web design conference from internet retailer

Internet Retailer Web Design conference is coming soon.
Here are 10 common web design mistakes they have prepared to inspire people to attend the conference.

1. The Home Page Syndrome
You put most of your design resources on the home page and treat product pages as mere information pages—not marketing opportunities. In the session Designing Landing Pages that Sell, you’ll learn that the sale is really made on the product page.

2. A Design Pet That Bites.
You fall in love with one design function, using all the cool graphics you can, at the expense of meeting other key objectives, such as simplifying site navigation. In the session called One Site, Many Masters: Accommodating Conflicting Design Objectives, you’ll learn how to please your pet while not overlooking basic rules

3. Beware the Overbearing Geek.
You let your IT professional run wild and dictate design parameters that ignore marketing or merchandising needs. In Programmers Are from Mars, Customers Are from Venus, you’ll learn how to let the customer rule the design roost.

4. Conventional Wisdom Can Be Stupid
You adopt generally accepted design standards but fail to adapt them to how your own customers use your web site. In the session How Your Market Defines Your Design, you’ll learn how to gauge what design elements your customers are looking for.

5. Do It Now—Ask Questions Later.
You make a relatively minor change to your design without rigorously testing it. The next thing you know, your online sales are dropping. In the session called The Importance of Testing, you’ll learn how to thoroughly test the impact of design changes.

6. The Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke Mentality.
Your site is working so well you don’t think about redesigning it until it blows up on you. In the session called Is It Time Yet? You will learn how to spot telltale signs that your site is overdue for a do over.

7. Who Are You Anyway.
You choose an outside designer to work on your site without checking his/her retail web qualifications or success record. In Choosing the Right Design Partner, you’ll learn how to spot a good retail web site designer before you move forward.

8. The Anything Goes Attitude.
You assume that with broadband web access everywhere, you can load up your site with all kinds of images. In Every Byte Counts, you’ll learn otherwise.

9. It’s Just A Store.
You think web sites are just like stores and need only products neatly arranged. You forget that non-product content is often what attracts people to a site. You will see what we mean at the session What Engages Shoppers Now—And What Will Engage Them Tomorrow.

10. What Are You—Anti-Social?
If your site doesn’t use forums, blogs and reviews, it fails to connect to the community it serves. Retailers in particular miss this, but the session Leveraging Social Technologies Strategically in Your Site Design will set them straight.

registration details can be found here: https://irwd09.com/registration.asp?eid=24246027&bid=142881

Internet retailer web design conference fountainbleau miami beach

10 web design reasons to attend the Internet Retailers Conference (IRWD) at the all-new Fontainebleau in Miami Beach on June 19-22, 2009. Here are just 10 common design mistakes you’ll learn to avoid at IRWD ’09:  

  1. The Home Page Syndrome: You put most of your design resources on the home page and treat product pages as mere information pages—not marketing opportunities. In the session Designing Landing Pages that Sell, you’ll learn that the sale is really made on the product page.

  2. A Design Pet That Bites: You fall in love with one design function, using all the cool graphics you can, at the expense of meeting other key objectives, such as simplifying site navigation. In the session called One Site, Many Masters: Accommodating Conflicting Design Objectives, you’ll learn how to please your pet while not overlooking basic rules.

  3. Beware the Overbearing Geek: You let your IT professional run wild and dictate design parameters that ignore marketing or merchandising needs. In Programmers Are from Mars, Customers Are from Venus, you’ll learn how to let the customer rule the design roost.

  4. Conventional Wisdom Can Be Stupid: You adopt generally accepted design standards but fail to adapt them to how your own customers use your web site. In the session How Your Market Defines Your Design, you’ll learn how to gauge what design elements your customers are looking for.

  5. Do It Now—Ask Questions Later: You make a relatively minor change to your design without rigorously testing it. The next thing you know, your online sales are dropping. In the session called The Importance of Testing, you’ll learn how to thoroughly test the impact of design changes.

  6. The Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke Mentality: Your site is working so well you don’t think about redesigning it until it blows up on you. In the session called Is It Time Yet? You will learn how to spot telltale signs that your site is overdue for a do over.

  7. Who Are You Anyway: You choose an outside designer to work on your site without checking his/her retail web qualifications or success record. In Choosing the Right Design Partner, you’ll learn how to spot a good retail web site designer before you move forward.

  8. The Anything Goes Attitude: You assume that with broadband web access everywhere, you can load up your site with all kinds of images. In Every Byte Counts, you’ll learn otherwise.

  9. It’s Just A Store: You think web sites are just like stores and need only products neatly arranged. You forget that non-product content is often what attracts people to a site. You will see what we mean at the session What Engages Shoppers Now—And What Will Engage Them Tomorrow.

  10. What Are You—Anti-Social? If your site doesn’t use forums, blogs and reviews, it fails to connect to the community it serves. Retailers in particular miss this, but the session Leveraging Social Technologies Strategically in Your Site Design will set them straight.

Register today at the Internet Retailer Web Design Conference, where you will benefit from the only conference dedicated to retail web site design improvement.

Aviary online photo editing software – compare to adobe photoshop

Because we do a lot of traveling out of Los Angeles in regard to our web site design projects, it pays to have access to programs online. Ijust picked up this info which includes a 48 hour offer for a $55.00 discount for this online photo editing software. I am going to check the free download before deciding to purchase. It's pretty cool looking so far at https://a.viary.com Online image editing suite Aviary is now open and available to all after serving out a lengthy private beta which lasted about a year and a half. The suite is comprised of four Web-based image editing tools that aim to compete with traditional software solutions like Adobe's Creative Suite by putting all of the applications right in your browser, making them accessible from anywhere. The opening comes with the imminent launch of two new premium levels of service, which offer paying members more control over their creations than free users have. While all four Web applications are available to users at each of the three levels of service, the higher tiered plans let them save more items, remove and customize watermarks, and get access to professionally produced tutorial content. The premium plans, which go live next week (November 3rd to be precise), cost $7.99 per month or $79.90 per year for the "green" plan, and $14.99 per month or $149.90 per year for the top-of-the-line "blue" plan. You can see a full sheet of the differences here, with the key one being both the number of creations you're able to save, and the option of keeping them private. We've got 100 subscription discounts available, which knock $55 off the yearly subscription price of either premium plan. To claim yours go here before signing up. Embedded below is a quick video to show you what you're capable of doing with Aviary's tools.

Optimizing PPC budgets driving through a windshield

When reviewing your web site design performance, part of the challenge with evaluating your search marketing performance is analyzing where traffic is coming from to see the results it is producing. With the economy forcing budgets into downward spirals, you need to minimize your PPC spend and maximize revenues from the clicks that come in. When optimizing your PPC ads for maximum performance, sometimes you have to pretend you are driving a car and looking through the windshield of the car in front of you. What this means is that instead of focusing purely on high click through rates so that you have a strong CTR with Google, you may need to focus on your actual conversion rates (this means the people that click through who also fill out a form to take an action on your site). If your conversions are HIGH, then you can be confident your click throughs will be fine too. Remember, without conversions you won’t have any money to pay for more clicks. So focus on the scoreboard, not your rushing yardage.

An optimal way to make a meaningful impact conversion rates is to use the ad copy – though it is just a few words basically – to let the customer know before they click, what they should expect to see on the other side. Tease them, reveal a few things, but don’t pull off a surprise effect which leaves them stumbling and looking for that exit sign. Bottom line is to deliver the message even before they reach your site.

What choices are in your arsenal of delivering pre-expectation ad copy? Price, Urgency and Value.

With regards to price – ie. discounts – you will likely have more clicks (thus increasing your CTR) but your conversions are at risk if the clickers are not yet in purchase mode. It sucks to pay search engines for research oriented clicks. So what you can do is to focus instead of terminology that is more closely related to a prospect who is in PURCHASING mode.

The simplest method is to create urgency by using time or number of openings available.
– One example is a sale date. For example, “Sale Ends Nov. 1st, Order now. use code #1234x”
– Another example is to use competition in the form of “10 left at this price. sale ends today. Free Shipping!”

Blackberry Storm (iPhone killer) just Announced

This is literally hot off the presses. I am a long time blackberry user and I’ve been pondering the shift to the new Google Phone mostly because less than 3G is like Chocolate chip cookies without the chips. My BB crawls and it’s tiresome. Nothing like looking remotely for some new graphic ideas for a web design project and sitting their watching the “connecting” messages sit their like a smiling Buddha. I don’t have that kind i of patience.  The BlackBerry Storm is the first touch screen BlackBerry device and one of the first I have ever heard of that has a display with real feedback.

The press release states that the screen actually depresses slightly when pressed and the user feels this with a gentle “click” when released. This type of positive touch screen should give the end user a better touch experience and I can’t wait to try it out. The Storm also adds support for multi-touch, taps, slides and other gestures. Like the iPhone, the Storm has an integrated accelerometer so you can switch from portrait to landscape with either the SureType (portrait) or full QWERTY (landscape) keyboard appearing.

Other specs for the BlackBerry Storm include support for Verizon’s 3G network, 3.2 megapixel camera, integrated GPS receiver, integrated Documents To Go software for full Office document functionality, 1GB of onboard memory with a microSD slot, 3.5mm headset jack, Bluetooth radio with A2DP support, 480×360 display, and 1400 mAh removable rechargeable battery. It does not have a WiFI radio, but with Verizon’s extensive 3G network you should be covered quite well for wireless data access.

CMKCosmetics.com – Discount Cosmetics Ecommerce Web Site Design

Clearly, CMKCosmetics.com is not necessarily a new web design project but I am posting about it now because it is in a similar industry to EvePearl.com and since I’ve gotten my feet pretty wet with cosmetics, it makes sense to put up a little information about this site too.

CMKCosmetics.com is an interesting situation because she sells cosmetics to everyone in one sense, because everyone has the potential to use her makeup products to look more beautiful. However, she also has an exciting niche market opportunity to sell cosmetics to a very particular type of customer. That niche is served by her brand of Shabbat Cosmetics. These are lipsticks and eyeshadows for example that are formulated in such a way that Rabbis approve of their use on the holy sabbath.

Without getting into the details too much, not only did this site have the opportunity to showcase products for a definable audience, but it also had to take into consideration the social mores of that community. This meant that the photos used on the site had to be meet a certain level of acceptability for modesty. As well, the whole color scheme of the site had to be in a sense “sensible” and not too flashy. That is a tough bill to fill to sell “sex” but not look like it too much.

Well maybe she wasn’t trying to sell sex, but it’s a pretty fine line between getting all dolled up looking good and crossing the threshold to a bedroom. Yet, that may be a male point of view. From the woman’s perspective beauty and all the accoutrements used to enhance one’s beauty, are not really about sex but about a self perception. In the fashion world, you are what you wear – and not necessarily for an ulterior motive.

So the CMK cosmeticsweb project was noteworthy more because of the limitations presented by the niche audience than because it gave me a chance to showcase some enhancements we had made to the WebCart Ecommerce platform. We are always adding new configuration options to WebCart so it is almost like commonplace – though some of the features you will see on CMK are quite nice. look at all the alternate images of the lipsticks to get an idea of what I mean.

HTML Color Code Calculator | RGB Color Generator| Web Page Color Choosing Tool

Today’s software tip is geared to web design individuals and companies. Have you ever looked at a web page – especially when you are debugging code – and you see a hexadecimal value and you want to know what color it represents?

Well, this nifty little html color generator type of calculator is just the best little Web-based wizard to come my way in a long time. You just type in the 6 digit color value and hit a button and it shows you a whole web page filled with that color.

Drop me a note if you like the tool. I sure do. It would have saved us a lot of time when we were designing some skins for our shopping cart platform.