BLOOMBERG WEB DESIGN: GOOD OR BAD?

Haters to the Side: Bloomberg’s Loud Updated Web Design Heralds the Future of Web News

BY MARGARET RHODES

  |  6:30 AM  |  PERMALINK

Bloomberg New Web Design

Not everyone loves the new Bloomberg Business web design. On Twitter, pundits have pilloried it, saying it looks like “Instagram filters on acid,” and, more simply, “I don’t like it.” Marc Andreessen knocked it, and Venturebeat says it “pulls you in as much as it spits in your eye.”

Josh Topolsky, editor of Bloomberg Digital and the man who spearheaded this new look and strategy, is undeterred. He has a bigger vision for what the future of news design can be. “If you look at most news sites you see a basic formatting, that’s really based on traditional newspaper design,” he says. Or, readers get their news from feeds like Twitter and Facebook, where it’s “presented in rapid fire in headline after headline.”
Since leaving The Verge this past July to join Bloomberg, Topolsky and design agency Code and Theory have been working on a kaleidoscopic, modular web design for the news organization that corrals all of Bloomberg’s media properties—Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg TV, and Bloomberg Graphics—under one roof, and relies neither on a gridded layout nor a feed. “What drives me insane in modern web design is grids,” Topolsky says. “What’s important is a page that moves.”
A news site should move, for example, when a breaking story about an international crisis comes through and that story needs a prominent treatment. It should also move and update itself when a reader is coming back to check in on the news in the afternoon, after already reading through headlines in the morning. Different stories deserve different weight and attention, so it helps if the storytelling template at hand doesn’t hold them captive to one format. Now, as news flows in, editors can “very quickly reshuffle what we’re doing on the page, because every module is moveable,” Topolsky says. Instead of rigid grids, the site is “built from these building blocks so we can snap them together like Lego.” The news becomes intent driven, rather than layout driven.
In this way, the new Bloomberg site actually feels more like its print magazine counterpart than a typical web site. In fact, much of the criticism is a reaction to Topolsky drawing on the magazine’s sometimes kooky design DNA, which already draws mixed reviews. The text overlay happening with the coverlines is a cue taken from magazine covers and page layouts, but also, each subpage also has all kinds of visual freedom where it didn’t before. What this more literally means is that the homepage could show one big photo with one big headline, indicating that story’s importance at that time. If instead, that story is equal in newsworthiness to two other stories, the homepage will then tout three, smaller, leading stories. Or at any given time, one of the section pages (World, Technology, Design, whatever) could have one splashy landing visual, or it could have a web of photos and videos against a color gradient backdrop. To be sure, this exists on other news sites, but not with the kind of flexibility or variety the new Bloomberg gives its editors.
“The site is pretty weird in a lot of ways,” Topolsky admits. But, importantly, it’s also an effort at doing something new at a time when social media tends to route readers right to stories, causing homepage visits to drops. “The homepage may be dead, or maybe suffering now, but there hasn’t been experimentation.”

SUPER BOWL ADS 2015

Super Bowl Ads

This past Sunday we witnessed the annual mecca of Super Bowl advertising that has become a phenomenon since Apple’s infamous 1984 ad. A trend throughout were ads meant to tug at our heartstrings. From a marketing standpoint, the most disappointing ad was from Nissan; after a father is absent from his son’s childhood he reunites with him to rebuild their relationship. Nissan’s attempt to connect product and emotion with an absentee auto-racing father is one of the poorest campaigns we can remember in recent years. Visit our website to see a few of our campaigns.

Time put together a list of the Super Bowl ads. Take a look and let us know your thoughts.

http://time.com/3692081/super-bowl-commercials-2015-review-death/

B2B MARKETING BECOMES EMOTIONAL

Heart Vs. Brain Marketing Become Emotional

Business to business marketing and advertising is evolving. I’m sure you all have noticed how advertising and marketing campaigns both on the B2B and B2C front are shifting focus from data to emotion. While data can inform us about our target audience, the way we market to that audience is relying less on things such as cost and attributes and more on gut. We’ve always known that consumers engage primarily on instinct or emotion. Corporate brands are finding it increasingly critical to market to their business customers through sentiment rather than facts and figures. As we are continually bombarded with images and marketing messages we become numb. That is why campaigns that leverage emotion are becoming so vital — they make decisions makers feel something!

VIDEO ADS ON MOBILE DEVICES – BIGGER THAN EVER

No question, videos were huge in the advertising arena in 2014, but in 2015 we will see them integrated across the board into mobile devices. Marketing and ad firms must pay close attention to creating online advertisements from mobile/pad inside out. These video ads must be so quick and blended that our user experience appears seemless. Challenging and critical to brands and agencies who connect with their consumers consistently online. Look for the changes at a local mobile phone near you!

YES. YOU HAVE TO CARE. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Authenticity is becoming more and more critical.

Those creative agencies that continue to have the mind set of “sell, sell, sell” as their dominant digital marketing strategy are becoming more and more dismissed and overlooked by consumers and prospects. Ad agencies and digital marketers have to actually care and dedicate their time to things are more difficult to track…such as customer service, a consistent brand experience and meaningful content that benefits the end user. And this must happen across all points of engagement with a focus on customer experience.
Customer Experience Graphic Design

RDA AND BWP LAUNCH THE NEW STATION CENTER BRAND.

Station Center Brand

BWP and the RDA revealed Salt Lake City’s newest transit oriented community, Station Center. Mayor Ralph Becker joined with community members developers, and press at the historic Rio Grande Depot to celebrate the first steps in revitalizing the area.

BWP worked closely with the RDA to provide brand development, marketing and advertising to launch a new image for the area, attract developers, and support the community. Full services for this project included:

  • Research
  • Branding
  • Identity Design
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Messaging
  • Web Site Design
focus website user experience

How to Focus on Website User Experience

There are a few factors that tend to hold major importance for your digital marketing efforts, and one that speaks to web and page design is user experience, abbreviated UX. The way users navigate and otherwise experience your site and its various pages often plays a huge role in how they feel about your brand and whether they become a customer, and there are several important concepts to be thinking about here. 

At BWP Communications, web design is one of several top digital marketing services we offer to clients around Salt Lake City – and user experience is a huge part of this field. Here\’s a primer on why UX is so vital in web design and internet marketing in general, plus some of the concepts to be thinking about while applying it.

Why User Experience Matters

There are several reasons why UX is a top factor in digital marketing and web design. First, when users experience an enjoyable and intuitive navigation process, they\’re more likely to stay on your site longer – meaning there\’s a much better chance of them becoming customers or interacting with your brand in some other way. 

Second, good UX contributes to the overall perception of your brand by showing users that you care about their experience and are offering high-quality solutions. Third, good UX can help with search engine optimization (SEO) since it makes it easier for Google’s web crawlers to find your site and rank it accordingly in the SERPs.

When striving for quality UX, there are several areas to be considering – which we\’ll look at in our subsequent sections.

General Focus on Clarity and Simplicity

For the vast majority of website visitors, the simpler and clearer your web design, the better. If it’s too complex for them to understand or if they don\’t know where to go, it’s likely that they won\’t remain on your site for long.

That\’s why many UX designers focus on keeping things streamlined and easy-to-follow when crafting their designs – and that\’s something to strive for in your own web design efforts as well. This includes things such as keeping menus short, avoiding long forms, and making sure visitors can find what they need in as few clicks or taps as possible.

Know Your Audience

User experience is not the same across all industries, or even all websites within the same industry. It\’s important to know your audience and what they\’re expecting from their visit to your site.

For instance, a website for local businesses needs to have different UX than one for an e-commerce store, as local business owners will be looking for more direct contact information while customers of an e-commerce store will be looking for an easy checkout process. Knowing your target audience and what they\’re expecting can help you come up with the best UX design.

Visual Highlights

As you\’re designing your website, you should also be using visuals to help guide users through it. Images, videos, and other visual aids can draw a user\’s attention to the parts of the page that are the most important – including calls-to-action like buttons or links.

This is especially useful for mobile devices since people will often not want to read too much text on their phones, and visuals can help users get to the information they need quickly.

Accessibility at Every Turn

No matter which page a visitor lands on, they should be able to find the information they need quickly and easily. That\’s why it’s important for your entire site to have good accessibility – meaning that users can access each page from any other page with as few clicks or taps as possible.

This also helps keep people engaged and makes it easier for them to find what they\’re looking for, and it can also help with SEO since web crawlers will be able to easily index the pages.

Analyzing User Data

Once your website is up and running, you should regularly analyze user data to see how people are interacting with it. This includes tracking things such as page views, click-through rates, time spent on each page, and more.

By looking at this data, you can see what’s working – and what isn\’t – so that you can make adjustments as needed to improve the overall user experience.

Overall, UX plays a major role in digital marketing and web design efforts. By keeping these important concepts in mind, you can create a website that engages users and provides them with the best experience possible. Good UX will help increase conversions as well as establish your brand in the minds of potential customers.

At BWP Communications, we understand the importance of user experience and can help you design a website that meets the needs of your target audience. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you optimize your web design for maximum UX, or about any of our online or print marketing services for clients around SLC.

Role of Digital Marketing for Travel and Tourism Businesses

Those in the travel and tourism industries are always looking for ways to draw in increased business, and the digital marketing realm has only grown and grown as a vital approach here within recent years. We\’re to the point where any major tourism or travel agency not utilizing digital marketing is falling behind their competition, and this is because online advertising approaches hold several major uses in today\’s marketplace. 

At BWP Communications, we\’re happy to offer a wide range of digital marketing services to a hugely diverse array of clients and industries across Salt Lake City. If you\’re in the travel or tourism agency and have not yet taken advantage of all the major benefits digital marketing has to offer, here are some of its key value-adds you\’re missing out on.

Ability to Target Advertising

In an industry like tourism, targeting of clients is a vital step in the advertisement process. Digital marketing allows for the use of highly specific targeting, allowing you to reach individuals who have shown an interest in your product and location before. This means you are able to reach out to potential customers at a much more effective rate than with traditional advertising approaches, leading to higher conversion rates and better ROI overall.

For instance, BWP Communications can use location data to target customers in specific countries and regions, as well as using demographics to hone in on your desired age range.

Highly Trackable Data

Another great benefit of digital marketing is its focus on analytics, making it easy to measure the results of your campaigns. This allows you to track ROI and make adjustments to your advertising approach as needed. Not only that, but this data can be used to inform future campaigns and help you project more accurately in the future.

With BWP Communications\’ comprehensive analytics solutions, you\’re able to better understand customer behavior and preferences, allowing for highly-targeted campaigns with more accurate messaging.

Improved Visibility

Through various digital marketing techniques, you can ensure that your travel or tourism agency is more visible to prospective customers. This includes optimizing website content for organic search traffic and making sure it is easy to find on social media platforms.

Let\’s say, for example, that you\’re trying to target a younger audience looking for an adventure abroad. With BWP Communications, we can help you create targeted campaigns to reach this demographic more effectively.

Improve Engagement

Another major part of success in the travel and tourism industry is customer engagement. Digital marketing can help you engage with customers more easily and effectively, allowing them to find out more information about your services and offerings without having to contact you directly.

Digital marketing campaigns are also a great way to promote special offers, discounts, and other promotions that may entice potential customers. With BWP Communications, we can help you create engaging campaigns that will capture the attention of potential customers and encourage them to book a trip with your company.

Visual Content Emphasis

Because the travel and tourism fields are so heavily reliant on visuals, digital marketing campaigns are the perfect way to showcase stunning imagery of your destination or service. Through powerful visuals and well-crafted stories, you can help customers form a better connection with your brand and services, increasing the chances that they will book with you in future.

At BWP Communications, we have an experienced team of graphic designers who can help you create beautiful visuals and campaigns to showcase your travel or tourism agency.

Improved Reputation Management

Another key area of digital marketing is reputation management. Through various forms of online monitoring, you can ensure that your business remains in good standing and that any negative reviews are addressed quickly and properly.

Reputation management is crucial in the travel and tourism industry, as customers want to be sure they will get the best service possible when booking with you. BWP Communications can help you track and monitor your online reputation, while also providing strategies to address any issues that come up.

Ultimately, digital marketing is an essential part of success in the travel and tourism industry. With the right strategy and tools like BWP Communications\’ services, you can take your business to greater heights. By utilizing targeted campaigns, tracking analytics, improving visibility and engagement, showcasing stunning visuals, and managing reputation, you can be sure to bring in increased business.

With these powerful digital marketing tools at your disposal, you can ensure that your travel or tourism agency is ready to take on the competition and draw in more customers. Don\’t hesitate – get started with BWP Communications today for help with this or any other SLC marketing need!

value animations web design

Value of Animations in Web Design

As the world of web design and development continually evolves and updates, certain elements become more popular and also take on a larger role and importance. One great example that\’s heavily increased over the last few years: The use of animations in various parts of your web design approach. 

At BWP Communications, web design is just one of numerous marketing agency services we offer to clients around Salt Lake City, ensuring that businesses have access to a professional and UX-focused design. Animations are one key element we\’ll assist you with – why are they so popular these days, and what makes them valuable from a web design standpoint? Let\’s take a look.

Free Form of Engagement

Engagement is a huge part of marketing, and web design is no different in that regards. Animations help to make your website look more interactive and engaging, as it gives visitors a greater sense of interactivity when navigating the website. It\’s a great way for visitors to spend more time on your site, as they explore what you have to offer.

For instance, if your website has a product showcase, you can have animation be used to help show off demonstrations in an easy and free-formed manner. It also helps emphasize the importance of certain areas or products, which helps increase the chances that visitors will make use of them.

Visualizing Your Brand

Animations can help bring your brand to life in multiple ways – it can be used to illustrate core concepts of the business, provide an easy way for viewers to see what services you offer, or even just make the website more exciting and aesthetically pleasing. It\’s a great way to add some flair and a unique touch to your website, making it that much more memorable for visitors.

Let\’s say you\’re in the business of selling cars – with animations, your website can help show off different models and features that the company offers. Animations are also great for storytelling, allowing you to use visual cues to communicate a story or message more effectively.

Animated Elements to Help Guide Visitors

Animations can also be used as guides for visitors, allowing them to navigate the website more effectively and easier. For instance, if you have a contact page, you can use animations to help guide visitors from one section of the page to another, providing an easy way for them to find what they need and where they want to go.

Animations also offer website owners a great way to provide feedback to visitors when they take certain actions. For example, if someone clicks on a button or takes an action that requires further input, animations can be used to provide feedback in a visual way – such as having a progress bar appear or providing confirmation that the action was successful.

Driving Conversions

The bottom line for any website is to help drive conversions – and animations can be an effective tool in this regard as well. Animations can be used to draw attention to important parts of your site or specific features, which helps increase the chances of visitors taking action (such as placing an order or signing up for a newsletter).

It\’s also a great way to keep visitors engaged, as it helps to break up the monotony of a page and keep visitors from becoming bored or disinterested.

Keeping Your Site Top-of-Mind

Being memorable is a key part of any website, and animations can help to make your site stand out among the competition. The better you are at utilizing animations, the more likely it is that visitors will remember your site and come back again in the future.

When done right, animations can be incredibly powerful tools for web design – they provide an interactive form of engagement, help bring your brand to life and also make your website more memorable. With the right approach, animations can be used to help drive conversions and keep visitors engaged with your site.

At BWP Communications, we understand the importance of animation in web design, helping you create a more engaging experience for visitors while also providing a professional and modern look. Contact us today to find out how we can help your website stand out from the competition with animations, or for any of our digital or print marketing services for clients around SLC.

Why Accessibility is Vital in Web Design

There are several concepts that tend to play a major role in web design and ensuring your website has the right elements to serve as an advertising medium, and one of the single most important here is accessibility. Ensuring your site is equally accessible to all people, including those with disabilities, is a huge deal – not only for obvious moral reasons, but for strong search engine rankings and other areas that impact your marketing. 

At BWP Communications, our extensive range of marketing services includes high-quality web design solutions that will keep your site accessible and within all necessary guidelines at all times. What do we mean when we talk about accessibility in web design, why is it so important, and what are some of the key areas to evaluate with accessibility in mind? Let\’s have a look.

What is Website Accessibility?

For those who are just learning about web design, it is important to note that website accessibility refers to the ability of all visitors, regardless of ability or disability, to browse and use your website. This means that no matter if a person is blind and using screen reader software, a person has low vision who needs enlarged text, or someone with motor control issues needing keyboard navigation on the site, those users can access all elements of the website.

Why is Website Accessibility Important?

Website accessibility is incredibly important for several reasons. For starters, it is simply the right thing to do – everyone should be able to access websites no matter what their abilities may be. It simply makes sense to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to explore your site.

Beyond this, accessibility is becoming a larger and larger factor within both legal and marketing areas. Many large bodies, such as the EU with its 2020 Web Accessibility Directive, are poised to enact laws and regulations that require companies with web presence to have their sites accessible. This means that if you don’t meet these standards, you could face penalties or other ramifications. As well, search engine rankings are increasingly taking accessibility into account when scoring sites.

For these reasons, having an accessible site is extremely important for any business. Our next few sections will go over some broad themes that play a role in accomplishing this, all of which we\’re happy to assist you with.

HTML, Tags and Headings

For many websites, some of the most important elements to consider when it comes to accessibility are related to HTML and its associated tags. Essentially, these elements serve as instructions for the browser on how to display a website, but also provide additional information that can help those with disabilities access more of your site.

For instance, headings play an important role here – they can be used to provide structure to the page, and allow screen readers to skip through sections with ease. These should be used when appropriate, and always in a hierarchical manner – i.e., you don’t want a <h3> heading followed by an <h1>, as this can confuse the structure of the page.

Alt Text for Images

Another important element to consider is alt text for images. This is simply a snippet of text that goes along with the image, and describes it in brief. This helps those who are using screen readers understand what the image is depicting, and can also help with SEO rankings.

Let\’s say, for example, that you have a picture of a car on the homepage. Rather than just leaving it as is, alt text allows you to provide an additional bit of information – such as \”red sports car parked in front of green trees.\” This provides more context and clarity to those who may be using assistive technology.

Menus, Forms and Tables

As people are navigating your site, one of the key elements to consider is making sure forms are easy to complete. This means ensuring they’re laid out in a way that\’s logical and easy to understand, and should also include labels for any input fields.

In addition, menus should be laid out clearly and always provide clear paths for users to take. If you’re using tables for data representation, be sure to include the appropriate headings and rows that make it easier to understand.

Compatibility With Screen Readers And Other Assistive Technology

To accommodate those using screen readers, it’s also important to ensure that your website is compatible with these programs. This will allow people to navigate through the site without encountering any errors or issues.

There are also other programs and elements that you may want to consider, such as providing additional fonts or colors for those with colorblindness. Doing some research into different types of assistive technology can help identify potential areas where your site could be improved.

Alternative Keyboard Support

Finally, it\’s important to make sure that your site can support alternative keyboard formats, such as braille or multilingual keyboards. This will ensure those with disabilities can use the full range of your site without difficulty, and that all users have a positive experience no matter what type of input device they’re using.

These are just some of the ways that you can improve accessibility for your website. By taking the time to make sure these elements are taken into account, your business can benefit from having a site that’s accessible to all – and get the SEO and marketing benefits that come with it.

For more here, or to learn about any of our web design or other digital advertising services, speak to our team at BWP Communications today.