Ignition Community Live: Marketing Design Tips for Integrators

40 min video  /  35 minute read


Steve Kulaga

UI/UX Designer

Inductive Automation

Andrew Hayes

Graphic Designer

Inductive Automation

Chris Lastufka

Graphic Designer

Inductive Automation

When you’re an integrator, you not only face the challenge of building world-class systems but also letting people know that you can. Design is a fundamental skill for integrators, and the same principles used for developing beautiful, functional HMIs can go a long way toward creating effective marketing pieces. In this discussion, our expert graphic designers share tips for using the skills you already have in new and exciting ways. They’ll examine how to best utilize layout and visual hierarchy, when to simplify, creating consistent branding, and tailoring your content to different social media platforms.

Episode Transcription:

Chris: Hello everyone, and welcome to the Ignition Community Live. Thank you all for joining us today. This is Episode 31, and it's about marketing design tips for integrators. My name is Chris Lastufka, I am a Graphic Designer here at Inductive Automation in our Marketing Division, and I've been at IA for about four years now, and over the time here, I've worked on countless projects from ICC Conference to Firebrand Awards, the Inductive University, to webinars and pretty much everything else in between. And today, I'm joined by my two fellow team members, Steve Kulaga and Andrew Hayes. Steve is a UI and UX Designer on our Information Systems Division, and Andrew is a Graphic Designer in our Marketing Division. So Andrew and Steve, before we start our presentation, could you tell us a little bit more about what you do here, different types of design that you each work on and why you like working at Inductive. Steve, let's start with you.

Steve: Hi Everyone, I'm Steve Kulaga. And like Chris mentioned, I'm a User Interface/User Experience Designer, and I've been with Inductive Automation for almost nine years now. I've spent my first eight years here as a graphic designer in the Marketing Division, where I got to work on cool things like the first Ignition Community Conference, wayfinding for our new office, and branding for Ignition and other products. I recently transitioned to the Information Systems Division to focus more on UI and UX, where we shape the tools that help our customers, like the IA website, the IA accounts, and Inductive University. A couple of things I like about working here are all the really cool opportunities presented to us and within the company, and I really just enjoy the culture and the people here that we're surrounded with every day.

Chris: Thanks, Steve. And Andrew.

Andrew: Hi everyone. My name is Andrew Hayes, I'm a Graphic Designer here at Inductive Automation as well, and I work in the Marketing Department. I've been here for about two and a half years and work on projects like ICC, various website pages, Excel sheets, and various branding projects as well. Yeah, what I like about working at Inductive is all the opportunities for different projects to work on, really get to be diverse with what you work on here, so yeah.

Chris: Thanks, Andrew and Steve. Well, now that we've introduced ourselves, let's get into the agenda. Today, Steve, Andrew and myself are going to share with you what we think are the most important design fundamentals, how to apply those fundamentals to a project, and then how to build a well-designed social media campaign based on the content you already have. We will be covering the basics, important theories and the practices that we all personally use every day while designing. Now, one very important thing to note is that you don't need to be a professional designer to put together content that is well-designed, informs your audience or showcases your brand. So with that said, we're hoping that these fundamentals and lessons will help you with your marketing and design needs, whether you're creating or reviewing a webinar flyer, a social media post for your company or anything in between. Now, for the first part of this presentation, we'll be focused on design fundamentals, so I'm gonna hand that over to Steve to review those.

Steve: Thanks, Chris, and welcome everyone who's listening in today. I'm going to be talking about design fundamentals, which will cover things like layout, visual hierarchy, and simplification. Layout refers to how text and images are organized in a given space, for example, a web page, Excel sheet, a poster, or anything like that. And visual hierarchy is the principle of arranging elements in a layout to show their importance. Together layout and visual hierarchy are the two most basic fundamentals used in every design. Lastly, simplification as related to design refers to removing any unnecessary elements. Nine times out of 10, there are more content than needed to convey a message successfully in a given design. So we'll talk about how to do that. The first fundamental I want to talk about is layout. This includes using a grid alignment, how to space things out and contrast. Looking at the image to the right, there's a layout with shapes scattered about that represent blocks of type. Their placement has no rhyme or reason and is very unorganized. In order to start cleaning this up, we want to add an underlying grid that will create structure and consistency in the layout. Forming a grid is very simple. Many programs like Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator or even PowerPoint have built-in tools to easily create a useful grid. The goal here is to define a grid with enough columns and rows so that you have flexibility to accommodate various content and layouts.

Steve: In the image on the right, I added a 4-column vertical grid that includes the margin surrounding the main area of the page. I also added a horizontal grid to help in later steps on adjusting spacing and contrast. Once you have a grid established, you can easily get things in order. Alignment is important to create structure in your design and keep things organized for easy reading. In the example, I aligned blocks on the left. This is a good place to start, and it's usually the most simple type of layout. It creates a nice focal point for the reader to scan and follow along with them, the page. Multi-column layouts also work well, if you have a small chunks of content, you want to organize side by side, but for our purposes, we'll stick with the simple left align layout. Next, we want to further organize the information by adjusting the space between the elements. Spacing informs the grouping of similar content on a page, using appropriate spacing makes information easier to read. It's preferred to use consistent increments while saving out content, whether it's to conform to the grid we created or by separating things out with equal systematic units like pixels, inches, centimeters, et cetera.

Steve: In the example to the right, groupings are created by separating the blocks by equal amounts of space, and then by aligning those blocks to the horizontal grid. You can see that with the red lines. The last thing I want to talk about in this section, and easily one of the most important is contrast. The quickest and simplest way to improve the contrast of a layout is by having the size of the elements on the page change drastically. In the example, I created a nice distinction between the top boxes and the bottom, giving them a good contrast in size. Another way to improve contrast in the design is by adjusting the colors and amounts of each color being used. Using shades of a single color for design, also called monochromatic, sets yourself up for minimal contrast. Ideally, you will have at least two colors and neutral color for things like text and an accent color for things like calls to action that you want to draw people's attention with, but just be careful because sometimes colors don't play well together.

Steve: In the example I made the top boxes darker than the others creating a contrast in value, bringing interest to the larger, more important information. When your design has a good contrast, it will have a clear focal point and guide the reader's eye in the direction you want. Contrast should be considered throughout the entire design process, but it's definitely something I like to think to myself before finalizing a graphic. So as you can see in just a few simple steps and some consideration of grid, alignment, spacing and contrast, you can take a mess of information and refine it into an organized, easy-to-follow layout. We've touched on a few things that build visual hierarchy, but now I want to dig in a little deeper specifically into type and color. Using these elements in harmony with correct visual hierarchy leads to a more successful design.

Steve: Now, I can talk about type all day, but I won't nerd out on you too much for your sake, so I'll just go over a few of the bigger picture tips for this. First being when selecting type, you need to consider if you already have a brand standard and use that if possible. If you don't, then try to find something similar. This might be something you run into when you're using platforms like PowerPoint or Google Slides, since they don't always have every typeface. If you're working on a new project that requires a typeface, it's helpful to select one that supports the theme and message, for example, you probably wouldn't use a fun typeface for a very serious message or vice versa. And lastly, a note that harkens back to keeping things simple. It's always best to try and limit your design to use only one or two different typefaces. When it comes to type alignment, left align is generally your best choice.

Steve: There are times when center alignment makes sense, like I know we've used that on web pages we've designed and things like that, but if the content gets too wordy, this can become very hard to read, so we tend to use that for only really short blurbs of type. The right aligned copy should be reserved for things like notes or small or small call outs on the page. This is helpful to use maybe when you're designing a poster when there's a little blurb of text that feels nicely aligned on the right hand side. And lastly, it's helpful to try and limit line length to about 50 to 60 characters. With lines longer than that, it causes strain on the reader's eyes and makes it more difficult to track one line to the next. When organizing information with type, it helps to group small bits of similar content together. Do this by creating a headline accompanied by a few sentences or bullets below. Even though you may think people read everything word for word on a page, studies show that they do not do this. Grouping content gives the reader the ability to scan and find the relevant information in a timely manner. Having contrast to a block of type works wonders.

Steve: Looking at the image to the right, the top example uses the same text, weight, style and color, making it lack the visual rhythm that is required for scanning and will likely cause the reader to skip over useful information that you want them to see. Signaling important points using bold accents and adding different color calls to action will make your content more accessible and easier to the reader. Keep in mind, if you bold in too many things or add too many colors, things can get messy quick, so as always, keep it simple. So we've mentioned color a few times before, but let's go over a couple of more tips about using it. Similar to type, you may already have assigned brand colors, so be sure to use those since they are a big factor in brand recognition. When using your brand colors it does help to have a secondary palette as a complement for things like sub-brands, calls to actions and other elements of your designs. Looking at the image to the right, there are three separate palettes, we use the top one for Inductive Automation branding, the middle for Ignition, and the bottom for Ignition Edge. They all work together, but when viewed separately, it's really easy to tell what product is being promoted just by the colors themselves. So I know I've said this numerous times today, but keep in mind, contrast.

Steve: In the example on the right, there's green type on an orange background, this has very little contrast and the colors create a horrible effect on looking at them, making the words almost impossible to read, or at least it makes me not want to read them at all, although the green type on the darker background has greater contrast making it easier on the eyes. Keep this in mind when selecting colors for foreground and background elements, especially text. One trick I do a lot when designing is called the squint test. What you do is you squint your eyes, if you are still able to make out the main content of a design, whether it's the type or the image or any other element that's supposed to be in focus, the contrast is good. If not, then you have some adjusting to do.

Steve: The last point I'd like to make in the design fundamental section is simply simplifying. Simplifying is simplifying your design and simplifying your message should be two goals with any piece of content, written or visual. Anything extra impeding a viewer's ability to read a message quickly and successfully should be re-thought or removed entirely. You're trying to make an impression, and it's hard to do that when there are too many elements on a page and nothing to focus on. When you see a design that just feels right, usually after breaking it down, it's because someone has spent time working through these fundamentals to best portray this content in a meaningful, memorable way. Now that we've gone over these important points, we wanted to show you how to apply these principles to a project. For that, I will hand the time over to Andrew Hayes.

Andrew: Thanks, Steve. So for our application, we're gonna be looking at a flyer called, “Let's Talk About Ignition,” and it's promoting an Ignition Lunch and Learn, and this is all made up for the purposes of this specific Ignition Community Live, but everything we're gonna be applying to this design are the same fundamentals that Steve was just discussing, and that we use every day. And so for this example, we wanna treat it a bit like a make-over. We're gonna first show you a poorly designed flyer, and then go on to show you how you can take that same information and make something much more competently designed. So let's take a look at the ineffective design first. So as you can see, this is a pretty extreme example of something that is poorly designed. We know that this flyer design isn't working, but let's talk about why. Let's unpack this in terms of the fundamentals that Steve was discussing.

Andrew: So first up, let's talk about the layout and specifically grid and alignment to kick us off, because there's absolutely no alignment between anything in the design, we can't even really see a semblance of a grid at work, there's text and imagery that's centered, some of it is left-aligned and some of it is just floating off in the space. The description copy is left-aligned, which is helpful for long forms of text, like Steve was saying earlier, but the long line stretching across the page make it more of a chore to read, so shortening those line links would help establish a grid better and they would serve the viewer better. In terms of spacing, the space in between elements doesn't really have a purpose or a rhythm to it, so things just appear to be thrown against the page. When used correctly, spacing can really help guide your eye and determine which information goes together and what needs to stand out on its own. And finally, in terms of contrast, we can see there's definitely some contrast between big things and small things. The problem is, there's so many things on the page that are the big thing in quotation marks, and when everything is large, nothing is, so your eye doesn't really know where to go and what it should be looking at.

Andrew: So let's talk about the visual hierarchy now. So in terms of type, Steve was saying earlier, multiple typefaces distract from the content, and you can really see that at play here, there's a myriad of typefaces on display. Like you said, you should limit your typefaces to one to two for a piece of content and try to keep your brand in mind. A typeface does a lot of the leg work to help a reader or a viewer know who the brand is, even if it's at a subconscious level. For those of you in the audience that are familiar with Ignition and Inductive Automation, you could put aside the colors used here, the imagery, the layout, and you could just look at the typefaces and you would know something looks off. Perhaps the biggest problem with this example of a flyer is that it's hard to tell what it's for or what the purpose is. Most of this comes down to the type size and how things are grouped.

Andrew: This is a Lunch and Learn presented by Inductive Automation called Let's Talk About Ignition. So perhaps that should be the main thing. Free pizza is nice, I love pizza, but that's not the main thing, it's just a nice add-on, so maybe that should be a smaller size supporting the main thing. Also, the date is a pretty important thing to know, and while it's in the center of the page, its size and its color don't really help the viewer, and the same could be said for the call to action. People need to know where to sign up, so hiding that information isn't servicing the reader, especially with it in that light blue color, and speaking of color, color should aid in legibility, not undermine it.

Andrew: In this example, we have a blue background with some text on top of it that's also blue, but we can't see that call to action in that color, so how is the reader gonna know where to sign up, so you should always keep in contrast in mind with your color choices because it aids in legibility, and you should also think about your brand with your color choice. Does this color look like my brand? Are these with colors we use? And just looking at the colors here, you can say, No, that doesn't look like Ignition, that doesn't look like Inductive Automation.

Andrew: So now let's talk about simplifying this application. So in these first two points, everything should have a purpose and remove any unnecessary content. Speaking for this design, it's nice for the reader to have some imagery to grab on to, whether self-reinforce your brand or tell a bit about the experience you're promoting, but in this case, a laptop really does either of those things, so we're promoting a Lunch and Learn but this imagery says nothing about the in-person experience. So something like this, the laptop should be removed or replaced, the cutting room floor. Cut down the amount of copy. In the body copy of this example, it's kind of hard to see here, but there's some information about complimentary pizza, give away prizes and the sign up URL. Since this information is already reiterated elsewhere, it's probably best to remove repeat information like this. And just as a note, while reiterating information sometimes helps reinforce something, sometimes it does just the opposite and just adds clutter, making the information harder to digest.

Andrew: So let's talk about some other things to consider. So imagery, we touched on this in the last slide, but when thinking about a main image for your piece of content, whether it's the background image or it's a foreground image, it should really help reinforce the content and possibly your brand as well. So that when someone sees that image just in itself, they say, "Oh, that's so and so," or "That's Ignition, that's Inductive Automation." Another thing to consider is when to use an image, and when something like an icon might be more appropriate. An image of a pizza next to the content doesn't really look that appetizing, and it also distracts from the main purpose of this flyer. Using something like a pizza icon would help assist in conveying the message without really being distracting, and it would follow in line a little bit more with our brand and what we do. So now that we've talked about everything not working in this application, let's look at a version of this flyer with some of those fundamentals applied that works more effectively.

Andrew: So here we have what we'll call the more effective flyer, and in terms of its layout, we can see in this example, there is an established grid and it's working to help lead your eye through that content, it also helps shorten the line lengths of that body copy making it easier to read, and it leaves room for those supporting elements like the date and the time, and the pizza and the giveaways text. You can also see there's a rhythm to the spacing now, which not only helps us look more aesthetically pleasing, but it also groups information together that should be read together. And if you squint your eyes like Steve was talking about earlier, you can see there's contrast at play in this application.

Andrew: Even when you glance at it, you're gonna know what it's called, and you'll probably see the date and the time as well. In terms of type and color and visual hierarchy, this version of the flyer has more consistency in terms of its typefaces. Inductive Automation uses the typeface called Proxima Nova as our main brand typeface, both for headlines and copy, so this is already starting to help identify our brand, even if it didn't have the Ignition logo. This version is also using many of the Ignition brand’s colors, this helps identify as a piece of content about Ignition, and it also creates more contrast and it calls out to important pieces of information like that orange block on the bottom that's signifying the call to action.

Andrew: And then in terms of simplification, we've shortened some of the body copy since that date and giveaway and pizza blurbs, they're already shown in other areas. We also swapped out the image to allude to something more applicable to the content of this flyer, but also serve as a background to the main point of this flyer, and we swapped out that pizza image for icons that feel more like our brand and also help communicate the message without distracting from it. So, now that we've looked at that, I'm gonna pass it on to Chris, who's gonna show you how you can expand your content in this particular application into social media design.

Chris: Thanks, Andrew. So, as Andrew stated, in this section, we'll be showing off some great examples of social media pages that we've found to share with you guys today, we'll also show you some things to consider when designing a social media campaign, how to utilize systems thinking to create consistency with your designs and also building templates to save time. Finally, we will be adapting our flyer design into a social media post. So let's dive into some effective examples that we've found. First, we're gonna start with IBM's LinkedIn page. A few things that you'll notice right away are distinctive, content-specific visuals that sets most posts apart from one another. Every piece of content feeds back into the brand or the company's posts, but they also all have a distinct look based on the type of their content.

Chris: On IBM's page, the use of photography, illustration, text or image and side-by side visuals are all used to create distinct differences between posts, but also form visual connections between similar types of content. You'll see that posts, podcasts or videos look different from blog posts and webinars or white papers and slide presentations differ from those of promotional posts. That was all done intentionally to differentiate specific types of content and for the user to focus on what is right for them at that time. Visual context and its relationship to the content you're presenting is important, and no matter what you're designing though, whether it be social media posts, blog posts, website pages, flyers, even conferences and trade shows, become more effective when you focus closely on the relationship between the content and the visual communication.

Chris: Now, the next example we'll look at the Instagram page for Chris Do and his agency The Futur, and you'll see consistent colors and branding across all of the posts. Personal or feature employee posts are differentiated using headshots versus more graphically focused visuals for branded content or informational posts. They show us an excellent use of a design system template by utilizing logos, branding, hashtag info, authored by footnotes and website call-outs above and underneath the main visually focused post content that all help bring more helpful information to the design template and more context to the user and the reader. Now, a few things to notice... To think about before we start on the designing and adapting this content for social media posts.

Chris: We always try to ask ourselves: Defining the most important content, what is the most important pieces of content in your promotion, your post or your ad? What can be removed from the image area and added to the copy area instead, keeping that image area focused on the most specific and important content? Before we start, we want to know our audience, so we wanna do research on our target audience and/or leverage current knowledge of our customer base to craft content and information that will be valuable and communicative to them specifically. If you're expanding to new markets, it's important to do research and define those audiences as well, and try not to target too many demographics or audiences with each post; focus on and target one specific for each type of content that you're presenting.

Chris: Another thing we want to do before we start is to find our goals and determine our call to action; who will be interacting with our posts or ads; what are our goals or results that we want to achieve with these posts or ads; and what is the call to action that we are planning to implement in order to reach those goals or results that we had set initially? And one thing we always like to do before we start is review the platform requirements, do a lot of research beforehand on the specs and the specifications and the dimensions, and just the requirements and the resolution needs for each platform specifically for those posts, and we wanna consider when posting ads on Facebook, they have a limitation of text in the image area, so a lot of times you have to reposition that in the body area and focus on mostly visuals or iconography or photography, things like that in that image area, since they do have a requirement against that. So that's something to consider.

Chris: And now, before we dive into the adapted flyer content to a social media post, we're gonna dive into a template that we use for just general posts, a similar content as this flyer that we previously presented to you guys, so here is a simplified version of our layout using a systems-based template for repurposing in the future, you notice that we defined a location to place our main messaging or a headline, we created a placeholder area for adding visuals, images or photographs, we highlighted the bottom of the post where I call to action or supporting info can be displayed and lastly, we made sure to include a space for promotional copy or sponsored or feature sponsors for an event or a talk. All of which we have done to simplify the post, and the ad into a basic template, so we can easily use this for similar types of content or posts in the future.

Chris: Now, from a template, we can move into adapting the content that Andrew presented in our flyer, our print flyer earlier. We're gonna adapt that into a social media post. You notice that we simplified the information from the flyer or the poster into a more streamlined version for social media, we focused on only the most important information for that post image. The rest can be included in the copy section of the post body. So we pulled over the most important aspects, and those are the headline,“Let's Talk About Ignition,” the sub-headline, “A Lunch and Learn, presented by Inductive Automation.” The supporting information, which is the event time and date, the free pizza and giveaway text and icons, we included the call to action sign up today or the event web address.

Chris: And then also we included supporting visuals, we included that photo of our training room, and then added in Ignition 8.1, grading color overlay, in order to tie it back into our Ignition branding as a whole. Now, before we finish up this section of the presentation, we wanna review what we just discussed in the social media section. Before we start, we want to always consider the platform requirements, make sure to do your research upfront and learn about and know your audience. Start with defining your important content and the information that you want to portray in that final design, and then also when it's for social media, always remember to simplify from your original content, and in this instance, it's that print flyer that Andrew presented earlier.

Chris: So I just wanna say thank you for joining us all today as we learned about design fundamentals and how we use layout, visual hierarchy and simplification throughout your design process to create well-designed and engaging content. We've saved some time here at the end to answer some of your burning questions about design and marketing. If you have more technical or software-based questions, we'll probably send those along to the helpful folks in our Sales Engineering Division. Looks like we have a few questions coming in already. The first one is, "How do you evaluate graphics in terms of design and usage? What metrics do you look at in the long-term?" Is there anyone on our team that would like to talk about how we evaluate graphics and metrics for that? 

Andrew: Yeah. I can pick that up. So with metrics for it, we're really looking at how a post performs, but that includes graphics, that includes the content and everything, so there's no way for us to really determine how just a graphic is performing because it's usually complementing some piece of content that we're putting out, whether it be a podcast or a video or whatever. So we can definitely look at the well-performing ones and evaluate that if the imagery that we're using is contributing to that and sometimes it is, and sometimes it's just a really good piece of content that despite imagery people will click on no matter what, but that does definitely play a part. And then in terms of evaluating them, we go through a review process, if that's what you're asking, and we kind of determine who the audience is, and also separating things out between our sub-brand, which you might get for a graphic for Ignition Community Live, looks quite a bit different than what you'll get for our podcast, Inductive Conversations. So hopefully that answers it.

Chris: Thank you, Andrew. So it looks like we have a couple more. "Does Inductive University offer any on design training?"

Steve: Yeah, I can take that one. So yeah, we actually do. We recently added a new section to Inductive University called Elective Studies, and inside of that section, there is an entire course called Design Fundamentals, and a few similar information things that we've covered in this presentation, but there's a lot more detail and there's a lot more... There's things like presentations on cognitive load, responsive design, iconography design and design system. So yeah, feel free to go to the Inductive University and check those out if you're interested in this type of content.

Chris: Awesome. Thank you, Steve. Looks like we have another question here. "How do you feel about including QR codes on flyers?" So I can touch on that a little bit. So I guess the main thing behind that is if it's gonna be leading to a website or you're printing a flyer, there's some kind of interaction with the user in the physical world, then if you're trying to pull them onto a website, it's always a good... It's definitely an effective use of a CTA to ask someone to scan a code and go to a website or a webinar sign-up page or something like that. There are instances where it might not be the most effective thing, if you have a short URL or something like that, it's easy for someone to enter, it might not be the most effective visual experience to have them pull out the phone and scan something, but if it's gonna simplify the amount of steps that they're going to get to that end result that you're trying to get them to with the CTA. Then I say it could be very effective. Let's look at some more questions. So, "How do we use brand color in our projects at Inductive Automation?"

Andrew: So, Inductive Automation is its own brand and Ignition is its own brand, so they have different looks and feels. Albeit, they do have similar things that they share in common, but we really distinct our brands through the use of color. As Steve mentioned earlier, Ignition Edge has its own branding and colors and its own feel to that, and it's similar to Ignition, but it's really defined by that Edge green. Ignition has its own look and feel, we use lots of really dark gradient colors and tech-related imagery and things like that, and Inductive Automation, while it does use a lot of the same imagery because it's obviously selling Ignition and supporting Ignition, it does have its own look and feel that is similar to Ignition, but it is also distinct from it as well, and...

Andrew: Yeah, and then like I mentioned, things like Ignition Community Live, they have their own brand as well, and it's based off of Ignition’s, but it's kind of playing off of it, so Community Live is an off-the-cuff webinar, it's live, so the branding is made to look like that. There's highlighter colors and handwritten type elements and things like that; it's allowed to be a little more fun because it doesn't need to be that serious like Ignition is because it's selling very important software.

Chris: Thanks, Andrew, for that breakdown. So we have some more questions here. "How do you develop a template between graphic design and a software developer?"

Steve: Yeah. I think if I'm reading the question correctly, it's kind of like that the trade-off between a designer creating something, like a mock-up and how that gets handed off to a developer to develop the real thing, and there's lots of different kinds of softwares out there that can be used. The ones we use here, we use a program called Sketch, which is user interface, web design type program that basically you create your design how you want it, and you can then export that with another program called InVision, and that allows the developer to actually go and inspect all the different elements, like what type of spacing is being used between elements, the typefaces, the colors, the sizes, and all of that information.

Steve: So it's automatically created for the developer to use. There's also tools within that that allow the developer to download graphics or illustrations or images and you can control all that in the design side of things. So that's normally how we do it. There's definitely different products for it, there's Sketch, there's Adobe XD and a few other ones like Figma, they all kind of have that similar flow, but that really helps the hand-off and help save time between going back and forth between designer and developer in that process.

Chris: Thank you, Steve, for that answer. See what other questions we have here. "How can we think of a call to action that gets better results?" I think I can touch on that. So there are a few criteria that our team likes to follow here at Inductive Automation, one would be the relevance to your audience to make sure that that call to action is relevant to something that they're familiar with or type of communication that resonates with them personally, and then also telling the viewer or a user what type of action to take or what results to expect from it can help create a little transparency between what they're reading and the action, which that CTA will impose.

Chris: And then also reducing the risk by asking for small commitments and including some social proof, so those can be testimonials, people that have used your product before, just ways to convince them that you are the company that they want to work with. There's a CTA that seems approachable and it's accessible and they wanna click it to be more curious and find out more. That's always helpful. And so also, we like to make action urgent by attaching a timeframe to it, this can be achieved including a limited time offer or offer only, something along those lines, and these guidelines can really help increase the impact of your marketing messages.

Chris: See what other questions we have here. "Do you use a software platform to post to multiple social media platforms? If so, what do you use and why?" So we use Adobe programs, the Adobe Creative Cloud for producing a lot of our design projects. A lot of the stuff you guys see in general on our website or printed materials, things for ICC and pretty much everything we do, it touches the Adobe programs at some point. I know the Adobe programs have a platform or a piece of software on there called Spark Post, we also use Sprout Social for social posts. I know that's what our digital marketing team uses, so I think that's probably... If we were to recommend one platform looking to Sprout Social for posting to multiple social platforms, as far as designing for those Adobe programs, and Adobe Spark Post is really a great platform as well, or a piece of software.

Andrew: I saw another question in there, Chris. "Does adding animation help or hurt the messaging?" I was just gonna say, animation can really help with a message, if it's done correctly. We have a really talented person on our team who handles our animations, and with something like Ignition that's a little more complicated to explain, it really goes a long way in explaining various aspects of the platform. So I would say, yeah, definitely, if it's done correctly, if it's poorly animated, that can take away from it, so you're better off just doing something still image or something like that, if it's an infographic or whatever, but yeah, in terms of infographics, adding animated elements can really help. And then in terms of other things, you see websites with animated icons and things like that, that can be a lot of fun, and it can also help convey the information. Sometimes it can just be added on for no reason, so I'd really think about what the content is and if it's helping serve the viewer.

Chris: Thanks for catching that last question, before we finish up here. So we're gonna finish it off with one last question that's kind of associated with the ICL in general. "Since this is Episode 31, how can we access the other prior episode recordings?" You can visit inductiveautomation.com and click on the Resources. Then from the Resources, click on the Webinars, most of the Inductive Community Live... Ignition Community Live episodes are all archived on our webinar section and some of those early episodes are also archived in the Video section. So we definitely recommend checking those out, a lot of insightful informational conversations with the community.

Chris: And before we go, we'd like to invite you all to our next webinar on December 9th, it's called "Top 10 Design & Security Tips to Elevate Your SCADA System." And until then, stay connected with us by following us on social media or subscribing to our other weekly news feed and also our monthly podcasts. So, thanks everyone for joining us today. Thanks for all the great questions, and we appreciate you guys coming and joining us today.

Andrew: Thanks, everyone.

Chris: Thanks, guys.

Steve: Thanks, everyone. Have a good day

Posted on November 16, 2021