Archived entries for Miscellaneous

The only purpose of ‘customer service’

We – individuals, companies or organisations – are involved with ‘customer service’ in one way or another. Here’s some very sound and clear-headed advice, courtesy of Seth’s Blog:

Customer Service is to change feelings. Not the facts, but the way your customer feels. The facts might be the price, or a return, or how long someone had to wait for service. Sometimes changing the facts is a shortcut to changing feelings, but not always, and changing the facts alone is not always sufficient anyway.

If a customer service protocol (your call center/complaints department/returns policy) is built around stall, deny, begrudge and finally, to the few who persist, acquiesce, then it might save money, but it is a total failure.

The customer who seeks out your help isn’t often looking to deplete your bank account. He is usually seeking validation, support and a path to feeling the way he felt before you let him down.

The best measurement of customer support is whether, after the interaction, the customer would recommend you to a friend. Time on the line, refunds given or the facts of the case are irrelevant. The feelings are all that matter, and changing feelings takes humanity and connection, not cash.

(Courtesy Seth’s Blog:


In a nutshell: Promotional Literature

Promotional literature should projects a message of distinctiveness – a memorable and appealing introduction (or re-introduction) to the unique qualities of a product, service or experience. Whether it’s a beautifully crafted product brochure or contemporary catalogue, an intriguing invitation or witty piece direct mail its implicit purpose remains constant – to raise brand awareness and increase sales.

To see our promotional work please visit the Promotional Material section of our website.

Patrick Jackson Design)

In a nutshell: Name Generation

The brand name serves as the foundation of a successful brand and, for companies both large and small, a great brand name is an asset of enormous value. Effective names should captures the essence of a company, product or service and should project the personality of what they represent.

Name generation is an important part of what we do and we work closely with our clients to create and develop their brand and give it the right tone of voice through all communication channels.

Some of our most recent naming exercises have included:
YourStore eCommerce
The Yorkshire Larder
Bright Beans Coffee

Patrick Jackson Design)

In a nutshell: Brand

A brand is all the positive attributes that spring to mind around a particular organisation, product or service. Product features and pricing is important but it’s usually the emotional attributes of a brand – the intangibles – that are most valuable. These are the elements that competitors can’t easily copy and help to give a brand its distinctiveness.

Patrick Jackson Design)

People need to ‘trust’ your website

Okay, this is something that has long been suspected: the design of your website has a direct bearing on whether users ‘trusts’ your brand, company or organisation. Badly designed sites can mean that companies are damaging their brand and their bottom-line. According to research carried out by OnePoll, on behalf of BaseKit, 70% of internet users claim they would not buy from or trust a company with a badly designed website.

The research also found that two thirds of business owners believe how a company’s website looks and performs is more important than the physical location of the business. This makes it absolutely vital that a company’s website gives the right impression. With the average time spent on a web page being less than 60 seconds, first impressions really do count.

For a brief outline of some of the main reasons why some corporate websites perform poorly then see our earlier article: An outdated website can damage your brand.

If you need an impartial assessment of your current website – what works, what doesn’t and what positive changes can be made going forward – then try our FREE Website Assessment.

(The OnePoll survey was carried out between 4th and 10th January 2011, and surveyed 577 UK SMEs).

Patrick Jackson Design)

In a nutshell: Websites and Screen Media

Multi-media design is essentially concerned with ‘on-screen’ communication – the projection of information and identity via websites and interactive displays. It draws upon graphics, animation, sound, music and moving images to create a ‘user experience’. The quality of this experience – how useful, easy and pleasurable an interface is to use – has a significant influence on how users perceive a group or brand.

To see our online design work please visit the Websites and Screen Media section of our website.

Patrick Jackson Design)

In a nutshell: Packaging Design

Packaging defines what a product is and serves as a canvas on which to promote it’s attributes and benefits. Beyond its functional practicalities, packaging has increasingly become part of the product experience itself. Colour, form, materials, imagery and graphics are carefully considered to appeal directly to the tastes and aspirations of the consumer and compete for their attention at the point of sale.

Patrick Jackson Design)

In a nutshell: Identities

An identity captures the essence of what a group or brand is about and what it stands for – a  visual expression of its values, aspirations, reputation, manner and culture. It’s the foundation on which an organisation develops it’s public image and influences how it is perceived by its own staff, its suppliers, customers, shareholders and others.

To see our identity work please visit the Identities and Branding section of our website.

Patrick Jackson Design)

An outdated website can damage your brand

Q. Is your current website over 4 years old? If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time for a change.

Why make the change?

Internet technology is developing so rapidly that, if your current site has existed without significant changes in the past 4 or 5 years, it’s probably showing obvious signs of obsolescence. This will largely be due to the following:

1. Dated content
All companies need to remain relevant to their customers. Old and outdated content may no longer reflect the current ambitions of a company/brand or may no longer be aligned with its current marketing objectives.

2. Changes in web standards
With a general increase in monitor sizes, website formatting has changed from a view area of 800 pixels wide up to anything from 900 to 1100 wide. Moving to this wider standard provides more screen ‘real estate’ and allows the use of larger pictures, clearer typography and more diverse content on a single page.

3. A huge shift in user expectations
Better download speeds from improving broadband connections means that users now expect a far richer experiences when they visit a website – one which includes images, animation, video and more engaging and interactive content.

4. Interactivity and data capture from visitors
Older websites tend to be little more than an online version of a corporate brochure, giving users a very ‘passive’ experience. There are generally very few mechanisms by which users can engage with the company/brand . . . or even ask a questions through the website. For the company/brand this means there is little or no data capture from their visitors.

5. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
On average, 60% of website traffic is generated via search engines. So, having a website correctly optimised for modern search engines such as Google is vital.

6. Overly complicated website architecture
Older sites tend to have been ‘added to’ over the years with new pages or entirely new sections. This often leads to poor site structure which is difficult or complicated to navigate. Renewing or refreshing the website would ensure a more logical and user-friendly structure.

7. First Impressions Count
It used to be that potential clients/customers gained their first sense of a business or brand through a corporate brochure or a company logo on a business card. Now, overwhelmingly, it’s through a company website. If this website is designed and implemented poorly then the opportunity to make a great first impression is lost.

8. Trust
One final thing to convince you to change your old site: when you have been searching for a product online and come across a very old fashioned, outdated and poorly designed website have you, a. ‘trusted’ it and bought from the site . . . or b. moved to another, more modern looking, more ‘trustworthy’ site? Statistics show that most people do the latter.

If you think that your website is not performing as it should why not take advantage of our FREE website Assessment. We will compare your site against current web standards, we will look at usability, functionality, navigation, user engagement and much more.

(Article by Patrick Jackson, Patrick Jackson Design). (Thanks to both Yourstore and Duo for their thoughts on this subject).

David Carson on design + discovery

Great design is a never-ending journey of discovery – for which it helps to pack a healthy sense of humor. Sociologist and surfer-turned-designer David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images.

As a member of the organising committee of the Typographic Circle (way back when . . ),  I met David Carson when we brought him to the UK to give a talk in Edinburgh. Nice guy, very insightful, inventive and witty – pretty much as he is here. Enjoy.

Copyright © 2004–2009. All rights reserved.

RSS Feed. This blog is proudly powered by Wordpress. Design by Rodrigo Galindez.