Easy Keys’ new book “The Story of Beer” is a rollicking tale in which readers will find a giant banjo-playing bear clad in white briefs and sporting deer antlers….
All posts tagged “Keys”
This morning, content distribution network Cloudflare gave some hope to those affected by the Heartbleed security flaw with an announcement that the bug might not be as bad as feared. In two weeks of testing, Cloudflare said, its researchers failed to exploit the bug to steal a website’s private SSL keys, which secures the data sent to users. It issued a challenge to white-hat hackers to successfully retrieve the private security keys — and unfortunately for the web, one of them succeeded.
The hacker, Node.js team member Fedor Indutny, claimed on Twitter that he’d tracked down the SSL keys.
In a bizarre bit of internet randomness, the blues-rock duo The Black Keys have gotten a little inventive in the run-up to their latest release. Titled Turn Blue, the new record was announced today on Mike Tyson’s Twitter of all places. It’s still unclear how Mike Tyson might be involved, but the move is certainly attention grabbing:
Turn Blue http://t.co/N7SaVjl1eD
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) March 21, 2014
Attached to the tweet is a creepy inspirational video that seems to be recruiting for an offbeat ’80s sex cult:
Finally, drummer Patrick Carney has been quietly promoting the album on Instagram with random images of blue people and products, including a shot of Tobias Fünke in his classic Blue Man Group get-up. With…
Fingerprint readers. Face Unlock. Retinal scanners. They’re all no better than your average password, at least the way Dr. Karl Martin sees it. “Your face, your iris — they’re all physical features that can be stolen, that you leave everywhere.”
Luckily, Dr. Martin has a better idea. He’s planning to use it to open everything from our phones to our front doors, and even move the car seat exactly how we want it. All we have to do is wear a bracelet.
Martin’s startup, Bionym, is going public with its first device, the Nymi, after research and development that goes back more than 10 years. It centers on a person’s electrocardiogram, a measure not of your heart rate but of the electrical activity generated by your heart. A person’s ECG…
Like it or not, the Internet becomes a more competitive medium every day. These days we cannot afford to lose customers because of a poor web design. Every customer who comes to our site should find what he/she is looking for easy and quickly. Fixing every imperfection is crucial to success.
Based on what we have learned working for the past 6 years in our company and then implemented in more than 120 Landing Pages, we would like to share the 10 most important keys to successfully designing a Landing Page in order to increase sales over the Internet.
1) The most important thing first
The first focus point should be, without doubt, on the value proposition. This means that we should answer in two lines the following: what we do, how we do it, and which added benefit we offer.
Based on the brief, specific and direct replies, we must transmit in less than 5 seconds to the customer the reason why should he/she use our online development. It is important to understand that the online range time per user does not exceed 5 seconds. Whoever does not understand at that time the reason to use our project will probably not buy. Basically, we have lost the customer and therefore the possibility to generate income.
Here there are two specific examples from two different industries in order to explain better what we mean by value proposition.
The first example is about a software program that manages a small business. As can be seen, the value proposition is transmitted briefly in a single title and then below it the advantages are explained:
The second example is based on a software program that measures our web site in the cloud. It focuses in a few words about what it does and includes a trigger that allows the user to start using the service by completing the registration form:
2) Invest in the design
One of the first mistakes we made as a venture, in the beginning, was to think that saving in the design was a good idea.
It is for this reason that I would like to emphasize, in this second point, that we were wrong. Saving on design is the worst idea to be successful over the Internet.
When the Internet started, the design was optional; the fundamental thing was the software performance. Today, that has changed completely. Not because the design is now more important than the functionality of our web site, but because it should complement all the other items: a sense of security, the usability and the subsequent conversion of the potential customer, and, finally, the idea the user gets when he/she looks at the design of our company webpage.
Based on this learning, nowadays it is necessary for the design of an effective landing page to generate online sales, a large investment. That investment should be focused on showing safety, transparency and professionalism to the new customer who comes to our website.
To end this topic, let’s see an example of a seasonal rental site where the design conveys all these factors we mentioned above aimed to increase the conversion percentage:
3) Express security signs
This point is directly related to the previous one, but it is more focused on the online retail sites such as e-commerce. We should from the start express security to the user in the crucial moment of filling in their personal information, as well as of entering the credit card numbers (or whatever the chosen way to pay is). There, we should show a worldwide well-known symbol as VeriSign, or TrustE, among others.
In a published study made by the University of Michigan, it was proved that among 1,000,000 users the conversion increased by 21.7% in final sales, when it was explained to the client that all the information they provided would be stored with the highest level of security existent.
In that way it can clearly be seen that the customer is looking for this kind of answer; it is an uncertainty that the client have and we should resolve it in our leading page.
Note: It is valid to point out that in second and third world countries, this safety factor plays even a major role. Because, in first world countries like the U.S. and Europe, users are much more accustomed to buying online and this detail has a lesser degree of relevance.
4) It is not only about our company
Times have changed and we as a company are not the only ones who can deliver or offer our service. Now users want answers and comments from their peers.
Based on this changing reality, comments, suggestions, and criticism that other clients have in relation to our services are equally or more valid than what we can say about our development.
The more transparent we are with our customers, the better the results we will obtain plus their confidence on our services. In the example above, we can see clearly how companies started interviewing their users about their experience.
In this particular case, within the company’s Web site, a completely new section was created from scratch, focused on comments from current users in order to transmit and generate a relationship between them, with the additional potential that this represents for the company.
Listening to our users will also allow us to grow based on their comments, criticism and suggestions. At this point I would like to recommend “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries who teaches us how to build our online development from a minimum viable product, and that is the reason why we should start with a Landing Page.
5) An additional conversion factor
Another factor that can play in our favor is focusing –as in the previous item—in current users of our development, but now also focusing on mass media such as radio, television, newspapers, and magazines, among others.
This factor could give us a major advantage in the user’s view. We are not only going to share what others clients are saying, but we will also explain how our company is working in the mass media context for those that do not know us yet.
In the case of our company, since we started sharing the graphic bases and mentions in the news, our conversion rate has increased by 14.2% in the sales through our Landing Page.
It is noteworthy that if we want that this section result in success, we should link and refer our clients to the media that mention us. In that way, the distrustful users or the ones that want to corroborate the information can click and see it with their own eyes.
6) Mention the partners
If we can mention and show the graphic bases of the companies that we work with, whether clients or suppliers, that could be really helpful and result in a great backup.
If we are lucky and have the Wells Fargo Bank, General Electric or the American Red Cross as clients or service providers, why not show them off?
I see sometimes how many enterprises have problems finding online customers because, unfortunately, no one knows them and they do not take advantage of their partners. I recommend not underestimating the power that companies like Nike, Sony, McDonald’s, or HP, among others, have, as they can provide our potential customers with a sense of security.
7) Long landing Page vs. a short one
Now we are going to focus on a higher level of detail; in order to design a successfully landing Page that can generate sales online, we will highlight the reasons why we should choose between a long or short one.
If the product we offer on the Internet requires a greater investment of money by the user ($ 100 per month or more), if what we offer impacts on the entire business organization of our potential customers, and besides if it is a complex-to-explain service, then we should create a long sales page.
Let’s see an example:
On the other hand, if we are talking about a simpler and economical product or a service that has a lesser impact on our client, or that is already known in the market (as a commodity), we should focus on a shorter, concise and simpler landing page as the best option.
Example of a Short landing Page:
8) The design is not everything
Finally, I would like to transmit what we have learned in the last tests that called our attention.
When we created the Landing Page to improve our conversions, we decided to make the measures with Google Analytics, and over time we learned that what we thought the best choice would be was not always the page with best performance in the end.
Based on this learning, today we measure absolutely everything; from the color of a button to the wording of a title and even the smallest details. We believe that the order of the individual parts of a total can alter the final result.
We recommend to do A / B testing all the time. It means making a comparison between a page that had better results and another one that we think will achieve a better conversion. We should always be aware of the emerging new technologies; however, it is important to take into account that all new change needs to be measured.
Not always what we suppose that should work will do. What works is what our potential customers want.
9) Guide the user
One detail that is often overlooked when developing a landing page is to think how the user will interpret it.
At this point, a strong influence is the images that we use in the development. It was learned over time and with the evidence that if we use a human resource to convey our value proposition, the eyes of this person should be focused on the service we offer. Thus, the user will also unconsciously look in the same direction, as can be seen in the following example:
10) The importance of speed.
Last but not least, we must take into account the speed with which the page is loaded. It is important to understand that neither we nor anyone else will wait more than 35 seconds for a page to load.
According to a study made by Google, people will not wait more than 5 seconds for our landing page to open.
However well we developed all the above points, and created a perfect landing page, we will probably miss a client and will not be able to do anything to retrieve them if our website takes too much time to appear before the eyes of a customer. Investment in marketing, designing, effort and dedication are lost.
We recommend monitoring the loading speed using the Google Webmaster services, aimed to measure the response time. That service will tell us precisely how much delay our site has. It is important to remember and control this point frequently.
Adobe Premier CS6 Hot Keys (Infographic)
Having a user-friendly website is as important as having a beautiful original website design. Sadly, in our pursuit of excellence it’s all too easy to forget about usability and focus instead on aesthetics and originality.
Yet it’s the right combination of beauty, uniqueness, AND a user-friendly design that keeps our clients coming back for more. That’s because a usable website draws and retains readers, making them much more likely to become customers.
Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about the end user experience when you design a client website.
What makes a website user-friendly? In this post, I identify four keys that will make any website design more user-friendly. Keep these handy tips in mind to design a more usable site.
Key #1: Navigation
Navigation is one important key to usability. Some would say it’s the most important key. Users need to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and with a minimum of effort on their part.
Studies have shown that most website users are not willing to stick around and figure out a complex navigational scheme. If your menu structure isn’t user-friendly, you’ll lose the user.
Here are just a few navigation mistakes to watch out for:
- Hard to find navigation. The user shouldn’t have to hunt for a way to navigate through the site. Menu bars should be visible and their purpose should be obvious.
- Odd acronyms in the menu. Avoid abbreviations and acronyms unless the meaning is obvious. (Remember that what is obvious to you may not be obvious to the user.)
- Multiple layers of menus. How many sub-menus must the user go through before he or she can perform the task or find the information that they came for?
- No search box. Users are used to searching websites to find what they want. A website without a search box is less navigable.
If you need to learn more about user-friendly navigation, fortunately there are plenty of resources out there to help you learn more. For example, Toby Biddle shares some navigation bar insights based on A/B test studies in his recent DesignM.ag post, What Really Matters in Navigation Bar Usability?
Key #2: Readability
Readability is another key factor that makes a website user-friendly. A user should be able to grasp the information on the website quickly and with very little effort.
In fact, studies show that most readers don’t actually read the information on a website at all. They scan it. According to a recent study from the Nielsen Norman Group, the most information that a reader is likely to read is 28%.
That statistic means that even in a best-case scenario most readers won’t read two-thirds of a website.
So, to reach an audience, a website must be scannable. Here are some design factors that contribute website scannability:
- Color. For a website to be readable, there should be enough contrast between the color used for the text and the color used for the background. Words should be easily read. Jennifer Kyrnin includes a helpful contrast table in her About.com post, Contrasting Foreground and Background Colors, that illustrates the difference between readable and unreadable color combinations beautifully.
- Font. In general, the simpler a font is, the easier it is to read. Fonts designed to look like script or made up of special characters are less scannable. Most design experts agree that san serif fonts work best for online design and serif fonts are better for print design. Also, avoid using too many different fonts in the same design.
- Formatting. The text on a page should make full use of formatting techniques such as headlines, bulleted lists, and bolding to increase scannability. Long chunks of unbroken text are less likely to be read than small chunks of text.
But readability is not all there is.
Key #3: Load Time
How long does your site take to load?
If your site takes longer than ten seconds to load, most readers won’t stick around. Associated Press statistics show the average user’s attention span is decreasing, not increasing.
If you’ve forgotten to consider load time in your web design, you’ve forgotten a critical element of a user-friendly site.
Unfortunately, many websites are getting slower rather than faster. That’s especially true of retail sites, as Amy Gesenhues points out in her Marketing Land post, Top Retail Websites Not Getting Faster: Average Web Page Load Time Is 7.25 Seconds [Report].
What that means is that if you design a website that loads quickly, you’re probably giving your client an advantage over the competition. Who doesn’t want that for their clients?
We’re so tempted to spice things up with video, flash, and other multi-media that we forget than most web users are in a rush. A slow-loading home page video is probably not the best way to create a user-friendly website that draws readers in. So, stop and think about load time before you add another multi-media element.
Key #4: Mobile Friendly
Another important key to usability is how your website appears on mobile devices. A user-friendly website is a mobile-friendly website. Every new website should have a mobile version,
The fact is that mobile devices are not going away. In fact, for an increasing number of users, a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet is the main way that they access the Internet.
So, to be user-friendly it only makes sense that a website needs to consider the needs of mobile users.
You’ve probably read a lot about responsive design lately. We’ve even covered it here on Vandelay Design blog in the post, How to Turn Any Site Into a Responsive Site. Mobile friendly website design can be accomplished through responsive or adaptive design.
Other Usability Resources
By now, you’re probably convinced that you should incorporate more usability features into your design. And you’re probably right. But you may be unsure about how to accomplish that goal.
One company that I worked for had a usability lab that brought focus groups in to test their screen design. The lab always fascinated me, but most designers are probably not going to have access to that type of resource.
You don’t necessarily need access to a usability lab to create usable design. There are plenty of other usability resources available to help you stay on top of what the user needs.
Here are a few helpful usability blog posts to check out:
- The Art of Designing User Driven Websites from John Seibert at Oneextrapixel. This post describes process of designing a usable website.
- 35+ Usability Resources for Web Designers from Steven Snell on DesignM.ag. This post has a huge list of tools that a designer can use to improve the usability of a website.
Here are some organizations and websites dedicated to usability:
- UXPA (Usability Professionals’ Association). This organization is for usability professionals and those whose work involves usability including web designers and developers.
- Usability.gov. I didn’t realize the government had a website on usability until I found this site, which is designed for web managers, designers, and usability specialists.
- STC Usability SIG. This is a subgroup of the Society for Technical Communication, but they do have some good information and resources.
- User Interface Engineering blog. The largest usability research organization has a very helpful blog on usability. They also offer virtual seminars.
And those are just a few of the many excellent online resources available.
What usability tips or resources would you add?
Share your answers in the comments.
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg has placed heavy emphasis on tech policy during his term: He’s hired the city’s first chief digital officer, pushed for more public Wi-Fi, and partnered with Cornell to build a major research center and startup community. That’s made New York second only to Silicon Valley in terms of tech industry growth, and the next mayor will have to keep it up.
That’s why Coalition for Queens is holding the Mayoral Candidates Tech Policy forum on Monday. I’ll be moderating along with Anjali Athavaley of the Wall Street Journal, and we plan to ask the candidates about their positions on a wide range of tech-related policy issues from tech jobs and startup companies to STEM education, infrastructure development, data access,…
Just under two years ago, HTC’s CEO responded to public pressure by making an equally public promise: “We will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices.” Today, that promise is only half-kept by HTC, while other manufacturers have an even spottier record when it comes to keeping the Android ecosystem as “open” as its intended reputation. The bootloaders are locked, and the carriers are holding the keys.
The bootloader, if you’re unfamiliar, is basically the low-level bit of software on a computer that allows the rest of the operating system to start up — a nerdy little piece of code that turns out to be important if you want to tinker with the phone to make it do what you want. If the bootloader is locked, you can’t put…
The best logos make an impact. They are memorable and they instantly evoke images of the brand with which they are associated. Think of the Golden Arches in the McDonald’s logo or the classic script in the Coca-Cola logo. Think of the peacock feathers in the NBC logo or the swoosh in the Nike logo.
On the other hand, bad logos are forgettable. They look unprofessional and they don’t tell you anything about the brand.
Creating a successful logo can influence the overall success of your brand. Whether you are a logo designer yourself or if you are looking to hire a designer to create your logo, it is important to understand the qualities of a great logo so you can get one that encourages the success of your business. Here are 5 keys to successful logo design:
One of the most important aspects of successful logo design is simplicity. There should be clean lines and few details like shading or other artistic touches. Colors should be limited to a few choices. Text should be limited to the brand name. Some great examples include the Nike swoosh, the Google logo, the Target bull’s eye, and the Twitter “T.” In logo design, less is more.
Your logo will be synonymous with your brand. Therefore, it must be instantly recognizable in any format or medium. No matter what color, no matter what size, no matter what format, your logo should be identifiable as the image for your brand. Think of social media icons such as Facebook and Twitter: They use the logos for the most prominent social networks, but they are often manipulated to fit the theme of a blog and so are presented in different colors, different shapes, and different formats, yet they are always recognizable.
If your logo is to be recognizable, it should also be unique. Otherwise, what is to say that the star in your logo is not actually the start in another company’s logo? Common shapes may be used, but they should be altered to create a unique logo for your brand, such as through special coloring or other details. However, it is a much better idea to create a unique logo that uses a unique shape or item that is not likely to be used by another company. The Nike swoosh is another great example, as is the apple with the bite taken out of it for Apple electronics.
Your logo must tell your audience a bit about your company. What are your values? What kind of products or services do you provide? While a simple logo may not be able to convey all this information, it should create a certain tone that reflects your brand. For example, a logo with a comic sans font and bright colors will convey a sense of playfulness and irreverence. If you have a toy company, this may be totally appropriate. (Think of the playful font in the Toys R Us logo.) However, if you have a financial services company, this may make you seem unprofessional. Be sure that your logo creates the right tone for your brand.
Your logo will be used on every item associated with your brand, including print materials, your website, your social media, and your e-mail list. It is important that your logo can not only be easily transferred to any of these mediums, but also that it will be recognizable in each of them. For example, an animated logo may look great on a website, but you won’t be able to use it in a print campaign. Will it look as good as a static image? If not, you may want to consider a new logo.
Some successful examples include the Nike swoosh logo and the McDonald’s arches. Those logos are recognizable in almost any format.
There is a certain amount of creativity and plain old luck required to create a successful logo. However, ensuring that your logo has each of these elements can help you to create something special that will help you to brand your company and connect with your customers.
Does your logo have these qualities? What do you consider the key elements of successful logo design? Share your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author:
Sarah Clare is a writer and oversees the site projectmanagementsoftware.com, where she has recently been researching pm software. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys cooking and scrapbooking.