Mar 25, 2013 by Aaron Rubman
In January, Dale Riehart wrote a great list of ways to prepare for working with a professional writer. One of his suggestions is that business clients prepare a positioning statement.
Of course, a positioning statement isn’t just important for a professional writer. It’s a valuable tool to have whenever you want to talk about your product or company. Think of it like an elevator pitch for copy - short and to the point. So how do you prepare a positioning statement?
Dale offers a proven and elegant solution: ad-libs.
Just fill in the blanks appropriately and …
Nov 17, 2011 by Marissa Berger
Website development starts with intense conversations about what the site should look like and what it should do to meet the desired goals. Typically several people on the client’s end are tasked with describing what the company’s needs are from each of their perspectives and to ensure nothing critical is missed by the web developer. At the other side of the table, the web development team will ask many, many questions first to understand the company’s needs and then to make sure the site’s functions are clearly defined. After these conversations, a site specifications document is drawn. The web developer …
Nov 2, 2011 by Marissa Berger
There are many details to think about when developing an e-commerce site. We have developed the list of questions below which help us discover what “size” e-commerce site we will be building. An important part of our job is to guide a client through these to determine what is really needed to meet goals, budget, and timeline.
Hope you find these helpful.
1. How many products will there be at launch?
2. How many product will there be 3-6 months post launch?
3. How are these products organized? How many product categories?
4. Do products have …
Oct 4, 2011 by Marissa Berger
E-commerce websites seem straightforward, and some of them are. However, we tend to end up building the complicated ones! They are only complicated because there are many, many details to consider and test… both on our end and the client’s end. It’s best to do all of the planning at the beginning to avoid changing specifications as the site is being built. Here are a few key items to consider.
1. Focus on the Objective
Every design decision on an e-commerce site should be made with this goal in …
Apr 27, 2011 by Aaron Rubman
When writing for a business, there is a temptation to turn writing into a solo affair. Why take time from several people when one is clearly an expert with all the knowledge you might ever need to include?
Unfortunately, it is also an approach that invites problems, from missed deadlines to reams of techno-babble, or worse still, it’s converse: a treatise so bland and accessible it seems to lack any genuine insight.
Injecting a second actor into the writing process speeds content generation, creates a more dynamic voice, and ensures the resulting text has both depth and breadth.
We have started using …
Sep 21, 2010 by Scott Stiefvater
This is the million dollar question — well, maybe not a million dollars, but quality video isn’t cheap. So making a good decision about whether to pursue a video production project or not is important because the stakes are high. In my experience, creating video content for a client’s website often costs more than 25% of the total cost of producing the website in the first place. Logically speaking, the video content should account for a great deal of the overall impact and effectiveness of the site.
Let’s take, for instance, a website that is built around marketing a single product. …
Aug 31, 2010 by Paula Pollock
We’ve all been to websites that offend our senses. It might be the copy, the color, too much flashing or that “something” you just can’t put your mouse on that sends you packing. In working with businesses in all industries and sizes the one common denominator is they all have a website. Unfortunately, not all of them are good and some are flat out annoying. Here are a few easy thought processes you can work through to help provide your visitors with a positive visit to your online office.
Be Clear About It’s Goal
I’m stupefied by the number of clients that …
Aug 24, 2010 by Marissa Berger
Well, we finally made it to Facebook. Just like any other small business, we struggled with the decision of whether or not to have a presence in Facebook. It’s free to start; it’s simple to use… but the reality is that it’s an investment of internal resources, mostly time. But given the staggering statistics of how much Facebook is used, we decided to give it a shot. Here’s how we did it.
1. We decided on content
We took this as an opportunity to have a balance of work-related posts and fun/personal ones with the goal of showing the world who we …
Aug 13, 2010 by Aaron Rubman
Recently Scott Stiefvater and I were discussing the principles behind the CMS driven model of website design that MB/I favors. In that conversation he mentioned the three levels of content and presentation (the core application, the modules, and the interface and display). This reminded me of the six elements of design presented in Scott McCloud’s visual textbook Understanding Comics.
From inception to presentation these layers are: the idea, the form, the idiom, the structure, the craft, and the surface. This week I’d like to look at the two …
Mar 19, 2010 by Aaron Rubman
On Wednesday, March 31, I will be leading a 40-minute webinar on blogging.
Take a Tour of WordPress
For those of you who have not taken the leap into the world of blogging, we will spend the first 20-minutes touring the back-end of the world’s most popular blogging solution. As part of this process you will see what goes into editing, scheduling, and publishing a blog entry as we ready the actual April 1 post for MB/I.
Get Some Tips on Content Creation
Scared of the time & brain-power commitment a successful blog requires? For the second half of the call, I will highlight …