2014 KLI Year in Review

Last year was an amazing year for Key Lime Interactive. Our beloved CEO, Ania Rodriguez, was named South Florida Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, we expanded our team and attended some really great conferences and networking events. We’re proud of the work we did for our imaginative clients and look forward to doing more of the same in 2015. Thanks for being part of our 2014.

Big Design Dallas Day 2 Recap

Overall words to describe the Big Design Conference 2014: Jam packed, smart people, memorable and, of course, Phil freaking Tippett. In case you don’t know this legend by name, he’s been the visual effects creative mind behind on Star Wars and Jurassic Park! Here’s the highlight reel on Day 2 to close out this exciting two day conference.

Do You Trust Me Now?: Content Convergence in the Age of Social Media  by Rahel Anne Bail @rahelab

Rahel talked about having a content marketing strategy. The quicker your company realizes that everyone is a brand ambassador, the more successful you’ll be. A couple takeaways:

  • Unless we’re creating content meant for social validation and social interaction, we’re not doing it right.
  • Social media is not the same as social business. One-way communication is not social. It’s advertising.
  • Customers may claim that they don’t care about social in business context. They’re in denial.

Give a hoot! Mapping (and caring for) the Semantic Environment by Jorge Arango @jarango

This lively (and academic talk) had audience members shouting “Give a Hoot!” throughout the presentation in order to confirm salient points. Jorge taught us how human beings react to and derive meaning from language and the nuances of context. For example, responsive has a different meaning for web designers vs medical device developers. Be thoughtful about the semantic environment in your writing.

The Design of Content: Strategies for Lasting Impressions by Keith Anderson @suredoc

Keith argues the point that the design and reading experience has been improving since the 1450s. He takes his theories from Gestalt psychology, the idea of what the eyes take in the mind will process as a whole. Takeaways from the presentation include:

  • Content strategy can be defined as the art AND science of controlling the creation, storage, maintenance, and dissemination of words and their associated assets and context to be congruent with an organization’s goals.
  • The User Experience movement has simultaneously helped and hindered how we communicate.
  • Our job as content writers is to anticipate readers’ expectations and provide them with quality content within a context perspective.
  • Take your content seriously. Write and design with a purpose.
  • Take the time to conduct reader research. Build profiles, conduct surveys, and make sure you understand what they expect from you.

Body Language: Hidden UX Insights from Body Language by Brad Nunnally @bnunnally

Brad cited scientific examples that included the fact that human beings make decisions 7 seconds before they physically communicate them. If we can focus in on body language we’ll get an early indication and non-verbal confirmation from our qualitative work.

Lights, Camera, Interaction: Design Inspiration from Filmmaking by Adam Connor @adamconnor

We’re not filmmakers but in the interest of broadening our horizons we decided to take a closer look. What a treat to step outside the walls of marketing and UX-concentrated workshops to learn more about design in film-making. Adam took his passion for film and his experience in design to share his unique perspectives. Fun fact: Designers with a creative vision are often not put in the position to manage. There is a big difference between leadership and management. Here are some facts we came away with:

  • Leadership is about vision and inspiration towards the future of that organization.
  • Management is to keep things together and MANAGE the organization, not necessarily lead the creative path.
  • Scenarios are the interaction between a persona and a use case.
  • Mise en Scene: All of the tools other than dialogue, used by a filmmaker to tell a story (everything to design the scene that does not include any actual conversations).

Lessons I Have Learned from Leading UX Designers by Russ Unger @russu

This talk was brimming with great leadership advice that can be applied to any process. For now we’ll just share our favorite quote:

A leader is best when people barely know that she exists

when her work is done and her aim fulfilled they will say – we did it ourselves –  Lao Tzu

You’ll have to wait for the blog post for the good stuff.

Headlines, HBO, and Harry Potter: A Case for Context by Justin Smith @xenoabe

Justin can win the award for most compelling topic title. Yes, he did briefly discuss Harry Potter and HBO and how they relate to compelling context. The audience also got to watch a very touching TD Bank commercial, which proves the case that meaningful context can really draw the emotions you are seeking for from your viewers.

  • Context is the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement or idea, in terms it can be fully understood.
  • Context is like a green screen.
  • Sometimes you don’t want to give it all away in your headline. You want to be mysterious It’s ok to play with the user and some fun with your messaging.

Mitigating Scope Creep: Useful Tips for Project Peace by Michael Vaughn

Another good tactical approach presentation. Our top takeaway here centers on taking accountability when you start a project. Accountability for  your company AND for your client. If you have a clear understanding of your roles then it’s easier to maneuver the project segues when they happen….cause they WILL happen.

Why Photos Rule The Internet by Tony Cecala @tonycecala

Companies like Target, Starbucks, UPS and Fedex have such a strong brand image that their logos can do all the talking. From passing a billboard in Times Square or swiping through your newsfeed on Facebook, you’ll recognize the logos of these brands. It’s a brilliant visual communication tool….once you have that kind of brand recognition.

  • When building an identity for your logo and image, put a fair amount of consideration in to the design and colors you choose.
  • Memes have become a popular way brands can communicate with a younger audience.
  • Text and image-based posters used for political campaigns were memorable prior to the internet and can be considered a “meme” (think Uncle Sam).
  • Facebook beats out Instagram, Snapchat and Flickr as the #1 outlet for photos and images to share your life with your friends.
  • Tweets with images get 150% more retweets
  • Tweets with images get 18% more clicks

Produce Like Picasso by Brian Sullivan @brianksullivan

We have one word for Brian’s presentation to close out the workshop portion of the conference: INSPIRATIONAL. Brian delivered a compelling presentation on the much-admired artist, Pablo Picasso, and showed us how to apply Picasso’s work ethics into our daily lives. Here is the secret, it is 5 Ps:

  1. Passion
  2. Purpose
  3. Proficiency
  4. Persistence
  5. Partnership

Our keynote closer was Phil Tippett and for this crowd it was quite a treat. Phil is best known for his VFX work on some of Hollywood’s most beloved movies including the Star Wars triology and Jurassic Park. It’s no wonder he’s crowd favorite at Big Design. We were struck by his opening statement that he isn’t a digital designer at his core but a student of art history. He loves making things with his hands and is still committed to stop motion animation. It was a nice ending to a great conference.

We’ll be sharing more opinions over the next few weeks so stay tuned if you want the inside scoop on BigDesign Dallas 2014.

SFBJ 40 Under 40 2014 Luncheon

Last Friday our Miami office had the opportunity to attend the South Florida Business Journal 40 Under 40 Luncheon to support our CEO & Founder, Ania Rodriguez, on being one of the forty honorees. We had a great time and even met some new friends, like Dan Cane from Modernizing Medicine! The theme of the event was all about selfies, so we rose to the occasion and participated in the selfie contest on Twitter.
If you aren’t following us on Twitter, you should be. Find us @keylimeinteract. Check out some of the fun selfies below and see event highlights from our point of view. Then, go follow us on social media to get regular updates! You can find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

E-Retailers Pin Their Attention on Pinterest

As we’ve all discovered by now, Pinterest is the hottest new social sharing site boasting an enormous following as its popularity has increased exponentially in recent months. Exceeding 10 million unique visitors each month, Pinterest will likely take center stage as the future of e-commerce social media marketing efforts plays out.
After some observation and discussion with pinners of all ages, we credit its growth to a few specific things:

Visual Appeal – A strong visual network is created by pinning dream houses, bucket lists, outfits, inspirational images, quotations, the results of yummy recipes, and more.  Pinterest has the visual appeal of a gigantic coffee table book – it’s easy to get caught up in the images contained and spend unexpected amounts of time engaged in this network.
Ease of Use – Pinterest lists some obvious categories such as “Food & Drink”, “My Life” and “Travel” and naturally, without instruction, educates users to participate in pinning and repining activities with simple icons.  We “pin” something and it magically appears in both our stream and relevant “board” and becomes part of our collection. We can easily search for items or concepts of interest.  We can browse the collections of those who inspire us.  The architecture is easy.
Acknowledgement/Link to Source Library – Since Pinterest preserves the link where the item originated and acknowledgement we have a library of where to buy or find the items we pin. Organized for us, but GOLD for e-retailers! What can be easier than user-generated links back to your site that are shared via social media and trend passively?
This combination of success points creates an ideal platform for retailers to generate attention and entice followers and fans.
Why is KLI taking note?
As our e-retail clients seek our suggestions for the improvement of their web and mobile experiences, we can look to the success of Pinterest for inspiration and as a tool; both serve us food for thought as they aim to stay current, or ahead, and find ways to increase conversion.
Specifically, our pinboard of noteworthy thoughts around Pinterest includes:

  • Organization Considerations: Pinboards are an obvious way for companies to take advantage of this social phenomenon.  These pinboards can take one of two paths – retailers can opt to use pinboards to mimic the categories presented on their site, or instead they can utilize a new information architecture that might bundle products together to cross-sell.  We’ve seen success in the later as consumers seek an alternative to traditional catalog shopping and respond more favorably to immersive visual storytelling that outlines how the products can fit their current lifestyle or the one they daydream about.  Perhaps these categories could also be used for things like targeting a specific audience, maybe a bride, or identifying seasonal sale items, etc.  Thinking beyond standard categorical organization is an area in which we’ve witnessed success.
  • Rich, Bold and Creative Imagery & Visualizations: We’ve seen the images that trend on Pinterest.  They stray from the typical woman wearing a summer dress with a white background and instead show the detail of the neckline up close, or the woman giggling her way through an enchanted forest.  Creative images, interesting perspectives, etc. first enrich your retail site, but also have the capacity to trend farther and wider on social media sites like Pinterest.  KLI research has concluded that consumers respond to images that impress them or mirror themselves above all.  Use the success of Pinterest as incentive to enhance your e-commerce imagery.
  • “Pin-It”:  Add the pin-it button near your other social media icons.  Now that people can link their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts, we’re seeing a trend in using Pinterest as a method of choice to announce to their community that they dig a particular product because they can comment, classify and tag it all from the Pinterest interface.  E-retailers benefit because the original URL pins with the image, and to all the social networks linked.  A single pin creates a ripple, or if your pinner is wildly socially connected, a wave – and it’s free for you.The added bonus: In a way, Pinterest behaves as a shopping cart.  The pinner identifies to themselves that they have an interest in this product and rather than having to email it to themselves, bookmark it or simply remember it, they can see it and can revisit it easily when they review their carefully created boards.

  • Pay Attention: Overall, the best you can do is jump into this latest form of social webbing with two feet.  Maybe you don’t “get it” or your stakeholders have some hesitation about “all this social media stuff” – but when KLI researchers recommend a Pin-It icon in a specific (often eyetracking supported) location on your site, there’s no time to wait and see if it’s going to pay off.  TAMBA, a UK based group of smarty pants digital strategists reported that Pinterest is projected to account for 40% of all social media driven purchases by the end of this quarter… that’s an amazingly quick catch up to Facebook. Further, buyers are 10% more likely to buy something and spend 10% more money if they’ve reached a product via a pin vs. alternative pathways in social media.

Pinterest is Here to Stay
Our current clients in the retail space agree that if they’re not already integrating Pinterest in their roadmap for future work, they’ve got some catching up to do because the return on investment is predicted to be fantastic.