The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012: Creative Design and User Experience

If you read my earlier post on this topic, you’ll know that I’m referring to an article in Inc.com. Today I’m starting with my thoughts about the job of Creative Design and User Experience.

According to the Inc. article, “since almost every company is trying to create a highly compelling user experience that keeps people engaged with their product, it is tough to find people who have this type of experience (especially with mobile devices including tablets) and a demonstrated track record of success.”

As an online user yourself, you might agree that there are more websites that need help with navigation and user experience than there are websites where it’s a delight.

Design can be a tricky thing. But for old-time print designers who are skilled at guiding the eye, but aren’t afraid of new technology and tools, creating a superior online design and user experience is a natural extension of their experience.

My design and marketing partner, Perry Alexander, has been in the user interface mindset for his 35+ years of his career. He understands what it takes to engage the user, how to help them navigate to get where they want to go, and importantly, how to close the sale with forms that are easy, intuitive, and a joy to use.

I asked Perry what he considered most important in creative design and user experience, and here’s what he believes are essential for success:

“Know where the user’s eye will naturally fall first, and make sure your most important message is there. Don’t ever leave your site visitor at a dead-end, without navigation to continue through your site. Finally, be sure your ‘call to action’ stands out and is consistent in placement, color, shape, and language on most every page of your site. The design is not about the latest technology employed to make it sparkle—it’s about giving your site visitors what they want, and getting them to take the action you desire.”

Looking for a few examples of his mastery of online design?

Well, at the moment you’re looking at my blog which is an example of his work. He designed my website, www.hennerberg.com. Or look at Perry’s website, www.SuccessMessengerGroup.com.

Here are a few recent client examples:

www.MontreatTomorrow.org – this website integrates email marketing and social media to raise funds for the Montreat Conference Center.

www.TheListWarehouse.com – this website, for an email, direct mail, and mobile list brokerage, includes great navigation and an extensive inquiry form

www.AuditionChicagoTalent.com – the owner of this company was close to shutting down his business, but he trusted us to turn around his business. Mission accomplished. You can read the turnaround story here: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/audition-division-evolves-its-media-mix-turn-around-its-business/1

www.LakesideOutdoors.com – Perry untangled a huge website design mess from a prior designer. The images downloaded slowly, the navigation was a disaster, and the search engines couldn’t find this site. We’re often brought in by clients to fix the design and user experience of their websites.

You get the idea. And when you are fed up with the design and user experience of your online, and offline, marketing efforts, you’ll be in no better hands than working with Perry.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.