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January 2012

For designers, it’s easy to jump right into the design phase of a website before giving the user experience the consideration it deserves. Too often, we prematurely turn our focus to page design and information architecture, when we should focus on the user flows that need to be supported by our designs. It’s time to make the user flows a bigger priority in our design process.

For designers, it’s easy to jump right into the design phase of a website before giving the user experience the consideration it deserves. Too often, we prematurely turn our focus to page design and information architecture, when we should focus on the user flows that need to be supported by our designs. It’s time to make the user flows a bigger priority in our design process. Design flows that are tied to clear objectives allow us to create a positive user experience and a valuable one for the business we’re working for. In this article, we’ll show you how spending more time up front designing user flows leads to better results for both the user and business. Then we’ll look in depth at a common flow for e-commerce websites (the customer acquisition funnel), as well as provide tips on optimizing it to create a complete customer experience. Start With The User When starting a new Web design project, we’re often handed a design brief, branding standards, high-level project goals, as well as feature and functionality requirements. Unfortunately, these documents typically amount to little more than the technical specifications of the project, with almost no thought given to how exactly the website will fulfill

Take a look at what director Rick Meriki did last summer: a spectacular one-minute video he made with two of his pals as they traveled to 11 countries over 44 days, walking us through a dazzling variety of cultures, locations and images. “Move” shows actor Andrew Lees strolling toward us in perfect sync, surrounded by a mind-boggling group of scenarios, all whizzing by so quickly you have to watch this quick clip a few times just to absorb it all. The film was part of a three-film series of short subjects commissioned by STA Travel Australia, based on the concepts of movement, learning and food. Of the three, this one is by far the most compelling. The other two, entitled “Learn” and “Eat,” are artfully done as well, and all are beautifully photographed by Director of Photography and Editor Tim White. Get The Full Story on Mashable Here

An Olympic games, a U.S. presidential election and the end of the world are already planned for 2012, but we’re more excited about the startups. Here are six of them (in no particular order) that we expect to help define the coming year. We chose companies based on the momentum they gained in 2011, promising new takes on old problems and, in one case, the possibility of an IPO. Did we look at every startup in the world before compiling this list? Nope. Did we overlook some of the startups speeding toward 2012 definition-dom? Yep. Which is where you come in. Let us know in the comments which startups are on your list to watch in 2012. 1. Skillshare 2. Zaarly, Taskrabbit or Something Similar 3. LevelUp/SCVNGR 4. Dwolla 5. Eventbrite 6. Codecademy Get The Full Story on Mashable Here