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2014 Online Trends Gift Card Impressions!

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit 
 of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. 
 Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


the user! !

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


user behavior
 


+ mobile is taking over! ( even faster than originally thought )! Recent data by Google and other internet research firms, predict that mobile will surpass desktop users by 2014. The spike in mobile usage continues to be so great that Google actually revised its original 2014 web predictions to accommodate how fast the mobile market is growing. ! !

+ why users love mobile! no clutter! Successful mobile experiences are clean, simple, without the distractions of ads or other visual noise. A smaller screen means one is forced to deliver content in the best, most minimal and cleanest way possible. Users love (and return to) strong mobile experiences that make the effort to remove the clutter and deliver concise content. ! ! convenience ! Firing up the laptop or dragging yourself over to a desktop computer for simple browsing or shopping is “too much of a hassle”, according to recent data. Phones and tablets are attached to our hips and are a simple click away. Ease and convenience are two of the top reasons for the mobile influx. ! ! engaging, personal and unique! Because screen size is a limitation, designers work extra hard to make sure the content is very clean and most importantly: engaging. The point is to get users to return so the experience has to be fun, engaging and unique. Users want a very simple but personal experience!! !

+ browser preference over an app! 60% of users in 2013 prefer to read and digest content from a mobile browser vs a company released app. ! !

+ future: requesting content vs simply receiving! According to ComScore 4 out of 5 users use their smartphone to shop. The tendency is for this behavior to increase and modify to a point where we’ll be able to interact more with our televisions, fridges and any device with a small LED screen. Hundreds of different platforms will spring up, we’ll have to work hard to integrate user accounts and services.!

! ! ! ! This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


numbers! ! + blogging matters! Users are concerned with reviews and opinions. 
 Blogs will continue to be (in part) responsible for attracting users, shoppers and converting customers. ! !• 92% of companies who blogged acquire customers through their blog! !• 57% of companies acquired a customer through their company blog
 !• companies that blog get 55% more traffic
 
 !

+ social media matters! Opinion of peers & friends will continue to convert shoppers, influence sales. 
 Pinterest culture is responsible for changing what and how people shop, . ! !• 67% of B2B companies and 41% of B2C companies acquired a customer through Facebook
 ! !• Pinterest is the 3rd largest social network in terms of traffic! !• 70% of users use the site to get inspired and decide what to buy! !• Pinterest is retaining and engaging users 3 times as efficently as Twitter was at a similar stage in time! !• 80% of Pinterest users are female! !• top interest on Pinterest: crafts, hobbies, gifts, fashion and interior design!

! !• 40% of US smartphone users compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item! ! !

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This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!

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user experience! !

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


UX tidbits
 


+ people don’t read pages! they scan or glance over copy.!

+ white space is your best friend: ! bring noise down, the more white space, the easier users will find their way through a site, enjoy their experience and become loyal customers! !

+ people don’t make informed choices on a page: ! When trying to decide where to go or where to click, people let their instincts kick in and they pick the first reasonable option, not the carefully weighed in choice.! 


+ we don’t figure out how things work: ! we muddle through them. No one takes time to learn before they do it. They rely on instincts and visual clues to muddle through their online journey.! !

+ the AVERAGE USER doesn’t exist! ! design what’s best, not what people may like. Everyone’s different & there are too many variables, it’s impossible to design a page for every user.
 


+ resist the urge to add more things to a page ! if something is unclear to a user, adding more content to explain it makes the problem worse! 


+ always give a way out: ! make it easy for a user to recover from making errors, offer an easy way out, a way back, an exit.! !

+ extra clicks are death! !

+ clear visual hierarchy: ! a page should be self evident, user should not have to guess or read through paragraphs to understand where he is, where to go or click! !

+ omit unnecessary words ! reduce copy to the smallest sound bite possible, one word call outs.! !

+ kill “HAPPY COPY” and “INSTRUCTIONAL COPY” ! data shows no one reads the happy intro paragraphs that companies are so proud of or heavy, educational pages – they contribute to users’ negative experience! !

+ run usability tests, not focus groups 
 focus groups are good for getting a sampling of peoples opinions and feelings about things but they don’t give you a definite answer on whether a site works or how to improve it. Usability tests puts the user in the digital environment and watches their behavior, completion of tasks, etc.. which is the real quick on collecting data for improvements, etc…! ! ! ! This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!

! ! ! ! !


! We tend to design sites as though people are going to read each section, figure out how we organized the information and weigh in their options before making a selection. Reality is: people glance at each page, (if we’re lucky) scan through some text and click on the first thing that resembles what they’re looking for. They totally skip over large parts of the page. We’re thinking “quick product brochure” while the user’s approach is more like “reading a billboard going by at 60 miles an hour”. People don’t take the time to learn about a service or their needs, they muddle through pages, often guessing and relying on their intuition. The myth of an “average user” is what kills the concept of a good website – because we’ll design for every person, every experience, every variable and end up with a cluttered, confusing and negative experience. Asking “Do most people like popup menus?” is the wrong question – the right question is: “Does THIS popup menu work for THIS section of the site, on THIS page, for THIS content?”. That will create a successful site.! This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


key web design trends! !

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


key trends • front end! 


+ Goodbye, Flash. Hello, HTML5 and CSS3 
 the prediction is that Flash will likely die by the end of 2013 – companies that previously supported it are now dumping Flash, driven by user data. Other languages, scripts and filters are doing an excellent job at delivering what Flash does without sacrificing SEO, speed, usability, etc..! 


+ responsive websites
 design must accommodate varying screen sizes – no more multiple designs for multiple devices: one DESIGN fits all!


 + large photography
 sites are opting for bold, oversized images on their homepages to make an impact. 
 It’s something that carries over well into mobile devices and create an engaging experience for users! !

+ white space and simplicity
 Again, accounting for the growth of mobile, design is gravitating toward a “quick read” and ultimate visibility on all devices. Less equals “good UX”.! !

+ flat colors and no more heavy skeuomorphism ! images need to be served up as scalable, adaptable to every environment, device, orientation, adaptable to retina displays, etc… All while keeping excellent performance. No more skeuomorphism (bringing in items from every day life to provide cues to new technologies) – we don’t need a visual of a bookshelf in an app to teach us we’re about to read an e-Book.! !

+ oversized buttons & other elements! Again, a direct response to mobile: design has to account for all users, on a sea of devices, where a “quick read” is a must and engagement is key.! ! ! ! ! !

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


key trends • continued! 
 + emphasis on typography ! beautiful typography is front & center, new web is no longer restricted by the old “web fonts” myth so designers are concentrating type and layout to keep users engaged. Oversized text & clean grids are in, imagery used only when absolutely necessary, less fluff, more value. ! !

+ handwritten type! small reminders of every day life are still ok. Ornate typography and hand written fonts when not overused, are still trending.! !

+ UX Centered Design ! an app style interface offers more of a simple and efficient user experience so desktop websites will emulate app designs more and more in 2014. 
 We’ll see an unification of styles and experience.! !

+ scrolling is now a good thing
 The old “above the fold” concept is out the door. Design is fluid, pages move, rotate and turn, people are used to swiping and scrolling now. Numbers show that most prefer to see all content in one page. Single page websites will appear more and more in 2014.! !

+ experimentation and Innovation ! – Touch Me! 2014 will explode with new user experiences: touch enabled interfaces, device sensors, digital & physical interacting, new interactive displays, etc..! !

+ bring on the videos & whiteboard videos ! -- Thanks to the YouTube revolution, videos on a site are very popular, they add a personal touch to a page & captivate the audience. ! ! ! !

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


white space • clean content! less copy, more negative space helps use get to where they’re going = happy experience!

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


oversized photography!

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


flat icons, geometric shapes, simple! flat illustrations, shapes, grids, simplicity taken to the next level Â

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!

no more SKEUOMORPHISM Â


flat icons, geometric shapes, simple! flat illustrations, fewer buttons, grids, simplicity taken to the next level Â

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


app style interfaces! app interface design showing up on desktop sites Â

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


typography! typography front & center, ! custom fonts no longer a problem Â

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


greeting cards trends! cues from packaging trends Â

This document contains unpublished, private and confidential information and is for the exclusive use and benefit of Gift Card Impressions, LLC. ! Written authorization is required prior to disclosure to any third party. Concepts are patent issued or pending where applicable.!


sources! Hubspot! TechCrunch! Mashable! ComScore! PewInternet! SimpleUsability! PinerlyStudy! Simply Measured! Marketing Sherpa! Gleanster Research! http://www.awwwards.com! www.siteinspire.com! !

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