tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/blog/authors/chris-lake Posts by Chris Lake from the Econsultancy blog 2014-09-30T09:57:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65519 2014-09-30T09:57:00+01:00 2014-09-30T09:57:00+01:00 The Offline / Online Marketing Landscape Chris Lake <p><strong>If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it is this: share <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64539-introducing-the-periodic-table-of-content-marketing">a vaguely useful colourful chart</a> on social media channels, and your ship will come in.</strong></p> <p>With that in mind, I have created yet another visualisation, this time dedicated to <a title="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62319-six-examples-of-effective-multichannel-marketing-campaigns#i.flinoy1b5ie60z" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62319-six-examples-of-effective-multichannel-marketing-campaigns#i.flinoy1b5ie60z">multichannel marketing</a>. </p> <p>There are so many different ways of reaching customers these days, and I wanted to provide a really straightforward overview of some of the most important routes to market. </p> <p>So without further ado, here’s the chart. Click on the image to see a bigger version...</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65519-the-offline-online-marketing-landscape/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65443 2014-09-16T09:29:00+01:00 2014-09-16T09:29:00+01:00 A Smörgåsbord of Content Marketing Metrics Chris Lake <p><strong>What kind of content marketing metrics should you be measuring, to determine whether you have the right strategy in place? Which metrics are the best indicators of success?</strong></p> <p>Back in 2012 we published some <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10812-just-38-of-companies-have-a-content-marketing-strategy-report">research on attitudes to measuring content marketing</a>. After surveying 1,300 marketers we found that unique visitors was the main metric used to determine whether content was successful, followed by views, and then time spent on site.</p> <p>These are perfectly reasonable things to track, and they are meaningful to a point, but most businesses will only invest in things that affect profits and sales. With that in mind, views and visits might not be best thing to focus on.</p> <p>So what are the best content marketing metrics to track? After all, there’s more to life than visitors and page impressions, right? </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65443-a-smorgasbord-of-content-marketing-metrics/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65369 2014-08-27T12:03:00+01:00 2014-08-27T12:03:00+01:00 Introducing the Content Marketing Team Matrix Chris Lake <p><strong>A few months ago I created <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64539-introducing-the-periodic-table-of-content-marketing">the Periodic Table of Content Marketing</a>, to provide a handy – and hopefully helpful - cut-out-and-keep guide for content professionals.</strong></p> <p>The table was both practical and tactical, which resulted in more than tens of thousands of shares, and hundreds of thousands of views. I remain humbled by its popularity, and the feedback I’ve had since I published it. </p> <p>Since then I’ve been asked many questions, of which two stand out: </p> <ol> <li><strong>Why does ‘content strategy’ only have one element dedicated to it?</strong></li> <li><strong>What kind of skills does a content team need?</strong></li> </ol> <p>To answer the first question, it’s simply that content strategy is such a big subject that it merits a table of its own, or something similar. There is much to be said about audiences, legacy content, global vs local approaches to management, team workflow, brand guidelines, and countless other important things. Watch this space.</p> <p>The second question is one close to my heart. </p> <p>Since 2006 I’ve had the pleasure of assembling a marvellous team here at Econsultancy. We box well above our weight – there are only six of us on ‘Team Content’ yet we’re averaging more than a million stories read a month. Not bad, for a niche blog.</p> <p>But <strong>what would a content team look like if I were to assemble one from scratch today?</strong> What skills are required in 2014, in the post-social, content marketing, mobile age? What is the perfect recipe for success?</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65369-introducing-the-content-marketing-team-matrix/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65140 2014-07-15T11:19:00+01:00 2014-07-15T11:19:00+01:00 14 motion design trends for web and mobile interfaces Chris Lake <p><strong>Simplicity is the key to great design. Anything that complicates or irritates should be immediately jettisoned, in favour of a cleaner approach, and functionality should always come before beauty. </strong></p> <p>As such I still get shivers when I think about animation and web design, given the amount of user experience crimes committed over the years. Animation was a dirty word. It meant too many crazy gifs, too many flashing ads, or even worse, it meant 'innovative' Flash websites. </p> <p>Lots of websites still suffer from animation overload, but when done with appropriate amounts of restraint I think motion can help improve the user experience. </p> <p>Moving backgrounds, rolldown navigation and micro UX effects were three of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64096-18-pivotal-web-design-trends-for-2014">web design trends</a> I highlighted back in January. I think a broader trend is the rise of animation / motion, and no doubt it will be on next year’s list. </p> <p>I thought I’d explore some of the different areas of a website (or mobile app) where motion can come into play, to improve the user experience by communicating meaning, or as a visual flourish that bridges the gap between clicking and loading.</p> <p>Before we begin, let us doff our hats in the direction of HTML5 and CSS3, not to mention better browsers, faster devices, nicer screens, and quicker internet connections. All of these things have allowed designers to use motion in a way that doesn’t suck.</p> <p>A bunch of these examples come from the ever-enlightening <a href="http://tympanus.net/codrops">Codrops</a>, which should probably be on your reading list if it isn't already.</p> <p>Ok, brace yourself for some gifs...</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65140-14-motion-design-trends-for-web-and-mobile-interfaces/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64870 2014-05-26T14:57:00+01:00 2014-05-26T14:57:00+01:00 44 reasons why people don't trust your website Chris Lake <p><strong>Why do people trust - or distrust - a website? What is it about the content, the design choices, or the usability of a website that makes it seem untrustworthy?</strong></p> <p>Last month I spotted <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/235ex9">this great thread on reddit</a>, where people explained what makes them trust / distrust company websites. I thought I’d extract some of the suggestions, and a few quotes, and I’ve added a bunch of my own.</p> <p>The usual caveats apply: all rules are there to be broken, and our own website needs to be improved.</p> <p>No doubt there are a lot of other reasons, so by all means leave a comment below if I've missed something. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64870-44-reasons-why-people-don-t-trust-your-website/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64700 2014-04-21T14:32:00+01:00 2014-04-21T14:32:00+01:00 12 upwardly responsive websites designed for big screens Chris Lake <p><strong>Responsive design has been a hot trend in the past couple of years, with plenty of brands adapting their websites for smartphone and tablet users. But here's the thing: responsive design should work for bigger screens too.  </strong></p> <p>I have a 27 inch iMac with a 2560 x 1440 screen resolution, and not many sites make full use of my screen. It seems like a waste. The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64072-responsive-design-25-of-the-best-sites-from-2013#i.uxbbzl7fpfssuh">best responsive websites </a>will be optimised for wider displays, as well as narrower ones.</p> <p>It goes without saying that a growing proportion of your website's visitors will be using handheld devices with little screens, but you may be surprised by how many people use bigger screens. Certainly I was. </p> <p>I thought I'd unearth a few examples of brands that are thinking big, as well as small. I shall kick things off by looking at our own stats, to prove the business case.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64700-12-upwardly-responsive-websites-designed-for-big-screens/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64665 2014-04-08T13:18:00+01:00 2014-04-08T13:18:00+01:00 Content marketing ideas: five key tools and one killer tip Chris Lake <p><strong>Last month I released the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64539-introducing-the-periodic-table-of-content-marketing">Periodic Table of Content Marketing</a>, a kind of visual checklist to help people create the right kind of content to support their business goals. But what is the right kind of content? </strong></p> <p>The table is an overview of the key elements of content marketing, but it stops short of suggesting specific subject-orientated ideas relevant to your brand / audience.</p> <p>That’s where <a href="https://twitter.com/jameswelch_net">James Welsh</a> comes in. He has built a search / suggestion tool based around my table, and it works surprisingly well. I thought I’d introduce it, as well as a few other tried and tested content idea generators. They will help you brainstorm ideas.</p> <p>So first, onto the tools (click on the screenshots to access them), but be sure to read the section underneath on advanced idea generation. Dan Shure’s post is a tremendous resource for those of you prepared to go the extra mile. The tip I have focused on should save you a lot of time. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64665-content-marketing-ideas-five-key-tools-and-one-killer-tip/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64650 2014-04-04T12:13:10+01:00 2014-04-04T12:13:10+01:00 10 sketchy text formatting tips for Twitter and Facebook Chris Lake <p><strong>Ever wanted to use bold or italics in a tweet? Or a strikethrough, in a Facebook update? Or to use a special character of some kind? Well here’s your chance… </strong></p> <p>It’s Friday, so I thought I’d cobble together a throwaway post based around the different text styles you can use on Twitter. Click on an image to go to the appropriate text rendering tool. </p> <p>Apologies if this leads to a spate of nonsensical, illegible tweets. </p> <p>Unicode… so much to answer for.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64650-10-sketchy-text-formatting-tips-for-twitter-and-facebook/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64646 2014-04-03T13:18:00+01:00 2014-04-03T13:18:00+01:00 15 delicious examples of card-based web design Chris Lake <p><strong>The rise of the smartphone has ushered in a new way of thinking among web designers and developers, who need to create websites that work on smaller screens.</strong></p> <p>The constraints of smaller screens have actually helped the web to become that little bit more modular, with responsive design now one of the foremost web design trends: pages can be broken up into their constituent parts, and reordered on the fly, depending on browser or screen sizes. Content spread over three or four columns can be repositioned into just one. </p> <p>This has refocused attention on 'cards', as a design pattern for displaying information in bite-sized chunks. Cards are ideal for the TL;DR generation, perfect for mobile devices and responsive design, and I think we'll be seeing a lot more of them in the months and years ahead. The format may not be new, but it's on the rise.</p> <p>What is a card, exactly? Well, they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but commonly cards will include information such as a title, a user name, a picture, and various icons. Sometimes there might be a brief amount of text, for example a product description. In a sense, they are miniature, condensed web pages.  </p> <p>Cards were one of my <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64096-18-pivotal-web-design-trends-for-2014">18 web design trends for 2014</a>, and I wanted to highlight some beautiful examples of card-based user interfaces. Tuck in!</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64646-15-delicious-examples-of-card-based-web-design/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64610 2014-03-28T13:18:00+00:00 2014-03-28T13:18:00+00:00 Why Econsultancy has implemented nofollow for guest blogging Chris Lake <p><strong>There has been a lot of noise recently <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64176-matt-cutts-declares-the-death-of-guest-blogging-for-seo">about guest blogging</a>, and whether or not it is something that Google will crack down on.</strong></p> <p>Well, the guest blogging Armageddon is upon us, and we have decided to take a safety first approach. </p> <p>That means adding nofollow to links in the bios of guest bloggers, something that we implemented yesterday. </p> <p>I’ll explain our thinking in a bit more detail. First, some facts…</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64610-why-econsultancy-has-implemented-nofollow-for-guest-blogging/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64580 2014-03-27T11:28:00+00:00 2014-03-27T11:28:00+00:00 14 beautiful designs based around shades of colour Chris Lake <p><strong>Earlier this year I highlighted monochromatic design and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63415-web-design-eye-candy-24-ultra-colourful-user-interfaces">hypercolour</a> as two of my <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64096-18-pivotal-web-design-trends-for-2014">18 web design trends for 2014</a>. There is a third way that lives inbetween these two approaches: choosing a limited palette and using different shades of colour.</strong></p> <p>Designers who go down this route typically choose one vibrant colour (and various shades thereof) and offset it against a neutral background. Sometimes two (or more) complementary colours come into play. </p> <p>I thought I'd share a few examples, to hopefully provide you with a little visual inspiration. Many of these examples are, to my eye, rather elegant. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64580-14-beautiful-designs-based-around-shades-of-colour/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64539 2014-03-18T12:00:00+00:00 2014-03-18T12:00:00+00:00 Introducing The Periodic Table of Content Marketing Chris Lake <p><strong>I’ve written a lot about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62001-content-marketing-strategy-an-a-z-guide-to-success">content strategy</a> over the past decade. I’ve also highlighted various <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/8196-how-to-optimise-headlines-using-the-65-character-rule">niche tactics that can help content creators to succeed</a>, as well as plenty of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64434-16-content-marketing-examples-that-hit-the-sweet-spot">examples of excellent content</a>. But I haven’t created many visualisations, and recently I have been keen to do one.  </strong></p> <p>Surprisingly, nobody has yet created a periodic table for content marketing, so I thought I’d have a go. </p> <p>Before I introduce it, allow me to doff my hat at Dmitri Mendeleev, who first published the periodic table of elements. I’ll also nod in the direction of Danny Sullivan, who created one based around <a href="http://searchengineland.com/seotable">SEO success factors</a>. </p> <p>Let me also say that I <em>hope</em> that this is helpful, as the world is awash with dubious infographics and I really didn’t want to produce something just for the sake of it.</p> <p>The usual caveats apply: there will be obvious omissions, possibly duplicated symbols, and other schoolboy errors. I shall fix these things in a future iteration, so please raise a flag if you spot anything. </p> <p>Ok then, let’s take a look at the table, and I’ll explain my thinking along the way…</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64539-introducing-the-periodic-table-of-content-marketing/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64491 2014-03-11T13:37:00+00:00 2014-03-11T13:37:00+00:00 21 examples of user experience innovation in ecommerce Chris Lake <p><strong>I’ve been keeping a close eye on innovation in the ecommerce sector for more than a decade now, and it seems to me that we're living in exciting times. We have hit some kind of purple patch. </strong></p> <p>Why is this? Well, ecommerce has massively matured. It's big business. Digital teams are smarter, and more agile. Sexy new tech such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery allows for sublime user experiences. </p> <p>As such I wanted to raise a toast to innovation by highlighting a bunch of - hopefully inspiring - examples to you.</p> <p>But first, <strong>a massive caveat</strong>: I would severely and mercilessly beat a few of these sites with a big best practice stick. There are product pages with missing information. There are search boxes with tiny fonts. There are usability issues galore.</p> <p>Secondly, for ecommerce sites, it is all about the data. If you’re not constantly testing, measuring and refining, then you aren’t doing it right. What works for one brand might not work so well for another. </p> <p>All of that aside, the ecommerce teams that take chances and push the boundaries of are to be applauded. Guidelines are precisely that: guidelines. Rules are there to be broken. And innovation is always to be encouraged, even when it doesn’t work out.</p> <p>So let's take a look at some ecommerce websites (and one mobile app) that are trying new things, and that are noteworthy for their approach to the user experience. Click on the screenshots to check them out for yourself, and do let me know what you think.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64491-21-examples-of-user-experience-innovation-in-ecommerce/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64434 2014-03-05T12:19:00+00:00 2014-03-05T12:19:00+00:00 16 content marketing examples that hit the sweet spot Chris Lake <p><strong>Last year I watched a panel debate on the following question: “Is it content, or is it an advertisement?” </strong><strong>The panelists went round and round in circles for an hour, and there was no conclusion. My own thinking is along the lines of “it doesn’t really matter, and it’s probably both.”</strong></p> <p>I happen to think that we have entered a new golden age for advertising. The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63840-top-20-most-shared-video-ads-of-2013">very best ads</a> are conceived as shareable content experiences, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.</p> <p>Unfortunately most TV and radio ads are still utterly intolerable, but I feel that the bar has been raised in recent years, driven by YouTube, social media, audience participation, and aspirations to be more creative. The best ads are anchored around compelling content. Execution, as with most things, is paramount. Combine the two and you might have a big hit on your hands. </p> <p>There is a flipside: a lousy idea executed brilliantly is still a lousy idea. If the content is underwhelming then you will have to pay to gain reach. So much for earned media. If you are paying a small fortune to seed your content then you’re very much in the realms of paid media. I call this ‘the shareability gap’, and I believe that brands should invest in creativity, not media.</p> <p>If a brand has paid for the content, then it pretty much wants you to buy something, or at the very least like it a little bit more, but <strong>that doesn’t mean that the content has to suck</strong>.</p> <p>Here are some non-sucky <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62001-content-marketing-strategy-an-a-z-guide-to-success">content marketing</a> campaigns that I’ve seen recently. I’ve taken quite a broad brush approach here with regards to formats: there are ads, pop-up installations, photographic collections, blogs, and helpful guides. I like the ideas and the execution. Have a look and do let me know what you think...</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64434-16-content-marketing-examples-that-hit-the-sweet-spot/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64386 2014-02-24T12:40:07+00:00 2014-02-24T12:40:07+00:00 The 21 reasons why your boss should pay you to browse reddit Chris Lake <p><strong>Occasionally you see an incredulous question posted to reddit, along these lines: “What job do you have that allows you to browse reddit?”</strong></p> <p>I happen to think that all kinds of professionals should keep a close eye on reddit, as it is an ever-changing repository of the best content and discussion on the internet. Yes, there are too many cat gifs, but scratch below the surface and it is a fantastic place to find inspiration, examples, insight and expertise. </p> <p>I thought I’d provide an overview of some of the categories (aka ‘subreddits’) that are worth subscribing to. Each of these subreddits has plenty to offer, especially for those of you - like me - who work in the digital industry. Creative and marketing folk would do well to tune in.  </p> <p>For the uninitiated, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/07/reddit-how-to-win-the-internet">The Observer's Tom Lamont recently published an insightful feature on reddit</a>, which covers a lot of ground. Be sure to install the <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/reddit-enhancement-suite/kbmfpngjjgdllneeigpgjifpgocmfgmb">Reddit Enhancement Suite</a> and download Alien Blue for your smartphone. Both are world class examples of apps that help extend and improve on the overall experience of a website (in terms of usability, and content access / discovery / bookmarking). </p> <p>Right then, where shall we start?</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64386-the-21-reasons-why-your-boss-should-pay-you-to-browse-reddit/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64373 2014-02-20T12:12:00+00:00 2014-02-20T12:12:00+00:00 The 20 different ways of using the Twitter favourite button Chris Lake <p><strong>What is Twitter’s favourite button for, exactly? What does it mean when somebody ‘favourites’ one of your tweets? When and why do you press the button? </strong></p> <p>There are a variety of reasons why people choose to ‘favourite’ tweets. In fact, I’ve identified 20 different reasons for doing so. If you’re anything like me you’ll use the button in a bunch of ways. </p> <p>You can be sure that I’ve missed a few things out, so be sure to leave a comment if you use the button in yet another way.</p> <p>So then, why do people press the favourite button?</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64373-the-20-different-ways-of-using-the-twitter-favourite-button/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64170 2014-02-19T11:14:00+00:00 2014-02-19T11:14:00+00:00 20 stunning examples of minimal mobile UI design Chris Lake <p><strong>Some of the best web and mobile app designs have a very limited colour range. Two or three colours can be more than enough, and I find that a restrained approach to colour works especially well on de-cluttered interfaces. </strong></p> <p>The use of colour in design is a bit like great music, where balance, contrast, restraint and dissonance all come into play. I picked out monochrome and hypercolour as two of my 18 <a href="http://econsultancy.com/blog/64096-18-pivotal-web-design-trends-for-2014">web design trends for 2014</a>, but perhaps trichromatic design is where it's really at?  </p> <p>For trichromatic design it is often the case that there is a 'main' colour, an 'active' colour, and a 'highlight' colour. A limited palette goes further when you reverse out the colours in certain areas (menus, or buttons, for example).</p> <p>I wanted to highlight some examples of mobile interfaces that primarily focus on two or three colours, along with plenty of white (or otherwise neutral) space, and a lack of unnecessary clutter. In other words: minimal design. Less is more.</p> <p>So let's take a look at a few examples. I don't claim to have used all of these apps and sites, and one or two are concepts, so the focus here is on the look and feel, rather than the user experience. Click on the images to see more in-depth or full size screenshots.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64170-20-stunning-examples-of-minimal-mobile-ui-design/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64326 2014-02-12T13:56:00+00:00 2014-02-12T13:56:00+00:00 What kind of user experience ranking signals does Google take notice of? Chris Lake <p><strong>There has been a lot of talk lately about responsive web design, and a number of questions have arisen about how Google perceives sites that go down this route.</strong></p> <p>Matt Cutts said responsive design “won’t harm rankings”. Given that Matt isn’t in the habit of telling everyone how to win at SEO, I think this is as close to an endorsement as we’re going to get. </p> <p>‘Responsive’ is pretty much used as a byword for ‘mobile optimisation’, which is the science of crafting a better user experience for smartphone users. The key part of that sentence isn’t ‘responsive’, nor ‘mobile’, but ‘user experience’.</p> <p>This is becoming a bigger deal, as far as SEO is concerned, and I suspect that we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what's going on.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64326-what-kind-of-user-experience-ranking-signals-does-google-take-notice-of/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64244 2014-01-31T11:58:00+00:00 2014-01-31T11:58:00+00:00 26 user experience axioms to believe in Chris Lake <p><strong>I wanted to share this excellent presentation on the theme of user experience axioms, which has been compiled and - in the spirit of the subject - iterated by <a href="https://twitter.com/eadahl">Erik Dahl</a>.</strong></p> <p>There are currently 26 UX axioms, and I don't think there is any filler in here at all. It's rare to see such a concise, fat-free, meaningful list like this.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.uxaxioms.com">UX Axioms website</a> outlines these principles along with a brief explanation of the thinking behind each one.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64244-26-user-experience-axioms-to-believe-in/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64096 2014-01-13T13:00:00+00:00 2014-01-13T13:00:00+00:00 18 pivotal web design trends for 2014 Chris Lake <p><strong>What web design trends do you think we'll see in 2014? I'm betting on more simplicity, more cleanliness, and more focus on smaller screen sizes, among other things.</strong></p> <p>This collection is largely based on observation, vaguely educated guesswork, waving a finger in the air, and a bunch of other posts I've compiled in recent months. As such, some of these predictions may be more accurate than others!</p> <p>No doubt I have missed all manner of trends, so do share your own thoughts and predictions in the comments section below. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64096-18-pivotal-web-design-trends-for-2014/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64073 2014-01-07T10:49:00+00:00 2014-01-07T10:49:00+00:00 18 noteworthy examples of unusual web navigation design Chris Lake <p><strong>When it comes to website navigation, I'm a traditionalist. I don't think it's something that should be messed around with, unless there's a very good reason for doing so.</strong></p> <p>The fundamentals of web navigation haven't changed at all. Obvious labels, clear scent trails, a lack of clutter, and good usability are all essential. <a href="http://econsultancy.com/blog/11086-should-online-retailers-follow-established-patterns-of-navigation">Navigation should be obvious, prominent, persistent, and not obfuscated in any way</a>. And as with most things, fancy design should be stomped on if the user experience is compromised. </p> <p>However, I love innovation, experimentation and evolution, and it is perhaps an opportune time to rethink our ideas about web navigation, given <a href="http://econsultancy.com/blog/64063-mobile-in-2014-ebay-net-a-porter-and-more-give-us-their-predictions">the rise of smartphones and tablets</a>, as well as better tools, such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery.</p> <p>In the past year or so I've noticed that more and more websites that have unusual forms of navigation, and I thought I'd collect a bunch of examples to show you the art of the possible.</p> <p>It's worth pointing out that I don't think all of these work brilliantly. I'm including examples that are different and distinct, or that are very much in keeping with the rest of the web experience, whether good or bad. You can decide for yourself. </p> <p>Some of these might be filed under 'trying too hard'. As with everything, I think it's about finding the right fit for your site, your content, and your audience.</p> <p>So then, let's prepare to navigate! Click on the screenshots to visit the websites, so you can see how they work.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64073-18-noteworthy-examples-of-unusual-web-navigation-design/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63934 2013-12-04T12:05:00+00:00 2013-12-04T12:05:00+00:00 10 fast-rising digital buzzwords of 2013, and what they mean Chris Lake <p><strong>Everybody loves to hate buzzwords, but those of us who work in digital need to tolerate the birth of new phrases to describe new things.</strong></p> <p>I’m not talking about horrific PR terminology like ‘leverage’ and ‘synergy’ and ‘blue sky’, which are not to be tolerated, and which <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/3229-leveraging-the-synergies-death-to-prspeak">I’ve previously discussed</a>. </p> <p>Instead, we shall focus on those buzzwords and phrases that have originated in recent years, and which have significantly grown in popularity over the past year.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63934-10-fast-rising-digital-buzzwords-of-2013-and-what-they-mean/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63874 2013-11-26T12:43:00+00:00 2013-11-26T12:43:00+00:00 How can you predict next year’s website traffic? Chris Lake <p><strong>Last week one of our enterprise subscribers asked about how best to estimate future traffic levels, and I thought I’d answer the question by way of a blog post. </strong></p> <p>There are eight areas that I think you can focus on, to try to figure out whether traffic levels are likely to rise, fall, or stay the same.   </p> <p>I am thinking out loud here, so if you have any better methodologies then please leave a comment below!</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63874-how-can-you-predict-next-year-s-website-traffic/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63861 2013-11-25T11:04:00+00:00 2013-11-25T11:04:00+00:00 12 wonderful examples of immersive online storytelling Chris Lake <p><strong>In the late 1990s the Philadelphia Inquirer published a series on “the dramatic raid of Mogadishu”. It evolved into a book and a movie called, as you may have already guessed, ‘Black Hawk Down’.</strong></p> <p>The initial extended feature first made its debut in print, and was then pushed onto the website, where video, audio, maps, photos and related links helped bring the story to life. The site, which is still available online, looks like this:</p> <p><a href="http://inquirer.philly.com/packages/somalia/nov16/default16.asp"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/aB1vE9g.png" alt="" width="615"></a></p> <p>This was one of the first mainstream media attempts to use the web to enhance long form content, and while the page might not look terribly pretty, all of the right kind of functionality is there. </p> <p>Since then things have moved on considerably, and in an age of HTML5 I have seen some stunning examples of what can be achieved with <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63710-telling-stories-five-successful-marketing-examples">online storytelling</a>. Here are a few that are well worth checking out. </p> <p>Let's start with the obvious...</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63861-12-wonderful-examples-of-immersive-online-storytelling/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63717 2013-11-04T10:27:00+00:00 2013-11-04T10:27:00+00:00 Why is checkout abandonment still linked to nasty delivery surprises? Chris Lake <p><strong>A new month, a new checkout abandonment survey hits the inbox. Here’s the number one cause of checkout abandonment: unacceptable delivery costs. What is this madness?</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.imrg.org/index.php?catalog=393">study</a>, by eDigitalResearch and IMRG, found that 77% of online shoppers have abandoned their basket in the past year, with 53% citing unacceptably high delivery costs as the main reason for bailing out.</p> <p>Already, alarm bells are ringing. Many years ago we published some <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/checkout-optimization-guide">best practice research on conversion rate optimisation</a>, and one of our key recommendations was to avoid sending people into the checkout area too early. Before they enter, they should have all of the key facts. That means delivery information, among other things.</p> <p>Yet this latest checkout abandonment study found that 26% of shoppers placed an item in their basket just ‘to check delivery costs’. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63717-why-is-checkout-abandonment-still-linked-to-nasty-delivery-surprises/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63703 2013-10-31T12:44:00+00:00 2013-10-31T12:44:00+00:00 Our blog now exceeds 1m monthly page views, but does it generate ROI? Chris Lake <p><strong>Hearty congratulations are in order in light of a big milestone that the Econsultancy blog team has reached, having for the first time surpassed 1m page impressions in a calendar month. </strong><strong>Not bad for a niche B2B publishing operation!</strong> </p> <p>That said, we don’t create content simply to generate page views. The blog team contributes so much more to our business. I shall explain why.</p> <p>A recent study found that only about a third of Fortune 500 companies maintain a blog, a statistic that I find perplexing, so I thought this might be a good time to remind ourselves – and you, dear reader – of why we blog, and what it’s doing for us.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63703-our-blog-now-exceeds-1m-monthly-page-views-but-does-it-generate-roi/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63693 2013-10-30T12:44:00+00:00 2013-10-30T12:44:00+00:00 16 ultra-creative CVs / interactive résumés that catch the eye Chris Lake <p><strong>Pretty much everybody has created a CV / résumé at some stage in their life. As with most forms of content I think the key is to establish a tone of voice, and try to stand out from the surrounding noise.</strong></p> <p>I always used to put ‘vinyl junkie’ in the ‘interests’ section on my CV, which always worked a treat in interviews regardless of the role. People would ask me about my passion for music. I’d return the serve by asking the interviewer the same thing. These things can help to break any ice, and I think you should habitually ask plenty of questions in interviews, for all sorts of reasons.</p> <p>Nowadays there are more opportunities than ever to attract the right kind of attention, and creative professionals in particular can go the extra mile to make an impression. I thought I’d collect a bunch of examples, which may inspire you to do something different.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63693-16-ultra-creative-cvs-interactive-resumes-that-catch-the-eye/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63470 2013-09-25T11:15:00+01:00 2013-09-25T11:15:00+01:00 New Twitter stats: talking is way more popular than sharing links Chris Lake <p><strong>I thought I'd share a recent study into Twitter usage habits, conducted by Carolin Gerlitz and Bernhard Rieder. I missed this back in May, when it was first released, so apologies if you've already seen it.</strong></p> <p>The findings are significantly different to <a href="http://www.danah.org/papers/TweetTweetRetweet.pdf">an older study</a> from 2010 by a Microsoft team (Boyd, Golder and Lotan). This may be due to a different - arguably more robust - sampling method, using the Twitter Streaming API. Or, it may be that usage habits have evolved in the intervening three years. </p> <p>The full research is available <a href="http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/viewArticle/620">here</a>. It is a rather dense read, though a rewarding one. For those of you with TL;DR syndrome I have extracted some highlights.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63470-new-twitter-stats-talking-is-way-more-popular-than-sharing-links/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63415 2013-09-17T13:03:00+01:00 2013-09-17T13:03:00+01:00 Web design eye-candy: 24 ultra-colourful user interfaces Chris Lake <p><strong>Much has been written about the use of colour in web design. Back in the day there were stark warnings. Pick as few as possible, seemed to be the general advice, and be sensible about your choices.</strong></p> <p>I covered the main points when <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/2654-20-colour-tips-for-website-design">I wrote about colour and web design five years ago</a>. A lot of that advice still stands up but there has been a definite shift, and nowadays it seems that more and more designers are embracing colour like never before. The polychromatic web is upon us!</p> <p>The combination of flat design and blocks of saturated colour is certainly a winning combination from where I’m sitting. It's a trend that is perhaps underpinned by the growing number of devices with retina screens in circulation.</p> <p>A strong, clever use of colour can be great for branded web experiences, web apps of various flavours, and agency websites. That said, I’m not fully convinced that this design trend is ideal for retailers with hundreds or thousands of product pictures, as too much colour can be overpowering, but no doubt there are some good examples out in the wild.</p> <p>So then, here are 24 websites and apps that are not remotely afraid of colour. See what you make of them, and be sure to share your views in the comments area below!</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63415-web-design-eye-candy-24-ultra-colourful-user-interfaces/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63396 2013-09-13T11:04:00+01:00 2013-09-13T11:04:00+01:00 16 alternative lorem ipsum generators to spice up your filler text Chris Lake <p><strong>If you've ever <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/11059-10-new-wireframing-tools-to-help-you-create-rapid-prototypes">wireframed webpages</a> then you might have found the need to use some dummy text. Traditionally that meant searching for 'lorem ipsum' on Google and copying and pasting a bunch of Latin. </strong></p> <p>Nowadays, we have a few more options. I have collected some lorem ipsum variants for you to use the next time you need some placeholder text.</p> <p>Choose your weapon wisely! And be warned, some of these tools are a little sweary, or non-PC, so if you're easily offended I suggest you stick to using Latin.</p> <p>Enjoy!</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63396-16-alternative-lorem-ipsum-generators-to-spice-up-your-filler-text/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63385 2013-09-11T12:20:00+01:00 2013-09-11T12:20:00+01:00 16 drop-dead gorgeous examples of mobile design inspiration Chris Lake <p><strong>Mobile apps and <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63185-14-brands-that-increased-conversion-rates-via-responsive-design">responsive websites</a> are looking - and working - better than ever, as designers come to terms with the parameters involved. Smaller screens, it seems, do not necessarily make for poorer experiences. </strong></p> <p>If anything, the restrictions of mobile devices are focusing the minds of designers, which is always a good thing. It seems to me that the very best designs really stand out, and do a great job of understanding user behaviour on smaller devices.</p> <p>I have collected a bunch of examples which go some way towards proving that mobile websites and apps can really look the part, while communicating functionality clearly. In most cases the screenshots link to portfolios, so do click on them.</p> <p>I haven’t tested all of these apps, not least because a few of them are design concepts, but I think they all show that mobile design can be very, very pretty indeed. If the user experience mirrors design (and it doesn’t always!) then presumably these would all work well.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63385-16-drop-dead-gorgeous-examples-of-mobile-design-inspiration/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63380 2013-09-10T11:29:00+01:00 2013-09-10T11:29:00+01:00 25 ways to boost employee satisfaction levels and staff retention Chris Lake <p><strong>In a recent breakfast briefing on digital transformation we discussed staff retention, which remains one of the very biggest issues faced by modern businesses, and is a particular problem within digital teams.</strong></p> <p>People choose to leave companies for all sorts of reasons. Compensation and career progression concerns are typically at top of the list of reasons to bail out, but there are plenty of underlying issues that affect job satisfaction.</p> <p>Sometimes the smallest things can have a disproportionate impact on how people feel about where they work. These minor beefs can push people over the edge if left unchecked.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63380-25-ways-to-boost-employee-satisfaction-levels-and-staff-retention/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63330 2013-09-02T12:13:00+01:00 2013-09-02T12:13:00+01:00 What does a perfect agile marketing strategy look like? Chris Lake <p><strong>A few months ago I compiled a list of <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62100-26-superb-examples-of-agile-marketing-in-action">26 wonderful agile marketing campaigns</a>, as there are some serious wins to be had for brands that can act fast. </strong></p> <p>But what does it take to react quickly? </p> <p>Good timing is everything in comedy, in sport, in fashion, in cooking, and in business. Wait too long and you’ve missed your moment, but there’s a very sweet spot to hit if you get it right. As Anna Wintour says:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.</p> </blockquote> <p>Vogue’s editor in chief could have so easily been talking about agile marketing, which requires superlative timing. How are you supposed to win the earned media game if you sit around twiddling thumbs, or don’t have the right set up to make things happen quickly?</p> <p>With this in mind, I thought I’d outline the key agile marketing success factors, and to try to figure out what kind of team structure and processes need to be put in place.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63330-what-does-a-perfect-agile-marketing-strategy-look-like/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63296 2013-08-28T10:55:00+01:00 2013-08-28T10:55:00+01:00 14 creative HTML5 websites built for digital agencies Chris Lake <p><strong>If you run a digital agency, especially one that designs and builds websites, then what better way of showing off your talents than to build a wonderful website for your own company?</strong></p> <p>In the past couple of years many agencies have rebuilt and relaunched their websites using HTML5 and CSS3. The results can be eye-opening, highly engaging, and built to work on all kinds of devices.</p> <p>It's not all good news though. Sometimes <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62335-14-lousy-web-design-trends-that-are-making-a-comeback">the use of HTML5 can be downright annoying</a>: just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Does it matter that some of these websites take half a minute to load? Personally I think fast loading times <em>really</em> matter, but I've heard arguments that people are prepared to wait for certain types of website. You can decide for yourself. </p> <p>At any rate, there is plenty to admire here, and perhaps there is an acceptable trade off between optimal usability and the overall user / brand experience. Certainly it's always interesting to watch web design evolve, and agencies are naturally inclined to push the boundaries.</p> <p>The following examples show what can be achieved, and mercifully not all of them are addicted to loading icons. Tuck in and see what you think.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63296-14-creative-html5-websites-built-for-digital-agencies/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63277 2013-08-22T11:02:00+01:00 2013-08-22T11:02:00+01:00 Pre-roll video ads: is it any wonder why we hate them? Chris Lake <p><strong>Is there anybody on the planet who actually enjoys pre-roll video advertising? Research has shown that <a href="http://www.imediaconnection.com/printpage/printpage.aspx?id=34024">94% of people skip pre-roll ads</a>, though I can't believe the number is that low (presumably the other 6% are masochists). </strong></p> <p><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63009-11-examples-of-crappy-ux-from-news-websites">Pre-roll ads</a> are as loathed as pop-ups, which studies found to be damaging to both advertiser and publisher. I imagine that the same applies to pre-rolls. Have you ever watched one and wanted to buy the product or service that's being (badly) pitched to you?  </p> <p>You have to wonder why they're so popular. Certainly the YouTube experience has considerably worsened since it started putting pre-rolls on a far wider range of ads, and I for one would pay a small fee to have them permanently removed.</p> <p>Why do pre-roll ads suck so badly? Partly it's the interruption, which is often a lot longer than five seconds, and partly it's because the creative tends to be beyond stupid, but there are plenty of other reasons.  </p> <p>The following quotes and videos reflect all that is wrong with the pre-roll format. If you're the kind of person who likes to snuggle up to Satan by commissioning pre-rolls then you might want to take some notes.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63277-pre-roll-video-ads-is-it-any-wonder-why-we-hate-them/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63267 2013-08-20T11:34:00+01:00 2013-08-20T11:34:00+01:00 30+ powerful adjectives and verbs for eye-catching headlines Chris Lake <p><strong>It has been a long-standing belief of mine that writers need to create headlines that sell, in order to persuade people to click. </strong></p> <p>A descriptive headline isn’t good enough, despite what the SEO Class Of 2006 might tell you, and neither is a clever pun, which will no doubt horrify traditional sports journalists all over the world.</p> <p>Adding a punchy or emotive word to a headline is absolutely vital to enticing that all-important click, and it can really help encourage sharing. </p> <p>This is where adjectives and verbs come into play.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63267-30-powerful-adjectives-and-verbs-for-eye-catching-headlines/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63248 2013-08-16T10:31:00+01:00 2013-08-16T10:31:00+01:00 A helpful image sizing guide for social media profiles Chris Lake <p><strong>I spotted this surprisingly useful infographic yesterday, over at Visually. It should come in handy for anybody who creates image-based content to add to their social profiles.</strong></p> <p>Five of the biggest <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62558-70-epic-social-media-case-studies-stats-blog-posts-and-more">social media platforms</a> are covered, and it will help you to understand the various sizes needed for your profile pictures, cover images, backgrounds, and so on.</p> <p>if you're anything like me you'll be yearning for some kind of cross-site standardisation in the future. For example, all of the profile pictures are different sizes, and one is a different shape. We can but dream!</p> <p>Anyhow, it should make for a handy cut-out-and-keep guide for you...</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63248-a-helpful-image-sizing-guide-for-social-media-profiles/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63207 2013-08-08T14:22:00+01:00 2013-08-08T14:22:00+01:00 22 more reasons why I’ll leave your website in 10 seconds Chris Lake <p><strong>A few years ago <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/6924-25-reasons-why-i-ll-leave-your-website-in-10-seconds">I compiled a list of things that I find abhorrent when using websites</a>. Things that I cannot tolerate for more than a few seconds, and which invariably cause me to press the back button.</strong></p> <p>What am I referring to? Autosound, for starters. Pagination. Pop-ups. Slow loading speeds. And a whole bunch of other crimes against the user experience. You'll still encounter these things most days, unfortunately.  </p> <p>Now, let's get this out of the way: our own website leaves a lot to be desired, from a user experience perspective. I reckon that at some point or other we have been guilty of about half of the points on my original list. It's very much an area that we're working hard on to improve. In order to do so it's important to know what not to do, and to understand what users hate.</p> <p>With that in mind, and given that web usage habits have evolved in the past three years, I thought I'd aggregate a few more pet hates, so we can steer ourselves away from bounce rate hell. </p> <p>By all means add your own reasons for bailing out early in the comments section below. Ok, here goes...</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63207-22-more-reasons-why-i-ll-leave-your-website-in-10-seconds/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63185 2013-08-06T12:51:00+01:00 2013-08-06T12:51:00+01:00 14 brands that increased conversion rates via responsive design Chris Lake <p><strong>Every month more than 100,000 people visit Econsultancy using a mobile device, but we're yet to launch a responsive site. This isn’t because we don’t want to make the user experience better for mobile and tablet users. It’s simply that we’ve had to prioritise other things, and tech resources are limited.</strong></p> <p>It’s pretty straightforward to make a business case for mobile-friendly design if you have a transactional but non-responsive website: simply look at your conversion rates by device. They’ll probably be fairly woeful for tablets, and even worse for mobiles (certainly if ours are anything to go by). Add a dollop of simple maths and you’ll have some idea of the opportunity cost of <em>not</em> making the customer experience better for mobile and tablet users. </p> <p>I first made the case for mobile about three years ago, when about 5% of people used a smartphone to access our website. That wasn’t enough to make it a high priority, but by the end of this year around 20% of visitors will be browsing via a mobile device. That changes things considerably, and more so as our visitor numbers continue to grow.</p> <p>In our case I reckon we’re missing out on six figures worth of annual revenue, and as such we’re busy working away behind the scenes on a number of initiatives, including a fully responsive website.</p> <p>I have yet to hear about a decline in conversion rates following the roll-out of a responsive site. In fact, I only ever hear amazing things.</p> <p>So, if you're making a business case and need some examples then here are a bunch of companies that have benefited from significant uplift in the key metrics following the implementation of responsive design. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63185-14-brands-that-increased-conversion-rates-via-responsive-design/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63184 2013-08-06T11:10:00+01:00 2013-08-06T11:10:00+01:00 10 customer experience soundbites from Jeff Bezos Chris Lake <p><strong>Late last night I learned that Jeff Bezos had acquired the Washington Post, for what appears to be a very reasonable sum of money. I certainly didn’t see it coming, but then again I didn’t expect the Kindle to be a success. Never bet against Bezos.</strong></p> <p>I met the man himself in 2001: he was a ball of energy, despite just stepping off an overnight flight to London, and his vision for the future of his company, and the industry, was very impressive. </p> <p>A year early, <a href="http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Kelly's+I+Interview%3A+Jeff+Bezos+-+Q%3A+How+does+it+feel+to+be+sitting...-a062672450">Matt Kelly interviewed him</a> – the first European interview with Bezos – and having just read it, I find it totally striking that Bezos was so customer-focused, back in the day. It’s easy to think that the phrase ‘customer experience’ is relatively new. It’s not.</p> <p>Here’s one excerpt from Matt’s interview:</p> <blockquote> <p>I love improving the customer experience. I teach our staff to be really anally retentive in that regard - it's just so important.</p> </blockquote> <p>That kind of focus on the customer is a big part of what makes Amazon – and other customer-centric companies - so successful. </p> <p>I thought I’d compile a few other nuggets of wisdom from Bezos relating to the customer experience.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63184-10-customer-experience-soundbites-from-jeff-bezos/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63127 2013-07-24T12:30:00+01:00 2013-07-24T12:30:00+01:00 How to measure branded search traffic in the 'Not Provided' age Chris Lake <p><strong>Many SEOs spend a lot of time trying to improve rankings for non-branded search terms, for all sorts of reasons. We do this too, but I've always kept a very close eye on branded search volume.</strong></p> <p>When we launched this blog in 2006 one of our primary aims was to improve our overall share of search. Another was to move the key brand metrics in a favourable way, not least because a visitor who adds 'Econsultancy' to a search term is <strong>8-12 times more valuable</strong> than somebody who doesn't include our brand in their query.</p> <p>As such, branded search traffic is very important to us, but <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/61959-the-rise-of-not-provided-is-google-making-it-impossible-to-measure-natural-search">the horror show that is 'Not Provided'</a> means that it is increasingly hard to track it. In fact, you will be appalled if you only look at your analytics data.</p> <p>With this in mind, I thought I'd show you our numbers, and provide a workaround for you to try.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63127-how-to-measure-branded-search-traffic-in-the-not-provided-age/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63068 2013-07-15T12:09:00+01:00 2013-07-15T12:09:00+01:00 A day in the life of a... Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Chris Lake <p><strong>Carl Edwards is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at <a href="http://chameleon.eu/">Chameleon</a>, a London-based digital agency focused on the charity sector. I asked him to walk us through an average day, and to give us some background on what a CTO does.</strong></p> <p>If you're looking for a new challenge then be sure to take a look at the hundreds of open positions listen on Econsultancy's <a href="http://jobs.econsultancy.com">digital jobs board</a>.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63068-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-chief-technology-officer-cto/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63042 2013-07-10T12:14:00+01:00 2013-07-10T12:14:00+01:00 17 delightful micro UX effects and transitions for your website Chris Lake <p><strong>After a bit of a break I'm working on a new side project. It is in a very competitive space and I have decided that the user experience needs to be the core USP, for it to attract the kind of crowd - and content - required to establish a presence in the market.</strong></p> <p>This has made me think once again about what makes for a good user experience. Broadly speaking, it is pretty much all about reducing friction, to help people get from A to B in the most straightforward way possible. </p> <p>But is 'good' what we should all be aiming for? Why not aim a bit higher?</p> <p>So what makes a <em>great</em> user experience? I'd say it was all of the above - a friction-free journey - as well as a smattering of pleasant surprises along the way; surprises that delight the user. They say good design is invisible, but I think that <em>great design</em> can leave quite an impression on people.</p> <p>I'm constantly amazed by my own reaction to the little details in life. The smallest of things can have a disproportionate influence on how I perceive things, both positively and negatively. I'm a stickler for detail, and have been looking for examples of micro design, as a source of inspiration for my own project. </p> <p>To this end, two sites in particular have been particularly useful: <a href="http://codepen.io/">Codepen</a>, and <a href="http://cssdeck.com/">CSSDeck</a>. Many of these 17 examples can be found over there, and some are very lean indeed, using just CSS to achieve the desired effects. </p> <p>Ok, let's check them out...</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63042-17-delightful-micro-ux-effects-and-transitions-for-your-website/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/63024 2013-07-08T12:11:00+01:00 2013-07-08T12:11:00+01:00 A Day In The Life of a News Editor Chris Lake <p><strong>Jimmy Coultas is News Editor at <a href="http://www.skiddle.com/">Skiddle</a>, the ticket sales company based in Preston. </strong></p> <p>Here he explains what he does in a typical day in the office.</p> <p>If you're looking for a new challenge in the digital industry then be sure to check out our <a href="http://jobs.econsultancy.com/">internet / marketing jobs board</a>, which lists hundreds of open positions.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63024-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-news-editor/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/62982 2013-06-26T11:10:00+01:00 2013-06-26T11:10:00+01:00 How should BBC Radio 4 grow audience engagement via digital? Chris Lake <p><strong>In the past few years broadcasters of all shapes and sizes have accelerated their investment into digital as an audience development channel.</strong> </p> <p>But what should they be focusing on? Content distribution via digital? Social? Second screen engagement? Big data? Mobile? What are the big opportunities on the horizon?</p> <p>This is a question that our friends over at the BBC Radio 4 are mulling over, to try to extend engagement beyond the linear listening experience, and to portray itself in a different light to new audiences. So what is the future of radio in an age of digital content?</p> <p>To help find some answers the BBC Radio 4 team has decided to host a kind of hack day, to mine the brains of digital experts. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62982-how-should-bbc-radio-4-grow-audience-engagement-via-digital/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/62975 2013-06-25T14:45:00+01:00 2013-06-25T14:45:00+01:00 Picture this: web design is no longer 95% typography Chris Lake <p><strong>A decade and a half ago Jakob Nielsen <a href="http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/">announced</a> to the world that people don’t actually read websites in a linear way. Instead, they prefer to skim read, scanning the page to find what they’re looking for. </strong></p> <p>As such, content creators were advised to format articles in a way that encourages readers to avoid reaching for the back button. This meant using bullet points, meaningful sub-headers, and highlighting key phrases / words in bold. </p> <p>Roll things forward a few years, and Oliver Reichenstein published <a href="http://ia.net/blog/the-web-is-all-about-typography-period/">an article</a> that contains one of my favourite quotes: <em>“Web Design is 95% Typography.”</em></p> <p>In his article he says: <em>“A great web designer knows how to work with text not just as content, he treats text as a user interface.” </em>This still resonates so strongly with me, as a creator of content, as somebody who is deeply interested in web design, and as a heavy web user. </p> <p>But does the 95% quote still stand up? I fear that recent design trends have stomped all over text and typography, and that pictures have deposed words.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62975-picture-this-web-design-is-no-longer-95-typography/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/62973 2013-06-25T12:36:37+01:00 2013-06-25T12:36:37+01:00 Six powerful domain name brainstorming tools worth bookmarking Chris Lake <p><strong>Have you tried to dream up a brand name recently? It's harder than ever. Not only is there domain name availability to contend with, but you also need to bag the appropriate user profiles on the main social platforms.</strong></p> <p>I have been trying for some considerable time to brainstorm a domain name for a new side project, and having identified one I've had second thoughts (it contains the word 'freak' in the title, which might be perceived negatively by some people).</p> <p>As such, I wanted to change it prior to the launch, and I've unearthed some new (at least to me) domain name tools that are proving rather useful. I thought I'd share them with you.</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62973-six-powerful-domain-name-brainstorming-tools-worth-bookmarking/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/62955 2013-06-20T14:17:00+01:00 2013-06-20T14:17:00+01:00 25 powerful triggers for laser-guided marketing campaigns Chris Lake <p><strong>I recently wrote about <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62100-26-superb-examples-of-agile-marketing-in-action">agile marketing, focusing on reactive campaigns</a>. Many of the 26 examples I highlighted in my post used a news trigger as a kind of jumping off point for a marketing campaign (‘campaign’ isn’t quite the right word for some of them, e.g. a single tweet).</strong> </p> <p>This made me think about the other types of triggers that exist, which provide brands with the opportunity to reach existing and prospective customers. I was surprised by how many there are, and no doubt I have missed dozens of others. </p> <p><strong>What’s a trigger, exactly?</strong> It is, simply, an opportunity to contact somebody. Trigger-based marketing is all about being reactive, and targeted, rather than just pushing out arbitrary brand messages to big audiences. </p> <p>Triggers might be based around individual or group behaviour. They could be time-specific. Triggered comms may be activated post-purchase, or <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62309-abandoned-basket-emails-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly">post-abandonment</a>. They often factor in customer data and will be highly personalised (though let’s not write off segmentation). They can be automated, or they can produced manually, and made to measure.</p> <p>As with all forms of marketing communication, there is a balance to strike. Everybody loathes spam, but people do like to be rewarded, to be entertained, and to feel valued. So be careful, be meaningful, and be generous. And test, test, test.</p> <p>Before we look at the triggers, let’s first think about some common <em>formats </em>for marketing campaigns / comms. How, exactly, might you communicate to a customer (or customers) once a trigger has been pulled?</p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62955-25-powerful-triggers-for-laser-guided-marketing-campaigns/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/62939 2013-06-18T13:56:00+01:00 2013-06-18T13:56:00+01:00 A day in the life of a... Games Designer Chris Lake <p><strong>Pete Low is a Games Designer at <a href="http://www.chunkgroup.com/">Chunk</a>, a digital content agency based in Glasgow. Here he explains what he does for a living, and why he loves his job after 17 years in the games industry.</strong></p> <p>If you're on the hunt for a new challenge then check out <a href="http://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy's digital jobs board</a>. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62939-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-games-designer/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/62937 2013-06-18T11:51:51+01:00 2013-06-18T11:51:51+01:00 10 hotel websites that autoplay sound to delight visitors Chris Lake <p><strong>I read a brilliant article the other day... one of the very funniest things I have read in ages. It was all about how companies in the hospitality sector should play sound to make visitors feel “secure”. Sound, it says, “can help your website achieve major impact”. </strong></p> <p>Here’s another quote from <a href="http://soundcommunication.holdcom.com/bid/75661/hospitality-industry-website-audio">the article in question</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Website audio can make your website stand out from your competition’s site while reinforcing the marketing and customer service strategies you’re already using.</p> </blockquote> <p>After pulling myself together I decided to reconsider my views on autosound, which I have up until now considered to be <a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/6924-25-reasons-why-i-ll-leave-your-website-in-10-seconds">one of the worst user experience mistakes you can make</a>. I set about to find some examples that would make me - and you - see the light (and, ahem, hear the sound).</p> <p>So then, here are 10 automatic audio experiences on hotel websites that will presumably make you reach for your bank card to book a room. Make sure you have your sound turned up, especially if you’re in the office. </p><p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62937-10-hotel-websites-that-autoplay-sound-to-delight-visitors/?utm_medium=feeds&amp;utm_source=blog">Read more...</a></p>