Web Design & Online Marketing News Recap: May 23, 2014

Web Design & Online Marketing News Recap: May 23, 2014


It’s not enough to use web design, marketing, and branding best practices in a vacuum—to be successful, you should test every aspect of your site and brand identity to make sure it works well and accomplishes what you’re hoping it will. We’re here this week with some advice about testing your responsive web design and your branding materials. You might get a laugh or two when you see the results of bypassing this important step of the process!

How to Test a Mobile Website (Nick Pettit, Treehouse Blog)

If you’ve spent any length of time reading our blog, you know we’re pretty passionate about beautiful, well-conceived responsive design tips for mobile devices. It’s definitely one of our top design priorities for any client, since so much web browsing happens on the go these days (and it just becomes more prominent by the hour.) This week, Nick Pettit of Treehouse Blog has penned a great article on How to Test a Mobile Website, and we think you should take a look at his suggestions. He advises that you test on real mobile devices and use other programs, like BrowserStack and Responsinator. Be sure to run down this checklist when you’re giving your website a try. It’ll give you more information about what works and what doesn’t. If something’s not rendering properly on a smartphone or tablet, it requires your immediate attention. Otherwise, your customers won’t be getting the full experience you intend for them. Give them what they want!

McDonald’s Happy Meal Character Scares Social-Media Users (Leslie Patton, Bloomberg)

Speaking of testing, here’s a great example of why it’s helpful to run ideas for your branding strategy past a small test audience and gather feedback before moving forward. This week, fast-food mega-chain McDonald’s took to Twitter to debut its new character Happy, whose job it is to encourage kids to make healthier food and beverage choices. Happy looks kind of like the result of a gene-splicing experiment involving a takeout carton and Gumby, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. The reactions have ranged from scornful (“Epic fail”) to flat-out alarm “THAT! is scary”). Now, it’s entirely possible that Happy will be a bigger hit with young kids than he is with the famously snarky Twitterverse, but it’s important to consider who’s paying for the majority of Happy Meals: parents. They’re a part of the target audience, too. And there’s a good chance that many of them will express the same sentiments.

When it comes to branding and logo design, is controversy a good thing? Happy may not have lived up to his name in his social media debut, but he certainly has people talking. And, for their part, McDonald’s has handled the unintended reaction with humor, tweeting a graphic of Happy and several look-alike pals gathered around a laptop, reading comments about his appearance that range from “terrifying” and “nightmarish” to the tentative “cute?” We think it would be better to debut a logo or mascot that gets people talking because it’s just beautiful and clever, not frightening or unintentionally hilarious, and to show it to just a handful of people (a test audience, if you will) before going public.

It seems that Ronald McDonald is a less controversial guy than Happy—and P.S., when you’re scarier than the resident clown, you know it’s serious.

  • By Dennis Consorte
  • Published on May 24th, 2014