A few days ago someone asked me to reach out to our visual designer to follow up on a current design project. Did I:
A) Log in to my email client and send an email
B) Get up and walk …
Source: User testing
A few days ago someone asked me to reach out to our visual designer to follow up on a current design project. Did I:
A) Log in to my email client and send an email
B) Get up and walk …
Source: User testing
The best optimizers know that testing isn’t complete guesswork.
No, the top optimizers in the world test the right things, the things that will have the largest effect on the bottom line and the best chance to win. They aren’t clairvoyant, but they are more successful at finding these things than your average Joe. How do they do it?
They all have a process for conversion research and test prioritization.
Now, test prioritization is a whole-nother matter, but I can show you a simple conversion research process that will exponentially increase the efficiency of your testing program. It’s based on our own ResearchXL model, developed from years of experience and thousands of tests run.
Here’s the gist of it:
Generally, you’ll want to have a seasoned conversion optimization pro do a ‘heuristic analysis’ of your site to start out with. A heuristic analysis is an experience-based assessment where the outcome is not guaranteed to be optimal, but might be good enough. Its main advantage – speed. It can be done fairly quickly.
This is the closest to an opinion we get in optimization. In addition, we use frameworks to guide our heuristic analysis. Typically, we analyze for:
Most importantly, with this step, realize that what we identify is by no means objective truth – it’s simply an “area of interest.” In our next phases of research (qualitative and quantitative), we seek to validate or invalidate the findings.
After the heuristic analysis, we audit the current analytics setup and data. This includes multiple facets, depending on the tools you have available. The first step: technical analysis.
Technical analysis aims to identify some low hanging fruit in regards to page-speed, cross-browser and cross-device functionality, and general debugging. If things are broken, fixing them is one of the easiest steps to boosting conversions.
Then, of course we dive into digital analytics (most people’s least favorite step). From this we can learn:
The first thing to think about here is whether or not your analytics software is set up correctly. You probably have Google Analytics installed, but even if you’re using something else, it’s important to set things up correctly. You’d be surprised – almost all the analytics set-ups we see are broken.
To check whether things are broken or not, you need to do an analytics health check. In a nutshell, a health check is a series of analytics and instrumentation checks that answers the following questions:
Note that you should have an expert set this up, either in house or an analytics implementation consultant. It’s worth the investment.
Now after you’ve got a good grasp on your analytics and technical health, you’ve gotta start probing for issues.
First thing’s first, set up all of your CRO tools. The classic suite includes mouse tracking (heat maps), session replay videos, form analytics, and on-site surveys.
From heat maps, you can gather a ton of high-level insight, though be careful not to get too carried away with the colorful maps.
What can you learn with heat maps:
What you can’t really do much with is hover maps. They tend not to correlate well with eye tracking, so they stir up more bias and misdirection than actual insight.
The real value is in session replay videos. These are recorded visitors of anonymous users actually using your site. With these you can quantify bottlenecks and get a good idea of what’s stopping people from converting (it takes a long time to analyze – half day or so – but it’s worth it).
Then you have form analytics, which complement your digital analytics package, but – surprise – hone in on form completion. They can tell you where people are dropping off, error rates, and other insightful things. There are tools, like Formisimo, specifically for this.
It’s likely you’ve got some repetitive issues surfacing. So far, we only know what’s wrong though. We haven’t uncovered any qualitative data – which is essential to customer insight and understanding the why.
For this, the classic suite of conversion optimization techniques includes:
If you read our previous article on the subject, you should know all about on-site surveys. But for a refresher, on-site surveys let you gather visitor feedback as they’re going through your site, meaning you can quickly identify what’s working and more importantly, what’s not.
The importance here, is that the data isn’t as subject to consistency bias and post-purchase rationalization (if you’re asking people after the purchase, these tendencies are inherent). Instead, you’re gathering their thoughts in the moment – which seem to support a more objective idea at what their frustrations with your site are.
Then we have customer surveys, which answer a whole different question than on-site feedback tools. Customer surveys draw upon your current customer base for insight, so there’s always the selection bias that these people have already agreed to do business with you.
There are lots of ways to mess these up (mostly due to not attaching business goals to your survey design), but when done right, customer surveys can help you answer a lot of questions:
Then you have interviews – which are similar to customer interviews but are far more subjective and qualitative in nature. They’re also far more targeted, as you’re not trying to reach an adequate, representative sample, but you’re trying to learn issues that you might not have even thought about.
A common approach we use is to jump on a phone call with customer support or sales people. They deal with customers all day, every day, and tend to hear the same frustrations over and over again. How can we solve these problems?
Finally, we do user testing. User testing is maybe the best way to watch customers struggle with your site in real time. You walk a user through a series of tasks (might I recommend, some broad tasks and some specific), and get to watch them complete it and comment on the process. Nothing teaches you empathy for your users quite like a good round of user tests.
The purpose of all this research isn’t just to learn what your users are struggling with, but to attempt to fix these things, and then validate the new variation’s efficacy through A/B testing.
Putting together the quantitative issues (what’s broken, where’s it broken, etc.) with the qualitative findings (what do our customers really want, why are they frustrated, etc.) is how you optimize your conversion optimization process. The real magic is when you start running tests and feed the insights gained from those back into new tests.
How do you combine the insights? Let’s say, for example, you see on Google Analytics that, on mobile, only 17% of people are making it from the product page to the cart. There’s a substantial drop-off, and it’s not reflected on desktop. It’s just on mobile.
You know now where the issue is, but you don’t know why. So you run user tests along with heat maps and customer surveys. You watch through a few hundred session replay videos. And what do you discover? People aren’t finding the CTA button, perhaps it’s too low on the screen and not prominent enough. And people are confused by the conflicting product offers. It might be worth testing a new default purchase setting and simplifying the copy.
Without the qualitative, it would have been a guessing game trying to figure out why people were dropping off. Qualitative research didn’t give you the answer, but it gave you great insights for your tests.
Do both qualitative and quantitative research; combine them to form better A/B tests. Don’t be afraid to invest time and muscle into conversion research, because it pays off. The testing programs that have a rigorous process such as this see more wins and they see bigger wins
The post How To Combine Quantitative and Qualitative Data for Better Optimization appeared first on Usabilla Blog.
“Design Sweden is an organisation dedicated to Sweden’s designers. An independent practitioner’s organisation founded in 1957 by members, for members. The organisation acts collectively with one voice, to drive and engage opinion around design. Our purpose is to make everyday life easier for the individual designer, and to highlight the power of design as a builder of cultural and economic value. We are excited to see the definition of design expand organically and are now embarking on a big change to better represent and support our members. We are moving away from the traditional model of the degree-based, national members-only organisation and re-launching ourselves as an open, international platform for designers affiliated with Sweden from across the world. To reflect this change of perspective we are making major changes, some of the first ones being renaming the organisation from The Swedish Association of Designers (Sveriges Designer) to simply Design Sweden, a new identity – and introducing a free membership.”
Opinion/Notes: The old logo was fine but forgettable as a wordmark with no identifying trait. The new wordmark, based on a custom type family designed by Göran Söderström of Letters from Sweden is all about the identifying traits. Specifically, the vertical curves that look as if all the letters were placed on a cutting board and sliced off. But that’s just the effect, as the twists from curve to straight are very much on purpose and properly designed to avoid big blots of ink to gather at the joints. The “w” in Sweden also has a nice little twist in the center. The identity revolves around the typeface, as everything is delivered in a deadpan kind of way so it’s a good thing that the typeface has the right amount of charisma to stand on its own with minimal design intervention. Overall, it feels just right for a Swedish design organization.
Related Links: N/A
Established in 1896 in the coastal, Catalan town of Vilassar de Mar near Barcelona, Spain, Espinaler is a wholesale seller of canned seafood for traditional tapas with over 300 products, including their own spicy salsa, a line of Vermouth, and plenty of other gourmet offerings too good to read about before lunch time. Family-owned to this day, Espinaler also owns three popular taverns and gourmet shops that look and feel like this. Last year, Espinaler introduced a new logo and packaging designed by Barcelona-based Verdelimón.
The infamous fish bone mascot, symbol of the brand since the 70s, has been rejuvenated with the collaboration of the original fish bone illustrator.
The portfolio has been segmented into three families (traditional, classic and premium) creating a packaging architecture that cross them all. The traditional range, that covers basic products, pays tribute to the original brand colors. The classic range experience a qualitative upgrade, getting into gourmet markets and specialized stores. The Premium range becomes a luxury product with a packaging evoking the world of jewelry or exclusive cosmetics.
The design of the new corporate website and the review of more than 50 offline touchpoints complete the integral brand restyling project.
Because nothing says tapas like a very old fish with a cane showing its skeleton, the old (and classic) logo features a very old fish with a cane showing its skeleton. If I’m right in this assumption, this comes from the name of the company: “Espina” in Spanish is how you refer to fish bones, so someone must have thought it made for a good connection. Having never seen this brand before, I would say the old logo was super weird. I mean, look at the hair on the fish. And god knows where that cane has been. Obviously, classic-ness trumps common sense and I’m sure that logo is as iconic as the Coca-Cola script to Espinaler’s audience.
The new logo serves as a kind of nice metaphor for a family-owned business, letting go off the older generation and embracing the younger generation at the helm of the business. The new fish is youthful, optimistic, and with a full head of hair. I like that the drawing is an evolution that takes it from a 1920s drawing style to a 1960s, 1970s caricature style… like, it could almost be a sketch of a Looney Tunes character, as opposed to being a more overwrought illustration like, say, Mr. Clean. The typography is okay, it also feels like it’s old by two decades, perhaps not in the same charming way as the icon, but it works and is readable.
The best improvement comes in the update to the classic packaging. Again, I’m sure, there are those who love the old packaging and it has its charms but, for a company looking to expand its distribution and markets, it doesn’t convey the freshest of brands. Again, look at the hair on the old fish. The new packaging keeps the blue and wavy background but now is much more sophisticated, appealing, and works to highlight the product imagery. The new hand gesture of the fish works perfectly in the packaging, as if it’s saying “tah-dah!”. The typography, again, could be a little better somehow; it doesn’t feel quite integrated. The colorful labels to denote whether the product is in water, oil, or natural, feel forced, although they certainly stand out. Still, the overall effect of the packaging is quite good.
The premium line looks great, with the off-white color background and the big product images.
For so many different products, the identity manages to spread evenly and properly across everything, from chips to salsa to olives.
This isn’t the easiest of identity and packaging projects as the product line is so diverse and the identity also has to operate at a corporate level, as seen on the last few applications above. It’s also difficult in that it has to update a classic look but, as an outsider, it feels like a proper update that maintains the quirky vibe of the original with a much more marketable aesthetic.
We all know what emojis are, right? They’re those colorful graphics that you use on your smartphone’s keyboard to represent feelings, animals, vegetables, or other random acts. Who doesn’t like telling a story through pictures? As it turns out, everybody loves it, including Twitter. And that’s why Twitter is working to monetize emoji in a way that they know all too well: hashtags. But now, they’re called Hashflags.
First, let’s get to the basics of hashtags, just incase any of you have been vacationing under a rock for the better part of the last decade. When you use a hashtag on Twitter — the “#” symbol followed by a statement like #friendship, #squadgoals or #baconbits — you’ve entered a searchable term into the Twitter ecosystem. Whenever anybody clicks on that hashtag, it acts like a link, and brings you to other tweets that incorporate the same hashtag. Search #squadgoals and you’ll get this, for example. It’s a way to group like-minded things together, and it works out well for all involved.
Hashflags — according to the website that documents these things, hashfla.gs — are “images that appear after a #hashtag, and are enabled on Twitter for specific occasions or events. Sometimes referred to as custom Twitter Emojis.” Note the word “custom” squeezed in there. That’s because just putting a hashtag out there won’t magically create an emoji for the occasion. If you want one, you’ll have to pay for it. And it’s not cheap. If you tweeted #PepsiHalftime during the Super Bowl, you saw a hashflag promoting Pepsi. That cost them around seven figures — $1 million and up.
Now that’s the Super Bowl, and that’s obviously a one-of-a-kind event. But there’s more. NBA All-Star Weekend happened recently, and if you tweeted things for a player, you got certain Hashflags as a result. Just check these out:
And then there are movies. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to be a big film, and they also have their own pair of hashflags:
Captain America: Civil War is another notable tentpole film, but this one is for the Marvel Universe. Not only will they be using hashtags to promote the big opening weekend, but they’ll also have Hashflags of their own:
Complicating things further, Hashflags go live and dead during specific periods, so you wont see them all the time. #Batman won’t bring up the iconic bat symbol today, for example, however we would bet that it will during opening weekend of the flick. As Business 2 Community explains, “Twitter custom emojis aren’t permanent. They only exist during the campaign period for the hashtag. After the campaign is over, all Tweets that featured the hashtag will no longer display a custom emoji within the Twitter interface. This allows hashtags to be recycled, reused, and possibly be claimed by a different brand.”
So what does all this mean? Well, for one, hashflags are a way for Twitter to make some cash. And even though they do make money, a quick search for #TwitterRIP shows you that tons of people think the service is on death’s door. Monetizing Twitter further is obviously better for the company, and if you’re a fan, better for you, too. It also means that you should expect to see more Hashflags out in the wild as it gains popularity amongst advertisers.
For now, at least, good or bad, Hashflags are here to stay.
Keeping up with the latest design trends involves looking at how color is being used in advertising, print, art, fabrics, decor, fashion, and many other fascinating spaces. In this article, I’ll look at six beautiful color trends inspired by creative movements spotted in various industries. Regardless of where the trend first emerged, these might spark just the right kind of vibrant ideas that your next project needs.
Dreamy, milky and soft, pastels aren’t just for nursery rooms anymore. Pastels have grown up and become sophisticated. Pantone’s colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity, have already made their way into advertising for banking, cosmetics and tech. Have you seen Spotify’s beautiful “Year in Music”? Ephemera is a pastel palette that expands into yellow, orchid, peach for a wider range of pastels.
Spotify’s color palette
Pantone’s colors of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity
Bright, punchy and bold colors that fit in with the 80s/90s retro trend. Retro-inspired palettes with popping bright colors bring a lot of energy to your creative project. This fun palette draws inspiration from the Memphis Group, and their postmodern, rebellious, playful and asymmetrical designs. Retro is youthfully remixed with splashes of acid bright colors colliding with muddier colors and romantic pastels. Take a look at painter Sonia Delaunay’s work to find inspiration for fearless color combinations!
After its 1981 debut, Memphis dominated the early 1980s design scene with its post-modernist style. Image via Design Museum.
Memphis patterns by Camille Walala via Dezeen
Sonia Delaunay or Robert Delaunay (or both), 1922. Public domain image.
Blue will continue to be a trending color in 2016. Ocean blues reflect a relaxing palette and our connection to nature. This year International Klein Blue is on the rise too. International Klein Blue (IKB) is a rich blue hue mixed by the French artist Yves Klein — it is perfect for intense accents. Underwater patterns and shadows come into play. Tiles, denim, and batik. Peacock blue. The richness of the color blue makes it easy to create a variety of palettes that give your projects a professional look. Create a palette that reflects the seaside, with shades of blue and a sandy neutral or a crisp white.
Mixed media painting titled L’accord Bleu, 1960 by Yves Klein. Via Wikimedia Commons.
Limited color palettes stand the test of time. Simple, minimal and elegant color schemes where all the colors come from a single hue. Or combining black, white and grey. These color palettes are timeless and powerful because they help create focus in a visually oversaturated environment.
In the home decor market we’ll find dark, deep walls contrasted with accents that glimmer with decadent metal. Think of heirlooms, intricate, and detailed craftsmanship. Think steampunk. Velvet, marble and pink copper. As we move fast into the future, we look for reassurance from our past. A contemporary twist on our heritage, this is maximalism. In graphic design we can see this trend in rich art deco and gold foil treatments, it’ll be interesting to see if this trend expands. It makes a huge contrast to the minimalist trends.
The Palmetto collection from Harlequin. Via Decor Supplies.
Dark blues and teals, juxtaposed with electric pink, coral, red, reflect our space explorations. Let yourself be inspired by space, sci-fi, and David Bowie. Nebulas. Let yourself be inspired by the 2015 Valentino couture collection, with constellations and planets in motion. Futuristic, celestial dreams with impressions of weightlessness. Pops of electric neon colors!
Valentino. Image via Popsugar.
Share them in the comments section below. For more color take a look at my Pinterest board “Colour Inspiration and Mood Boards”.
Products Seen In This Post:
The Art of Sport — started by designers John Paul Stallard of SOLV and Rob Duncan of Mucho — takes the sports aesthetics out of team spirit to offer “living-room worthy prints that bring a modern design aesthetic to your favorite team, while subtly incorporating team history, colours, names, and mythology.” Shown: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and Phoenix Suns. This concludes this week’s NBA graphics coverage.
(Est. 1980) “HARMAN designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems; audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company’s software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 25,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.9 billion during the last 12 months ended March 31, 2015.”
Design by: N/A
Opinion/Notes: I can’t tell if the old logo is bad because someone scaled horizontally some unidentifiable sans serif or, worse, if someone drew it that way on purpose. Although it could have passed off as another generic Helvetica-ish wordmark, there is something more unsettling going on once you analyze it. Luckily it’s on its way out. Unluckily, it’s not replaced by something significantly better. The wordmark is definitely more contemporary and now clearly customized and proprietary. Had they had some restraint and not curved one quarter of the corners in each letter — and cohesively stenciled the “R” like the “A”s — this could have been a fairly nice wordmark. I’m also going out on a limb and take a guess that someone proposed the wordmark on its own, as an evolution of the old wordmark, but then someone else (99% sure a boss) said “This is missing something; how about some swooshes?”. I don’t want to hate on the swooshes by default because they do add something to the logo but I wish they were a lot better integrated, possibly aligning on a curve with the angles of the “A”s and have more intentional interaction with the wordmark rather than just disappearing behind an implied white box. Overall, sort of what you expect for a parent company trying to get more consumer recognition.
Related Links: Harman press release
Select Quote: HARMAN’s new logo represents the Company’s mission to enable seamless, connected lifestyles for the home, car, stage and enterprise through its leading audio products, infotainment systems, software and connected services.
A range of playful logos with different approaches today, with work from Sydney, Lisbon, and Moscow.
Pizzaperta Manfredi is an al-fresco, artisan pizza place in Pyrmont, a suburb of Sydney, opened by famed Italian chef Stefano Manfredi. The logo, designed by Frost*, comes in two flavors: the first, as a straightforward chunky serif stencil wordmark that is elegant and upscale but not necessarily inspiring; and the second, is where things turn for the best, when all the loose pieces of the stencil wordmark are jumbled and rearranged to form a circle that looks like a pizza and its toppings. It’s a playful complement to the main wordmark and works as a nice payoff for any customer paying attention. The circle logo is particularly convincing printed on top of the boxes where it looks like the pizza you are about to dig into. See full project
Hotel Convento do Salvador is a 43-room hotel housed in an old convent in the historical neighborhood of Alfama in Lisbon, Portugal, and it looks like a perfect blend of old and new. Inspired by the tightly-packed houses of the historic center where it sits, local firm Uma cobbled together an “H” made out of the most basic and iconic shapes of the surrounding houses. I love the asymmetry of the “H” and how it manages to convey the feeling of houses one on top of the other while keeping a charming vibe through the brick color seen on the shingles of these houses. The applications are basic and maybe a little shy but allow the logo stand out. The front door sign alone, though, shows less is more. See full project
Super Sila is a mobile game developer in Moscow with an unapologetically scaling logo designed by Denis Bashev and Alex Mamontov as a playful response to all those logos whose standards prohibit you from scaling them unproportionately. Based on a pixel wordmark, the goal of the logo is to cover every layout from corner to corner, legibility be damned. Based on UnderConsideration’s logo you might infer that I really dig this approach ; ) The effect can be well appreciated on Super Sila’s Facebook page where the profile and cover pictures are the same logo stretched to fit in those boxes. The print applications shown are probably renders but, still, really like them for their boldness and in-your-face-ness. See full project