Archive for the ‘Marketing Makeover’ Category

UX and UI Fundamentals from Ben Jarris

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

This is an excellent article that anyone involved in software should understand: What non-technical entrepreneurs need to know about UX and UI

As you know, I’ve been on a journey to understand UX (which wasn’t even a thing, afaik, back when JibberJobber started).  My earliest designers were much more consumed with how corners curved and what colors were where (which is UI) than with how to get more signups, users, and upgrades (which is more UX).

When I hired Udi, who is now full-time with another company in San Fransisco, he said the mockups he would send me would be in black and white (and gray)… that his focus wasn’t on colors, rather on prompting the user to do the next thing.  And more importantly, get them to do the next right thing.

After years of working with “designers” who only knew UI, it was refreshing and awesome to work with someone who was interested in my business goals.

Check out Ben’s great article here.

 

Twitter, LI, JJ: how to make them bigger and better

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Here’s an excellent write-up about how Twitter could be more awesome:

How Twitter could be 10X bigger, 100X more profitable, and 1000X more awesome

Elements from this could apply to many businesses… very cool stuff.

Web design, marketing, conversion experts, feedback

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

This is a blog post to read a few times, and learn from. I don’t think you can read it just once:

Brave Website Owner Gets $25K+ Worth of Tough Love From World’s Best Conversion Experts (…It gets a little uncomfortable)

Another Awesome About Us Page

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

A couple of years ago I blogged about a “brilliant About Us page“… I recently found another one that is just awesome.  This is from Canvas, which provides software (learning management system, or LMS) for schools.  Josh Coates is the guy who sold his startup to EMC for $76M, and he’s running canvas now.  Check out the Canvas (aka, instructure) Our Team page.

It looks fun and playful, right?

about_us_awesome_canvas

If you mouse over each person’s image, it changes from the playful image (Steve’s playfulness is his clothes, which you’ll have to go to the page to see) to a serious corporate image.  But it defaults to the playful one. Isn’t that cool?

about_us_awesome_canvas2

and

about_us_awesome_canvas3

Great job Canvas peeps!

Adding a Blog page to your blog

Monday, June 9th, 2014

I recently set up my newest project, VideoGameClass.com, where I’ll be teaching people how to make video games using GameSalad. The class is going to be super-cool.

While setting up the blog I do a few things:

  • Delete the Hello World Post and anything else WordPress puts in,
  • Create new Pages, which also become the main menu across the top,
  • Set the Home Page as the first page people get to, as opposed do the default of going to the latest blog Post,
  • and, setting up the link “Blog,” where the Posts land.

I didn’t know how to do the last part, but my developer just emailed me telling me how:

  1. Set up a Page called “Blog,” and leave it blank
  2. Go to Settings, Reading
  3. Under Front Page Displays, there is a option to change the front page to a Page.  Change this to Home (which is a Page you have set up)
  4. The next dropdown asks what the blog Posts page is – that is the Page Blog that you set up.

Now, on the main menu, you have an option titled Blog, and this is where the Posts go.

Easy, eh?

 

Is Your Website Design Falling Behind?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

We started developing JibberJobber in March of 2006.

That wasn’t too long ago, but a LOT has changed in the world of the internet since then. Our first design (UI/UX) was fine, although we had a list a mile long of improvements and enhancements.  We focused a lot more on processes and features than on making it look pretty.

Later, I got a message from someone that said the design was outdated (read: not keeping up with popular websites), and although he liked the functionality, he couldn’t “trust” us with his credit card for an upgrade because the design didn’t instill trust.

Isn’t that interesting?

So, we began to look much more seriously at the UI with the idea that we wanted people to TRUST us.  They needed to feel confident that we were still around, and still making improvements.  Changes (and keeping up) with UI would, I guess, help that.

In 2012 we did a big new redesign (I blogged about it here). Within days someone completely new to JibberJobber wrote and complained that the design looked too old, perhaps something from the 1990s.

You seriously can’t please everyone.

I’ve had graphics artists and layout people sign up, while in job search, and within 20 minutes delete their account saying they didn’t like the design. I hated that. I wished they would have said “man!  Change this!  Change the color!  Change something!” instead of just “don’t like UI.”  I know, I know, it’s not their responsibility to say what to do, but if one of them emailed and said:

“I love the tool, but the design could use a lot of work.  I have a lot of suggestions… here are five of them.  Feel free to incorporate those, and if you are interested in a consultation, let me know. I do this professionally and would love to help JibberJobber’s look match it’s awesome functionality.”

See what I did there?  First, the person didn’t whine and stomp off like a little kid who didn’t get what they wanted, second, they offered specific solutions, and third, let me know that they were bought in and wanted to be a part of the team (even if just a contractor).

I would have absolutely had that conversation, and would have most likely hired them for the next step, to see if they could really walk the talk.

But I got never got that email.  Not once.

Design is hard.  I feel like we’ve been focusing on it a lot this year, and it’s frustrating to watch other sites with design crews go crazy and essentially define what great design is supposed to look like.  But this article by Greg Story really helped ease that frustration: And They All Look Just the Same. At the very end he says ” It does nobody any good to have a web that all looks the same. Be mindful of the user’s needs and business requirements, but for the sake of success, go a different route. ” Read the whole article, it is excellent.

I’m not saying we don’t want to have a better visual experience.  We do, and are working on it, and will continue to work on it.  But I don’t think I’m going to fret about not keeping up with Twitter’s, LinkedIn’s and Facebook’s UI, when really what my best users and customers need and want is better UX – the experience, the functionality, the tools, the reports, etc.  Yes, UI will be a part of that, and we’re aware of doing better there, but no longer can I waste time worrying about “keeping up.”

What do you think?

 

Seth Godin on What Marketers Are Getting Wrong

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

I have read this once or twice and wanted to close the page…. and move on.   But I can’t. I keep re-reading certain lines.  Thinking about how this applies to the JibberJobber user experience.

Godin is a genius.  And this article needs to be reread regularly: Seth Godin on What Marketers Are Getting Wrong

Best Shipping Confirmation – I should do this on JibberJobber

Friday, November 8th, 2013

When you interact with someone, do they feel special?  Check out this AWESOME shipping confirmation from Woodworkers Source. I’m going to include the text here in case the original blog post goes down:

“I have some great news, Joe.

Our team of 107 hard working (and exceptionally good looking) employees has – with great care and attention – selected, packaged and shipped your order #XX629 on this beautiful day.

I wish you could have been here to see all the action. When I handed the order to Robert, our master packager, he looked at it, smiled, and slid a pair of Italian leather gloves onto his hands.  As he selected your order, he placed it all on a satin-lined chariot to move it to the packaging center.  And there’s more . . .

Everyone gathered around, held a candle, and watched with hushed awe as he wrapped the entire order in the finest gold-laced cardboard that money can buy – you could have heard a pin drop.

In the end, the guys were so thrilled that they wanted to throw a party just for your order.  We’re talking about a big fiesta with live music and good food. All the action stumped the UPS driver when he showed up.  He thought he was going to pick up the packages like normal, but instead we picked *him* up carried him down the street on our shoulders while the band played.  You can imagine what happened next, right?  Our neighbors came outside to see what the fuss was all about, and when they saw your beautiful order they all waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, and patted Robert on the back.

Someone must have called the local TV stations because the next thing I knew I had six interviews to handle for reporters who asked, “What does Joe Smith intend to make?”  But don’t worry, your secret’s safe.  I told them, “I don’t know.  Maybe world peace?”  Man!  If only woodworking could do that!

Anyway, the guys hope to see pictures of what you make so we can have another party (I know what you’re thinking . . .).  I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at Woodworkers Source.  We enjoyed every minute of it, and we’ve named you “Customer of the Year.”  That gets you a pretty good parking spot right out front if you ever come see us.  I gotta tell you, though, we’re pretty exhausted.  And we can’t wait for you to come back to Woodworkers Source.”

I think I can adapt this for my JibberJobber upgrades, and I’m thinking a job seeker could adapt it for people he communicates with (within reason).

Personal Branding for Entrepreneurs? YES!

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

I found a good blog post about branding, even personal branding, for entrepreneurs, on the Adhere Creative blog: Entrepreneurs: Crafting Your Personal Brand

If I were coaching you I would say to focus on what the author talks about in #3 and #4, which is to become the teacher/instructor.  When you do that you are THE EXPERT.  Unless you do a really bad job. Otherwise, you will be seen and known as the expert, guru, etc.

Everyone can do this… you should have enough expertise in your field to teach or mentor someone else.

If you can get gigs to speak at conferences, it is as if the conference is endorsing your expertise.

One other thing that I would strongly recommend is to write a book.  I had NO idea that I writing the first (well, second) book on LinkedIn would propel my brand, and my business and my career, like it did.  I thought it would be a one-time thing with a week or month of hoopla, but here we are, seven years later, and I still get value because of that book I wrote.

Kent Blumberg: Why I don’t want a referral fee

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

This is a really interesting post on how to get more business.

For years I’ve been asked if JibberJobber has an affiliate program (aka, a referral fee for people who refer JibberJobber to their network).  The answer is NO.  While affiliate programs were very popular five to ten years ago.

I started with an affiliate program but found it was just not appropriate for our model.  One reason is that most people who asked would refer less than 50 people a year, and the percentage that would actually signup, use it, and then upgrade (for $9.95/month) was very low.  It wasn’t worth it for anyone.

Kent is a professional service provider (executive coach).  If I refer one person to him, that could be worth hundreds and easily thousands.  There is a lot more money to share in that scenario.

But Kent’s post, Why I don’t want a referral fee, goes to another level.

Let’s say you give me a referral and I give you $100.  How was that?  Are you fulfilled?

If you are giving a referral so you can increase your income, $100 isn’t very much.  If you consistently get $100 a day that is interesting, but if you get $100 a year, it is barely fun money.

Kent’s blog post starts out “My business is built on referrals.”  Why, then, doesn’t he pay for referrals?

Another line says: “a (referral) fee would deter me from giving referrals to you.”

WHY?

Read his post to find out what’s more valuable than a referral fee.