Moveable Online

Moveable Online

About Moveable Online

Moveable Online acts as the IT strategy and implementation support team for design firms, agencies, corporations and institutions. Located in Toronto, we focus on providing best-in-class corporate digital strategy and implementation.

How to Implement Google Publisher Markup on Your Website (and why you should)

 

IBM search results

This is an update to an earlier version of this article. It has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

By now, you’ve likely seen rich search results popping up in Google for brands and publishers, and you might be wondering how you can get your site to appear in search results like that.

In this article, we’re going to cover how you can enable what is referred to as “Google Publisher Markup”, and why it’s valuable for your site.

 

What can you do with Google Publisher markup?

Over the years, Google has added more and more rich snippets to its search results pages.

Listicles, answers to questions, definitions, directions, instructions, company profiles, reviews, and the weather are all things that Google can now pull from content and repurpose into a search result.

Google Publisher markup (along with Schema.org) is the technical HTML implementation of this.

Google Publisher traditionally allowed companies to post their own information in a short bio (“meta description”) as a search result when people Googled them.

For example, here’s ours:

moveable online search results

Today, the same functionality has been expanded to include other capabilities that let you:

  • Add a searchbox to your site

washable search bar

  • Provide a specific name for your business to show up in organic search (or multiple names)
  • Submit a specific logo to show up in search results and the knowledge graph, like in the example of IBM at the top of the page
  • Add breadcrumbs
  • Add social media links to SERPs
  • Redirect people to your app instead

 

Why bother with markup?

Markup makes your search result easier to read and understand. It helps drive user engagement. Markup gives MOST users MOST of the information about your company they’re going to be looking for.

Dave’s Computers Search resultsFor example, imagine that you were getting your computer fixed by Dave’s Computers, but you’re going to be 20 minutes late picking it up.

Without Markup, you have to dig through three pages of the site to get a contact number.

With Markup, it’s just one click. You can even call directly from the search result for a more streamlined experience.

Second, snippets will get more important as people increasingly search via voice tools like Siri or Google Assistant. In conjunction with the Schema.org project, Google is moving from telling you where to get information to providing that information themselves.

This is an important shift.

As Google becomes more of a one-stop shop, they’ll prioritize companies that make it easy for them to pull information in the form they want it. To catalyse the change, Google’s made it good for SEO, both in terms of ranking and in how your result looks in the SERPs:

  • Google My Business links your Google+ account to your search results. This ports over the information to your search results (e.g. phone numbers).
  • Enable breadcrumbs so people can see where they’re going to land before the click.

 

Accelerated Mobile Pages

The final benefit of using Google Publisher markup is integration with the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project.

It’s a system of building web pages in stripped-down HTML so they respond extremely quickly over slow connections on mobile devices. You can publish your site with AMP using a plugin if you’re using a CMS, or you can build your own AMP pages.

Either way, AMP helps your site by:

  • Providing a visual cue in the SERPs that your site is speedy on a phone
  • Letting your content into the Top Stories carousel
  • Pulling enriched snippets from your content for certain content types like reviews, recipes, music, video, local businesses, and TV and movies

NY Times AMP results

 

How to add Google Publisher markup

Fortunately, you don’t have to bother with rel=publisher links anymore.

Now, adding Google Publisher markup to your site is a simple task:

  1. Register your business with the search console.
  2. Configure your information like name, number, address, and hours to display exactly how you want to them too.
  3. Add a specific site name to search results using JSON-LD or Microdata.
  4. Add your logo to the knowledge graph using Microdata in your page header.
  5. Add social media links using this microdata markup in your page header.

Now, you’re set for the basics of Google Publisher markup.

However, there’s plenty of additional work you can do to make your site even more user (and Google) friendly.

  • Adding breadcrumbs makes it easy for people to see where they’re going before they click.
  • Adding a searchbox using markup language on your homepage reduces the clicks for users to get where they’re going.

 

Over to you

Now it’s over to you.

Making your site exceptionally user friendly doesn’t have to be an arduous task anymore. Google’s Schema.org project, AMP, and Google Publisher markup present brands with unique opportunities to provide users the information they want at the click of a link. And with distinct SEO benefits as well, the opportunity cost of not being on Publisher is only going to increase.

At the end of the day, Google Publisher can help make your customers’ lives easier.  And no one’s ever lost business doing that.

8 Key Features for Websites in the Education Sector

college website

One of the most challenging types of websites to design and deploy are those of education institutions.

Students, prospective students, faculty, administrators, graduates, and alumni all have specific needs. And unlike websites of other big organizations, these user groups have few overlapping needs.

education website

Which is why so many educational websites feel behind the curve.

Fortunately, there are plenty of best practices out there to help bring these hulking websites firmly into 2017. Here are our top 8.

Continue reading

Digital and Web Design Resources #141

Every week we collect some of the best web and digital design resources that will be useful for designers. Check out any of the links below and leave any comments about your favourites in the replies.

 

FREEBIES

Free Low Poly Art Maker (PSD)

low poly art maker

With Low Poly Art Maker just open the PSD file and start crating your own 3D low poly city, town, map… just like a game!

Link: Low Poly Art Maker

 

29 Free Ecommerce UI Kits for Web and App Designers

ecommerce ui kit

We know that ecommerce web design projects are time-consuming – we thought we could help you save your time and cost by providing you an awesome collection of free ecommerce UI kits – take a look.

Link: 29 Free Ecommerce UI Kits for Web and App Designers

 

48 Nolan Business Icons

nolan business icons

We can never get enough icons, especially icons with a fresh approach to business concepts. So we’re delighted to be able to bring you this free set of icons designed by Icons8.

Link: 48 Nolan Business Icons by Icons8

 

Noway: A set of 2 free font weights

Noway font

Noway is the latest font-family released by atipo, ideally suited for branding, packaging, editorial, way-finding and signage as well as web and screen design. It was originally designed as a corporate and signage typeface for London Luton Airport.

Link: Noway: A set of 2 free font weights

 

App Landing Page Template (HTML/CSS3)

app landing page template

This is a Responsive Bootstrap 3 App Landing Page Template. It’s been specially designed for Marketers, Web and Mobile Apps Developers who want to showcase their work and looking for simple and clean with best User Experience for their landing Website.

Link: App Landing Page Template (HTML/CSS3)

 

INSIGHT

How to Design Gesture-Driven UI

Design for discovery is crucial. You need to be sure you provide the right cues—visual signifiers that help users discover easily how they can interact with an interface.

Link: How to Design Gesture-Driven UI 

 

Snapchat Needs A UX Makeover, But Not For The Reason You Think

snapchat ux

As an app that is part messaging, part content-delivery, and part photo-sharing, it is as if they decided to take the worse parts of all three and create some grotesque, unholy amalgamation to anger the UX design gods.

Link: Snapchat Needs A UX Makeover, But Not For The Reason You Think

 

The Next Generation Wireframes are Microframes

microframes

Microframes, or micro wireframes, are minified versions of wireframes. Through minimizing the effort, maximizing the speed and lowering the fidelity, microframes amplify the benefits of wireframing and eliminate most of the shortcomings.

Link: The Next Generation Wireframes are Microframes 

 

Deal With It: Break Established Design System Rules and Integrate the Results

experimental color palette

It’s a truism that design elements are rarely used once. Being able to reference a pattern — including its exceptions — saves effort next time someone on the design team needs to make a form stand out. Design systems exist to keep a visual language understandable. The goal is to invent a pattern that breaks certain rules while adhering to the spirit of the system.

Link: Deal With It: Break Established Design System Rules and Integrate the Results

 

Prototyping: Paper Versus Digital

paper prototyping

Some UX designers, or their clients, are hesitant to show paper prototypes to users because they don’t appear professional. If they don’t want to show design sketches to their users to obtain feedback, they may feel that a paper prototype is not adequate for testing.

Digital prototypes don’t have this problem. They look more finished and professional, even if they still have a wireframe look. Clients are more likely to feel confident about conducting usability testing early in the design process using digital prototypes.

Link: Prototyping: Paper Versus Digital

 

INSPIRATION

Store locator map

Link: Store locator map 

 

Coloring app concept

Link: Coloring app concept 

 

Top 20 Examples Of Amazing Web Design From Some Of The Best SaaS Companies

saas

WebDesignLedger looked around and gathered the best SaaS websites that provide you a great user experience and have a mind blowing web design. Below are displayed top 20 of them

Link: Top 20 Examples Of Amazing Web Design From Some Of The Best SaaS Companies 

 

The Best New Portfolio Sites, May 2017

portfolio

This month is a much more colorful month than the last few have been. It feels like designers have been shying away from the monochromatic beauties of months past, and are letting loose with the color palette.

Link: The Best New Portfolio Sites, May 2017

7 Best Features For Financial Websites

CBA

Financial institutions (“FI”) are not often early adopters of technology.

However, they are quick followers. And with digital transformation the latest trend hitting FIs, there’s plenty to be excited about going forward.

As consumers continue to demand better digital experiences from their banks, we’re seeing serious investment to improve the customer experience.

Here are 7 major trends and features we can expected to see firmly take hold of FIs in the next few years.

 

1. Improved security

security documents

More transactions are going digital. Mortgages, savings, retirement, pensions – there are even banks that are completely digital now.

This was inconceivable even 10 years ago.

The flipside, however, is that security is even more important for the simple reason banks have more to protect. Protecting against both intrusion (SQL injection) and interruption (DDoS attack) requires protection at both the server and application level.

And since 2016, there’s been a spotlight on institutional security at a consumer and regulatory level.

FIs will need to keep their websites and their institutions protected using new technologies like blockchain to garner and keep consumer trust.

 

2. Chatbot customer service

financial chatbot

Robotics and automation have both come a long way in the last few years, and FIs are not immune. Early adopters have started strategic partnerships with incubators and startups to automate customer service functionality.

This makes a lot of sense for banks.

While finances are complicated, most customer support is going to be the same questions. Unlike other industries which might change the situation creating the customer confusion, FIs are often restricted by regulation and their own legacy systems from doing so, creating a clear niche for chatbots.

 

3. Mobile apps

cibc mobile app

Most major banks now have mobile apps. We can expect to see a continued investment in this web tool for banks in the form of:

  • Expanded in-app functionality
  • Improved app experiences
  • Greater personalization

But it’s not just banks. Fintech services now offer financial services like budgeting, investment, stocks, retirement plans, and savings through apps. Digital-only banks are increasingly common, and app-based banks are not far away.

The takeaway is that the financial industry is increasingly one that can existing entirely within an app infrastructure, and increasingly, that’s the preferred mechanism for user engagement.

 

4. Digital first Digital only

wealth simple

As we’ve mentioned, digital first has come and gone for banks. And other FIs are soon following. For some perspective on this, the fintech industry was worth a reported $20 billion in 2015, up 66% from the previous year.

The message is clear: digital and money go together like bagels and cream cheese.

So what’s next?

Digital only.

mobile banking

via Tangerine

Already, products and services are cutting their costs by moving more and more things to the digital side. But increasingly, companies are opting for digital only. Apps are the most popular example of this, but there are plenty of robust product offerings like Alliant, a credit union without any physical branches, or Tangerine, Scotiabank’s newly acquired digital-only bank aimed at millennials.

 

5. Consumer tools

TD Self serve

via TD

The evolution of consumer tools hasn’t happened overnight. It’s been driven for a few years now by two key factors:

  1. Consumer desire for self service
  2. Consumer impatience with jargon-filled, technical forms.

Combined, these have created dozens of digital tools to help consumers better understand what they’re buying (or borrowing), where their money goes, and when bills are due.

Even if it’s just a starting point, they give users a chance to inform themselves before they talk to an expert.

Automated processes are being deployed to supplement expert advice. More of the buying cycle for something like a mortgage is being handled by consumers and computers than by consumers and experts.

With that in mind, tools are no longer simple conversion mechanisms.

Instead, they’re doing real work to help consumers through the buying cycle.

As this trend persists, we can expect to see big integrations with complex data structures and these tools becoming smarter, more accurate, and a more integral part of the buying process.

Over time, we’ll see the consumer/expert relationship take up less and less time as tools like this work better and better.

 

6. Gamification of services

acorns

via Acorns

 

Games and fun are not really the first things that leap to mind when you think about financial services.

But FIs are starting to use these techniques to drive customer engagement. Acorns, for example, is an app that automatically rounds off your transactions to the nearest dollar and saves that money for you. There’s plenty of classic gamification techniques like goal setting present throughout the app to drive positive user behavior.

save time mint

via Mint

And Acorns is hardly alone.

Apps like Mint and plenty of banks have begun to build in savings rewards programs, progress trackers, and even push notifications to their apps to gamify saving for the future.

 

7. Less information per page

banking questions

via CBA

Finally, one web trend that we can expect to see transfer over to FIs in a big way is putting less information on every page.

Currently, financial services websites are dense with information, relying on ageing navigation and search principles to help users find their way.

But the real solution is to simply streamline the content itself.

We can expect fewer navigation menus and less content per page to encourage a positive mobile experience and keep users laser focused on what they need. And as apps and other digital journey tools continue to be developed, FIs will simply need less content to serve their customer – something their groaning information architecture is sure to be thankful for.

Do you see another major design or development innovation in banking and technology that you think is on the horizon? Let us know in the comments below!

Digital and Web Design Resources #140

Every week we collect some of the best web and digital design resources that will be useful for designers. Check out any of the links below and leave any comments about your favourites in the replies.

 

FREEBIES

9 Free PSD Hi-Res iPhone mockups

iPhone clay mockup

This is an awesome set of 3D iPhone mockups released by CreativeDash for showcasing mobile websites or apps. The package contains 9 different mockups from multiple views and perspectives.

Link: 9 Free PSD Hi-Res iPhone mockups

 

29 Free Stunning Web Icons Sets To Enhance Your Web Design

social media icons

A website design isn’t complete without a set of icons. Every website we see today features at least a few icons. These icons offer a great way to add more style to the design and quickly attract visitor attention.

Link: 29 Free Stunning Web Icons Sets To Enhance Your Web Design 

 

Free Fully Responsive WordPress Blog Theme

wordpress theme

Elanzalite is a beautifully designed free WordPress blog theme for bloggers. It is fully responsive and multipurpose theme which can be used for any type of blogging site. The theme is minimal and loads super fast.

Link: Free Fully Responsive WordPress Blog Theme

INSIGHT 

The Real Effects Of Bad Web Design

bad web design

Web designers often talk about the importance of a good, user-friendly web presence, yet businesses still struggle to justify the expense of a web redesign and optimisation. In today’s world, which is synonymous with technology, a robust web design is far more than a status symbol.

Link: The Real Effects Of Bad Web Design

 

How to Use Minimal Design to Create Practical Design Systems

Design systems can help teams start great products. But designers sometimes forget that the system itself is a product worthy of attention. Like any project that involves UX, design systems must solve people’s pain points, like being able to find the right pattern under deadline pressure.

Link: How to Use Minimal Design to Create Practical Design Systems 

 

Web Design Trend: New Stock Imagery

new photography

You’ve probably noticed that over the last few years, there’s been a serious reduction in the volume of terrible stock photography. The truth is, the stock photography hasn’t actually gone anywhere – what’s changed is how brands and websites are using it.

Link: Web Design Trend: New Stock Imagery

 

Building Your First App – A Beginner’s Guide

mobile app

Mobile apps have become so prevalent that in response to a stated need, someone is likely to offer up, “There’s an app for that!”. However, it is not enough for your business to have an app.

Link: Building Your First App – A Beginner’s Guide

 

How to Balance Information Density in Web Design

weebly

Information density is the amount of information in the form of content that a site visitor is greeted with as soon as he lands on a website or webpage. The greater the information density, the greater the amount of content a visitor will see on the site or page.

Link: How to Balance Information Density in Web Design

 

INSPIRATION

Are We Witnessing a Return to ‘90s Web Design?

90s web design

Many aspects of pop culture are cyclical. Just as an example: There was a time in the 1980s when skinny ties were very popular. By the 90s, you’d be mocked for wearing one. These days? Well, they’re back in style. As the saying goes – everything old is new again.

Link: Are We Witnessing a Return to ‘90s Web Design?

 

Have an upvote

Upvote animation

Link: Have an upvote

 

TV Guide scroll

tv show animation

Link: TV show scroll

The 7 Best Tools for Content Writers

writer

Even the best writers need help. And with more content writers producing more content than ever, it’s worth mentioning some tools that can help them get through the day.

Some of these tools help deal with the problem of simply dreaming up things to write about, and others deal with the writing itself.

Enjoy!

 

1. Neil Patel’s 35 Blog Posts

neil patel

Less a resource and more just a great article, it’s a collection of 35 different blog ideas that can help you generate new topics to pitch.

Are any of them earth shatteringly creative? No.

But! They’re all written down in one place for you to peruse and spark your creative genius.

 

2. Buzzsumo

buzz sumo

Buzzsumo is the fastest, easiest way to see what others in or around your industry like and share.

You can use Buzzsumo to see:

  • What’s working for your competition
  • Trigger ideas in your niche/industry to talk about
  • Find out what people are looking for so you can start producing content fits.

 

3. Google Trends

google trends

Google Trends is, as the name suggests, a trend exploration tool. It’s fairly high level results since it only indicates interest, not actual numbers supporting that interest. But it’s still a good way for you to figure out what’s happening in your industry, or the world.

What’s particularly useful is that you can narrow your search geographically, so if you work mostly in one area of the world (say, Canada) you can structure your search to show interest in that area only.

 

4. Hemingway App

Hemingway App is a way that you can pinpoint any clunky clauses in your writing and get rid of them.

hemingway

The app is designed to work like a word processor and highlight complex sentence structures or incorrect grammar. What’s more, it tells you what’s wrong with your writing. So if you write:

I like to utilize the stove.

Hemingway App might mention that utilize has simpler alternatives.

It’s never going to replace a grammar checker or spell checker, but it’s usually worth running your writing through the Hemingway App before you post to catch those lazy ‘I need to get to the point’ type clauses.

 

5. Title Capitalization

title capitalization

Capitalizing titles correctly is both annoying to do (because it inevitable leads to a lengthily discussion) and time consuming be of, well, the lengthily discussion.

So just avoid doing it.

Title Capitalization is a tool that will help you get your titles just right. All you do is copy your title into the text field and it will make it correct for you as you paste it. It’s so fast you might miss it.

You can even choose what style of capitalization you want, but we recommend you just leave it on AP.

No one argues with AP.

 

6. MS Word shortcuts

For every post written in a stunningly designed ‘distraction free work zone’ word processor, there are about 50 written in good ol’ MS Word.

So you might as well learn how to use it.

Here’s a list of 20 completely indispensable MS Word shortcuts that won’t help what you write, but will help you write faster.

It’s worth nothing you can easily create your own keyword shortcuts to anything you want in Word with a little digging through the settings.

 

7. Cliché Finder

Lastly, there’s the cliché finder. The cliché finder is one of the best ways that you can improve your writing. Not only does it find clichés that you deliberately wrote, it has a knack for highlighting language that, if not an actual cliché, you should definitely think about changing.

cliche finder

There you have it. 7 tools, tips, and tricks that will help you write content that your audience is sure to appreciate, better and faster.

What are your favorite content creation tools? Let us know in the comments below! 

Web Design Trend: New Stock Imagery

new photography

You’ve probably noticed that over the last few years, there’s been a serious reduction in the volume of terrible stock photography.

You know the ones we’re talking about…

business meeting

Doesn’t this look natural?

 

The truth is, the stock photography hasn’t actually gone anywhere – what’s changed is how brands and websites are using it.

Today, we’re going to look at the rise of what we’re calling new stock imagery, and how you can make use of it, while keeping your site up to the latest web standards.

 

What happened to all the terrible stock images?

As we mentioned, you likely remember those awful images that were unavoidable across the web only a short while ago. The ones that were always two business guys shaking hands, or a rainbow circle of images all pointing to a stick man in the middle? Seriously, what does that even mean?

Here’s one more to refresh your memory:

handshake stock photo

Anyways, over the years these have faded, but two things really sank this corporate mumbo jumbo:

  1. Enormous increase in the availability of quality photography
  2. The increasing visual internet

 

Amazing pictures, free forever

Back in the day, brands and companies had two options to get high quality images. They could simply take their own – commission a photoshoot, hire a photographer, get a creative agency to provide direction and edit the photos afterwards. That was one option. However, as you might guess, this was… rather expensive.

What’s more, the result of a shoot might only be 8-10 usable shots. In the age of social media, blog posts, and image-driven web design, 10 images doesn’t get you very far!

The second option was to cobble together a photo library. Using stock image sites full of tacky business-y photos, this provided the breadth of photography needed but failed to provide an experience that was unique to the brand.

Of course, where there’s a problem, there’s bound to be a plucky tech startup offering the solution.

In this case, the story revolves around Flickr. Created in 2004 and cunningly purchased by Yahoo! in 2005, today Flickr is an enormous repository of photos that companies can use. With users allowed to copyright their photos depending on how (and who) can use them, it’s easy for brands to quickly filter through and grab what they need without violating copyright rules. Oftentimes, all that’s needed is an attribution to the original photography.

And while Yahoo seems to have guaranteed a slow death for Flickr through lack of support and development, seeing what Flickr has morphed into has spawned a plethora of free photo providers.

Some, like Unsplash, are simply beautiful photos uploaded to the internet.

unsplash

Unsplash

Others, like Snapwire, offer themed collections of photos for free with payment optional for more features and services (freemium).

snapwire

Snapwire

 

Finally, some services like New Old Stock just compile photos from around the internet around a central idea, so if you’re searching for a specific look, you can go to one URL rather than trawl through photo boards for hours.

new old stock

The point is that no matter what your brand look and feel, there is suddenly a massive amount of beautiful, easy to access photography available for free, at your fingertips.

It’s worth noting as well that video is going the same way. Coverr offers free hero videos for websites.

coverr

And that’s the first reason why stock images have gotten lot better: supply. There’s just more cool stuff out there.

Which brings us to the second reason: demand.

With so much visual content online like feature videos, product videos, explainers, memes, Instagram, Snapchat, infographics, card design, and Pinterest, the fact is that there’s huge demand for visuals to support it all.

Even the humble blog post, the linchpin to many a content strategy, relies on images as often as not.

With so much content being created and consumed, companies are struggling to keep pace with their content creation. Stock photography is a requirement for companies and enterprises of all sizes, which means there’s been a huge expansion of products and services that offer it.

What’s more, these stock images can get incredibly niche. For instance, Placeit is a stock image company that only sells pictures with a placeholder where you can drop in screenshots of your app. For example, you might have a cooking app and want to put it in the context of a kitchen.

There’s a stock image for that.

 

Takeaway

It’s no secret that the internet has become much more visual. And there’s been a significant improvement in how companies deal with stock photography — and how much they’re willing to pay for it.

The result has been an explosion of high quality, readily accessible, and in many cases free stock images. Now, everyone from Joe’s Tools to Home Depot can use beautiful stock images to enhance and improve their websites, landing pages, apps, and content.

Stock photography didn’t disappear — it just got so good, you don’t even notice it anymore.

Have you got a web design trend you want us to cover? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Key Email Marketing Trends for 2017

email

Every year, we see new communication channels explode onto the scene.

And inevitably, B2B marketers conclude that email remains the indomitable champion of ROI.

So in this article, we’re looking at 6 developments that you can take advantage of in 2017 to keep your email marketing firing on all cylinders.

 

1. Automation & trigger emails

Email automation, AI, drip campaigns, and timely trigger emails are all going to become even more important in 2017.

Using more (and better) data, brands are going to be looking to segment their sales funnels precisely.

In fact, according to Indimark’s annual analysis of what email trends people are talking about, data analysis, including the ability for AI to deploy emails to the right customer at the right time, was mentioned more than any other topic.

email data stats

As you can see, data analysis (which includes automation) made an appearance an awful lot of the time.

For businesses, this means two things:

  • Software supporting marketing automation processes isn’t going to be optional anymore
  • There will be an explosion of SaaS companies offering marketing automation technology
  • Customer expectations about the quality of their emails will go up
  • For emails to work, they’re going to have to carry extremely specific benefits and value propositions

 

2. Email will cozy up to other channels

chat bot

Closely related to improved marketing automation and using AI for data interpretation and email deployment is the cross-channel experience.

Brands have made significant strides to improve cross channel customer experience (CX). But as the number of channels that customers use increases, the quest for omni-channel continues.

In 2017, we’ll see email integrate with other digital channels more than it has, in particular native apps and chat bots.

We’ve already seen chat bots being used to effectively drive brand engagement.

The next logical step it so marry that functionality to email, enabling that software to send cart abandonment emails, retargeted emails, and other time-sensitive, targeted communications.

 

3. Personalization

email on smartphone

We know more about our customers than ever before. Brands will need to leverage that information to cater to individuals.

This will manifest itself as an enhanced commitment to the 4 Ps of marketing:

  • Product: Offering products that the specific customer wants to buy, not the ones you necessarily want to sell.
  • Place: When are customers getting emails? Geo-targeting in a granular way down to beacon-based email communication will help drive customer response.
  • Price: Offering products that are within the projected spend for customers. This is especially important for companies who sell lots of commodities at different price points (butter at Loblaws, for example).
  • Promotion: Is your promotion relevant to the customers? Again, a good example is Loblaws, who offers points promotions based on purchasing behaviour, so the right deal appeals to the right customer.

 

4. Videos in email?

With HTML5 it’s possible to once again send video in emails quickly and easily. Given the direction that Facebook has gone, as well as the general shift in content marketing to video, it’s not surprising that marketers will try videos in email as well.

However, there are few things brands need to consider before they invest in video-based email content:

  • Not everyone will see it. The cost of sending email will increase if you’re creating a video and writing compelling non-video copy.
  • Videos are often slow and clunky on mobile networks. Before they go all in for video, brands should check the devices people are opening their emails with.

It will be interesting to see if video in emails is an effective communication tactic for every brand that tries it.

 

5. Interactive email

For years now, email has been relatively stagnant in its technological capability. But in 2017, we can expect emails to begin to perform more like mini websites:

  • More functionality with collapsing menus, animations, graphics, and videos
  • More engaging CTAs
  • Content loaded directly into the email to reduce the reliance on click through

One thing to watch for with interactive email is going to be the weight. Just like websites got completely carried away with the full spectrum of functionality, it’ll be easy for email to do the same thing – and have loading lag kill an otherwise positive user experience.

 

6. Email designed to be read out loud

Apple AirPods

Source: Apple.com

The last prediction we have is that 2017 will see emails being read out loud a lot more often. Services like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana are all poised for this functional expansion (not to mention AirPods).

And it’s easy to envision a world where emails are read out over breakfast or during a morning commute.

It’s just a matter marrying these technologies.

For marketers, we can likely expect to see email begin to go the way of Google markup – specific development requirements and code labels to allow maximum compatibility with AI.

 

Summary

2017 will be a big year for email. It’s finally seeing some changes to the deliverable rather than just the back end tracking and deployment advances that have driven email forward for the last few years.

For brands, this means trialling new creative like video, animation, and new experiences like interactive email.

But we can’t forget the importance of data, marketing automation, and personalization. As segmentation gets finer and finer, AI is going to be an essential helper for email marketers.

The good news for brands is that while the demand on their email marketing quality is going up, we can expect the rise of plenty of new tools to help them. Emails will get more modular to build, with intuitive drag and drop tools and WYSIWYG interfaces.

We’re pretty excited about the prospects ahead.

Want to see what Moveable does with our email over the next year? Sign up to our newsletter to stay on top of all of our updates!

Digital and Web Design Resources #139

Every week we collect some of the best web and digital design resources that will be useful for designers. Check out any of the links below and leave any comments about your favourites in the replies.

 

FREEBIES

Font : Mast

mast font

Mast is designed by NACH OH. This is an uppercase font and comes in 2 styles ( dark and light) per font.

Link: Font : Mast

 

Font : Indulge

indulge

Indulge is designed by Anthony James. Indulge Script™ is a typeface adapted for both modern and traditional uses, housing 882 glyphs and 480 swashes. With hundreds of thousands of character combinations to choose, to ensure a more creative and original experience.

Link: Font : Indulge

 

Free modern dashboard interface

modern dashboard

The dashboard includes only one screen – the overall look is great and the design seems to be very balanced, so have a deeper look for study purposes or just to get inspired.

Link: Free modern dashboard interface

 

Essential Collection: 500 free vector icons

essential icons

Essential Collection is a free featured set of 500 outline icons available for personal and commercial use. Icons are based on 32px grid and cover many categories, that makes them ideal for any kind of web and mobile projects.

Link: Essential Collection: 500 free vector icons

 

INSIGHTS

Mobile in The Future

For the past five years, I’ve presented an overview of the mobile design topics, insights, and solutions I’ve been focused on at Google’s Conversions event in Dublin. This year’s video recording on what’s changed in mobile design over the past ten years and where we could/should go next is now live.

Link: Mobile in The Future

 

7 Steps to a Flawless Design Review

design review

The design review can be one of the most stressful milestones in any website project. While feedback is a valuable part of the overall process, sometimes the process of getting there is complicated and unwieldy.

Link: 7 Steps to a Flawless Design Review 

 

Modern Favicon and Icon Development Techniques and Best Practices

favicon design

Since its debut in 1999 with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the favicon has expanded in scope thanks to adoption by modern browsers and operating systems. Although it was originally a tiny 16×16 pixel icon appearing in a browser’s address bar, favicons now also provide high-resolution visual assets for websites pinned to a mobile device’s home screen, a Windows 10 favorites tile, and much more.

In addition to being helpful to the user, these icons are just another level of polish designers and developers can apply to help a website stand out.

Link: Modern Favicon and Icon Development Techniques and Best Practices

 

A/B Testing and Usability: The Ultimate Guide from A to B

AB testing

A/B testing is more commonly known than usability testing, mainly because of the A/B testing tools we can find in eCommerce platforms, website design software and email marketing systems.

In short, A/B testing takes two versions of a digital element, like a webpage, landing page, sign up form or email newsletter and tests them against each other.

Link: A/B Testing and Usability: The Ultimate Guide from A to B

 

The Ultimate Guide to User on-Boarding – Tips and Best Practices

on boarding sign

On-boarding design should be based on data collected on your target audience/potential users. Does your audience have experience using similar products before? How complex is your product? What level of complexity in the user interface can they handle? Asking questions like these help you to create your audience profile.

Link: The Ultimate Guide to User on-Boarding – Tips and Best Practices 

 

INSPIRATION

10 Outstanding Call-to-Action Examples

excellent CTA

The good old Call-to-Action (CTA) has become a staple of the web. They’re around to tell users exactly what we want them to do. Buy this book, download our free guide, contact us for more information, etc.

Link: 10 Outstanding Call-to-Action Examples

 

Huffpost Unveils New Design

huff post redesign

The Huffington Post, now officially referred to as “Huffpost” has a completely new site design to go with its name and logo change. It has added a fair splash of black to go along with the white and green.

Link: Huffpost Unveils New Design

 

YouTube concept

Link: YouTube concept

 

Cinema App Interactions

Link: Cinema App Interactions

 

5 Best Designed Websites in 2017 so far, according to DesignBeep.com

best design

Link: 5 Best Designed Websites in 2017, according to DesignBeep.com 

7 Key Features for Healthcare Websites in 2017

digital healthcare

The complexity, regulatory restrictions, conservative nature of the healthcare industry, and a truly staggering diversity in needs and capabilities of organizations and patients has made healthcare slow to undergo digital transformation.

Yet these very same challenges make healthcare one of the industries that can benefit the most from digital processes.

And nowhere is this more relevant than websites.

Below are seven key features for making sure a healthcare website stays healthy in 2017.

 

1. User Experience is critical to a healthy website

holland bloorview website cross device

It’s easy to forget that most patients are only patients a tiny fraction of the time.

The rest of the time they’re just people – and they use apps like Facebook, websites like Amazon, book Ubers and get food delivered from their smartphone.

These companies have spent years curating great user experiences.  Whether we like it or not, that’s the standard we’re all held to.

That’s why a positive UX is so important for healthcare institutions: at this point, it’s expected from all of our digital touch-points. And people are unwilling to compromise on UX. They’ll either avoid using the service at all, or take their business elsewhere.

 

2. Make your website mobile friendly

Holland Bloorview mobile site

This can be wrapped up under user experience, but it’s so important it’s worth calling out.

Four in five Americans have a smartphone now. If anything, that ratio is even higher in Canada.

While laptops and desktops might be used to make complex purchases, an increasing number of user journeys are starting on a phone or tablet.

Essentially, the mobile device is the new gatekeeper. If you want your patients, potential patients, and staff to use your website, it must be easy to use on the smallest screen available.

Fortunately, with responsive designs and content management systems that automatically render beautifully on mobile devices, providing a good mobile experience without increasing IT workload isn’t difficult.

 

3. Create a wide range of content for patients and other healthcare end users

mylan health coach

The wave of self-service that has swept through other industries is hitting healthcare. We live in an increasingly patient-centric world, where self-service and patient involvement is a key component to the overall healthcare system.

And your website is the sharp edge of this transformation.

That’s why creating content specifically for patients is critical:

  • There’s already demand for it. People want to learn more about their healthcare from a reputable source they trust
  • The more informed the consumer, the lower the overall cost of healthcare. With burgeoning expenses, cost reductions that don’t cut care are essential

Second, your website is for healthcare professionals as well. Whether you have a separate portal, a subdomain, or just a separate section, you need to be creating and providing content for them as well.

 

4. Personalize your website experience

Personalization is the standard in website marketing now. Amazon, for example, highlights items you’ve previously looked at and items you might like on their homepage.

An example of personalization from Amazon

These types of recommendations could translate well for healthcare websites, provided it complies with HIPAA and PIPEDA, and the patient opts in to it. Particularly for organizations that have patients log into a customer portal, that sort of customization is something to be considered.

For example, imagine you ran a small practice with a customer portal. A patient who is trying to quit smoking logs in to make a regular appointment. That could be an opportunity to serve them content about smoking cessation from within your system.

Using data to drive behavior change is old news. But personalizing to the individual level is one of the best ways to connect with patients online.

 

5. Systems integration

healthcare systems integration

Healthcare systems are notoriously complex. Part of this is a requirement – it’s a highly specific system and a highly specific use-case. Plus, there are multiple security, privacy, and ethical concerns over data sharing and transparency.

Regardless, the benefit of having data all in one place are too good to pass up.

Not only would this make back-end systems smoother, faster, and cheaper to run, but it would facilitate developments like:

  • Process automation
  • More accurate resource allocation
  • Better diagnoses
  • Faster patient processing

With costs a constant discussion and the healthcare field increasingly populated with disparate organizations, any website design or redesign needs to consider how it’s going to talk to legacy systems.

 

6. Avoid designing by committee

holland bloorview desktop

Whatever their size, hospitals are run by committees. Between the board of directors, shareholders, benefactors and community engagement managers, trying to appease every agenda and mission can result in a bad website experience.

The solution is to design by community, not committee.

Focus on your current and future patients and their families first and foremost.

Let the patient narratives lead the way to create a more authentic user experience – user retention and satisfaction will follow.

 

7. Develop secure communication channels

healthcare secure communication

Private enterprises, particularly service providers, have moved beyond simple phone support to include other channels like ticketing systems, live chat, chatbots, and social media-powered help.

Healthcare providers will need to do the same.

Whether it’s a secure system routed through a third party like Twitter or Messenger or it’s a custom-built solution, customers are going to be confused on your site – it’s inevitable.

But, if you can provide timely support in a channel the customer wants (which, incidentally, is a lot cheaper per contact), you can make huge improvements to overall patient satisfaction.