BEST OF MAY: Inspiration and Insight from the Past Month

June 12, 2015 Akhilesh Pant

Here is a roundup of our favorite links from May:

DESIGN TO EXPLORE
Lexus at 25
At first glance, this site presents articles in a grid - a trend that has been around for at least a couple of years. But clicking any of the pieces activates a smooth transition that maintains the grid motif and reveals an overlaid page with a clean look and highly readable text. I'm not exactly a gearhead, but the LFA concept car is pretty sweet.

Lexus at 25

Weber - BBQ Cultures
An innovative use of video on this site shows how universal the art of barbecuing is across various cultures. Oh, and to promote Weber grills. Aside from the obvious investment in cinematography, the "video activation" icon instructing you to drag the mitten from left-to-right creates an oddly enjoyable interaction.

Weber - BBQ Cultures

SBS - The Boat
An amazing example of how print media can be adapted, transformed and enhanced using web design and storytelling techniques. SBS Australia does a great job of turning a segment from Nam Le's graphic novel into an artistic "scroll-telling" piece accompanied by attractive transitions, motion graphics and illustrations. I particularly enjoyed their placement of the text at an angle to mimic the chaotic movement of a boat at sea.

The Boat

100,000 Stars
There are two types of people in the world: those who love visualizing the cosmos and those whom I never want to meet. Check this out, play around with it and be sure to zoom all the way down to our sun.

100,000 stars

ARTICLES TO READ
Growing by adapting at speed
This interview with Marc Singer, head of McKinsey's Digital Practice, covers his belief that companies must go beyond ideation and constantly implement, test and refine new ideas in the face of constant innovation in the market. While this company-wide "agility" may sound reckless, he advocates testing ideas on a small scale and seriously analyzing the results.

Marketing's most important role in driving digital growth is through insights from a consumer perspective about the opportunities and threats that the organization faces...Marketing should be the agent or catalyst for cross-functional coordination.

Marc Singer, McKinsey Digital Practice

How to create consistently great content
This article is a handy guide to ensuring that content is produced and disseminated consistently by establishing a realistic rhythm and planning for resource constraints (e.g. holiday season) and/or collective writer's block. An interesting takeaway is that increasing the intensity of our rhythm shouldn't just happen when a large event takes place at your organization, but also when there is a general peak period in which users expect more content.

In order to be guaranteed a consistent content rhythm, you and your team really need to plan ahead effectively. Content marketing is not something you figure out and maintain on the fly, it is something you actively prepare for well in advance.

Brian Honigman, Honigman Media

6 simple tips for designing copy on the Web
While the above article focuses on consistency, Jerry Cao outlines ways to maintain UX standards with basic requirements for good writing on the web.

You don't need to be Shakespeare to write good web copy, but you do need to follow some rules. The guidelines above may have been around since before the Internet was invented, but that doesn't make them any less useful in designing for this 'new' medium. After all, good writing is timeless - just like good design.

Jerry Cao, UXPin

A cheat sheet for marketers on the future of digital platforms
Though B2C-focused, this piece does a great job of highlighting what marketers should focus on as new social communication "platforms" (defined as two-way networks rather than one-way "channels") spring up. The general takeaway is to go beyond impressions and find ways to authentically converse with users on an ongoing basis.

Our conversations suggest that for marketers, the road ahead will not be getting easier anytime soon. Digital platforms are evolving to be more robust, relevant, and intelligent...Customers are setting the pace in this race. Whoever can keep up with the customer will share the winners' circle.

Mark Bonchek (SHIFT Academy) & Cara France (The Sage Group)

The Future of Web Design is Hidden in the History of Architecture
A short and simplistic piece, this site compares major eras in Western architecture (beginning ~3000 BC) to the last 23 years of web design.

V. Renaissance - Clean, logical, and precise - This is where we are today...Renaissance architecture called for a return to Classical logic. Simple geometric forms replaced ornate complexity. Designs become cleaner. People started publishing treatises with the new rules, and it all got a little more meta.

Mike Sall, Medium

Want to see more of the best? Explore the past posts we've had in the series to see what you may have missed.

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Akhilesh Pant Strategist

At the time of publishing, Akhilesh was a Strategist at One North.

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