Thursday, February 15, 2018

Week 4A

image from:

This week I'm looking at aesthetic and design (which is exciting to me!).  Unfortunately I was much less excited when I chose my first business' website to evaluate and it looked like... well... follow this link to find out for yourself:

I clicked on the link only to groan loudly to myself.  "Noooo" I said out loud to the computer.  "Nooooo..."

First of all, what is this even for?  As my eyes adjust to being assaulted by the clutter of this web design I notice the words "" and I think: "Is it for skin care?  But wait, that's another web address isn't it?"

I see more words: Cool stuff.

uh huh....

More words: Chakra, Galactic Spirit... This must be a spiritual guru's site?  I'd have to dig further into the chaos to find out more.

Ok I could go on but the verdict is this: Its bad.  This is bad.  It is very bad.  I generally think that the message should be clear upon first impression and that if it is not you have done a bad job.    Secondly, if the design of your page is so cluttered with images, information, and rainbows that your viewer feels the need to physically move away from their device (over exaggerating here a bit, but you get the point.) then you've maybe over done it.  I wanted to out-loud tell this website to "calm down".

The next site I went to was this:

And I'm sitting here thinking: "OOOOH loving that title.  Head Hunter Salon.  Modern.  Fresh.  Drama. Yasss Queeeen."  But no.  The site is very plain with a very sad color scheme.

To their credit the site has a clear message and after the last site I visited I felt safe (my eyes were safe here).  The site is easy to navigate with clear a precise information.  However, the look of the thing is drab.  The first page opens with an awkward and unattractive announcement and switches to a badly taken photo of their unattractive store front.  That, however, is followed by some very attractive and modern images of hair models.  Lead with that!  And a more updated layout!  They may also want to update the images of their stylists... blurry phone photos are off putting I think...

Next I looked at this site:

Oh hello!  THIS is what I'm talking about!  This layout is everything.  Its clean, its elegant and a second later a cute little subscribe widow plops up on the screen (I almost said "bloop" out loud I was so pleased.  Mostly because I just read an article on online lead generation... anyway...).  The whole site just feels welcoming and because they offer classes and admission I would hope that they understood the importance of being welcoming and inviting.  Obviously they do.  Much of their art is displayed immediately upon arriving on the site too.  This site is soooo pretty to look at and so easy to navigate!  Need I say more?  No I need not.

Lastly I looked at: for reasons...

I mean.  Apple has always had great design aesthetic in my opinion.  Super clean, crisp, easy to navigate.  Professional.  Mature.  You immediately know you're on an apple site.  It feels like apple.  I think that that is the genius behind their design aesthetic.  It is so simple yet so recognizable.  You can go to a website and the entire thing is white with simple clear lines and think "Yup this is apple all right."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Week 3B

Important note:  I typed this up on 2/11

Company name:  Historic Enterprises
Social media pages:
Facebook:  Last update 1/18/18

I don’t think that Historic Enterprises is using social media well.  The social media that they are using (Facebook) they post on frequently and in the groups that they participate in (mostly re-enactment groups where their customer base is), but their posts aren’t terribly inviting.  They  are a very small business out of Ramona CA that caters to a very small group of customers but the SCA and re-enactment groups like it are worldwide.  I wonder if they utilized more social media and made themselves more accessible and desirable with fresh and interesting content (and a more attractive/easy to navigate web design)  if they’re customer base would grow.

Company name:  Armstreet
Social Media Pages:
Facebook:  Last update 2/11/18
Instagram: @armstreetcom  Last update 2/11/18
Tumblr:  Last update:  11/9/17
Pinterest:  Last update: NA

Armstreet seems to be taking full and well advantage of social media.  The only issue I see with their posts is that on sites like Instagram and Pinterest there is not much information in the caption.  The images stand alone and unaided by links or descriptions which I think is a count against them.  Still their presence is strong and its not just in their social media but their ads on social media as well.  Armstreet is pushing.  They are a much bigger company than Historic Enterprises with a much bigger staff but it is interesting to see such a stark contrast in the use of social media between the two companies.  Both cater to similar groups (though Historic Enterprises is MUCH more authentic).

Company name: Old Rose Tattoo Shop
Facebook:   Last update: 2/10/18
Instagram: @oldrosetatto last update: 2/11

Old Rose Tattoo seems to be farily active on the social media they have.  Considering how many people search for tattoo desings on Pinterest I’d think that they would want to have a Pinterest or Tumblr account.  But that may be just my personal opinion.  On Instagram and Facebook they remain very active and their content is more engaging than some of the other tattoo shops that I follow.  They also run interesting deals and contests often so their shop is always on my radar.  I think that they use their social media well.

Company name: NCsoft games
Facebook: Last update Agust 18 2016
Twitter: @NCSOFT_West Last updated Nov 7 2017

This company does not seem to use social media well for their over all company.  However.  This is a video game publisher and so they have separate social media accounts for the games they have published.  For example, they have a twitter account for Blade and Soul which is a game they published and that was last updated on the day I’m writing this and is updated often. So their strategy is quite different and needs to be, I think.  It was interesting to look at.

Over all I think that there is a very big difference in the way that different kinds of companies can use social media.  Focusing on the social media site that produces the most return for your business seems to be the key.  It looks like NCsoft Games doesn’t bother with an Instagram at all and barely keeps up with their limited social media but knows that having social media for their individual games works better for drawing consumers to their company. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Week 3A

Social media has changed a lot about the relationship between companies and consumers.  One of those things is outlined well in chapter one of Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen.  He says that companies can no longer afford to ignore their customers because of how easily their customer's experiences can become topics of public conversation.  I have personal experience with this type of situation.  Some friends and I had decided to try out a new local restaurant but were deeply disappointed in the service.  The food was great but the quality of the service was so poor we decided that we'd never go back.  I wrote a facebook post about our experience that night, tagging the restaurant in my post (mostly so that my friends and family would know what restaurant to avoid and not so much to catch the establishments attention.  Much to my surprise, however, the restaurant responded with an apology and an offer to discount my next meal if I felt willing to give them another shot.  Well, I did.  And the service was much better my upon my second visit.

Not only did I feel heard and cared for by a business that I had assumed would simply ignore me, but their performance actually improved.  I wrote them a very nice review after my second visit.  And that is a fantastic example of why it is important to listen to customers on social media.  The discussion and the buzz is something that you want to remain a part of in a positive way and that takes work.  Listening and responding.

I think that as a business owner it is important to listen first and take in information.  Knowing what is important to your customers can help you make better plans for the future of your business.  When customers are pleased and receiving what they want they talk to or share with other potential customers and your customer base grows (or has more opportunity to anyway). 

When negative comments are made on social media I think the same thing applies.  Listen first.  I think that I would try to put myself in the customers position (and because all of us are also consumers, its not that hard to remember having been upset or disappointed with customers service at some point).  I would try to think: What would I want if I were in this position?  How would I hope to be dealt with?  I would also try not to respond impulsively.

Social media, in a way, levels the playing field a bit for consumers and pulls companies down into the conversation.  I find this exciting.  The relationship between companies and consumers is much more involved through social media.

Image from:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Week 2B

I wrote replies to these blogs in group 1

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Week 2A

When I think about social media in general the very first site that comes to mind is, of course, Facebook.  Its like the hub of all of my personal social media activity.  Almost all of my friends and family are connected to my personal Facebook account and my friends primarily communicate through Facebook messenger rather than text.  Its easier to manage a group chat in messenger than group text with multiple phone types.  I do not often, however, find myself connecting to businesses on Facebook.  I primarily use Facebook for social groups and activities.  Very very rarely so I find or follow a business through Facebook.  On occasion, however, I will see that my friends have liked a business and I will go to their website.  I do not often visit their Facebook page.

When thinking about social media for business I generally think about social media sites that are highly visual.  Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest usually come to mind for me first.  I have found several blogs and businesses through Pinterest (lots of Etsy shops).  I've found even more businesses, companies and artists through Instagram.  Instagram is so highly visual it catches and keeps my attention for long periods of time.  I've found new makeup brands, tattoo artists, clothing brands, Etsy shops, designers, etc all through connections or simply browsing Instagram.

I think most of social media works well for personal use.  The only site that I've wondered about is Facebook.  I am not sure how successful it is currently for business.  I have used Facebook's "pages" option and run a couple of pages and it was difficult to build followers.  Much more difficult than it was on Instagram. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 1B

Blogs I commented on:

Fantastic start to the class!  It looks as though my group number has changed so these blogs will no longer be the blogs that are in my group.  I'm now in group 2...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Week 1A: My Template

I chose this template primarily for the personality.  I tend to think of blogs as journals or more personal versions of magazines and so having a layout and design that matches the personality of the author seems important to me.  That, of course, is my personal take on the matter. 

In addition to the vibrant colors and spunk of this layout I also thought it appeared clean and easy to navigate.  When looking for something a bit crazy and bold the contrast of something clean and organized can be hard to find in pre-designed layouts because some of them just look a bit messy.  I was happy to find this one.  When full screen the side menu is clear and the posts fit in the middle of the page.  Still the background is wild.  Its funky.  I dig it.

Week 4A

image from: T his week I'm looking at...