Three Ways to Design Websites for User Experience

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

When we design websites, we don’t just focus on how the site looks, we care about every detail and how these details will impact user experience (UX) from start to finish. Microsoft Research has found that the average Web page visit lasts less than one minute. We know every second counts, which is why we design websites with our clients’ users in mind.

1. Know Your User

A recent article from UX Magazine discussed how developing fictional personas can bring sanity to projects. Through envisioning an actual user from a client’s target audience, the article shared that the designer can make inferences about the needs and desires of the audience, communicate user characteristics in a compact and clear way, help keep stakeholders from changing the definition of the audience and put a face on who the site is being designed for. 

2. KISS…Most of the time

A popular UX term is KISS — Keep It Simple Stupid. If there are too many fonts, colors, pictures or too much text jumping off the page, then your user will have information overload. If a site is simple and scannable, it is easier to navigate and stay connected. But don’t forget to know your user. Some small segments, such as engineers, may enjoy complex interfaces and the challenge that comes with them. Keep that in mind too, but most of the time just KISS.

3. Exceed Users’ Expectations

The UX article also discussed how if you exceed user’s goals, you will be memorable. Aaron Walter, the lead user-experience designer for Mail Chimp, discussed making a memorable product. “Hold on to that memory … that feeling is what we’re trying to craft through emotional design. We’ll create that feeling of excitement and we’ll bond with our audience.” It’s those little details, that you didn’t have to do, that usually make a huge, memorable impact on the user. 

Everyday at Fahrenheit Marketing, we are designing websites with the user’s experience in mind. To learn more about our Web designs, contact Fahrenheit Marketing today.

Follow Friday: Social Media Gurus

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Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

Even though most people know social media would help their businesses, many aren’t sure how to use it effectively. For this Follow Friday, we found five social media gurus that we learn from who were on the Forbes list for the Top 10 Influencers in Social Media.

1. @chrisbrogan: Chris Brogan is the NY Times bestselling author of “Social Media 101” and is the president and CEO of Human Business Works. He has an informative newsletter he sends out every Sunday to subscribers that shares many of his social media and online marketing secrets to success.

2. @MariSmith: Mari Smith is considered one of the top social media thought leaders and is a popular consultant who trains businesses in how to best use social media. She has a helpful book,“The New Relationship Marketing,” which outlines a proven nine-step program for building a network comprised of quality relationships that garner leads, publicity, sales and more.

3. @marketingprofs: Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, which provides strategic and tactical marketing know-how and training for marketing and business professionals. She also writes a helpful monthly column for Entrepreneur Magazine.

4. @garyvee: Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “The Thank You Economydetails the effect of social media on business. His company, VaynerMedia, helps Fortune 500 companies like Campbell Soup Company, PepsiCo, Green Mountain Coffee, the NY Jets and the Brooklyn Nets find their social media voices and build their digital brands.

5. @unmarketing: Scott Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing. He is an expert in Viral, Social and Authentic Marketing which he calls Un-Marketing — positioning yourself as a trusted expert in front of your target market, so when they have the need, they choose you. His book “UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging” became a national bestseller before it was released.

We hope learning from and following these social media experts will help you as much as they have helped us. To learn more about our social media strategies, contact Fahrenheit Marketing today. 

What is Content Marketing?

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

The type of advertising that worked decades ago doesn’t connect with this generation. People skip TV commercials, their eyes have become attuned to zoning out online ads, and they rarely buy magazines or newspapers. That is why another kind of advertising has become king, content marketing. 

The Content Marketing Institute says that content marketing is a marketing tactic where “instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”

One of the first companies to use content marketing was John Deere, when in 1895 they published a magazine about farming called The Furrow, which now has a 1.5 million circulation. In 1904, Jell-O gave out free copies of a Jell-O recipe book that contributed to sales of over $1 million by 1906. 

Now we see content marketing everywhere as companies try to share useful information on social networking sites with their customers, and have company blogs in which they share tips and stories they hope their customers can benefit from. 

According to the Roper Public Affairs, 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement, and 70 percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, while 60 percent say that company content helps them make better product decisions. 

Of course you can’t just write any content. Even if it is well-written and has wonderful information, if it’s not what the target audience is looking for, they won’t take interest in it or share it on social sites. Content Marketing for Dummies says the key to writing shareworthy content is to, “Deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time in the right place.”

Fahrenheit Marketing’s strategy is content-based. We analyze our clients’ target audiences and then write the best content that will help their customers and as a result help our clients’ businesses. To learn more about our content marketing, contact Fahrenheit Marketing today. 

Why We Love Roots WordPress Theme

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

Fahrenheit Marketing only hires the best of the best — that’s why Ben Word, the creator of the WordPress theme Roots, is one of our Web developers. We interviewed Ben to learn more about his popular Roots WordPress theme that our clients’ sites are based on. 

When did Roots come out?

Roots was released to the public and pushed to GitHub on March 28, 2011. I worked on it for a year and three months before the release.

Why should Web developers choose Roots over another theme?

Roots is constantly getting updated with both bug fixes and new features. The theme wrapper allows you to create themes with less code and makes your markup a lot easier to maintain. The included theme activation functionality allows you to activate Roots and immediately start theming, rather than spending time configuring some of your WordPress settings.

How did you come up with Roots?

Creating a WordPress theme from scratch can take a lot of time to implement your base markup and CSS. All of the starting themes out there didn’t fit my needs, so I decided to roll my own. It started out just based off HTML5 Boilerplate and the Blueprint CSS framework. After Twitter’s Bootstrap came out and ended up being a hit, it was made the default and only CSS framework included in Roots.

How many people have used Roots?

From what I know there’s about a dozen agencies that use Roots to start almost every project that they do. There’s about 500 users on the Roots Google Group that likely actively use the theme and there’s 2,500 people watching the repository on GitHub — but it’s hard to say how many people have created sites using Roots. Many people share new sites they’ve launched based on Roots on the Google Group and on Twitter, but I still randomly come across new sites every week that I’d never seen before that were created with Roots.

Why do you enjoy creating themes?

Before Roots it was kind of painful making themes because of how many times I’d have to copy/paste code and repeat myself from previous projects. But now that there’s a solid base with everything I need each time I start a new theme, it’s pretty easy and fun. Every theme I’ve done in the past year has been responsive, and it’s always fun to make everything work based off varying screen sizes. Using WordPress +Soil (how to) + Roots helps me rapidly create both basic and advanced sites that can do pretty much anything.

Are you thinking of creating any other themes?

I’ve got a lot of things on my to do list that are theme and plugin related, so hopefully you’ll see some new projects launched over the next few months.

To learn more about Fahrenheit Marketing’s Web and mobile development and how we can help your company, contact us today. 

Marketing Tool Profile: MailChimp

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Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

At Fahrenheit Marketing we use many online marketing tools that help us get our clients the results they want. For example, when our clients want to use email marketing to contact their customers, we use MailChimp because it always gives us the results we need. 

Through MailChimp, we design email newsletters, send them out, share them on social networks and track our results. Email newsletters are another way to help our clients communicate with their customers and keep them connected to their businesses. Some of our favorite aspects of MailChimp are:

1. A/B Split Testing

We don’t just send out emails and hope they do their thing. We carefully try out different methods through A/B testing to determine what methods work best. For example, we can test what day of the week gets us better open rates, what time of day works best for each client’s content and what subject lines are most effective. After we setup a test, MailChimp runs it for us and sends us the results of which campaign worked the best so we can do it again.

2. Analytics

Once emails are sent, we use the reports feature to analyze the results. Through MailChimp’s interactive graphs we can tell how many emails were delivered, how many people opened them, what percentage clicked, and more. We also like the industry comparison feature that tells us how our campaigns are doing compared with competitors’ campaigns in our clients’ industries. This helps us see if what we are doing is effective or needs improvement.

3. Autoresponders

We like how autoresponders help readers feel special and as a result, improve their experience with our clients. Through events-based triggers, we can send out autoresponders to readers based on opens, clicks, purchases or any other trigger we choose. Then, the reader will get an email perhaps thanking them for making a recent appointment with our client, or sending them more information about links they commonly click on. 

We enjoy how email marketing helps us connect our clients with their customers in a personalized way and how we can convert those email clicks into dedicated fans. To learn more about how Fahrenheit Marketing can help your company, contact us today.