Expertiential Design
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Expertiential Design
The art of designing engaging and meaningful user experiences for customer development.
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5 Must Knows BEFORE You Design A Website

5 Must Knows BEFORE You Design A Website | Expertiential Design | Scoop.it

Team Curagami (http://www.Curagami.com ) 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. Curagami.com 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.

ERROR.

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.


Via Martin (Marty) Smith
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Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design | Expertiential Design | Scoop.it

The 10 most egregious UX offenses against users. Web design disasters and HTML horrors are legion, though many usability atrocities are less common than they used to be.

Marty Note
If you took a day and fixed any of these Top 10 Web Design Mistakes That Apply you would make 50% more this holiday season. These are "cost of poker" fixes that can easily remain for years and years. Every year one of these mistakes exists your website is 10% less effective.

When you make 2 or more of these mistakes you pay with an order of magnitude more pain for each added mistake so 2 mistakes doesn't cost you 20%. No 2 mistakes cost you 200% of what your website could be doing for you.

Fix all 10 of these basic problems and your site is on its way to its "mission critical" place in your company.

 


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27 E-commerce Website Designs Scenttrail Hates & Why

27 E-commerce Website Designs Scenttrail Hates & Why | Expertiential Design | Scoop.it

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: https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/RdjAjWoJTHw ).

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 REI.com or Schwan's.com (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 REI.com'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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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 | Expertiential Design | 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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