Saatchi & Saatchi Design

Brand identity, positioning and design communications.

It pays to be virtuous in social media

Social media works because people self select what is of interest to them- it’s a system free at the point of use.

Like any activity people are motivated by a few psychological drivers: the need to belong, to be engaged, and the need to grow. We know that people interacting with brands on line do so to fulfill their own needs, rather than the needs of the brand. Brands thinking of using social media should consider what consumers might want from it, and how their brand can adapt to fulfill audience needs.

Like it or not users are beginning to drive brand agendas in social media. Brand positioning and responses therefore ought to be robust enough to accommodate digital turbulence. If you are prepared to let the outside in, be generous, virtuous and interesting and willing to interact with people on their terms, you’ll get the benefit. On the other, it’s not hard to identify sectors and organisations struggling in this new landscape, but at stake are reputations that can be made or lost. For once, it pays to be virtuous and empathetic.

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Highlights from Future of Web Design London 2009

Recently I attended the Future of Web Design London 2009 conference. It was a great chance to look at both the technical, and creative sides of digital design. Event hosts, Carsonified have posted video of the sessions from the conference, and here a few of the highlights:

  • Meagan Fisher’s talk on Designing Effective Mobile Interfaces
    The mobile web is growing fast. The way web content is consumed is beginning to fracture, much as TV markets have fractured. Each year, more and more users will be interacting with your brand through the mobile web. This talk deals with 3 approaches to serving your content to mobile users with the pros and cons of each. I concur with the approach endorsed by Fisher, of a mobile stylesheet — which hides unwanted content from mobile users as well as delivering a simplified layout and smaller, faster loading graphics.
  • Robin Christopherson’s talk on Accessibility
    Robin is legally blind and works for Abilitynet, a charity which helps get the disabled using computers and online. His talk demonstrated how a blind user browses the web, and highlighted good and bad designs from an accessibility perspective. His talk shows the very real benefit to good information architecture. All users, regardless of ability, will have a better brand experience when it’s easy to find what they’re looking for.
  • Mark Boulton’s talk on Web Typography
    Even with the advent of broadband, there is no getting around, the majority of the web experience is type. Despite a limited number of available “web safe” fonts, typography is plays a big part in your brand identity online. As Mark demonstrates — simpler, more often than not, is better.

All three of these talks in some way address simplicity. Simplifying content for mobile users. Simplifying site structure for greater accessibity. Simplifying typography for greater clarity.

With the buzz around Web 2.0 and social media, it’s easy to overlook the idea that less is often more. Twitter’s success can in some part be attributed to it’s simplicty. How can you clarify your brand message online and simplify your user experience?

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Why we blog

This blog is here to help us stop and reflect on our work, share insights we find on the way, and extend thanks to our clients who got us here in the first place. Enjoy.