Creating a persona: the Why? and the How?

how to create personas

Jane Walker is 34 and lives in Manchester with her boyfriend of 5 years. They have a city centre apartment and one car. She works in a designer clothing store as a manager and loves the perks of discounted clothing. Her parents live an hour’s drive away and she sees them on average every two weeks. She has one sister who lives and works in London, but they are not very close. Jane works from 9.30am till 6pm and has to work every Saturday. She goes to the gym three evenings a week and meets her girlfriends for a drink every Friday night. Jane is internet savvy and uses email, facebook and twitter on a daily basis.

Do you have a visual picture of Jane in your head? Can you relate to her and imagine her as a real person? [Read more...]

Brighton SEO: The Thinks You Can Think If Only You Try

In September 2014 I delivered a presentation to a packed house at Brighton SEO titled: The Thinks You Can Think If Only You Try. The slide deck was uploaded to Slideshare and promptly made SlideShare of the day on the home page after less than 24 hours.

How To Be Better at Marketing Through Life Experience

How to be better at marketing

The diversity of Ogilvy
David Ogilvy had countless jobs before he came to Madison Avenue. Some of the roles that he attributes to his success include working in the kitchens of The Majestic in Paris under a tyrant chef, selling Aga cookers to housewives door-to-door and being a social worker in the slums of Edinburgh. These diverse roles helped shape his character and gave him invaluable life skills needed to understand how to reach consumers through his words and advertisements. Ogilvy started his agency a little late in life and in his own words

Had neither the time nor the money to wait twenty years to arrive. He was poor, unknown and in a hurry.

That drive and diversity helped him create one of the most celebrated advertising agencies of all time.

Like Ogilvy I have done lots of things, learnt as I went along, taken a lot of risks, lived hand-to-mouth and had more failures than success.

Every job I have had has taught me valuable skills: [Read more...]

Why Design Matters to SEO

what is design?
What is design?
When I refer to the term Design, in this instance I mean graphic design specifically – Design in relation to product design has other connotations and theories and is not included in this discussion.

Design is about communication. Design is the visual representation of information in a clear and structured manner. If you stop and think for one minute, without design we could not have books, newspapers, posters, road signs, maps, advertisements or websites: information would be reduced to long strings of words which would be almost inaccessible.

Design groups content logically and it creates a structured order. It creates a visual cohesion and hierarchy where the eye and brain can absorb information more quickly than if it has to waste time breaking down the layout structure.

Design means that you can drive at 70 miles-per-hour on a motorway and read the signage at a glance; that you can find your way from Kings Cross to Wimbledon on the tube map in seconds; that you can glance at a billboard advertisement and know the brand instantly; that you can read the contents label on a can of beans and that you can access a computer through its visual interface. [Read more...]

The 12 Best Fonts For Design: Inspired by Massimo Vignelli

The 12 Fonts You Ever Need

Celebrated Italian designer Massimo Vignelli controversially claimed “we use too many typefaces“. Depending on where you stand on typography/design will depend on whether you agree with the statement or not, I personally whole-heartedly agree with Vignelli and call for a greater degree of discipline in the usage of fonts. You can read an opposing article about this statement and listen to an interview with Vignelli here. [Read more...]