Hi! My name is Nerissa. I am a writer and a front-end web developer. I make beautiful websites and design PR strategies that work.


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Thinking about RWD?

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So am I.

Skills

Best At

Code

HTML5, CSS3, WordPress, SASS / LESS

Content

Writing, Research, Media Relations, Ideation, Planning + Execution

Worked With

Code

JavaScript / jQuery, APIs + App Development, AJAX

Content

Constant Contact, Marketo, InDesign, PhotoShop

Now Learning

Code

PHP, CSS4, jQuery / JavaScript

Content

UI / UX Design, Digital Journalism

Software + Tools

Code
Sublime Git Grunt CLI
Content
HootSuite Word / Excel / PowerPoint Infomart MailChimp Google Analytics Cision Medium
Productivity
Trello Basecamp Skype Dropbox

The farmers market by my old apartment happens outside during the warm months, and then goes inside a small house at Sorauren Park when it gets cold outside.

Farmers markets have nearly perfect opportunities to host parties whenever they want: People have to go outside anyway, there’s no issue of finding a venue and the food and drink is pretty much always taken care of.

So with that, here’s a plan that can help get people together outside the regular hours and build community engagement. If you’re part of a farmers’ market that moves indoors or outdoors depending on the season, this could be a great way to let people know where to go when the weather changes.

Plan for a Farmers’ Market: Click to View / Download

NEWDIYPR_farmersmarket

A couple months ago, when I was getting ready to write the first version of this post, I had an email-conversation with Frank Maidens from Studio Function. I was asking him about the topic of the post, and he mentioned something that I thought put the idea in clear terms:

“the need to anticipate the requirements/goals of users who are viewing site content from various devices.”

Well said, I think.

Here are five examples of how this is done, and way below ten tips for using this on your own site.

Five examples:

1. Twitter
What Twitter site looks like on different mobile devices.

Twitter removes a lot of the homepage copy if you’re visiting the site from a mobile device. And that makes sense… if you’re visiting twitter.com from a mobile device, you probably already know what’s up.

2. Hootsuite
Hootsuite on mobile devices

Like the Twitter example, Hootsuite also removes a lot of copy and includes a link to download the app if you’re on an Android device. If there’s no app for your device there’s no link.

3. Responster
Responster rearranges information for viewports under a certain size.

A simple example from a new start-up, Responster. The second section of the site changes on smaller viewports.

4. Basecamp
Pop-up that shows as browser resized on Basecamp.com

Surprise! This pop-up shows if you resize the browser window on Basecamp.com and disappears after a few seconds. A smart way to target developers who love playing around with the corners of their browser window.

5. Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
BMOCA puts the important information front and centre. Literally.

BMOCA puts the important information front and centre. Literally. A pop-up circle that literally stays on the screen as you browse the home page from a desktop or laptop. But on screens smaller than around 650px, this info disappears when closed.

Ten Tips:

1. Put hours and location information front-and-centre.
Ideal for: retailers with brick + mortar locations.

Another great way to improve user experience would be to include a list that live updates with open locations, or tell mobile visitors which stores are open / closed depending on the time. A perfect use-case for this would be if you’re having an event, like the wedding site for Frank + Vivian from Studio Function. If someone’s visiting your website from a mobile device and you have a big event coming up, chances are they’re looking for related information.

2. Show off what you’ve got / can offer a specific market.
Ideal for: developers, productivity apps / platforms, design + dev studios.

Basecamp does a great job of this on browser resize. If you have a business that targets other devs (ie. people who will also be resizing their browser to see if your site is responsive), why not include something that sends them a message. Or if your business specializes in app development, mobile strategy, etc., make this information easy to see.

3. Point visitors to where they can download an app for their device.
Ideal for: If you have an app.

If you don’t, give users an option to sign up for updates. If your team hasn’t developed an app for a popular platform or device it might be a good idea to explain that decision in a blog post or FAQ, like this.

4. Put search bar up-front + popular stories of the day.
Ideal for: news / magazines, story sites.

Someone visiting a site that’s about news or stories is probably looking for a specific post or article. Make it easy for them to find this information quickly.

5. Talk about who you are and what you do right away.
Ideal for: people building their rep, start-ups

Kind of like the Responster idea above, move information about who you are to the top so site visitors quickly get to what’s important. If most people visiting your site will be first-time visitors, you’ll want them to know what you’re about right away.

6. Make finding the calendar and scheduling an appointment really easy.
Ideal for: real estate agents, personal trainers, life coaches, therapists, etc.

If your business relies heavily on setting appointments and your availability.

7. Use < a href="tel:#" >Click to call< /a > or < a href=“sms:"" >Click to text< /a>.
Ideal for: real estate agents, personal trainers, life coaches, therapists, etc.

This also works if you’re business relies heavily on setting appointments or your calendar. Say, for example, you’re a real estate agent. If someone is visiting your site from a mobile device they probably want to know where you are or need to get in touch with you quickly.

8. Highlight sale / specialty items.
Ideal for: small retailers, e-commerce stores, authors, speciality food / clothing stores.

If you’re a small or specialty retailer, or an author, you have an opportunity with RWD to promote any new products or books. Again, visitors from a mobile site are probably not going to spend a lot of time on your page, so just including a pop-up with any news or updates can help them navigate.

9. Another app idea: show mobile users what your app looks like on their device.
Ideal for: if you have a new, yet-to-be-released app.

I haven’t found any examples of how this could be used, but if you have an app that won’t be released yet you could show users on mobile devices what your app will look like on their specific device (instead of including a link to download the app for their device). Like a “sneak-peek”.

10. If possible, simplify the sign-in.
Ideal for: sites with communities, accounts, anything that requires users to log in.

Pulley was praised in this article for their super-simple sign-in process. The e-commerce app uses account urls, where the user types in a password to access their account.

Just a basic plan in case you’re already planning an event or initiative and you want something to help put structure to your content development + social media. Part of my DIYPR Series.

Get Your Content + Social Media Done

Basic structure to planning content development if you're having an event or some other thing.
So, what is it that you actually, like, do? - The Question

I’ve been playing around with a few different ways to describe what it is that I actually do. I’ve called myself a “digital marketer”, a “content developer”, “content marketer”, “digital content marketer”.

I try not to take this naming stuff too seriously and just focus on the work. But it’s become a bit of a game – a challenge I’ve accepted to try and find the perfect way to describe what it is that I do.

glazed_eyes

The long story goes something like this: I love ideas, worked in the PR industry for a few years, and have some front-end web development skills, so what I do is a combination of all of those things.

Then one day I got an idea. It started in my brain like: “Wouldn’t it be great if I could create something that could perfectly describe what I’m trying to get at? Maybe instead of trying to come up with the perfect phrase, I could just draw a picture.”

So I came up with something…

DIYPR_FINALgraphic (2)

The idea behind it is that this “stuff” — public relations, creating content, social media, marketing — can be easy. Especially for entrepreneurs, business owners, freelance consultants, independent-types who pretty much do everything (if not almost everything) on their own.

The key takeaway in this series of posts is:

PR opportunities are everywhere. Use those opportunities to build your social media profile and develop content that you can use and reuse.

If you’ve got a small business or you’re an independent consultant, and you’re going to host an event, do a talk or some other thing where you’re the centre of attention, make it a habit to get and track content from that event.

Keep in mind when creating content that the best stuff is content you can repurpose. If you create a blog post, presentation or video, create another piece for repurposing that you’ll keep. This way you can share something immediately and you also have something you can use in the future. Maybe use a calendar to pick a date for repurposed content, so that you don’t post something when it’s past the “expiration date”.

The big content guys do stuff like this all the time. They’ll have a webinar (the PR part), live tweet during the webinar (social media) and then have some type of content on their sites to connect with the webinar, such as a blog, or they’ll just post the webinar itself on YouTube or their website. Then sometimes that content will be reused in some way, maybe via a presentation or short infographic.

The "Basic" DIYPR.

The “Basic” DIYPR.

What to expect.

So over the next year, I plan to publish one or two DIYPR Series posts a month. I picked twenty business or organization types and described a PR tactic that could be used for that business in a particular scenario. Then I made up some ideas to show how each initiative could translate to social media and creating content.

Here’s what each post will look like:

  • business / organization type (ie. bakery, farmers’ market, etc.)
  • scenario: not applicable in most but I tried to include common scenarios, like a film festival or book release
  • the idea: could be considered “traditional PR” (ie. an event or campaign)
  • digital + content: ideas on creating content out of the idea, stuff that can be used for your website and would be easy to share on…
  • social media: I tried to go beyond “share photos on Twitter” for this section

What’s the catch?

There is none. The graphics, ideas and everything else associated are under a strict Do-Whatever-The-Hell-You-Want [Forever] License. Feel free to take and tweak as much as you like.

Just like with anything else though, the ideas shouldn’t be used in isolation. Feel free to use them as part of a plan you have already, or as a way to kick/jump-start your own efforts.

So with that out of the way, next week in the DIYPR Series: The Basics.

Here’s a look at some sites I’ve built.

Yup, a good old contact form.

Or just click this sentence to send me an email.

Let’s Connect

I believe that when building a website, what you say is just as important as how you say it. When I start working on your project, my PR-Brain will look for key messages and potential opportunities. My Web Development-Brain builds with your clients and users in mind.