Sparks August 2014 -

Sparks August 2014

In the News

Comcast disaster shows importance of brand
A video of a customer service call with Comcast has been making the rounds of social media. The basic story is that Ryan and Veronica wanted to cancel their Comcast service and Comcast did what so many of us expect from large corporations: They wouldn’t let them.

After Veronica tried for 20 minutes, she handed the phone to Ryan, who tried for eight minutes. But in his case, Ryan recorded the exchange and put it on the Net. Hence, the public relations disaster for Comcast.

This episode shows the importance of brand. How many times have you heard, “Your call is very important to us,” only to have to wait for half an hour listening to bad music before being connected to someone who has such a thick accent that you can’t understand them?

If customer service is important to you, think through what your customer wants and then give it to them. Hire articulate, patient people. Train them to be knowledgable rather than have to look up everything in a database. Never have them work from a script. Train them to listen to the customer and truly understand the problem before diving into a canned speech.

If your brand is about customer service, everything should be easy for them—including leaving you.

How to give your designer feedback in 11 easy steps
Apex Creative recently had a great blog post on how to give instructive feedback to your designer when you’re discussing work. Our favorite? “Eliminate the word ‘like’ from your vocabulary.” That means statements such as, “I like it” aren’t as helpful as, “I think the red is really popping and the layout is drawing my eye across the page the way I want it to.” But there are plenty of suggestions. Check it out!

What you’ve missed on Facebook
Here are some of our recent Facebook posts. “Like” us to get in on the goodness.

  • OK Go’s mind-bending music video plays with perception
  • Stunning photography from the Smithsonian’s annual competition
  • The BBC reports that artists’ brains are structured differently: are you a righty or a lefty?
  • Playground-designed office furniture: Can you say swingset chairs?
  • Great song about leaving devices behind and getting out to enjoy the day




This month’s winner: Bridget O’Keefe!
Our VisoVerbo champ wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a digital print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

CS Property Management
CS Property Management is a Bloomington-based company managing 15 apartment properties. We redesigned their site a few years ago to make it cleaner, more professional, and in keeping with their high standards of quality.

They took our exhortations to heart and decided to create a mobile-friendly version of their site. Most of their tenants are college students, who are heavy users of mobile. The desktop site, like all desktop sites, did not work on mobile devices, which turned off potential clients.

We started by redesigning the site’s layout while still keeping it in line with the brand identity we’d previously established. We condensed the wide navigation options into a compact menu that was easily used on mini-tablets and smartphones. We picked up the horizontal band of photos used on the desktop site and made them swipable on mobile, so users are one click away from property information. We jettisoned the illustrated map of the desktop site in favor of interactive Google maps, which are much more conducive to the mobile experience. And we made sure that the email and phone contact links were anchored to the bottom of every page, so no matter how users navigate the site, all they have to do is click on the links and they are immediately connected to CSPM.

Use a mini-tablet or smartphone to view the site designed by