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Pinstripe: Design work
New blog design in progress. Excuse the scaffolding. This is just a short about section where you can describe yourself and your site. You'll want to keep it fairly long because there are some layout issues that arise if the area is below a certain width.
Gmail has recently announced that by the end of September it intends to go responsive – This is very good news and according to Google it will mean that:
Starting later this month, Gmail and Inbox by Gmail will support emails created with responsive design, meaning their content adapts to fit screens of all sizes.
The three biggest areas that this change will support are:
Media query support
Media queries allow you to add styles specific to a device width or screen size, therefore giving you full control on how an email will render on a desktop or mobile device. This change will ensure that regardless of the device your readers use to read email, the text size / image size etc. will render to give a much better reader experience.
Inline no more
Gmail always stripped out CSS styles found in the head of your email – This meant that emails designed to render correctly in Gmail needed to have all their styles added inline. This is a complete pain!. All other major inboxes already support stylesheets, so this will reduce the time it takes to code / edit email templates designed specifically for Gmail
This change is potentially a game changer – Gmail is hoping to allow a fully web-based approach to coding emails free from the traditional table layout that currently exists. For this to be a success though it would mean that other major inboxes such as Outlook would need to support this and move away from their traditional table rendering solution.
Many ISP spam filters will review your email content & subject line to determine if it is spam. Although there is no magic rule or formula that you can follow to ensure emails are delivered to the inbox, you can review these tips and recommendations.
1) Keep your subject line between 35 and 50 characters long – the longer it is the more chance it will be branded as spam. In Toddle Newsletter Templates the subject line of your newsletter is entered on the ‘Edit your Header’ area as shown in the below image:
Keep your subject line short - between 35 & 50 characters!
2) Try not to use all capitalized letters as your subject line
3) Avoid spelling errors or HTML in your subject line
4) Try not to use links such as ‘Click Here’ or spammy type words such as money, cash, free etc.
5) Avoid attachments in your newsletter. Recipients are typically cautious of viruses and malicious email attachments. Consider creating links to files via a website URL instead.
6) Minimize the use of bold text, red font, exclamation points (!!!), questions marks (?) and symbols like $ € £ @
Keeping fit and healthy during the cold winter months is often a challenge. For help managing your weight and fitness we have just launched a mobile app for weigh2live. weigh2live.eu is an independent website, developed by nutritionists from safefood and dietitians from the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute.
Our handy mobile app allows you to keep track of your diet and fitness, your daily activities and your weight and fitness goals. It is extremly user friendly, with an inviting user interface and quirky, welcoming design.
We have loved working with safefood on the weigh2live project, developing their new site and now the mobile app.
Sign up here to keep motivated or use the handy mobile app on the go. Why not get involved by joining a group and find support and advice on Facebook.
When designing your website for the first time or working on an overall redesign make a list of your most important goals. Then make a list of the most important content that supports these goals. The rest of the design flows from these two lists. The order of priority and the visual presentation of information on your site should always follow these three simple but crucial steps.
1. Clearly state what you do and the benefits to the user
2. Follow that with an impressive client list and client testimonials
3. Have a clear call to action to contact with you now
If a user is not ready to engage with you now, find a way to capture their details to continue the conversation and for future marketing opportunities by:
1. Include an email subscribe
2. Give a great reason why the user should subscribe
3. Give something away, a chapter of a book, eBook, or an article to encourage sign ups and build trust.
4. Remove the captcha on the sign up form. The few spam sign ups are worth the hassle compared to the leads you will lose.
Anything not on the above list should be removed or reduced in importance. Tighten up all spacing. Make sure the overall design is clean and clear, make it scanable and easy to find key information quickly.
The essence of a great redesign is “no time wasters please”. You don’t want to waste your time and money creating a site that will confuse and annoy your users. Secondly, you do not want to waste these users time. It is bad form. Nobody has time to thrawl through badly designed sites that do not give us the information we need.
Follow these few simple steps and your redesign will convert more and lead you and your user on a mutually beneficial journey.
Award season is in full swing and we are thrilled to announce that Doc on One won Gold at the Digital Media Awards on Saturday night. Doc on One was an extremely ambitious project. The documentary team transferred over 300 documentaries from the archives online for the very first time. Launched last July, the Doc on One has become one of the most popular sites in Ireland and the Gold for best in Podcasting is well deserved indeed. It was such a pleasure to work on this project and we hope Doc on One continues to win more listeners and awards this year.
For the curious among you, this week’s documentary is “Ten minutes from Kenema”. Have a listen here, pure listening pleasure.
We had a very busy, creative 2009 so I thought you’d like to see work we launched in December.
On time for the Christmas season we created a cross channel media campaign for SafeFood. The campaign featured a festive website, email newsletter, Facebook fan page, Facebook landing page,Twitter page and a quirky competition. First, we built a new festive website for SafeFood showcasing all their fantastic Christmas content. We integrated the “I still love turkley” campaign on Twitter and Facebook to tie into the safe cooking message and to highlight all the creative goodness leftover Christmas food can make. The campaign also ran on Boards.ie were SafeFood gave their expertise to help those entertaining friends and family to make the perfect Christmas feast.
Overall the new campaign was very successful with great traffic through the site and hopefully a few less disasters in the kitchen! It is really good to see how an intergrated approach like this can grab the imagination of users and generate lots of attention.
The SafeFood team are busy, passionate people so along with the Christmas campaign we also worked on the redesign of Weigh2Live. Weigh2Live makes it easy for anyone who wants to make changes to their diet and lifestyle. You may have seen the TV ad campaigns running on RTE at the moment. It’s a great resource for new year resolutions and for the rest of the year as well. The site also contains handy tools that will help you stay on track and keep you motivated. A good positive start for the new year for all of us.
In December we continued to work with our friends over on Rehab Bingo. Over the Christmas holidays the newly redesigned Rehab Bingo site was launched with the addition of a few new characters and extra functionality to help playability.
Have a look at the right game sidebar and you will find our new feature game Barnyard Bill. With a colourful array of farm animals and our kindly farmer Bill we are delighted with the reaction to the new game with Rehab Bingo players.
Take a look at our other feture game this month Bee Mine just in time for Valentines Day. Good luck and happy playing.
With all that creative output in December we are busy putting the finishing touches to a few more projects which we will announce in February. Will keep you posted!
We are known for a quite clean, crisp style of design so it was a lot of fun recently to break from that for a few design projects. Michele over at Blacknight posted a few of his new magazine adverts today. One for Total Film magazine and the other for SFX.
I especially had fun with the movie one :)
How time flies, FineTuna is a year old. Odd things often happen around birthdays; I think they call it synchronicity, with a lovely review on Site Point today and a push from the Tuesday Push tomorrow.
We had one goal for FineTuna, to become the TinyURL of design feedback. Simple, fast and disposable after you have your point accross.
We got such a positive response that we decided to build it and so a concept became a reality. And we never imagined just how many people would love it. The statistics are truly amazing. Over 25,000 images have been uploaded, shared and reviewed with more than 9 gigs uploaded.
It is really interesting to see how the initial concept for the website changed from how we thought it would work, to what we have a year on. The upload functionality with the Firefox extension really helped its usability. We also decreased the number of buttons from 5 to 4 making things simpler all round.
FineTuna unleashed a truck load of reviews and mentions including TechCrunch, CSS Mania, cnet, and many others during the past year. We are very proud of the coverage FineTuna has received and thank everyone for using, promoting and pushing our efforts.
BEN is a new site from the team here showcasing beautiful email newsletter designs. Updated regularly it features email marketing from around the world. Great for when you are looking for a bit of inspiration.
We are delighted to announce that www.droghedaunited.ie has been nominated for the 2008 Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland club website of the year award. The new revamped site, designed and developed by Spoiltchld, launched earlier this year to amazing support form all at Drogheda United and Drog’s fans worldwide. A busy site with much contribution from fans young and old, it is a hub of activity with updated fixtures and results, club notes and gallery. Also making the shortlist this year is our near neighbours Dundalk FC and the Cork City FC. All of us at Spoiltchild wish Drogheda United the best of luck. Up the Drog’s!