We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for six years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.
A few HTML elements don’t play nice with responsive layouts. One of these is the good ol’ iframe, which you may need to use when embedding content from external sources such as YouTube.
Responsive Web design has vexed people who build prototypes since the techniques came into use several years ago. While responsive design is an extremely elegant way to handle coding for multiple device types when executed with HTML and CSS, the prototyping tools available to UX professionals have not delivered testable or demonstrable experiences of the same quality. That changed recently with the adaptive views feature that is part of the new Axure RP 7.
The off-canvas flyout menu has taken over as the primary navigation pattern for mobile layouts — even some desktop layouts have jumped on board. And for good reason: An off-canvas menu is a great way to maintain context while giving the user a lot of additional information.
In this article, we’ll talk about why off-canvas has become so successful as a navigation pattern and show its potential to be so much more.
2013 was a busy year for me for conferences and travel. It was also the year I attended my first (and second) WordCamp. The first was WordCamp UK in July, where I met Mike Little, one of the two co-founders of WordPress. Three months later, I was honored to meet the other co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, twice in three weeks: at WordCamp Europe in Leiden, and at The Summit. I was lucky enough to have both Matt and Mike participate in interviews for this post about WordPress, including its history, community and future.
Whenever you start a project, you have to repeat certain tasks and set up certain structures: create new folders, choose a framework, set up your development tasks. But configuring settings once and reusing them would be simpler. An easy way to achieve this is by using some kind of generator — for example, Yeoman Generator — or tools such as INIT, which can perfectly coexist with and even be used through a generator.
Some of the most popular today are Bootstrap and Foundation, which we’ll focus on in this article.
Type design is equal parts suffering and euphoria. It is a walk along a winding road that goes on for many weeks and months before it’s done. A type design brief is like a charter path: It asks you questions, and the answers will guide you to where you want to be.
It will not make the walk much shorter, but the chances of getting lost will be much lower.
I’m going to advocate for the flip side of the conversion coin today. I’m delving into the “dark side” that is rarely discussed.
At WiderFunnel, we always advocate the importance of testing and data-driven decision making. The truth is that you can’t do conversion optimization without testing and web analytics is important for identifying optimization opportunities.
But, testing and data alone don’t tell the whole the story.
The so-called left brain perspective full of logic and analysis only tells half the story. The right brain, creative input is just as important.
(Let’s ignore for a moment that the whole left/right brain meme isn’t supported by the latest research for this discussion.)
I believe the left brain aspect gets more attention in the CRO discussion simply because it’s been neglected by marketers for so long. That’s one reason I called my book “You Should Test That!“; to help wake up marketers relying solely on gut feeling and unproven ideas. But, the creative side of solving problems is just as critical as the testing side.
Just as important as testing is innovative big ideas Big results come from big ideas.
The Yin is innovative, intuitive, messy, artful marketing ideas. The Yang is the proof in the pudding, the sunshine of truth searing the reality from the fog. Yes, we test, but without the great ideas, there’s nothing to prove.
Creativity is needed because every situation is unique. Context is key.
Creativity is needed for CRO because every situation is unique. Context is key.
There is no conversion optimization rule book
When we started WiderFunnel in 2007, we initially imagined we’d optimize to find the perfect landing page design that we could replicate for any situation. Well, I don’t know if we really believed that, but it was at least a hope.
Back then, we certainly thought we’d find the “best” button colour, the “best” headline approach and the “best” website layout.
In reality, what we’ve found are more universal and exciting: principles, patterns, and processes that we can confidently apply to any situation, platform, target market and media. We continue to test on websites, mobile sites, mobile apps, video game interfaces and more, all with the same system. Much like the fabled Canadian RCMP Police who “always get their man” WiderFunnel always get to a winning test result.
RCMP always get their Bieber
A Right Brain Test Example
When WiderFunnel optimized the Expensify home page, the variations clearly weren’t developed by an algorithm. The cross-functional team, led by an experienced strategist, developed new approaches that no software alone could conceive.
For context, Expensify is a fast-growth startup with a lean team facing large competitors. The expensify.com home page is the company’s primary landing page for free online signups and it needed to be improved to produce more signups. The page had been developed with clean design “best practices” but the Expensify team believed it could be improved.
Here’s the original home page the company came to us with.
Expensify Control Page
Our strategists identified 16 conversion barriers using WiderFunnel’s LIFT Analysis system and prioritized 12 primary hypotheses to test. They translated the hypotheses into four initial test variations to discover answers to the major hypotheses and isolate a few important questions. WiderFunnel’s design team brought the wireframes to life, then developed and launched the first test on the page.
Expensify home page winning variation
When you compare the winning page we tested, you’ll see that it clearly required creativity to design. No algorithm could come up with that combination of headline, design and benefit copywriting. On the winning variation, we:
Added a new headline reflecting the company’s unique positioning and brand
Moved the form field up on the page
Created visual emphasis on the signup form
Added anxiety-reducing message on the call-to-action (CTA)
Added a strong CTA subhead
Isolated features vs. benefit copy points
Designed new colour and font treatment for support points
Of course, we also tested other variations that isolated questions and led to insights, or what we call “Aha!” moments, about persuasional triggers for this target audience.
And, the testing didn’t end with a single winning test because CRO is an ongoing process.
The latest winning page clearly took another dose of creativity and could only be arrived at with a combination of creativity and rigorous testing.
Expensify latest winning page variation
This winning page not only looks great, it produces a 47% higher signup conversion rate than the original control page.
As an industry, I believe we’ve made good progress in convincing marketers of the need to test, use big data, and become experts in analysis. Now, let’s remember that the creative side is still needed to imagine new solutions to old challenges.
Fortunately, learning is not limited to only a small minority of people anymore; it is not even limited to visiting a school or a university. The Internet makes it possible for us to distribute knowledge at a small price, and is full of web design resources to expand everyone’s knowledge on an enormous variety of topics.
Since learning is a lifelong task that doesn’t stop after pursuing a certain academic certificate, this round-up is not only dedicated to beginners.