Sparks March 2012 -

Sparks March 2012

In the News

Why you should listen to customers
When you plant your flag in the virtual Earth, make sure you can fly it high. A recent New York Times article examined the SkyRoll website and readers found it wanting.

SkyRoll is a carry-on bag that was designed to minimize wrinkles in suits and shirts. SkyRoll has sold thousands of units in retail stores but relatively few through the company’s web site.

In an effort to bolster the site’s traffic and sales, SkyRoll owner Don Chernoff created the “Crazy Carry-On Contest.” When the contest failed to catch on, NYT readers had a go at answering why. Their findings:

  • Make me want to buy your product. Readers were confused by the verbiage describing the bag, wondering if it would work for them. A simple diagram or video would’ve done the trick.
  • Make it easy for me to participate. Readers pointed out that the information about the contest was difficult to find on the site. There was no incentive for them to participate, since all they would receive is a picture of their bag on the website.
  • Respond to me. Curious readers who took the time to check out the contest on SkyRoll’s Facebook page discovered that questions and comments posted to SkyRoll’s wall went unanswered. One of the few posts from Chernoff rejected a customer’s request to upload their photo via Facebook and told them to submit it via email instead.

Most importantly, don’t ignore customer feedback. The many responses from NYT readers that offered suggestions on the website’s look, feel, functionality, imagery, layout, and copy were roundly rejected by Chernoff as “hipster whining.” Not a great way to build a customer base.

All these factors means Chernoff is likely doomed to fail. Learn from his mistakes—build a great site from the start and tweak it based on the feedback you get from customers.

How to create more compelling ads
The information explosion and increasing consumer savviness has made it daunting to get your ad noticed. One study looked at two factors to determine whether an ad would be successful:

  • Feature complexity was measured by noting an ad’s jpeg file size, which is determined by the amount of detail and variation in the three basic visual features across an image—color, luminance and edges.
  • Design complexity focused on six general principles: quantity of objects, irregularity of objects, dissimilarity of objects, detail of objects, asymmetry of object arrangement and irregularity of object arrangement (also known as Design 101!).

Here is the short version of what they found:

  • Feature complexity hurts brand attention and the viewer’s attitude toward an ad.
  • Design complexity helps attention to the pictorial and to the advertisement as a whole, to ad comprehensibility and the attitude toward an ad.

The authors suggest that designers…

  1. Keep feature-based “visual clutter” to a minimum: White space is still important; brands still need to be showcased.
  2. Make design elements more complex: patterns on a shirt; one large object in front, smaller ones in back; objects with differing shapes, textures, colors—to keep things visually interesting.

Keep it simple, with complex touches, and you’ll get more attention!



This month’s winner: Paula Gutiérrez!
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.

More News

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

  • How the humble shopping cart changed the world
  • A new VisoVerbo album, featuring over 20 of our all-time fave designs! “Like” your favorites!
  • What happens when you give thousands of stickers to thousands of kids