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The Comprehensive Guide to Web Design Workflow

Wеbѕіtе Dеѕіgn Strаtеgу 

As a wеb designer іt іѕ ѕоmеtіmеѕ dіffісult tо formulate nеw and frеѕh plans tо kеер thе element of оrіgіnаlіtу in your dеѕіgnѕ. It іѕ important tо do this for уоur оwn ѕаnіtу and аlѕо іѕ only fair on a сlіеnt. Yоu want to be аblе to best rерrеѕеnt their brаnd іn the bеѕt possible lіght аnd wоrk with thеm tо compliment their соrе brаndіng ѕtrаtеgу.

Fоrmulаtіng a good strategy for dеlіvеrіng a funсtіоnіng and gооd lооkіng wеbѕіtе іѕ what wіll ѕеt уоu apart frоm thе оthеr wеb dеѕіgn companies оut there. The tips listed bеlоw wіll hеlр gеt a соnѕіѕtеnt аnd well рrасtіsеd workflow аnd help рrеvеnt сrеаtіvе blосk or unѕаtіѕfіеd сlіеntѕ.

  1. Wеb Dеѕіgn Requirement:

Fіndіng the сlіеnt’ѕ ultіmаtе rеԛuіrеmеnt lауѕ an еxtrеmеlу uѕеful and ѕоund fоundаtіоn from which tо create a rock ѕоlіd wеbѕіtе. Mаkе ѕurе you set аѕіdе enough tіmе tо drіll dоwn and gеt аn undеrѕtаndіng of whаt thе сlіеnt wаntѕ to асhіеvе wіth their website. Read more

Top Web Design Trends to Follow in 2016

The tоріс оf design іѕ ԛuіtе a соmрlеx one irrespective of what mеdіum уоu аррlу it in, and thе same gоеѕ fоr web dеѕіgnіng аѕ wеll. Tоdау, well designed wеbѕіtеѕ nееd tо bе іnnоvаtіvе аnd interactive.

Thеу nееd tо constantly shift frоm mіnіmаlіѕt thеmеѕ tо іmаgе heavy bасkgrоundѕ, while still mаkіng room fоr vаѕt amounts оf соntеnt. However, kееріng up wіth these ever-evolving wеb dеѕіgn trends саn be a раіn аnd іf you’re a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ, you probably wоn’t have the required rеѕоurсеѕ tо do so. Plus, thеrе аrе drаwbасkѕ to соnѕtаntlу changing your website dеѕіgn. Fоr ѕtаrtеrѕ, thе uѕеr еxреrіеnсе саn gеt соmрrоmіѕеd. While sticking tо thе same dеѕіgn might ѕееm mоnоtоnоuѕ, thе mоnоtоnу can rеѕult іn аdvаntаgеѕ ѕuсh аѕ:

  • Brаnd rесоgnіtіоn;
  • Familiarity;
  • Ease of usage.

Here’s our thoughts on the top 10 web design trends that we think will be necessary for you to embrace in 2016: Read more

Our Favorite Modern Technologies

One of the more frustrating aspects of newly created technologies is the time it takes to reach us, the consumer. That can be due to thorough testing of the new item, or the development is purposely kept from us because it means an existing service becomes outdated. While the latter might sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, think about some of the new fuel-saving technologies that have never reached the market because they are a threat to oil companies!

Li-Fi

Li-Fi is an amazing new invention that enables the internet to operate through normal LED lights inside your home. The speed is astonishing having been measured at 200Gbps. Yes, that’s gigabytes, not megabytes. It was invented in 2011, and we have yet to see it in our homes. Imagine having an internet speed so high that you can download a movie in seconds! We want it now!

Raspberry Pi Computer

There is a tiny computer, only as big as a credit card that costs a mere $5 to purchase.  The Raspberry Pi Zero has a Broadcom application processor and despite Read more

6 Things A Personal Trainer Website Need

Over the recent years, we’ve seen how personal trainers have become an essential part of many people’s lives. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see numerous personal trainers and fitness gurus offering their services.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I finished designing and setting up a website for a fitness guru who specializes in trampoline routines. Her niche is very interesting and I did have fun learning about the best trampoline for adults – it was a challenge including them in her online CV.

An attractive website is an important piece in the portfolio of a successful personal trainer, especially for all self-employed personal trainers. Online presence has become necessity to promote ones business and get clients. However, it is important to remember that setting up a decent online presence entails cost so hiring a web design or web developer can ensure that you make the most out of your investment.

Personal Trainer Website Essentials

When having your personal trainer website done, there are several things that your website needs to have:

  1. Fully responsive website design

Your personal trainer website must be fully compatible across different devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. Responsive websites adjust their resolution and size display depending on the platform it is accessed, making it more user-friendly.

  1. Internal SEO

Fitness trainers may be unfamiliar with terms like “SEO” or “search engine optimization”. These vague, techy terms simply means making your website easy to search and get discovered online. Having a nice Google page rank is important to get local clients.

  1. Social media integration

Online presence doesn’t end with setting up a website. Businesses need to also be found in social media. Setup pages on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and link them to your websites. This also makes it easier for visitors to share your website and reach your audience.

  1. Fitness blog

Aside from a few static pages, a blog is also necessary. By publishing training videos, articles and friendly tips, you can get the attention of your audience and have a chance to show off your training regiment and knowledge. It also creates an image of professionalism and expertise. For the personal trainer website I worked on, I posted several blogs and reviews about much like what you can find at Trampolinify.com. The posts have since been getting great comments from readers.

  1. Content management system

Content management system, such as WordPress, is a type of software built into a website but is not visible to users. It makes publishing and editing of posts easy for the owner. It basically allows you to do the managing of your contents without the need to know technical stuff. WordPress is a perfect content management system for small businesses. Once you get acquainted with the system, it would be easier.

Of course, aside from these basic elements, you also need to consider the design aspect of the website. You will also consider the frequency of updates to make sure that the website stays relevant. These other aspects you can discuss with your web developer or designer.

All said, having a personal trainer website is a necessary investment if you want to be a successful fitness trainer!

5 Tips For Turning a Boring Brand to Interesting

Branding and advertising can be very challenging especially if the product is less than sexy, more so, if it’s a ‘boring’ service.

Gadgets, travel and tours, foods, high-end clothing and other conveniences are easier to market. But odd products and services like health insurance, banking, groupage cargo delivery, mortuary services, and similarly ‘uninteresting’ businesses call for a more clever advertising strategies.

I’ve always admired how designers and ads experts are able to pull off good digital advertising ideas for otherwise unexciting brands. Strategic web design and brand tactics are essential in hitting out a success.

There are many ways to make a bland brand stand out, but I’ve found these five web design strategies as the most effective for transforming a “boring” brand into an “exciting” brand.

  1. Keep web design clean and clutter-free

Stick to this most basic principle in web design and you’ll never go wrong. While I don’t really push for strict minimalism, which can only make the brand dull, I highly recommend keeping the website straightforward. Websites or ad campaigns that are overloaded with content are quite difficult to ‘digest.’

5-tips-for-turning-a-boring-brand-to-interestingUsually, many businesses attempt to put everything on the homepage because of the fear that the potential client won’t stay long. But things often work on the contrary, if you can entice a potential customer with just the right image, tagline or mood, they will most likely be hooked and want to know more.

  1. Limit choices

Think of yourself in an international buffet dinner, with all assortments of foods that you hardly know of. You would obviously spend more time choosing which one to pick. This is very relevant in designing a website for a boring service. Overwhelming users with equally dull choices can only be detrimental to overall experience.

Instead of giving out lots of options, cut the choices to one – a call to action. All other design elements should also focus the attention of the user directly to your desired action.

  1. Be bold, use good design

It doesn’t mean that since the brand is dry, you’ll have to stick to it for the design. Using the latest design trends can be a great way to show how your brand can actually be relevant to the present time. Don’t be afraid to be bold and embrace the best design ideas.

  1. Be empathetic

Let your audience feel that you care and that you’re genuine! Make sure that user’s experience is seamless and easy. You can provide simple tooltips or adding estimated reading time on each post so users can decide whether they have time to read on just click through. Most of the time, we get too technical and forget to add the human aspect in our design.

  1. Eye-catching motion

Adding animation and video to your web design can establish the mood in an impressive and quick way. It tells the story of the brand and how it can help possibly solve the reader’s problem. I’ve seen numerous highly successful ad campaigns using videos and animations. This effective communications tool allows the brand to be closer to its potential clients. Moreover, videos have a viral potential and create much-needed hype for any dull brand.

With all these tips on the table, you just need one very important thing to make your web design a success – Respect for your audience. Your design must be able to show how genuinely your business wants to help its audience! This spells the difference in turning a boring into an interesting brand!

Secret Tips and Tricks To Increase Traffic and Sales This Holiday Finally Revealed!

If you find yourself reading this, chances are you’re into e-commerce. And you didn’t go wrong reading this post.

secret-tipsThe winter season is not just the best time to sell top ski brands or any other winter stuff. Actually, you can sell just about anything during this merry season. Everyone seems to be in a spending frenzy during this time of the year.

Today, I’ll be talking about how businesses on the internet can make the most out of the global spending spree this holiday season. Sure, the world celebrates a number of holidays, but nothing has become as commercialized as the Christmas and New Year holidays.

For sure, you are aware that you need to keep working on different tactics to increase traffic and sales on your e-commerce site, right? Here are some useful tricks and tips to make the most of the holiday sales.

  1. Make your website home page look festive.

It’s Christmastime and everyone’s happy. Get your website to look Christmasy by decorating it. Just like your home or physical store, putting up yuletide decorations can help make your site look more relevant. Eye-catching holiday decorations can help increase the traffic. You can do a lot of things to make your e-commerce site spread the spirit of the holidays.

Some of the things you can do include changing your site background, adding holiday related graphics, use of holiday colors and fonts, incorporate festive emoji’s or gifs. Some of the popular design elements for the holidays include Santa Claus, ribbons, reindeers, fireworks, snowflakes, etc. Better yet, you can give your logo a seasonal look for this holiday.

  1. Offer exclusive sales, discounts and freebies.

Every e-commerce business has its own discount schemes. However, for the holiday season, you can offer exclusive sales, discounts, and freebies. This can ramp up your traffic and increase your sales. Some might think that discounts are unnecessary but actually it can positively impact your business at any way you look at it.

To make this marketing trick work better, you can use better campaign banner designs. Be sure to highlight the freebies or discounts that they can get. Potential customers are always on the lookout for these kinds of giveaways.

  1. Cash back offer.

A great way to boost traffic and holiday sales, cash back offer is a fairly new trick. For this marketing strategy, customers can get a percentage of cash back for every purchase. The cash back can be credited back to the customer’s account. They can use it on the next purchase but only for a given period. Some of these cash backs are given as a gift voucher. With this marketing strategy, you don’t only win a single client but a potential recurring client. For sure these customers wouldn’t want to waste their available credits.

  1. Free gift wrapping.

E-commerce sites offer a wide range of gimmicks for the holiday shoppers. And one that never fails to attract customers is free gift wrapping. Last year, I gifted my friend with a set of ski accessories like the one here at winterbadass.com. The shopping store did the gift wrapping and I was very thankful. I’m very bad at that.

Just like me, your potential customers would be delighted if you take away a small burden of their head — such as having the gift wrapped. It may seem very simple but it’s actually tried and tested.

There you have it! Some of the best tips and tricks that will get new potential clients to your website this merry season!

How to Keep People On Your Site

One of the biggest issues with having a website of your own is the ability to make people want to stay on your website.

The best website content in the world cannot keep people on your website if there are system-level content problems with it. Today we will explore a few of the best ways to make sure that people WANT to use your website.

You can’t afford to ignore these tips; your clients and your business will thank you! Here’s a takeaway if nothing else about this article sticks: to make people stay on your website, you need to make the text readable to your audience, and I’m going to teach you how!

Use Bulleted Lists

Your brain loves order. When you look at a page of solid text, your brain immediately says “Nope! Can’t do.” On the Internet, people prefer to scan text instead of reading every single letter. If you can break up the text in some way, you will be able to hold interest for much longer than you normally would! Using a list accomplishes two things:

  • Gives a preview;
  • Catches the eye;

If you can get people to look forward to what is coming, you can convince them to keep reading, and thus stay on your site longer!

Use the Power of Three

Did you notice something odd about the list in the first point? Did it seem incomplete? There’s a reason for that: our brain prefers things in groups of 3. If the list had looked like this:

  • Gives a preview;
  • Catches the eye;
  • Satisfies your OCD.

It would have looked much more satisfying, right? When you are designing, take into account how powerful the number 3 is. As soon as you visit the website for Kronus Collars, an industrial warehouse supply company, what do you see?

Their list immediately says “Fast Assembling and handling, Industrial Flexible Packaging, and Protection of Packaged Goods.” Even their motto is “Carrying Your Business.” which is 3 words long! This shows that they know how to build an amazing website as well as an amazing product!

The Power of Bold Text

Lists are not the only thing that can make someone stay longer on your website; bold text also has the amazing ability to keep more people on your site so you can make big money!

OK, that example was a bit over the top, but didn’t your eye go right to the bold sections of text? If I could make you look and you KNEW what I was doing, think about how you can make your customers look the same way! Bold text draws the eye, so use it to highlight the words that you want your audience to see.

You can think of bold text as a way to make a summary version of what you want to say; you know they will not read every word, so highlight the most important ones so they still hear what you want to say!

Wrapping up

Hopefully this has been helpful to you. I promise if you apply these methods, you will see a huge increase in the amount of people who stay on your website!

Intro to Internet Marketing Research

“Noooooo!” you might say. “I don’t WANT to learn about market research! My job is to DESIGN websites! Not to be in marketing!”

Well, I have some news hot off the press for you if you’ve ever thought any of those things before:

If you are designing websites, you are part of the marketing. A website is one of the first ways that people will find out about a company, so if you want to be hired for more jobs or do well in your websites, you need to know a LOT about marketing. This article is not designed to give you an in-depth course on marketing; rather, this will point you towards powerful resources that will turn you into a marketing guru. Ready?

Read Quality Blogs and Websites

You would be amazed how many resources you will find for free on the web. Actually you shouldn’t be surprised, since you work on the internet, but the point remains! Websites like Copyblogger give you 12 free ebooks on how to conduct market research and learn basic marketing and sales. Better yet, all of this is applied directly to websites and web design, so you’re in good hands there!

Actually LOOK At Your Competition

You’re not creating websites in a vacuum. There are billions of websites on the internet, and more are being added every single day. You need to find out who you or your company is selling against, and find a way to deliver a product (your website!) that is better than theirs. But you need to know what is selling well, so you can make a better version!

Watch Great Marketers at Work

No matter what your feelings on Apple’s products are, you need to look at their marketing. Apple has one of the most powerful marketing forces in the world.

More specifically, watch Apple’s events, such as their release for the iPhone 7. Watching them take things about products that could be cons and turning them into pros is worth as much as a marketing course; not to mention their branding in their events and TV ads.

You will learn more from watching the masters at work than you will from any other source. If you wanted to learn a martial art you would go to a local martial arts school or a great martial arts website to learn; if you want to learn marketing you have to go to the marketing senseis!

Read Books

I know, I know… BOOKS? In the modern age?

However, books can be one of the most valuable sources of information because unlike blogs and websites, they are not trying to sell you anything; you can usually trust the information to be reliable.

Start with classics like Zig Ziglar’s “Selling 101” all the way to modern classics like “Web Copy That Sells” by Maria Velioso. The printed word is not dead!

Hopefully this has been a good jumping-off point for your marketing exploration; learn all you can!

If you can sell and market well, you will ALWAYS be employed.

WordPress… To Use or Not To Use?

WordPress is the definitive website design service for people who do not know how to code to create a website.

And in all honesty, it is an amazing service that offers a huge array of options for people who want to create a really great website. However, does that mean that you should use it as your go-to for creating a website?

The fact that it’s easy to use and access does mean that you will run into a lot of people who will use exactly the same thing as you. So let’s explore a little bit!

First, what I mentioned just a second ago is the number one reason that you should be careful with using WordPress at all.

The fact that there is a very low bar to entry when it comes to WordPress is the very reason that you should be very careful about using it. Take a look around the web; every single “introductory blog” uses the same theme, the same layout… Just different colors.

Now, I will not insult your intelligence by saying that you will do the exact same thing with your website, but the same message applies: you cannot afford to be lazy when it comes to WordPress. The fact that it is free and easy means you will have to be creative to make any sort of impact at all.

wordpress-to-use-or-not-to-use-1

Wait… Do I Have To PAY To Make It Look Nice?

The short answer… Yes! When a great musician is looking for a nice instrument he will not search the dollar store for a deal… He would go to a site like Wind Plays to get an excellent quality flute or trumpet! What’s the lesson here?

Quality does NOT come for free! If you want to use WordPress and stand out from the masses of low-quality websites out there, you cannot afford to use anything but the best quality! Invest in WordPress themes like Boundless or Unicode and you will be automatically set yourself apart from all of the people who can’t be bothered to spend money for quality.

Is There Another Option Too?

If you are determined not to spend much money on your website design, consider switching away from WordPress entirely! Jumla is another service that will work with every major hosting service. The difference is that you need to know more code and be slightly more involved in every single aspect of creating your website.

However, this is the advantage as well! The fact that it is more involved weeds out the lazy people right away; you will set yourself apart from the competition that is not even going to compete with you very well.

WordPress is convenient, but that does not mean quality. To actually set yourself apart from other people you need to do one (or both!) of two things: you need to spend more money on the themes for your website, or you need to take a more active hand in your own web creation. You need to invest time or money, but you WILL see the results!

Don’t Pay a Programmer Improve Your SEO in 30 Minutes For Free

We’ve all been there: You’ve built your perfect site, you’ve filled it with amazing content, you’ve followed all the rules of coding and building but there’s still a problem!

No one comes to visit your site.

No one.

I can say with confidence that if the above situation describes you, there are products that can help you. Now I present… The best free SEO software programs!

SEO software analyzes your content and helps you figure out what you need to do in order to make your site rank in Google. When you rank in Google, you can easily get more people to come to your site! So here are the programs:

Yoast

I put this one first because it is simply the best. No two ways about it. Yoast works as a plug-in to your WordPress site, and analyzes in real-time what you are doing and what you need to improve.

Yoast creates a list of things you are doing well so you can keep doing them, and a list of things you are doing poorly, and what you can do to improve those! If you look at sites like Barking Drum, you can clearly see excellent examples of SEO… And you can’t get quality like that without good software!

Google SpeedPage Insights

Who better to show you how to make your page run more efficiently than the company that essentially runs the internet? SpeedPage helps you with things most people would never think to check…

Which puts you ahead of the game! For example, SpeedPage Insights tests how quickly each page of your site loads, and how to make your site run more quickly. The more responsive your site is, the more users will enjoy using it!

Moz

Moz is one of the internet’s definitive sources for SEO education. They have both a free and a paid version of their service, which works WONDERFULLY. Moz is a toolbar that you install into your web browser that offers real-time metrics on the site you’re reading.

How authoritative the site and domain are, what kind of links are on the page, and how responsive and likely to rank well the page is. Moz also has free online classes on SEO! Take advantage of their free services. You will learn more than you thought you could!

Chrome Developer Tools

Did you know you can look at the source code for any website, including your own? You can view everything from web code to mobile code, HTTP status, and create edits just to see what they look like. Going to Chrome>View>Developer Tools unlocks a part of the web that few people knew they had access to. Use Google to figure out what Google wants in a site… Best of all, it’s completely free!

Improve Your SEO Now!

You don’t need to hire a trained professional who will charge you hundreds per hour. You can take steps to improve your SEO right from your laptop… And you can do it in less than 30 minutes for free!

Top 5 Mistakes First-Time Web Designers Always Make… And How To Avoid Them!

There’s one thing that every veteran of web design knows from long and hard experience: just because you’ve built your website doesn’t mean you’ll get visitors! There are quite a few mistakes that first-time web developers constantly make that are really easy to fix; Today we’re gonna point out the most common mistakes that will hurt your website, and how to fix them!

Ignoring Mobile Devices

Just because you’ve made a wonderful site that looks amazing on your Macbook Pro doesn’t mean that it will look good on someone’s smartphone. In fact, many websites look decidedly odd on a smartphone if they are not optimized. Considering that over EIGHTY PERCENT of web traffic is from mobile devices, you should strongly consider making your site mobile friendly. If you don’t, text will often appear at odd orientations, most images will be off-center or distorted, and your navigation can range difficult to impossible. WordPress has the tools to see what your site looks like on a mobile devices and offers help to make it perfect.

Adding a Landing Page

Say it with me: you should NEVER have a “welcome page” on your website. Ever. I cannot think of a single situation where a welcome page before you get to your actual site can help you. It’s just one more step between your customer and a sale; why add barriers to them getting what they want? Skip the welcome page; you want your sales message to shoot as straight and true as a great quality air rifle.

Not Being Careful With Colors

When you design a website the colors are THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the first impression of a website. Imagine that you go on a website to buy quality office equipment for your business, and the website is in bright purple and orange and pink. You’re not buying clown supplies, you want professional equipment! You cannot be too careful what colors you choose; it will be the first thing that your customers subconsciously notice about your site.

No Email List

This delves into marking a bit, but it also is a part of web design: there should always be an opt-in for people to get email updates from you. There is not a single business I can think of that would not benefit from a solid email list. Add one to the sidebar that appears on every page!

Complex Sites

Simple really is the best; You don’t need to have the most state of the art site for the sake of having cool stuff. Make your site look beautiful; put every bit of effort that the site deserves into its creation! However, don’t let technology convince you to add frills that are distracting. NOTHING should distract from your sales message!

And that’s all she wrote! Don’t make these mistakes, and you can be sure to have a really excellent site!

We’ve given you the tools… Now get out and put them into action!

15 Things That Will Surely Get On The Nerves Of Every Digital Artist!

I recently had this awesome client – a composer who asked me to design his first ever website.

Jack is a dream client. He’s a great guy and his music is equally perfect! We had a lengthy discussion about how he wanted to his website to look like so I had no difficult time designing his website.

He even invited me to visit his place. I could say his place is a haven for any musician. It had all sorts of musical instruments.

He eagerly talked about his passion and he wanted me to see what music was to him. He even played his latest composition using a modern digital piano, probably like the one you will see at DigitalPianoJudge.com. I’d wanted to reciprocate his eagerness and enthusiasm, so I really worked hard and poured my creativity into his project. Good thing he loved the output!

How I wish all clients are as enthusiastic, passionate and goal-oriented as him! But that truth is a client like Jack is a rarity. Most of the times, clients are a pain in the ass, isn’t it?

I’ve encountered numerous clients – all sorts – and I’d like to think I’ve mastered the art of dealing with clients.

But there are several things that never fail to get on my nerves when I hear from clients. You’ve probably heard this from your clients!

  1. You’re the digital artist, anything you say…
  2. I can’t describe what I want. Go ahead with any suggestion.
  3. It looks good but can you make everything bigger?
  4. I’m sure you can do it in just a quick time?
  5. Why charge so much for a small logo?
  6. Are you sure about pink? Isn’t it too gay?
  7. I trust in you, just do what is best.
  8. Uhmm…I don’t know what to say but can you come with another design?
  9. I’d love if you used a more powerful color.
  10. There’s something off with this design. I just don’t know what.
  11. Is this original?
  12. Not black. That’s negative.
  13. Will be sending you a pic in Word format. Hope it helps.
  14. Let me add you on Facebook. I have lots of photos there. You can use ‘em!
  15. It must have an impact!

These are just few lines I hear so often but have never failed to get on my nerves. I know, we are the artists but it would surely save our time if clients knew what they wanted.

How I wish all clients are like Jack. He gave interesting inputs about his project so I knew where the project was headed to. I never had a hard time finding inspiration. I even checked out a piano review site so I could see what the latest musical instruments are.

When you find a client who hardly understands the design process, every step becomes difficult. I always recommend briefing design clients about their role throughout the entire process. For sure you’ll avoid hearing these nasty lines!