Blogs By Author

Karen

Twitter has reached almost 200 million accounts, and has just added its seventh language – Korean. As Twitter expands worldwide, so does the opportunity for you to grow your business just as far.

Twitter will become increasing vital for networking and maintaining relationships with your overseas contacts, just as well those in the States. On top of that, it offers another valuable (and free) avenue for marketing your brand online (in seven languages, perhaps?). As you know, we kind of have a thing for marketing and branding.

If your company doesn’t already have an account, get one. And if you have one but you’re not using it, start now. If there were ever a time to jump on a bandwagon, this is it.

This blog was posted by Karen on January 20, 2011.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

Karen

Sandstorm Design is thrilled to kick off the new year by launching a new web site and brand for Gregg Communications! What started with a web site has grown into a full on partnership to reinvent Gregg’s brand. And it has been so wonderful to have a client as enthusiastic about the process as we are! With a new website and identity, the Gregg brand is now aligned with the quality service and expertise of their staff. We are so proud to announce this launch and look forward to more growth with Gregg!

This blog was posted by Karen on January 18, 2011.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

Karen

They say you learn something new everyday. And today we learned quite a bit from our Technology and Usability Director, Michael Hartman, who shared some key takeaways from a ‘Putting Research into Practice’ training seminar by Human Factors International, Inc. One of the most intriguing findings was from a study by Tractinskya, Cokhavia, Kirschenbauma, and Sharfib (2006) where participants made a split second decision (500 milliseconds) about the attractiveness of a web site. 

Turns out the average attractiveness ratings stayed about the same when the exposure time was extended to 10 seconds. This means users’ impressions about a web site’s aesthetics are made in less than a second. They don’t really change their mind after more time on the site. We all know how important first impressions are. Which is why aesthetics are extremely critical if you want a user to stay on your web site for, well, more than a second. If you ever need a little help with your website design, you know who to call.

This blog was posted by Karen on January 14, 2011.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

this file was posted under: 
Karen

Visitors of the skating rink at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago this past weekend got a sweet surprise when they were bombarded with an orange hat wearing flash mob. Our own Sandy Marsico was in the crowd of dancers who were shaking their stuff to Queen, Michael Jackson, Beyonce and more. Check out the video here!

This blog was posted by Karen on January 12, 2011.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

THIS FILE WAS POSTED UNDER: 
this file was posted under: 
Karen

2010 was a spectacular year for Sandstorm! At the beginning of the year our office space grew, and as the year went on, so did our staff. In 2011, we’re anticipating even more growth for this Chicago marketing firm.

And the Sandstorm staff is looking forward to another type of growth – we’re hoping to grow some healthier personal habits! I asked around the office for the Sandstormers’ New Year’s Resolutions, and from the results, it looks like we’re a pretty health conscious bunch. Here are the resolutions:

  • Surround myself with positive people
  • Drop 5% body fat
  • Stop eating high fructose corn syrup
  • Eat better and be nicer
  • Run on the treadmill every week
  • Cook more home cooked meals
  • Read new books, one classic novel, one work of fiction, and one fluff read
  • Eat more organic food and less pizza

So, with salad on our plates, gym shoes on our feet, books in our bags and smiles on our faces, we at Sandstorm Design wish you a very Happy New Year!

This blog was posted by Karen on January 4, 2011.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

THIS FILE WAS POSTED UNDER: 
this file was posted under: 
Karen

There has been a lot of talk around our the Sandstorm Design office about possible “days.” Accent day, musical day, Spanish day (Día de Español), wacky socks day, potluck day. But pajama day is the one that really got our staff excited. So we brought this office talk into fruition and deemed the day after the holiday party Pajama Day. It was already a half-day workday (one of our cool holiday gifts was that the office didn't open until 1:00 PM the day after the holiday party), so coming to work in our pajamas was only appropriate.

It turns out, sleeping in and wearing pajamas is good for business. We were on top of our to-do lists, our brainstorming sessions left the whiteboard overflowing with ideas, and the overall office vibe was relaxed, comfy, and productive. What? Holiday stress? Not at Sandstorm Design.

This blog was posted by Karen on December 21, 2010.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

THIS FILE WAS POSTED UNDER: 
this file was posted under: 
Karen

At Sandstorm, we’re experts at a lot of things – branding, usability, marketing… and general holiday merriment. Yes, at Sandstorm we know how to do the holidays! We gathered Sunday night with our significant others at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba for the annual Sandstorm holiday party. For some of us, including me, it was our first holiday party with Sandstorm, and I’m sure I speak for all of us newcomers when I say it was even more fun than I had anticipated. With sangria in hand (or beer, or margarita), we laughed the night away. Everyone ordered a few tapas, and then the plates just started passing.

Fried goat cheese? Yes, please.

Spicy potatoes? Yup, right here.

Something with mayonnaise? I’ll take it.

Something with bacon? Pass that to Zak. 

We ate, drank, and cracked jokes until our cheeks were sore from laughing so hard. Then there was the Dirty Santa game. Alma stole Holly’s #1 spot this year, and got to be the first to pick a present, and the last to steal. Even though we had a private room, I’m pretty sure the whole restaurant could hear our Ooooh’s and Aaaah’s as each gift was unwrapped, and our bursts of laughter when someone would steal a coveted gift (like the Christmas Story leg lamp, or the neck massager, or the vampire Abe Lincoln book). And just when you thought you couldn’t eat, drink or laugh any more, they brought the dessert menu. To make the night even better, Sandy made an announcement that the office wouldn’t open until 1:00 PM the next day. Like I said, Sandstorm knows how to do the holidays.

This blog was posted by Karen on December 20, 2010.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

THIS FILE WAS POSTED UNDER: 
this file was posted under: 
Karen
Surprise Decking of Sandstorm’s Halls

Here at Sandstorm, we all tend to take on the same mood of the day. You'll know when we’re in our Friday mood because the jokes are more frequent and the laughter is a lot louder. We also get in seasonal moods, enjoying cider in the fall and tea in the winter. And now that the holidays are upon us, we thought it would be fun to deck the halls to accompany our festive mood!

So on this extra wintery Monday morning, the Sandstorm staff arrived to see lights strung, gifts wrapped and stockings stuffed. To add to our already hefty supply of sweets, there are now candy canes, old-fashioned candies, peppermints and lollipops on just about every table. Everywhere you turn there are decorations to remind you of the season. Along with all this snowy weather, we now have a fully decorated office to keep us in the holiday spirit!

Speaking of holidays, I still need to get my Dirty Santa gift for this weekend’s Sandstorm Holiday Party…

This blog was posted by Karen on December 13, 2010.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

THIS FILE WAS POSTED UNDER: 
this file was posted under: 
Karen
Mystery Offsite Mandatory Marketing Meeting Revealed

Our Sandstorm Design staff couldn’t stop talking about the mystery “Offsite Mandatory Meeting” scheduled for Friday. Concerns included what type of meeting this would be, exactly how far off site we would be going, and what type of clothing we would need (hiking gear, perhaps?).

With the meeting scheduled for 3:00 PM, Sandy called our anxious staff into a conference room at 2:45 PM to reveal that we would not be having a meeting after all. We would, however, be going off site – to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 on opening day! After a few excited updates to Facebook and text messages to jealous family members, we threw on our coats, jumped in the cars, passed out the tickets, claimed a row in the theater, and sat back to enjoy the Friday afternoon show. Sandy sure knows how to keep a smile on our faces! Thanks from all of us!

This blog was posted by Karen on November 22, 2010.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

THIS FILE WAS POSTED UNDER: 
this file was posted under: 
Karen

We are proud to announce the launch of the new F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen web site! We love working with this construction company, some say we’re almost as “Paschen”-ate as they are. Great people, great work, and a great history. We couldn’t wait for this site launch!

In addition to a new branded look and feel, the web site is filled with interactive video and functionality. We built a searchable project database that includes over 100 of their top projects. We also created an interactive experience on the homepage, new custom videos, an interactive map and a dynamically building ‘Contact Us’ form. To top it all off, custom photography highlights one of the company's strongest points of pride – their people. We couldn’t be more passionate about launching this web site for F.H. Paschen, a company we are proud to call our client and partner.

This blog was posted by Karen on November 15, 2010.
Karen Boehl

About the Author

Karen Boehl

Karen does a little bit of everything – webmaster, social media manager and search engine optimizer. She can most often be found on Twitter, in the Usability Lab, or happily buried in the Drupal admin menu.

Pages