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Social Media Is Making Us Smarter

Dorie Clark posted this article on the Harvard Business Review earlier this week. She articulated what many of us feel – that for all the time and effort that is purportedly ‘wasted’ as we browse through Facebook, Twitter etc the social media phenomenon has taught us a huge amount about ourselves.

Clark expressed this in terms of becoming better leaders and shared 3 very helpful points explaining her case. We thought that it would be fun to think about how social media has made us better web designers. Here they are:

1. We Sell Better

Clark shared her experience as a journalist, writing 3,000 words a week but never needing to find that all-important catchy headline. The influx of information that social media exposes us to has meant that we need to find attractive ways of packaging and communicating our content. In other words, people won’t click on your content unless you’ve worked out how to engage with them…

The same is true when we’re talking about website design. We spend so much of our time looking at websites that unless a site is well designed we probably won’t spend a lot of time looking at the content. We’re also aware that a website cannot simply look good, but must offer site visitors a reason to keep on coming back. This means that we have to think very carefully about where content is placed, the design of each page, and the relationship between static pages and live feeds such as blogs, social media and news articles.

2. We Listen Better

Clark quite rightly demonstrated that effective Twitter users don’t simply church out content; they listen, engage with their audience and learn to adapt to what their listeners are saying. This dynamic is something that is revolutionising website design, with many companies keen to embed a Twitter feed into their site to demonstrate their active voice in the community and give customers a quick and effective way to engage with them. When we take on a new client we are keen to help them develop their holistic web presence in addition to receiving a stylish new website.

Web designers are also aware that listening is a key component of effective creativity. It’s vital to be in tune with the requirements of our clients, the latest changes in the industry and the ever-evolving technology that underpins web design.

3. We Move Faster

Clark emphasises the way in which social media helps us share key messages very quickly, particularly in response to national or international events which leave us scrabbling for the latest information. She also showed that large corporations can respond very quickly to criticism or question from individual customers.

The same principle is true for website designers. In this social media age we have experienced a shift in mindset when it comes to timescales. An email should be returned that hour, not that day. This helps us work more effectively to deliver great service to our clients, and is particularly useful during the website design process when constant feedback and dialogue is essential in developing a site in quick time and exactly how the client wants it.

If you want to connect with us via social media you can follow us on Twitter (@viziononlineuk) or ‘like’ us on Facebook.