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7 Essential Resources & Tips to Get Started with UX

Hi, I’m Alexander Kluge, the curator of the ZEEF UX page. I´m a remote worker and co-creator of ON BOARD, a Colombian startup offering transformative travel and experiential learning journeys of 3–30 days in one country at a time — visiting and supporting local mentors and communities around the world.

alexander

I’m also the founder of Coastery Camp. It’s a free write camp,online course and community where you learn to write while you help nonprofits and startups that bootstrap.

In this article I’ve compiled a collection of 7 essential resources & tips (taken from my ZEEF page) to get you started with UX.

 

Resource 1: What is UX?

UX is User Experience and cares about business goals and people’s desires using the product, website, app or service, especially in terms of ease and pleasure of use — which is why it is tightly connected to usability. It is often (not always) related to digital experiences in the web and apps.

“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
— Nielsen Norman Group

UX is generally an interdisciplinary field and not something you do (or a verb). Therefore it comprises aspects of media design, computing, computer science, psychology, culture, marketing, usability and many more (see resource 2).

The basic foundation to understand UX is to put the user (human person) into the center of the design process, in a user-centered design (UCD) approach.

The term is widely and frequently used which makes people confuse it with UI design (see resource 5).

Tim R. Todish (from UX Magazine) crisply says:

Too often, UX is narrowly defined as one of the many disciplines that make up UX as a whole (e.g., wireframing, information architecture, etc …). On your next project, if you’re asked to “UX it,” stand up for yourself and kindly explain that UX is a holistic process. It’s not a box you can tick off a to-do list.

 

Resource 2: The Disciplines of UX

You will often find the term UX Design (UXD), not solely UX, because people talk about the actual creation (design) of experiences. So it makes sense to use the term UX Design which you will see in the overview of disciplines of user experience design below and the next resources and tips as well.

userexperiencedesign

 

Dan Saffer about the diagram above:

It’s still not perfect: it’s missing Sound Design and Ergonomics/Human Factors, and the way the circles had to overlap downplays Visual Design. […] HCI is partially out of the circle because of its different (non-design) traditions and methodologies, and also because of its focus on pure research. Industrial design (and, in truth, architecture should do this too), pokes out of the circle because it has involvement in areas that do not directly involve the user, such as manufacturing (or in the case of architecture, building) specifications.

 

Resource 3: The Elements of User Experience (PDF)

As part of the web-centric book “The Elements of User Experience” the author (Jesse James Garrett)has made a very important graphic in the book freely available. Specifically for the web context, it differentiates the web as a software (interaction) and a hypertext system (information). Surely, both exist at the same time.

visual design

UX, according to Garrett, takes user needs and business objectives into consideration and is the conceptional and more abstract starting point of the design process, followed by defining functional and content specifications and eventually creating the actual design for the information, navigation, interface and general visual appearance.

 

Resource 4: The Fundamentals of Experience Design (PDF)

Regarded from a broader perspective, “designing (for) experiences is fundamentally about people, activities, and the context of those activities.” (Steven P. Anderson)

people context

The interesting observation is the dimension Anderson applies when he doesn’t talk about users but people, and activities and their context, not business owners with their goals. It opens up your point of view that it’s not only two parties involved (users and product/service owners) but a whole environment that is affected and benefits from the experience or interaction (see resource 7).

 

Resource 5: The Difference between UX and UI Design

Design is how it looks, feels and works (as famously said by Steve Jobs). While you learnt above that UI/interaction design is part of the whole UX process a short way to differentiate both could be:
You can have an application with a stunning design that is hairy to use (good UI, bad UX). You can also have an application that has a poor look and feel, but is very intuitive to use (poor UI, good UX).
— Onextrapixel

 

Resource 6: The Cooper Goal Directed Design Process

Although it can feel overwhelming getting started to read the goal-directed process Alan Cooper developed, it is very insightful and valuable for more in-depth explorations to creating a mindset of human-centered design.
Basically you find one person, understand their vision and their final desired end state, and then make them ecstatically happy about reaching their end state. That is the essence of Goal-Directed Design.

 — Alan Cooper

He continues:

And what you need are two things: 1) Find (or synthesize) the right person and 2) Design for that person. At a place like Apple, Steve Jobs was already that right person, and they needed look no further.

You can see the whole goal-directed design process here.

 

Resource 7: About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design

For many the most important book and crucial reading in order to profoundly understand designing experiences for the digital age is ¨About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design” by Alan Cooper. It covers topics like:

  • Understanding Goal-Directed Design (see resource 6)
  • Designing Behavior and Form
  • Designing Interaction Details

 

Conclusion

The next level of UX is human story experience design (HSXD) combining the lessons learnt from designing experiences with the power of (transmedia) storytelling and story-writing.

More UX? Explore my ZEEF page for more hands-on articles, guides, tutorials and blogs, there is still tons of UX information to discover. (You can also contribute to the page by suggesting other quality UX links).

 

 

 

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7 Essential Tips & Resources To Get Started With Data Science

Hi, I’m Jan R. Benetka, the curator of the ZEEF Data Science page. I’m also a PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

jenda

 

I specialize in information retrieval and at the moment I’m using data science techniques to predict which information might be useful for a user before she actually opens a browser and starts searching for it. In this post I’m providing 7 essential resources & tips to help you get started with Data Science.

 

1. Data Science

Data science is an umbrella term for a collection of techniques from many distinct areas such as computer science, statistics, machine learning to name just a few. The main objective is to extract information from data and turn it into knowledge which you can base your further decisions on. It sounds easy, but it’s not necessarily always straightforward. Usually the process comprises many steps starting with a research question. Once you know what you want to study, you need to obtain the right data, clean it, explore it, create and evaluate a model, repeat this cycle a couple of times, and finally you are ready to start looking for a way how to properly communicate your results.

The Python for Data Analysis book is a great starting point, it guides you through all these stages and helps you to get this workflow under your skin.

data s def

A definition of ´Data Scientist´ by Josh Wills

 

2. Data Set

First of all you need an interesting data set to play with. Either you already have your own data (congratulations!) or you need to acquire some. We happen to be living in the age of information overload which probably means that data is everywhere and it’s easy to get it, right? Yes and no.

Data is wherever you look, however, it’s not always trivial to get what you want. The path of least resistance when searching for data is to explore publicly available data sets. People tend to organize them in curated lists such as ‘Awesome Public Datasets’ by Xiaming Chen, alternatively you can use one of data repositories like datahub.io. If you don’t succeed, you can try to find a public API and collect the precious data yourself. Chances are high that such an API is not available or is very limited, then you have to find a way to extract the data by other means, for example, by scraping webpages. This approach typically requires some data-cleaning steps, which might be costly in terms of time and effort.

 

3. Statistics

Having a good understanding of statistics is extremely helpful when performing data analysis. A rule of thumb says that the first step after getting a data set is to have a quick look at it, and some basic descriptive statistics is a good friend of yours here. If your data set contains numerical variables, you might be interested in their distributions — their center (i.e., mean) and how spread they are (i.e., variance).

In short, statistics offers you a toolbox for understanding your data, distinguishing between causation and correlation, analyzing patterns, modeling, predicting, etc. Last but not least, statistics quantifies certainty of your outcomes and therefore gives you confidence in your results. In our ZEEF list you can find, among others, this awesome hands-on tutorial called “An Introduction to Statistics” prepared by Thomas Haslwanter.

 

4. Machine Learning

In layman’s terms, the goal of machine learning algorithms is to learn to make decisions based on data. This approach, contrary to designing hard-coded algorithms, has huge benefits in a sense that one method can serve many purposes. Moreover, machine learning systems are designed to improve as new data come in. That’s exactly why your Amazon account looks different when you’re logged in than when you’re not — as you’re browsing their catalogue, it learns your preferences. Google search, to mention another example, is constantly learning the importance of webpages. You don’t have time to manually inspect those X thousands of results it returns, all you want is the ten blue links to be the best hits.

If you want to start with the machine learning right away, then you should visit the Joseph Misiti’s GitHub repository with a great hack-first-get-serious-later tutorial called Dive into Machine Learning. It uses Python and one of its most popular ML libraries, scikit-learn.

 

5. Visualization

I’ve already mentioned the descriptive power of statistics. Let me illustrate the importance of visualization on one example, where simple statistics is not enough: Anscombe’s quartet is a collection of four different data sets with two variables x and y. Interestingly, these data sets (despite looking very different visually) appear nearly the same through the lens of statistics. They share almost identical values of the following properties: mean of x, sample variance of x, mean of y, correlation between x and y, and linear regression line, yet in fact they’re very dissimilar.

anscombe

Anschome´s Quartet (Avenue/Wikipedia)

Data visualization is important both when analyzing data and when conveying your findings. Human eyes and brain are great co-workers when it comes to recognition of patterns. They make it easy for us to immediately spot relationships, trends, outliers or anomalies in visualizations, especially for low-dimensional data. Whenever possible, you should try to leverage the enormous bandwidth of human’s visual system and explain your data in graphical form. I’d recommend you to first get some inspiration in this amazing overview of visualizations based on D3.js library.

 

6. MOOC

Data science in various forms is being introduced as a new program on many universities around the world. Massive online courses go hand-in-hand with this trend and already you can find a plethora of free or very affordable courses that will guide you from Introduction Data Science, through Data Analysis and Statistical Inference, Data Mining or Data Visualization toMachine Learning lectured by Andrew Ng.

 

7. Challenges

Now, when you have all the pieces together, it’s time to apply your knowledge in practice. And what can be more fun than participating in a competition? Data science challenges, such as Kaggle, are a great opportunity to test your own abilities and to learn from others (you’ll also get nice data for free). On top of that, if you manage to win you can be offered a dream job or at least a lot of money. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there is also another, more noble, reward in some competitions (e.g.,DrivenData.org): saving the world!

I hope you have found these tips and resource useful, especially if you’re starting your first data-related project. The field is evolving incredibly fast and new resources are popping up every day. Keep in mind that it’s good to keep up with latest trends, but it’s essential to learn the basics.

Make sure to check out my ZEEF page for more tutorials, blogs, libraries, data sets, etc. (You can also contribute to the page by suggesting other quality Data Science links).

Have fun with Data!

 

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7 Essential Resources & Tips to Get Started with Game Development

Hi! I’m David Arcila, the curator of the ZEEF Game Development resource page. I’m also a game development teacher that has seen countless student projects crash and burn throughout the years. This has led me to understand what are the common mistakes that people make regarding the game design and game development workflows.

david medium

In this ZEEF curator blog post I’m going to share 7 essential resources & tips to get you started with game development and help you avoid the common pitfalls that this creative process ensues.

Resource 1 — Lay out the Plan — Dundoc

The most important thing to do before actually starting development of your game is defining what the game is going to be about, the best way to do so is by working on a Game Design Document often called a GDD. This document will become your compass when actually developing the game and will save you a lot of time in the long run, but beware! If you’re not meticulous about what goes into the GDD you can end up with a huge document that no one will read and were the important information gets buried among blocks of text thus hindering the team workflow.

My advice is to use Dundoc initially to have a really compact GDD that answers most of the common questions regarding what the game will be about. Later on you will realize that this document has to allow for collaborative input so you probably will migrate it to another platform.

dundoc

Resource 2 — Tell a good story — Twine

If you thought people bought a video game for it’s graphics then take a quick look at this survey taken from the 2015 ESA Report about the computer and video game industry. Turns out last year 22% of gamers were buying games based on the story and/or premise, which sheds light to how important narrative is becoming for gamers.

If you’re wondering where to go to start building your story in a simple and dynamic way then make sure to check out Twine. Twine is an open source tool created by Chris Klimas for telling interactive nonlinear stories, which makes it really convenient for game development. This software allows you to build your narrative in a visual structure based on hypertext that doesn’t require knowledge of programming.

twine

Resource 3 — Get agile — Trello

Once you understand what game you want to make, you must start getting things done and the best way to do so is to use a Project Management System that allows you to organize tasks and get feedback. That tool isTrello, and believe me, I’ve tried dozens of similar resources such as to-do lists, mind maps and even database apps but the most simple and straightforward is this one, especially when you’re working with a team.

The difference and more important aspect of using Trello compared to a to-do list is that you can visualize the importance and impact of the tasks in regards with the project and you can also assign due dates to it, this makesTrello very easy to integrate with Agile methods such as Scrum.

trello

Resource 4 — The Democratization of tools — Unity

Most game developers nowadays can’t even understand how fortunate they are, back in the day if you wanted to use a game engine you either had to buy an expensive license or you had to build it from the ground up. Fortunately, thanks to the democratization of technology today we can find a plethora of game engines that range from 2D, 3D, Free, Subscription based and more.

Because of it’s ease of use and gradual learning curve, Unity is one of the most popular engines among indie game developers so there is more than enough tutorials and information available online for learning.

unity david

(If anybody wants to dive more into Unity make sure to check out Adrian Anta´s ZEEF page here)

 

 

Resource 5 — A prototype is worth a thousand words — Kenney

Now that you know how to start a GDD and how to organize the tasks for the development of your game, it’s important to start building a prototype because this is how you will show the game mechanics and understand how the game is coming altogether. You must be iterating many times until the game feel and the game mechanics work effectively until you end up with the Alpha and subsequently the Beta version of the game.

But, how to start prototyping as soon as possible? With the use of placeholders.

Placeholders are temporary assets (3D Models, Sprites or Sounds) that are meant to dissociate programming and art schedules allowing them to progress independently thus saving time and allowing you to start playing with your basic game mechanics while the final assets are done. So, let me tell you about Kenney, who is also known as the “Asset Jesus” because he has the best placeholders available for making a quick and working prototype. We’re talking about UI, Audio and Sprites that are Public Domain and ready to implement.

kenny david

Resource 6 — Don’t forget the Audio — Incompetech + Freesound

Most indie game developers make the common mistake of defining and implementing the audio at the last moment, the reason why this happens is because generally graphics and programming are priority when developing the game, but having a great sound is integral to making an awesome and memorable game. The good news is that having great sound can turn a so-so game into a better one, the bad news is that composing music and sound effects for videogames requires time and effort.

I’m going to recommend the following resources related to Audio:

  • Incompetech is a music repository made by Kevin MacLeod that has Royalty Free Music available as different “Collections” which can be searched by genre or feel. Some developers use Kevin’s music as audio placeholders because due to Incompetech’s popularity a plethora of Youtube Videos and Web Games already use his songs, so eventually you will find that a song you like has been used before in another product.
  • Freesound is a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples and recordings released under Creative Commons licenses that can be reused as you want depending on the type of license the samples have. Using a free audio editor such as Audacity you can remix the samples and adapt them to your needs.

incompetech

 

 

Resource 7 — Knowledge! — GDC Vault

It’s very important to be learning constantly specially in this ever changing industry, and the best way to be aware of the changes is visiting the GDC (Game Developers Conference) because it’s the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers and it features a variety of lectures, tutorials and round-tables on game related topics that cover programming, design, audio, production, business, management, arts and more. But if you’re not in San Francisco or can’t travel there don’t worry, you can enjoy and learn from the free content available in the GDC Vault.

gdc vault

Conclusion

I hope you find this list useful in your game development endeavors, please always remember to have a realistic and reasonable scope for your project, start by making small games and only after you can gradually start developing medium sized games by adding a features.

If you want to improve your prototyping and development pipeline then start participating in Game Jams such as the Global Game Jam or Ludum Dare, it’s a great way to meet people and test yourself.

For more useful resources make sure to check out my ZEEF game development page & join their new Facebook group!

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7 Essential Resources & Tips to Get Started with Growth Hacking (The future of marketing)

Hey I´m Chris Out, the curator of the ZEEF Growth Hacking page and partner of Rockboost, the Dutch Growth Hacking Agency.

chris out 2

In this blog post I’ve compiled a collection of 7 essential resources & tips (taken from my ZEEF page) to get you started with Growth Hacking. Growth Hacking is becoming coined as the future of marketing as the experimental approach throws away the old marketing textbook ethos and instead focuses on testing everything, basing decisions on data and growing exponentially.

Whether you work for a startup, have your own fashion blog or looking for inspiration, take your time to look through my essential hand-picked resources and tips to make a difference to your future growth strategies.

Resource 1 — What is Growth Hacking?

With all the buzz about growth hacking it is easy to assume it’s a fad, but it is key to the future of marketing. Marketing has been too focused on push means and assumptions, rather than on developing a product customers love and testing what works and doesn’t. As a growth hacker, I base decisions on what the data shows that works and test everything. However, you cannot randomly start testing and measuring a bunch of things; measuring should be done in a structural and focused manner. This is where the so-called ‘One Metric that Matters’ (OMTM) comes in.

Resource 2 — One Metric that Matters

What drives your business? What is key to your business’ growth? This should be your (OMTM): the one specific metric you use to focus the growth of your company. Most companies focus on many, many key performance indicators at the same time. You just need one: OMTM, and all the other KPIs you measure must align with it. This helps you to measure and focus on what you growth needs. In the end it will feel like a blessing: everything you do is focused on what you want to achieve. Your employees should constantly challenge each other as to whether what they are doing will bring them closer to this key goal. This will help you realize how much of what you momentarily do does not contribute to your growth, and thus, is a waste of your time. No idea what your OMTM is or should be? Check out these examples and this explanation of how to define it.

blog 2

Resource 3 — Product/Market Fit

Once you know your OMTM, you can focus on another key aspect of growth hacking: Product/Market Fit (PMF). PMF is if 40% of your customers would be very disappointed if they could no longer use your product. To achieve this, you need to constantly improve your product based on your clients’ needs. Your job is not to push a mediocre product with 100% of its features (based on assumptions), but to develop features based on your customers’ feedback and interests. Do this, and you will build a product people want, rather than trying to make people want your product.

(I´ve added a nice gift for you at the bottom on behalf of Rockboost, keep on reading!)

 

Resource 4 — What is all this traction about?

For traction (evidence of market demand) to happen , you need to interact with your customer. You communicate with your customers through your traction channels. The Traction book highlights 19 traction channels. The idea is that you focus on the 3 most important channels for your business based on what works for you, and on the stage your business is in. This should be related to your OMTM: will these channels help you achieve your overarching goal?

Resource 5 — AARRR Metrics

In order to achieve your goal, you need to measure all parts of the funnel. Traditional marketing tends to focus too much on the top of the funnel. In Pirate Metrics (AARRR, get it?) there are five steps that are all key to success: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue. Activation and Retention are the result of PMF, whilst Acquisition and Referral are part of your traction channels. Finally, Revenue is most likely to relate to your OMTM, but its end result is fueled by your performance in the 4 previous metrics. So now you know how it all fits together, now it is time to improve it.

Resource 6 — Optimization

Key to growth hacking is continuous improvement. The only way to do this is through testing: seeing what works and what does not. Through A/B Tests you can see how a small change can make a significant improvement. For example, what happens if you send a newsletter in the morning compared to the afternoon? If there is data that can back this hypothesis that morning newsletters perform better, it would be foolish not to test this. If you do not measure and test, you might as well be throwing away your money, because you will have no idea as to where your money is going to.

optimization

Resource 7 — Quick wins

Now the scariest part of course is starting, but it does not have to be. That is why we have included 29 growth hack quick wins as one of our key articles to read. These are easy growth hacks you can start using today to grow your firm and achieve your OMTM.

Conclusion

Don’t make the mistake of not taking the time to learn about growth hacking before your competitors do. These seven resources show you what growth hacking is and how to focus through OMTM. Through applying PMF you can learn who your target market is and how to make a product they love. This beloved product can be communicated to prospects through your traction channels. Look at the AARRR metrics and take time to see how you can optimize your testing. Finally, take a look at some key growth hacks you can easily start implementing today.

Hungry for more? Explore our ZEEF page (and others on the site), because there are still tonnes of growth hacking information to uncover. For readers of our guest ZEEF post, we are giving away our online growth hacking e-course for free, that will explain how you can use these steps for your company growth in more depth.

Unlock your free e-course here!

 

 

growth hacking up

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Golden ZEEF Award

Golden ZEEF Award 2015

We believe we can advance where algorithmic search seems to have reached its limits by using human knowledge to sift through the overload of information. Participate in the Golden ZEEF Award contest to help us create a human page quality score and get rewarded for your help and knowledge!

Why

Through means of this contest we want to pilot our quality score model based on human interaction. After transparently testing and improving the page quality model during the contest, our goal is to accurately define the quality of all ZEEF pages in the future. This way you’ll be able to find best information on the web in a heartbeat. As such, we would like to ask for your help by participating in the Golden ZEEF Award of 2015!

Quality Score

With your input, we would like to create a “human page quality score” based on engagement indicators, but most importantly, humans. With your input and during a fun, interactive contest, we want to determine the best page quality indicators and see if we’re on the right track.

We’re currently looking into the following mix of human engagement indicators for our human page quality score (we’re of course open for other suggestions!). An overview of the metrics we believe define a quality page can be found on our dedicated Page Quality Score page.

screenshot-golden-zeef-award.zeef.com 2015-03-09 10-46-45

Contest

Throughout the contest we’ll be testing our “human page quality score” against an actual human ranking of pages. This way we validate if we’re on the right track so you will always find the best information. At the end of the contest there will be two winners:

  1. Human choice: hand-picked by participating curators
  2. Human page quality score: picked by our new page quality score model

We’ll also give you a sneak preview of our new badges feature by allowing contest participants to collect some of the first exclusive ZEEF page badges! Everybody is allowed to participate and has an equal chance of winning the following rewards:

  1. The exclusive Golden ZEEF Award badge on your winning page!
  2. € 300,- cash, an iPad or a Chromebook
  3. € 500,- worth of SEO consultancy and ZEEF page promotion

There will of course also be rewards for the runner ups!

Participate!

  1. Create a new subject page. Participate with a new subject page or a page you haven’t published yet. This way everyone has an equal chance to win!
  2. Confirm your participation. Submit the link to your unpublished page to the participants block on the dedicated Golden ZEEF Award 2015 page or reach out to me personally.
  3. Promote your page. On March 31st at 11:59pm GMT we will publish all participating pages at the same time. You’ll have the entire month of April to promote your page and win!

Check out Golden-ZEEF-Award.ZEEF.com for more information about the contest and the other great prizes you can win. All participants will be rewarded with a Golden ZEEF 2015 participant badge on their page!

The team at ZEEF is looking forward to receiving your applications! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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How to build a startup

How to build a startup?

I always thought about creating a startup but the big question is: ‘How?’ I solved this problem by building startup.zeef.com A collection of resources and tools for entrepreneurs.

I was googling for hours to find interesting content to read on how to build a startup. But finding the right information was quite a challenge for me because everybody can produce content on the internet. But who is the guru? Who do you trust? This is a big issue online nowadays. I contacted my friend Christiaan Henny who already started his startup eFaqt.com and asked for his advice about resources and tools. I started bookmarking all these interesting websites I came across. This pretty much got out of hand and now I have talked with over 50 entrepreneurs and collected over 330 resources.

To save time for all the new entrepreneurs(and experienced ones too) I have published these bookmarks on startup.zeef.com. Below you can find a nice summary of all my resources.

Books to read

The first thing I started collecting were books to read. Books can be a great source of inspiration and based on the feedback from the entrepreneurs I have tried my best to find the right ones to help you get started. These five books are a great introduction to get started with building your startup.

Blogs

Personal stories are very informative and can help you move forward. Reading about failures and issues of other entrepreneurs, in addition to only doing business is important. A startup is cool but it is really important you keep a work-life balance. These blogs are very interesting to follow and provide you with first-hand personal advice from the startup trenches.

Business models

Whether you like it or not, eventually your business needs to generate revenue. Having a clear vision and plan on how your business will generate revenue helps you to keep focus and also indicates to your future investors that you have a vision on your ability to execute. These websites are a great source on how to build a sustainable business model.

Sites to submit your startup

Getting the word out there about your new startup is very important to receive feedback and attract your first early adopters. These websites can help you reach out to potential early adopters.

Accelerator programs

Once you have founded your startup there are some pretty cool programs you can join to kick start your business. These programs usually last for 100 days and offer mentoring, seed capital and an extensive network to get traction and bootstrap your company.

A/B Testing

Running a tech startup is like writing your thesis; you are constantly testing, validating and adjusting your assumptions. A/B testing is a very effective way to validate your assumptions. These tools and websites can help you with running A/B tests.

Growth Hacking

In the early days Hotmail simply added one feature that made the company go viral. They inserted the tagline “Get your free e-mail at Hotmail” into the signature of every e-mail sent out by their users. Hotmail was able to sign up 12 million users in 18 months. This list contains good guides, tips and tricks on how to grow your business effectively.

International events

Meeting like-minded people is very important in growing your business. This is a selection of annual events that are worth going to. Attend these events to meet startups, investors and potential companies to partner with.  This list provides you with all the international events you should consider to attend.

Get out of the building!

Of course there are many more resources, but the most important thing after reading all these tips and tricks is to get out of the building and put your theories and strategies into practice. You can read a thousand books and websites on entrepreneurship, but the only way you will learn it is by doing. Success is going from failure to failure without a lack of enthusiasm.

Dream, believe and don’t give up!

Do you believe you can do a better job in creating an overview about startups?

Yes

 

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ZEEFBlogpost3

Bennie Mellies Tutorial

(VIDEO) Review ZEEF – What is ZEEF and what can you do with it?

Helping other people find quality information! Today there is so much information online that you cannot see the trees through the forest.

The internet startup ZEEF would like to make a change in this. They combine human knowledge/expertise and customer rating to help consumers find the best products and services online.

ZEEF facilitates a link directory to support consumers in their buying decision. The links within the directory are ranked and rated by a range of experts. Experts are able to earn an affiliate commission through the use of affiliate networks and direct advertising.

Do you have a lot of passion or posses a lot of knowledge about a specific subject? Start today with creating your own ZEEF page. What this is and what you can do with it will be explained by Bennie in this tutorial with video review.

For who is ZEEF?

ZEEF can be used by anyone. But it is especially suitable for:

  1. Experts or hobbyists who would like to share and express their passion in specific sectors and to help other people find quality information.
  2. Companies and advertisers using ZEEF to show cast their products and services (use ZEEF as sitemap)
  3. Affiliate Marketeers and networks, who are able to use the curated subjects within ZEEF.
  4. Bloggers and publishers who would like to monetize their content on their website. They are able to make use of the ZEEF Widget – curated advertising.

I am using ZEEF as a supplement to my website, portfolio and expertise in WordPress. By making use of ZEEF, I can increase my brand recognition, authorithy in Google and provide people with curated content. And most importantly, ZEEF is free to use.

What can I find on ZEEF?

On ZEEF you can find a range of different topics. This information is presented in a so called link directory. These link directories are being filtered by people. It is people to follow certain page to keep up to date about the latest developments. You will automatically receive an email with the latest changes and additions to the page. It is possible to make different kind of pages. You are able to create a personal page, subject page or company page. Next, it is possible to create a in Dutch or in English.

How does ZEEF work for a visitor?

Every ZEEF page contains multiple link blocks (Widgets), these link blocks are all adjustable and can be embedded on your website (see below). Suggesting a URL is very simple, especially due to the search function of Google Inline.

For a visitor there is a range of information and specific data about subject, companies and people. Because there are multiple curators on the same subject, a fair competition is created. As a result the quality of the information is increased for the visitor.

ZEEF_org_Images_feature_widget

How does ZEEF work for an Expert?

I applied to ZEEF a while back as an Expert on WordPress. In the beginning I had to get used to the idea and didn’t knew exactly what I should do with it. But this became pretty clear after reading the FAQ and viewing some example ZEEF pages (which is announced on the home page slider).

Links are easy to adapt and drag (drag and drop). Next to adding links, it is possible to add text and images to your ZEEF page. Experts are able to see how many clicks their link have received. On every ZEEF page statistics are being shown like the amount of views, followers, comments and clicks (see below).

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Video tutorial ZEEF

In this video tutorial Bennie will show step by step what you as a visitor and curator can do with ZEEF. How can you apply ZEEF for your expertise or passion?

The tutorial will cover the following subjects:

  1. What can you do with ZEEF?
  2. For who is ZEEF?
  3. How does ZEEF work?

Benefits ZEEF

  • Simple and easy to create a page
  • Able to share your passion and knowledge
  • Easy high ranking in Google
  • Creates more value than Twitter
  • Sense of value for products and services
  • Easy navigation via the categorisch

Disadvantages of ZEEF

I cannot recall any disadvantages of ZEEF. Simply because their design is so simple and easy to use. However, in a conversation I had with ZEEF I do pointed out that I would like to follow certain pages. In the next version, this was already implemented and fixed. Next, it is not possible to delete ZEEF pages but the team is working hard to fix this.

Conclusion ZEEF

As a starting entrepreneur you do not have enough resources and money to promote your company. ZEEF offers a nice solution. ZEEF contributes to the brand recognition of your company and support your expertise and passion. ZEEF allows you to share your expertise with the rest of the world.

Own experience with ZEEF

Bennie Mellies is making use of the products and services of ZEEF for quite a while. Bennie is registered as an expert on WordPress and is very positive about the service. A few weeks ago Bennie was approached by an employee of ZEEF; Frido van Driem, for an interview.

The interview and personal experience of Bennie can be read here: zeef.org/2014/04/01/interview-bennie-mellies/

References

Final remark

Start today with creating your own ZEEF page. You are able to create a company page, subject page or personal page. And the beauty of this is that the ZEEF team is working around the clock to keep adding new features.

Do you find this article relevant for yourself, colleague or friends? Help me with sharing this article via social media. If you have any questions about this subject or if you want to comment on this article, please respond.

Thank you!

Try ZEEF

 Ps. This blogpost has been written by Bennie Mellies and has been translated from it original format. The original blogpost can be found at Bennie Mellies.

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Traditional vs Curated Advertising

Bloggers are constantly looking for more ethical ways to monetize their content. They consider advertisements as an inevitable suffering to keep their passionate work profitable. Lots of blogs use traditional advertising which most of the time is irrelevant and therefore annoying. Wouldn’t it be great if the advertisements match the contents of your blog?

Meet curated advertisements! They provide you with relevant ads without privacy concerns. Such advertisements are filtered by humans, not by algorithms. As a blogger you can select an advertisement that matches your content. It is proven that people are better in selecting information than machines. By using curated advertisements, your visitors engage with your ads, instead of being spammed.

At ZEEF, we tested ZEEF Widget vs Google AdSense on Bauke’s blog. The results showed that the click through ratio (CTR) of a curated ad is considerably higher than Google AdSense (1500% higher). That means that in addition to a happier readership you increase your monetization rate just to keep yourself motivated to write about your passion.

Infograph traditional vs curated

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