B2B Marketing Expo

August 29, 2019 - Posted By: CreateApe

One of Europe’s leading marketing events is hitting SoCal for the first time this year! The B2B Marketing Expo began and planted its roots in the UK. This year the event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on October 2nd & 3rd, 2019. THIS WILL BE THE FIRST B2B MARKETING EXPO OF MANY (we’re sure)!!! Our proper villain, Alessandro Fard, is one of the key speakers and we can’t help but brag. 😉 

 

Each year the event attracts vast, highly targeted audiences and offers a truly engaging experience. We expect this event will be even larger as it will be the first time it hits the US. The B2B Marketing Expo is currently responsible for over 50 shows across the world ranging from niche industry events to major global events. No discrimations!!! They have offices set up in Germany, Hong Kong, US, and the UK (and we’re sure it’s not stopping there).

 

Our CreateApe team will also be exhibiting at this event along with over 200 other exhibitors. There will be hundreds of seminars and the expo is expecting over 10,000 visitors at the Los Angeles event this fall. THIS WILL BE A HUGE EVENT! You don’t want to miss…

 

The marketing industry is always changing, and this expo offers organizations some insight from thought leaders like Alessandro who can share their strategies and breakthroughs. Free access to proven leaders in their fields? No brainer. #winwin

 

Alessandro will be hitting the stage to talk about all things UX/UI related. LIKE A BOSS. Other keynote speakers include Nike, Google, and Microsoft to be sharing their thought leadership ideas. 

 

Jeetendr Sehdev author of The Kim Kardashian Principle will be the official headline host for the event. Sehdev is a media personality, the world’s leading authority on celebrity branding, and a sought-after advisor to top international companies. We are prepared to be dazzled by THIS INFLUENCER’S INFLUENCER. 

 

Some of the event highlights will include influencer marketing, data and analytics, direct marketing, AI, account based marketing, and UX/UI development (of course), among many other topics. This is the ultimate event for keen sales professionals.

 

Tickets are free for this event and can be requested here. Don’t worry if you can’t make it, you can still follow Alessandro Fard’s stories on Instagram/Facebook to get behind the scenes and watch him live in action! 

 

We are looking forward to this event and hope you will be too. SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday October 2nd, and be prepared for some “proper villain” magic from our CEO. Make sure to stop by our booth for more information about UX/UI. Let us show you how much proper UX/UI can benefit your business. See you in October! 

 

Finding a Proper Villain: Developer Edition

July 18, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

We’ve covered what it takes to be a Proper Villain in the UX/UI space, now we’re going over what it takes to be a proper villain on the developer front. We asked our CreateApe head developer, Tim Abarta, what might make someone a Proper Villain:

COMMUNICATION:

Communication between the designer and developer is key. “I think that for developers and designers, communication is paramount. I’ve worked with a lot of people who can drone on and on, that eats up hours and time, but if someone can get right to the point and get straight into it…that’s huge.”

INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE:

A big part of front end web development is working with responsive frameworks and knowing how the front end works. A plus is knowing key terms, like what the “box mode” is. “As a web developer a large part of the front end is working with certain responsive frameworks and knowing generally what the box model is. Good designers know what that is and they work within it. Bad designers don’t, and honestly it’s a huge headache.”

What is The CSS Box Model?  “All HTML elements can be considered as boxes. In CSS, the term “box model” is used when talking about design and layout. The CSS box model is essentially a box that wraps around every HTML element. It consists of: margins, borders, padding, and the actual content.”

TRENDS:

A “Proper Villain” knows the latest applications that most developers and designers are using. A common tool that UX Designers use is Sketch, which integrates with Zeplin. Zeplin takes your Sketch and starts to breakdown the CSS. Plus, extracting assets is easier with Sketch than Photoshop. “When you don’t have to guess with CSS, you know you have a good starting point.”

NAIL THE 5 MINUTE MEETING:

There is an art to the perfect meeting. You need to think about time, participants, agendas, location, etc. A proper villain thinks about the bottom line, and doesn’t waste your time droning on just to hear their own voice. “I’ve been in an hour long meeting and we didn’t get anything done, and that’s just a huge waste of time. That’s a complaint I hear a lot when working with bad designers.  A good designer in ten minutes can get through what would take a mediocre designer three hour long sessions to do.”

Overall, having an agile approach to your work, refining skills, and keeping tabs on the industry will impress any other proper villain out there. Being an expert in your field means feeling comfortable enough to be warm, concise, and solution-oriented (no matter the problem).

Want to learn more?

Let us help get you situated. It’s a jungle out there, click here so you don’t have to go at it alone! Let our CreateApe experts act as “jungle guides” and help you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.

UX Writing 101

June 12, 2018 - Posted by: Brooke LaFleur

Prior to entering the tech space, I had never heard of a UX writer. Even in the UX/UI space people who copy for websites we’re called copywriters. Now, we’re seeing a shift of focus on writing that intends to create a positive experience for the users once they enter a website or an app.

What is a UX Writer?

The main difference between a copywriter and a UX writer is that copy writing makes things sound good, and UX writing makes things make sense. It’s the difference between reading a complex novel and a 3rd grade kids book. One uses bigger words to attract customers, and one uses simple words to explain concepts.

A typical copywriter is sales-oriented and works with the marketing team to tell stories, but often can create copy alone and report back later. UX writers however, are product-oriented and work closely with designers to share conversations.

UX writers often don’t work alone and have to “fill in the blanks”  with the designers. For example, if there are gaps in the user flow, the UX writer needs to be able to mend any points of confusion for the user.

Gone are the days of picking the best writer on the team to write copy for interfaces and confusing pop up messages. UX writing has its own language: clear, concise, and useful.

These age old pop ups are one of the reasons UX writing now exists:

 

What does the UX writing process look like?

Well, it’s pretty similar to the path of a designer. From the beginning they will work with designers and developers in the early stages of production to figure out the flow and map out what copy is needed. A big part of creating good copy is researching and testing. Research of the target market and knowing jargon that is used by a particular vertical helps speak to the users language. UX writing intends to increase conversion and usability, putting hypotheses forward and a/b testing what words have more of a response.

Microcopy like CTA’s, instructions, navigation buttons, confirmation messages, error messages, and even 404 errors need to be written. Contrary to popular belief, these words don’t just come out of the void, someone writes these 404 messages:

pixar-ux-writing-example mcdonalds-ux-writing

Although a 404 page is possibly the worst possible scenario for a user on a website, using graphics and words that convey humor and sympathy make it a positive experience landing on a page a user typically doesn’t want to see. That’s the beauty of UX writing.

UX focuses on emotion and ensures that the path is clear for the user, and doesn’t make the user have to ask any questions. Users shouldn’t have to focus on reading buttons, good copy ensures that users actions are intuitive.

What is good microcopy?
HUMAN ORIENTED:

Using witty language and writing in the voice of the brand. When putting in the wrong blog URL, tumblr’s copy team uses humor and compliments to ease the disappointing experience.

ENCOURAGE USERS:

Good copy prompts their users. Introducing yourself and finding a starting point is difficult in real life. Tinder helps users start a conversation by prompting them to simply give a compliment!

UX Writing is a combination of UX Design and Copywriting, working in tandem together in the development process. UX writing’s primary goal is to make sure that every step of the user flow makes sense and fulfills the users needs. The takeaway? It’s obvious there needs to be changes when writing copy for websites, especially if you want an optimized conversion centric site. Be an empathetic guide and facilitate the users needs with smart copy that conveys real actionable steps.

Want to learn more?

Let us help get you situated. It’s a jungle out there, click here so you don’t have to go at it alone! Let our CreateApe experts act as “jungle guides” and help you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.

How to Find a Proper Villain

July 13, 2018 - Posted by: Alessandro Fard

If you’ve been following our YouTube channel, we’ve been talking a lot about how to find a proper villain. If you’ve ever watched Oceans 11, I’m referring to the scene when Brad Pitt, playing Rusty Ryan, is walking with Don Cheadle’s character, Basher Tarr, and Tarr declares, “It will be nice working with proper villains again.” In the tech space, you know when you’re working with a proper villain. So what sets apart a standard UX/UI designer from a “proper villain”?

Know the basics of other specialties

A proper villain might be a designer, a developer, or even a copywriter, but they are a proper villain because they know more than just their specialty. If you can speak with authority and understand other disciplines in the tech space, you’re a proper villain.

If a UX/UI designer can speak to front end development, like what bootstrap is and why it can be important, you’ve found yourself a villain.

How do I find a proper villain in the UX/UI space?

The Portfolio

The first thing you’re looking for is a portfolio. If a designer has their own domain showcasing their designs, I can often get a feel of their personality and design work. I want to see they have an understanding of UX architecture, conversion, and mobile design.

Work should be curated and easy to browse. Showcase 3-4 detailed case study project that lead the viewer through a story about the start, difficulties, and outcome of a project. Simply, how did you get from point A to point B.

Keep it simple. The last thing you want is for a potential client or hiring manager to be looking at your portfolio and get overwhelmed by music and too many graphics. If you’re in the UX/UI space you want your portfolio to emulate an optimized, conversion-centric site.

Everything they present should work well, have smooth transitions, and look great. It doesn’t matter if you worked at Google in the past, if your portfolio isn’t up to par, you’re not a proper villain.

A LinkedIn

A proper villain’s LinkedIn should be hefty. There should be skills, recommendations, a decent work history. Be wary of red flags. If you see that someone has 10 different positions in the course of 2 years, ask more questions.

 

When you’re working on many different products from a freelance standpoint, really big, complex, and robust web applications, eCommerce sites, and mobile applications will take a lot of time. If someone’s been working in that area for over 1-2 years if shows they’ve been able to hone their skills from that project and rub shoulders with key players.

Know industry tools/trends

If I ask a designer what they often use to create their designs in and they follow up with whether that is high fidelity design or low fidelity design, I know I’m in the right place.

Knowing the trends that are happening within the space gives you an advantage. Applications like Sketch, which allows you to wireframe and do prototyping, works well with developers. This shows me you keep up with the latest advancements in a tech driven field.

Are they a good fit?

Proper villains need to work well with each other. At the end of the day whether it be a bank robbery, a heist,… or designing a mobile application, it needs to be a good fit! After about 5 minutes into assessing whether they’ve checked all the boxes to be a proper villain, I’ll ask about culture fit. Do they have a sense of humor? Do they play video games? Seriously though. VIDEO. GAMES. It’s a almost a “must” at my company.

So you’ve found your villain…

Truth be told. You’re never going to know how someone really works until you start to work with them. You don’t want to be in the middle of a crime and have your partner screw it up by accidentally stepping on lazer beams. That’s why sample projects are vital.

Sample projects

Sample projects let you know the things you never were going to find out in the interview. Give them a quick project like ideas around the homepage, designing a quick banner or social image. You’re going to see if they are responsive, communicate effectively, and what questions they’re asking. If they’re responsive and asking the right questions, you’ve found your proper villain.

Want to learn more?

Let us help get you situated for the Mobile First changes coming your way. It’s a jungle out there, click here so you don’t have to go at it alone! Let our CreateApe experts act as “jungle guides” and help you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Graphic Designer

June 5, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

So, it’s time for a new website. Not only do you want the best website for you or your brand, but you want to find the right team too. Here’s five questions to ask when choosing a graphic designer or even a web developer.

Who have you worked for in the past?

This isn’t to say designing for big companies is everything, but having consistent quality is. Looking at a robust portfolio will allow you to see if they can deliver your desired outcome and design aesthetic. If they don’t have the kind of design ethic/standard you need from the get go, they aren’t a match. Finding an agency that has worked in the same vertical  as you is a huge plus! They’ll understand the lingo and what the consumer expects.

What platforms do you design for?

Making sure you’re going to be comfortable working with the platform that the agency understands will be important. Can you use the admin system or are you going to have to learn something new? Good to pick an agency with comfort in the platform like WordPress or Shopify that you want to work in, or can help train you if they recommend a different platform.

What is your user experience methodology?

Find out how they approach putting themselves in the customer’s shoes. How do they know that what they are designing will “fit” that particular audience or demographic? If a company is skilled in UX design and has done the proper research, they will be able to tell you.

How does your process work?

Having the agency explain their process is how you’ll align with them on their responsibilities vs. yours. You need to get out in the open what their expectations are of you, and what turnaround times, delivery, and production schedules might look like. Lack of understanding about timelines, schedules and deliverables could be a huge red flag. If they can’t effectively manage the project and give you a “to-do” list, how will they be a good partner?

Can I speak to a few references?

Get feedback! Knowing the strengths and weaknesses about the company you’re about to work with is a good idea. They might be great at delivering projects, but perhaps spending more time in specific areas that are a key focus for your business would be a better use of your budget. Their past references might give some insight into offerings you didn’t even know they had. It’s inevitable some companies will spend more time on different things depending on their expertise. Utilize their best creative resources to get the best outcome!