Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
As an interactive designer I'm fascinated by how much we communicate nonverbally. From websites to social media to the humble business card, we transmit a lot of information visually. But sometimes the effectiveness of a piece has nothing to do with design, it's simply the emotional power of an image. Take for example the high resolution Earthrise image by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing our planet from the surface of the Moon. To me, April is a celebration of Earth and a reminder that caring for our cosmic home is nothing less than our sacred duty. Like the more famous "Blue Marble" photo from 1968, this shot instantly communicates - without words - that we are one family living together on a tiny planet. Whether you're a small business striving to use your website to boost sales or a nonprofit using social media to attract donors, powerful images reach people at an emotional level and can carry your message far and wide. If you think that's far fetched, consider the ways in which iconic imagery has shaped our cultural landscape and altered the course of history.
The best way to make the most of your online marketing channels - whether it's your website, blog, email newsletter or social media feed - is to develop a habit of keeping them fresh. For small businesses and nonprofits though, this can be a real challenge. As small business owners, we wear a lot of hats and marketing often ends up on a back burner. To remedy this, consider scheduling in a 7 step monthly update. Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing your first one and setting it up as an easy task each month.
February Newsletter: 5 February Promo Ideas | Reminders | $50 off Video and Motion Graphics | Olympic Spirit
Email and voicemail are the cornerstones of how many of us work now. These valuable tools keep us in the loop and allow us to work any time, anywhere. But they also have a dark side - they unnecessarily gobble up a ton of our time. Do you love emailing and listening to voicemails? Do you wish you had more of these every day? If so, then skip this. But if not, read on! Based on my experiences with real world clients over the course of the past year, I humbly offer these SIX simple tips to spend less time emailing, dealing with voicemails and even texting.
I work with mostly small business owners and an email I got today made me realize that it's time to talk about marketing - not as a noun but as an active verb.
"It is been four months now since we launched the website and I am really discouraged with the lack of inquiries. As of date I have had one person inquire and so far no jobs. I was so hoping to have a client by now. :-( so bummed."
It is understandable to feel that way, but it's important to remember that your site is only the first step in promoting your business. Now it's time to get your marketing program in gear.
Your website exists for a reason - to boost the bottom line of your business or nonprofit. Whether it's booking a table, making a purchase, scheduling an appointment, signing up to volunteer, or making a donation - you want viewers to do something - this is your call to action. While a website may have several objectives, but there should always be ONE clearly stated and trackable call to action. Here are some ideas for creating a call to action that will generate tangible results.
Your website’s homepage is your “face” to the world. In the 15-45 seconds that the average first-time site visitor gives your site, your home page must instantly show your branding, communicate what you offer, draw the viewer further into the site and present a clear call to action - all while showing that your site is current and active. That’s a tall order! But creating a great home page isn’t rocket science…it’s simplicity.
Facebook has rolled out it's new Timeline layout and it's a quantum leap forward for organizations using Facebook for promotion. It gives us a big graphical area for clever branding as well as enhanced ways to attract and interact with the people we are here to serve. Here are some of the highlights:
2012 is the Chinese year of the Dragon. Dragons bring energy, passion and innovation to everything they do. Dragon Years are considered the luckiest in Chinese astrology. I don't know about you, but I think we need all the luck we can get nowadays! However, luck is nothing without hard work so here are 3 "Little Dragons" for you to use in channeling dragon energy into your site:
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko