Marketing de contenidos de su marca – Gracias a @MkDirecto @HubSpot


El ingrediente esencial para que el consumidor nacido al calor de la nueva era 2.0 caiga realmente rendido a nuestros pies es el contenido. Las marcas tienen que generar no sólo mucho contenido sino que además tiene que ser de una calidad óptima. ¿Cómo fusionar cantidad y calidad en la creación de contenidos? Creando una potente maquinaria con los engranajes que enumera HubSpot en la siguiente presentación:

Pan-Session Analysis With Google Analytics


 

Marketing Measurement & Optimization

Multi-Session Analysis With Google Analytics

When it comes to analytics, I am a big fan of pan-session analysis. Pan-session analysis provides insights across multiple visits by the same person. For almost every website it is an incredibly, powerful way to understand your visitors better.

Online-behavior.com

By applying the insights you derive from this analysis, you can further optimize your visitor’s experience and conversion rate.

In the following paragraphs I will describe five different pan-session analysis techniques that deliver great insights.

  • Frequency and recency analysis
  • Time and visits to purchase analysis
  • Pan-session funnel analysis
  • Multichannel analysis
  • Customer analysis

Let’s start with frequency and recency reporting.

1. Frequency And Recency Analysis

Frequency and recency metrics and distributions show you how loyal your audience actually is. Do your visitors only come once and never return? Or do you have a great deal of visitors who come to your website even more than three times a week?

Let’s take a closer look at two reports. First, the ‘count of visits’ report, which shows the frequency of visitors (direct link to report):

Count of Visits report

Almost 80% of the visitors to this website visit the website just once and don’t come again. That doesn’t look very good. Let’s dive into the recency metric, in the ‘days since last visit’ report (go to this reportand click on ‘days since last visit’ tab).

Days Since Last Visit report

The recency graph on itself doesn’t look bad. Almost 90% of the visitors visited the website within the last day. But, we have to subtract the new visitors to get a good overview of the returning visitors percentage and how often they visit the site.

With the combined overview of recency and frequency metrics I would conclude that this website really needs to invest in building a stable base of loyal subscribers / visitors.

Posting new content (a blog?) and offers on a more regular base would definitely help to keep the visitors engaged with this website.

2. Visits And Time to Purchase Analysis

In order to find out more about the product buying decision cycle, the visits and time to purchase reports deliver very useful information. You can find these reports in the E-commerce module of Google Analytics (if you have E-commerce implemented, here is a direct link to report). An example of a “Visits to Purchase” report is shown below:

Visits to Purchase report

In this case roughly 40% of the visitors convert within the first visit and 70% needs one to four visits to come to a buying decision. Wow, 20% of the conversions on this website take place after seven or more visits. What’s happening here?

A lot of websites contain landing pages that are too much focused on making a direct sale. It is extremely important to segment your visitors and apply different tactics to make them convert. The “time to purchase” data shows a similar distribution as we saw earlier:

Time to Purchase report

Now it’s time to segment your data further and find out which visitors convert the highest (visitors from a geographical region, certain campaign traffic, etc.) and which visitors don’t. You can use different strategies for each visitor segment. Leer más “Pan-Session Analysis With Google Analytics”

What Kind Of Curation Site Should You Use?


POSTED IN: ZE BIG MOUTH PROMOTIONS STUFF
BY DEANNA | kitsch-slapped.com

No doubt about it, content curation is growing. If all the news stories about it wasn’t convincing enough, the number of clients asking me about curation would! Here’s a simple little primer on the two major types of curation sites — and a decision tree I made to assist clients.

PinterestLoveIt, and the like are image-based eye-candy. At best, this type of curation is like a great store window; it might just lure a lookie-loo inside (to the original site) for a sale. At worst, this type of curation is content theft (allowing curators to garner the traffic and exposure at the expense of the creator of the image, product, etc.), or is just a bunch of spam links sent out in numbers large enough that even a tiny percent is hoped to garner a sale or conversion. (Please don’t do either of those worst-case scenarios!)

Snip.ItScoop.It, and the like are article-based brain-candy. Images from the sites themselves are generally used, but the focus is the articles. The best of these sites (which most definitely includes those named) aim to not only avoid content theft but to get readers to actually read the content at the original site by not allowing entire articles to just be reposted.

Neither type of content creation site is better than the other; your goals ought to dictate which type of curation site you use. This is where the decision tree will help you. Click the image for a larger view of the content curation site decision tree.

How To Kick-Start Blog Content


Proven SEO

>>>>Related Articles

Whether you’re still planning to start a blog or want to revive an old blog, you need a kick-start to help you get on the winning path. The most important element of your blog is your content. To kick-start blog content, you just need to read on and apply the tips that will be mentioned in this article. It’s now time to get started.

Research

How to Kick-start Blog ContentResearch is the most critical part if you want to kick-start blog content and create effective blog posts that will attract a lot of traffic. You basically need to know everything that’s going on in your niche along with what kind of audience you want to reach.

Also, you need to see the kind of competition you have and look at the most popular blogs in your niche. Take stock of current trends, news and events. Also, look at what readers are sharing and linking. Determine the most common concerns of your audience. Once you have done your research, you will be able to know what kind of content you need to create.

Determine the Most Common Questions from Readers

After the first step, you probably already have an idea of the topics readers are trying to learn about. The next step is determining the exact questions that most of these readers are asking. You need to find specific questions that most of your audience is asking.

A little online research can get you on the right track. Look at online forums and discussions regarding your niche and you will know what kind of questions are the most common. To kick-start blog contenteffectively, you need to know what kind of questions you should be answering.

Answer Those Questions Leer más “How To Kick-Start Blog Content”

Why Your Content Must Spring Legs and Walk Around The World


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano the name of the game

This piece is from Convince&Convert, I selected it because it addresses a challenge that those of us who create or curate content face on a daily basis – how do we make our content socialable?

Here’s an excerpt:

We know how difficult it can be to find balance between intrigue and usefulness. We understand that it is much easier to talk about or simply develop a tool than it is to create a talkable tool.

Meanwhile, there is a realization that we need to develop a hybrid content marketing solution – one that is social and has substance.

Socialable content has to invite discussion, create a call to action, while informing people.

Here are some highlights:

Give your content youtility:

**Answer common questions. Does your website have a FAQ section?
**Why not translate that into useful, shareable content?
**Ask your consumer base what they need. What better way to find out what appeals to your customers than simply asking them.

Make Your Content Talkable:

**Make your content human. Sometimes utilities can fall flat if we don’t offer a way to show how they can and have impacted others
**Provide testimonials and attach real stories to your utilities so your audience can identify with their purpose.
**Add bits of entertainment, humor, fun. Is your content just boring?
**Give it elements that people would actually want to share and talk about. Simply add the ability to share. Creating something useful is more than half the battle. Often times, we just forget to let our audience spread the word. Leer más “Why Your Content Must Spring Legs and Walk Around The World”

How to Create Content Maps for Planning Your Website’s Content | via sixrevisions.com


http://sixrevisions.com

How to Create Content Maps for Planning Your Website's Content

Content mapping is a visual technique that will help you organize and understand the content of a website. It can be a simple and valuable part of your site’s overallcontent strategy. This short and simple guide should help you get started.


What is Content Mapping?

Content mapping is similar to mind maps, but it’s focused on a site’s content. It will help you explore and visualize your content.

More specifically, content mapping allows you to see your content as it relates to the goals of your client, the goals of your site users and all the other pieces of content in your website (as well as external websites), allowing you to spot gaps (and opportunities) in your content development strategy.

I’ll cover two types of content mapping in this guide:

  1. Mapping your content to goals (the goals of the client and the goals of site users)
  2. Mapping your content to other content

We’ll focus on creating functional content maps that can be used (and understood) by everyone involved in the development of a website.

Note: Content mapping may lead to mind-melting over-complication! Content mapping should be quick and easy (just like a brainstorming session), but when you start referring to paragraphs as “information units” and blog posts as “content blocks”, it may be a sign that you may be making the process more complex than it needs to be.

We’re not building a site map, so try to keep your head above the concept of web pages and websites. You should keep yourself open to external content (e.g. tweets) and websites.

Why Should You Create Content Maps?

The primary purpose for creating content maps is to help you begin content development with a strong focus on site goals and the types of content you need to produce.

Below are some other reasons why you should create content maps.

Content Mapping Helps with Technology Decisions

By having a good vision as to the direction and potential requirements of the site’s content, we can make wise decisions at the start about the technologies we’ll use, and make sure that the content management system we choose will meet the needs of our content.

Content Mapping Helps Create a Shared Vision

Through common language and a shared vision of how everything works and fits together, you can encourage collaboration and additional idea-generation between the different individuals, teams and components involved in the website production process.

Content Mapping Helps Quickly Spot Gaps and Opportunities

By being able to visualize your content, you can potentially spot gaps that need to be filled and opportunities for additional content.

What You Need to Get Started with Content Mapping

Here are some things you’ll need in order to get the most out of content mapping:

  • An understanding of business goals: This includes knowing your clients well, and knowing what they want to get out of their website’s content.
  • An understanding of the site’s users: You know what content the site’s users need and why they go to the website.
  • An understanding of content requirements: You know the requirements and limitations (e.g., style, technical, legal, etc.) of the content you will produce.

If you’re working on an existing site or a site redesign project, it would also be wise to conduct a content audit (which I discuss in an article about incorporating content strategy into the web design process) to get an idea of what content already exists. While this might not be an incredibly fun experience, discovering content that can be re-purposed will save you tons of time in the long run.

Content Mapping Tools

In my opinion, the tools you use for content mapping aren’t hugely important; you could scrawl these maps on your kitchen wall using crayons if you wanted to.

However, it’s a good idea to create content maps using web-based tools that allow you to quickly share your outcome with the rest of your team.

Any tool that allows for diagramming and mind mapping can work. Two of my favorite tools are OmniGraffle (a diagramming tool for Mac) and Balsamiq (a wireframing and prototyping tool).

You can use a diagramming tool like OmniGraffle to create a content map.

Mapping Content to Goals

Your first two content maps should be linear. And, to be honest, they’re not really maps at all, they’re more like a paired list.

The first map will map your content to the goals of your client. The second map will map your content to the goals of the website’s users.

Mapping Content to the Goals of the Client

We can map the business goals of the client to the content that will achieve those goals.

Here’s a simple example of mapping content to the goals of the client:

Mapping Content to the Goals of the Site Users

For the other map, you’ll then want to map the content to the goals of the users of the site.

Here’s how you might map content to some of the goals of site users:

What Are These Content Maps For?

As you can see in the above examples, some client goals and user goals may have multiple results. This is a good thing — the more results, the better because we then have the potential to meet their goals in more than one way.

You should gain two insights from these maps:

  • An idea of the content you need to produce, as well as a list of any existing content you can readily use.
  • Labels for your content. These could be simple labels like “Help and Support” or “FAQ”.

Mapping Content to Other Content Leer más “How to Create Content Maps for Planning Your Website’s Content | via sixrevisions.com”

Who is a King? Design vs Content


 

What is more important: Design or Content? It’s a quite eternal question, which comes up every single time the beginner appears in the web. Everybody wants his website was noticed and had users, which would be willing to come back. These two things walking side by side, I can say, like the body and soul of a website.

As the saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover”. You examine how a site looks first and then you get to know what it talks. Of course, it all depends on individual, because every rule has the exception. There are people, who spend all the day long searching for inspiration, browsing the web looking for good design and caring less about the website content. There are also other people, which are interested in the useful information and they don’t care about design. But the most people don’t know what they are looking for and their searching end up in the incredibly beautiful website that has interesting content as well. Therefore this site would be bookmarked and shared on the social networks. If you want to have such kind of site, you should be sure that it has a good design and people keep coming back because of the quality and useful content you have. It sounds like a very difficult task, but not impossible.

Who won: Content or Design?

Before you would choose one from these two things, ask yourself first. Most of the people, who have created a site or just going to do it have any idea about designing a site and writing content for it. This person would go to the professionals which are able to do these things for him and to manage success, but first they need particular information, but not the general one. A writer needs any ideas on what to write about and I’m sure, without a mockup or sketch design, he would not be able to write something really good.

design and content

I do believe that content is the main thing, it’s a thing on which the whole website works. But still, content is a goal, but design is just a fulcrum and a bridge between your ideas and reality. When you manage to make a person stay on your site with the help of a good design, you need to make him come back with a quality content. I’m trying to say that formally the design is obtained as a secondary player, but it could be decisive reason in the certain case. If you spoiled the design, you would had low traffic even if the info would be best of the best. Design is the medium in which content is presented, both should be good.

Content Leer más “Who is a King? Design vs Content”

Content Marketing Zen: The 5-Step Process to Creating Remarkable Content


socialmouths.com

Kick-ass social media advice for the real entrepreneur.


5 Steps to creating remarkable content

This is a guest post by Gregory Ciotti, founder of Sparring Mind.

It likely comes as no surprise to you that content marketing is on the rise.

From getting more exposure to your business to creating a ‘cult of personality’ that later serves to drive an entire business, creating remarkable content is the surest road to generating brand exposure and creating goodwill among prospective customers.

The question is then, just how does one go about creating content that is “worthy of remark“?

Most of us know great content when we see it, and can even create some ourselves from time to time, but it can be tough to envision what our “process” really looks like if we haven’t though about it.

Today I’m happy to introduce you to what I call the “Content Marketing Zen” process of creating remarkable content.

I’d like to think this 5-step process cuts out the fluff and time-wasting stages of creating great content, and gets down the essentials of researching, positioning, forming, creating, and promoting of the kind of content that builds businesses.

So let’s get into it! :)

Visualizing the Content Marketing Zen Process

I love it when information (of any variety) gives me a breakdown of what I’m about to learn.

This introduction prepares me for key points and keeps me interested, when I’m faced with a wall of text, I quickly lose focus and interest (as I’m sure that you do).

That’s why I wanted to start off this post with a pretty little infographic that gives a great outline of the 5-step process of creating great content and prepares you for what you’re about to learn.

Feel free to share it on your own site by using the embed code below the graphic.

The 5-Step Process to Creating Remarkable Content

1.) Researching Your Content

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”

— Albert Einstein

If you want to provide comprehensive, fresh, and unique content, you’re going to need to start with step 1: research.

Research typically entails gathering data for your post that you can present in a way that either generates new insight or compliments tactics that you are about to go over.

For instance, on my post covering how bloggers can use YouTube, I gave information on the growth of the YouTube userbase over the years.

In addition to this more “standard” form of research, I also sought out a variety of YouTube tactics from across the full spectrum of YouTube users, from large YouTube partners to companies using YouTube to even other blogger’s uses of the platform.

I did this research because although I had a fair amount of information to share about YouTube, I wanted to make sure I was covering things in a fresh perspective and that I was offering a complete picture for how to effectively use the platform.

Francisco himself offers us a great example of doing good “research” in his latest post onFacebook for WordPress.

I say “research” because I don’t want folks thinking that they have to dive into academic papers (like I sometimes do) or slog through a huge slew of boring statistical charts just to come up with new content.

Research simply means that you are taking the time out to be informed before posting.

In Francisco’s example, he gives a step by step analysis of all of the new features of the Facebook plugin for WordPress, goes over installation and even gives his final thoughts on its usefulness.

If you are going to create content that has massive amounts of utility (read: provides value), you must do your own due diligence to make sure the information you are about to publish is up to snuff.

2.) Positioning Your Content

When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.

— Dale Carnegie Leer más “Content Marketing Zen: The 5-Step Process to Creating Remarkable Content”

Complications with content

Foolproof planning

Now, start with the content plan. For each issue found during analysis, create and implement a solution that will fix it soundly.

Let’s say findability is a major pain. Solution—check with an SEO specialist or becomes one yourself. List out all the relevant keywords and decide where they should be placed for maximum impact.

Another issue is poor presentation that makes reading difficult. To fix this, decide on reformatting of content. Create templates that show exactly what formatting would work for the specific content module.

What if there is trouble brewing in the accuracy and relevance departments? Well, then create guidelines to ensure all data is complete, accurate, and up-to-date.

Yet another problem: no consistent voice can be found across various sections in the module. If this is the case, it may be best to refer to the brand voice manual or create one with the help of brand/marketing manager.

Many more problems and their accompanying solutions could have been listed here to highlight what ails content, but I think you get the idea. Content would now need to be rewritten with all the above points in mind.


http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/complications-with-content/

Any good online user experience is not just about well-planned design—it is also about the actual “meat of the matter”—content. Unless web content is usable, targeted, and relevant, websites will not communicate the correct messages to their purported user bases.

In general, content isn’t associated with user experience discussions. It’s “copy” and is considered a simple, last minute thing. However, in reality, content is difficult and time consuming and has a life cycle of its own. Unless this fact is recognized in every usability project, websites may continue to face failures.

Let’s consider a hypothetical conversation between a client and content strategist:

Here is a successful website. It’s doing well but there is a problem. The feedback form is lately filled with negatives.

I think I know where this is going.

The negatives mostly relate to how the photos are wrong or the data is irrelevant or the details are outdated or the copy is boring. Looks like there is something you can do here.

You mean, re-strategize the content in the website, right?

Oh no—it’s very simple. Just make a few tweaks here and there—make copy look better, add some zany language.

Yeah, so we need to look into all content areas and ensure they reflect brand voice, have appealing formatting, are complete and updated, are easy to find…

Err something like that. Shouldn’t be complicated.

Yeah—not complicated at all (sigh).

In reality, content can be very complicated. The following are cures for common issues that may arise when developing content, elucidating why content needs far more attention than it normally gets.

Online Testing and Optimization Solutions: Quick guide to Adobe Test&Target

What really sets Adobe Test&Target (powered by Omniture) apart is both its reporting and support. While it can be expensive, what you get is a professional/polished, customizable tool that’s great for in-depth, multi conversion tests. And even better, you have an assigned support rep that can help you quickly overcome any stumbling blocks before or during a test.

To illustrate the level of reporting, with one of our Research Partners, we setup 35 success metrics for just one test. In the second in our blog series about testing solutions, here’s a quick guide to Test&Target…

Key benefits

* Transaction- and product-level reports
* Revenue tracking can be added to any campaign
* “Push winners” functionality – with a single click, pushes winning test scenarios to standard content for all audience segments
* Option for Omniture to host images, HTML or you can use your own server
* Tracking within Test&Target – ability to setup any metrics within tool; can change conversion metric during test (on the fly)
* Reports on a daily level
* Can track pretty much anything you want (links, buttons, etc)
* Behavior targeting – serve landing pages based on user defined segments (traffic sources, etc)
* Test&Target segmentation for reporting – can report on different campaign codes, offer IDs, etc
* Data privacy due to contractual relationship with a company
* Support – includes testing ideas, test implementation, report setup
* Ability to tack on other data-mining tools (i.e., Discover can track on the visitor level)
* Increased capabilities for segmentation and tagging of actions on a page – can get extremely granular in what you track, i.e. different content for different segments at different times
* If you don’t want to send all traffic to the page, you can set a tool to only receive a certain percent of traffic (would have to write custom code for Google Website Optimizer)

But keep in mind…

* Cost of tool and cost for additional support
* IT requirement for setup


adobe-omniture2-oWhat really sets Adobe Test&Target (powered by Omniture) apart is both its reporting and support. While it can be expensive, what you get is a professional/polished, customizable tool that’s great for in-depth, multi conversion tests. And even better, you have an assigned support rep that can help you quickly overcome any stumbling blocks before or during a test.

To illustrate the level of reporting, with one of our Research Partners, we setup 35 success metrics for just one test. In the second in our blog series about testing solutions, here’s a quick guide to Test&Target…

Key benefits

  • Transaction- and product-level reports
  • Revenue tracking can be added to any campaign
  • “Push winners” functionality – with a single click, pushes winning test scenarios to standard content for all audience segments
  • Option for Omniture to host images, HTML or you can use your own server
  • Tracking within Test&Target – ability to setup any metrics within tool; can change conversion metric during test (on the fly)
  • Reports on a daily level
  • Can track pretty much anything you want (links, buttons, etc)
  • Behavior targeting – serve landing pages based on user defined segments (traffic sources, etc)
  • Test&Target segmentation for reporting – can report on different campaign codes, offer IDs, etc
  • Data privacy due to contractual relationship with a company
  • Support – includes testing ideas, test implementation, report setup
  • Ability to tack on other data-mining tools  (i.e., Discover can track on the visitor level)
  • Increased capabilities for segmentation and tagging of actions on a page – can get extremely granular in what you track, i.e. different content for different segments at different times
  • If you don’t want to send all traffic to the page, you can set a tool to only receive a certain percent of traffic (would have to write custom code for Google Website Optimizer)

But keep in mind…

Internet Marketing: Landing page optimization for beginners

Dustin Eichholt |
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/research-topics/internet-marketing-for-beginners.html

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a ©
Wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user (when)
v = Clarity of the value proposition (why)
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

By dealing with the heuristic piece by piece, you’re able to get in the mindset of your visitor/ potential customer and deal with the page as they would.

So far, some work I’ve done with the CIA includes analyzing motivation of visitors – are they getting what they’re expecting? Does it match what they’re looking for at that point in time?

Clarity of the value proposition is a very important part of any landing page. It’s important to not only state it clearly but ask yourself if the other elements support that value proposition. The customer wants to know not only why they want a product, but why they should get it from you.

Friction can be pretty straightforward– are you asking too much of your visitor? Is it difficult to navigate or are you asking them to enter a lengthy signup process? In addition to length, you must also ask yourself if there is any field or informational request that causes concern or anxiety. Do you explain that the visitor’s email address will not be used deceitfully?

You can think of all the elements of the conversion heuristic working together as a fulcrum or scale. Positive elements, such as matching visitor motivation and communication of value, are on one side of the scale. Negative elements, such as friction and anxiety, are on the other.

On a particular landing page, does the balance of the scale tip too much towards the negative or positive? If it’s tipped towards the negative elements, what steps can you take to tip it the other way? Would an incentive such as a free gift or free shipping help offset some of the friction you can’t get rid of?

All of these questions can be daunting. Writing, designing, and building a website is hard, a successful one even harder. However, at MarketingExperiments, we look at these questions as opportunities for testing. The team I’ve been working with in the labs is very good at looking for opportunities, even on already successful sites.


Dustin Eichholt |
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/research-topics/internet-marketing-for-beginners.html

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a ©
Wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user (when)
v = Clarity of the value proposition (why)
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

By dealing with the heuristic piece by piece, you’re able to get in the mindset of your visitor/ potential customer and deal with the page as they would.

So far, some work I’ve done with the CIA includes analyzing motivation of visitors – are they getting what they’re expecting? Does it match what they’re looking for at that point in time?

Clarity of the value proposition is a very important part of any landing page. It’s important to not only state it clearly but ask yourself if the other elements support that value proposition. The customer wants to know not only why they want a product, but why they should get it from you.

Friction can be pretty straightforward– are you asking too much of your visitor? Is it difficult to navigate or are you asking them to enter a lengthy signup process? In addition to length, you must also ask yourself if there is any field or informational request that causes concern or anxiety. Do you explain that the visitor’s email address will not be used deceitfully?

You can think of all the elements of the conversion heuristic working together as a fulcrum or scale. Positive elements, such as matching visitor motivation and communication of value, are on one side of the scale. Negative elements, such as friction and anxiety, are on the other.

On a particular landing page, does the balance of the scale tip too much towards the negative or positive? If it’s tipped towards the negative elements, what steps can you take to tip it the other way? Would an incentive such as a free gift or free shipping help offset some of the friction you can’t get rid of?

All of these questions can be daunting. Writing, designing, and building a website is hard, a successful one even harder. However, at MarketingExperiments, we look at these questions as opportunities for testing. The team I’ve been working with in the labs is very good at looking for opportunities, even on already successful sites. Leer más “Internet Marketing: Landing page optimization for beginners”

The design process vs. design-as-product

The trouble with the word “template” is that its meaning depends on one’s point of view.

To some, a template is a ticket to an instant website. Many content management systems allow owners to change plug-and-play themes as easily as they change clothes, and inexpensive skins are just a Google search away.

To others, templates are learning tools. Studying samples of real-world code and style is more practical for them than following examples in a book or reviewing lecture notes.

Templates can represent independence. Anyone, even someone without basic design or development skills, can choose from hundreds of templates without fear that a “design expert” will question their decision.

Templates can also mean efficiency. They are generic enough to fit most information, and they are reusable. Fill the space with a dash of content and you’re done.

Many people I’ve worked with-designers, managers and clients alike-equate templates with design. To create a design is to build a chair in which the content will sit. To choose a design is to select a vehicle to carry information.

The noun “design” differs from the verb “design”: one is a product, the other a process. This thought begs the question: is web design skin deep, or are designers more than purveyors of templates?

intentional design stands out [Más…]
Chasing Keyboard Shortcuts

Thinking of the process of designing a website as “producing the best template” is the wrong approach. I know from experience.

Not long ago I was hired to design a law firm’s website. The business’ owners knew what they wanted, more or less, and provided JPG mock-ups. Aware of the tight deadline, the developer and I hammered out a database, a custom CMS and, of course, the HTML template.

Their three-column composition had pale boxes on a paler background. We measured space for ads on the right, worked to fit the search tool on the left, checked spacing in three versions of Explorer and tweaked the drop-shadows under the navigation bar. In short, we fretted over everything except the center column.

As deadline approached, we met to address last-minute problems. One person wasn’t satisfied with the arrangement of certain information. Someone suggested a solution and asked me to try it out. A few HTML changes later, we saw the new page. Everyone settled for this compromise, and the website went ahead.

After the launch, the client complimented my design skills and particularly my knowledge of keyboard shortcuts. At first, I didn’t recognize the unintended insult, but I’d been cast in the role of “button pusher,” and the field of design was button pushing. Worse, it was my fault: by acting on the committee’s whim, I put myself in this position. The job paid well, but the result was uninspired and the experience belittling.

The best way to design, and I mean the verb, is to keep on designing, to seek problems. To insist that “less is more” is the same as saying “Don’t do something unless the project suffers without it.”

template design vs. content design

How Does It Work?
1. Ask questions.

“What do we want to accomplish?” is just the beginning, and “To build a website” is not a sufficient answer.

* “Who are we trying to help, inform or influence?”
* “Why should people come to us instead of the competition?”
* “Who is responsible for what?”
* “What do we need in order to launch, and what can wait for later?”
* “How will we maintain this website? Who will make changes, monitor traffic and troubleshoot problems?”
* “Has this been done before? If so, how can we improve on it? What mistakes can we learn from?”


design-process-mass-producedhttp://www.webdesignerdepot.com

The trouble with the wordtemplate is that its meaning depends on one’s point of view.

To some, a template is a ticket to an instant website. Many content management systems allow owners to change plug-and-play themes as easily as they change clothes, and inexpensive skins are just a Google search away.

To others, templates are learning tools. Studying samples of real-world code and style is more practical for them than following examples in a book or reviewing lecture notes.

Templates can represent independence. Anyone, even someone without basic design or development skills, can choose from hundreds of templates without fear that a “design expert” will question their decision.

Templates can also mean efficiency. They are generic enough to fit most information, and they are reusable. Fill the space with a dash of content and you’re done.

Many people I’ve worked with-designers, managers and clients alike-equate templates with design. To create a design is to build a chair in which the content will sit. To choose a design is to select a vehicle to carry information.

The noun “design” differs from the verb “design”: one is a product, the other a process. This thought begs the question: is web design skin deep, or are designers more than purveyors of templates?

intentional design stands out Leer más “The design process vs. design-as-product”

Giving users some credit | Users are Not Idiots

Websites are designed to be used by people of varying backgrounds, educations and technical levels. One of the challenges we face when designing for the Web is finding a way to create sites and applications that can be accessed by a widely disparate audience while avoiding the pitfall of sacrificing the quality of our work to cater to the dreaded ‘lowest common denominator.’
Users are Not Idiots

Even though it happens to me with some frequency, being told by a client that one of the requirements for their project is that it must be ‘idiot proof’ never fails to give me pause. The sentiment itself is offensive enough, but the concept also seems somewhat misguided to me. Do we really want to begin a project by assuming our site’s users are idiots?


//designinformer.com
By Jeremy Girard

Websites are designed to be used by people of varying backgrounds, educations and technical levels. One of the challenges we face when designing for the Web is finding a way to create sites and applications that can be accessed by a widely disparate audience while avoiding the pitfall of sacrificing the quality of our work to cater to the dreaded ‘lowest common denominator.’

Users are Not Idiots

Even though it happens to me with some frequency, being told by a client that one of the requirements for their project is that it must be ‘idiot proof’ never fails to give me pause. The sentiment itself is offensive enough, but the concept also seems somewhat misguided to me. Do we really want to begin a project by assuming our site’s users are idiots?

Websites for Dummies

Creating designs that are intuitive and easy to use is something we should continually strive for if we want our sites and applications to be visited and used by as many people as possible. Ultimately, making those sites easy, as well as enjoyable, to use is a critical part of helping them be successful and it starts by abandoning outdated opinions on what users can, and cannot, understand. It starts by giving our users some credit and realizing that they are not ‘idiots.’

When Best Practices Go Bad

Anyone who has designed for the Web for a period of time has amassed a bank of best practices and favored solutions that they use in their work. In and of itself, this is a good thing, but the ever-changing nature of the Internet means that we have to continually evaluate these best practices to ensure they are still relevant. As Web users’ proficiency and technical comfort levels grow, we must abandon solutions that no longer help visitors use our sites, but instead may actually start to hinder their experience.

As a communication medium, the Web may still be the ‘new kid on the block,’ but let’s face it – the Internet isn’t new anymore. Web users are more advanced today then they were even a few years ago. This is great news for those of us who work on the Web! It means that we can continually push our work forward, but it also means that we not only have to be willing to embrace change, but that we need to be proactive in identifying when that change is necessary.

User Testing is Not Always the Answer

User Testing

There is no question that user testing is an invaluable part of the web design process, but any user testing we do for a project has limitations. Oftentimes, those limitations are due to budgetary and time constraints. This being the case, we focus our tests on key aspects of our projects where user input will help shape our decisions and positively impact the success of our design.

Since we often can’t evaluate and test every aspect of our project, some decisions will inevitably be driven by our best practices and favored solutions. If those practices are up to date and relevant, this isn’t a problem, but if they are outdated – well, I’m sure you can follow the line of reasoning here. Leer más “Giving users some credit | Users are Not Idiots”

Strategic Content Management

Trying to fix an organization’s content problems by installing a content management system (CMS) is like trying to save a marriage by booking a holiday. We know that a successful web project needs a content strategy—but when it comes to the CMS, we stop thinking strategically. Despite all the talk about user-centered design, we rarely consider the user experience of the editorial team—the people who implement the content strategy. We don’t design a CMS, we install it.
The problem: tools aren’t magic pixie dust

Any web project more complex than a blog requires custom CMS design work. It’s tempting to use familiar tools, and try to shoehorn content in—but we can’t select the appropriate tool until we’ve figured out the project’s specific needs.


by Jonathan Kahn

Strategic Content Management

Trying to fix an organization’s content problems by installing a content management system (CMS) is like trying to save a marriage by booking a holiday. We know that a successful web project needs a content strategy—but when it comes to the CMS, we stop thinking strategically. Despite all the talk about user-centered design, we rarely consider the user experience of the editorial team—the people who implement the content strategy. We don’t design a CMS, we install it.

The problem: tools aren’t magic pixie dust

Any web project more complex than a blog requires custom CMS design work. It’s tempting to use familiar tools, and try to shoehorn content in—but we can’t select the appropriate tool until we’ve figured out the project’s specific needs. Leer más “Strategic Content Management”

The Art of Distinction in Web Design

One of the hardest tasks we undertake in the user experience field is trying to gain and hold a visitor’s attention in the right way. Distinctive design and the ability to focus eyes where they are needed in our web designs is a tricky task, but is something that we should have a firm grasp of.

Understanding the artistic traits of influence and distinction allow us to balance important details over our regular content and thus gives us the opportunity to have a great impact and influence on our consumers.

This article aims to highlight various factors you should account for when using distinction in your designs. [Más…]
Distinctive Design

Distractions in a design lead to a breakdown in communication and can confuse users, paralyzing their ability to quickly determine what to focus on or where to go next.

Distinctive design alleviates this by putting forward a few fundamental principles which appeal to the user’s needs. Effectively at their core, it underlines the ideal that highlighting content based on importance rather than its position is beneficial and worthwhile.


The Art of Distinction in Web Design

One of the hardest tasks we undertake in the user experience field is trying to gain and hold a visitor’s attention in the right way. Distinctive design and the ability to focus eyes where they are needed in our web designs is a tricky task, but is something that we should have a firm grasp of.

Understanding the artistic traits of influence and distinction allow us to balance important details over our regular content and thus gives us the opportunity to have a great impact and influence on our consumers.

This article aims to highlight various factors you should account for when using distinction in your designs. Leer más “The Art of Distinction in Web Design”