Jul 11

Less is More

Clean Designs Equal Longer Attention Spans

Many businesses don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating content for their sites.  Often these businesses offer a number of products and services and want to make sure their clients don’t miss all the wonderful things that their company can do.  The result is a lot of distraction for the visiting customer, and odds are that they will leave your page without accomplishing any of your goals.  In order to avoid this, one has to understand the client and some statistics about them.  One very general bit of knowledge is that people often multitask when they are viewing your site information as shown in the chart. Continue reading →

Jun 11

Power Point Presentations

Don’t Let your PPT Presentation be a Liability

A primary medium of business communication is Power Point or PPT.  Power Point has a proven track record for its ability to take ideas and effectively transmit them to a specific audience.  Businesses need to consistently sell their brand and their innovative concepts.  That is where PPT can help the most.

We all know Power Point can be a great tool of expression, but we also know that it can have an adverse effect if used incorrectly.  We can all remember that one presentation where Power Point was used—not to enhance a concept—but as a cheap gimmick that came across as tedious and poorly planned.

Life After Death PowerPoint from EMT Media on Vimeo.

With that said, how can professional Power Point Templates improve your business presentation experiences?  This article seeks to explore the benefits of Power Point to enhance branding, visual communication and audience information processing. Continue reading →

Jun 11

Recommendations for Flash Usage

Tips and Considerations for Flash Design

At the 3 Magic Beans, we pride ourselves on telling stories through our designs here in Denver, CO.  A very important piece of storytelling online is the electronic medium used to get that story across.  One of the most popular mediums these days is Flash which can provide an excellent opportunity to create the optimum experience for the end client when used correctly.  In this post, we’ve researched some quality references on considerations for Flash usage.

For the best recommendations on when and how to use Flash, I immediately go to the source, Adobe, for their thoughts.  They do have a vested interest however and are not the only source of quality recommendations.  “Using text and text equivalents – Flash designers and developers can create engaging and exciting content for users of screen readers and other assistive technologies.”  So it’s important not to keep all users in mind.

“Flash is ideal for developing rich, eye-catching content, such as skyscraper adverts, banner ads, and promotions. Use Flash sparingly for when it offers an advantage over other media. If you can achieve the same results with an animated GIF or style sheets, then use them and save the Flash for another section.”

The Nielson Norman Group has set out to create the end all discussion report in their Suggested usability Guidelines for Flash.  This report is based on usability research with 46 different Web-based applications in Flash that were tested with users in the United States, Germany, and Japan.  Great resource. Continue reading →

May 11

Denver, Colorado: Graphically Defined

Graphically Defining Denver, Colorado

Performing web searches today relies heavily on textual description.  If I am visiting Denver Colorado and am looking for the most authentic and local cuisine, I search Denver Restaurants, read reviews, and see if my friends have suggestions.  The result, however, is longer search times and potentially frustrated searchers.  What if graphical elements within a restaurant posted to the Internet assisted in defining the authenticity of a restaurant.  As we all know, pictures convey a much more complex message than words alone.  Building on our theme from last week, if you were to graphically define Denver, Colorado, in addition to color and shape you would need to define font/print type, movement, and demographics.

  • FONT: The primary font/print type to define Denver would be the Denver Regular Font.  This may seem like an easy pick, but even within the “Denver” fonts there is a wide array of options.  The Denver Regular Font stands out as tall, slender, vibrant, many letters are rugged individuals, and with all Capitals for maximum place association. See if you agree.  Courtesy of Ufonts.
  • MOVEMENT: Whether the movement is defined through a flash video or within a still visual, the movement should reflect the open spaces, the aggressive local geography, the cultural influences, and a large educated middle class.  This style may best be defined by Modern Dance.  “Born in the early 20th century, modern dance is a dance style that centers on a dancer’s own interpretations instead of structured steps, as in traditional ballet dancing. Modern dancers reject the limitations of classical ballet and favor movements derived from the expression of their inner feelings. During the 1900′s, European dancers began rebelling against the rigid rules of classical ballet. Turning against the structured techniques, costumes and shoes of ballet, these dancers favaored a more relaxed, free style of dancing.”  About.com Possibly the best display of Modern Dance with a local flare is seen in the video by Kim Robards Dance below.

Someday, search engines might associate places and businesses with visual topics like Font and Movement in order to refine our searches and be more relevant.  We are very fortunate at the 3 Magic Beans to be able to appreciate the work and skill of artists, authors, business owners and visionaries who create an experience and then we have the opportunity to organize the experience and present those ideas before clients in a concise and profitable way.


3 Magic Beans

May 11

Graphic Design in Denver, Colorado

Graphic Design | Location + Visual Search | Denver, Colorado

As search engines strive to be relevant to local searches and local businesses with tools such as Google Places and Yahoo Local, the value of building web content around your location has become more important. Should Graphic Design also play a role in Local Searches (especially image searches) by associating certain color schemes, moods, and visuals with specific places and businesses? For example, if I’m in a good mood and would prefer a bright/happy coffee bar in Downtown Denver, my search results currently show textual descriptions and not relative visual results.

The problem with textual description search alone is that descriptions are not as accurate as graphics.  Our focus at 3 Magic Beans is to develop visuals that reflect a company’s culture, vision, and roots so that we can pose complicated questions like this for search engine developers and rely on their brilliance to figure it out. We can, however, identify what images and colors are best reflected by a business or place, history, and culture that may someday impact your search results. The following is an introduction to Graphical Analysis on Denver, Colorado which may come in a series.

Continue reading →