Original post: The Ephemerist
Watch the video, act and spread the word...
Every year IBM releases a "Next Five in Five" list, a list of innovations that "have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years". This is the third such list, and it mentions a "Talking Web" among the 5 items. You will talk to the Web and the Web will talk back, according to IBM. In the future "you will be able to surf the Internet, hands-free, by using your voice - therefore eliminating the need for visuals or keypads."
In fact this is already starting to happen, as recent iPhone releases from Google and Say Where show.
We can definitely see the potential in a Talking Web - responding to emails quickly using voice, searching the web by barking orders into your computer / phone, composing blog posts by dictating, and so on. The shift to voice will happen in some places for cultural reasons and as a by-product of the rise in popularity of mobile phones to access the Web. IBM notes that in India the spoken word is more prominent than the written word in education, government and culture, so "talking" to the Web is set to usurp all other interfaces. IBM predicts that this change will be driven by new technology, with speech instead of text as the main interface. IBM calls this "VoiceSites," noting that "people without access to a personal computer and Internet, or who are unable to read or write, will be able to take advantage of all the benefits and conveniences the Web has to offer."
Will all this happen in 5 years? While at least one Slashdot commenter thinks it'll be more like 15 years, we see plenty of evidence of voice recognition software on the Web already. ust a week or so ago Google released an update of its Google Mobile App for the iPhone (iTunes link), which included voice recognition to translate voice commands into search queries. In our tests, we found the voice recognition to be very accurate. Google also offers voice search through GOOG-411 and Yahoo and other information providers offer similar services. There are a whole host of talking search engines in fact. Also, we're seeing voice apps from startups - such as the Say Where iPhone application (our review).
Here are the full 5 predictions from IBM:
Original post: Yanko Design
I know I’m not the only one salivating over the forthcoming Star Trek movie, so to appease our mutual appetites for the franchise reset I present the Daybed from Manuelsaez. Designed for its client Humanscale, Manuelsaez attempted to prevent unhealthy postures born of coffee table and couch computing. Although Intended for light home office use, anyone with one of these in their den is definitely putting in extra hours on the ol’ intertubes.
Original post: Yanko Design
There are certain gadgets that are simply too cool not to do something dangerous with. Case in point, “Skate” from Matteo Gentile adds an electric motor to a stripped down hybrid of a skateboard and snowboard bindings, creating something altogether different, dangerous and cool. Ostensibly created for regular transport and short commutes, I think we all know what was going through Matteo’s mind when he sketched this bad boy out.
Designer: Matteo Gentile
Original post: Yanko Design
I know this phone doesn’t have a lot going for it, being concepted before the current spate of touchscreen wonder gadgets, but I’ve always had a hankering for longer, skinnier phones that won’t make pockets bulge. The designer, David Turpin, is based out of France, which might explain his preference for more elegant form factors.
Designer: David Turpin
Original Post: Marketing Vox
Expenditures on direct marketing media and processes will again outpace general advertising in 2008 and 2009, and - though they will grow slowly - are on track to capture 53% of total advertising expenditures next year, according to a yearly forecast report from The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), writes MarketingCharts.
"The Power of Direct Marketing Report," an annual accounting of direct marketing's impact on the US economy - including advertising expenditures and sales - reports that advertising dollars are continuing their long-term migration from general advertising to direct marketing.
At the same time, direct marketing expenditures are expected to grow slowly in 2008 and 2009, while direct marketing sales will grow slowly in 2008 but slightly faster in 2009, the report said.
Key findings are reported below.
Direct Marketing Ad Expenditures:
Direct Marketing Sales:
"Direct marketing's integration of multiple sales channels and highly targeted offers means that businesses utilizing direct marketing typically outperform their competitors, even when sailing into financial headwinds," Peter A. Johnson, PhD, DMA’s VP, strategy, analysis, and planning, and lead author of the report.
Key Economic Impact Findings:
The report also predicts economic implications for direct marketing in today's financial climate, as well and direct marketing's impact on the US economy.
"As in 2007, the overall US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 will benefit from the growth generated by direct marketing," said Johnson. In 2008, direct marketing advertising across all economic sectors is expected to add over $1.43 trillion of incremental final demand nation-wide, accounting for almost 10 percent of total US GDP.
This year's report also provides – for the first time ever - more granular industry data, including ad spending and direct-marketing-driven sales data for the 52 industry verticals broken down by media channel and by intended purpose of the offer. The DMA said that these breakouts will enable direct marketers to more precisely pinpoint which channels and intended purposes within industry groups are growing - as well as those that are declining.
About the report: This year's report was prepared in August 2008 using the economic model of US direct marketing activity updated every year for DMA by Global Insight. Incorporating the most recent data available on developments in all sectors of the US economy, it aims to help marketers plan expenditures, sales, ROI, and employment for the 16-month period through the end of 2009. The yearly report was first published in 1995.
Original post: Marketing Charts
The number of Britons accessing the mobile internet increased by 25% (from 5.8 to 7.3 million) from Q2 to Q3 2008, compared with only a 3% increase for PC-based Internet users (34.3 to 35.3 million Britons), according to (pdf) insight data from Nielsen Online’s Mobile Media View service.
The research also found that - in addition to faster growth for the mobile internet - the mobile internet audience has a higher concentration of younger users than PC-based Internet. Some 25% of mobile Internet consumers are aged 15-24 compared with 16% for PC-based consumers. Similarly, while 23% of the PC-based Internet population is age 55+. only 12% of the mobile Internet audience is.
Most Popular Sites: Mobile vs. PC-Based
The fact that the most weather, sports, news and email sites make up the majority of leading mobile sites shows that mobile internet is mainly about functionality and need at the moment, as opposed to the more entertainment and ecommerce-focused makeup of the leading PC-based sites, Nielsen said.
“The first insights from the launch of Mobile Media View confirm two things - that when it comes to the Internet, the huge growth is now happening through the mobile platform and that the mobile online audience is younger than its PC-based counterpart,” said Kent Ferguson, Nielsen senior analyst. “The fact that almost 7.5million Britons now access the web through their phone shows that mobile internet is fast becoming a viable way for advertisers and publishers to reach important demographic groups.”
Original post: by Trisha Lyn Fawer on Marketing Pelgrim
Apparently, teens are not as burnt out on advertising as adults are, according to research reported by eMarketer. The DMA poll suggests that while more than half of teens wouldn’t be open to advertising even in exchange for something, they are more open to mobile advertising than adults. They found that 19% of teens ages 15 to 17 and adults ages 21 to 30 have responded to a mobile phone offer, however a dramatic difference of only 7% of young adults ages 18 to 21 have responded to a mobile offer.
This is related to the fact that teens have much different relationships with their cell phones and mobile devices than adults. Adults use these devices as must-have communication tools for business and family. They know the value of the tools and how much they cost, so the relationship they have with their phones is a business-like, professional relationship.
Teens, on the other hand, usually don’t pay the bills and really only need the phones as a tether to their parents when out, so they see them more as a toy than a tool. Texting friends and sending pictures back and forth is the order of the day, so it’s no surprise that they wouldn’t mind the intrusion of ads as much as adults do.
It will be interesting to see the direction of mobile advertising and if this form embraces the teen crowd and targets them directly or keeps on doing what they’ve been doing shouting into the wind at adults.
Trisha Lyn Fawver is the Director of Affiliate Marketing with New Edge Media, where she manages programs, blogs, and explores the world of social media.
Original post: FutureNow
“Do I really need that?”
Those are probably the 5 scariest words in website optimization today. More and more visitors are asking themselves that question and then not buying.
They’re applying a considered purchase mindset to much lower price-points than ever before. And most websites’ copywriting is coming up short in the face of this new challenge, since most of it was written to describe rather than to intensify desire or persuade.
So with that in mind, here’s a quick and dirty list of 7 ways to intensify your visitors desire for your products:
1. Show your product/service in action
This one is especially good for your spontaneous and competitive customers. Don’t just describe the thing, write copy that’ll cause the reader to imagine using it. Take something like:
“The Nikon SB600 Speedlight Flash provides Accurate, seamless fill-flash capability under the most difficult, tricky lighting situations”
and amplify it with:
“Mount your SB-600 to your Nikon DSLR and move from indoor to outdoor and from overcast to sunny without ever having to worry about lighting. The TTL metering takes care of everything – and you can even manually dial the flash power down to 1/64 full output, and everything in between; perfect for fill flash. And for taking perfect pictures in any lighting”
2. Show prospects how to test your performance claims
This one is good for all buyers, but especially powerful for your more skeptical temperaments (read Methodical and Competitives). Here’s an example, using the same Nikon flash as before:
“If you’ve never used anything but your Nikon’s built in flash, we recommend you immediately do this upon taking the SB600 out of the box:
If you’re not blown away at how much better the raw photo is, send it back for a full refund.”
3. Stretch out your benefits in time
While everyone wants to know that they’ll look back on a purchase as money well spent, this can be especially important for Humanistics, as their slow decision-making style and longer time frame make them especially concerned with how they will feel about a purchase after it has been made. So copy like this can really help to make the sale:
“Imagine getting 5 fabulous shots you wouldn’t have on every photo shoot you do over the next year - including night shots of your family and friends. How many magic moments will you have captured? How many albums will you fill with what would have been lost photos? How many times will you have saved the day by being the only one in the group to have taken a decent photo?”
4. Show experts (or loved ones) approving
Logical temperaments look for the approval of experts, emotional temperaments hope for the approval of loved ones. So give it to them in your copy. When possible pull quotes from expert reviews, awards, magazine articles, etc. Make the reader visualize the approval of family members, colleagues. For instance if the Nikon SB600 flash provides perfect white balance for night shots, you might take a feature like:
“White balance is optimized through the use of flash color information obtained by the Speedlight.”
And create something along the lines of:
“Your family and friends will finally rave over your control over night time shots – especially when everyone else’s is washed or blown out by too white/bright flash settings. And it’s all automatic!”
5. Prove superiority or value over other alternatives
Showing how great the Nikon SB600 is helps, but showing how it’s way better than competitor’s products or 95% as good as the SB800 at half the cost is even better. Do this on a general use and feature-by-feature basis and you’ll win over your logical decision makers. Assume that your visitors ARE comparison shopping and set out to win the race.
6. Show how easy it is to get the benefit
In a time-starved world, the perceived difficulty of actually learning to use the product well enough to get the benefit is often the biggest deal killer.
The camera flash might be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if I still have my DSLR stuck on “P” mode, all those features might convince me that I’ll never be able to figure out how to work the darn thing – and then I’ll opt not to buy. And simply claiming that the flash is “easy to use” isn’t going to help.
But if you show me how the flash is automated and will start making my pictures better just by sticking it in the hot shoe, and that the rest of the features are easy to learn one at a time, then I’m much more likely to buy.
7. Put your guarantee to work
It’s one thing to state a guarantee, it’s another to make your reader imagine the security that comes with it. So take a summary statement like:
“Your new flash is guaranteed to be the best camera accessory you’ve ever purchased, or your money back”
and amplify on it with something like:
“Use the flash for a full month and if you’re not taking the best pictures of your life with this new Nikon speedflash, you’ll STILL have another 30 days in which to return it for a full refund.”
If you’re an e-tailer with lots of SKUs implementing this list might not be feasible for all of your items, but do yourself the favor of testing a few of these techniques on your previous top sellers and see what kind of results you get. I’ll bet they’ll be big enough to make copy improvement a priority for all your popular items.
And if you’re only selling a limited range of items or services, then what are you waiting for - get started improving that copy before the holiday rush! Remember, you want to leave your readers feeling like the little boy in this picture:
Original post: Electronista
AMD's mainstream Phenom II processors should rekindle the competition with Intel for clock speed, according to a collection of reports of an AMD demonstration session. Based on the recently unveiled Shanghai architecture being used for new Opterons, the quad-core desktop chips should make a modest leap to 3GHz in official clock speeds but will have room for overclocking previously only available with Intel's Core 2 chips. An example tested by AMD is capable of running reliably at 4GHz with fan-based cooling and shows the company could upgrade the clock speed to match or beat Intel if necessary.
The scalability also grows with extreme cooling methods, which test the absolute limits of the chip. Cooling using dry ice reaches about 5GHz, while a special liquid nitrogen approach is said to top 6.3GHz. Systems based on Intel's Core i7 architecture, such as the Dell XPS 730x, often reach 3.73GHz on air cooling and in custom systems peak at about 5.7GHz.
These improvements come from a combination of shrinking the manufacturing process down from 65nm for current Phenoms to 45nm for the Phenom II, reducing the power and resulting heat, but also optimizations to the architecture itself that dramatically improve the potential clock speed while also improving the efficiency per clock cycle.
Phenom II is scheduled to launch in early 2009 and should renew competition for AMD, which has struggled for more than a year to remain close to Intel in clock speed and actual performance. The company has often been forced to offer its processors at lower prices; it promises to do so again with Phenom II, but will now use it as a marketing advantage over the expensive Core i7 rather than as a necessity.
"Phenom II is a big step up, too, but you don't have to open your wallet as wide to make that step up," AMD spokesman John Taylor claims.
Original post: Function
A redesign can be worth its weight in gold if you get it right. There is a thin line between freshening up your design, and taking a step backwards with a redesign. Sometimes a redesign can be subtle and simple, and other times it can be a huge re-vamp of a company and it’s goals. Here’s a look at some of my favorite re-designs in no particular order.
This is an ideal example of how a subtle upgrade can make a huge difference.
A completely different direction and modern feel. A huge improvement!
Looking at the old sprint logo it’s obvious a re-design was needed.
A great find via Brand New. Great use of colours & typography.
The current 2009 Logo, compared to 2010. Subtle improvements, but wow so much more aggression! Source: AutoBlog.
Adobe has come a long way in a short time, I like the way things are going.
Probably one of my favorites. Really love the placement of elements.
The old can really does look dated compared to the new look.
Not one of the obvious choices, but I love the softer approach.
Yeah that’s right, a car made it into the list. A great example of a successful redesign, and Fiat’s recent sales figures prove it. Plus I drive this car, so a very biased choice!
I hate lager, but if you presented me with this… It’d be rude to say no.
Great example of a redesign where the concept stays similar but the execution is on a completely different level.
A name change, and a great leap forward. Time really is a healer.
A huge Brand, and a major revamp. And a much needed one.
A UK car maker with a new, more prominent identity. I like the old one, its clean and not much is wrong with it. But the new logo reflects more on a new company direction and style of their cars.
A fresher look, more open and less in your face. Works well I’d say!
Yep, more cars related stuff. But a much deserved mention here.
Sticking with Ford, their new style Fiesta really is a beauty.
One of the most recognizable UK brands, good job it looks great then.
The same concept, shape and fonts. Just better.
What a difference a year makes. The 2007 site compared to the ‘08. Probably one of the best website re-designs around right now.
David Pache, this guy knows how to redesign a brand identity.
Simpler, Bolder, Cleaner. A successful redesign in my book.
It is amazing how far we’ve all come in terms of web design in just a few years, Viget is a great example of this.
A much more playful typeface and color scheme. I found this via a great article on Logo Design Love: 10 Successful Logo redesigns.
The old model wasn’t hideous, it’s only after you see the new model you start to believe it is. A truly amazing revamp, hats off to Seat design team!
How to flip your website into an iconic design, courtesy of Nick La.
Words cannot describe how much I hated the old design. The new site really is something for the BBC to be proud of.
A much more engaging and approachable design from Wordpress.
Making something out of nothing, and doing it well. Microsoft.
I dare you to find a better looking mascot. A huge improvement, but a much needed one I must say, the new chimp really does have that “cute-factor”
A subtle update, and you know I love subtle. Beautiful end result.
When updating something so Iconic, you need to make something just as iconic. I’d say a job well done on this one.
Advanced technologies and production methods sure do look good.
Right? Now you’re including cartoons… This list is crazy! Maybe so, but this has to go down as the redesign I’m most glad of.
A new direction with the XBOX design, colours shapes etc are a huge leap in the right direction.
With a growing blog it’s important to design for the needs of your visitors. Max does a great job here on Design Shard.
Colonel Sanders is looking better in his old age. A cleaner look.
A more modern feel to a logo which was showing its age.
A sleeker looking logo really can help kick off your re-branding.
A logo which is more fitting to the company & its products.
A great bold move by MacMillan Cancer care charity, but one that works really well and a very recognizable brand now.
Quite possibly my favorite, something about this is just so welcoming. Which is good for a Hotel company right!
I have no idea what that guy is blowing into, and I don’t want to know. Needless to say the new logo represents a more dynamic company, with more to offer than just horn blowing.
The old logo very possibly was made in MS Word. You’d struggle to make the new one in Word, so I like it!
Adelle really has put a lot of thought into her new logo, and it really has paid off. The new logo has a much more lasting impact.
For an online store like Amazon the old logo didn’t really fit. The updated version looks better in both web and print.
Not really a redesign, more of a buy-out and brand build. Never-the less it was a refreshing moment for customers like myself!
Top to bottom glass front, one solid aluminum base and you’ve got yourself a pretty Macbook Pro.
I’ve not actually seen this used anywhere but adverts. But I really like it!