This page collects all the blog posts written on the topic for the March 2013 challenge.
This month’s challenge is to spend 15 minutes every morning (and ONLY 15 minutes) thinking about ways to improve the user experience on my website to attain specific goals. The result I am hoping for is increased engagement with a corresponding increase in sales, which is an important element of creative independence. In other words: marketing!
Accomplishing the marketing goals in a way that is sincere and genuinely-useful is of UTMOST importance to me. That means practicing transparency and avoiding weasel-like marketing copy that triggers anxiety and dependence. Instead, I want to practice a kind of marketing that empowers people, and sell goods that they can use because they have learned what they need to be creatively independent.
These posts are hosted on my Agenceum sub-blog. Agenceum is my “pretend agency”, writing as if I was running or part-of an actual agency.
UPDATE MARCH 30, 2013: Those “15 minutes a day” have become “starting with 15 minutes a day”. This is the first thing I have been tackling because it gets me unstuck by setting the tone for the day. Getting the new website up and running is of tantamount importance!
Day 01: Kickoff!
Insights gleaned from analyzing reader engagement over the past 30 days. Breaking down the readers by behavior. Choosing what to emphasize. LINK
Day 02: Defining the Audience Further
Determining not only what likely visitors would like to see, but also what I want to see. LINK
Day 03: Finding Overlapping Interests Between Audience and Myself
What is the bridge or portal between what audience desire and my desires? Can I condense it or simplify it? Here’s a start. LINK
Day 04: Where are the Entry Points in the System?
If I want to define the portal, I need to visualize the various groups and imagine what they look like to an outsider. LINK
BONUS: Translating Myself into a Visual Hierarchy
With the entry points roughly defined, I then spent a good chunk of time refining how they are weighted and put to work as the bones of a hierarchy of information. LINK
Day 05: A Closer Look at the Tag Cloud
Considering how the visual hierarchy in more detail. A starting look at content strategy. LINK
Day 06: Moving from Abstraction to Visual Layout
After a mind-clearing weekend, I tackle the beginning of visual design and immediately hit a brick wall. Analysis leads to a working concept. LINK
Day 07-09: Moving from Abstraction to Visual Layout, Part II
Three days of pushing on the visual design. Several false starts. Much grouchiness. But I’m finally able to resolve at least the header and layout strategy, so I can now move into content design. LINK
Day 10-11: A Change in Course
After pushing on some light content writing for about 90 minutes over the past two days, I do a sanity check and ask myself if there’s something I can do right now to start improving the site? LINK
Day 12-15: The Week of Being Stuck
A very difficult week. Frustration with the slow pace, and a lack of clarity on how exactly this is going to work, I reassess what I’m doing and make a few slight course corrections to get out of the doldrums. LINK
Day 16-21: The Week of Pushing Through
After the frustration of the previous week, the constant pushing has finally gotten the design to the point where it is starting to work. HTML integration begins, and by the end of the week we have a candidate ready to deploy. LINK