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How to design a logo – real case study for Light Image Reziser

December 17th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, photography, SEO, software review

The identity of a product starts with his logo, but for a software, it will be daily seen by the users as a .ico icon on their desktop. for this case, it is a software for Windows, which will impact a little bit the choice of the design

The software name is “Light Image Resizer”, a PC program to resize photos and pictures. The light could be interpreted as not-very-powerfull, but easy, but I opt in for that risk. Also “light” is making sense for the photo market, as the photo is the art of using lights :-).
Finally it can remind of LightRoom from Adobe, without being used by popular competitors such as VSO Image Resizer, or PowerToys Image Resizer for Windows, Mihov image resizer

Before entering in deeper analysis of the choice of the design, let’s expose the current variation of the logo, there are 8 differents ones, which is too much, but it is also a way to show why you shouldn’t put too much different ones.
Despite there are 8 choices, it is all from the same graphic designer ( Fred from Beasty Design )

Vote now on http://twtpoll.com/i8dq1a

Here is coming the common mistake, you need to make sure the logo has the same size , at least in this case, they are all fitting a square of 96×96, it is very important. Of course, you will learn from the experience the only fact to have a vivid logo, will make it more visible to your user panel.

Don’t forget the past

if it is NOT a new product or version, don’t forget to include the past logo, so whatever the users voting are new or already know the product, it will be interesting to let them compare to the old logo. If the old logo still win, and the % of users voting is a majority of the past product. You will have to consider to keep the old one. And think about why you would really need to change the logo.

Take care of the layout

If it is technically possible, make the voting sheet elements perfectly even and numbered. here we have 2 lines and 4 columns, so there is always a doubt about the numbering ( I would prefer a flat single line or column layout, but it is not technically easy with the width of the article.
If someone say the number 2, which one it will be ?
so the suggestion is really to put a number clearly visible for each logo, so whatever the way they will see them, they could refer to the same logo. If you forget this detail , you will waste an incredible amount of time, as people will say, I prefer the blue one with the arrow, and you won’t be sure at 100% about which one is referred.

The art to ask the question

Now, My public question will be :

Which draft desktop icon you will prefer for Light Image Resizer software for Windows ?

I mention the kind of product it is, the draft status, and the name of the product which could influence their choice, and create a link between the name of the product and the logo itself.

I edited the poll and the question using TwtPoll, so you can easily post the poll wherever you want.

http://twtpoll.com/i8dq1a

Don’t think about it when you will vote, just select the one you see the most, and you prefer, without thinking about details.

that’s the real fast and basic recommandation to get feedback from users, in another method we will discuss the thumb up & down methods to choose the final version.

Get customers Feedback Uservoice vs GetSatisfaction vs UserEcho ?

December 9th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Posted in article, SEO

The successful companies engage their customers, not only to satisfy them but also to define the priorities of their product or service developments.
It’s a must have service you need to include ( I was about to say “consider” but you definitely need to install one of them ).
I can’t share my own feedback about these products as I didn’t get the time while I was at VSO-Software to review or try them, and we were doing our customers relationship with instant messaging, private forums, and the public forum. I have been lucky to meet the CEO of UserVoice in San Francisco in a private meeting, they have been nice to share their view in this incredible market, but unfortunately my current customers weren’t very motivated to set up these kind of tools ( despite their huge audience and traffic )

You can see this with a side button “feedback”, using rollover layout ( which makes the solution very easy to be integrated to your web site )

Uservoice.com
GetSatisfaction.com
UserEcho.com

These companies help to let your users list ( and even define ) what features they would like to be integrated. They can vote for a limited number of items, so they need to make their wish list carefully. In the same time, it allows to communicate indirectly on what you will do next.

UserEcho video preview

If you need a specialized service for support purpose, like chatting and getting live screenshot of the web service, I could recommend this one :

http://www.snapengage.com/

It is both a platform to chat with your customers, but also to get easily screenshots of their page to assist them or to review web bugs in case of an internal test version of a new web site.

If you know more services which deserve to be listed, please contact me or let a comment.

I still wonder why some companies choose to ignore these tools, maybe I can see 5 Reasons :

– They don’t know it exists ( well, they probably don’t surf a much outside their own web site )
– They don’t think they need a user-centric strategy ( what a mistake and I will explain why )
– They can’t absorb the number of feedbacks ( lack of resources to manage it, follow the suggestions ), it’s true it could be a valid reason to ignore these tools as it will just show to the users you are not that active.
– They have already define a product roadmap, which will make them busy for more than 6 months… indeed, another pretty good reason to not include such a tool.

A customer-oriented strategy is for me very important, because the final purpose is not only to make some people happy to be sure they will promote themself your service, but also to save time and not ignore some basic features you would have missed. If you expect the customers or users to email to your support, yes.. it happens but not that much, because people are lazy and used to not get a satisfying reply from the technical support ( another good subject for a post ), whatever we could measure the speed or quality of the reply, so users have been discouraged to report feedback as soon as they need to write down and send information which have no chance to be public.
These Feedback/forum platform engage users to vote quickly in a list defined by either the users themselves or a list of pending features defined by the hosting company project managers.

**** This article isn’t still finished. I would like to add screenshot of the applet for each of the top services, and a forum screenshot ***
** I found this new tool which sounds promising too :
http://www.marginize.com/
I discovered it on this web site : http://onstartups.com/tabid/3339/bid/34265/Sleepless-In-Startupville-23-Questions-That-Keep-Entrepreneurs-Up.aspx

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VSO release Blu-Ray Converter Ultimate Preview

November 14th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, blu-ray, software review, video converter

A new product from VSO is available on their download server, the software is VSO Blu-Ray Converter Ultimate , as the name is suggesting it is a video converter for Blu-ray ( from Blu-ray to another format ) but no information, product page or price is available ( despite it is not a freeware as there is a reminder screen when you execute the product  ( see screenshot at the end of the post )

image

Download VSO Blu-ray Converter Ultimate

First of all, you won’t be able to backup any protected Blu-ray without the help of another software, which makes the product quite difficult to use without basic knowledge of the video converting rules with protected disc

You can still download the free edition of DVDFab Passkey which removes the protection of DVD or Blu-ray disc as a driver ( you just need to reboot to make sure the installation is completed ). The leading software to remove protection is still AnyDVD HD

I have tested only a few minutes the new VSO products, it is not ready, plenty of problems with default value, interface looking bad, childish, too contrasted ( but it is due to the new developper in place now ) , and the conversion just doesn’t start. The reader / writer aren’t selected by default when there is only one. The message about the lack of support for decryption doesn’t help new users to know what to do next.
The Buy link go to the typical web page to buy products, but without the product listed. so it is just not possible to buy even if you would like !

image

You can discuss about the products in the vso’s forum

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The shoemakers children go barefoot – why my web site sucks ?

October 15th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing

or “the child of shoemaker has no shoes” , I found the equivalent of this french expression to be a good sample of what happens of my case. My main web site brainfight.com sucks a lot, a single page, not updated, it is really a shame considering it is one of my professionnal activity. In the other hand, I m not the only one in this case. I don’t look really for new customers, and I have other activities in my own project. It doesn’t mean I refuse some opportunities, but it is just I have another priorities. On this point of view, I have the same life cycle than my customers, if no one reminds me the situation or put me unconfortable to outline the lack of update of my own work, I still think everything is ok.

That’s my duty to motivate the customers to not only “aware” of their required changed, but to prove some people have bad opinion of their communication and don’t dare or wish to waste their time to report about it. It touchs the very basic human behaviour, complains only if you would like it to be fixed, or because it really hurted you.

It is so easier to see problems with other’s work, than yourself, that’s also why you need 3rd party feedback in business and personal life. I am in this case, I need to find the motivation ( and time , and skills ) to update my own web site, and I don’t do it yet, because I m not in the emergency to do it.

Best Portrait photographers link collection

October 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, marketing, photography
Morgan Freeman by Andy Gotts

Morgan Freeman by Andy Gotts

Out of usual topic, but because I m doing some personal research ( and it is not far of the usual Neuromarketing approach ) about the best way to build a corporate identity and a personal branding approach by investing some time and money in a good portrait completed by a good photographer

I found these links because of the Elinchrom web site ( a manufacturor of flash light units I am using )

Marco Grob
http://www.marcogrob.com/

Andy Gotts
http://www.andygotts.com/

Martin Schoellers
(read interview in Smithsonianmag , Art to buy and google his name for photo sample )

Jeff Vespa
( Google it, the web site is raising a security issue )

Les Studios Harcourt
http://www.studio-harcourt.eu/50.php

Peter Yang
http://www.peteryang.com/

Mat Szwajkos
http://www.szwajkos.com/


http://www.isabelsnyder.com/

http://www.markusklinko-indrani.com/fashion_portfolio?p=1&s=UA-17253553-1#83

A good sample of different style for Portrait lightning options
http://blog.davidgiralphoto.com/2010/08/23/10-portraits-10-different-lightings-and-10-reasons-why-i-love-them/

the Golden Ratio rule, Applied on Twitter

September 29th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, photography, twitter

As a photographer, I know and use the rule of third. but I may admit I never seen before a so easy-to-understand application of the golden ratio

New Twitter design apply the golden ratio rule

this Article on Petapixel contains several interesting links to the golden ratio rule, and how it could impact and improve your web site design. Have a good reading…and if you have more sample like this, drop me a message or a comment.