Monday, July 09, 2012

Creating The Best Mobile Landing Page

Here at Plum Tree Group, we've helped design a lot of websites for companies, and a lot goes into it. However, these days, there's more to the traditional website. People aren't looking at websites on just their desktops anymore, or even on just their smart phones either. Now there are e-readers coming out in all shapes and sizes, as well as other forms of tablets. So you need to make sure that you have the best mobile landing page. In other words, you need to make sure that your website translates on to every device in a way that will make consumers reciprocate. Here are three primary tips that will help:

1. Words. It's important to be brief. Very brief. Reduction is approximately 35% for smart phones, and 65% for e-readers and tablets. This means making headings no more than four words, and using no more than three bullets. Every single word should have a large amount of value. It's also important to be legible. Consumers shouldn't be using their fingers to zoom in and out of different things. Google recommends an arm's length as a legibility guide for mobile. Be mindful of contrast and color schemes as well.

2. Accessibility and speed. People don't want to download the same software on to their mobile devices the same way that they do on their desktops. So make sure that your entire page can be viewed. Flash, frames, certain kinds of images, and many plug-ins do not work on mobile. Instead, try to stick to HTML5 and JPEG's. 40% of consumers turn to a competitor's site after a failed mobile experience. Speed is also crucial. 74% of consumers wait five seconds for everything to load. Then they're on to something else. So don't clog your website with too much.

3. From orderly to action. For mobile devices, single column layouts are the best. Be sure to put all of the important information at the top, scrolling from top priorities to lower ones. Then, have calls to action. Keep forms simple and short. If there is more information to be collected, separate it into to pages, to make it seem like it's not so much. Also, have phone numbers embedded with direct calling capability. A lot of phone calls to companies are made from mobile devices, all coming from websites. Just remember not to have too many calls to action. Try sticking to three or less. 


We hope that this information helps. Google is an excellent resource to collect more information on this. Keep everything mobile in mind when designing anything for your company, because this is where a huge amount of consumers are. This is one of our key focuses at P.T.G., and we want to make sure that you are up to date on all of the constant changes. 

(Some images obtained from

Thursday, March 15, 2012

PT Bio: What is Design?

This week we sat down with Eric Smith, Director of Design & Product Development here at The Plum Tree Group. Eric breaks down the fundamentals of design and gives the insider on the PT design process.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What Makes a Good Logo (5 Quick Tips)

What makes a strong, effective Logo? Let's ask a professional. This week we sat down with PT Senior Designer, Christina Lewis and she gives her "Elite 5" tips to making a strong Logo.

Friday, January 13, 2012

An Intro to Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK and Mobile App Suite

Adobe has come out with some pretty amazing new tools over the last year or so. While there have been several notable upgrades to many Creative Suite applications, the stuff we’re most excited about has to do with Photoshop and its new mobile capabilities. In fact, if you’re still using Photoshop CS4 or earlier, you’re missing out on some incredible stuff.

The Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit (SDK) was announced last April and will allow developers to create “companion apps” for mobile and tablet devices. The free-to-download SDK is part of a larger campaign to create an integration—or perhaps, more accurately, a communication—directly from tablet devices apps into Photoshop on your desktop computer. The SDK is compatible with iOS, Android, RIM, and webOS-based devices, as well as with both Mac OS and Windows.

As opposed to many websites and software companies who often just create a “mobile-version” of their program or network, Adobe is thinking more about tablets and mobile devices as a tool to be used in conjunction with your desktop computer. This means thinking about the inherent advantages that a tablet device offers. The apps are catered more to those times when creativity comes unexpectedly; in the coffee shop or in the park, scribbling on a napkin or taking a quick photo with your iPhone. Also, the apps are more designed to help “drive Photoshop” rather than act as a mobile substitute.

Adobe created this video to help elaborate on their vision for the Touch SDK’s potential for creativity and productivity.

To complement the release of the Touch SDK, Adobe has released three new mobile apps:

Adobe Color Lava:
If you’ve ever used Adobe Kuler, Lava is like that, but on steroids and made specifically for touch-based devices. You can actually swirl around colors and mix them up the way a painter would on his or her palette. Once you’re done, you can then transmit the colors you created back into Photoshop as swatches.

Adobe Eazel:
Digital finger painting done right; create rich realistic paintings on your tablet and then send them to Photoshop to finish them up. There are some other apps that do this, such as Sketchbook Pro, ArtStudio, and Brushes, but the ability to seamlessly integrate your work back into Photoshop is very attractive.

Adobe Nav:
In what is sort-of a mobile version of Adobe Bridge, this app can be used to browse through all the projects you have open on Photoshop, as well as to customize the default tools found in your Photoshop desktop toolbar. It can also be used as a way to transfer images from your tablet into Photoshop.

Adobe Revel (formerly called Carousel):
The newest of the bunch, this one requires a paid subscription, but for a good reason: it syncs your entire photo library between your computer, tablet, and mobile devices. No need to worry about storage issues or syncing things manually. Subscriptions go for $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

These all come together to form an amazing, cross-platform, Photoshop ecosystem of creativity. It’ll be exciting to see what other apps Adobe comes out with to expand Photoshop’s capabilities. Have you tried any of these apps yet for your iPad, Android device, or other tablet? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

PT Bios: Kevin and Michael

In our latest segment of PT Bios, we ask Kevin and Michael what is the one tool that they simply couldn’t live without.

Kevin, a Web Developer at Plum Tree, mentions the Firebug add-on for Mozilla Firefox as one of his essential tools. Recently, Firefox announced that version 10 (to be released in early 2012) would feature it’s own developer tools, which could become a replacement to the popular Firebug plugin.

A closer look....

With Firebug, users can right-click on any web page element and hit “Inspect Element.” This brings up a console that allows them to view and edit the HTML, CSS and functionality of any element on the page. This functionality has already been replicated in Google Chrome as a standard function, so it’s only logical that Firefox would want to offer their own, native version. You can watch a preview of the new Firefox tools, or download the future of Firefox now (caution: this release is not stable yet).

Are you a Firefox user, or have you migrated to Chrome or another browser? Do you have a question for a future PT Bios video interview? Leave a comment on our Facebook Page or contact us on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When Was The Last Time You Optimized Your Submit Forms?

In online marketing, all websites should be optimized to invoke a “conversion” or a desired action that you would want your users to take. This could be a purchase, a newsletter sign up, phone call, or to submit a form for service. The latter is often called an online sales lead and could be a major source of revenue for your business.

How do you get more of your visitors to submit online request forms? The answer is very simple; make them as easy as possible for the user. The shorter the better, make sure that you have only the information that you would absolutely need to qualify the lead or to make follow up contact.

If you require that the user fill in over 10 fields, make sure that the page is set in a multiple step process instead of a long vertical form. This will decrease your overall abandonment rate.

Although this advice seems like common sense, on a recent poll of websites, 77% of websites with submission forms either required too much information or laid out their pages inefficiently.

A great tool for testing which forms convert highest is Google Optimizer. G-O is free and allows you to conduct A/B testing on variables to determine a higher conversion.

Case Study:

  • PTG recently consulted with The BusBank, an industry leading group and event transportation provider for charter bus services to stimulate more quote requests out of their current website visitors.
  • PTG analyzed The BusBank’s current online form, and determined that the form was longer than necessary thus causing abandonment by otherwise potential customers.
  • Through A/B testing it was found that decreasing the length of the form by 20% increased online quote requests 25%.
  • The Plum Tree Group offers conversion optimization as an offering to any website looking to increase revenue, traffic, and conversions. To submit your sites please send an email to for more information.