Tag: Web Related

Kickstarter: Constraints a Practice Challenge for Web Developers

Constraints1

Constraints is a deck of cards to improve the way you tackle web design problems. If you are involved in creating websites as a designer, coder, producer, content strategist, creative director or conference hound – you need Constraints.

Each card asks you to do something, to consider something, or to avoid something. Sometimes it’s very direct, sometimes it’s more ambiguous. In all cases the objective is to shift your perspective on your problem. Shifting your perspective is often all that is required to see the better solution.

All of the cards are aimed squarely at challenging the way you work, pushing you to find new, often better techniques and ways of thinking about design problems. Sometimes by taking something away, by adding something new, sometimes simply by making you focus on one specific area.

This kind of practice will have a direct impact on how you think, design and build.

Everybody needs practice in their fields and these cards seem like a great way for web developers and designers to keep their skills up to par. Take up a challenge and see what you can do under a few Constraints.

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The Art Of The Opt In

People visit blogs, they follow you on twitter, they friend you on Facebook. Most of the clients I have been recently working with do all that and more to try and get both their persona’s, their products, and their services out there. They live, breath, and sleep social media, they blog, and they offer a mailing list.

The secret behind the opt in seems to be a combination of a call to action + offering a freebie. According to the business dictionary a call to action is :

Words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action, such as “Write Now,” “Call Now,” or (on Internet) “Click Here.” A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective.

It is basically the thing that gets the person to do something based on seeing a certain set of words in an advertisement. Calling, clicking, etc…

The freebie goes along with the call to action. The freebie can be an audio file, pdf, image, coupon, video sample, or pretty much any little snippet that can entice a person into following the call to action.

Here are a couple examples that I have worked on.

If you use WordPress and you don’t want to bother your long time readers you can use something like the What Would Seth Godin Do plugin for WordPress as more of a subtle call to action for a newsletter or just for simple messages. This plugin adds an editable message above each post or at the top of a blog list that can be used as a call to action blurb. It can be set to only be shown to new users or to show a different message to return visitors.