Welcome to the conversation!


Hello! We're the Studio for Digital Craftsmanship (S4DC for short), and while thousands of people pack department stores today, we're quietly entering the blogosphere! 

Who we are

We're a group of designers, developers, and problem solvers based in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. Our goal is to make the world a better place by doing what we're best at: applying the tenets of master craftsmanship to complex systems, processes, and problems. We're all about giving people intuitive online and offline experiences, made for just about any device.

What's On Our Minds

Since it's the make-or-break day for consumer spending, we're sharing a few thoughts on Black Friday. This year, it's been re-shaped yet again by digital tools. And, given competition combined a constant drive for efficiency on all sides of the consumer equation, this day and our buying methods in general will continue to morph. Here's what we believe business leaders can learn from this day and carry forward throughout the year.

Mobile Dominates

Whatever your opinions on consumerism or holiday spending, this day will decide for many retailers whether they turn a profit. On average, shoppers are anticipated to spend almost $1,000 each today on all kinds of stuff. In total, the impact is expected to be in the billions. But as retail giants erode around us, we're seeing fewer lines around the block waiting with anticipation to grab the best deals. Online shopping (here comes Cyber Monday...!) and especially mobile shopping have obviously become major concerns for traditional establishments.

Brick-and-mortar 'first' businesses have given way to online first, and if they didn't they're taking a beating. What's coming clear this year though is that online may not be enough as mobile first begins to pull ahead. This year, mobile sales are estimated to outperform even desktop spending and that will change purchasing behavior and patterns once again. 

Knowing that mobile sales are on the rise and technologies are always changing, here is our advice for any company trying to stay competitive, even after the Black Friday is over.

  1. Small, fast, simple. Overcomplicated shopping experiences mean fewer sales. Make it easy for me to commit in as few clicks as possible.
  2. Show me the real thing! No one wants a surprisingly small product arriving at their door. Give me accurate dimensions and size comparisons. Better yet...
  3. Augment my world. Invest in AR. Don't just show what that dryer would look like in a home, show how it would look in my home.
  4. Email isn't dead. Effective consumer management and engagement is important, and the inbox continues to be an effective place to communicate on my terms.
  5. Social is still expanding. Don't settle for standard social media outreach. This field changes fast. If you aren't using SnapChat, you may already be behind (and we might even be behind simply suggesting it ;-)