When Management Says Yes to UX

Enterprise UX can feel like a sisyphean task at times
It has felt like a Sisyphean task at times. Speaking user centered design into an engineering dominated enterprise organization is never easy. For 4 years I have been speaking in silly persona names, “what would Andy Admin do”, sketching, prototyping and coaching off-shore development teams. Begging for sprint reviews. Pleading for a first look. Give me something before code complete to test and a cycle to iterate on it before we ship.

During this time I have converted some to the UCD way, found allies in other silos and irritated a host of others. Change has come slow until recently. In the beginning there where sporadic rumblings about “delighting the customer.” Those rumblings turned into frequent proclamations regarding “creating insanely great products.” Then it happened,  a straight up mandate to become a “customer first” organization. Gulp… management is saying yest to UX. Not a big budget mandate kind of yes, a yes none the less.

A little overwhelmed, mostly excited, embarking on this process of introducing UX in the enterprise. Where to start…

Photo Credits

 

How much business does your site generate, you don’t know do you

Unless you are running an online commerce business it can be difficult to track Web sales from contact to conversion. Mike Moran over at searchengineguide.com has some ideas for how you can get started.

If you are currently doing nothing I would recommend at a minimum a dedicated phone number, contact email address and a CRM solution. If your reading my blog I know you don’t have a salesforce budget but there are wonderful CRM solutions out there that won’t drain your wallet, try Highrise or Zoho CRM

After you find out what your site is really worth to your business give me a call and we will do that update you have been putting off.

Design for SEO 10 Tips You Can Use Today

1. Don’t embed keywords in images

2. Name pages like your organic SEO depends on it

3. Unique title tags and meta descriptions only

4. What do you look like without your styles on

5. Load time matters compress compress compress

6. Mark up clean, mean and semantic

7. Design every page like it is the only page your visitors will ever see

8. Focus your page rank power with rel=”nofollow”

9. Content is still king

10. Invite in the robots

11. Simple to navigate is simple to crawl

Cyber Monday Campaign Tip

Fall is a busy time of year for online retailers and marketers. Legions of designer elves are busily crafting emails, homepage graphics, banners and buttons. In their frenzy to create the prefect campaign many often forget to appease the mighty long tail of search. When your landing page is not always your home page is your offer visible? If it’s not it should be and here is why.

The Campaign

I recently built an exclusive offer for an eCommerce client from one of their best selling brands. They have had success in the past running the standard campaign components: email, homepage, social media, banners and buttons for their affiliate program, etc.

As launch day approached I wanted to try something different and pitched a “Product Page Offer” as an additional component. This offer would run in the header and would be visible across all pages of the site. I based this pitch on long tail traffic patterns and the idea that with search your landing page is not always your home page.

Product Page Offer

Product Page Offer

Am I glad I did. The results of the test where not at all what I expected. Based on historical patterns I assumed the email component would have the best conversion rates, followed by homepage, social, product page and affiliate.

The results

The results of the campaign turned my theories upside down. The “Product Page Offer” converted at an unbelievable 34%. It made email, the home page offer and our social campaign look like a joke. It was such a powerful converter they could have run with just that one offer and made more then all of the other components combined. Check out the numbers for yourself

The Results

The Results

Cyber Monday Tip

Make sure your offer is plastered across every page of your site, this holiday season I will be doubling the space I allocate for this type of offer.

Next Steps

If you are feeling understaffed or having trouble executing your holiday playbook. Take my landing page optimization service for a test drive and watch your conversion rates soar.

If You Write It They Will Tweet

tweet-my-vote-3
I often lack the motivation to tweet about events during my everyday Web browsing. The motivation to tweet is often less than the friction created by penning the 140 characters or less. Pathetic right? I don’t think I am alone in this, as designers how do we overcome this fiction? Fortunately there is a quick solution, write the Tweet for them.

I was recently contacted by my friends over at GreenLoop to do some Social Marketing Optimization (SMO) on a contest they are running to identify Americas next top Green Model. Specifically they were looking to up their chatter on twitter. They had created a twitter account and started a twitter hashtag for the contest #projectgreensearch. Traffic was building at the site however twitter follow growth and hashtag chatter we almost non existent.

Feeling lazy? Watch the Screencast.

Looking at the site the problem was obvious, no one was tweeting because they hadn’t asked them to. They had the obligatory twitter icon but there was no call to action. Problem solved right, create the call to action and we are done, instant twitter chatter. Wrong.

tweet action placed in proxity to primary call to action

tweet action placed in proximity to primary call to action

The Call to action set up the event but the friction remained. Luckily twitter provides a simple solution for pre-filling your status. Simply add /home?status=”whatever+you+want+them+to+tweet” to your twitter link and when clicked the users twitter status will be pre-filled with your crafted message.

pre-filled tweet

pre-filled tweet

This solution not only overcomes the friction of having to create the message it also allows you to control the messaging. Now you can be sure your #hashtags and @account are mentioned in the tweet.

The result for Projectgreensearch.com was a 1,700% increase in twitter referrals and a healthy bit of hashtag chatter.

Below is an example of how I implemented this functionality in WordPress. (single.php)

<!--?php    $tweettitle = $post--->post_title;
  $tweetlink = $post-&gt;guid;
  $tweeetstatus = urlencode( "I voted for " . $tweettitle . " @ProjectGreen09 ". $tweetlink . " #projectgreensearch" );  
?&gt;

If your interested in doing some Social Media Optimization let me know