Ideas, insights and inspirations.

Last year, web designers fell in love with minimalism. Ghosted buttons, big hero images and single page designs were just a few trends that occupied our designs. I suppose you could say that for web designers, 2015 was a year of less is more. But what are we doing now? Web designers are taking those things we loved in 2015 and building on it. We’re adding more to the less. That big hero image we loved so much? We’re making it a video gif. Those beautifully simple line work icons? We’re animating them. Oh and, that headline… we’re pulling out a set of Japanese brush pens and we’re lettering it by hand. Designers will put a bigger focus on function this year. We’ll spend more time and energy on the user’s experience filling out the form than we did in the past. We’ll start making those forms full screen and succinct for the sake of our users. We’ll put more … Continue reading

The fold. A term I hadn’t heard before coming to Elliance a little more than a year ago. If you’re sitting there clueless like I was, the fold is a term coined by the newspaper industry to describe the natural fold of a newspaper. You know, because newspapers always come folded in half. In the newspaper industry, the information above the fold is vital to sales. Since newspapers stack on the shelf at the grocery store, the stuff you throw in the top half has to be exciting enough to make readers want to purchase the paper. Sometime after scrolling was introduced to the internet (mid to late ’90s) web designers stole this term and started applying the same concept to the wonderful world wide web. Except, their thinking was that they had to cram all the important information above the fold because people simply wouldn’t scroll down, even if they had the means to do so. This may have been … Continue reading

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Like we said in 2012, infographics are trendy, and for good reason. An infographic is a simplified visual representation of something that could be said in a longer, more complex story. Humans are creatures of habit. We’ve been conditioned by major brands like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine to prefer our content in bite size portions, mere seconds at a time. Our time is valuable – which is why we love infographics so much. Curious about the explosion of infographic use over the past few years, I went to Google Trends to see what they had to say about user search habits. You might be surprised to see that our interest in infographics has been gaining momentum since 2010, much like our interest in funny cat videos. Trendiness of search term “Infographics” from 2010-2015 Trendiness of search term “Funny Cat Videos” from 2010-2015 Cats and kittens aside, a well done infographics can do more than just inform. Due to their share-friendly … Continue reading

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Although social media does not yet outrank traditional recruitment efforts like websites and viewbooks, you can’t argue the growing role that social media plays in the lives of today’s college applicants. A recent Pew survey found that of U.S. 13-17 year olds, 71% were active on Facebook, 52% on Instagram and 41% on Snapchat. Time suggests that prospects are researching their top picks on Instagram, just not in the way one might expect. Social media savvy prospective students are taking advantage of the uncensored hashtags and geo-tagging systems. Instead of following a schools official highly curated viewbook style Instagram account, prospects can gain a real look inside their dream schools by using hashtags and geo-filters to see photos posted by real students in real time. It’s clear that students want to see what’s really happening on campus when class is not in session. The challenge is to portray your college as a place that prospective students can see themselves attending … Continue reading

It’s a community of more than 100 million people, and it’s changing the way consumers interact with businesses through social media. A visual bookmarking tool used to save and discover everything from vacation destinations and parenting tips to the latest fashion trends, Pinterest can help your business reach new audiences, connect with customers, contribute to SEO and even sell products. Fast facts about today’s Pinners (aka Pinterest users): 67% under the age of 40 70% save pins 83% would rather follow a notable brand than notable people $100,000 average annual household income Here are a few examples of some businesses that are using Pinterest to reach new customers and keep them coming back for more. 1. Knorr With upwards of 20,000 followers and nearly 30 boards for everything from “Date Night Recipes” to “Latin Inspired Recipes,” Knorr is showing Pinners how to get the most out of their quick and easy pasta side dishes. 2. The Home Depot With Nearly 340,000 followers, The … Continue reading

Everyone understands the importance of making a good first impression. Be on time, make eye contact, shake hands, don’t forget your manners and always send a thank you letter. While a handwritten thank you letter could help you land your dream job, personalized notes and letters can also play a significant role in higher education marketing — a point of major differentiation between one school and other. Ad Age estimates that the average American consumer receives somewhere between 500 and 1500 brand messages every day. Forty percent of those same consumers are receiving more than 30 emails per day. Let’s be honest, that’s a lot of competition — especially when the person you’re trying to reach is a seventeen-year-old high school senior with extracurriculars, homework and a part time job.  So, how do you ensure that your message is memorable enough to rise above the rest? The answer is simple: take the time to make them feel like a priority. … Continue reading