Web Design Blog

a web design & development blog by Think Bigger Media, Erie, PA.

7. October 2013 10:00
by Alfie Ethan
0 Comments

Developing a Comprehension for Web Aesthetics

7. October 2013 10:00 by Alfie Ethan | 0 Comments

Web AestheticsWeb standards have evolved in terms of separating the presentation and content from each other. Unfortunately, the differentiation between the two is often misconstrued in context to the aspect of coding only. The focus shifts to responsive web design principles that call for developing flexible layouts on the web. The three constituents of the web medium are HTTP, URLs and HTML.  Many application developers tend to overlook these elements in their design; resulting in denying responsiveness and adaptability in their design. Ultimately, the web designs that surface afterwards lack the primary design principle – the capacity of being accessible from any kind of hardware that can be connected to the Internet.


Accepting the Constraints

It is important for programmers to understand the underlying constraints of images. By understanding the limitations, programmers are implored to design around the problem. The first and foremost point to address calls out for pertains to optimize the available images.  Instead of adding images of varying sizes, how about adding a single optimized version? Many times, a picture with altered aesthetics may appeal more than the original or you can also opt for progressive enhancement in which the resolution of an image is raised by increasing its number. Ultimately anything on the web degrades down to plain text; implying that a handy tool for a designer could be a text editor that controls the final layout of any kind of content.

There are no distinct guidelines that designers could use as direction on the web direct. However, universality becomes the norm where designers and developers are encouraged to go beyond the convention and embrace the radical. The key to solving all these issues lies in the fundamental principle – defocusing your attention from imagining websites in lesser binary terms and contemplate the diverse landscape of the web.
 
Addressing the Problem

While designing websites, many designers assume a typical layout that comprises of a header, footer, navigation on the top and a content area with a sidebar. This design came into place for desktop applications. But if same design is followed for web version of the app; it is likely to fail. The goal is to achieve a middle ground in having the best aspects of desktop applications and the native interface of the web blend in together. A good example in this scenario is Gmail. The primary responsibility of a designer is to work on a design with a blank canvas in mind. It is only then that designer will be able to deliver experiences more applicable to the web.

The design of news related websites are peculiarly inspired by the conventional printed newspaper layout – meaning there is a clutter of information, links and images juxtaposed together. The entire sense of actually absorbing anything useful from the website seems unlikely as the user may experience a sense of suffocation. Because of this reason, many developers are more determined to represent the content in a better layout and focus on the images related to it at a later stage. Similar is the case with task-oriented sites that require designers to re-examine the approach for eliminating the scrolling so that the user can view the content without the need for repeatedly scrolling from left to right.

The websites related to online music streaming are not content oriented because of which the design is somewhat similar for both web and desktop versions. The primary difference between apps and traditional websites is the advertisements. Widely displayed in desktop versions, the mobile apps of these music websites lack the inadvertent display of advertisements.

Conclusion

In short, it is important to find inspiration from other aspects of media and platforms to evaluate the usability and applicability of web aesthetics. By gaining the realization of what actually works and what doesn’t; you develop the know-how of being inspired rather than being governed by conventions.

 

About the Author:
Alfie E. Ethan is a Research Analyst at Techliance, a web and mobile applications solutions company. Possessing a keen insight about latest technological platforms and trends, Alfie has made his niche in writing exemplary and highly informative articles and blog posts. You can contact with me on Facebook.

 

 

10. July 2013 11:00
by Tony Evans
3 Comments

10 Ways You Can Improve Your Branding And Catch More Leads

10. July 2013 11:00 by Tony Evans | 3 Comments

 

No matter how many times people are reminded: "Don't judge a book by its cover", people will judge by the cover. If we judge other people shallowly, how shallow-er can we get when judging a product? Our cover - our brand - is pivotal in the success of our business. That much you should've learned in your business courses. So, if your business is going to be judged by the cover, don't you think that cover should look insanely gorgeous? Say yes. Here are 10 ways you can improve your branding to catch more leads.

 

1.      Make Sure You Have A Kick-Ass Logo

Your logo is the most recognizable visual icon which your product will be associated with. The trending "logo quizzes" are testament to this - that people identify brands through their logos. (Btw, I ridiculously enjoy playing that game!) Logos don't have to be complicated, in fact simple is better. But you have to put a lot of thought and creativity into this, don't just get the initials of your company and slap it in your product - be creatively distinct (that is the challenge!)

2.      Have a Snappy Slogan

The slogan is the escort of the logo. It may be short, but this word or words should embody the brand. I love Coca-Cola campaigns they are amazing – those slogans have cemented the Coca Cola brand.

3.      Develop A Stand-Out Website

Gone are the days when people only find out about a product or service through radio or tv commercials. People find you on the internet. If you don't have a stand-out website to give more beef to your credibility and quality, then people will bounce out - and you will lose any potential customers. Your website is another "cover" - people will judge you by it. You need a site that pulls people in so that hopefully, when they get to that call to action they will take it.

4.      Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Like Crazy

Social media is the new "it" game for marketers everywhere. People are heavily immersing themselves in social media that is why it's the best place to introduce them to your brand. A word of caution: social media is not a place for hard-sell. Create content that attracts people to your brand first.

5.      Don’t Be A Man Of Steel, Humanize

The beauty of content development is that it shows the other side of the business. It’s not all hard-sell. Branding is not just about the face of the company – it’s about the character of the company. People identify with people. Through blogs, social media postings and other means of content development try to humanize the brand. Show other aspects, such as glimpses in the life of staff. What moral standards does the company stand for, fight for?

6.      Show Some Emotion

Again, people do not identify with things, they identify with people. Add some emotion of your branding and marketing campaigns. I’ve noticed that some of the best commercials are those that show emotion.

7.      Give A Care About Online Reputation Management

The internet is such a powerful influence. It can be used to build you up and unfortunately to tear you down (and feed you to the dogs). If someone chooses to release negative publicity about you in the internet – it’ll be there forever. If, say, you are a restaurant, you wouldn’t want to be associated with the phrase rat infestation. So keep a close watch on your online reputation, make it clean and crisp because once it is defiled, it’ll be hard to clean up.

8.      Avoid Going Marketese

Simply said, going marketese is writing with words that are in-your-face promotional. These are the words to avoid, words such as: the best, super cheap, unbeatable, amazing etc. Trust me, people avoid marketese brands like the plague.

9.      Be In Constant Communication With Your Customers

The only way to nourish customer relationship and brand loyalty is to always keep in touch with them – especially when they have concerns. One area where companies are miserably failing is in giving immediate replies to customer feedback. It is highly important that your relationship with the customer beyond the purchase. They have to feel taken care of, otherwise they will switch to another brand.

10.  Deliver The Goods: Say and Do!

Don't think that you can just lie and say great things about your product and get away with it. Aside from all the marketing and branding campaigns, the ultimate decider is the quality of the product itself. Remember the ORM influence of the internet. If opinion about your brand sways to the negative, it’ll be hard to bounce back. Hopefully, these tips have made you look cooler in people’s book-cover-judging eyes.

 

Enthusiastic about art, passionate about business, and crazy about food, +Tony Evanss has spent the latest years of her life immersed in developing websites and managing projects. When Tony isn't working, she's busy dreaming about taking business courses in Melbourne and culinary lessons in Italy.

 

 

3. April 2013 10:30
by Brandon Leibowitz
13 Comments

Step By Step Guide On How to Create an E-commerce Site

3. April 2013 10:30 by Brandon Leibowitz | 13 Comments

There are many ways to make money online. You can easily gain recognition from your target audience by having your own website which you can manage by yourself. However, starting up an e-commerce website can be very difficult. It needs careful planning and the right business model to take you to success.

Find Your Niche

The first thing you need to do is to know your niche. Once you learn everything about it, you can be the master. Know the ins and outs of the products and services you are selling. Learn the supply and demand trend and formulate strategies on how your business will stand out from the rest.

Find a Marketplace

You can always go for the free ones but it would be the best to have your own domain and hosting service. Compare the web hosting offers and see which one will give you the best features and will make things a lot easier for you. Choose the one with site builder tools, ecommerce website templates, shopping cart and payment solutions feature. You must also consider the customer support relevance as it should be able to attend your needs whenever you encounter a problem.

Hire a Web Design Company

Though things would be better off personalized, you can still do such by hiring a reputable web design company. The web design company will guide you through the entire process of putting up your website. Just make sure that you choose a web design company that will be able to cater to all your needs. This is not limited to a great web design but also includes social media integration features and search engine optimization. Other issues such as security and privacy features as well as the major needs of an ecommerce website which are shopping cart (and easy navigation) and payment redirection services also rank highly.

It is all up to you on how to build your website. You can always meet with the team to let them know about your plans. Talk about the theme, your design, your approach to the market and how you plan on directing traffic to the website.  Discuss about strategies on making your website as appealing as possible to the market of your choice. Talk about how long details and provided information would be, how pictures should be posted and strategy in placing pictures and product details at once.

Test Your Website

Lastly, look at the finished product. You must be satisfied about the outcome of every piece of detail in the website. You should know your market and as a business owner, you must have the foresight to predict whether elements of your website will not be good for your prospective clients.

 

Brandon is an expert when it comes to designing and building ecommerce websites throughout the web. He is also enjoys traveling and visiting Los Angeles convention halls

 

 

1. April 2013 11:00
by Tiffany Tobert
10 Comments

SEO Success: How to Make it Work for Your Business

1. April 2013 11:00 by Tiffany Tobert | 10 Comments

SEOIn the world of online marketing, it is important to understand what sells. Before you sell a product, you want your customers to know about you. Businesses need to ensure that their websites have maximum visibility. Most people know SEO as placing keywords into a specific text, video or image in order to boost the site's search engine rankings. While this is important, it is also good to know just how this can help you. 

Customers are going to see the website in the listings, but they will also want to know what the site is about. They need to be convinced to read further and take a look at products and services that your website is selling.

Compelling, High-Quality Content

Stuffing keywords into a text is not going to give you the results you want. First of all, the search engines are not going to keep your website high up in the rankings for very long. Secondly, your readers are not going to take you seriously if you have content that is boring and filled with grammatical errors. What you need to do is make sure that you can produce thoughtful, compelling content that is grammatically sound and spelled correctly. It is true that not everyone is meant to be a writer. Fortunately, there are individuals who do just this in order to help a business expand their visibility. You need to come up with ideas for articles that will win customers over. Key words will also have to be included in the text, but they need to fit in and make sense. Coming up with a good article is going to take some time, and therefore having the basics down is a good start. Afterwards, you can hire a professional to help you with designing the content and making it a compelling piece to read.

Using the Right Key Words

Key words are the lifeblood of SEO and are what will allow your website to increase in visibility. Search engines look closely at keyword density, however. What you need to do is know exactly how many keywords an article is going to need. If you have too many keywords in your text, then a search engine will be more than likely to mark it as spam. The recommended keyword density for all website content is usually around five percent.

A good way of making your article unique is to avoid using generic terms. Instead, use keywords that are specifically related to your company. Instead of adding keyword phrases such as "buy shoes online", you can change it to "buy Adidas shoes online". Something that is tailored towards your company will help to give the article a specific ring.

External Links

Getting recommended by another well-known company is always good publicity, and this can happen online as well. Try to get other websites which are more influential to link back to your company's website. The key to doing this is to create content that other companies will find useful for their own websites to display. These companies will then link these articles to their own sites, and hence help to increase your own visibility. You can also choose to pay other companies to do this.

Making Search Engine Optimization your own is going to take planning and thinking. Ultimately, you need to know how to stand out. Standing out will help to increase your overall visibility and drive more traffic towards your website.

In the world of online marketing, it is important to understand what sells. Before you sell a product, you want your customers to know about you. Businesses need to ensure that their websites have maximum visibility. Most people know SEO as placing keywords into a specific text, video or image in order to boost the site's search engine rankings. While this is important, it is also good to know just how this can help you. Customers are going to see the website in the listings, but they will also want to know what the site is about. They need to be convinced to read further and take a look at products and services that your website is selling.

Compelling, High-Quality Content

Stuffing keywords into a text is not going to give you the results you want. First of all, the search engines are not going to keep your website high up in the rankings for very long. Secondly, your readers are not going to take you seriously if you have content that is boring and filled with grammatical errors. What you need to do is make sure that you can produce thoughtful, compelling content that is grammatically sound and spelled correctly. It is true that not everyone is meant to be a writer. Fortunately, there are individuals who do just this in order to help a business expand their visibility. You need to come up with ideas for articles that will win customers over. Key words will also have to be included in the text, but they need to fit in and make sense. Coming up with a good article is going to take some time, and therefore having the basics down is a good start. Afterwards, you can hire a professional to help you with designing the content and making it a compelling piece to read.

Using the Right Key Words

Key words are the lifeblood of SEO and are what will allow your website to increase in visibility. Search engines look closely at keyword density, however. What you need to do is know exactly how many keywords an article is going to need. If you have too many keywords in your text, then a search engine will be more than likely to mark it as spam. The recommended keyword density for all website content is usually around five percent.

A good way of making your article unique is to avoid using generic terms. Instead, use keywords that are specifically related to your company. Instead of adding keyword phrases such as "buy shoes online", you can change it to "buy Adidas shoes online". Something that is tailored towards your company will help to give the article a specific ring.

External Links

Getting recommended by another well-known company is always good publicity, and this can happen online as well. Try to get other websites which are more influential to link back to your company's website. The key to doing this is to create content that other companies will find useful for their own websites to display. These companies will then link these articles to their own sites, and hence help to increase your own visibility. You can also choose to pay other companies to do this.

Making Search Engine Optimization your own is going to take planning and thinking. Ultimately, you need to know how to stand out. Standing out will help to increase your overall visibility and drive more traffic towards your website.

 

Lynne Reed is a freelance writer who writes for several content companies as well as private clients. Subject areas that she covers include Seo tips and tricks, online marketing and blogging for Search Engine Optimization