It’s a small update, but Twitter has refined their icon once again. Their bird has evolved several time over the last couple years. We’ll be updating all our button styles to match their latest visual identity.
If you have AddThis installed on your site, we’ll automatically update your icons. We’ll be rolling the new style out soon. What do you think of the new look?
Last week we changed our name and launched two new tools. We also changed our site’s design to celebrate our new brand identity. Here’s a quick look at how we made that happen.
To start off on the right track, we spent two days with our executives defining business goals and the specific groups of customers we wanted to reach. Then the group had some fun with word association, brainstorming phrases that each person felt captured the “feel” of the brand. This helped us decide which aspects of our new visual identity were most important, but also helped build consensus around the evolving creative direction.
From there we looked at different color palettes, fonts, and image styles to arrive at a design that was more light and friendly, but still captured how much we love big social data and statistics. In the end we hoped to maintain some of the heritage of AddThis, but also spread our wings a bit with an expanded visual vocabulary.
One of our favorite parts of the new design is our home page, the first to include live data. Visitors can watch sharing happen all over the world, and discover interesting facts we’ve uncovered from the huge amount of data we see every day.
So what do you think? We love feedback in all shapes and sizes, so drop us a comment below. And as always, thanks for using AddThis.
This weekend I attended the first Design Push in Brighton, UK. At this inaugural get-together a group of 20 or so designers and technologists focused on the problem of implementing Web Intents – see more background in my earlier blog post. It was a pleasure to not only meet other presenters from Google and Mozilla, but to also collaborate with a number of UK-based freelance user experience professionals for the day.
After an introduction by Danny Hope, Paul Kinlan from Google kicked things off by presenting a working demo of an image editing application built with Web Intents. Then, as part of my presentation about AddThis I had the opportunity to share with the team what bloggers and other larger publishers care about with regards to sharing tools and functionality. After my talk, Shane Caraveo from Mozilla provided a comparison of the original F1 sharing tool developed by the Mozilla team, and a more recent client-side interface they’ve been working on. Finally, Glenn Jones, one of the event organizers and founder of Madgex, posed some important questions that would help frame the recurring themes of the day:
How important is “social proof” – a propensity to share because a share count or a list of friends who also shared is displayed
How important is recognizability of social icons like Facebook or Twitter, compared to a button that simply says “share”
How should we balance the automated discovery of available “services” such as Facebook with explicit customization of sharing tools by publishers and “favorites” selected by their visitors?
How much of Web Intents belongs in the browser, versus on the page?
After our presentations and a survey of participants, we distilled everyone’s questions and ideas into several topics for breakout groups, including the interplay between the browser and the page, the linguistics of verbs and objects, and how to achieve critical mass of Web Intents.
Each group of 2-5 people met for several hours and then presented to the team at the end of the day. My team developed personas for different types of publishers and service operators to help the team understand ways that Web Intents could be beneficial, but also the kinds of questions and concerns each might have.
All told it was a productive get-together, and a great opportunity to meet a number of smart, passionate people. I’d like to thank Glenn, Danny and Andy again for inviting us to attend. While I was flying back to the United States they were working diligently to compile the day’s efforts in a wiki for public use and ongoing work. Look for additional details by following #pushwebintents.
As Director of User Experience for AddThis I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in design-related events and collaborate with other creative professionals. This week I’ll be attending the Web Intents Design Push in Brighton, UK with design and development leads from Mozilla, Google Chrome, and the W3C.
A Design Push brings designers and technologists together to collaborate on a variety of technologies. For this first Design Push, we’ll be working on Web Intents, which make it easier for site operators to offer visitors a more personalized way to interact with content.
Derived from a similar specification used by Android mobile phones, Web Intents determine what kind of actions (“share”, “save”, etc.) a user might want to perform on an object (a page, a picture), and which methods that particular user prefers. The group will focus on the various user experience and technical challenges specific to these kinds of interactions.
As we’ve built AddThis and OExchange, we’ve pursued similar goals in order to provide social tools that meet the needs that publishers have said they care most about:
Easy installation and customization of in-page tools
Performance, reliability, and security of any 3rd party tool
Increased traffic and audience via optimization and personalization
Support for rich embedded experiences offered by services like Facebook and Twitter such as Like and Follow
Comprehensive tracking and reporting
Opportunities for promotion and monetization
I’m looking forward to exploring ways that Web Intents can help publishers achieve these kinds of goals. Also, I’d like to extend our thanks to event organizers Glenn Jones, Andy Dennis, and Danny Hope for the invitation. If you’d like to follow the day’s activities on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #pushwebintents.
Which pages are trending, right now? Which searches are bringing traffic to your site, and what words are visitors copying in order to search or email friends? What interests your visitors, and what are they saying about your website or blog? Find out the answers to these questions using your newly expanded AddThis Analytics Live View.
What’s Live View?
The AddThis Analytics Live View provides a look at what’s happening right now, across your site or for a specific page, including:
A map showing where people are interacting with your pages
A list of your top content, right now, based on shares and traffic back to your site
Your viewers’ interests, and what they’re saying about your content on Twitter
The Live View also introduces new types of information to help you understand how your audience is interacting with your site:
Searches: How many searches are bringing traffic to your site? What are your visitors looking for? Live View displays a list of top search keywords and phrases.
Text copy tracking: While searches indicate what brought users to your site, text that visitors copy can help you understand what they found interesting, and whether these keywords align with your search meta-data to help maximize SEO. Learn more…
Zoom Into a Page
Interested in a particular page that’s trending? Zoom in for a closer look by clicking on it’s title, and discover how your visitors are interacting with that page, what searches brought them there, and what your audience is saying about that page on Twitter.
What do you think?
We’d love to hear what you think about the new AddThis Analytics Live View. Drop us a line in our forum with your feedback, and if you have any questions or need technical support, please visit our new Support Center.
Our team wanted to take a moment and wish everyone happy holidays. Historically, we’ve created special logos. This year we wanted to give a quick shout out to Josh Cleland for providing an illustration for us to use.
Ps. Can you find the easter egg on our homepage. If you like it, give Foo a high five. :)
Our team wanted to take a moment to thank CustomInk for taking us on a tour of their office. They have one of the coolest spaces in Tysons Corner. They make great shirts and their team has a penchant for customer service. If you’re looking for inspiration or need to order some gear, check ’em out.
You’ve probably noticed an update to our site template today. We’ve been incrementally rolling out a new template design to make our pages more consistent. These small updates include more contrast in our main navigation, an updated footer, and a small visual refresh. The update doesn’t change any site navigation, so everything should work the same. Here are some screenshots:
I’d like to take a moment to thank our team for pulling together a nice refresh. In particular, give Foo a pat on the back for a job well done. It’s really exciting to see everything come together, in terms of visual continuity and experience. Let us know if you have any feedback.
P.S. On a completely tangent note, anyone playing Gears of War 3 tonight? Drop us a message if you want to play multiplayer or horde mode with the AddThis team. Our Xbox 360 gamer tag is “Clearspring”. ^_^
Share at the Speed of Chrome
We’ve updated our Chrome extension with “speed” in mind. Like you, we’re a huge fan of discovering interesting content and sharing it with our friends faster, with less clicks. Our new extension includes inline sharing to Facebook and Twitter, more customization features, and an updated visual design.
Quicker Sharing to Facebook and Twitter
Sharing to Facebook and Twitter will appear as a small inline window. All you have to do is authenticate once, and sharing becomes even more convenient. Here’s how it works if you share to Twitter…
More Customizable, with Over 300 Popular Services
There are other places I like to share to other than Facebook and Twitter. For me, I’ve customized my menu to show services like Instapaper, Gmail, and Tumblr. To customize your own menu, select “Options”. A new tab will open, and you can start customizing your menu as well as manage your connected accounts.
Download AddThis for Chrome
If you haven’t downloaded our extension, click on the image below. As always, send feedback and let us know what you think of the new design. Ps. If you like what you see, give a big high five to Angel and Foo for pulling this awesome update together.
We’re always looking for new ways to improve the user experience of our tools and offer elegant new ways to make sharing easy and fun. Along the way we strive for solutions that are simple, streamlined, and respectful of the look and feel of sites in which publishers install our software.
We’ve added three new entries to AddThis Labs that demonstrate these ideas and introduce some exciting new sharing tools you can use in your site or blog.
All three tools utilize enhanced AddThis sharing experiences that include:
a vertical sharing menu that presents more of the viewer’s personalized services to boost sharing
a redesigned email interface
a redesigned expanded service selection menu, to make finding your favorite services easier than ever
a redesigned share counter to visually match other counters you might be using on your site
We’ve also create two other new surfaces for your sharing enjoyment:
Floating Horizontal Bar
Imagine a sharing tool that only presents itself when your readers are ready to share. The new floating horizontal bar is easy to install and remains out of the way until the viewer begins scrolling down your page. You can customize the size of the sharing options, as well as the color of the bar. See it in action or just grab the code.
Floating Vertical Bar
Like its counterpart, the floating vertical bar stays with the reader as he or she scrolls down the page, but does so in the margin of the page instead of across the top. Like all AddThis Tools, this menu is completely customizable and includes the design enhancements above. See it in action or just grab the code.
We want to hear from you!
We’d love to hear what you think about these features. Please visit our forum and leave us some feedback and as always, thank you for using AddThis.