With the rise of the smartphone app, icons have become increasingly indispensable to the way we navigate the technology around us – an iPhone homescreen without app icons is almost unimaginable. While icons have played a role in GUI interaction since, well, the earliest GUIs were developed, we tend to think of icons as belonging… Read more »
Enhancing your Website with custom Website Illustrations The use illustrations can be a powerful artistic tool in web design and can make a website truly unique. Working with a good illustrator to create a design which reflects the product or service the website offers can result in a great outcome: a timeless, distinctive website which… Read more »
As psychology teaches us, humans are fundamentally social creatures. Even the most seemingly isolated individual act is a social one. Signing up to a website might seem to involve nobody other than the person sitting at their computer, but what they are actually entering into is a complex social relationship made up of many different… Read more »
Technology is forever being used in new and exciting ways. That’s why it’s important that you consider all sorts of different target audiences in your design work. This includes children. Programs and operating systems are increasingly being designed with kids in mind. For example, with the launch of the Windows 8 operating system for Windows… Read more »
There are some simple, basic methods of good icon design which can yield great results if they are followed. Sometimes some designers stray too far from the basics by trying to be too original. Originality is important, but it’s also important to remember the basics. Here we outline some easy, memorable keys to effective icon… Read more »
Lately there’s been a lot of talk of how the ‘flat icon’ has come to dominate interface design across all different platforms. The flat icon trend can be seen as a conscious effort by developers to return to basics when it comes to design. Of course, the ideal icon is one that explains its function… Read more »
Although a good proportion of the icon design projects we work on follow an established icon style, such as those found in mobile Apps like iOS and Android or desktop software icons like Microsoft Office and Windows 7, the greatest demand is generally for custom icons in a unique style. Despite the shift in popularity… Read more »
Icon design is ever evolving. As new platforms embrace the use of icons, new terms and references are dreamt up and older terms fall out of favour. This glossary is an ongoing project to document the icon design lexicon. Contributions are very welcome. 16×16 Pixel Icons This icon size has its own entry here because… Read more »
Here is another great comic style illustration from David, one of my favourite Icon Designers at Creative Freedom. This time we have a Super-Villain with a decidedly bad temper which I am sure fans of the 2000 A.D. Comic will have no trouble recalling. Comic Style Icon DesignJudge Dredd Icons & IllustrationAs a kid I… Read more »
Getting your site right is difficult. Not only do you have to contend with the many aspects of design in order to make the desired impact, you also have to ensure regular, quality content is produced in order to secure vital hits and traffic for your products from elsewhere on the web. All this can become even more complicated once you launch a new campaign or product.
A microsite is a site that is distinct and separate from your company or organisation’s main site, and it is all about delivering focused, relevant content about a specific topic, issue, product or audience. They are small, conceptually minimalist, and generally a maximum of just a couple of pages—if not one. Before the advent of social media, they were once the go-to format for digital marketing campaigns—until they were all but written off as dead, (thanks to the rise of SEO) and consigned to the dustbin of Internet history.
This is because microsites, while useful in a lot of ways, are not particularly SEO-friendly. “If you’re targeting the same keywords in your microsite as you are in your main site, you’re simply splitting your resources and your sites are competing with each other for rankings,” argues Denise Goluboff of TREW Marketing.
Today, however, the simple and shareable microsite is making a resurgence, in part thanks to the dominance of social networks across the web. Let’s look at some of the ways a microsite can benefit not just a specific product or promotion you are offering, but your online presence as a whole.
Bring user-generated social media content front-and-centre
Microsites are great for implementing user-generated social media content into a product campaign.
One way of doing this is by incorporating a hashtag feed into your microsite. This could gather data from a variety of social media platforms, using custom hashtags to categorise and display user content. This has a variety of applications. You could, using a custom hashtag, incorporate an Instagram or Twitter feed into the microsite to promote your product or event. That’s just what Chipotle did for their Cultivate Festival microsite, and by just waiting until users naturally flooded the hashtag, their microsite had automatically become a source for original, quality – and product-oriented content.
(If you’re interested, there are a variety of hashtag feed APIs available out there, such as the popular TINT.)
Expanding beyond your usual audience
At the end of the day, a microsite is about creating concise, quality content that appeals to a very specific issue, so they can be used to speak to a very specific, targeted audience which your main site may not usually cater to. This could be to help a product campaign in a new geographical location, or simply a new audience requiring a new aesthetic and different types of content.
One way of using different content to achieve unusual, targeted goals is through microsite infographics. A good example is dangersoffracking.com, which uses an interactive, scrollable infographic to explain its case for opposing fracking. This not only shows the facts about the topic in question, but also visually demonstrates how fracking works. A microsite like this is easily shareable and very accessible – the perfect combination for reaching new audiences.
Launching a new product
Most microsites are used when it comes to new product or campaign launches. One of the advantages of the microsite format here is that you can use it as a quick go-to in all your promotional material. Interested users, potential clients or customers can check out the site for more information, and if you style the microsite in a similar way to the existing promotional material you’re using for the campaign, the outcome will be even stronger. This will only strengthen any calls to action with a clear message. Quick, straight-forward, and to the point content– a microsite isn’t a cheat code for getting there, but it can certainly help.