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Web Design

FutureNow Post
Monday, Jun. 29, 2009 at 9:18 am

For Every Optimization, There’s a Pyramid, So Get Started

June 29th, 2009

We at FutureNow sometimes wonder why more companies aren’t busy optimizing their websites and online marketing, or why those who are “on board” with the concept don’t always commit the right amount of resources towards the effort.

I’m not a mind-reader, but I think it’s due in part to an all-or-nothing mentality where nothing short of a full optimization ‘project’ is worth putting effort into.  Most companies are more interested in redesigning their websites all at once instead of incrementally, even though…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Jun. 22, 2009 at 9:04 am

The Shopping Cart: How to Answer the 5 Unanswered Customer Questions

June 22nd, 2009

The ecommerce shopping cart is a great place to run tests, as simple changes (layout, copy, color, etc.) often yield fantastic results.  There are unanswered questions in the minds of our customers that we think are obviously answered on the page, but they’re not.  If you’re not sure about what those unanswered questions are, you can back up a few steps and use personas or user testing to uncover them.

Here are 5 key, unanswered questions (beyond shipping costs) of the shopping…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009 at 8:01 am

Comments on 8 Useful Conversion Tips

April 15th, 2009

I couldn’t help but write down a few comments and links in response to a recent Smashing Magazine post.  Designed to Sell: 8 Useful Tips to Help Your Website Convert kicks major butt, and I thought you’d both enjoy the article and a few comments/additions thrown in for each of the 8 tips:

Tip 1: Subiminal Suggestion

Basically, make sure your design elements – and most especially your pictures – enhance your credibility and put visitors in the right emotional frame…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 8, 2009 at 7:10 am

Doesn’t Graphic Design/Layout Affect Scanning Patterns?

April 8th, 2009

Jakob Nielsen’s new post regarding how to optimize for online visitor’s F-patterned scanning is a must read.  There’s a lot of sound advice there, many of it confirming or aligning with Future Now recommendations.  Stuff like:

Don’t waste hyperlink words on non-descriptive or generic words.  Make links keyword rich and ensure that customers can predict where the link will take them.  Plan and link for maximum “scent” Use plain language.  In other words, talk to the dog in…

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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2009

Does Online Browsing Bend the Laws of Scent and Relevance?

March 31st, 2009

So your friend shows you this book he can’t stop raving about. After giving it the old dust-cover/random-flip-through examination, you pretty much decide to buy it. Now, when you arrive at amazon.com, my question is: are you at all interested in the book recommendations that Amazon has for you?

Absolutely not, right?  Or at least not yet.

You came to buy a specific book.  You’ve already got a task in mind and browsing random books aint it.  You’ll likely…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

A Strong Homepage Design Dissected

March 17th, 2009

You could say I look at homepages for a living.  Not really, but they’re one of the pages I analyze and optimize for a living.  I saw one I enjoyed the other day, so I’ll talk about the design, what I like about it, and make a few suggestions for improvement.

One of the first things I noticed (and liked) was that the homepage was quite tall.  Many designers seem averse to tall homepage designs, thinking that everything simply…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 at 7:08 am

Early Rumors of Commercial’s Death Greatly Exaggerated

January 7th, 2009

It’s a commonplace on the Internet that the traditional 30-second TV spot is dying.  What with increasing media fragmentation, the new “attention economy,” and TiVo/DVR’s, etc, etc.

Of course, there have always been some level-headed voices of dissent, but it was still interesting to read this bit of research on the effectiveness of fast-forwarded / DVR-ed ads.

Turns out that viewers have to pay attention to their TV Screens in order to fast forward through ads.  A real shocker that…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Instant Clarity on Common Website Problems

December 17th, 2008

YouTube Preview Image

Get Elastic‘s recent post on reducing friction kicks butt – providing incredibly clear explanations of too-common Website flaws along with great examples of how to do it right.  I wish I wrote it.  Not only did the article reduced me to green-faced envy, but many of the post’s links pointed to further “must reads.”

Do yourself a favor and go read it now.

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008 at 6:36 am

Yet Another Advantage of an Optimization Culture

December 4th, 2008

Amazon's Buy Page

We at FutureNow are big proponents of setting up a business culture of testing, optimization, and continuous improvement.  There are lots of advantages like improved conversion rates, bigger bottom lines, surviving tough economic times, getting past draining internal debates, and so much more.

Another advantage that we haven’t talked about as much is that an optimization culture can get you past the dangers of “best practices.” Many of our clients have implemented the “best practices” of other sites (or even other…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Presidential Candidates, Temperament & Website Copy?

October 30th, 2008

I knew I had to buy a copy as soon as I saw it on the magazine stand: the issue of Time Magazine with Presidential temperament as the front cover story.  They even had four presidential faces on the cover, which, before examining them, made me think of previous explanations of temperament using the Four Presidents on Mt Rushmore:

Dutiful George Washington for Sensing-Judging / Methodicals Philosophical Thomas Jefferson for iNtuitive-Thinking / Competitives Rambunctious Teddy Roosevelt for Sensing-Perceiving / Spontaneous…

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