Comics of the Week #395

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons.

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…

No pants required

Designer. Not psychic.

 

Photoshop withdrawal

Can you relate to these situations? Please share your funny stories and comments below…

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/06/comics-of-the-week-395/

Is UX Really That Important?

One of the most oft-repeated criticisms of any design is that it’s “poor user experience”. UX is set up as the ultimate achievement for any design project. But is this an over-simplification of the designer’s role? Should everything be about user experience?

To paraphrase Leonard Hofstadter: “UX is a ‘smart decision’; it is like a bran muffin—a thing that you’re choosing because it is good for you…But sometimes, you want things in your design to be a Cinnabon, you know? A strawberry Pop Tart. Something you’re excited about even though it could give you diabetes”.

Today I’ve put together a list of sites that are rarely credited with good user experience, but that are still praise-worthy despite—or perhaps because of—that fact. We can admire their originality, their interactions, and their creative direction.

1. Scrolling: parallax, long and infinite

While scrolling, in all its hypostases, underlies a bunch of today’s websites—especially those that bring to life a storytelling experience—UX gurus find this technique “mauvais ton”. They consider it bad for many reasons:

  • users may not know what to do when first they stumble upon such a site;
  • users can feel confused and frustrated;
  • users often become bored after several minutes of constant moving;
  • there is no way out, whatsoever;
  • the navigation is not transparent and habitual;
  • relatively bad site performance;
  • in some cases, it does not work in mobile devices;
  • etc.

However, we still eagerly click on a website that promises to take us on a long exciting adventure. Does the “comfort zone” matter? When all you need to do is to toy with a mouse scroll wheel and amuse yourself with some inventive tricks.

What does the Bank of England do?

Ivan Toro

2. Experiments with Typography and Taglines

As all we know, your message to the targeted audience should be as clean and clear as a little angel’s tear. Good contrast, optimal readability, and some other factors ensure the successful transmission of the company’s message. For example, Six Potatoes or Biron: their titles are pretty straightforward and plain. Without a doubt, this technique works: it is really hard to miss the tagline.

Six Potatoes

Biron

However, what about the homepage of Bolden? Their “welcome” message is a true mess. Letters overlap each other looking much like the Venn diagram. The first thing that comes to mind “What a…?” Undoubtedly, such a peculiar solution evokes mixed feelings. Nevertheless, these feelings ignite our interest. Curiosity is our natural instinct that is truly powerful.

What’s really hidden inside this tiny chaos? The team is managed to seize and hold our attention, and not only convey the message and reflect a creative thinking but also use our short memory span to their advantage.

Bolden

3. WebGL Experiments

Can anyone call WebGL along with Chrome experiments an example of good UX? Absolutely, not. Some of them even do not work on the majority of browsers, so a lion share of online audience are simply unable to open them on their desktops, to say nothing about the tablets and mobile devices. But still, the upsurge of using high-end features and experimental libraries in building web applications is evident. Interland by Google, DEVX Experiments86 and half years—all these and many more concepts slowly but surely are earning their place in the sun. They are impressive, ingenious and intriguing; and if they open in your browser you will definitely forget about the comfort at least for 10-15 minutes.

Welcome to Fillory

Senso

4. Original Navigation

“Should I stay or should I go?”

Navigation plays a decisive role in whether your users stay or leave. No one wants to fish in the dark. Navigation’s power to destroy user experience (or vice versa) take it to the next level. Good practice encourages us to make the main menu simple, handy, intuitive, but at the same time all-embracing. Everything should be on the surface, or at within easy clicks. The user should get answers to their questions quickly and without much pain.

Plain top bars with nav links, hamburger menu buttons and of course, sticky nav bars that accompany us on our journey through the website are really popular these days. Staying conservative and pragmatic in choosing the navigation lets you provide your visitors with a Navigation GPS Unit rather than a map with descriptions written in Moon-letters. Nonetheless, to a certain degree these trivial solutions will take away all the fun and playfulness of your interface.

Unexpected menus are creative, thought-provoking and captivating. Yes, they can be misleading, but when done right they are almost flawless masterpieces that pique our curiosity.

Daniel Spatzek

In The Box

Conclusion

Without a doubt, user experience is a vital aspect of a good web application whether it is just a plain blog, complex corporate portal, or huge e-commerce website. Along with such important things like mobile-friendliness or cross-browser compatibility it forms a safe and sound foundation that ensures success. However, sometimes, like in the real world, there are things that we find truly uncomfortable, like taking long trips in a sports car or wearing high heels, but still we admire them, want to possess them, they make us turn our heads.

So, should everything be about UX? Should we all abandon the desire of going off the beaten track and follow the same old roads over and over? Is it possible to strike the balance between creativeness and pragmatism?

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/06/is-ux-really-that-important/

Latest : Unilever, YouTube, Cannes, WPP, Apple .. via MAD London

Unilever’s Weed Named Forbes’ Most Influential CMO YouTube Introduces New Immersive Virtual Reality Format, VR180, At VidCon Audience Is King And Other Musings From Sorrell-Howard-Kraft Chitchat At Cannes WPP, Unilever Invest $15 Million In Celtra Apple News Gives Publishers (A Bit) More Demographic Data Load your own articles into theMarketingblog  

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2017/06/latest-unilever-youtube-cannes-wpp-apple-via-mad-london/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-unilever-youtube-cannes-wpp-apple-via-mad-london

How to Tap into the Power of Influencers

Influencer marketing has become a bit of a buzzword in the marketing industry as of late. Merriam-Webster defines influence as “the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect ways.”  From my perspective, influence, as it relates to marketing, is someone who resonates with an audience, makes an impact and provides value.

Why Should Marketers Invest in Influencer Marketing?

A recent study conducted by Content Marketing Institute found marketing campaigns that include influencers show a 10x increase in conversion rates. Think about that in terms of return on investment (ROI). That’s a potential return of over $9 for every dollar invested. Why wouldn’t you make a sound investment like that? And according to McKinsey, those customers who do convert have a tendency to stick around. They’ve reported that influencer campaigns achieve, on average, a 37% increase in retention. The numbers don’t lie. Marketers should explore how to engage influencers throughout the year. In this blog, we’ll examine what it takes to get and influencer engagement strategy started. 

Things to Consider

What should brands consider when building an influencer engagement strategy?

  • Resources: Determine what it will cost to implement and integrate a new influencer engagement program. And in addition, what it will cost if you don’t secure relationships with the top influencers in your industry—and the competition does.
  • Targeting: Research the top influencers you want to engage with and how you want to collaborate. Outline the where and when, types of engagements (webinars, speaking engagements, tweet chats, live streams, podcasts, etc.)
  • Sustainability: Think about how you can continue building the relationship beyond a single engagement. Create a long-term strategy that outlines future engagements to maintain consistent touch-points and a cadence of collaborations.
  • ROI: Identify what you’ll get by investing in an influencer program. Clearly define the impact an influencer program will have on your marketing, brand, and business.

Get Your Targeting Right

One mistake I often see marketers make is thinking of influencer engagements as a one and done strategy. However, in a digitally connected world, where individuals are following and engaging with influencers on a daily basis, aligning your brand with those influencers consistently is becoming more important than ever. Let’s dig a little deeper into how to determine the best fit for your brand.

How should brands start to identify influencers?

  • Observation: Look at who your target audience is following. This is a quick and easy way to identify who your audience is listening to and engaging with.
  • Understand Impact: Determine who will be impactful and provide the most value to your audience. Most influencers are creating and publishing new content on a regular basis. Research and review their top content to determine if what they’re creating is relevant, consistent, and helpful.
  • Understand their Voice: Ensure their tone and style matches, or complements the brand.
  • Credibility: There are a plethora of qualified, knowledgeable professionals out there who would be happy to work with your brand. Why waste your time on somebody who isn’t genuinely knowledgeable and engaging?

Who Runs the Program?

Once you’ve developed a strategy and identified who you’re looking to build a relationship with, you’ll need to think about how to collaborate with the key stakeholders involved in managing an influencer engagement program. These roles will differ from company to company, but you may want to consider:

  • Social media managers will be on the front lines interacting daily. Involving the influencers in tweet chats, live streaming, quotation templates, live tweets at events.
  • Content marketing managers to create content that incorporates influencer responses and views in blogs, ebooks, etc.
  • Corporate communication managers to negotiate contracts for event appearances, videos, commercials, 3rd party publications, etc.
  • Analyst Relations interact with a decidedly different set of influencers, but they still fit the definition and should have a plan for ongoing engagement and relevant touchpoints.
  • Customer marketing should always be involved. Your biggest, most impactful influencers are your very own customers. Sure maybe they don’t have 170,o00 followers on Twitter, but they do have first-hand experience to share with their peers—who are often your target audience.
  • Employee advocacy to include your own internal influencers in the program and amplify the activities that you are doing with external influencers.
  • A single point of contact that continues to build the personal relationship.

Make Your Program Sustainable

According to the report Influencer 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing by Traackr and TopRank Marketing, 55% of marketers plan to spend more on influencer marketing next year, and for those companies that already spend more than $250,000 on influencer marketing, that percentage jumps to 67%. But whether you have a big, small, or non-existent budget, it still makes sense to start influencer marketing now.

If you have a team of influencer stakeholders like I listed above, work with them to map out your big initiatives as anchors throughout the year, then craft activities and engagement points across the year. Don’t be afraid to be scrappy! Focus on making sure there is a value exchange and not simply continual asks of your influencers. You will find that as you gain momentum and success you can argue for more resources.

Measure the Impact

Let’s dig into how to measure the ROI of an influencer marketing campaign. Early stage metrics would include an increase in social media reach and impressions. You can also take a look at mentions, share of voice and new followers during the duration of your campaign. Later stage metrics can include UTM parameters that allow you to keep track of how many users are visiting your website from influencer referrals, and then further down the line convert. Another way to track the effectiveness of an influencer campaign is using a unique discount or coupon codes and then track how many of each are redeemed or submitted.

Ultimately, influencer marketing will boil down to one thing at the end of the day, relationships. Getting the ball rolling can be as simple as reaching out, introducing yourself and your product, meeting them face to face, shaking their hand and chatting about how you can create alignment between your business goals and their goals.

The post How to Tap into the Power of Influencers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/06/tap-power-influencers.html

Criticism of the DUP has plunged into outright hypocrisy … By Jenny McCartney

Nobody expected to wait quite this long. Not the sections of the London press that railed so vociferously against the very notion that Theresa May might do a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party. Not the bulk of the Conservative and Unionist party that had, just recently, repainted the fading letters of “and Unionist” on [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2017/06/criticism-of-the-dup-has-plunged-into-outright-hypocrisy-by-jenny-mccartney/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=criticism-of-the-dup-has-plunged-into-outright-hypocrisy-by-jenny-mccartney

App Store Optimization: Why Creatives Lead to Successful Search Ads

Since Apple’s introduction of Search Ads last year, organizations with a mobile app are embracing Search Ads to improve their app’s conversion rate to become more discoverable in the App Store.

Search Ads are created using an app’s store listing, including an app’s metadata and creative. While all the metadata is important for visibility, the creatives (icon, screenshots, and video), need to be visually appealing and relevant to users to improve conversion. Search Ads can only be effective and convert users if the creatives are relevant and clearly demonstrate the app’s core features.

For Search Ads to be effective, it is crucial for marketers and developers to incorporate an App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy to optimize their app’s metadata and creatives to contain high-volume keywords and relevant images based on real mobile data of user’s search trends and behavior in the app store.

Where Do You Start?

ASO is the necessary foundation to making sure an app’s Search Ads are relevant and appealing to the audience for the app to become more discoverable. Before an organization dives into creating an ASO strategy, it is pertinent that they look at the current app market and analyze their competitors and understand how users search.

By evaluating competitors and understanding how users are searching in the App Store, marketing and development teams can have a guide on how to improve their App Store listing. Users tend to search with popular terms associated to specific apps, features or categories. For the most part, targeted keywords have already been determined, but after evaluating competitors and user trends, those keywords can be adjusted to generate more visibility.

Developers need to know which keywords would be most relevant to their app and target those terms. The keywords need to be closely tied to the app’s core features that are unique to the app to target its audience. Track user trends to make sure the keywords are related to what the audience wants in an app. Keep in mind, Search Ads are based off how relevant an app is to a specific term.

App developers also have the option to bid on keywords so their app will appear more frequently in user searches. Regardless of a developer having the highest bid on a keyword, Apple still ranks apps by relevancy. If the Search Ad is not relevant to the user’s search, it will not appear at the top of the App Store.

Search Ad Variations

Apple uses an app’s store listing, metadata and imagery to create its Search Ads. While developers are somewhat limited on what content goes into the Search Ads, they can at least choose how Search Ads will appear to users on the App Store.

Search Ads will appear in one of two forms:

  1. Icon plus first two lines of App Store description
  2. Icon plus screenshots and preview video (if applicable)

ASO optimization -ads

ASO optimization- ads with pictures

Search Ads can also appear in either portrait or landscape depending on the orientation of the current screenshots and preview video.

Optimizing Creatives

The only way that developers can make their app listing more relevant to user searches is by improving their app’s discoverability with ASO. The creatives, which include the icon, screenshots, and preview video, need to show how the app naturally appears to a better answer with its features.

One of the key aspects of ASO is creative optimization, which is an essential part of improving conversion. Here are easy tips based off ASO best practices that will help developers streamline their creative optimization to improve conversion.

  1. Screenshots

An app’s screenshots should be thought of as advertising banners that use high-volume keywords to be relevant in user searches. Screenshots need to clearly display an app’s core features and should be uncluttered. Developers and marketers need to make sure their screenshots are legible—if screenshots are too confusing, they are less likely to convert users.

ASO Tips- Add Screenshots

  1. Preview Video

When an app preview video is used, it takes the place of a screenshot but holds the same level of importance to conversion. Many developers forget that the preview video is presented as a still image, otherwise known as a poster frame. On Search Ads, this means the poster frame cannot be a random image that holds no relevance to the app. Instead, developers should be careful and make sure the poster frame contains high-volume keywords and an image that represents the app’s core features.

ASO Tips- Preview Video

  1. Icon

The app icon needs to be polished and unique to stand out among competitors. If the app icon is not memorable, regardless of showing up in a Search Ad, users are less likely to convert. Some marketers and developers use their brand logo or a memorable character to retain user attention. While this strategy works, the icon also needs to demonstrate the app’s core features and be void of confusion like the screenshots.

ASO Tips- Have a Good Icon

Key Takeaways

Organizations looking to become more discoverable with Search Ads need to improve their app’s metadata and creatives with ASO prior to using Search Ads. Since the keywords that appear in App Store listing will be used for the Search Ad. Make sure that the app’s creatives are clean, clearly demonstrate the app’s core features and the icon, screenshots, and preview video contain high-volume keywords that are relevant not only to the app but to the target audience. The only way an app will become visible through Search Ads is by being relevant first.

The post App Store Optimization: Why Creatives Lead to Successful Search Ads appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/06/app-store-optimization-creatives-lead-successful-search-ads.html