The era of pixel-perfect is over

If you came into an office like ours five years ago, an early phase of the development process would have involved creating an exact, pixel-perfect model of the page.  You then had a reasonable expectation of seeing the actual web site looking exactly like the mockup.  We’ve had people send us messages saying “move the title 3 pixels over”, and five years ago, we honoured them.

This is no longer an acceptable practice.  It creates unrealistic expectations for the modern web experience.  Now, when you get a mockup, it’s more about showing overarching design principles than exact measurements.  There are several reasons for this change.

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Accidental Dark Patterns

A recent development in the field of interface design is the concept of “Dark Patterns”.  Ordinary site processes are subtly re-engineered to drive people to spend more money, subscribe to more spam, or otherwise have a worse experience.  Once you recognize them, they make a profound statement as to who’s actually providing a quality customer experience.

Some businesses are experts in explicitly designing their sites that way.  Many airlines, in particular, have turned it into a game, almost requiring a “walkthrough” to make your way to checkout and actually get the advertised price without upsells and gimmicks.  However, most clients don’t really want that.  There’s an unspoken trust– if we don’t abuse the customer, we have a chance of getting a higher lifetime value out of him.  However, poor site design– in particular for checkout– can often unintentionally create dark patterns.

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Don’t Hide Your Loading

For years, web developers have been driven to try to find ways to mask the performance characteristics of our sites.  We know that graphics are getting larger, third-party libraries are more prominent, and expectations are rising– but at the same time, everyone wants something up in 1.2 seconds after hitting the link.  Get something to load in a hurry, even if it’s not the full content, and everyone will feel like it’s faster.  However, like most “philosophies for web design”, this can be quickly followed from sensible to downright hazardous. Continue reading

Ryan Underdown

Ryan has been w me in business for so long we aren’t even going to guess, makes us feel old. Let’s just say he started working with me when he was a teenager, so a while. Ryan is the person we look to in the development and formation for new companies and fixes for old ones. His knowledge of the Internet and Internet marketing is immeasurable. His value to us at Web-Op is also without measure. He is my right hand man.  Thank you for all your years of dedication Ryan. I don’t know what I would do without you.

Rentcentives

Dimitri, Adam, David and Web-Op are about to start a revolution, a revolution involving every renter in the world.  It will happen between Web-Op in Arizona and the huge real estate market in New York City. David will be going there next week and the organization will be formed, a plan developed and the force will be released. Let the revolution begin.  

 

An example of why custom thumbnails are so important

Youtube Video Optimization Guidelines

Believe it or not, YouTube is still in its “wild west” phase.  Promoting content on YouTube is making more and more sense as consumers buy devices like the apple tv, amazon fire, android tvs etc.  We are all anxious to cut the cable cord and guess who benefits from that?  A lot of that traffic is going to YouTube.  Now is a good time to bone up on what factors are under your control for optimizing your video to rank for a keyword search.  Here are my suggestions, I look forward to finding out any I missed in the comments.

Before the video is made:

After the video is made:

Video Title

  • Save the file with the target keyword close to the beginning of the title.

Example:

  • target keyword: youtube video optimization best practices (video)
  • file name: youtube-video-optimization-best-practices.mp4

prepare a closed caption file
tools to make this easier:

  • https://www.inqscribe.com/ $99
  • http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/
  • DIY methods http://www.freewaregenius.com/how-to-easily-transcribe-audio-or-video-recordings-into-text/

Uploading to Youtube:

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72431?hl=en

Custom Thumbnail – VERY IMPORTANT!
most accounts in good standing and that are verified (see link above) have the ability to provide a custom thumbnail. Some details pulled from Google’s Support

  • Have a resolution of 1280×720 (with minimum width of 640 pixels).
  • Be uploaded in image formats such as .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG.
  • Remain under the 2MB limit.
  • Try to use a 16:9 aspect ratio as it’s the most used in YouTube players and previews.
An example of why custom thumbnails are so important
An example of why custom thumbnails are so important

Tag your videos
This one is surprisingly important in my experience. Tag at least three tightly relevant topics as well as something close to your main keyword. In our example above we might use tags of: “youtube video optimization”, “youtube seo”, “youtube video seo

 Additional Pointers

Always include the word “video” at the end of the title
Choose the most visually appealing thumbnail you can.
Allow all ratings, embeds, video responses, comments, comment voting etc.

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Jen Shirkani

Founder and CEO of The Penumbra Group, a nationally recognized expert on emotional intelligence (EQ) she provides keynote speeches, executive coaching and management consulting. She is the author of Ego vs EQ, a book that teaches leaders how to beat the eight ego traps with emotional intelligence.

We have been working for Jen for a few years now providing online marketing and branding services. Check out her beautiful site and amazing talents at  her website www.jenshirkani.com

Jen has become a special client and part of the Web-Op team. Especially it’s CEO and President David.

Look for her new site to come out soon at www.penumbra.com

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Skeduna

This company offers administrators and students the power to understand their degrees, courses and curriculum in a whole new way. 

Don’t know what you want to be when you grow up? Don’t worry, Skeduna has you covered. Track your progress across three different chosen majors. Make a smart and informed choice along the pathway of your degree. 

Today we are dealing w Garrett and Mathew, the co-founders and their marketing director Issac. This is going to be a great product for all you students out there. 

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Intentional Creation

This is the company that the late great Og Mandino gave his blessing to. He gave Dave Blanchard the torch of “The Worlds Greatest Salesman” to carry to the next generation. When you hear Dave teach you will understand why. He is truly one of the worlds greatest success teachers.

Dave has developed a couples retreat in the wild mountains of Utah. This is a program dreamed up by Dave and built for teaching the skills required to achieve success in your marriage. If you attend you’ll enjoy boating, hiking, four wheeling and snowmobiling. It’s a great way to expand the most important relationship on earth, your marriage.

New site will be live in a few days. What a great company. www.intentionalcreation.com