Tuesday, April 17, 2007
In our modern world, there is a ton of information coming at us all at once. Everybody wants to tell us their story or give us a message, and our overwhelmed human minds have adapted to filter out useless crap and retain the stuff that is easy and seemingly more important. So in essence, humanity has its own information air filter that tosses all the "similar" stuff into one pile (marked "ignore") and places the other "bold" stuff in another pile (marked "read this").
As designers, it is our job to understand this tendancy of modern man and work to accomodate it. This is where information hierarchy comes into play. In all designs, there is an item that is most relevant and an item that is least relevant. There is also everything in-between. If all items on a page are created with equal hierarchy, than none of them are noticed. They all look the same, and there is nothing telling the viewer "hey, look here first." Things become a clutter of information, become confusing, and ultimately the viewer feels frustrated and loses attention.
This is why we need hierarchy. We need an item that says "look at me first" and other items that allow that hero item to stand out. They allow it to stand out by assuming the role of being less important; they take one for the team and stand back while the hero shines.
Even if you have 8 items and somebody tells you "there can't be hierarchy because they're all equally important," make one of them bigger anyway. Give one of them more attention. Use it as an introductory item, at the very least in order to start the story of your design. Just use hierarchy. Study it. Master it. Use it to its fullest potential. It's not a difficult concept, but so many people don't understand it or forget to make use of it. If you ignore hierarchy, your design work will fall into that pile of sameness that is marked "ignore."
- Ryan Ford
Monday, April 9, 2007
1. Focus On Audience
Make sure the website is easy to use. Keep in mind that a visitor needs to be able to easily navigate through your website to complete the sale. If you’re selling a service, the visitor needs to be able to find the service that they are looking for, find information about it and easily be able to contact you. The best visitor is a returning visitor, so make sure a visitor’s experience is great.
2. Set Goals
A successful redesign takes time, careful planning, and thorough testing. Sometimes you don’t even need to completely redesign your website. It may have an excellent design, but be impossible to navigate through. Remember: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. You will need to establish long term goals and short term goals. The short term goals serve to help you work up to the long term goals so that everything can be tested after each short term goal is achieved. The last thing you want is your website’s traffic and/or conversion to decrease. So before you do anything, figure out what is wrong with your website and why are you redesigning it. Is it outdated? Does it have a low conversion rate? Or is it just not ranking well in search engines?
3. Analytics (Tracking) Software
Web Analytics is one of the most important things you should have before you even think about redesigning your website. Analytics software allows you to track your visitor, know where they are going and what they are doing. This will give you the answers to the questions asked earlier. It will give you a reason to redesign your website, whether it is to make your site more search engine friendly or to increase the conversion rate. Google Analytics is now free for everyone. It isn’t very user friendly, but hey…it’s free.
4. Define Technical Goals
Before you even start redesigning, make sure you know what you will need for your new website to work. Will you need to back up daily? Is your existing server going to cut it? What if the server crashes? Can you make changes to the website yourself? What language is my website going to be in? Is it going to need a content management system? Figure out what you will need to redesign your website, how long will it take, and who will be making these changes. This will help you estimate the cost and time for this project.
5. Website’s Future
This is one of the most forgotten steps in redesigning a website. Don’t just think about now, think about the future. This way, the next time you want to update your site, it can be as painless as possible. Also know that your website will need maintenance. If you are selling a product, make sure it is easy for you to add more products in the future and that they have the same design as the rest of the website. If you are selling a service, make sure it is easy to add or change it.
6. Usability Testing
After every step of the redesign have visitors test the usability of your website. Maybe what you thought made the website better, actually made it worse. Test every step of the way to make sure you get the best conversion possible. Make changes to your plan according to your visitor’s reaction. This will not only increase your conversion rate, but increase you returning visitors as well.
Search engine optimization will be what drives traffic to your website. It is important that you research your keywords, optimize your coding (keywords in URL, H1, H2, and in the title, good meta description) and comply with any other search engine guideline. If you are spending all this time and money to redesign your website, you might as well put in a little more time and money (or effort if you are doing it yourself) to have it done right. Be careful to have a proper balance between search engine friendliness and usability. After all, a site with 1000 visitors with a 15 percent conversation rate has the same number of customers as a site with 5000 visitors and 3 percent conversation rate. What’s more important…more customers or more visitors?
- singlegrain dot com
Monday, April 2, 2007
With this prevalence of information and increased competition for our online attention, websites must constantly strive to provide services or experiences that make things easier and more enjoyable for us, the common internet user.
There was once a time when people thought that huge technological inventions would constantly change the face of humanity. While this is true in many respects, over the last 1-2 decades the technologies that have really impacted our lives have not been groundbreakingly new, but have instead been efforts of lateral thinking. That is, they have been new uses for already-existing technology.
A fantastic example is Apple's venerable iPod. It's a cliche example, I know, but look at the phenomenon it has caused. It didn't reinvent the wheel at all, but instead took a concept that already exists (digital media playback) and simplified it. Apple removed all of the fluff and clutter that people didn't want, and instead gave them only what they need. They made it damn simple to get media and play the media anywhere they went, and because of this the term "iPod" is almost synonymous with "mp3 player," much like band-aid or kleenex is synonymous with bandage or tissue, respectively.
It is the ease of use, the convenience, the simplicity that now draw our attention in the "web2.0" space, and the websites that do not offer this typically fall by the wayside in place of more successful experiences.
YouTube revolutionized the idea of sharing. Everybody has gone to Youtube and has seen a video from there at least once in their lives. It is unavoidable, because sharing the media you enjoy is so simple and so attractive. We oftentimes come upon YouTube not because we're searching for something, but usually because a friend of ours sent us a link to a video and we checked it out. YouTube has quickly become a source of viral marketing efforts, as well, because marketers (in their infinite wisdom) see the popularity the site has as well as the free usage and think "hey, lets make a really crazy video and put it up there for everybody to share." It doesn't always work, mostly because intentional viral marketing is almost impossible to do. Aside from that point, YouTube's media is easily share-able. Heck, you can even embed videos from YouTube in your own website or blog, thus increasing the power each video has.
Now let us focus our attention upon DeviantART, the site we somehow continue to come back to time after time. Recently, a journal was posted questioning DeviantART's relevance on the internet, pointing out other competing art/media-related websites currently in existence. Some cited that DeviantART still was relevant, citing its huge community, its wealth of artwork, and its extreme popularity. Others decided DeviantART was no longer relevant, citing the implementation of pointless features and the huge delays of seemingly important ones.
I would have to say that both sides are correct. As it stands right now, DeviantART's popularity is at an all-time high. It has more artwork in its databases than all of the other competing sites combined, and its name is almost synonymous with artwork on the web. Its community is unmatched anywhere, as well. Conversely, there are also problems with DeviantART. It can at times be slow due to its huge popularity, the majority of the artwork here on the site is of questionable quality, and the community it holds so dear is in a constant state of flux because many people quickly grow tired of the atmosphere that seems to be nourished here. One also cannot ignore the fact that many of DeviantART's most promising features (groups, chat) are unfinished or buggy, and some of the ones that have been implemented aren't widely-known of or easily accessible (pasties, faq, sharing).
Let me clarify some of the points above with a bit more detail, if I may. Back in 2004, DeviantART began working on a system initially called "party mode," which was later renamed to "groups." The idea was simple, but brilliant: allow users to create their own mini-communities (ie, clubs) and manage them as they saw fit with dA-supported features like forums, chats, galleries, etc). It was a great idea, but it still hasn't seen the light of day. As it stands right now, only admins can use the groups system, but my last encounter with it was some time ago and at that time it was horribly buggy.
Then there is the chat system. While having the ability to chat with people is a great idea, the chat system is still full of bugs and errors. It is not supported across all browsers, and only functions some of the time. Committed users of the site have actually released little patches and bug fixes on their own, but to date nothing official has come from DeviantART with the intent of fixing the known bugs and opening the chat application up to a wider audience.
Next comes Pasties, which is a great feature that allows people to embed artwork they like into their own, non-dA webpages or blogs. This allows anybody to have access to artwork on DeviantART without visiting the site, but the problem is that it is difficult to use and understand. There are no clear instructions that make using Pasties quick and painless, and to my knowledge it is not beyond beta at this time.
The FAQ is an embarrassment. Not because it is inherently flawed. No, quite the contrary. People have gone to painstaking lengths to build an FAQ (that was initially written and built by volunteers) so that users of the site would have immediate, uninhibited answers to the questions most frequently asked. Here's the embarrassment, though: try to find the link. The only link that is visible without user interaction is way at the bottom of the page, requiring people to scroll all the way to the bottom of typically lengthy pages just to click on the link. This is assuming, of course, that they already know it exists in that location. I know many will be quick to point out that there is a "Help + FAQ" link in that magical drop-down menu that appears when a user clicks on the little "DA" logo in the top-left corner. No, not the big logo, the little one...right there next to where it says your name. Oh, you didn't know you were supposed to click on it? A lot of people don't, at least not until they become familiar with the site and begin exploring all of the functions. So yes, while there is an FAQ button in that menu, the people who tend to have knowledge of that menu's existence are oftentimes the ones who are already mildly familiar with the site. In my experience, people who are familiar with things tend to have less questions than those who are completely new to things. As such, those people with the most questions will have nowhere to ask them and instead turn to (drumroll please) the forums, which are oftentimes filled with nonsensical or simple questions that are usually responded to with a direct link to an FAQ article (as if the person asking the question should've already known where to look).
Our next stop is to focus on the new Sharing feature. You may not have known this function existed. Neither did I until just recently. When you visit a piece of artwork, the menu on the left-hand side now has a Share button. Clicking on it opens up a modal window, which allows you to share the work with a friend (via notes only) or by posting it on Digg and other similar sites. This is actually a feature I recommended to one $spyed not too long ago, and I'm glad to see it implemented. Whether or not it was being worked on before my recommendation, I don't know. It's a good idea and it's why sites like YouTube work so well. But unfortunately, dA missed the major point of sharing: we tend to share things with lots of people at a time. DeviantART is assuming that all of our friends and family members are already members of DeviantART, which is why it only allows us to share via notes. I don't know about you, but 85% of the people I know are not at all familiar with DeviantART and actually tend to think it's some sort of perverted sex-art website (the name + the type of work you tend to see on the home page is why). So while the idea of Sharing is great, users need the ability to share with non-members.
So with all of these problems, is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Of course there is. As it stands right now, DeviantART is huge. It has something like 80 billion (estimated) pieces of artwork and I don't know how many members. Worldwide it is the largest art website out there, and ranks amongst the top-visited websites alongside Yahoo and others. So yes, it's popular, but with all of this popularity comes slower servers and an increased need to actually purchase new servers at regular intervals. Otherwise, how are they to store all of that art?
DeviantART has been growing exponentially, and it currently shows no signs of slowing down. But realistically, we know there will come a time when it does slow down. It won't come to a crashing halt, but users' interest will dwindle and people might upload less. This will partly be due to many of the reasons I mentioned above, but will mostly be due to a need for dA to learn to maintain its relevance. How can a website like DeviantART remain relevant for years to come? It's actually not too difficult, at least on paper.
First off, DeviantART is a free website and always should be. Its power is in its open nature, where anybody and everybody can upload work. However, there is an issue regarding the quality of the work that is uploaded. While it is unrealistic to expect a site such as this to have nothing but good artwork on it, there needs to be motivation on the company's part to attract better artists. This comes through better brand support.
DeviantART, right now, has no brand. Literally. If I were to put a mascot like Fella in front of my grandfather, he wouldn't know what the hell it is, nor would he associate it with DeviantART. He would just see a puffy dude that looks kind of angry, and that would be that. Fella is not DeviantART's brand. Some might say this gray-green is DeviantART's brand. It's not. You cannot use grey-green by itself as an identifying symbol in marketing materials of any sort. Okay, so that leaves the logo, right? No. The logotype (the word "deviantART" in the top-left corner) was actually designed by myself and Anthony Scerri. It was a huge compromise, and quite frankly it could've been a lot better. There was a large motivation to appease the community on the whole, and this turned it into a design by committee situation...and those always end in stale work. The ligature mark DeviantART uses every so often (the "da" symbol) isn't successful either. Without pre-existing knowledge of DeviantART, that symbol doesn't tell you anything about the company nor the website. Nothing. It literally says nothing. A good logo tells you something about the company; be it a feeling, a style, or a clear message of what they do. As it stands right now, DeviantART has no communicative brand, and no way of selling itself to the public.
So the first effort should be on creating a real brand. A brand that can be used across a wide array of media. A brand that actually says something to people unfamiliar with it to begin with.
The second effort should be in the support of non-web-based artwork. DeviantART should create a presence in the worldwide art space by supporting art galleries (large and small), by releasing publications of selected DeviantART work, and in turn by promoting those publications in the press. DeviantART should also support art-related educational institutions, at the very least to legitimize its name. The purpose of all of this is to link the name "DeviantART" up with "art" in the minds of the public and to hopefully supersede the initial reactions to the name "deviantart" as it being an erotic/porno website.
The third effort should be on fixing the problems mentioned above. Streamline the site, release features that actually make the site more enjoyable and easier to use, fix bugs in features that already exist, and reduce the transparency of the company in the community space.
Wait, reduce the transparency of the company in the community space? Huh? Well, right now there are a lot of admins, and everybody knows who they are. Knowing who the top admins are is fine, but people shouldn't know who the lower-level staffers are. Why? Because it causes too much corporate saturation in an otherwise community-based atmosphere. If people have problems, there should be channels by which those problems can be funneled. The channels should be clear and easy to find, and the problems should be responded to as quickly as possible. Setup hotlines for paying customers (yes, subscriptions should stay) so they can get help in uploading their work or get problems resolved faster. Overall, make those who are high-level employees clear, and remove the appearance of officiousness in those who are simply volunteers or staffers. This will allow the site, on the whole, to become more community-driven and more focused on the artwork rather than the dealings of the of "evil company."
Finally, in conclusion, and to end my writings here, let me just say that my suggestions here come from a place of love and caring. The biggest fans are oftentimes the biggest critics, so don't take criticism as heresy. Things cannot improve unless there are problems to be fixed, and recognizing the problem is the first step to recovery.
- Ryan Ford
There is a movement out there. You can hear it. Shhhh. Listen carefully. Hear that buzzing noise? The one that sounds like a mosquito? Yeah that's the one.
The movement of which I speak is a somewhat recent anti-brand, anti-advertising, anti-marketing grassroots movement which aims to let the world know how useless, harmful, and evil advertising on the whole is.
I point to sites like areyougeneric.org and the anti-advertising agency as examples.
These movements and initiatives look for support from others who share the common goal or belief that corporate America is evil and marketing is to blame. While I revel in and enjoy the anti-capitalist sentiment (I honestly do enjoy rebellion), I think these movements are misguided, misinformed, and in some ways hypocritical.
Allow me to explain, if I may.
These movements' primary message seems to be that branding is bad. That it clutters our society with visual pollution and noise that hides the true nature of our being and removes us even further from a natural, more organic lifestyle. In the case of areyougeneric.org, they actually have a battlecry: "No Logo. No Brand. Pure Concept." This might seem honorable and anti-establishment at first, but let's look closer. Right there, next to their links...sort of to the left. Oh, yup. There it is. A logo. It's trying to be an anti-logo, but it's a logo nonetheless. And that battlecry? Why, it's a tagline! They tried to keep it non-tagline-ish by having two taglines that are used at random on page load, but they're still taglines. More accurately, they're positioning statements.
The idea of the "brand" is commonly frowned upon because it has become marketing lingo. All marketers know that a product or company needs a brand; that message it sends the public that tells us if it's cool (Scion), if its eco-friendly (GE), or if it's serious business (CNN). The brand isn't anything evil or malicious, but rather it is a way of allowing us to identify the positives and negatives associated with a company or product (usually they focus on the positives, of course). Branding is not unique to companies, though. Branding is a part of every day life, but usually it goes by another term: street smarts.
When we're walking down the street and we come across a rough-looking guy, our intuition and experience tells us to back off and avoid him because he looks like he might mess us up. The rough-looking guy himself has actually gone to great lengths to brand himself as tough. Perhaps he doesn't shave often, has a mean look about him, is very muscular, etc. All of these elements, when put together, send the public a clear message that this guy is tough. As humans, we pick up on these intricacies and formulate opinions about our "tough guy" as we do with all other people. It is natural, and we do it with everybody and everything. We rely upon these prejudgement abilities every day of our lives, and we always run the risk of being incorrect. For example, our "tough guy" could actually be a really nice person who loves cuddly puppies, but we wouldn't know it without actually getting to know him. However, his outward appearance and the message he sends is that of a tough guy, and as such we leave him alone.
Now let's compare him with a product. If a product were released that was plain, had no message, no name, no nothing, would you know how to feel about it? Well, you might: you'd probably not feel much of anything. Think of it as our "tough guy" totally stripped down and without any attitude. It'd be generic, uninteresting, and without importance. To avoid this problem, a brand is necessary. The brand communicates to us what the product is, what it does, and why it's good. It sends us messages that we pick up on, which allow us to formulate opinions based upon the data we're receiving. We humans are pretty perceptive like that.
So brands, inherently, are not bad things. The negativity lies all in how they're used.
As consumers, we are pretty jaded. When we look at products, we tend to scrutinize them more than any other generation of people ever have. Our grandparents lived in a world of trustworthiness, where the car salesman down the street was actually your neighbor and did everything in his power to treat you fairly. But not this generation. Not at all. We look up facts, we read reviews, and we complain to high-heaven if the product doesn't do what it's supposed to. We can sum up all this cynicism and skepticism and point towards one culprit: false marketing.
False marketing is, as it would imply, the practice of deceiving the public into believing something that is not true. A lot of infomercials are guilty of this practice, over-promising and under-delivering with the wares they sell. Lies in the name of profit have damaged the face of marketing, and as such we humans simply do not believe much of what is sold to us. The lies have essentially ruined it all, and isn't that always the case?
So instead of being anti-brand, anti-advertising, and anti-corporation, we need to look more closely at the companies ruining it for the rest of us. Those companies that lie about what their products do, or manipulate the data in order to support their claims, or add little asterisks next to claims in the effort of forcing you to read fine print (but it's so small they know you won't read it). We need to take those brands and tear them down, and support the honest brands in the world. The ones that represent simple products that do what they say. Overall, we simply need to be more specific as to the causes we fight, because lumping all marketers together is unfair and hurts the craft on the whole.
- Ryan Ford
1990 was a momentous year in world events. In February, Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in prison. In April, the space shuttle Discovery carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. And in October, Germany was reunified.
Then at the end of 1990, a revolution took place that changed the way we live today.
Tim Berners-Lee followed his dream of a better, easier way to communicate via computers on a global scale, which led him to create the
Robert Cailliau, collaborator on the World-Wide Web project and first Web surfer.
The historic NeXT computer used by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, on display in the Microcosm exhibition at CERN. It was the first web server, hypermedia browser and web editor.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is where it all began in March 1989. A physicist, Tim Berners-Lee, wrote a proposal for information management showing how information could be transferred easily over the Internet by using hypertext, the now familiar point-and-click system of navigating through information. The following year, Robert Cailliau, a systems engineer, joined in and soon became its number one advocate.
The idea was to connect hypertext with the Internet and personal computers, thereby having a single information network to help CERN physicists share all the computer-stored information at the laboratory. Hypertext would enable users to browse easily between texts on web pages using links; The first examples were developed on NeXT computers.
Berners-Lee created a browser-editor with the goal of developing a tool to make the Web a creative space to share and edit information and build a common hypertext. What should they call this new browser: The Mine of Information? The Information Mesh? When they settled on a name in May 1990, it was the WorldWideWeb.
Info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first web page address was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, which centred on information regarding the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information. There are no screenshots of this original page and, in any case, changes were made daily to the information available on the page as the WWW project developed. You may find a later copy (1992) on the World Wide Web Consortium website.
However, a website is like a telephone; if there's just one it's not much use. Berners-Lee's team needed to send out server and browser software. The NeXT systems however were far advanced over the computers people generally had at their disposal: a far less sophisticated piece of software was needed for distribution.
By spring of 1991, testing was underway on a universal line mode browser, which would be able to run on any computer or terminal. It was designed to work simply by typing commands. There was no mouse, no graphics, just plain text, but it allowed anyone with an Internet connection access to the information on the Web.
During 1991 servers appeared in other institutions in Europe and in December 1991, the first server outside the continent was installed in the US at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). By November 1992, there were 26 servers in the world, and by October 1993 the figure had increased to over 200 known web servers. In February 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Chicago released the first version of Mosaic, which was to make the Web available to people using PCs and Apple Macintoshes.
... and the rest is Web history.
Although the Web's conception began as a tool to aid physicists answer tough questions about the Universe, today its usage applies to various aspects of the global community and affects our daily lives.
Today there are upwards of 80 million websites, with many more computers connected to the Internet, and hundreds of millions of users. If households nowadays want a computer, it is not to compute, but to go on the Web.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
You are now one of the few who are not afraid to get close to an HIV positive person.
Agency: BETC Euro RSCG, France
Creative Director: Stéphane Xiberras
Copywriter: Sylvie Charhon
Art Director: Gérald Schmite
Photographer: Ben Hasset
New jeans and everything else you might need.
Kista Galleria. The great shopping mall.
Agency: Grey, Stockholm, Sweden
Art Director: Marcus Enström
Copywriter: Josefine Adner
Photographer: Alexander Crispin
Published: March 2007
Listening to lots
Owned by no one
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London, UK
Executive Creative Director: Tony Davidson
Creative: Ian Perkins, Sophie Bodoh
Creative Directors: Michael Russoff, Marc Shillum
Producer: Joanna Borton
Every year, thousands of children are the victim. And 100 million landmines are still undetected. Help us: www.landmine.de
Agency: JWT, Frankfurt
Executive Creative Director: Mike Ries
Art Director: Katrin Berle
Copywriter: Jan Koehler
A life raft for 6.6 billion people.
Come on board: www.oceans.greenpeace.org
Agency: Lowe AG, Switzerland
Creative Directors: Valentina Herrmann, Beat Egger
Art Directors: Valentina Herrmann, Fernando Perez
Copywriters: Beat Egger, Keith Loell
"Rookies doctorsAgency: This is a thing!, Milan, Italy
Every wensday at 9 p.m.
Only on MTV"
Creative Directors: Pino Rozzi, Roberto Battaglia
Art Director: Federico Pepe
Copywriter: Stefania Siani
Illustrators: Nicola Spreafico, Germano Finco
"Everything you don't want to know.
24 hrs news channel."
Agency: Marcel Paris, Paris, France
Creative Directors: Fred & Farid, Piacentini Sebastian, Gregoire Chalopin
Art Directors: Piacentini Sebastian, Gregoire Chalopin, Tristan Dubois
Copywriters: Piacentini Sebastian, Gregoire Chalopin, Tristan Dubois
Relax. If you can.
AXN. A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company
Agency: The Voluntarily United Group of Creative Agencies, 1861 United, Milan, Italy
Art Director: Peppe Cirillo
Copywriter: Vincenzo Celli
Photographer: Fulvio Bonavia
Published: November 2006
The Canadian Filmmakers Festival in theatres March 22nd to 25th, 2007
Agency: Gjp Advertising, Toronto, Canada
Creative Director: John Farquhar
Copywriter: Lino DiNallo
Art Director: Arron Isaac
Agency Producer: Kat Ledgett
Account Management: Meagan Madill
Published: March 2007
Help AMI today. You might need them in the future.
Agency: Y&R RedCell Portugal
Art Directors: Maria João Andrade, Tico Moraes
Copywriter: Teresa Leite
Photographer: Andy Wagner, IMAGETAP
If men were women, we'd insure them.
But they're not. So they don't get to pay substantially lower car insurance premiums.
Cover with care.
Agency: Black River Football Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
Creative Director: Ahmed Tilly
Art Director: Nicola Bower
Copywriter: Khaya Dlanga
Photographer: Mike Lewis
BMW Premium Selection used cars. As if they’d never touched the road.
Agency: D’Adda, Lorenzini, Vigorelli, BBDO, Milan, Italy
Art Director: Vincenzo Gasbarro, Luis Toniutti
Copywriter: Lorenzo Crespi
Photographer: Vincenzo Gasbarro
via: I believe in adv