EightShapes Unify


A documentation system to produce wireframes, maps, flows, storyboards, plans, style guides, specs, usability testing reports, and prototypes too!

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How deleting ONE input field in a form resulted in $12M in profit/year for Expedia:

Case Study: Fewer Input Fields Increases Conversions

by Luke Wroblewski

Any question you ask people in a Web form requires them to parse it, formulate a response, and then input their answer in the affordance you have provided on the form. Being vigilant about every question you ask allows you to remove questions that are not absolutely necessary. And the fewer questions you ask, the better the odds are of people completing your forms quickly and easily.

A recent case study published by Imaginary Landscape highlights one example of how much better things can get. The company performed a comparison of an 11-field Contact Us form with a 4-field Contact Us form. They found contact form conversions increased 120% when the number of fields was reduced from 11 to 4 (a 64% decrease). Furthermore, the fields removed had no impact on the quality of the conversions. You can can access the full case study at: Fewer fields in a contact form sharply increases conversions (PDF).

As this example highlights, it pays to carefully examine all the questions being asked in your Web form for opportunities to eliminate unnecessary inputs. Do you really need to ask this question? Is it information that you can get automatically? Is there a better time or place to get an answer from people? Though this process appears tedious, you may be surprised when you discover what you can leave off your forms.

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Parochial vs Best of Web: Hulu example

Can Hulu Save Traditional TV?


Kilar, dressed in a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, sits on the floor sipping beer from a plastic cup and enjoying the frat-house irreverence. Only when the topic turns to online ad sales does he hop to his feet. He mentions new clients and cites a promising meeting with a major chief marketing officer. While ad revenue is plummeting elsewhere in media, Hulu's is growing, with more than 250 advertisers and an estimated $120 million in revenue in 2009, according to analysts -- from zero just two years ago. "In the early days," Kilar tells the group, "advertisers wouldn't even meet with us."

Just two months into Kilar's tenure, Zucker, Chernin, and the other board members paid a visit to these same offices. They walked across a carpet dotted with video-game icons from the previous tenant, past empty pizza boxes and employees in flip-flops, and into a conference room stocked with snacks from Costco. "You realize it's not your father's media company," a deadpan Zucker recalls. That feeling was reinforced when Kilar unveiled a bombshell: The search engine his team had built would display results for all broadcast video across the Web.

"There was this slight moment of 'huh?' " recalls J.B. Perrette, head of digital distribution at NBC Universal. Why would a site owned by NBC and Fox allow you to search for, say, CSI: Miami -- and then provide links to take you to the CBS site?

Kilar calmly explained that he wanted Hulu to be the online authority on TV video, just as Amazon is the expert site for books. If people are looking for a particular show -- any show -- Hulu should help them find it. As Kilar sees it, shows are the brands users care about, not the networks that air them. There was a "healthy debate," he recalls. It was a debate that he would win, although he's too diplomatic to put it that way.

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Jobless Get Creative, Rethink Holiday Gifts



Dwindling Benefits

Her husband has a job, but Nakatani says she lost her position at a local school district six months ago. And she is halfway through her unemployment benefits.

Nakatani takes her daughter to look for thrifty gifts at a craft store. She wants to make a Christmas wreath for her sister, so she uses some coupons and buys items that are on sale for 50 percent off.

She emerges from the store smiling, with some shopping bags filled with flowers, ribbons and ornaments that she purchased for about $30.

A Holiday Solution: Handmade Gifts

Making gifts is one cost-saving option this year, according to Olivier Rubel, a professor of marketing at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.

He says many people without jobs are also changing how and where they spend their money.

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Cloud Computing Here and Now--Our Youngest Experts Explain the Cloud

Sounds strangely technical for a bunch of 10-year-olds.  Makes me question the authenticity.

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The Coupon Rebellion, aka. "Retail Hacking"



At the turn of the millennium, coupon use began to slide, from 4.6 billion coupons redeemed in 1999 to 2.6 billion in 2008. Then the recession hit, triggering a coupon resurgence, driven in large part by the Internet, before anybody had even heard of Groupon. Millions of unemployed consumers rediscovered the coupon as a way to generate money—or at least cut household costs—during their idle hours. And retailers responded to flagging sales by invigorating their offers. The value of the average coupon has risen from $1.09 to $1.37 since 2005. Redemptions grew by 27 percent in 2009 alone, with Internet coupons leading the way, rising more than threefold. Online coupons have proven stickier than their paper counterparts, accounting for around 1 percent of all coupons issued but nearly 10 percent of those redeemed. According to Nielsen, the “enthusiast” couponers who use online offers most are likely to be relatively young and high-income, with 60 percent making more than $50,000 a year.

The retail industry is still adjusting to the new generation of coupon shoppers, many of whom aren’t content to limit themselves to one or two deals per trip. Some of these so-called super-couponers have perfected a maneuver called stacking—combining multiple coupons on the same item, generally a manufacturer’s coupon with a retailer’s. Another technique is rolling—using earnings from retail loyalty programs (for example, CVS Extra Bucks) to buy products that earn still more points, generating a continuous flow of extra earnings. The online boards teach all these tricks and more. “Don’t be scared! You can do this!” begins one SlickDeals FAQ, before it launches into a series of links to newspaper coupon-insert schedules, store-by-store coupon acceptance policies, and thousand-line wikis with deals alphabetized by product and coded by state. There are coupon swap threads as well as RAOK (random act of kindness) threads in which coupons are given away to the first user who requests them. Members of “coupon trains” circulate their surplus coupons through the mail, taking what they need and adding what they have. “Coupon fairies” act as anonymous benefactors, bringing extra coupons to the store and leaving them on the applicable products.

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