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Rules of Innovation

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轉載自: http://blog.fastcompany.com/experts/rwatson/2007/11/the_new_rules_of_innovation.html

Rule # 1 – None of us are as smart as all of us.
The image of a lone genius slaving away in a dimly lit basement or garage is the traditional image of the inventor. However, according to Andrew Hargadon (Assistant Professor of Technology Management at the University of California) this is largely a myth. Moreover, when it comes to innovation, a collective effort is more usually the norm. Andrew Hargadon’s book (How Breakthroughs Happen) says that innovation is largely a result of networks. These are formal and informal collections of people and projects ranging from employees and suppliers to customers and even competitors. These networks are highly social in nature, which means that cultivating relationships is important. Another key observation is the thought that ideas are rarely new. New ideas are usually a recombination of old ideas and thus diversity in terms of people, ideas and experience is key for innovation. Having said all this, the best way to kill a good idea is to involve a committee, so ensure that there’s someone in charge to bang heads together and, if necessary, dislodge the gridlock.

Rule # 2 – Pioneers get scalped.
The theory of first mover advantage is bunk according to Nicolas Carr (author of ‘Does IT Matter’), who says that when a disruptive technology arrives the real growth opportunities lie in fixing the disruption. In other words the pioneers often get scalped. His argument is that the future arrives in “fits and starts” and many of the most profitable innovations are inherently conservative. Ditto companies (look at Toyota or Wal-Mart). Innovators (especially technology innovators) often get too far ahead of customers who are fundamentally change adverse. A good example is the Internet. Many of the early dom.com firms failed, not because they had a bad idea, but because they had an idea too soon and lacked the patience, managerial or marketing smarts to hang around. Another example is Netflix. The company is a wild success because it doesn’t fight current technological restraints. You could set up a movie rental company that delivers films via huge downloads but it’s currently a much better idea to let people order over the Internet and let the US postal service deliver the goods.
Rule # 3 – The more you try, the luckier you get.
As Linus Pauling said: “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” Innovation is partly a numbers game. Fail often and fail fast and learn from your mistakes. Apple didn’t give up after the Lisa or the Newton. Moreover, don’t punish people when they make mistakes. Punish them when they don’t make enough mistakes or when they repeatedly make the same mistake. Some companies don’t get this. They are on an eternal quest for the perfect solution and spend so long researching and developing single ideas that by the time they’re launched it’s already too late. This conflicts, to some extent, with rule #2, but not much. Timing is everything and generally it’s better to be approximately right and slightly early than perfectly right and very late. Furthermore, the old model of create, edit, publish is rapidly being pushed aside in favour of a new and faster, model which is create, publish, edit (i.e. let the customer co-create the final product). This particularly true where speed to market is important and links into ideas like ‘thin slicing.’
Rule # 4 – Don’t confuse ideas with innovation.
Organizations think they can be great at ideas and innovation, when generally speaking they’re either good at one or the other. Small organizations and start-ups tend to be good with ideas, but can be weak on implementation and scale. With big organizations it’s often the other way around. The trick is to know what you’re good at and then go outside for help with what’s missing. A related thought is
that when it comes to long-term success it’s very often the companies that avoid radical innovation that win in the longer term. Innovators who come up with disruptive ideas often go bankrupt or fail to grow beyond a niche position in the market. Thus being a fast follower (using innovation transfer or even M&A) is a perfectly good (if less glamorous) innovation strategy.
Rule # 5 – If you love something, give it away.
Got a good idea? Then give it away. In my experience too many people (especially lone inventors) hide their idea from the world in the belief that someone will steal it. Someone might. But at least if you talk to people it gives you the opportunity to polish the idea by rubbing it between your brain and theirs (see rule #1).
Rule # 6 – Innovation is about breaking rules, so ignore any or all of the above.


Written by chin7

十二月 4, 2007 at 10:22 上午


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21 Factors that Influence the First Impression of Your Website’s Visitors

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轉載自: http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/design/first-impression/

When a new visitor comes to your website for the first time an initial impression will be formed pretty quickly. A good first impression will drastically increase the chances of that visitor returning again, and a bad first impression will be difficult to overcome.

This list looks at 21 factors that will influence your visitor’s impression within moments of arriving at your site. These are just some of the factors, not a comprehensive list. Feel free to list some others in the comments that you think should be included. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Load Time – Most of us are very impatient and slow loading pages will not make us want to return. On the other hand, pages that load quickly will encourage visitors to navigate through your site knowing that they won’t have to wait very long for each page to load.

2. Error Messages – If new visitors to your site are getting error messages and are unable to access your site, they’re not going to be impressed and they won’t be back. There are a number of different errors that can occur. BlogStorm recently published an article Why Businesses Need a Website that Works, which takes a look at one unsuccessful website with an obvious problem.

3. Colors – The look of your site will obviously be a factor in your visitors’ first impressions. The colors of your website can have a huge impact on the overall attractiveness of the site. Choosing the right color combinations can be difficult, but fortunately there are a number of online tools that can help. For a list of resources and links to some articles on the psychology of colors, see Find the Perfect Colors for Your Website.

4. Logo/Branding – Another factor in the overall look of your website is the logo and branding. Most importantly, the logo should help to brand your business in the way that you want visitors and customers to think of you. For more information, see What Makes a Great Logo? from David Airey.

5. Header Images – Dominant header images are often used and they can have a strong affect on first impressions. Personally, I’m not a big fan of large header images for blogs, but some blog designers use them with great success. I like to see the content start higher on the page, but many visitors don’t share my opinion (I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below). Nate Whitehill uses a very attractive header image on his blog to make it stand out.

6. Typography – A somewhat subtle influence is the typography and fonts. A change in the typography may not be a drastic change, but it can make all the difference. See Five Simple Steps to Better Typography by Mark Boulton for a more complete look at the subject.

7. Layout – One of the most important design elements is the layout. Whatever layout you use should draw the reader’s attention to those items that are most important. Layout can be used not only to create an attractive design, but also to make the site easy for visitors to use. While most websites use a fairly standard design, a good way to make your site stand out is to use a more creative layout. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your creative layout adds to the effectiveness of the website rather than detracting from it.

8. Advertisements – One of the easiest ways to make a bad first impression is to have a website that is full of advertisements. Most of today’s internet users have come to expect advertisements to be present on most websites, but too many ads, the wrong type of ads, and poor ad placement can be a big turn off for visitors.

As a general rule you should avoid placing ads in places that will interfere with visitors being able to read your content, unless the goal of your site is to make money through ad clicks. Animated ads are also a touchy subject as they can also easily distract and annoy readers.

If you use advertisements that are relevant to visitors and are kept out of the flow of your content, visitors generally will not mind.

9. Your Reputation – Some of your first-time visitors will be familiar with you or your website before they even visit. In many cases they may have read about you on another website that links to you. This is especially common for bloggers. If that visitor has read a positive recommendation of you before visiting your site, you will have already developed a little bit of a reputation in the mind of that visitor that may affect the first impression. This can also work the opposite way if they have heard or read negative things before visiting.

10. Ease of Navigation
– We’ve probably all been at websites that looked like they had great content that we wanted to read, but just couldn’t find what we wanted. I’m not sure if there is anything more frustrating on a website than poor navigation. On the other hand, well-constructed navigation can help visitors to have a very positive experience on the site.

11. Clarity of Purpose
– New visitors should be able to very quickly determine the purpose of a website. Many sites effectively incorporate this into their branding by using a descriptive tag line that sums up the site’s purpose. About Us pages are also helpful for communicating purpose.

12. Unprofessional Items – Some items like low-quality animated GIFs and hit counters can give a negative first impression. Generally anything that makes your site look like it was designed 10 years ago should be avoided.

13. Quality of Images and Photos – It’s amazing how much impact a high-quality photo or graphic can have on a design. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online for getting high-quality, low-cost photos, and some are even free. Searching for a good free picture may not be worth the time it takes when you can find one faster and pay $1 or $2. For a list of places to find photos online, see Stock Photography Resources.

14. Accessibility – Accessibility is a big buzzword in web design. The reality is that not all of your visitors will fall into the mold of the average visitor. Some will have handicaps, some will use older browsers, some will have slower connections, etc. If your website is not accessible to a visitor it’s almost guaranteed to create a bad impression.

15. Popups and Pop-unders – Most internet surfers now have some sort of popup blocker, but some websites are still using them. Most visitors don’t appreciate popups that aren’t blocked, and this can create a bad impression. Some sites, however, still use popups effectively, so it’s something that you will have to weigh the pros and cons.

16. Video and Audio – As more and more internet users have high speed connections, audio and video will continue to become more common. Some visitors appreciate these elements and it’s evident by the success of such sites as YouTube. A general rule with both audio and video is that it should not start automatically without the user choosing to have it start.

17. Associations – Visitors may be new to your website, but they may be impressed with associations to someone or something they know and respect. An example of this is web hosting provider Media Temple. Visitors to Media Temple’s website will see testimonials on the homepage from Nike, Sony, and Starbucks. If that visitor is wondering about the competence and capability of Media Temple, associations with these large, well-known companies will have a huge impact on the first impression. Another example is a website displaying a badge that shows membership in the Better Business Bureau.

18. Quality of Content – Of course quality content cannot be left off this list. While content may not have an instant impact like some of the factors that relate to the design of the site, it will have a significant impact on visitors that stick around for a minute or so. This is a big factor especially for blogs. A first-time visitor that finds really great content will remember their visit in a positive light.

19. Tone – In addition to the actual content, the tone of the content can also have an impact on first impressions. I’ve been on a few blogs that have strong content, but an unnecessarily negative tone by the blogger created a poor first impression.

20. Number of Comments and Trackbacks – New visitors to blogs will often notice the number of comments on posts. A lot of comments and trackbacks show that other readers are involved, and it indicates that this is likely a valuable resource. On the other hand, seeing no comments often causes the visitor to wonder how many other people are reading.

21. Flash Intros – Positive or negative, flash intros will impact the first impression of visitors. I’m not a fan of flash intros on most websites. I think they have their place on websites in certain industries, such as websites for movies or rock bands. Unless visitors will expect a website in your industry to have a flash intro, I would avoid it.

Written by chin7

十一月 28, 2007 at 6:33 下午

張貼於designs, websites

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