PR News hosted a Visual Storytelling Boot Camp and Big 4 Social Media Summit in San Francisco, CA August 9th and 10th 2016. The core focus of the conference was to learn about the latest features and opportunities offered by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (the Big 4). Attending both the boot camp and summit allows one to get a more holistic view on social media – not just what to do on the big 4 social media channels but HOW to communicate on them.

I recently attended The Email Design Conference 2016 (TEDC16) put on by Litmus in Boston, MA. It was a three-day conference all about the design, coding, strategy, planning, workflow, and analytics of email marketing. Aric Zion, our CEO, was speaking at the conference about applying UX principles to email design. As a UX strategist, I worked closely with Aric to put together the presentation and tagged along to assist with the attendee speed dating discussions that took place each day. And in an effort to grow my 'T-shapedness,' I was lucky enough to also attend the conference to learn a bit more about email marketing—something I was familiar with, but by no means an expert in.

Do you ever get annoyed when people try to connect with you on LinkedIn via your work email address? It makes sense, because that is how they’re professionally connected to you, however if you’re a veteran LinkedIn user, you may have created a separate account associated with your work email address just for this reason. Or worse, you may have created both a personal and a professional account. Did you know you can associate multiple email addresses to your one account? This means you can connect with people from your work email address and your personal email address! This also means connections from your current or past employers, as well as those you may know personally from college and throughout the years, can easily add you as a connection. Once you change employers, simply swap out the email address.

As interactive designers, it’s crucial to consider new ways in which we pursue website design. Diving deep into our digital design, it’s important to keep in mind not only the brand and site concept, but also the experience the website offers to its users. In our industry, it’s critical to use visual design to enhance functionality and usability, while strengthening the client’s brand; and not to see visual design as the center of the universe. This article will walk designers through some key factors in creating a better user experience for websites, without compromising the quality of their final design.

UX is the experience a user has interacting with something (whether that something be a website, mobile app, ATM, or any other product). For example, think about someone withdrawing $100 from an ATM. Whether they’re able to easily accomplish this task or not can be due to the machine’s user experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s the sole reason. At Zion & Zion, our UX team focuses mostly on the UX of websites and applications. Our mission as UX strategists is to make all interactions as seamless, intuitive, and easy to use as possible. By benchmarking, we have the foundation to continuously improve upon our work. Today we’re going to focus on why benchmarking is important, and how to benchmark with analytical data and user testing.

Relying solely on wireframes and design elements to create a great user experience (UX) simply won’t cut it—but why not? Because an easy to use and visually appealing website falls short if the content isn’t there to back it up. To create the best experience possible, you need to give users what they want: information.

This guide is for those who don’t want to spend hours trouble shooting or going through the myriad Google AdWords API Documentation to get the API up and running. This guide is best suited for developers who are creating tools for an AdWords Manager Account or single AdWords account as this does not go through the Auth2 Workflow as that requires having users logging in and keeping their sessions continuously tracked and refreshed.

When designing a website, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the latest visual trends and make decisions solely based on what you think looks the best. However, odds are when doing this, the final product is not going to be very user friendly—leaving a negative impact on the final design. Surely everyone has experienced this. You land on a website that at first glance looks beautiful and modern. However, once you go to perform a task or find a piece of information, you quickly learn that the UX was never thought through. You’ve probably experienced this through confusing navigations, slow page loads, or poor functionality.

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