Flat Design Example


Flat design is undoubtedly one of the most popular design trends of the moment. You’ll find it online, on your phone, and it is even starting to make its way off the screen and onto posters and physical designs. It has already spit off into sub-categories of flat design like the so called “almost flat design” Apple is employing in their new iOS and the newly popular long shadow design.

But, the design style isn’t perfect. None are. The trendy style has numerous things it achieves very well, but there are far too many people glancing over the more problematic side of using flat design. Carrie Cousins wrote about the pros and cons of flat design, but plenty of people are willing to sell you on the upside of flat design. Today, I wanted to focus on the drawbacks.

It’s Trendy – While being trendy can be a positive – no one wants to be falling behind – you also have to be aware that flat design won’t last forever. As we’ve seen with the splintering into new iterations like long shadow design, the trends are already moving away from completely flat design, and there is no way of knowing when it will suddenly seem out of date entirely.

Usability – The simplification that lies underneath flat design can cause usability problems. Flat design can streamline a site, but it can also cause users to feel confused by the minimalistic interface. Many say they don’t know where they are supposed to click or tap, because the style does not do a good job defining what is and isn’t clickable.

Typography – Great typography looks absolutely marvelous in flat design, but boy does the style make it noticeable when typography is weak. Just look at iOS 7. The initial unveiling used an insanely thin typeface which many complained about. With layouts as simple as these, the eyes immediately go towards problem areas, and there is less to hide any flaws. If you aren’t great with fonts, you might ask for help or consider another style.

Too Simple – Not every site needs minimalism. The reason you haven’t seen flat design on many news sites is that the style isn’t good at conveying large amounts of information visually or textually. The style demands short phrases, impactful concise words, and full paragraphs just don’t tend to fit. The style of your site should entirely depend on the needs of your site. If you fill like you’re having to cut too much to fit into the trend, you should choose another design solution.

Facebook Sticker IconFacebook appears to be undergoing large changes to their rules for businesses as they have recently created the opportunity for verified paged, embedding posts, and even giving advertisers access to a large stock photo library.

But, the change users are most likely to notice is a huge revision to the rules for how businesses run contests on their pages. As Jessica Lee from Search Engine Watch reports, businesses will now be able to run contests and promotions directly from their own timelines without the use of third-party apps, greatly streamlining the process.

As they announced last week, Facebook has reversed their original rules to allow for users to like, comment, or create posts on a page solely as a voting mechanism or entry into contest. Facebook stated in its promotions help document, “we want to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions of Facebook and to align our policies to better meet the needs of marketers.”

All of this means businesses can run promotions directly from their timeline and

  • Collect entries via posts, comments, or likes on a page post.
  • Collect entries via messages from users to the page.
  • Utilize likes as a means of voting.

Facebook did say they don’t intend to put an end to contests run through apps. Instead, they see apps as a means to “create a more personalized experience, more in line with your branding strategy.”

They explained the differentiation more, saying:

Apps provide more space and flexibility for content than Page posts alone. Promotions run through apps can collect data in a secure, structured way that may be appealing to advertisers, particularly larger brands.

Creating a promotion with a Page is faster and easier. Additionally, as with all Page posts, Page posts about promotions are eligible to be displayed in the News Feeds of the people who like the Page and can be promoted to a broader audience.

Businesses always have the option of using both an app and their Page to administer a promotion.

On the other hand, Facebook also updated its page terms to restrict pages from encouraging users to tag themselves in content “they are not actually depicted in.” So it is acceptable to ask for likes or comments as part of a promotion, but you cannot post a picture and tag users or ask them to tag themselves, unless they actually appear in the image.

Bing Ads LogoAdWords has become so synonymous with PPC marketing that it wouldn’t be hard for the outside observer to believe that is the only PPC platform available. Of course, they would be wrong, as all of the major search engines also offer advertising options, but you just don’t see Bing Ads in the headlines as often.

However, any PPC marketer would be a fool to completely write-off Bing Ads without giving them proper consideration first. Experienced PPC marketers are extremely aware that AdWords basically offers zero insight into Google search partner performance, aside from aggregated metrics. Bing Ads, on the other hand, has features that offer visibility into the Bing and Yahoo search partner network, as Marta Turek recently highlighted on the Bing Ads blog.

  1. Bing Ads offers reporting for individual search partner performance within the Bing Ads UI. You can find the capability under Reports > Standard Performance > Performance > Website URL (publisher).
  2. You are also able to exclude search partners from ads groups and campaign levels. You just have to check the box next to the campaign or ad groups you want to add exclusions for, and click “Make Bulk Changes” from within the sub-navigation. Then, select “Website exclusions” from the drop down menu. You will be able to add up to 500 sites for exclusions, and it is as simple as copy and pasting from a list.
  3. The ads offer targeting for just search partners at the ad group level. Start out by clicking on an ad group and opening the settings. Ad distribution is listed under the advanced settings section.

Bing Ads has more than three unique features that Ad Words is lacking. The three above are simply those Search Engine Land pulled out of Turek’s more comprehensive examination of the platform. You may spend the majority of your time focusing on AdWords, but you should be making sure to include time to take advantage of the tools Bing Ads offers.

Keeping up with the local search ranking algorithm can often be at best confusing and at worst a complete mystery. It seems there are just as many, if not more factors involved, yet less coverage of exactly what search signals Google is using for local businesses. That can make it very difficult to know where to put your focus.

There are so many places you could put your energy too. Should you focus on the completeness of your Google Places profile? Or maybe citations and reviews are more important? Is your business hurt just because it isn’t near the center of the city? All of those are considered, and that is just skimming the surface.

While Google probably isn’t going to be delivering definitive answers about their search algorithms any time soon, David Mihm and Moz are working to find the answers with an annual survey focusing on local search ranking factors. They released their report of their findings for the year already, but Doublespark took their concise results and turned them into an infographic.

Local SEO Ranking Factors