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SEO For Web Designers New @HaikuDeck by @Scenttrail

SEO For Web Designers New @HaikuDeck by @Scenttrail | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Web designers shouldn't be SEO experts since keeping up with DESIGN is a full-time job. Nothing has made that truth more apparent than my first week learning CSS, SCSS and the like at The Iron Yard Code Academy in Durham, NC this week.

But web designers are where SEO rubber meets the Google Road so understanding a handful of ideas is critical to the online success of any designers creations. This deck was created to share with The Iron Yard's Cohort 3 Front End Engineering class Friday January 16th.

Includes our favorite FREE SEO tools and how we use them. Good luck and let us know your SEO / Design experience and we will curate into an upcoming post on http://www.curagami.com.


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Near There Now | Share Your Near There Now Videos...Sneak Peak

Near There Now | Share Your Near There Now Videos...Sneak Peak | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Near There Now Videos
We fell over some cool new content. Flying into Philadelphia we captured our landing as a way to play with our new iPhone Six Plus. The results were fun and interesting. Thirty seconds of the back way into Philly was fun to shoot and strangely beautiful (especially the video over the Delaware river with the boat).

The video turned out to be 30 seconds of strange beauty. Next we tried in our car and got much the same results after a few practice shoots that proved shooting video in a car is easier than texting.

Next we wondered what it would be like if EVERYONE shared their Near There Now videos. We might see cool back ways into London,n Paris and Berlin too. Here is a sneak peak of NearThereNow.com:
http://8c6.d6d.myftpupload.com/

(Will have a better URL after Godaddy does their thing)

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Picasso At The Beach and The NEW Art of Web Design

Picasso At The Beach and The NEW Art of Web Design | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

PicassoHead App
Sharing this cool "draw a "Picasso Head" app (my PicassoHead http://www.picassohead.com/?id=5290a28#.VBCfth1bqjo.twitter ) to illustrate a few of our favorite web design concepts such as:

* DO LESS and let them DO MORE (them = customers, visitors, advocates_.
* GALLERIES ROCK - especially when your gallery is chock a block full of User Generated Content (UGC).
* Engagement Rocks - do you have a tool that is fun to use AND promotes positive site heuristics such as time on site, pages viewed, lower bounce?
* Every product, idea or website starts about the creators and must become about those who visit and love it.
* People love what THEY create and contribute more than what you do.
* This means all web design is or will be about collaboration.

We love the simplicity of this little app, but the even COOLER riff came from our confirming email. This is the email that shares the link where my Picasso At The Beach drawing lives (linked from this post http://www.picassohead.com/?id=5290a28#.VBCSuy4Lksk.twitter ) and where this little pitch lived:

"This summer check out Picasso Looks at Degas at the Clark in Williamstown, MA. You won’t want to miss this groundbreaking, Clark-exclusive exhibition that is the first to look at Pablo Picasso’s deep fascination with Edgar Degas.

http://www.clarkart.edu/exhibitions/picasso-degas/ "

Wow, cool idea. Create a little art based app and sell related links in the confirmation email. That's brilliant marketing, subtle marketing and the art of web design. Kudos to Picassohead creators RFI Studios, http://www.rfistudios.com.

#toogood



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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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Should Our Web Designs Be Harder? Adding DEMANDS Back Into Our Web Designs

Should Our Web Designs Be Harder? Adding DEMANDS Back Into Our Web Designs | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Making Demands Again & Designing Design In
At our Startup Factory funded startup Curagami we've been asking questions about how online communities are built and sustained. We are beginning to connect some important ideas from great thinkers:

Dan Ariely TED Talk on Meaning, Work and Motivation
http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work

Trendwatching Report on "Demanding Brands"
http://trendwatching.com/trends/demandingbrands/

Daniel Pink's book Drive: Surprising Truth Behind What Motivates Us
http://www.danpink.com/books/drive


Content Marketing Triptych
http://sco.lt/4iT0xl

Web Design & "Work"

Yes, we now realize, you can make your website too easy. You can also make it too hard. Perceptions of "hard" and "easy" are highly relative judgements. An experts will find things easy the novice find very difficult.

SO one of the most important ideas for designing "work" into a website is finding a way to put people of similar levels of understanding in the same bus. We thinking of all visitors in 3 cohorts or tribes:

* Novice or new to whatever the site is sharing.
* Learning and so exposed to and thinking about the subject.

* Expert able to teach the Novice and Learning group.

At first we thought we should cluster members of each of these tribes into their own paths. All novices together, all learners together. After listening to Malcolm Gladwell and refining some of our testing conditions we realize such artificial selection harms rather than helps.

Community Is The Key
The key is creation of online community where peer to peer interaction is possible, supported, encouraged and rewarded. We, as website designers, can't combine our Lego blocks in as many variations as possible given the real creativity and engagement of our customers.

The ONLY thing we can do as web designers is clearly communicate OUR creation story, provide access to our Lego-blocks and CURATE the cool creations of our tribe.

The rub comes in at the "provide access to our Lego-blocks" web design stage. If your blocks encourage creativity and just the right amount of work your customers will want to SHOW YOU their creations as we learned from our friends at Haiku Deck.

Our interaction with Haiku Deck helped us create the Content Marketing Triptych:

* Tool that engages the BUILDER in us.
* Gallery where tool users share their creations (their work).
* Personal Profile (their content on your site).

The missing "magic box" for web designers is knowing WHO to ASK what. These ideas are "live ammunition" for ecommerce merchants. Too much work and you lose money. Too little and you lose the opportunity to win hearts and minds through just the right amount of work on top of the perfect contextually relevant ask.

What IS clear is finding ways to make demands and reward what our customers and advocates do with those demands is a CSF (Critical Success Factor) to winning web design. What are your experiences with building work back into your marketing?

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Hero Marketing: Heroes Write Like This 40 Great Headlines

Hero Marketing: Heroes Write Like This 40 Great Headlines | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Depending on your brand and message some can be very professional and straight to the point, and others a bit more relaxed and playful. Here is a collection of taglines and intro messages from freelance designers and design agencies around the world for your inspiration.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Tomorrow is Hero Marketing Day. Writing a post for http://www.curagami.com about discovering hero marketing the ahrd way, creating lists of favorite hero curators and gurus and asking YOU  to share your hero stories as Phil Buckley, Curagami Co-Founder did on G+ https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/C9tZjo658L7 ).

Whose Your Hero?

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Designing For Community: Master Blasters & Galleries - Curagami

Designing For Community: Master Blasters & Galleries - Curagami | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Master Blasters
When everything is social community rules. Curagami our Triangle Startup Factory funded startup is working on helping ecommerce merchants and content marketers validate the ROI of social and content marketing. Community is a CSF, Critical Success Factor, because community is what creates an army of advocates.

This post is about how to win the hearts and minds of your most important customers - those willing to advocate your products, services and web content.

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Why The Bauhaus Is Our House As Web Design Moves Into The Future

The Bauhaus ethic applied principles such as "honesty of construction", "truth to ma...

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Great work by Simon Collision (@Colly). Picks up for me on slide 17.

1. Acknowledge the machine.

2. Standardize production.

3. Experiment and synthesize. 

4. Form follows function.

5. Economy and simplicity.

Those values drove designers at the Bauhaus to create a new approach. How will those values influence our web design going forward?

1. Honesty of construction truth to materials.

2. Develop systems.

3. Holistic web design approach (slide 32 what's golden important). .

4. Mass production and individual expression.

5. Adapt and respond to an evolving world.


Here are points I would make about how Bauhaus values will play an important role in what is next online:

* The machine is increasingly SOCIAL and MOBILE.

* Smart Phones & Apps gamify routine (boring) tasks.

* Holistic design will increasingly mean Mobile Fist design.

* We are all in the community building business (whether we know it or not) & community creates mass production OUT OF individual expression.
* Our adaptations will be social & mobile, gamified & curated.

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Web Design What's Next? Flexible Frameworks with Community Like Alejandro Aravena's Architectural Philosophy [TED Talk]

Web Design What's Next? Flexible Frameworks with Community Like Alejandro Aravena's Architectural Philosophy [TED Talk] | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

When In Doubt Ask
Alejandro Aravena makes it clear participation isn't easy, but the advantages of including those you server IN the decision process far outweigh the pain. Aravena is asking about housing and public space.

Internet marketers and ecommerce teams need to be asking about changes to their "public space" - their websites. The synthesis between designers and community discussed in this TED talk become a model for web design too with lessons like:

* Don't try to defeat natural forces (Google) incorporate them.

* Build flexible frameworks customers can modify.

* Individual expression happens.

That last bullet my represent the hardest transition for most web designers. We are so used to drawing boxes within boxes we forget those boxes are meant to serve PEOPLE. Hard to forget when those people are included, consulted and actually listened to all along.

Look at what has already happened. We created a web o one way communication that was modified, cloned and spun back to us by the social web as two way community. Why so much resistance to two way community?

Lack of perceived control may be the culprit. Learning to love the friction of Aravena's "synthesis" requires placing ego firmly in back pocket and listening. Who wants to do that?

The future of web design TURNS on our ability to adapt many of the architectural principles Aravena discusses so articulately in this excellent TED Talk. He may be discussing buildings in Chile, but he could be discusses our client http://www.Moon-Audio.com.

The future is about a building a DIFFERENT kind of framework one that encourages a growing number of Ambassadors willing to sacrifice to stamp their impression on YOUR web design.

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Remarkable Websites For Boring Products: 5 Tips [Scenttrail Unburied Lead]

Remarkable Websites For Boring Products: 5 Tips [Scenttrail Unburied Lead] | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Angela Jones, a freelance designer in St. Charles, Illinois, uncovers how 7 websites promote their products in exciting ways.

Marty Note - Great From Boring
Loved this post, but they bury the lead. Their tips aren't sub-heads but buried in the copy about the example. I liberated their 5 tips to create exciting sites for boring products:

* Employ imagery and icons that speak to the benefits (i.e. tell a story and match with cool visuals).
* Focus on HEADLINES that describe your benefits (i.e. use trusted sources and let THEM tell your story).
* Write creative copy (there are NO BORING PRODUCTS only boring stories lol).
* Minimal and easy to navigate (always a winner in my  book too, but especially if what you are selling is boring. YES I will spend 3x the time it should have taken to order the new iPhone despite the horrible web design, your product...not so much, so make it easy to buy.)
* Create Community & Let THEM (your customers) supply the amazing stories. When YOU tell your brand's story it is always more boring than the same words from a customer.
* VISUALS - boring products benefit from great visuals. Tilt your boring product, hang it from the rafters, find a way to depict excitement and excitement flows downstream to your product.

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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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Contests Are KING - Web Design For Contests Example Inspires via @HomesDotCom

Contests Are KING - Web Design For Contests Example Inspires via @HomesDotCom | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Designing For Contests
I love home Homes.com doesn't kid around. They create CONTESTS not CONTENT. Why? Because contests have the added value of helping to create community too.

Erica Campbell Byrum How To Create Contests Video (start at 1:41)
http://sco.lt/6myquH VIDEO

Contest and games are FAVORITE engagement tactics because:

* They work (more new people come to play and share their playing).
* They are inexpensive WINNING is the main thing not the prizes.
* Contests have a LONG shelf life.
* Contests help unearth power Contributors and Social Supporters.


That last bullet speaks to the Gladwellian "Mavens, Salespeople and Connectors" tribes within your visitors. When you create a contest you will be visited by "contest trolls" and Ms. Byrum discusses how to deal with them in her video (link above).

This link is to Homes.com's Contest Page. This is a "Contest Splash" Page that shares the many simultaneous contests they run. I would add an ask for their "Blogger Ambassadors Program" too. They use contests to unearth their bloggers, but why not cut out the middle man and ask for those Ambassadors straight out?

Doesn't hurt to do both and I like have a page that explains the elite nature of our "buzz team". Don't think I'm saying Homes.com is missing it. They clearly GET the value of contests and you should STEAL the "ditch digging" design they do to "Splash Page" their contests.

Highly recommend watching Ms. Byrum too as her video is nothing if not comprehensive http://sco.lt/6myquH


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5 Holiday Website Design Tips - A Haiku Deck by Martin Smith & Team Curagami

5 Holiday Website Design Tips - A Haiku Deck by Martin Smith & Team Curagami | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
This holiday selling season (2014) will happen as close to real time as any thanks to the social / mobile web. Listening and curating are going to be important, but so is tapping the nostalgia and spirit of the season in creative and collaborative ways.

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HOT or NOT? Top 10 Summer Web Designs, Vote Now & Magic of List.ly - Curagami

HOT or NOT? Top 10 Summer Web Designs, Vote Now & Magic of List.ly - Curagami | Design Revolution | Scoop.it
Seasonality creates relevance & relevance creates community. Every website's hero should change at least 4x a year: Summer, Fall, Winter & Spring.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

This Curagami post shares our favorite Top 10 Summer Web Designs in the hope people will VOTE for theirs and share ones we missed. The post also shares a link from @Mike_Alton about the magic of List.ly (the Digg-like tool that runs the social voting engine that's free and easy to embed).

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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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41 Sleek Single Page Websites Inspire For Specific Kinds Of Marketing

41 Sleek Single Page Websites Inspire For Specific Kinds Of Marketing | Design Revolution | Scoop.it


Marty Note
Have you seen those commercials promising to build a website, host it and get it "listed" with search engines for $19.95 a month? Love those ads. 

I have 30,000,000 reasons why I know they are BS. That is the amount of money my excellent fighter pilot Internet marketers raked from the Internet over seven years I was Director of Ecommerce. It was NEVER easy, uncompetitive or a tall cold drink in the shade. 

This time of year we didn't sleep much and the rest of the year we were setting up for this time of year. No rest for the weary and no website that matters for $19.95 UNLESS you are Oprah or Penn or Teller or a football player or Justin Bieber.

You see it right? If you have a SUBSTANTIAL engine developed offline in some other way or media you can live with a one page website built to convert the heck out of your efforts elsewhere. Some mobile plays MAY be able to get by with so little too.

The problem with the mobile boys is they ONLY think mobile and they have the same problem as outlined above. The market has to START somewhere. The market you start has to be NURTURED somewhere. Without content, community and campaigns you can't capture, arm and convert the brand advocates needed to scale. 

Throw one of these one page sites in front of the bulls my old marketing team could get to run and it would be swept from the field into permanent irrelevance, so use this idea ONLY when you are just converting traffic already primed by some other effort. 

 

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