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Monday, April 26, 2010

Mistakes in Web Design

Mistakes in Website DesignJDM has been developing B2B websites for a long time. Throughout that time, we've come across numerous egregious website design offenses committed by amateur web developers. Here's a few of the most common web design mistakes to look out for.

1. Reliance on PDF Files for Online Reading
People hate coming across a PDF file while browsing a website. It breaks the flow. Even simple things like printing or saving documents are difficult because standard browser commands don't work. Layouts are often optimized for a sheet of paper, which rarely matches the size of the user's browser window. Bye-bye smooth, vertical scrolling. Hello tiny fonts.

PDFs are great for printing and for distributing big documents that need to be printed. Reserve it for this purpose and convert any information that needs to be browsed or read on the screen into real web pages.

2. Un-Scannable Text
A wall of text is deadly for an interactive experience. Intimidating. Boring. Painful to read.

Write for online, not print. To draw users into the text and support scannability, use best practices like descriptive headlines & sub-headlines, short paragraphs, readable fonts (san-serif), and bullet lists.

3. Violating Design Conventions
There's something to be said for consistency in website layout and design. Remember that users spend most of their time on other sites. In other words, if you deviate too far from the conventional, your site will be harder to use and users will up and leave.

4. New Browser Windows for Each Page
Opening a new browser window for each new page is beyond irritating. Don't pollute my screen with any more windows (particularly since current operating systems do a miserable job of window management).

5. Not Answering User Questions
Today's users are highly goal-driven on the web. They visit a site because there's something they want to accomplish—maybe even a purchase to make.

Perhaps the worst example of this is not answering their price question. No B2C eComm site would make this mistake, but it's rife in B2B. All too often "enterprise solutions" are presented so you can't tell whether they are suited for 100 people or 100,000.

Afraid of "sticker shock"? Don't be. Better to qualify visitors than lose qualified, prospective customers because you were ashamed to get down to brass tacks.

Extra Credit Reading?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Marketers Not Using RSS Should Be Fired

Any marketer using an inbound content marketing strategy, but not RSS, should be fired." exclaims Justin Downey, Managing Director of JDM. "All you have to do is understand the basics to understand the immense value of RSS and that's what this most recent marketing best practice article sets out to accomplish."

The article, "Real Simple Syndication (RSS) Simplified," tackles the following topics:

  • What is an RSS Feed?
  • How does it fit into the Marketing Mix?
  • How do I generate my RSS Feed?
  • RSS/XML Syntax & Examples
  • How do I promote my RSS Feed?

Learn more and register to download our latest best practice article on our resources page, Bathroom Reading.

See the release on our Shameless News Media Center: 'Anyone Not Using RSS Should Be Fired', Says Downey :: Shameless News

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reebok's Soft Ad Strategy

Reebok's "Pick Me" commercials, where real, professional athletes showcase impossible feats in order to pitch themselves as good Fantasy Football picks, is certainly entertaining. However, as common in B2C marketing, the strategy of the ad campaign is soft (if it exists at all). What are they actually selling?



Very cool, but is the ad strategy successful? Your move.

Monday, April 5, 2010

iAnalytics - Freedom from Analysis Paralysis

iAnalytics from JDMThis week JDM is rolling out our new iAnalytics™ (or "Interpretive Analytics") service package. This new service will free participating clients from misinterpreting campaign metrics and offer accurate, decision-critical information to help make every campaign more successful than the last.

How does it work?


Jonah Lehrer, the author of "How We Decide" explains the physiological case for "analysis paralysis."


Too much information is paralyzing [because] our prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that's responsible for deliberate, rational decisions, is a pretty feeble part of the brain.


It's kind of depressing to hear that, but it's actually a relatively limited and bounded part of the brain. It can only hold about seven pieces of information in the prefrontal cortex at any given moment. So when you try to think through, even a banal decision, you can very quickly overwhelm your prefrontal cortex.


So imagine what happens when modern marketing metrics offer thousands of so-called 'Key Performance Indicators' (or KPIs). According to Mr. Lehrer's research, all too often we focus on exactly the wrong seven indicators and therefore make erroneous decisions.


JDM's experience sorting through this mountain of data to find the pearls of wisdom allows us to zero-in on what's really happening, what's working and what's not. Then, we offer our unbiased findings in online iAnalytics™ reports to clients updated quarterly, monthly or weekly.


Learn more about JDM's new iAnalytics™ package on our website and check out Jonah Lehrer's new book, "How We Decide."

 
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