A Comprehensive Guide To UX Research

(This is a sponsored article.) Before embarking upon the design phase of any project, it’s critical to undertake some research so that the decisions you make are undertaken from an informed position. In this third article of my series for Adobe XD, I’ll be focusing on the importance of undertaking user research.
Your job title might not be “design researcher”, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at the very least inform yourself of your users and their needs by undertaking at least some initial scoping research before you embark upon a project.

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A Comprehensive Guide To UX Research

9 Creative Sticky Bar Examples – Plus 21 New Unbounce Templates

alt : https://unbounce.com/photos/sticky-bar-condoms.mp4https://unbounce.com/photos/sticky-bar-condoms.mp4

Sticky Bars are the less intrusive cousin of the noble Popup. They appear at the top or bottom of the page (and sometimes the sides) when a visitor arrives, leaves, scrolls down or up, stays on the page for a certain time period or clicks a link or button. They have a million useful use cases, some of which you may not have considered.

In today’s Product Awareness Month post, I’ll be sharing:

  • 9 Sticky Bar Examples From Out in the Wild: These are examples the team has found on other folks websites, and a couple of our own.
  • 21 New Unbounce Sticky Bar Templates: Check out our latest designs that you can use today.

To get things started, here’s an example that I’ll talk about later in the new templates section. Click to show a Sticky Bar with a countdown timer.

I’d love to see your Sticky Bars too, so drop me a link in the comments, please.

9 Creative Sticky Bar Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

Discounts and newsletter subscriptions are valid, common and effective use cases, but I want to explore different types of interaction design, or campaign concepts that can compliment what you’re already using them for.

#1 Maybe Later

If you’ve been following along with Product Awareness Month (PAM), you’ll have seen the “Maybe Later” concept. This is where an entrance popup morphs into a persistent Sticky Bar when your visitors click the middle “Maybe Later” button instead of yes or no.

You can see a live demo of how it works here. A popup will appear when you arrive. Click “Maybe Later”, then refresh the page and a Sticky Bar will appear, and can be configured to show up site-wide until you convert or say “No Thanks”.


#2 Sticky Bar to Popup

This concept is the exact opposite of “Maybe Later”, and it uses a concept known as a two-step opt-in. Instead of showing a form on the Sticky Bar, it just shows a button to express interest.

Click-Through Sticky Bar

When you click the Sticky Bar CTA it launches a popup to collect the email address. This two-stage concept can increase conversions because the first click establishes intent and a level of commitment to continue – while not showing a scary form right away. I’ll be discussing the two-step opt-in in a future post.

Lead Gen Popup


#3 Sticky Video Widget

You’ve seen these on many blogs I’m sure. It’s really cool functionality for increasing engagement in your videos. You can see a demo here. And instructions on how to implement it can be found in the Unbounce community here.


#4 E-commerce Product Reminder

This example is really cool. As you scroll down a product page on an e-commerce site, an “Add to Cart” Sticky Bar appears when you scroll past the main hero image.


#5 E-commerce Checkout Discount Nudge

This Sticky Bar sticks with you for every step in the photo creation and checkout process. Clearly, they are comfortable with the coupon being applied to the sale because it’s an incredibly competitive business niche and let’s face it when you see a coupon code field you go searching for one. So why not just offer it straight up.

For the record, trying to buy canvas prints to deliver to family in the UK is a freakin’ nightmare. I had to try 8 different sites before one of them would allow me to put a Canadian address in the billing info fields. They are losing a TON of money by not realizing that customers can be in other places.


#6 On-Click Side Slide

On-click Sticky Bars and Popups are the best kind when it comes to a permission-based interaction. You make something interesting and ask people to click on it. In this example, there is an element on the left side of the page which slides in from the side when clicked.

Unbouncer Noah Matsell created a similar thing in Unbounce (see demo here). It doesn’t actually use a Sticky Bar. Instead it’s just a box with text in it. I love how it works. Try it out, and think about all the cool stuff you could stick in a sidebar.


#7 EU Cookie Policy

European Union laws around privacy are some of the toughest in the world, and for the last few years, the EU Cookie Privacy Law required that all EU businesses, as well as international businesses serving EU customers, show a privacy statement with a clickable acknowledgment interaction. I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know all the ins and outs, but needless to say, it’s a great use case that you may not even know that your web team or legal team actually needs.

Coming up in May is the new GDPR legislation which will usurp this law, but offer its own needs and requirements, so stay tuned for more on that, and how you should be dealing with it. In fact, I did a quick poll on Twitter to see what people thought about the cookie law and got an interesting mix of responses. Don’t be in the “Haven’t dealt with it yet” camp when it comes to GDPR. That could get you dinged.

We released a new Cookie Bar template below that you can use until you deal with the new legislation.

#8 Microsite Navigation

Another example from earlier in Product Awareness Month. You can use a Sticky Bar as the connective global navigation that turns a group of landing pages into a microsite.

A really simple way to create a multi-page marketing campaign experience.

#9 Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score surveys are a method of measuring how your customers feel about your product or service. Based on a scale from 0-10 and the question “How likely are you to recommend company name to a friend?”

Co-founder Carter Gilchrist made this NPS demo to show how it works:


Follow our Product Awareness Month journey >> click here to launch a popup with a subscribe form (it uses our on-click trigger feature).


21 New Unbounce Sticky Bar Templates You Can Use Today

We just released a whole bunch of new Sticky Bar and Popup templates which you can see inside the Unbounce app screenshot below. I chose a few of them to showcase below based on some of the examples I discussed above.


Sticky Bar Template #1: Countdown Timer

Countdown timers are great for creating a sense of urgency, and can have a positive influence on conversions as a result.


Click to show this Sticky Bar at the bottom | at the top.


Sticky Bar Template #2: Location Redirect

If you have multiple websites or online stores, you can use Location Targeting (Unbounce supports city, region, country, and continent) to let people know there is a local version they might want to switch to.


Sticky Bar Template #3: Product Release

Announce product releases on your website to drive people to the features page of the new product.


Sticky Bar Template #4: Cookie Privacy Law

As I mentioned earlier, this is big for companies in Europe, and also businesses who have European customers. On May 25, 2018 this law will be usurped by the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Sticky Bar Template #5: Product Beta Access

Build an email list for an upcoming beta release.


Sticky Bar Template #6: Product Hunt Launch

Product Hunt can be a great place to launch new products. To be successful you need to get upvotes and you can use a Sticky Bar to send people there from your website.

Check Out Our Sticky Bar Live Demo

We built a cool tool that shows what Sticky Bars and Popups look like on your site. Simply enter your URL here to preview. It even grabs your brand colors and in this case, Amanda from Orbit Media makes a cameo appearance.

Cheers
Oli Gardner

p.s. You should check out The Landing Page Analyzer. Why? Because – hyperbole alert – it’s the single greatest tool in the history of the world when it comes to grading your landing pages.

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9 Creative Sticky Bar Examples – Plus 21 New Unbounce Templates

How Big Is That Box? Understanding Sizing In CSS Layout

A key feature of Flexbox and Grid Layout is that they can deal with distributing available space between, around and inside grid and flex items. Quite often this just works, and we get the result we were hoping for without trying very hard. This is because the specifications attempt to default to the most likely use cases. Sometimes, however, you might wonder why something ends up the size that it is.

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How Big Is That Box? Understanding Sizing In CSS Layout

Free Online Event On Building And Maintaining Design Systems

(This is a sponsored article.) Everybody’s talking about design systems, but they are more than just a trend. They are a best practice for design consistency and efficiency between designers and developers.
Back in the day, only large companies could afford the effort of building and maintaining a design system. Nowadays, with the growth of new tools and processes, they have become much more feasible for companies of all sizes.

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Free Online Event On Building And Maintaining Design Systems

How To Make A Drag-and-Drop File Uploader With Vanilla JavaScript

It’s a known fact that file selection inputs are difficult to style the way developers want to, so many simply hide it and create a button that opens the file selection dialog instead. Nowadays, though, we have an even fancier way of handling file selection: drag and drop.
Technically, this was already possible because most (if not all) implementations of the file selection input allowed you to drag files over it to select them, but this requires you to actually show the file element.

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How To Make A Drag-and-Drop File Uploader With Vanilla JavaScript

The Art of Being Stupid – Why Testing Matters More Than Everything Else

Note: This is a guest article written by Tyler Hakes, the strategy director at Optimist, a full-service content marketing agency. He’s spent nearly 10 years helping agencies, startups, and corporate clients achieve sustainable growth through strategic content marketing and SEO. Any and all opinions expressed in the post are Tyler’s.

Almost 10 years ago, I got my first job in marketing.

I was right out of college, and I was eager to prove myself and light the world on fire.

Like most people in their early 20s, I was convinced that I knew everything. I thought I had all of the solutions to every problem. I was a marketing mastermind, of course, because I had managed to get a few hundred people to follow me on Twitter.

It didn’t take me long to learn that I didn’t quite have all of the answers. In fact, I had a lot to learn. And it became more important for me to understand what I don’t know and to learn rather than to feel like I already had the answers.

Since then, I’ve worked for agencies, corporations, and startups. As a freelancer and agency owner, I’ve done marketing for every kind of company imaginable—from custom hats to apartment rentals. I’ve put together dozens of content marketing strategies and written/published thousands of articles, ebooks, and landing pages.

In all that time, I’ve come to realize something really, really important.

I don’t know anything.

Sure, I have accumulated a lot of knowledge and skills in the digital marketing space. I understand, at a high level, how things work. And I know, directionally, what the best practices are for achieving results.

But when it comes to executing any particular tactic, writing a particular type of content, or advertising to a particular market, each scenario is a little different. What I think will work best is usually wrong.

With this realization in mind, I’ve developed a kind of manifesto. It’s a way to remind myself that it’s okay to not have all the answers. It’s okay to be wrong, as long as you commit to finding the right answer eventually. Embrace a testing mentality.

Assume You’re Wrong

The biggest challenge with having a testing mentality is accepting that you are almost always wrong.

Let me say this again: You’re wrong.

It can be difficult to swallow. But don’t take it personally. Don’t link your personal worth to your ability to guess which messaging will get the most clicks or which blog post will drive the most social engagement. That’s just silly.

This isn’t Mad Men. You’re not Don Draper. So, don’t spend a million bucks trying to come up with the best idea. We live in a digital age of data. We’re able to track, measure, and test anything and everything that we do in business. There should be no more guesswork.

And what we generally consider to be “conventional wisdom” about best practices when it comes to optimization is also generally wrong. (That’s why it’s called “conventional wisdom,” after all.)

So, just assume that whatever you think is “best” is probably wrong and that you’ll need to validate any idea you have against cold, hard data.

Rather than fight this, I’ve come to embrace it.

It’s become a driving force for my work and my business. I assume that I know nothing and that everything—anything—is open for testing. Test, fail and learn. In that order.

And instead of taking it personally, I just accept that it’s impossible for someone to know the right answer 100% of the time.

As such, it makes way more sense to defer to the data whenever possible.

Steal Shamelessly

Unfortunately, you can’t possibly test every single variable to determine the single best approach, messaging, targeting, or design.

But you can get a head start.

Begin any testing cycle by looking at companies that test and optimize regularly. Then, steal their findings. Rather than starting from square one, begin your own testing with their current best case—the design, ad, or content that they’ve found to be most successful.

You can do this in a number of ways.

  1. Look at crowd-sourced A/B or multivariate test communities like Behave.org.
  2. Find and read case studies on testing outcomes.
  3. Visit competitors websites and emulate what they’ve done.
  4. Use social media to uncover specific messaging/positioning/CTAs used by competitors.

For our work on content marketing, we begin any client engagement with an extensive research and competitive analysis process. It’s the foundation of our content marketing strategy—is what we already know working for competitors and other companies in the space?

We’re able to gain years (or decades) or knowledge in a matter of weeks. We avoid expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating trial and error by just stealing what works and iterating on it from there.

Prove Yourself Right (Or Wrong)

Once you have learned to not internalize the results and found a base to start with, it’s time to test.

Depending on what it is you’re testing, you’ll want to generate dozens—or hundreds—of variations. Try different colors, placements, layouts, or strategies.

Of course, a tool like VWO will help you execute these tests quickly and measure the results.

Create an experiment sheet that allows you to track each experiment and the outcome of that experiment. Remember to constantly challenge your own assumptions.assume you’re wrong and that you can come up with a variation that works better.

This kind of data-driven testing mentality applies not only to tactical tweaks or changes. You can assume a similar mentality for your entire strategy.

When we work with a new client on content marketing, we make a whole bunch of new assumptions.

Each piece of content that we create serves a strategic purpose within our larger framework. Because of this, we have a specific goal for that piece—to generate search traffic, to earn links, to generate social shares, and so on. And this is the benchmark that we use to measure our effectiveness.

So, we may begin with an idea about which kinds of content will best accomplish those goals.

But, in most cases, we have never created content in this particular market. We have never tried to build relationships within this particular community. We’re just guessing (per our past experience with other clients and other industries).

This means that what we really want to do is try what we think we will work, get the results, and then incorporate that data to help us improve in the future. A lot of times, we’re wrong. If we didn’t adopt a testing mentality, then we would just carry on being wrong.

Obviously, this is not ideal. It’s better to be wrong and to learn from that mistake than to be blind to your mistakes. This is why we apply a testing model to everything from our overall strategy to specific, tactical implementation—content flow, calls to action, outreach emails, and so on.

We want to achieve the best results we can, even if it means that we admit we were wrong.

Do It All Over Again

Think you’ve found the right answer? You’re probably wrong—again.

Any test is only as good as the variations that you’re considering. So, while you may have identified a clear winner of those that you’re considering, that doesn’t mean that you’ve objectively identified the best possible solution.

Whatever is working best now could only work half as well as the true best case. And it’s just a matter of time until you hit that particular variation.

It’s the pursuit of continuous improvement. It’s relentless.  

This is the foundational idea behind “growth hacking,” which is really just a data-driven, experimental approach to growth. It takes trial and error—over and over again—ad infinitum.

It’s why many software teams have embraced agile development because it allows for iterative progress and improvement rather than investing all of your time and resources into a single window or opportunity.

Testing isn’t just about making small tweaks. It’s about embracing a culture of continuous learning and improvement. It’s about the pursuit of truth, even when it makes you feel stupid.

And it all starts by admitting that you don’t have all the answers.

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The Art of Being Stupid – Why Testing Matters More Than Everything Else

A Blueprint for the Perfect Popup: Structured Design for Unstructured Marketers

Is it possible to design the perfect popup? One so fiercely potent that people just can’t refuse to convert?

Of course not.

As small as seemingly simple as a popup is, it’s still important to understand a little about its anatomy. There are five primary elements to make up the architecture of a popup, and then there’s a layer of interaction design beneath that which deals with the functional aspects such as triggers and targeting.

The five primary elements of a popup blueprint are:

  1. Headline and subhead
  2. Offer details
  3. Hero images
  4. Trust and social proof
  5. Call to Action

Using a structural approach to your popup designs helps us avoid mistakes and choose the right interaction modes and content elements that will create a good conversion experience.

Obviously, you can’t use every version of every element on a single small popup, but you can choose the best parts of each anatomical section to craft something that presents your offer in the best possible way.

An important thing to know is that the circled icons beneath each section represent Unbounce functionality that allows you to make your popups way more awesome than they would be if you simply showed it to everyone.

Got any weird and wonderful popup designs?

If you have designs that include elements I didn’t include in the blueprint, share them in the comments so I can add them to my layout specs.

Popups that don’t suck, rule! Make better popups, please.

Cheers,
Oli

p.s. See what Unbounce Popups look like on your website with the new Live Preview Tool. It’s really cool.

p.p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly updates for the rest of Product Awareness Month. If you click that link a popup will appear!

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A Blueprint for the Perfect Popup: Structured Design for Unstructured Marketers

5 Ways to Find the Best Products to Sell on Amazon

With the advent of the internet in the 90’s, Ecommerce has spread like wildfire. Consumers have moved from traditional shopping to ecommerce. All this started when Jeff Bezos introduced us to the world of Amazon. Nowadays, Amazon has become synonymous with ecommerce. Apart from being a great online store, it is known for its user personalization feature. A study by Internet Retailer states that in 2016, Amazon accounted for 43% of all online sales in the US. That alone is a good reason for you to consider selling on Amazon. In fact, people have been known to make as much…

The post 5 Ways to Find the Best Products to Sell on Amazon appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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5 Ways to Find the Best Products to Sell on Amazon

Air Lookout Is The Side Project That Changed My Design Process Forever

In February of 2015, I began working on an iOS app called Air Lookout. The goal of the app was to simplify and remove any obfuscation of air quality information. After over a year of working nights and weekends, the total net income since it launched in 2016 has been less than $1,000. Even with those numbers, I would relive every hour of work.
The one thing that I can’t place a monetary value on is how the experience of creating Air Lookout has completely changed my mind on the process of design and development for every project I have worked on since.

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Air Lookout Is The Side Project That Changed My Design Process Forever

Universal Principles Of User Experience Design

(This is a sponsored article.) As designers working in an ever-changing field, it’s important that we develop an understanding of the timeless design principles that underpin everything we do. In the second article in my series for Adobe XD, I’ll explore the foundations that enable us to establish some universal principles of UX.
These principles, which should sit at the heart of everything we design and build, are critical and will stand the test of time:

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Universal Principles Of User Experience Design

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