The Ultimate Guide to UX Design

Think about a website or app you love. What do you love about it? The ease of gathering relevant information? Or how you can buy something in one-click (and have it delivered tomorrow)? Or how quickly it answers your questions? Now think about the people who created that website. What was their goal? They were trying to create a site that had the features you love about it. A site that is easy to use, effectively delivers the information you need, and allows you to make smart decisions tailored to your challenges or concerns. UX, or user experience, focuses on the end-user’s overall experience, including their perceptions, emotions, and responses to a company’s product, system, or service. UX is defined by criteria including: ease of use, accessibility, and convenience. The concept of UX is most often talked about in terms of tech, such as smartphones, computers, software, and websites. This is why UX is not only a fairly new field, but changes quickly due to technology advancements, new types of interactions, and user preferences. It’s no secret that customers today want quick and simple ways to meet their needs and solve their pain points. That’s why UX matters so much. Whether or not you’re in tech, the company you own or work for most likely has a website right? Well, customers could write you off in a matter of seconds if they don’t find your website useful and easy to use. In fact, most website visitors determine whether or not they want to leave within a minute of opening a page. Follow along to learn more about the importance...

13 Non-Technical Ways to Make Your Computer Run Faster

If your computer is constantly cursed by the spinning wheel of death, or you feel like you’re using a 90’s Netscape browser to surf the web, fear not — it doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new computer. You can implement some simple fixes to make your computer run faster, and most of them only take a few minutes to complete. Let’s flesh them out below. 13 Non-Technical Ways to Make Your Computer Run Faster Check your hard disk space Categorize desktop icons into folders Save old pictures and videos to the cloud or an external hard drive Close unused tabs Uninstall unused programs Delete temporary files Stop programs from automatically launching when your computer turns on Remove unnecessary language resources Update your computer’s software If your computer is hot to the touch, let it cool down Shut down or restart your computer at least once a week Remove unused dashboard widgets or gadgets Delete browser extensions or plugins you don’t use 1. Check your hard disk space. A common rule of thumb to keep your computer running fast is to have at least 15% of its hard disk space free. If your hard disk is almost full, you need to remove some programs and files to improve your computer’s speed. But if your disk has plenty of room, there could be something wrong with your operating system. 2. Organize desktop icons into folders. Organizing desktop icons into folders cleans up your background, and it also cuts down your computer’s RAM usage. Your computer has to load each individual icon when you don’t organize your desktop, which takes up...

UX vs. UI: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the difference between UX and UI can get confusing — the roles work closely together, and sometimes the terms are used too ambiguously to firmly understand either one. To understand the difference between UX and UI, let’s start with an example: YouTube. Take a look at the YouTube home screen. Everything you’re seeing — the search bar at the top, the “Trending” and “Subscriptions” and “History” categories on the left, the “Recommended” videos below — is all the work of a UI designer. At its most basic level, UI is the presentation and interactivity of a product — where’s the sign-up button, is it easy to navigate, where’s the logo and if I click the logo where does it take me? Now, imagine every YouTube video you click loads slowly. Imagine you search “cats” and nothing comes up. Imagine you can’t search account user’s by their username, so it’s hard for you to find that girl who sang an acoustic rendition of that Ed Sheeran song. With those actions, you’re having a less-than-ideal user experience. You don’t enjoy engaging with the product, and it isn’t offering you what you want. Those problems are the responsibility of a UX designer. Cognitive scientist Don Norman, who first coined the term UX in the 1990s, and Jakob Nielsen, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, explain the difference of UX versus UI this way: “Consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains...

17 Inspiring Instagram Video Examples From Oreo, GoPro, BuzzFeed & More

Remember when Instagram first started allowing users to post videos back in 2013? The first Instagram videos had to be recorded on your phone and could only be up to 15 seconds long. Those were the days that people compared Instagram video to its Twitter-owned counterpart, Vine. Instagram has come a long way since then, and it’s blown Vine out of the water. Like most of the other popular social networks, the folks at Instagram have made changes to its platform that make it easier for people to post and share videos. In late March 2016, Instagram announced they’d start rolling out the ability for Instagram users to upload 60-second videos. For iOS users, they added that users will soon be able to make videos out of multiple clips from your camera roll. Thanks to these changes, marketers can use the Instagram app to relate with their fans and customers, to communicate their business’ personalities and brand stories, and to express artistic creativity. There are a lot of brands who are posting great photos on social media. But what about videos? While brands have been slower to adapt to Instagram’s video platform, many of the ones that are experimenting with it are doing it really well. Check out the examples below. 17 of the Best Instagram Video Examples Click anywhere on the videos to play them, and click again to pause them. 1. Oreo Oreo is known for its simple, creative social media content — and its Instagram videos don’t disappoint. The video below is a great example of a fun, creative video that works perfectly for the platform....

29 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List

I have some bad news: Your email marketing database degrades by about 22.5% every year. Your contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another, opt-out of your email communication, or abandon that old AOL address they only use to fill out forms on websites. As a marketer, it’s your job to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns so you can keep your numbers moving up and to the right. (But not by purchasing email lists — learn why you should never buy an email list in this post.) What is an email list? An email list is a collection of email addresses that a business can create by engaging with potential customers through lead-generating campaigns. Email lists can shrink as members opt out of email subscriptions, and grow as the business solicits contact information from website visitors. If you’re not working on building your email list already, or you’ve run out of ideas to do so, here are 29 simple ways to grow that email list. 29 Creative List Building Techniques Using Email 1. Create remarkable email content Your content needs to be amazing if you want people to stay subscribed and forward your emails to their own network. If it’s entertaining enough, they’ll always look forward to your emails. 2. Encourage subscribers to share and forward your emails Include social sharing buttons and an “Email to a Friend” button in your marketing emails. That way, you’ll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a “Subscribe” CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded...

How to Actually Monetize Facebook Traffic with Messenger

For years, Facebook has been one of the best places to build and reach your audience. Over that same period of time, though, it’s become much more of a pay-to-play channel. In the earlier days of Facebook, you could create a post and count on your audience seeing it. Now, you’re lucky if that content reaches even 4% of your fans. Even if you can cut through the noise and reach them, though, can you say with confidence how it helps your business? Valuing your Facebook audience has been a black hole for many marketers. It’s hard to tie that audience to activity further down the funnel. Facebook wants businesses to keep their audience on Facebook properties. Posts that link out to external websites often see lower reach than those without. Messenger might be the key to monetizing your Facebook audience in a delightful way. Using channels together make them work better together. In other words, Facebook + Messenger = $ is the same thing as 1 + 1 = 3. With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, there’s a good chance your audience already uses Messenger. Facebook continues to invest in building new ways to reach your audience. One of those is “Comment-to-Messenger”. All a visitor has to do is comment a specific keyword on one of your Facebook posts. Then, a Messenger chat opens up, even if it’s the first time you’ve talked. This is a powerful way to send automated, contextual follow-ups to your audience. There’s lots of potential here across Marketing, Sales, and Service. But if you’re trying to monetize your audience, you need to...