Sandstorm Blog

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Broadway in Chicago: Our Web Design Show

We are having way too much fun with our newest web design and development project - traveling Broadway shows like Wicked, Stomp, Annie, etc. brought to smaller cities across America and in Canada. We are creating this amazing, theatrical user experience on the web utilizing almost everyone on staff from usability experience and message development, to information architecture, creative execution, web development and of course - project management.

Stay tuned for our web site launch date for city #1 coming in July. (Our web design company is so excited we can hardly resist showing you the web design comps!)

This blog was posted by Sandy on June 24, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy
Web design firm wins web award for NAR!

We're so honored! Our web design firm won a web design award for the National Association of Realtors Green Designation web site. It's a green industry site, an association and in real estate - three of our favorite industries to work in. As Holly would say, we heart winning!

This blog was posted by Sandy on June 22, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy
Web Design Chicago versus Web Design Firm Chicago

To the average google researcher, the two key word phrases 'web design chicago' and 'web design firm chicago' may seem like the same thing so you would assume you would get the same results, but it's not entirely true. Interestingly enough, google considers Sandstorm Design an incredible find for a web design firm (maybe because we're a full service interactive agency?), but for the average web design search, we're not. In my next life I would enjoy being a google algorithm strategist.

This blog was posted by Sandy on June 15, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy
Marketing tactics to consider when creating your internet marketing and web design strategy

A non profit client of ours recently asked for a list of internet marketing tactics to consider while building her online marketing strategy. Here's where our user experience design firm started with our list:

  • SEO (organic search engine optimization) and linking campaigns
  • PPC (pay per click)
  • Affiliate marketing (think amazon.com’s books)
  • HTML Emails and Auto-responders
  • Conversion Concepts (getting people to do what you want them to do on your site)
  • Web Analytics and Testing
  • Online Video
  • Blogs and Social Media (facebook, twitter)
  • Banner ads
  • Article writing

Does anyone else have more to add?

This blog was posted by Sandy on May 27, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

Sandy

Sandstorm Design is pleased to announce the launch of MissionGetHired.com, a new CareerBuilder.com site that helps U.S. Veterans find jobs. Sandstorm Design proudly developed the new brand name, information architecture, experiential design and messaging for the site, adapting the CareerBuilder.com brand to cater to U.S. Veterans. "We wanted to create an online experience that spoke directly to Veterans," creative director, Janna Fiester, said regarding the brand strategy.

The site launched in April of 2009 and instantly received recognition. Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, mentioned the site on CNN's Road to the Rescue segment – the only feature thus far with a positive spin on unemployment. Veteran employment is currently at 8.1%, compared to the 8.8% overall United States unemployment rate.

This blog was posted by Sandy on May 13, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy

It was a green day for us! (not the band Green Day, even though I do like their music) Our web design firm launched a new web site for the National Association of REALTORS® to promote the Green REsource Council and NAR’s Green Designation. This designation is the first of it’s kind from NAR and offers specialized green real estate training for residential, commercial and property management professionals. How cool is that? Check out their "green" web site.

This blog was posted by Sandy on May 7, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy

Sandstorm Design has launched a new web site for the National Association of REALTORS® to promote the Green REsource Council and NAR's Green Designation. The designation is the first of it's kind from NAR and offers specialized green real estate training for residential, commercial and property management professionals. 

Filled with up-to-date news and resources, the site educates users on green building products and practices, reveals the numerous advantages to going green, and helps distinguish green goers from greenwashers.

Sandstorm Design was responsible for the design, writing, development and marketing of the site. "We wanted to make green seem accessible and help users start the conversation," Creative Director, Janna Fiester, said regarding the strategy behind the look, feel and tone of the site.

Non-members are able to connect with green designees and professionals, and members have access to exclusive webinars and marketing materials, an online community and more.

Established in early 2008, the Green REsource Council works to make green real estate knowledge available to everyone. They're accomplishing this by advocating for a greener MLS, building NAR’s Green Directory for green industry vendors, and developing resources and partnerships to keep their members at the forefront of the industry.

Learn more about the Green REsource Council and NAR's Green Designation.

This blog was posted by Sandy on May 7, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy

Sandstorm Design, a Chicago marketing and interactive web design agency, has been awarded WBE certification by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The WBENC is the nation's leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America's corporations and the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. 

To qualify for WBE certification, businesses must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women. The one or more women owners must control daily operations and management of the business as well. All applicants undergo a rigorous approval process to ensure the legitimacy of the business and maintain the integrity of the council.

Sandstorm Design, in business over ten years providing marketing strategy, rebranding initiatives, interactive web design work and usability services, was awarded the prestigious certification in November of 2008. "We are proud and honored to be a certified WBE business and be part of such an inspiring organization," principal Sandy Marsico said in regards to attaining WBE status. 

Visit Women's Business Enterprise National Council for more information. 

This blog was posted by Sandy on March 26, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy

Sandstorm Design has been selected to design, write and build the new site promoting NAR’s Green Designation and the Green REsource Council. The designation is the first of it’s kind from NAR and caters to residential, commercial and property management professionals. 

The site will allow users to learn about the designation, sign up for courses, find NAR Green Designees in their area, access member benefits and connect with industry resources. Launch is expected at the end of April. Stay tuned for more information! 
 

This blog was posted by Sandy on March 23, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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Sandy

JamesHardieColorPlus.com, a site Sandstorm Design was fully responsible building through their user-centered design methodology, is today's webpick on CommArts.com. Sandstorm Design conducted user research, usability testing, designed, wrote, and developed the site. Innovative interactive applications including the Find your Shade Quiz, Product Comparison Tool, and Sample Color Swatches contributed to the editor's webpick.

"We are so proud to be recognized by Communication Arts Magazine for our user-centered web site work," said Sandy Marsico, Principal of Sandstorm Design, "We built the site from the user's perspective and learned directly from homeowners what types of assistance they were looking for to make the best siding decision for their home."

James Hardie Building Products come from a world leader in fiber-cement technology. James Hardie invests heavily in research and development, with a special emphasis on product quality and production efficiency to develop durable and low maintenance siding products, backerboard and pipe. 
 

This blog was posted by Sandy on March 4, 2009.
Sandy Marsico, Founder & CEO

About the Author

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico is the founder & CEO of Sandstorm®, a digital brand experience agency that turns consumer insights into engaging user experiences through our unique blend of data science, brand strategy, UX and enterprise-level technology.

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