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Does glitter work on everything?

28 Aug 2018 by Jeremy Sweetman

Recently, my daughter had a eureka moment when she realised that by copying her project from Google Docs into a website template, it would invoke a completely different response or level of engagement from her...

Digital
does glitter work on everything? jeremy sweetman

recently, my daughter had a eureka moment when she realised that by copying her project from google docs into a website template, it would invoke a completely different response or level of engagement from her audience. same copy, different outcome. excited by her breakthrough, she’s now an advocate of delivering her work by all sorts of varied means.

from this initial discovery, she’s also realised that sometimes a straight copy-and-paste just isn’t enough. sometimes additional crafting is needed depending on where her story is being told. now she’s graduated to adding pictures, quotes, videos and (of course) glitter to engage her audience.

this revelation isn’t new, but it is a reminder that we should continually look to craft our content to maintain its effectiveness – regardless of channel. but do we?

too often the focus becomes central to one channel. one output. all the thinking, crafting and love get poured into a single delivery. then, with what’s left, we make it work for the other channels. the risk is that the story can be diluted. lose its shine. or worse, its effectiveness.

as storytellers, this is on us.

so, whether you're a client, a strategist, marketer, creative or copywriter; if you’re planning, creating or delivering a multi-channel story, then (please) pause. think about how you craft your content. think about its effectiveness for every one of the channels you’ve identified. explore and understand all the opportunities; be aware of the challenges and limitations. in short, work towards telling the clearest story you can – for every channel.

multi-channel communication, crafting content

Semi Permanent - Day One

13 Aug 2018 by Jeremy Sweetman

  Semi-Permanent has always been a calendar event, but previously there was never really enough ‘digital’ to justify shelling out any sort of investment. This year, however, the ‘Day One’ agenda looked...

Digital
semi permanent - day one jeremy sweetman

 

semi-permanent has always been a calendar event, but previously there was never really enough ‘digital’ to justify shelling out any sort of investment. this year, however, the ‘day one’ agenda looked particularly designed for the technically inclined. speakers from air bnb, google and uber spoke alongside netflix and facebook forming the opening salvo for this year’s event. dad, can i go? pretty please!

the morning was crammed back-to-back with the above speakers, and they were all good (well, mostly). each offered a mix of wisdom and experience, which is still echoing away in my mind. one clear theme from all speakers was a need to craft the solution, prototype, test (and repeat and repeat and repeat), before deploying at scale (and by scale, think 80 million uber users generating over 10 billion rides (to date) or 120 million netflix users over 109 countries). what’s even more mind-blowing is the netflix product design team is only ten-strong and constantly on the move, experiencing the different countries and cultural differences to maintain relevance for each country netflix is in.

another core theme was the notion that ‘there are no sacred cows’, citing many examples where improvements can be found in areas already thought perfect.

whereas the morning talked digital, the afternoon couldn’t have been more different with a series of talks aimed at diversity within the creative industry. really powerful stuff! talks from beth o’brien (colenso) and tea uglow (google) left me particularly inspired (for different reasons) and reminded me of the benefits that pursuing more diversity brings to our own creative pursuits.

for me, ‘day one’ was a success. well done semi-permanent! knowing me, the speakers’ experiences will now slowly be deconstructed and repurposed' eventually touching aspects of my work. thanks for letting me go, dad. 

semi-permanent, insight creative

When was the last time you updated your website content?

18 Jan 2018 by Laura Lock

Your website’s live – you worked so well to get all the copy and images looking their best. Everyone’s happy and the champagne is swinging. Fast forward six months. Everyone’s still happy but, the website...

Digital
when was the last time you updated your website content? laura lock

your website’s live – you worked so well to get all the copy and images looking their best. everyone’s happy and the champagne is swinging.

fast forward six months. everyone’s still happy but, the website is looking a little tired and the news section hasn’t been updated since it went live. sound familiar? or worse… maybe swap out six months with sixteen months?

once a website goes live, it’s just the beginning. 

i’m sure we’ve all heard that before, so why do we ignore it? time. money. forgot to do it. know-how. motivation. too busy. this list sounds like the reasons why i don’t wash my car! in the end, it comes down to procrastination because there are ‘better’ or more demanding things to get done.

what does this mean for your website? well let’s look at some different scenarios from a client perspective…

 

the client who never updates/

the website is looking a little bit tired. that one seasonal image is now looking super out of place… but hey! if it was left for another quarter it could be relevant again!

search engines are indifferent to the site. they are ranking the website, but it’s slowly moving down the list because competitor websites have more recent content.

the client is probably happy, thinking that everything is ticking along nicely and that now that the website project is completed they’re ‘done’!

 

the client who updates weekly/

the website is looking good! a fresh face every week, or new articles in the news section every other day.

this client is signaling to their customers that they are active, relevant, available. newer content is perceived as more trustworthy.

search engines are happy there is new content! new content is improving the website’s ranking. tip: keep in mind that search engines like to have longer and quality posts to index.

 

updating websites has huge benefits, not only for you, our clients, but for search engine optimisation too.

some of you might be saying “we update our content all the time…”

well done! high five! keep it up, and don’t stop at the website – update your social media too!

can you update more than what you are doing at the moment? remember, constantly and consistently align your content with your website and business strategies to maintain your marketing effectiveness, to stay relevant, topical, fresh, and to keep the search engines constantly ranking you highly.

digital, website, seo, marketing

Designing for Diversity

19 Dec 2017 by Suzy Amon

User-Centered Design exists to reduce the gaps between people. Because more often than not the person designing the product and the person using it are very different.   Our users ( customers, visitors,...

Digital
designing for diversity suzy amon

user-centered design exists to reduce the gaps between people. because more often than not the person designing the product and the person using it are very different.

 

our users ( customers, visitors, friends ) have different ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, political views. they come from different places, but most importantly – they think differently than you.

research has shown that we do the majority of our thinking in our subconscious mind. this is where we store our habitual or unconscious biases.

did you know – if your brain was given a choice it would like to do the same things over and over again to conserve decision-making energy?

as creators, we have great power and therefore a great responsibility to be aware of our natural biases.

because of our design decisions, our audience will have a pleasurable or frustrating experience with a product. as a flow-on effect, that shapes how they feel about the brand and sometimes themselves.

here are some strategies we can use to start closing the gaps and combating bias:

  1. incorporating user research into our process: take the time to really know your audience, so you can have empathy for them.
  2. by hiring a diverse team: no surprises here, we need more unique perspectives to see what we don’t.
  3. building emotional intelligence: some people naturally have more than others but it can be learned. it assists in problem-solving and inspiring others.

so how will we bridge the gap in diversity so that our design captures a wider audience, making the experience more positive for a larger proportion of the population?

diversity, design, ux, effective design

Writing for Awareness

18 Dec 2017 by Laura Lock

Do you know what type of content our clients should be creating when they’re wanting to: Educate  customers about their new strategic direction for this year? What about  inspiring  their...

Digital
writing for awareness laura lock

do you know what type of content our clients should be creating when they’re wanting to:

educate customers about their new strategic direction for this year?

what about inspiring their customers to engage with their product more? 

or convincing their customers that they should lease that new property… 

or perhaps our client’s goal is to entertain their customers

what sort of content should we help them create?

+ + + + + + +

i have a super cool infographic to share with you that will help you answer all of the questions above – the content marketing matrix.

what is it? it’s a content creators dream. it’s a tool that suggests the type of content clients (and therefore us, #clientfirst) should be thinking about creating, depending on what they’re wanting to achieve. 

 

the content marketing matrix

 

source: smart insights

as you can see there are four quadrants that categories are split into (entertain, inspire, educate and convince) and along the outside are the overarching type of content you’ll be creating (rational, emotional, awareness, purchase). inside the quadrants are the recommended best type of content to create!

let’s give this some perspective, examples are our friend!

 

buying a bbq.

last weekend (after years of wanting one) my husband and i bought our first bbq. pretty exciting, right? a lot of thought went into the purchase as we wanted one that would last, but didn’t want to spend money unnecessarily.

i’m sure you can appreciate that if you were in the market to buy a new bbq, you’d want to shop around. compare features, read reviews, compare prices, perhaps even watch videos about how to use them.

if you’re shopping for a bbq then the goal of the marketer/content creator is to convince and inspire you to purchase one. using the matrix above the best types of content you should have are: celebrity endorsements, ratings/reviews, checklists, product feature documents and price lists.

do you agree?

 

what about an annual report?

the primary goal of an annual report is to tell the corporate story and educate and inform shareholders of the companies activities and financial performance throughout the previous year and propose new goals for the year ahead. shareholders are wanting to be reassured that their money is being spent well, and be convinced to continue to invest in the company. some of the content created is very rational and analytical – very different from buying a bbq - while the storytelling components are very much about painting a bigger picture: inspiring and convincing.

do you agree?

we use these to support our strategy and design to deliver what the client is wanting to achieve.

+ + + + + + +

there has been a huge amount of research poured into this way of thinking – it’s fascinating. you probably looked at the sheet above and thought “well yeah, that’s just common sense” – exactly – it’s all about knowing and creating the right kind of content for our customers, and their customers.

laura

ps. we bought a weber bbq

Getting married at first sight

18 Dec 2017 by Suzy Amon

Getting married at first sight is a dumb idea, but a surprisingly good TV show. You go blindly into a massive commitment, things get ugly but you come away having learned a lot about what you really want. In many ways,...

Digital
getting married at first sight suzy amon

getting married at first sight is a dumb idea, but a surprisingly good tv show. you go blindly into a massive commitment, things get ugly but you come away having learned a lot about what you really want. in many ways, this is exactly like a design sprint.

we don’t know what we don’t know, and as much as we think we’re good at envisioning what our audience want we can’t really know without asking them.

so, when it comes to investing big money it’s a good idea to do a rehearsal.

recently we conducted a sprint to validate a few big questions we had before leaping into building the margaret mahy website. the website would be a place to house margaret’s legacy, with around 160 pieces of work, and a range of audience groups young and old. it needed to be magical, easy to search through large amounts of content and also have the potential to win awards.

a lot to ask for with a small budget and a lot of investment by insight creative.

"when it comes to investing big money it’s a good idea to do a rehearsal."

to start with we took one week to validate if we even liked the idea enough to invest, and to explore how practically it would work from a functionality point of view.

then with week two, we prototyped the key functionality so we could see if it would work and if it was going to be as cool as we’d built it up to be in our minds.

what we learned from this experiment was there is some key functionality that needs to be invested in, that quality content will be very important, and that overall it is an exciting opportunity to make an award-winning site but we’re going to need to invest a lot of our time.

the great thing about a sprint is having all these key learnings at the beginning so we can make better decisions and have a clearer expectation of what’s to come.

Websites: the end is just the beginning

16 Oct 2017 by Jeremy Sweetman

When I visit a website, I typically (and quickly) scan the homepage. I might scroll just beyond the fold to see what content morsels lie just out of sight – and if I don’t find anything to sink my teeth into –...

Digital
websites: the end is just the beginning jeremy sweetman

when i visit a website, i typically (and quickly) scan the homepage. i might scroll just beyond the fold to see what content morsels lie just out of sight – and if i don’t find anything to sink my teeth into – i check out the menu. if it’s a burger, i open it.

every website has a goal. an intent. whether measurable by dollars & cents, subscription or shares, or likes or engagements. in an ideal situation, users would all view a website in the same way, they would understand the intent and participate – consciously or sub-consciously. the problem is, that even with the clearest of journeys, the user will always do what the user always does. the challenge then becomes one of designing a better user experience. one that marries the user’s needs with the business objectives.

when we develop a website, we factor in that people engage differently. they navigate differently; some consume content, others snack; some anchor themselves to desktops, others view things on the go. the one truism is that people engage differently.

so, given that people engage differently, how do you build the perfect website to cater for all the differences? the answer is, you don’t.

when you start defining an experience, you research, and plan, and interview and develop and trial all of the ideas and possibilities you think will solve the challenge. at some point, you have to put it out there and watch. and learn. and then refine and evolve.

knowledge, creativity, and experience provide a perfect starting point, but ultimately your users define how they will engage with you and your brand.

"at some point, you have to put it out there and watch. and learn.

and then refine and evolve."

through observation of user behaviour, you can refine your service and offer more meaningful choices. you can cater for better engagement. ultimately, you aim to aid your users to achieve your goals by delivering a better experience. to assist in your quest for clarity, a wealth of knowledge, tools and analysis is on offer to help you maximise the online experience of your users.

don’t be afraid to not know all the answers when you go live with a website. be galvanised in the notion that you’ll learn, and refine, and improve with each user interaction. your goals will be more achievable, fuelled by an increase in your understanding. your platform will become more resilient to change the more you know about how your users engage – regardless of browser, device or time of day etc.

to create meaningful online experiences that ebb & flow based on user needs and business objectives – don’t ever see the ‘going live’ of your website as the end of your project – but instead, the beginning. be prepared to learn more about your users, beyond what you thought you knew. and don’t shy away from changing your direction off the back of analysis of your users’ behaviours.

websites, user experience, ux, incremental improvement

Digital Strategy – old magic, new tricks

19 Jun 2017 by Steven Giannoulis

I'm currently documenting my 'methodology' for creating sound digital strategy, and what strikes me is that there’s no ‘special digital strategy sauce’ that makes me more special, more current and more in the...

Digital
digital strategy – old magic, new tricks steven giannoulis

i'm currently documenting my 'methodology' for creating sound digital strategy, and what strikes me is that there’s no ‘special digital strategy sauce’ that makes me more special, more current and more in the know than non-digital strategists. i’d like to position what i do in digital projects as a superpower, a dark art or a magical calling bestowed on us chosen few. reality is, i’m doing the same sh*% that has underpinned good marketing strategy since eve promoted her ‘apple’ to adam.

as more things change –  technology advances, consumer expectations sky-rocket and sources of information explode – the fundamentals that make a good marketing and communication strategy remain even more relevant. it’s not to say there aren’t some things that apply specifically to digital, but we can say the same about every communication medium.

when developing a strategy for a digital project like a website, we must carefully balance the needs of the client and the user. it’s easy when they perfectly align but, frankly, that just never happens.

let’s start with the client. a digital project always starts with understanding what we are doing and why. what’s the business objective? a good strategist gets to the heart of a brief – the why – rather than just focusing on just capturing the what and how. in my experience, the why will always come down to delivering revenue or cost-savings, enhancing reputation, driving efficiency or quality and/or managing risk. the quicker you can determine which of these is the primary driver, the quicker you can work out what success looks like and how to deliver it.

then we move to the communication strategy. where does the project sit in the client’s wider communication programme? how does it integrate with other activities, offline and online? these days a website can be both the fulfilment piece at the end of a promotional chain and/or the gateway to starting two-way dialogue with customers via social media. understanding where it sits in the wider sales or engagement process influences how we design and structure a site and its content. and of course, there’s the wider industry and competitive context your online presence co-exists in.

and then there’s our target audiences. who are they? why do they come to the site? what do they want to know, do and feel?  what content is important and why? what engages them and what turns them off?  when do they come? not just time of day but where in the decision-cycle? where do they come from and how do they get here – desktop, tablet, phone or cross-device? lots of questions, many which clients can answer, some we understand with research and others we observe through analytics and testing.

digital strategy is an exercise in balancing the needs of clients and audiences.

there’s lots of talk about good ux, and you can’t deny its importance, but a good user experience won’t necessarily drive the outcomes the client needs.

i may be the odd-one out here but i always start with the client need first. after all, they’ll judge our success (and they’re the ones paying!) i develop a small number of high-level approaches that i think will deliver the result the client needs. these usually come from a combination of experience, research and on-going reading and learning. i run these through a top-down checklist in my head. how would this strategy manifest itself in site architecture, navigation, content, story-telling, interaction, experience, integration, seo, tracking, sign-up/fulfilment, etc? talking myself through these answers eliminates some options and ensures the remaining ones are better considered.

the final step is to apply a bottom-up client-led review of the remaining strategies. audience by audience. will this strategy drive this audience to the site? will it give them what they need in a way that will engage them? what’s the primary user journey? what would make them dive deeper into the site, stay longer or explore more pages? will it drive them to buy, call, email, subscribe, like, comment, watch, or whatever other action we need them to take?

most strategies fail in execution which is why i see clarity as the single most important aspect of a good strategy, digital or otherwise. the more-single-minded the strategy is the easier it is for clients to understand it and for designers, developers, content creators and others to work out how to best apply their expertise to implement it effectively.

so, there it is, a glimpse behind the digital strategy curtain. disappointed that it’s not exactly magic and more science than a dark art? and as mysterious as i try to make it, i’m just an old dog doing the same old tricks, in a new medium, that strategic marketers have done forever.

digital, strategy. user experience, effectiveness

The Reign of Content

12 Jun 2017 by Jeremy Sweetman

The continued reign of content online is undisputed. It remains central to any online patronage. It motivates engagement, drives purchases and creates connections between individuals and brands. Think about it. When...

Digital
the reign of content jeremy sweetman

the continued reign of content online is undisputed. it remains central to any online patronage. it motivates engagement, drives purchases and creates connections between individuals and brands. think about it. when was the last time you visited a site because they used a certain cms or technical infrastructure? i’m guessing, never! although if you’re more technically inclined <cough>geek</cough> like me, maybe you do on occasion. 

arguably, sites are visited because of an article, or video, an animation, a meme, or a blog… etc. etc. etc. don’t get me wrong, the platform or the container is important. just not important to the people visiting your site.

clearly, content matters! this is not a new concept by any stretch. not even one i can lay claim too. in 1996, bill gates coined the phrase ‘content is king’. he predicted that the internet would eventually make money via content, as it does in broadcasting. fast forward 20+ years, and many notable individuals have gone on to endorse bill’s sentiment. arguably, his predictions not only hold true today but are central to developing rich user engagements and loyalty.

"good content allows us to tell the clearest stories."

good content allows us to tell the clearest stories. we use video to make the complex simple. we deliver interactions that engage and surprise. we contextualise to add meaning. and we wrap it in brand to create a connection and deliver an experience.

the digital landscape continues to change – with new technologies, frameworks, tools and methodologies to enable us to maximise how we engage with our users. through this transformation, the value of content has been a constant, and with new tools & technologies, we’re able to create (and deliver) even better content than ever before.

however, given this transformation, we must now balance a new set of challenges. challenges like understanding how people navigate, search, scan and engage with content. these components must then be reflected against supported devices (i.e. mobile vs desktop), with consideration placed on the content pace & structure - potentially offering things like a tiered content structure to allow users to drill deeper – where relevant/interested.

"users visit sites because content has meaning. but they can also leave, due to lack of it."

by wielding these new tools, we can create more meaningful and engaging online experiences. we can contextualise content based on location, device and/or previous user engagement. we create intimacy by providing relevance and conversation. we use functionality to amplify (the content) – because we understand that people don’t visit our sites because we’re using wordpress or drupal or {insert cms here}. they visit because our content has meaning. and (sometimes) they leave, due to lack of it. content truly is still king.

so, if content is king, how do you encourage engagement, drive purchases and create connections with both your users and brand? how do you deliver a memorable experience?

website, content

Two key websites go live

11 Aug 2015 by Mike Tisdall

Insight launched two important corporate websites on Friday 7 August. Property for Industry’s new website builds solidly on the down to earth brand story, personality and muscular visual identity that we created and...

Digital
two key websites go live mike tisdall

insight launched two important corporate websites on friday 7 august.

property for industry’s new website builds solidly on the down to earth brand story, personality and muscular visual identity that we created and launched early last year. it’s a highly complex site made to appear very simple to users, with distinct user journeys for their two separate audience groups. a data rich site, the intelligent back end database makes updating a plethora of property information a one-point-entry, dynamic exercise. the site elevates video to a key role in the communication toolkit of the site.

fletcher building re-work was a timely temporary upgrade while a full site re-vamp is meticulously planned. two quick fixes were employed: the first to make the site responsive and allow the content-duplicate separate mobile site to be retired – now fletcher building only have to update one content management interface; and the second, to redesign the home page completely to move it from static to newsy, topical, interesting and much more dynamic. it allows rapid deployment of important new stories and enables video content as well – all in a much fresher design.

www.pfi.co.nz

www.fbu.com

 

pfi, fletcher building, website

Major law firm gets a rebrand

02 Jun 2015 by Mike Tisdall

May saw two exciting developments for law firm, Meredith Connell. First, government announced that the firm had retained the warrant as Auckland's Crown Prosecutor after a lengthy - and much delayed - assessment...

Digital
major law firm gets a rebrand mike tisdall

may saw two exciting developments for law firm, meredith connell. first, government announced that the firm had retained the warrant as auckland's crown prosecutor after a lengthy - and much delayed - assessment process. and second, the firm's bold new brand was launched. it's difficult to be different in the higher echelons of new zealand law firms, but meredith connell were determined to express an explicit point of view and powerfully differentiated personality. you can see a full case study on the 'work' section of this site, and also have a look at the new website we launched as part of the new brand launch: www.mc.co.nz

 

 

brand, meredith connell, insight creative

Trending away from Trends

11 Mar 2015 by Brian Slade

A well designed future may be informed by trends but shouldn’t be slavish to them says Brian Slade.   At the start of each year, just as are getting back from that glorious summer break, there seems to be an...

Digital
trending away from trends brian slade

a well designed future may be informed by trends but shouldn’t be slavish to them says brian slade.

 

at the start of each year, just as are getting back from that glorious summer break, there seems to be an ever increasing array of trend predictions - from retail trends, to sports, oscars, careers, celebrities, cars, the work place, sharemarkets, technologies, the list goes on. i find these lists really interesting, as i’m sure half the things on them wouldn’t stand a chance of getting anywhere without these trend predictions and then our own innate human curiosity. interestingly self-fulfilling!

the design industry isn’t without its own predictions. these need to be navigated carefully in order not to simply fall into the trap of being relevant one minute and not the next.

until last year, some marketers had considered cross-device optimisation as a fringe benefit. no more. “mobile first” is the catch cry for online design now. agility marketing (likes and tweets) looks to increase as marketers and audiences talk ‘face to face’ more online than ever before and rich media and video become more commonplace. there’s a growing desire for simplicity and cleanliness in communications with flat simple graphics continuing to lead the way. countering this desire for clarity is a resurgence of crafted typography with an expressive personality and humanity. the colour for the year is apparently masala (pms 18-1438), with pantone claiming it is appealing to both male and female, hearty, yet stylish, universally appealing and translating to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

i think part of the trick is knowing when a trend is relevant to your communications task and when it’s not, but more importantly understanding what’s behind the trend and relevantly applying this to a project. as a rule of thumb it’s safe to say that if you’re working on a one-off campaign or communication that speaks to a more youthful audience you’ll want to be employing visual elements and language that resonate as being ‘on trend’. having said that, part of a designer’s role is always going to be ensuring that the visual language they are using resonates with their primary audience.

our work on the nz super fund’s website is an example of this. the nz super fund was set up for the government to save now in order to help pay for the future cost of providing national super to kiwis. they have a clear understanding of what their audiences are looking for and speak to them consistently over a long period of time. our design approach needed to be current but, more importantly, be relevant to many audiences and for a number of years to come. 

 

their primary external audiences include investment managers that follow them closely with strong relationship-based communications, interested members of the public and international and local media. we’ve worked with the fund for a number of years on visual identity streamlining and various offline communications including their annual report which has achieved international recognition.

the website held quite different challenges, speaking primarily to audiences that look to track the fund’s performance and understand its investment approach. working closely with the client and undertaking user testing, we built on their existing website’s good bones by refining the ia (information architecture). we put a lot of focus on the ux (user experience), looking to optimise intuitive site navigation with an enhanced site search to achieve transparent, clear, accurate information. gaining clarity through clear design thinking.

the design solution involved moving the existing abstract imagery to more human imagery of children, parents and grandparents interacting in natural new zealand environments. once again looking to the trend of connectivity and belonging, these give an essential reality to why the fund exists. this approach also delivered on the inter-generational aspect of the fund – saving now to benefit future generations.

rich content such as video was used to explain more complex content, once again on trend but clearly functional and beneficial to the end user, putting a face to the investments.  the design uses a combination of subtle but important humanist design assets such as soft shadowing in the navigation and layered colour tones. while these go against the flat graphics trend, they create a warmer experience that supports the fund’s purpose. 

the nz super website is a well designed site that, although isn’t slavish to a trend, is clearly informed by them. it just takes a bit of courage and judgement.

- published in nz marketing magazine, march/april 2015

IBBY Congress website goes live and gains instant plaudits

06 Mar 2015 by Mike Tisdall

In less than 24 hours, this is the feedback received on the new IBBY Congress website that went live yesterday morning. The following is mostly from NZ so far, but some of this is from countries like Switzerland,...

Digital
ibby congress website goes live and gains instant plaudits mike tisdall

in less than 24 hours, this is the feedback received on the new ibby congress website that went live yesterday morning. the following is mostly from nz so far, but some of this is from countries like switzerland, scandinavia and moldova!



see the site here.



feedback re ibby congress website

  • congratulations and huge thanks to mike and his team. we simple could not be at this stage without his patience, ‘insight and creativity’. we, storylines and ibby congress planners, are very fortunate to have had his expertise and willing support.
  • how absolutely wonderful, rosemary. thanks to mike and you for all the work that has made it one of the most wonderful websites for a conference i think i have ever seen!
  • wow
  • looks absolutely great – very clear and easy to access! a huge well done, mike and team. congratulations.
  • fantastic rosemary – a huge milestone! will be sharing a lot – just saw it (and liked it) via frances on facebook!
  • just brilliant!
  • well done to mike and his team. have just cruised and perused the site and it is fabulous indeed.  the look, the feel, ben’s illustrations, the enticing content, relating both to the conference and to nz as a destination.
  • i agree! it looks really wonderful and the initial ideas still stand up superbly well. if i was 24 hours away i would want to come! (and the nz video has given me a great big lump in my throat … true pride! ). thank you rosemary, libby and all. thank you mike, it is brilliant!
  • brilliant! congratulations to mike and his team. very easy to navigate and looks great
  • looks wonderful – congrats to mike and his team. and to rosemary and libby for creating such compelling content.
  • ditto. great job by mike and his team and supported by the committee
  • completely gorgeous! how could anyone resist!
  • beautiful! enticing, one would hope
  • joining chorus of compliments for the website – looks fabulous, clean, user-friendly and very appealing. well done, all folks involved – especially to mike, who i gather has had something to do with it!
  • thought you might like to know that it has gone out internationally. and my facebook post has been picked up by friends in australia and japan so far. amazing job, rosemary
  • i have been exploring the website further and it is really excellent! the information is clear, comprehensive and easy to find, and the design is so clear and fresh. yes, it is fantastic! (ibby international president, lucerne, switzerland)
  • congratulations! on a beautiful, easy to navigate, interesting and fun congress website. (ibby international coo, lucerne, switzerland)
  • the website looks fantastic. the nz page with the 10 must see places looks great.

Charming new website for the IBBY Congress

25 Aug 2014 by Mike Tisdall

With New Zealand hosting the 2016 IBBY Congress (International Board on Books for Young People), the oganisers needed to start generating some interest well in advance. With most prospective delegates coming from...

Digital
charming new website for the ibby congress mike tisdall

with new zealand hosting the 2016 ibby congress (international board on books for young people), the oganisers needed to start generating some interest well in advance. with most prospective delegates coming from the northern hemisphere, getting the commitment to attend was a potential barrier to financial viability. so leaning on the exotic pull of a visit to new zealand - tugging at the 'bucket list' opportunity - was the decided strategy. future iterations of the site will focus more fully on the attractions on the congress itself. but for now, an engaging and innovative one-page site that focuses on the tourism pull of new zealand has been designed to raise awareness, pique interest and encourage forward planning.

view the site here.

ibby, congress, website

Web apps vs native apps

14 Mar 2014 by Mike Tisdall

For those interested in the debate around whether native or web apps are the best approach, this article is very interesting. It argues in favour of web apps, but gives good insights on strengths and weaknesses of...

Digital
web apps vs native apps mike tisdall

for those interested in the debate around whether native or web apps are the best approach, this article is very interesting. it argues in favour of web apps, but gives good insights on strengths and weaknesses of each. worth a read.

trends, design, apps

Web design trends for 2014

16 Dec 2013 by Jeremy Sweetman

Everyone tends to like having a stab at predicting the future of… well… anything & everything. So here goes… my top three predictions for web design in 2014 are: 1. More flat design: More and more we are...

Digital
web design trends for 2014 jeremy sweetman

everyone tends to like having a stab at predicting the future of… well… anything & everything. so here goes… my top three predictions for web design in 2014 are:

1. more flat design: more and more we are seeing big brands moving away from skeumorphism in favour of a flat design. design that represents a 100% purpose when considering the function of the product. the most obvious examples (that i’m almost certain most have experienced) is the new ios7 from apple or (from the other camp) the windows metro ui and its wonderful array of tiles. flat design tends to focus on flat shapes and indicators that help the user have a more accessible experience.

click here for an interesting article around the battle of flat design versus skeumorphism. or check out this infographic.

2. focus on mobile: a bit of a no-brainer really. mobile is here. with 4.55 billion people expected to use a smart phone in 2014 – it’s no surprise the shift in focus (source. emarketers, jan 14, 2014). but what this figure doesn’t account for are all tablet users or steady flow of wearable gadgets starting to hit the market. mobile is going to be big.

this (obviously) means understanding the nuances of our users and how they consume information across all these devices will be key to mastering the mobile space.

3. endless scrolling: as much as the concept of ‘infinite’ or ‘endless’ scrolling as been around for a little while – i think it will definitely become more prominent within new sites & over new platforms.

i think it (definitely) will start to reign supreme on mobile devices; as it allows users to scroll through content faster & easier than having to click through links and wait for pages to catch up. typically, infinite scrolling pages are not content-cluttered which aligns itself with the new online design techniques quite nicely. this is especially true when overall layout and design can change as a user scrolls – which makes it easy for users to forget they are scrolling through quite a bit of information.

one of my current favorites (for lots of reasons) is departementcreatif.com – check it out.

of course, other ‘designery‘ stuff which is gaining momentum in popularity at the moment – whether by design, opportunity or necessity has to include:

  • less text, more video: a wall of text versus a 30 second video – no contest.  videos are a great way to effectively communicate with audiences who want to be entertained & engaged.
  • big background videos: as bandwidth has less impact on design, we are starting to see more big background videos; that (if done right) provide a deeper user experience and greater connection to the brand.
  • hidden/slide-out menus: users are becoming more and more savvy in their use of technology. a button to reveal a plethora of menu options is becoming common place on mobile devices. although, some would argue this is a negative from a ux/usability perspective – what do you think?


so, have i missed something important? have i got something completely wrong? be vocal and let me know.

of course, i’d be keen to hear what your web design predictions for 2014? don’t be shy!

website, trends

Web Design trends for 2013

07 Feb 2013 by Mike Tisdall

Here’s an interesting and easily skimmable article on where web design is heading. Some ‘design’ stuff and a wee bit of more technical stuff, I reckon there’s something relevant in here for anybody looking at...

Digital
web design trends for 2013 mike tisdall

here’s an interesting and easily skimmable article on where web design is heading. some ‘design’ stuff and a wee bit of more technical stuff, i reckon there’s something relevant in here for anybody looking at reviewing their online presence this year.

such things as:

  • mobile first design
  • infinite scrolling
  • whitespace & minimalism
  • natural design elements
  • big photography
  • cleaner source code
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