I'm Katherine, and I'm a senior web designer at ion currently on my maternity leave. I've taken some time today because I feel the need to tell you a little secret.
The ion platform is amazing and has spoiled me as a designer. Otherwise, how could I get an interactive birth announcement out the door 6 days after my first daughter was born? I'm telling you, without ion, I couldn't.
The ion platform gives designers the ability to utilize their creativity by allowing them the freedom to design for the web without unknown limitations. When designing for the web before ion, I constantly had to worry about if a certain feature would be possible within my time constraints or if my client would be able to edit the page with ease. With ion, I know my template is flexible, and that I can build something that is both beautiful and useful without worry.
This is exactly why ion is so amazing. You can take our templates, the Quick Starts (which I am quite proud of because myself and my team have put a lot of thought into these), or create your own templates from which you can begin, like I did with my birth announcement. It's not necessary to be a designer to work in the ion platform either, so anyone could hop in and make these kind of last minute updates. Here's the breakdown of how my birth announcement translates into a business scenario:
1 - Ability To Plan for the Unpredictable
ion allows you to use templates to get information in quickly. Births aren't all that different from business—you may know something big is happening, but you might not know when you'll need to get relevant information out to people. ion allows you to create templates that anyone can easily jump in and edit for when the time is right. No worries about a certain team member being available to make an edit and launch—anyone can do it!
2 - Flexibility
Obviously, the ion platform was probably never intended to make birth announcements. I highly doubt any of the co-founders have ever sat around and said "Hey, let's make interactive content to announce babies." But that's the thing—it CAN do that. The ion platform is incredibly flexible, as our over 100 Quick Starts and counting will show you, and you can do more than we could ever show you with it.
3 - Interactivity
When a user interacts with a page, it causes them to have to think about the information being presented to them. It becomes more of a conversation than just an announcement. Having a little quiz makes this experience something personal for people, if they want it. I was also able to tag the 'Calendar' button to see how many people were interested in coming and possibly having a visit with us and our daughter. This is a great advantage—wouldn't you like to know how many people were interested in visiting your business?
4 - Anyone Can Do It
I'm not going to tell you that off the bat anyone could make my birth announcement. Otherwise, I wouldn't have a job as a web designer! But could anyone take the generic template I made and update the numbers and images? Of course! It requires no code knowledge and very minimal knowledge of the ion platform. Can you double click and retype? Then you are golden with ion!
5 - Speed
I can't emphasize speed enough. What use is an announcement or other time sensitive web site if you can't make it quickly? The ion platform allows for quick builds and changes because it's not recreating the wheel every time. While my template was created from a blank page, I used elements from the platform and tricks I've learned while publishing to quickly create something. The time difference between this and what it would have been had I needed to code this site? In the ion platform, I was able to build the template in about 2 hours. Here's a screenshot of the template before I entered my final info:
Had I coded it, this could have easily taken triple the amount of time. It also would have been a lot harder than a click of a button to launch it! Here, I switched over a traffic source I was utilizing from my pregnancy announcement to this creative in about 10 seconds flat!
Keep this in mind when you are launching your next campaign—if you want something that makes your life easier, I have to tell you that the ion platform is it for interactive content.
Now.... where is the ion equivalent for raising this baby?