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Why Rich Animations Will Make Your Website Fun – via Medium

Why Rich Animations Will Make Your Website Fun – via Medium | Design Revolution |

Rich Animations

Video is a must, but so are "rich animations". Rich Animations are infographic-like, fun and instructive graphics that come alive, play, and run much like a video. 

Find examples in this Medium Post 


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Watching The Story of Stuff we realized there were some things, some hard things, better told via animation. A human narrator would have made the hard stuff too hard, but animating the devastation even our favorite stuff like iPhone create stopped the "rejection reflex" long enough to listen. 

Not hard to see why animation is so effective. We've been brought up on cartoons, Sesame Street and Simpsons. If you aren't using animation to teach, engage, and make points you might otherwise not be able to make your website is less fun, effective, and profitable. 

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Create Sticky Stories - James McQueen via @HaikuDeck #setyourstoryfree Gallery

Create Sticky Stories - James McQueen via @HaikuDeck #setyourstoryfree Gallery | Design Revolution |
Made to Stick explains why some ideas become popular while others wither and die. What makes ideas ‘stick’ in the mind, and how to make them work for you.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love how James builds on ideas from the Heath brothers (Made To Stick = one of my favorite books). Stories are how we transfer emotion AND facts. What is that old Indian saying:

"Tell me a fact, and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth, and I’ll believe, but tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. "

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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 |

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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8 Reasons Web Designers Should Edit Video Too via HOW Design with 4 From @Curagami

8 Reasons Web Designers Should Edit Video Too via HOW Design with 4 From @Curagami | Design Revolution |

8 Reasons Web Designers Should Edit Video Too

This post shares four resume-reasons web designers should learn to edit videos such as::

* Video is growing fast.
* Make more money.
* Expands career opportunities.

* Great For self-promotion.

Team Curagami ( ) has 4 more reasons that are more abstract but no less valuable:

* Videos, like websites, tell stories.

* Designing to seamlessly incorporate video is an important challenge few have mastered.

* Video editing is similar to web design just add time.

* Video editing brings a new dimension to web design (i.e. it adds time).

We designers with video skills design better websites and better videos.


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

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40 Best Non-Profit Websites Tell Great Stories | Vandelay Design

40 Best Non-Profit Websites Tell Great Stories | Vandelay Design | Design Revolution |

Nonprofit Websites
Nonprofit websites are designed to tell stories something we all need to do these days. My favs include Housing Works, Too Young To Wed and Melting Away.

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10 Reasons Visual Content Dominates 2014 - The Wishpond Blog

10 Reasons Visual Content Dominates 2014 - The Wishpond Blog | Design Revolution |

10 Reasons Visual Content will Dominate 2014 What marketing strategies will we focus on in 2014? What will we leave behind? This article takes a look at the rise of visual content - and why 2014 will dominate in 2014:

1. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.

2. Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%.

3. Visual content is social-media-ready and social-media-friendly. It’s easily sharable and easily palatable.

4. Businesses who market with infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t.

5. Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.

6. 60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results.

7. Clear, detailed images carry more weight than product information or customer ratings say 67% of consumers.

8. Visuals show your products without telling people about them. This allows viewers to make their own decisions without feeling pressure from your business.

9. Visuals express ideas quickly - in a snapshot. This breaks through the overwhelming clutter of online content.

10. Visuals are becoming easier and easier to create as photo editing tools become more accessible


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I can think of a few more reasons visual marketing will dominate in 2014 including:

* Visuals are cross-cultural and global (don't have to speak english to understand visuals)..

* Mobile LOVES visuals and everything is going mobile 

* Visual marketing is more viral, more "shareable". 
*  Visual marketing is more fun. 

Wow, this post is  sparking a lot of great conversations including one on G+ about images and real estate thanks to Janis Bourgeuta: 

And this comment from Monida on

Grat Monica S Mcfeeters Comment:

This is one of the best reasons for art education. A visually or media illiterate citizen or consumer is very apt to be manipulated or make unwise choices.

From Wikipedia:

 Visual literacy includes in addition the ability to understand visual forms of communication such as body language, pictures, maps, and video.Evolving definitions of literacy often include all the symbol systems relevant to a particular community. Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture for personal and community development. In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to reading and writing.


Lynn Pineda's curator insight, March 14, 2014 11:25 PM

All I can say, is thank goodness for Visuals in content!  I've always been a visual person being a visual learner. Information is easier to retain and comprehend when visuals are employed as it pulls you in.

The article's statistics further supports the importance of visuals. I love visuals!

mjboyce's curator insight, March 15, 2014 1:17 PM


Carlos Bisbal's curator insight, March 16, 2014 10:15 AM

10 Razones por las que los contenidos visuales dominarán el 2014


¿En qué estrategias de marketing nos vamos a centrar en el 2014? ¿Qué vamos a dejar atrás?


Este artículo echa un vistazo al ascenso del contenido visual y por qué 2014 será el año de los elementos visuales.


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5 Gaming Trends to Watch in 2014 For Web Designers

5 Gaming Trends to Watch in 2014 For Web Designers | Design Revolution |

Between brand new consoles and blossoming indie development, this is a year to watch the gaming industry.

Marty Note
The longer I do this (Internet marketing) the more I think lines between content don't make much sense. Uber-content curator Maria Popova ( agrees. One of my 2014 goals is to learn as much from Maria as possible. 

Another goal is to mine helpful ideas from wherever they arise. Video games is and has been a huge goldmine for web design, Internet marketing and creative ideas and this post on 5 Gaming Trends to Watch In 2014 from @RWW is right on the money.

Particularly important for website designers is emphasis on storytelling and the cloud. Both will change what we Internet marketers do in 2014 in amazing ways. Great post and I promise to continue to "steal" as much from video game creators as possible :). M  

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BIG Simple Visual Storytelling In Motion Creating Lean Design Movement & Inspiration

BIG Simple Visual Storytelling In Motion Creating Lean Design Movement & Inspiration | Design Revolution |
Charlotte website design and marketing firm Fame Foundry is a trustcasting agency dedicated to helping businesses grow.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great post here may include in Lean Design book we are putting together. Can't afford to print al those beautiful pictures though, so be sure to read/look at these great inspiring examples.

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20 Web Design Trends In 2013 From Responsive To Storytelling

20 Web Design Trends In 2013 From Responsive To Storytelling | Design Revolution |
Predicting the future is tough, but with the fast-moving nature of the web, it’s good to know what lies ahead. Craig Grannell talks to top industry figures about the web design trends you should be mindful of over the coming 12 months.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Web design is changing fast and here are 20 trends we've seen this year.

Raquel Oliveira's curator insight, September 24, 2013 4:54 PM

2 lovely subjects: Web designer and storytelling !

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Storytelling Is The New SEO [Raleigh SEO Meetup 3.26]

Google Panda and Penguin algorithm changes have a secret implication - that content is truly and finally KING. Not all content is equal. Some content has higher engagement potential.

Storytellig Is The New SEO discusses how leading online storytellers such as and weave stories into their website, communication and marketing.

Developing a gamification layer is key to making stories resonate over time. SEO is the New Storytelling discusses how to create three types of gamification: Active, Passive and Real Time.

Presentation was created for Raleigh SEO Meetup: on Tuesday 3.26 and will be broadcast live via a Google Hangout.

And yes, SEO is the great white whale :).

6,000+ views on Slideshare with 30% of those comeing from this page (1735). Impressive AND Scoopit leads keep coming long after Slideshare removed the presentation from their homepage.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

A great Question was asked on SlideShare (where the link goes), here is that question:

Gael de Talhouet, Global Digital Director at Henkel Hi Martin, Great pres. Now, you worked for P&G so you will understand my question : I perfectly get story telling for brands like Patagonia, but what can that mean for detergent or dishwashing brands ?

My Answer
Every brand must build an emotional connection. Tide does 'Loads of Hope' when they bring truckloads of washers and dryers to disaster relief areas so people can have clean clothes. When they do that the brand's dimensions include emotional connection and social relevance. If you think of Jim Stengel's book Grow you realize Tide is about PRIDE and so restoring pride after a disaster is perfectly aligned with the brand. Good question. Hope that helps.

Parker Donat's curator insight, April 9, 2013 6:53 PM

I'm a huge fan of this Slide by Marty Smith. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, April 10, 2013 10:46 AM
Thanks Lisa, Jonny and Parker. You guys ROCK :). Marty
Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, April 10, 2013 10:47 AM
Thaks to the "other Martin" too. Martin Sturmer ROCKS too.
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Storytelling - How To Work Backwards From Landing Pages via Curagami

Storytelling - How To Work Backwards From Landing Pages via Curagami | Design Revolution |

2016 The Year of the Story
Storytelling may be the most important and least understood online marketing craft. This Curagmai post shares a 5 Tip "How To" craft a story working backwards from your landing page.

Tips included:

  • Create A Landing Page and Work Backwards
  • Place your offer in context
  • Repeat 3 to 5 key brand specific themes
  • Share your creation story
  • Define your audience

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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 |

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.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

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"Had Script, Needed WARRIORS" - 30 Lessons In Creativity via Jodorowsky's Dune

Greatest Film Never Made
"What is he purpose of life," the director Jodorowsky asks in this must view documentary film for any creative, "to create a soul". The amazing creativity and vision of El Topo's director is shared in a series of linked stories.

Much like any creative's mind, this film flies between the surreal, heroic, mystical and crazy. Stories about Orson Wells and Pink Floyd are rich in "sounds true" detail, but pales in comparison to the "I can't type that fast" advice shared.

Advice such as:

* Be all in.
* Be a prophet.

* When it comes to missions THINK BIG (something important for humanity).
* Start with clear ideas, but find and respect "light of genius".
* Challenge people to find their best.
* Give Morning Motivation speeches.
* Your VISION should become OUR IDEA.
* OUR Ideas become art.
* When you think you are looking at a rock its an object & vice versa.
* Lucky enough to meet a prophet FOLLOW HIM.
* Be supportive of others.

* Transport people. MOVE THEM.
* Look for and work with WARRIORS (life is too short for anything else).
* Imagine and then imagine again.
* No such thing as "too far".
* Let the work rule.
* One man's obsession is another man's art.
* MOTIVATE others.

* If you can Seduce Salvador Dali DO SO.
* Create enigmas.
* If chance puts Dali at your hotel, send him a strange note.
* When you find a clock in the sand discover who lost it.
* Create MOVEMENTS and ART with your life.
* If Dali asks you for a helicopter, GIVE IT TO HIM.
* Dali gets you Giger, Giger gets you Magma (and so on).
* If you can get a meeting with Mich Jagger, TAKE IT.
* If Andy Warhol invites to the FACTORY, go there.
* Plan everything, Plan Nothing (chance).
* When you see Orson Wells in a Paris restaurant, send wine.
* Live a EULOGY Life not a Resume Life.

That last bullet picks up on a great David Brooks TED Talk I wrote about on LinkedIn yesterday: 

Hope you are living a Eulogy Life. Jodorowsky sure did. I had to be shoved kicking and screaming on the Eulogy train by the Big C. Glad I got on this train even if it turns out to be the last train from Clarksville :). M

Are you a "plural being"?

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

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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 |

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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Will Storytelling Web Design Be Magic in 2014? A: Yes

Will Storytelling Web Design Be Magic in 2014? A: Yes | Design Revolution |

Storytelling Web Design
How can a website tell a story? By rethinking websites as related content capable of telling a story in either direction and on their own we see the difficulty we face when telling stories using websites.

Websites go forward and backward in time because any page can become a "homepage" based on links or search. A webpage needs to be self sufficient - telling a story on their own - and connected in a dasiy chain where each step along the chain reinforces the chain's connections and "storyline".

This post discusses ways to use tools such as videos and arresting visuals. Graphics are a HUGE and helpful device online. If your story includes icons you've created a navigational language teaching readers to look for symbols when they want to move through the deck.

This is one of the reasons I love icons. Icons aren't fixed in space or time and their connection to each other can be strong or weak. The key is to keep readers reading. The challenge is thinking about information architecture that can easily pay off on its own and point in different directions based on how readers consume the content.

Best storytelling sites I've discovered include:

Notice a trend? Nonprofits tell better stories in general and their websites  function more as great story telling aids than most for profit companies. If you have favorite storytelling websites please share and we will curate in.

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30 Compelling Examples of Visual Storytelling on the Web

30 Compelling Examples of Visual Storytelling on the Web | Design Revolution |
Storytelling is a powerful approach that can, when done right, compel users to convert more effectively than what any amount of optimization, crazy visual
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

My favorite example is Zensorium/Tinke

There are still a some rough edges to be cut off theidea of wrapping a website around digital storytelling, but deep inside these examples is a clear new trend...even if all the bugs haven't been quite worked out yet.

What about you? Do you have favorite examples of great visual storytelling online?

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Rethinking Real Estate Marketing Online - Stories, Storytelling & Heroes

Rethinking Real Estate Marketing Online - Stories, Storytelling & Heroes | Design Revolution |

My real estate agent Stephanie Lane just sold my home in Durham so I could move funds into my nonprofit Story of Cancer Foundation. I was thinking about how I would help redesign even as friends such as Phil Buckley (@1918), Mark Traphagen (@MarkTraphagen) and Bill Gassett (@MassRealty) have been thinking about creating a new real estate online design revolution.

This post is about that revolution and about why the old print based real estate model, something still exerting pull, doesn't and will never work online. 

Wrote a companion piece to this titled, "5 Could Tell You, But Then Would Need To Tell You Internet Marketing Secrets SHARED" about the "inside baseball" reasons I made the decisions I made in this design sketch.  

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Lean Design: Images, Ideas and Stories | Nate Williams Creative

Lean Design: Images, Ideas and Stories | Nate Williams Creative | Design Revolution |
Images, Ideas and Stories | Nate Williams Creative

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I like this approach of telling a story in a series of related images. Lean is visual and design keeps makes connections needed to move the "story" forward. Well done and a tactic worth stealing 

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Storytelling in Web Design

Storytelling in Web Design | Design Revolution |

Via The Digital Rocking Chair, Hans
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Yes your design tells stories perhaps more than you realize.

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, July 18, 2013 10:55 PM
Great comment Hannes. Marty
Tata Survi's curator insight, August 17, 2013 7:18 PM

Worth trying...

Mike Donahue's curator insight, August 28, 2013 10:05 AM

Had the good fortune to hear Denise present this earlier this year. Glad she put this down in writing because it really needs to be shared.