tomorrow's Ecommerce Today

Deigning Tomorrow's Ecommerce Today | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Designing Tomorrow's Ecommerce
I'm writing a blog post for Curatti that will go live at midnight tonight that discusses the "best practices" of "Tomorrow's Ecommerce". I'm also writing a Curagami blog post (also published at midnight) about how social shopping will change Tomorrow's Ecommerce.

Tomorrow's Ecom Current Best Practices (Curatti tonight)
Tomorrow's Ecom Social & Mobile Web (on Curagami now)

The Haiku Deck that bridges both of these posts is linked above and here:
http://shar.es/1nkJef

As we publish each post we will link them here.


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Finding Stories Inside Paintings via Tracy Chevalier TED Talk [+ 3 Find Your Story Tips via @Scenttrail]

Finding Stories Inside Paintings via Tracy Chevalier TED Talk [+ 3 Find Your Story Tips via @Scenttrail] | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Storytelling & Content Marketing
Tracy Chevalier imagines the stories behind paintings:


* How did the painter meet his model?
* What would explain that look in her eye?
* Why is that man … blushing?

She shares three stories inspired by portraits, including the one that led to her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring."

3 Find Your Story Tips
One of the most common "we can't do it" complaints we hear is, "Our content is boring and no one on out team knows how to tell a story".  There are no "boring" products or services and we are surrounded by stories. Here are 5 tips to help you find the magical content needed to wins hearts and minds online.

Story Finder Tip #1: Your Employees
You never need to look far for great stories. Stories of heroic efforts against great odds are sitting in your office now. There are cancer survivors, triathletes and parents with special children in your company as I write this.

You might think, "I don't want to invade their privacy," and we aren't suggesting it. We suggest explaining that any company really only exists in the minds of its employees. Since publishing costs are now zero you can afford to explain who you are by proxy - via your employees stories, passions and loves.

This is "Employee Story of the Month" instead of a banal award your customers learn about the journey your team members have experienced and so feel close to them, you and your brands and products. "I feel like I know you," a woman said hugging my ex at the Gift Show in San Francisco.

Our potential customer learned about Found Objects and Janet McKean from our monthly newsletters. Those newsletters led to the hug and made doing business together easy.


Oh, btw each month I included a short story about Janet's life, experiences and family. May be why I'm divorced (lol), because Janet hated sharing so much. "You married a storyteller, " I would say smiling and writing and well you can figure out how well that worked in our relationship. Worked GREAT with our customers though (lol).

Story Finder Tip 2: Be Like Tracy Imagine An Image's Story
Tracy wrote a best seller by imagining questions implied but not stated. Your online marketing uses images all the time, but what are the questions BEHIND the image.

If you have a picture from a company event who is there? What was being celebrated? What in the image doesn't make sense? Is there something that hints at a mystery o some enigma? Work backwards from an image. Begin like Tracy. Ask questions. The answers are your story.

Story Finder Tip 3: Ask For Customer Stories
Take the image in example #2 and ask your customers to share their questions, stories or answers to hidden riddles. Asking for a story may be too hard and intimidating, but asking what these people in the corner are doing could be fun and spark imaginations and lead to stories.

Once you have an "Ambassador" group of customers / advocates established ask them to help shape your ASK. Ask your advocates to help you know the best way to engage and hear stories your customers are itching to share.

Writing this tip reminds me of a story (of course lol). I left home for the first time. I was in the 10th grade and enrolled at The Choate School. My mom cried when she and my father dropped me off. Now I was sitting in my first English class.

Mr. Noland, a bearded thirty something teacher dressed not unlike every preppie in the room (straight leg corduroys, button down oxford shirt) asked, "Tell me the story of this pencil". He said this hold a pencil inches from his nose and staring at it as he rotated it and waved it up and down.

Dutifully I set out to describe the pencil. "Pencils down," Mr. Noland said asking a student he clearly knew to read his story first. "She couldn't tell why. All she could smell was stale cigar...." the novella this student wrote about a possible murder, broken hearts and a love affair gone wrong made me realize I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

If Mr. Noland's shill can write 500 words on a pencil, YOU can tell a captivating story online about you, your company, brands and products.


Web Design & Stories
Now that you know WHERE to find stories don't forget to DESIGN them in. Sharing stories online is tricky. You want to make readers do a little work to get to a place they can read and read.

Don't do like some and break your stories into tiny 200 word bites. Too much clicking ruins the "all in" feel of a good story. Make your readers click a couple of times to pan out readers from scanners and then let them read.

Will cover more "story design" tips in another post. First FIND your stories since that is often the hardest task. Next create a design that does the impossible - makes it fun to read online.

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Time To Go Pageless? 8 Reasons Why Pageless Design is Future of Web Design

Time To Go Pageless? 8 Reasons Why Pageless Design is Future of Web Design | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Pageless design frees websites from the outdated conventions of print design and fully utilizes the digital platform they’re built on. 

8 Compelling Reasons Why "Pageless' Web Design Wins (in the end):


* Tells a better story.

* Easier to "digest" or understand what to do.

* Emotionally more powerful.

* Higher Conversion Rates!!!
* Makes updating faster & easier.

* Lowers BOUNCE & encourages sharing.

* Looks great on all devices (mobile included).

* Lower cost to develop.

Marty Note
I confess to not being in love with the "infinite scroll" just yet. One modification we worked out for @Curagami, our Startup Factory funded startup, is to include a Call-To-Action at the top & Bottom.

CTAs help prepare the scroll. Remember "open book" tests? Putting a CTA on top of a waterfall of content helps prep a visitors mind. It "opens the book" for them. With this many impressive benefits I'm going to have to figure out how to start loving "pageless" design (lol).

I bet there are 5 (or so) similar modifications we can make to help us know how to create the paths and conversion we want by going "pageless".  

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Designing For GooglePlus: Top 10 Brand Pages on Google+

Designing For GooglePlus: Top 10 Brand Pages on Google+ | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

We've had a HUGE Day over on GPlus today. I wrote a post about why G+ is magical thinking (https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/F5fXyrkTPCr ) and my post got picked up by my friend Mark Traphagen (@MarkTraphagen) and it BLEW up into an amazing conversation.

Given the MONSTER day we've had I thought it would be a great idea to share some of the most successful G+ Brand pages. GPlus is a massive Blue Ocean for most.  Blue Oceans are where your content gets MORE traction with less work. Red Oceans are where your content requires more investment to generate LESS return.

GPlus is really a set of TOOLS. Incorporating Hangouts, maps, communities and other widget-like tools. The first website or agency to figure out how to combine those powerful tools in unique combinations is going to WIN big. Some of these examples approach the top of the mountain, but G+ has more power than even anyone here captures.

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25 Beautiful Content Heavy Website Designs Inspire

25 Beautiful Content Heavy Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
There are many of content heavy websites out there, but very few seem to take good design into account. We take a look at those that do.


Marty Note
Content can KILL a website design. Content needs to be well thought out. How can you tease the click without frustrating your visitors and readers? How can you share all the content you need to share without wrecking your design? Here are 25 examples of how to use content as a helpful design element instead of ending up on content's rocky shores.

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Why Monotype Is A Curation Rock Star from @RobinGood

Why Monotype Is A Curation Rock Star from @RobinGood | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Robin Good: "Would you like to join a select group of designers from around the world to curate what you would consider fonts from our Monotype collection for use in editorial publishing?"


This is what James Fooks-Bale, from Monotype (the largest type foundry out there) initially wrote to Mario Garcia. The email went out also to several other designers around the world, who were all invited to participate in curating a set of type collections to inspire and help designers re-discover what fonts and typefaces to use for their next project.


"The unique challenge of this project was developing type palettes.


Each set of type families had to make sense for the hypothetical publications we proposed.


But the families in each palette also had to complement each other: in finish, attitude, or historical reference.


It was not about selecting interesting typefaces, but choosing those that could work as part of a system..."


Monotype calls these curated sets of typographic faces "collections" and it describes their function and meaning as: "The Monotype Collections are a series of personal font selections curated from the Monotype library by leading figures in the print and digital design worlds.


Each one takes a theme that corresponds to real-life briefs or trends, such as Heritage, Publishing, Branding or Web Fonts, and all fonts selected by our curators are available to license from Monotype.


...


The sheer volume of font options now available to designers and creative directors can be daunting and time-consuming to explore, leading designers to settle for tried-and-trusted go-to fonts.


The purpose of the collections is to widen their palette, and offer a range of entry points to the Monotype library, which contains thousands of fonts covering every application, and has its origins in the late 19th century.


The Collections contrast contemporary alternatives and reveal hidden gems from the archives, and invite designers to delve deeper."


This is a great example of how curation can be used to market, inspire and help great artists discover and re-discover tools they may have not been using for a while.


Fascinating. Innovative. Inspiring. 9/10


Marty Note
Agree with Robin 100%. Type is such a BEAR and so easy to do WRONG. The more perspective we gain from peers the easier it is to solve difficult problems like how to use type. The real innovation here is forming up a tribe of highly influential advocates to share their favorite groups of typefaces. By forming something similar to what my team and I called our "buzz team" in my last job Monotype creates dual benefit.

Monotype's "buzz team" helps them hear direct feedback from a group of highly influential designers AND those designers go out into the world and advocate for Monotype (the more valuable of the two interactions if you ask me but hard to get the one without the other).

Robin's note is insightful too. Monotype isn't asking their designers to CREATE new type faces only to share their favorite groups of existing type. They are asking for Curation As A Product. We've been so stuck in the idea of product as things, as physical objects, we may be missing a dramatic and important market change - process as product.


Product as process, product as curaton, product as something much more ethereal, magical, gentle and kind feels like where we are thanks in no small measure to curation of the growing infinity of UGC (User Generated Content). This idea of "product" as bigger than past definitions, something Robin just helped me see with this Scoop, fits with Social Media's Magic Feedback Loops (http://www.atlanticbt.com/blog/social-medias-magic-loops/ ), a post I just wrote for Atlantic BT's blog.

The idea of THEM and US is what is fading fast. Monotype's intelligent use of that information is inspiratoinal and Robin's take is as accurate and helpful as always :). M

Full story + samples from all curated sets: http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/the_page_is_the_stage_curating_a_monotype_type_collection




Via Robin Good, John van den Brink
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Toward A New Ecommerce - Team Curagami's Magento & WordPress Template Project

Toward A New Ecommerce - Team Curagami's Magento & WordPress Template Project | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Toward A New Ecommerce
The new #ecommerce is beginning to emerge. Curagami, our Durham, NC based startup, is working hard to create new community, merchandising and social media tools to bridge the gap between content and commerce.

This post outlines things every commerce site needs to show quickly such as:

* Is this site SHOPPING or INFORMATION (getting harder and harder to know this right off so want to make SHOPPING obvious).
* Where's my easy to get free shipping?
* Quickly find expected merchandising such as NEW, SALE and BEST SELLERS.
* Are they (the website) open to MY (customer) input (one reason why the sneakers vs. high heels image asks for a story share).

Explain how I used the 8 tips I learned from Vogue (http://shar.es/1nlE2l on http://www.haikudeck.com). Things like the surprise juxtaposition of a women in chuck taylors and picking a fight to support #movementmarkeing are right out of the Vogue playbook.

As always feel free to jump in. Sure we will have a great running conversation on G+: https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/fnFpMLkss4k

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Design G+ In For The Win via @Curagami

Design G+ In For The Win via @Curagami | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Designing G+ In
Crazy to suggest using G+ as a tool to power your online marketing right? Maybe not. Greatest return always comes from the least understood ideas. GooglePlus is a "least understood" idea these days.

Their leader left and TechCrunch said G+ the social net is dead. They may be right, but that is beside the point. G+ has always been more than a social net. G+ is a suite of tools marketers can use to find blue oceans.

Blue oceans are the as yet unspoiled places where marketers can still swim without fear of a herd of sharks. Oceans where sharks eat themselves are "red oceans" such as Facebook.

We suggest designing G+ into your marketing and site. Hold weekly hangouts, you don't need a G+ profile to use hangouts now, and created a branded community if only so you rule your name in #seo. Finally we suggest curating the great comments you will receive on G+ as a source of future content.

We've never been able to figure out how to use circles in a unique way, but they too beckon with possibility. By creating weekly content based on Hangouts and Community you get lots of GoogleJuice, the least expensive #videomarketing we know about and great community development tools that cost you NOTHING.

The linked post discusses Mark Traphagen's call to use G+ as a hub of your marketing. That's a great call since the price is RIGHT (free though you may spend some making G+ play the way you want it in your design). Designing G+ tools INTO your community creates the cheapest, biggest and best online win we can think of.

So the death of G+ is greatly exaggerated and, if you are smart, you will find a way to design the tool's many possibilities into your marketing.

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20 Long Form Content Examples with Great UX Design Inspire & Help With the "#newseo"

20 Long Form Content Examples with Great UX Design Inspire & Help With the "#newseo" | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Here’s a fun fact: Over the last 10 years, our attention spans have decreased from 12 minutes to 5 minutes. Our ability (and our desire) to read lots of c
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My favorite is the NYT's Home and Garden in depth look at 4 square blocks in Philly. Great content daisy chained well so it never overwhelms and keeps readers moving. Great use of anchor links (from the sidebar) makes the piece feel more interactive than it really is. 

Long form content has many #newseo benefits. The more engagement your content creates the greater chances for conversion. Web heuristic measures such as time on site, pages viewed and returning visitors help with the "new seo" too.


Steal some of these easy tricks from NYT and make your content feel more interactive than it is and read faster and more fun so your metrics go up and readers love you enough to become buyers or subscribers.  

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Know How To Design & Curate Information? CrowdFunde is Hiring!

Know How To Design & Curate Information? CrowdFunde is Hiring! | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

If you know how to curate information we need to talk. Many content curators work for little recognition and no money. CrowdFunde, a Durham, NC based startup, wants to find the 10 best curators in the world.

If you are amazing with G+, Pinterest or Scoop.it we need to talk. We need help creating a revolution. CrowdFunde helps websites, brands and businesses tap wisdom of crowds.

Great curators are a CSF (Critical Success Factor) for our business model. So if you love thinking about information architecture, curating content and using cool tools you need to apply to work with CrowdFunde.

http://www.crowdfunde.com/top-curator-contest-crowdfunde-hiring/


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Web design trends for 2014 | Infographic + @ScentTrail Trend Predictions

Web design trends for 2014 | Infographic + @ScentTrail Trend Predictions | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

What do we predict will be the web design trends in 2014? Here is an infographic with our predictions

Marty Note
Here are my thoughts on web design in 2014.

1. Code Free = Disagree, not in 2014, I have tried Webydo and it is as hard to master as code so why bother, until there is a tool that is EASIER than code we will continue to code.

2. More CMS based site - Agree and this is another way of saying more blogs acting like websites. Good idea to read my Websites vs. Blog post on Curatti.com earlier in the week to know how to keep the things that matter from a "website" as your blog fills both shoes: Websites vs. Blogs Which One Is Better and Why http://curatti.com/websites-vs-blogs/ .

3. Single Page Sites - Disagree - I GUESS you could have a robust enough social presence that a single page site would be fine, but you give up a lot and you are asking a single page to accomplish a lot. Google doesn't rank websites they rank web pages, so pagespread (# of pages in Google) can help build traffic via SEO (that is left of it anyway).

A single page website is only viable for strong mobile or social players and somewhere there has to be an engine generating NEW out into the world. If you use a single page, push NEW out and then wipe it clean that is simply CRAZY with the way traffic is parsed and how we gain authority today. Oprah could have a single page site, how an average website could achieve all that is needed with a single page is beyond me.

4. Interactive Infographics - Agree with this one. The Infographic has legs, or should say the idea of visualizing content has legs. The infographic is an expression of a larger movement - our desire to understand things FAST.

Other 2014 Web Design Trends I see include:

* Lean Design - This movement plays off of #4 and the strength of the marketing visualization movement. Creating more understanding faster is a trending trend.

* Social Net Tapestry - Website designs MUST be social and agnostic about social nets. Including Facebook, Twitter, GPlus, YouTube, Scoop.it, StumbleUpon and 10 more I can't think of right now in ways that make sharing easy, rewarding and not overwhelming is a trend no one has figured out all that well yet, but we will begin to see novel ideas that build on the social media  "widget" idea in 2014 (only much better let's hope).

* Content Curation - we must build websites in 2014 that are focused on KEY CONVERSATIONS and become agnostic about where those conversations happen. Own the conversation, own the traffic.


Curating content INTO a website (or blog) is an important trend no one has quite figured out yet either. Start with traditional ORM (Online Reputation Management) tools. Use ORM to crack some APIs so when something relevant happens to your company, brands or products out there in social media's north forty you

  1. Know about it.
  2. Filter it into your content by having ways (filters) to attach curated content into existing themes. 
  3. Gamify contributors so reward is generous, immediate and competitive.


* Appification of Everything - the Mobile Revolution is not about the phone. It is about redesigning our THINKING about how information creates interaction, engagement and conversion (so a small thing lol). Thinking of everything we do online as an app we will be improving is a very "Mobile First" way to think. Those who understand the "Appification" of everything will win BIG as the rest of the world catches up in 2014.

* Gamification - If your website design doesn't find ways to profile, reward and share (curate) content from contributors you will fall hopelessly behind in 2014. The social web is here, despite few understanding the breadth of that that means, and websites need to promote an ever increasing amount of User Generated Content (UGC). Best way to do that is by using game theory to create web design.

 

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Calling All Curators - Win an iPad 2, Kindle Fire, Fame and Fortune

Calling All Curators - Win an iPad 2, Kindle Fire, Fame and Fortune | Design Revolution | Scoop.it



Top Curator
Voting Starts Soon


Thanks for the great response from power Scoopers. We've received hundreds of applicaitons for our Top 10 Curators of 2011 Award. You guys and Scoop.it ROCKS and I've said so in a blog post :).

The next phase of our Curation Contest is to ask for votes on outstanding Curators. We are selecting finalists and will have a voting page up soon to determine who wins the Apple iPad2 and Kindle Fire.


Thanks and email questions to Martin.Smith(at)AtlanticBT.com.


Martin 'Curation Revolution' Smith

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