It's time to focus some attention on websites and/or blogs that are doing it right (what works) or not doing it right (what's wrong).
Because I've met so many talented individuals in the last two years of writing this blog, it's not hard to find sites that do it right. Today's focus is on simplicity with creativity, and a touch of eye-pleasing design. In fact, I decided to do this post today in response to a note from the author of the blog in question - because her news is always timely and useful, and because I admire her style.
Here's what works:
Marketing Roadmaps: where author, Susan Getgood says, ""If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there," wrote Lewis Carroll in "Alice in Wonderland." Marketing Roadmaps is Susan Getgood's blog about where we are going as marketers, with a little bit about where we've been (the wrong turns and the right turns.) It's also about turning down new roads to explore new ideas. I hope you'll join me on the journey."
As soon as you hit Susan's blog, you feel as if you've met someone who could become a friend. Her closing comments, on her plain, yellow header (nothing distracting there - complete focus on the WORDS - which women like), invite the reader in with a compelling comment: "It's also about turning down new roads to explore new ideas."
That's the purpose of the Internet, as far as I'm concerned. Beyond marketing to women, or marketing to Moms, or getting the kids involved, everything we do on the net is about turning down new roads to explore new ideas. Susan captures it perfectly!
The other really great part of this blog is its simplicity. Susan isn't out to win any design awards, or get her blog on TV, or be interactive by showing off with flash video. She's engaging the reader in a conversation. She's telling you what's up in her world - a place you might like to learn more about, or not. The choice is yours.
The blog invites subscription. It offers other value-added content via the Corante link and the great graphic connecting reader's to Immediate Release, a weekly podcast chock full of valuable insight and interviews.
One of the things I like most about Marketing Roadmaps, is Susan's honesty, and her willingness to reach out and ask others (like me) for help, when she thinks it's warranted. Like, asking us to remind readers of the HP Charity event via Sundance. HP is auctioning off one-of-a-kind, autogrpahed celebrity photos for Habitat for Humanity. Auction ends this week...get over there and get yours today! [notice Susan's code of ethics - that's a must-have in today's runaway blogging world]
What's Not Working - sorry to say
Atomic Design. Understand that this is from a marketing to women viewpoint. This site might appeal to - Chris's corporate clients, or folks who don't know any better, but from here, from Dickless Marketing and Lip-sticking, Yvonne is saying: black is black, I want my baby back.
It's a good thing there is no sound here - I can't sing worth a lick. The point is, that old Rolling Stones' song is about: a funeral. Death. Darkness.
And that's what you see at Atomic Design: black, black, black - with red lettering in the header, a big no-no on the net. The author has some good work there - I really liked his Hi-Macs print ad, though I couldn't really appreciate it because it wasn't displayed well. It had a bunch of women, though. Who all looked like they were having fun cooking and talking. Funny thing is...searching for Hi Macs on Google, turned up a kitchen counter site. So, I was misled by this ad - into thinking the ad was for cooking when it was for countertops.
In addition, it took me a bit of nosing around to find. I did see it when I first landed on the site, then...after going over the inner pages, especially checking contact information (which offers a form to fill in, something that is becoming more common these days, often to combat email spam, though this site does offer email contact, too), I had to scratch my head to try and remember where I saw it first.
From a woman's viewpoint, the site isn't female-friendly. The black background might work if it offered more imagery - different colors, lighter colors, instead of the little box examples of work the company's done. Even more troubling, the text is too small, it's white on black (sometimes okay...but, not as good as black on white) and...it's justified!!! The first rule of making text easy on the eyes is NOT to justify it! Leave ragged edges. That's so much easier to read and follow.
Enough said. I don't doubt the folks behind Atomic Design are good at what they do - offline. Online, they need to get a blog, and step out of the dark. They're a small, home-based business, too. So, friendly would be better. And, a blog would work wonders.