Category: Things We Think Are Thoughtful

January 30, 2015

Branding the Cause

Activists create slogans to rally like-minded individuals, to generate awareness, and express their support for an issue or cause.  Slogans are, in fact, the key message for the issues they represent. They are propagated by the news media and individuals via social media, often expanding their reach on a global scale at the speed of the Internet.

The most effective slogans serve the same function as taglines, conveying attitude, personality, and information of the cause with an emotional undercurrent. As in business, they can be associated visually with specific graphics elements, like colors and images, forming a readily discernible logo; as in the case of “Boston Strong.”

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December 11, 2014

2014: Brand Engagement is The New Black

In 2014, savvy brands throughout business, education, healthcare, nonprofit and retail sectors began buying into brand engagement in a major way. Retooling their web sites, adding social, mobile and content strategies to their arsenals, the new goal became creating dialogs with customers/prospects, positioning expertise, generating confidence and trust, engendering loyalty, and sometimes simply capturing the consumer’s attention for five more seconds. Gallup’s recent study of Customer Engagement trends and results revealed organizations that successfully engage their customers realize 63% lower customer attrition, 55% higher wallet share, and roughly 50% higher productivity.

In Tribute

During the past year, we lost several designers and creative innovators whose work has consistently inspired, amazed and informed us. The following is a tribute to these colleagues, friends, mentors and icons, and to their legacy.

Rene Burri

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October 30, 2014

Peering into the Page – Fine-Grain Tracking of User Behavior With Analytics

The purpose of analytics is to track user behavior on a website or app so that we can understand the effectiveness of our design and make adjustments to better meet user goals and business needs. 

One of the problems of analytics tracking is that it can only provide a certain level of granularity. The easiest way to configure website analytics is to work on the page level. With this setup, data is recorded each time a user clicks to a new page. We get some good information such as what page the user arrived from, which page they clicked to and how long they spent on the page.

However, what the user did while they were on the page remains a mystery. Did they spend 3 minutes on the page reading our content and flipping through our photo gallery? Or did they spend 3 minutes away from their computer stretching their legs and getting a cup of coffee? We’d like to know this so that we can improve our design in the most effective ways possible.

We can see this kind of improvement happening with unsurprising frequency on They scour through analytics to see exactly which widgets and page elements are used most often to convert browsers into purchasers. A small tweak can mean an increase in Amazon’s bottom line. A short visual history of Amazon’s shopping cart widget makes this clear.

This is where event tracking comes into play. Event tracking is a simple piece of code that can be added to just about any page element – image, tab, button, graphic or even a text link. When the user interacts with the element (e.g., flips through a photo gallery), the interactions are tracked and can be analyzed much like other analytics data.

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September 30, 2014

Content Matters

Pictures take a direct route to our long term memory. Not only do we process them rapidly, but they stay with us.

Today, over 27 million pieces of content are generated and shared daily. Content is not only ubiquitous, it comes in many different forms:  text, visual, data, audio, interactive, video, user generated, podcast, etc.

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Corey’s List of Thoughtful Reads on Visual Content

September 2014

Download and save this list as a PDF file: 9-14 Thoughtful Reads_Visual Content. If you would also like to download our related “List of Thoughtful Reads about Data Visualization,” you may also click here.

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August 21, 2014

The Corey Class in Branding 101

Michael McPherson  presented a webinar about branding to the intellectually curious and energetic students of EXPLO’s program at Yale University this summer. Drawing on relevant branding case studies from our own portfolio of work with Goodwill Industries and EXPLO itself, the presentation is a thoughtful snapshot in our philosophy, process and approach to branding.  Download the presentation here: Branding Best Practices 101: Corey McPherson Nash

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June 30, 2014

High Meadows Institute

Social Enterprise – Nonprofit

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IFC (International Finance Corporation), Member of the World Bank Group

SUSTAIN: Cutting-edge Business Solutions Magazine

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May 28, 2014

Data and the Designer: Michael McPherson shares his thoughts on Data Visualization

People from all walks of scholarship, research, and business have sought more meaningful ways to analyze and communicate data since 2nd century Egyptians organized astronomical information into more easily scan-able charts to aid navigation. Today, for a variety of reasons – from the need to interpret Big Data to the dominance of mobile interfaces, data visualization is a hot topic.

We recently sat down with Michael McPherson, partner and creative director of Corey McPherson Nash, to talk about how he became interested in data visualization as both a designer and business person.

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