Archive for the ‘design’ Category


Fugliness and attention

September 18, 2009

I couldn’t resist sharing this – one of the ugliest banners I’ve seen in a while, but it sure got my attention. Ironically this banner comes from a company that trains people to plan, buy, and sell interactive media.


Differentiation is the most important factor for getting attention. One way of getting attention is by being visually obnoxious, and Laredo Group sure scored big with this one. However, getting attention isn’t of much value if your creative results in a negative impression of your brand.


My SEOmoz landing page

July 24, 2007

Sunday I had a couple hours to kill before a dinner event so I decided to take a crack at the SEOmoz landing page challenge. As you can see their current page leaves a lot of room for improvement:

SEOmoz current landing page

Although SEOmoz is imposing very few restrictions on”contestants”, I imposed several on myself:

  • invest no more than two hours on this project
  • use the SEOmoz page template (header and standard layout)
  • only use images provided by SEOmoz
  • lift the majority of copy from their current site
  • Use the SEOmoz color palette

My design strategy:

  • Eliminate clutter through improved visual organization and reduced word count
  • Position the fee schedule and call to action on the sweet-spot of the page
  • Summarize the most compelling features and benefits above the fold on a 1152×864 display

If this was a paying gig I would have certainly spent a good amount of time studying the SEOmoz premium services and identified key insights + behavioral triggers that motivate prospective consumers.

My design does a fair job of communicating features and subscription options, but I fell short of identifying a compelling benefit and communicating it in a powerful way. Due to limited time I went with a pretty generic benefit: “learn the secrets to achieving top rankings” – but what does that really mean? Top rankings mean more traffic, and more traffic translates into more revenue. And what if an SEO is more motivated by peer recognition or improving their professional prowess? I didn’t explore any of this.

SEOmoz new landing page - small

Although I focused on improving the layout, I made a few marketing decisions along the way:

  • my gut told me SEO tools is the meat and potatoes of a premium subscription, so I gave it the greatest emphasis
  • I positioned the guides as FREE gifts. By doing so, I elevated the perceived value of the SEO tools and emphasized the service aspect of the membership
  • I also called out the Q&A feature more prominently. This seemed to me to be a very enticing feature of a subscription – the difference between generic best practices and personalized advice.

One last thing: Because I only allocated two hours to this project I didn’t have time to re-design anything below the fold or create a finished HTML page. As a result, I might be disqualified from the competition.