February Internet Roundup: Stayin’ Alive

Currently writing this with the sun shining, the birds singing, and the windows open. Yep, one of the perks of living in Greenville, SC, that hopefully balances out the snakes, Palmetto bugs, and soul-sucking humidity for most of the year.

It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on a year since you know what rocked our world. Here are a few links, both professional and not, that are the sign of the times we live in, one way or another.

Ghost buttons--a prime example of aesthetics vs. performance

Ghost buttons (transparent buttons with just an outline) are often preferred by designers. But solid buttons get clicked more. So how do you choose? You might not have to, depending on the situation. (By the way, who knew there was so much human psychology behind what a button looks like?) It’s a classic example of the tension between what looks good and what actually serves your customer.

A collection of the best emergency email campaigns

In an effort to be “relevant,” some brands just get it all wrong. And then others get it really right. We’re big fans of Really Good Emails, a website that showcases the best email campaigns from a wide variety of industries, business sizes, and purposes. The collection is hand-picked by the team and by vetted user submissions. See the best examples of good design and good content woven together to make really good emails that your constituents will actually want to get in their inbox.

Instagram post “save” is the new “like”

Likes are the attention-getters. It’s what we’ve trained ourselves to look for on our accounts and to look at on others’ accounts. But saves, though not as numerous, hold some heft. I mean, how many times have you scrolled mindlessly through your feed, not really paying attention to what you’re double tapping? But what about those posts you’ve saved--something about the image or caption caught your attention, and you deemed it worth saving for reference.

As Instagram continues to grow as a place for inspiration and education, you’ll want to share content that is useful for your audience. It’s a little more work than simply posting a photo and quick caption (there’s definitely still a place for those posts as well), but making authentic connections with your audience is what it’s all about.

Get AllSides of a news story

What’s the difference between bias and accuracy? More and more, Americans are looking for “unbiased news sources.” But what we really need is to see news from all angles. Left or right, we tend to get stuck in our own echo chambers with our favored news sources. But that’s actually a sign of intellectual laziness (I know I’m guilty). AllSides curates news from the left, center, and right to give readers a more well-rounded view of the headlines. They even have a handy bias rating chart (for online news only) and are very transparent about how they make those judgments.

A Kickstarter campaign that admits “Things Could Be Worse”

What looks like a ceramic travel mug in a beautiful traditional china pattern is actually a montage of all the things that have NOT gone wrong (yet) in 2020 and beyond. Check out this kick-ass Kickstarter campaign for a wry grin.