Where are our Eyeballs Heading?

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The dictionary defines attention as “notice taken of someone or something”. Today, our attention has been divided into multiple ‘somethings’. With the evolution of technology, consumers have an enormous number of places that their eyeballs can focus. In 2016, media consumption in the United States amounts to over 12 hours of our day. Digital media, television and radio still dominate our time, with digital platforms leading the way at nearly six hours of our day. Marketing firms debate every single day as to where they should be spending their advertising dollars and efforts to speak to their targeted demographics. As attention is becoming extremely segmented, where is the advertising dollar best spent?

Video

Last year, Nicola Mendelsohn, the Vice President for Facebook in Europe stated that Facebook would be “all video” by 2021. Living in a world where everything is needed to be “Twitter length” or less (140 characters), consumers are demanding more video content to catch their attention. Consumers have become video centric and have found difficulty is consuming text content that is longer than a few sentences.

Non-traditional Television and Cutting the Cord

As cable peaked in the early 2000’s with over 68.5 million subscriptions, cord cutting has become an unavoidable trend for marketers to notice. While having 5,000 channels used to be the cool thing to have, now having access to commercial free and stream lined services such as Netflix and Hulu is the way to go. Twice.com reports that 25% of TV homes do not pay for traditional television. Millennials do not see the value in these services and simply cannot afford it with the rising costs of living and student debt being a large cost burden. Large advertisers, marketing agencies and digital marketing companies are taking full notice of this millennial spear-headed consumption trend and reprioritizing where they place their spending.

Digital

To add to the cord cutting, an estimated four in 10 Americans now get their news online. Whether it be through mobile or accessing a preferred news source website, Americans are ditching the traditional ways of sitting down for the evening news. As nearly 80% of Americans have a smartphone, phones have become the new television screen in 2017. Digital consumption trends show that these technologies are aging up into those that are in their 50s, 60s and 70s, driving forward the need for web development, video production and SEO perfection.

Sources:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/14/facts-about-the-changing-digital-news-landscape/

http://fortune.com/2016/06/14/facebook-video-live/

http://www.marketingcharts.com/traditional/us-adults-daily-major-media-consumption-estimates-2011-2017-59995/

 

How to Make Your Video Ads More Successful

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If research and statistics are right, then you’re probably not going to read this entire article.

If people are looking for in-depth insight on any given subject, people now more than ever will turn to videos to get information. Marketing agencies that are worth their salt know that people turn more to videos for content than anywhere else. But how do you make your online video ads stand out in a crowded field of cat videos, how do you make your multimedia presence stand out?

Here are some of our personal tips:

Tip #1 Produce “How to” Videos

In 2015, “how to” video searches grew by 30 percent, which means that people are in a hurry to figure out stuff, and they need someone to walk them through how to do something step by step. “How to” videos are only increasing in popularity, and the more unique your “how to” topic is, the more views you’re likely to get.

So, for example, “How to change a flat tire” won’t get that many hits, being as there are literally thousands of those videos already. But a “how to fix a foosball table” video will get much more of an audience for you, even if that audience is smaller than the “fix a tire” group.

Tip #2 Make Testimonial Videos

In the age of Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes, people are more likely to look at reviews for your brand well before they even come close to buying your product. Marketing agencies have figured this out, so for their clients who sell products or services, they’ll make testimonial videos that prove to consumers that what they’re product or service is better than everyone else’s.

Tip #3 Find the “Sweet Spot” for Video Length

Marketing agencies that produce videos for their clients know that the best video ad length (according to Google) is no longer than three minutes. Within 45 seconds, people will know if they’re interested in the video they’re watching. There are some videos that can be longer than 3 minutes on Youtube that still deliver incredible results, but those exceptions are rare, and your video has to be incredibly engaging to pull something like that off.

How to Make Web Design Tell a Story

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The best website designs capture our attention by telling a story. It may sound strange, a website telling a story, but web design is an art form. Like any other art form, design can tell a story. You just have to look closely and interpret what you see. In the modern world, the internet is a vehicle to not only tell stories, but to use stories to get the most out of websites.

So how do you it? How do you make your website the next Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy or J.K. Rowling? Here are few different ways to help your website tell a story.

website-story

What Is Responsive and Adaptive Web Design?

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Website design is ever-evolving, and part of that is because how we view websites is constantly changing. According to the Global Web Index, 80 percent of people in the states view the internet on their phone. Additionally, 47 percent surf the web on their tablet, and 37 percent use their game consoles. Using a PC or laptop is still the most popular way at 91 percent, but new technologies such as smart televisions and smart watches are also becoming new platforms for people to search the internet.

What this means for website design is that you have to come up with design techniques that best benefit the user’s experience with any given website. Two of the more prominent website design choices have been responsive design and adaptive design. They sound like synonyms for one another, but they offer different approaches to how someone should experience a site.

Responsive Design

Responsive websites are flexible and fluid, and they respond to the size of your web browser. So for example, if you have your browser open at full screen on your laptop but then minimize the screen to only half of your desktop, you’ll see the website resize along with your browser.

Adaptive Design

Adaptive chooses static layouts over a responsive website design approach. Adaptive design detects what size your browser is at, and it’ll load the layout it believes is the best fit for your browser size. Traditionally, adaptive design layouts have about six adaptive layouts for the six most common screen widths. So for example, if you have your browser’s width at 320, the adaptive design will load its layout for that screen width; and if you expand that screen width to 1200, the adaptive layout will then load its design for that size. The design will only adapt to a new layout when the browser hits specific widths.

Which Design Should You Use?

You generally have more control over what your website looks like with adaptive design because you’re deciding how users experience your website at any given size. With responsive, the user gets to view the site how they please, but this usually makes more work for your website design strategy because you’ll have to consider every type of layout size a user could put your website through.

Differences Between Web Design and Web Development

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Just because web development and website design sound the same, doesn’t mean they are. Think of it like dessert and desert. They sound similar, sure, but they couldn’t be further from each other.

To break it down in its simplest terms, web development deals with coding and making a website that’s accessible to users, and website design deals with the aesthetics and creative design aspects of a website. They’re both important to have and one doesn’t really work without the other.

What a Web Designer Does

From the outside, people might think website design is just picking what colors the site should have and what fonts you should use. They do that, but that’s barely a fraction of the job.

Designers conceptualize what they want the website to look like. Once they go through every painstaking detail that comes with choosing a cohesive and pleasing design, they then start creating a wireframe for the site. A wireframe is essentially a blueprint for the website. It’s a visual guide that gives an example of how the website should look through a skeletal framework.

What a Web Developer Does

Remember how in every other scene in “The Matrix” there was a person frantically typing on a computer? What they were doing was coding, and that’s pretty much what web development is: coding and putting together a website. Once the design has been established and the wireframe is completed, a web developer will turn that concept into reality by coding the website. Developers might use HTML, Javascript or another coding language to make a website come to life.

What They Have in Common

It might not seem like there’s a lot of middle ground between the two positions, but they have some similarities with each other. Just like web development, website design requires you to understand a formula or flow of how a website should look. And just like a web designer, web developers need to be creative sometime with their code, and they need to think outside of the box to create a site that fits a designer’s needs.

Web Development vs. Mobile App Development: Key Differences

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Web development has been in production for the past 20 years — it’s not a relatively new field. It’s inevitable that web development trends will change; however, the details will always stay the same. Yet as soon web developers felt like they were getting the hang of web development, along came a curveball: mobile app development.

As more and more people use their mobile devices exclusively to search the web and connect with people, developers are scrambling to accommodate the mental shift involved with developing for mobile sites and apps.

Adjusting From Web Development to Mobile Apps

Don’t fret, developers; there are a few easy ways that you can make an easy adjustment from web development to mobile app development. The first step? Adhere to user guidelines. Unlike web development, which essentially offers the developer a blank page with which to work from, mobile app development adheres to a set of user guidelines that differ across platforms.

Don’t ignore these guidelines — doing so will ensure that you end up with a mobile app that doesn’t work nearly as well as it should.

Differences in User Experiences

One of the challenges that web developers face is ensuring that their sites can function across several different types of browsers. Generally speaking, the experience across all browsers will remain the same, allowing web developers to use one uniform design.

Mobile app development, however, dictates that each mobile platform is uniquely designed. Mobile apps can differ drastically depending on which platform they’re currently being executed on — and that’s okay. As long as the app is still visually engaging and functions well across every platform, the user experience will remain positive.

Single Purpose or Multi-Purpose?

Purpose is perhaps the largest difference between web development and mobile app development. While websites serve multiple purposes, mobile apps generally only serve either one purpose or a few related purposes. Refrain from attempting to design a mobile app with the functionality of a website — the app will have a high crash rate, and a correspondingly negative user experience.

Find Your Next Website Design Muse

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Website design is always evolving. Take a look at some of the best sites from the 90s and early 2000s, and you’ll see how far web design has come. Still, like all great artists, designers need a muse. Without a little inspiration now and then, designers can go stale. Nobody wants that.

Here are a few of our favorite websites to help reignite designers’ creativity. One of them could become your new muse.

Responsive Design

User experience and responsive website design is so important on today’s World Wide Web. Responsive Design dedicates itself to furthering responsive website design. Unlike a lot of sites that feature galleries of different design approaches, Responsive Design also digs deep into the code that makes each design possible.

Crayon

Crayon is easily one of the most inclusive sites out there for gathering visual design ideas. Everyone from designers to marketers can use the site’s extensive search features to sift through more than 35 million websites. That’s a whole lot of inspiring material.

Webdesign Inspiration

The name says it all. Webdesign Inspiration is unique because it allows you to search for sites by industry. If you’re designing a website for a marketing agency, you can see how other industry leaders design their sites.

Dribbble

Dribbble works first and foremost as a portfolio service for website design freelancers. It’s used by a lot of new designers, which means it hosts a lot of new ideas. Since the site works like one large portfolio, it makes it easy to contact and connect with other designers to collaborate on ideas.

CSS Zen Garden

This site is like the super old and extremely wise grandma of all web design sites. CSS Zen Garden has been around for a while, but it’s still entirely relevant. It’s unique in that every design uses the same HTML code with modified CSS files. The entire site is basically one big example of the power of CSS.

Web Design Ledger

Besides just another awesome gallery site, you can visit Web Design Ledger for tutorials, blog posts, interviews with other designers and downloadable templates. No wonder the web community loves it so much.

A Decade of Web Design Failure: What We Can Learn

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Within the past decade of website design and website development, there has been a lot that has been accomplished — and there have been things that we have been able to learn, both good and bad from both the successes of the good websites and the failures of the forgettable ones. Here are just a few things to take away in case you are hoping to up your website design game and create a website that is both attractive and efficient.

Believe in Yourself and Your Website

The first thing you can do to help yourself on your path to great website design is to believe in yourself and the content that you create. Being good at something like designing a website is very similar to being good at anything else. It takes a lot of practice and determination, but on top of that, you have to have a confidence and belief in yourself that you are great and that you can do great things if you simply put your mind to it. By simply having confidence in yourself, you give yourself the room to try new things and know that it is ok to fail, because those failures are going to lead you to your biggest successes.

The Four-Second Rule

The four-second rule is based off of the idea that you and anyone that visits your site should be able to take one look at your site and be able to decipher what it is about and what it is for in about 4 seconds or less. If your users cannot do this, then your website is too complicated and in need of some simplification.

Keep Constant Contrast

The definition of contrast in website design is the difference in visual properties that make an object distinguishable from other objects in the background. As this relates to your website, you simply need to make sure that the most important parts of your website are distinguished from the rest of it. By doing this, you also make your website much easier to navigate.

Navigation Is Key

The final tip is to make sure that the visitors to your website do not get lost in trying to navigate to different pages around your site. Just because you designed it and can figure it out, obviously does not mean that everyone can. The best thing that you can do is have other people such as friends or other website design professionals come and test your website and give you feedback on where you can improve the most and what aspects you succeed at.

What You Should Learn About Your Web Design Firm Before Hiring Them

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Looking for a new web design firm? Before you hire them, have you taken a look at some of their previous work? Here are some things you should learn before hiring a website design firm. Finding a firm that fits with your company is very important. Before starting the process, decide what you are looking for in a web design firm.

Previous Work

Possibly the most important thing when hiring a website design firm is to see their previous work. If the firm does not have a very good return rate with customers and do not keep clients long, that is probably a sign that they do subpar work. Try a find a firm (such as Fusion 360) that has a great history with past clients and has greatly improved their online reach.

Find Out Their Vision

Before hiring a website design firm, it is important to find out what they want to do with your company. Find out their vision and where they see your website going and make sure that what you see and what they see match. A great way to test this is to give them your idea beforehand and then let them set together a plan of what they would do. This is something that can be done before hiring the firm.

Talk to Current & Past Clients

If possible, reach out to current and past clients of the agency and see what they will say — all of Fusion’s clients will say we’re great. Ask what they like and what they dislike and how their business has performed since hiring the firm. Find out what they are good at and make sure that they make enough time for all of their clients.

Learning about your web design firm before hiring them is very important. It could be the difference between going out of business and business booming. Choosing a great firm could become a turning point in the history of your company.

Three Indicators You’re Destined to Be a Web Designer

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Are you more likely to blow your entire paycheck at the local art supply store than the Apple Store? Do you carry a sketchbook in your back pocket or purse next to your keys and wallet? Do you cringe at terrible design concepts while walking through a local business subdivision? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then there’s a highly likely chance that you have the DNA of a web designer. Here are a few key indicators that your life calling is to create innovative website design.

1. You Judge People, Places and Things by Font Choice

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 5.06.21 PM

You walk into a new restaurant, and as you’re waiting for a table, you decide to use the facilities. Plastered on the door of the restroom is a sign that reads “Please Ask for Key” — in Comic Sans. As soon as your eyes land on this repulsive font choice, you know that you can’t trust the quality of the restaurant. You grab your significant other and book it out of there faster than you can say Times New Roman.

2. You’re More Swayed by a Product’s Packaging Than the Actual Product

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 4.55.02 PM

We all might be a little guilty of purchasing a product based solely on its superior packaging — especially if that product is from Glossier, Everlane or Birchbox. The non-designer brain has no problem choosing the product with (shudder) ugly packaging; however, the brain of someone destined for the field of website design is repulsed by the mere thought of bringing something so homely into her home.

3. You’d Never Dream of Throwing Away Magazines

stack of magazines

Your magazine library is almost as extensive as your collection of books — and you wouldn’t dream of ever tossing one of your most beloved magazines. Is it the layout? The font choices? The general inspiration that they provide? It might be a combination of all three. Whatever the case, if you’ve got a hefty collection of magazines, it’s pretty safe to say that you’re destined to work in the field of website design — after you’re done pouring over the latest issue of Interview, naturally.