We Asked the Pros: Where Do You Find Daily Inspiration Online?

Online Inspiration

Curious about what websites some of the top professionals in your industry consult on a daily basis? Webcopyplus recently surveyed people we admire in web marketing and related professions to find out what they’re reading online, for both professional inspiration and general interest.  We hope their answers shed some light on what drives them, and perhaps inspire you to broaden your daily reading.

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How to Critique Copywriting and Design

Critiquing copywriting and design

Due to the subjective nature of copywriting and design, copywriters and designers have difficult jobs. They get hired for their expertise, tap into their knowledge and experience, and propose a draft. When the response is positive, fantastic. But when businesses offer vague critiques such as, “I don’t like it,” that’s absolutely meaningless, setting the stage for unnecessary frustration, countless revisions, and wasted time for all parties involved.

When you hire with a copywriter or designer, you can eliminate misunderstandings, and achieve effective web copy or design without delays, by following these basic feedback guidelines.

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Common Website Mistakes That Can Kill Business

Website mistakes

Every element on your website has the ability to build — or damage — how visitors perceive you. To gain insight on how to generate confidence, earn trust, and entice visitors to reach out and invest in your offerings, we asked website professionals:

What are common website mistakes that decrease confidence, trust and sales?

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Is Poor Website Design Holding Your Business Hostage?

Poor design

Online visitors form a first impression of a website quicker than the blink of an eye — literally. It typically takes humans 300 to 400 milliseconds to blink. Meanwhile, scientific research led by Dr. Gitte Lindgaard at Carleton University in Ontario reveals websites have as little as 50 milliseconds to establish a first impression — a mere 1/20th of a second. That’s it!

This is crucial information for any business because once a visitor forms an impression on a subconscious level, he or she will selectively search for information confirming that impression. People do this because we all want to prove we have good judgement. So, if our first impression of a website is negative, we have a tendency to mainly seek and see the negatives, regardless how good a business’ products and services might actually be. Alternatively, if we immediately like what we see, we’ll look for positive information to reinforce that impression.

So how do you avoid making a bad first impression on the Web? Easy. Get a good designer.

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Selling With Sex On the Web

Sex sells Nikon ad

Sex has been used to successfully sell products as early as 1890 when W. Duke & Sons became the leading cigarette brand by including trading cards featuring scantily clad women in their cigarette packs.  Many decades of positive reinforcement later, selling with sex has become commonplace, with boundaries being pushed as far as societal morals allow.  Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller even wagers that all of our consumer choices are motivated by our pursuit of primal desire, for procreation or otherwise.

How has selling with sex manifested itself on the Web?  Webcopyplus recently spoke with Melody Nieves, blogger and marketing enthusiast behind www.sexidesign.com, a blog dedicated to exploring the role sex plays in marketing, for her take on sexy advertising online.

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How Is Social Media Affecting Web Design?

Social media design

Social media empowers consumers to be recognized by marketers as human again, their voices amplified through an expanding array of platforms in the transparent online marketplace.  Businesses are learning the value of this increasing amount of unsolicited market data, as well as the power of engaging their customers in conversation.  As a result, products and services are being tailored to customers more efficiently, and businesses are able to respond quicker to issues and concerns.

How are these changes affecting web design?  In order to fully leverage the benefits of this new relationship between business and consumer, websites must be designed with and for the ‘social Web’, affecting aesthetics, functionality, and the development process itself.

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Why Design Needs to be Like A Quesadilla

Vancouver Designer Gonzalo Alatorre of Creative Engine

Award-winning designer Gonzalo Alatorre, speaking at a TED conference in Mexico last month, suggested design needs to be like a quesadilla. Where was the Founder and Principal of Creative Engine, and designer of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics logo going with this? We spoke to the Alatorre to uncover his motivation for making such a seemingly bizarre claim.

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Cost-Effective Design…

Cheap Solution for Website Design and Development...

Group Brainstorming Kills Creativity: Study

Group brainstorming creativity

Group brainstorming is inefficient and smothers creativity, suggests a recent study conducted at Texas A&M University. This might come as a shock to copywriters, designers, developers, and other creative types, who long for and religiously take part in caffeine-powered idea-generating sessions.

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Striking Design: FIFA World Cup Calendar

FIFA World Cup Calendar

Kudos to Marca, the premiere sports news source in Spain, which designed a superb calendar for 2010 FIFA World Cup fans. Beautiful, clean and functional — the Spaniards know a thing or two about soccer and good design.

Enjoy the Marca soccer calendar here.

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