All posts in Selling

User Experience Activities for Ecommerce & Software

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Reposted July 2, 2012 as this is applicable to an upcoming post on user experience and influence – watch for it this week!

In an effort to better communicate what we do for clients, I’ve created two PDF documents that describe the various user experience activities that take place on an ecommerce or software design project.

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WordPress vs. Tumblr – A Simple Overview

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This post, originally published a year ago, has been updated as of December 3, 2011 to reflect changes on both platforms and offer new ideas. This is the single most-read post on our site, and daily searches of WordPress vs. Tumblr and Tumblr vs. WordPress is how people find it – so apparently lots of folks are debating this question!

The ever evolving world of blog platforms can be confusing so we try to help our clients understand the basic differences between the options they are considering.  Much of the discussion regarding platform benefits is often slanted from a developers point of view, making it a bit frustrating and hard to understand for someone who isn’t living in the coding world. Therefore, we created this quick and easy overview to help our non-techy friends grasp the “so what” of both platforms.

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The Perspective on Pricing

I had the pleasure of writing this article for the special edition 2011-2012 “The Thinking Bigger – Guide for Entrepreneurs” publication that was placed on the news stands in October. We understand many of our blog readers are from outside the KC area so wanted to shared it here to help anyone who may be involved with setting product and service price points.

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How To Enhance Your Tumblr Site

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Given the vast majority of our site traffic coming to us with Tumblr (vs WordPress) questions, I’ve decided to add some posts on these and other blogging platforms to help people get the most of our their chosen platform. I will update this post of Tumblr “How To’s” as I get specific questions from folks. So let’s get started with some basics!

How To… Choose a Theme

Tumblr has a theme set up by default that you will likely want to change, as it’s just generic. They make “trying on” different themes super-easy though, by using the Theme Garden.

Login to your Tumblr site, and then go to http://www.tumblr.com/themes and look at the available themes. They are organized by Featured, Premium (which cost money), Recent and Popular themes, and they show you how many people are using each theme. You can click the “Preview” button at the bottom of each design to get an idea of what your site would look like using this theme.

There are a few additional places where you can find paid themes. These themes look good as-is, but can also be customized by professional design agencies (like ours) to coordinate with your brand. For an example of this, see the original Style Hatch theme “Savory” and then look at our client’s site, Cowgirl Cravings. Using the same brand identity elements that we use on her other sites, we adjusted the Savory theme to make it unique for her brand.

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Fresh ALERT: New Etsy Feature Will Let Users Find You by Email by Default

This post could be titled “The Almost Perfect Way to Make a Security Change on a Social Site”

This morning I got the following email from Etsy. We sell some templates there so this is in reference to a new site feature that will go live in the next few weeks:

Now, upon first reading this, you might think “Awesome – Etsy actually notifies their sellers IN ADVANCE about a feature that might affect their privacy, security, and usage of the website. What a marvelous approach.”

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Are Recommendations Engines Circumventing User-Focused Design?

Fanboy30_consumeA dangerous trend is making users of ecommerce sites and software unwitting victims in the quest for more revenue. Though money certainly does make the world go ‘round, and the strong flow of money aids the greater good, the latest features being demanded by marketing departments (not necessarily users) are “Recommenders” designed to keep visitors on a site, spending their hard-earned dollars.

User experience evangelists need to stand up for the users of their sites and software, and make sure this feature does not negatively impact the user experience. These tools may not only destroy a positive brand and user experience, they could ultimately result in the loss of customers if they aren’t implemented with integrity and an awareness of user perception when faced with a barrage of recommendations meant “just for them.”

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