VM Weekly Roundup #thisweekineverything
Welcome to our industry news roundup, where the rubber meets the roadmap.
UX & Agile
If you’re in the UX side of web design, you’ve probably heard about Agile processes, but it can be difficult to find a good primer on the subject. Agile is a type of workflow that originated in the software design industry, but its iterative, fast-changing, and team-focused approach make for a set of principles that can be applied to almost any type of project.
10 Second Tip: If you work in a chaotic industry (and these days, that’s most of us), getting a handle on some Agile workflow principles can help you lean into–and even profit from!–responding to shifts and changes.
Test Drive: While Google’s strict Agile method aims to start testing UX design within a week (whew!), that’s not necessary to reap the benefits of Agile. One of the best things about an Agile mindset is that it encourages you to work together as a team to keep a project on-target, while also identifying potential problems along the way. Involving your entire team on initial project brainstorming and planning is a key part of this, along with regular check-ins and involving everyone’s specialized troubleshooting as the project unfolds. Done well, this tends to lead to creating the best overall product, while minimizing the chance that a project long in development phase will hit a roadblock that requires a full rethink right before launch.
Landing Page Design
Landing pages are a constant obsession for digital marketers, so we’re always looking for new insights on how to make them better. “Landing page” simply refers to any webpage a user lands on as a result of an ad, which ideally will be the where a conversion takes place–whether that’s an email address for follow-up prospecting, a newsletter sign-up, or a sale. Optimizing landing pages requires time, skill, A/B testing, and a lot of data analyzing to get right. Because every niche is different, sometimes you have to see what doesn’t work before you can test for what does.
10 Second Tip: When in doubt, simple design and direct call-to-action copy tends to work best for generating landing page conversions.
Test Drive: Trying to figure out if there’s a leak in your landing page sales funnel? Try the exercise suggested at the end of our link above. If it’s too hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s never seen the landing page before, ask a third party to look it over and tell you if it’s clear to them what the call to action is, and how persuasive.
It’s a lesson we could all stand to use: cultivating a “growth mindset” has been proven to not only aid you in learning new skills, it’s also helpful for overcoming any challenge. In a rapidly evolving industry like digital advertising, that’s a critically useful ability. On top of that, more and more research suggests that growth mindsets have a strong correlation with increased mental health and greater brain plasticity! Training yourself to have a growth mindset is a process, and we’re not ashamed to say this handy chart for second graders has been working great as a reminder hanging up on our wall.
10 Second Tip: Choosing to approach your work with a growth mindset can help open you up to the fun and the challenge of learning new things, while reducing the stress uncertainty can bring. Valuing curiosity and tenacity over static perfection on the job also tends to make for a more accepting, less ego-driven environment for collaboration. If you want your team to cross-pollinate and learn from each other (and you should!), it’s important to give them room for experimentation.
Test Drive: If you’re new to the growth mindset concept, print out the chart from the link above and try to follow it for a week. It’s a great place to start! (We also love this link on Da Vinci’s morning lists, shedding light on another helpful practice for starting your day. Proof that the growth mindset has been around for a long time, even if we’re just getting around to giving it a name.)