Category Archives: Web Design

2 Of the Best Web Design Prototyping Tools

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So you are at your home, thinking of a cool design idea, and a great one comes in your mind. But you still have that piece of doubt in your little heart. Will it turn out to be as good as i think it is gonna be? Is the color scheme at the lowest div right? Did i make a mistake when deciding the font for the menu and menu items? And bla bla bla bla bla….

Do not worry your pretty little head about it, because i got the perfect tools for you to solve exactly that problem.

I am sure that prototyping is not a new concept for you ( it is pretty old for users of Adobe Indesign and similar prototyping software) but doing it with twitter bootstrap and foundation, using only your mouse? HTML5 Prototyping is a damn awesome concept that should not be passed off simply because you can create the most realistic mock-up (and with realistic, i mean most close to reality when you are going to be testing your website’s design).

I will give you as an example my favorite one out of the tools similar to this:

1 – Easel.IO

Easel.IO is simply a gift from God in times where you need to pull a fast and beautiful mock-up. It has many fonts that you can choose, you can build a bootstrap or foundation template, you have the option to put widgets from those two UI frameworks, and change their themes.

I especially liked that it had the Proxima Nova font out of the box in it, and i was able to pull a very fast and beautiful HTML5 responsive mock-up (kept myself on using the HTML5 convertor that gives me my mock-up in it’s HTML and CSS state though, because of ugly syntax and class names). It’s an awesome tool.

2 – Moqups

I guess their creators will be able to explain much better than i could explain my own words, here they are:

Moqups is a nifty HTML5 App used to create wireframes, mockups or UI concepts, prototypes
depending on how you like to call them.

Moqups is a google docs looking like HTML5 application, that has a toolbar like in Visual Studio with a list of widgets you can use, widgets for iPhone like the on and off slider if you are building iPhone apps, and thousands of other features like icons that you can add to your mock-up.

 

So these are the top 2 HTML5 and Graphic prototyping tools that i use. I would suggest the Easel.IO one for trying the web designs that you are doing, and the Moqup one for doing other kinds of design such as UML, database design, and mock-ups for your marketing tactics and stuff unrelated to web design.

But whatever tool you are using, always remember to not have your mockups lack in important details and features!

Prototyping is not enough as you need to be a good designer too, so do not forget to learn good principles too.

Thanks for the read and keep it up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Web Design trends of Summer 2013

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Summer has come, and the shiny, beautiful colors of it are gaining emphasis in the newest pieces of art by the designers worlwide. From shiny new colors, to happy pictures, and a lot of constract like in Youtube’s new HTML5 Design. Speaking of Youtube’s HTML5 design, i will show you how to do that too, but later in this article.

The majority of the design work i get contains the term “Responsive” in it, because people want their websites available every where from tablets to phones. Another one is using simple colors with small details that make them amazingly simple and beautiful at the same time, so we are going to reach the conclusion that  performance means 90% of the design work this year.

So let’s quit talking and start listin’!

1 – Fixed static bar

Fixed static top bars are the thing now. Support for them are included out of the box in Foundation and Twitter Bootstrap. For Twitter Bootstrap the code is fairly simple:

 < div class = " navbar navbar-static-top " >

 < / div >

And that is enough for you to be able to set up your fixed top bar. Most of these static top bars are either in white color as for their background, or a combination of two simple colors with a beautiful font for the menu. Make your logo text and you got a header that is under 5 kilobytes.

2 – Metro UI Design

The metro UI design represents a kind of design that is simple, and makes everything obvious to the most inexperienced users. It is based on simple color combinations (no gradients, no more than 4 colors) and it always encourages to make up for the lack of colors in beautiful and readable text for your users.

Metro UI was originated by Microsoft, but i am seeing it used much more in the web world than in microsoft applications. Giving your website a native Windows 8  will make them feel familiar and in good hands.

3 – Simple Design, Complex Content

In this year, content gains much more emphasis than content. I am seeing you so many websites around with only like two or three colors and having many different widgets for reaching different content (breadcumbs, modals, scrollspies) that simply give the user enough of a strong experience to make him go back to the website for getting information. Before these years we forgot that the users comes to a website to get information, and not to see our shiny powerful design. Content layout experts proved us with simple design that users do not want shiny colors that slow their browsers down, but they want cute enough websites that they can read content from in a font that will please their pretty eyes.

4 – Responsive Design

Definition of Responsive from the courtesy of http://www.thefreedictionary.com:

re·spon·sive

adj.

1. Answering or replying; responding.
2. Readily reacting to suggestions, influences, appeals, or efforts: a responsive student.
3. Containing or using responses: responsive reading; responsive liturgy.

The biggest trend for 2013, of course, are websites that handle all kinds of devices, in a matter that will offer content to readers easily, in a responsive (fast answering or replying) matter.

 

Keep reading and thanks for it!

 

 

 

 

 

7 Best Ways To Build A Website With A Lower Budget

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The invention of internet has affected every field of life. Companies that used to advertise through mediums like newspapers and television earlier are now focused on building websites that can help people all over the world access their products, see what services are offered and know how to contact them. In this new era, all businesses are bent on making great sites with which they can reach out to their customers. Regardless of whether you are the CEO of a multinational or run a small family hotel, every business needs a website now. But getting an official website made can turn out to be more expensive than you expected so if you are in need of a good site but can’t afford one of the popular website building companies, here are some tips on how to save money.

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

  1. Build Your Own Site:
  2. This might not be suitable for everyone but it is by far the cheapest way of getting a website for your business. Even if you haven’t done it before give it a try. You can easily find web designing software and templates for websites online. Take some tutorials online, look at other websites for inspiration and start working on your site. With some trial and error and dedicated focus you can create a great site for your business in no time.

  3. Get Help from a Friend:
  4. If you don’t think you are able to make your own site, look for someone among your friends and family who knows how to create websites and would be willing to help you. You don’t have to make them do it for free, offer to pay them as well. They would definitely not demand as much as a professional and help you save a lot of money. You can also ask them to teach you how to go about it and make a site yourself with their help.

  5. Look for Newbies:
  6.  
    People who are new in the field tend to charge less for building sites. They would also have some fresh ideas and give your site their best shot so that they can impress potential customers. You would have to do some thorough research to find new web designers though.

  7. Pay a Student:
  8. Students pursuing degrees in web designing and graphics who are still college going may not be as experienced as professionals but they will definitely charge you less compared to renowned companies. Some students work online as well to make some extra pocket money. You can easily find such students online and get help at a much lower cost.

  9. Keep it Simple:
  10. One possible way of saving money on a website is by going for a simple design. You can have a simple yet elegant website that lists all your services and contact information and it can work as well as a big budget, attractive website does. Getting a simpler site made can help you save a lot of money.

  11. Discounted Deals:
  12. This may not be the best way of saving money because it will be difficult to find companies that offer to build your website on a discounted price but is an option nevertheless. If you look hard enough on the internet, you can always find some great discount deals. Just make sure that the company you choose is authentic because some of these deals may just be scam.

  13. Open Source Web Development:
  14. Open source refers to the programs that are available to public for free. You can benefit greatly from open source web development and get a website built for your company at a very low cost. Many people turn to open source web development as an alternative to professionals who would charge them heavily for a website.

If you want a world class website, you will obviously need to take help from professionals and they can charge you steeply. But if you have a low budget, it might be better to go for a simpler design that works for you. Your site doesn’t really need to be expensive looking and have a lot of visual effects. You can communicate with the public with a much simpler website as well. You will have to agree that the extra money spent on getting an attractive website can be better spent on other things.

Author Bio: Jason Walker is the managing director of a popular web specialist company in South California. His company has been working for years to provide people with world class websites to promote their businesses. He has written this article for ‘Kate’s Best Web Hosting’ and explains how a great site can be made with a lower budget.

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Designing An Ecommerce Website- Seven Important Things To Remember

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Designing an e-commerce website can be a daunting task if you lack experience in the field. However, worry not as here you will find a comprehensive guide that should help you design a perfectly functional ecommerce website. It covers the seven most important things to remember before you proceed with the designing.

Designing An Ecommerce Website- Seven Important Things To Remember

Image credit: Flickr

Logo is a Must

So now that you have decided to go ahead with your ecommerce website, you must proceed with designing the logo first. Make sure your logo is clear, exclusive and easy to remember. This will help you brand the products and services that you plan to sell on your website.

Is there a Currency Converter?

You need to make sure that you make available a currency converter on your ecommerce website. This is particularly essential because there may be customers belonging to different regions and in order to make a purchase, they will need to know the amount they have to pay in their own currency. Therefore, a currency convertor is something you should always remember to add before designing an ecommerce website.

Is there SSL (Secure Server)?

When you look for a web hosting company, make sure you choose one that provides your website an SSL (Secure Server). Since your website is an ecommerce site and will therefore handle sensitive information, you need a secure server. Credit card payments and other sensitive information handling require that you have an SLL (Secure Server).

Don’t forget the Essentials: Login Box, Search Box and a Shopping Basket

It is going to be an ecommerce website so make sure that you have incorporated these essential boxes and items into your website. A login box is necessary as customers would want to login to their account in order to begin the process or carry on from where they left off. A search box is essential for every site as it helps the customers directly reach the product or service they have been looking for, without having to browse through the entire site to find it. A shopping basket or cart is vital for an ecommerce website because customers will use this to indicate the products that they wish to purchase through the website.

Payment Icons

An online transaction at an ecommerce website is never complete until or unless actual payments are made. In order to finalize their orders for a specific good or service, the customers will have to make their payments online. Regardless of the payment methods, there has to be a payment icon prominently displayed on your website.

Social Media Links

An important part of ecommerce is e-marketing and e-advertising. In order to effectively market your business, you should create social media pages of your business on social media networks like twitter, facebook, tumblr, pintrest etc. To gain greater number of followers on social media pages, you need to link those to your ecommerce website. To do this, you can add icons of the social media websites that display your business profile and add a link of each on your ecommerce website. So whenever a customer visits your website they end up following your business profiles on these social media networks.

Contact Information or Chat Box

It is no surprise that eCommerce is now providing customers with an almost face to face shopping experience. Customers who shop online do not wish to be bound by geographical immobility and therefore often require contacting the sales person before they make a purchase. They may be doubtful about the features of the product or may simply wish to inquire more, so it is preferable to have a contact sales person who will answer all their queries and simplify their shopping experience. Hence, you need to make sure that you add contact information when designing your eCommerce website. You may also add a live chat box that works around the clock to assist customers and make their shopping experience an easy one.

We hope that this detailed guide outlining the seven most important things to remember before designing an eCommerce website will prove helpful for you and save the beginners from making common mistakes. In order to run a successful eCommerce website, it is crucial that these pointers are given due consideration.

Author bio:

Paulo Marcus is a professional blogger and has been blogging for the past 7 years. He holds expertise in Ecommerce and is currently an independent blogger who has produced a number of blog posts regarding Ecommerce and iPage Review. Here, Marcus has created for his audience a guide regarding E-commerce websites.

Simple Tweaks To Increase Online Conversions

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In a world of instant gratification where Internet users have the answers to any question at the tips of their fingers—or perhaps just beyond the click of a mouse—it’s important to consider how visitors perceive your company’s website. The average page visit lasts less than a minute, so you have an extremely brief window to entice someone to stay and complete a conversion activity on your site. Read on for a few tips on how to increase your conversions while decreasing bounce rate.

Define Conversion

You can’t accomplish a goal without knowing what it is, which means your first task is to define the term “conversion” as it relates to your site. Perhaps your definition is strictly related to when a site visitor makes a purchase, or perhaps the conversion happens when visitors fill out a form or download an e-book. Regardless of the goal, you must clearly define it before you can achieve it.

Clarify your Goals

Now that you’ve defined conversion, you should set a clear and attainable objective for how many conversions you seek. Do you want 10 people a day to fill out your form? Do you hope to sell 50 of your specialized widgets in a month? Decide what your ideal numbers are and use them as a yardstick of your site’s success going forward. And of course, part of this process is making sure yours is a well-designed site with a user-friendly layout and reliable Web hosting to help you handle any growth you experience.

Adjust your Message

The wording of your content needs to make it clear to visitors that your company—and any products or services it provides—can solve a particular problem. If your content is more focused on features—the ins and outs of a shirt’s innovative material, say—instead of the benefits—wearing this shirt will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer—your visitors may lose interest quickly. Focus on benefits, not features, to see greater conversion success.

Make it Easy

Visitors are unlikely to convert on your site if it’s not made immediately clear exactly how to do that. Your job is to make it easy on them: Place a call to action in plain sight, using simple language and with a link that leads them directly to the conversion page. On a retail site, that might mean placing your best-selling product on the home page, including a statement about its popularity, and linking directly from that photo to a shopping cart where visitors can purchase the item.

If your site’s conversion goal is to get visitors to fill out a form with an email address, place a link to that form directly on the homepage as well as on every other page on your site. And again, remember to focus on the benefits a visitor will receive from filling out your form; after all, “Receive invitations to exclusive sales events” is a lot more enticing than “Join our email list.”

Your business’s website should be a positive add-on to your sales funnel, not a hindrance to it. Follow the above tips to make sure your site and its content are making the most of each visitor’s time. Doing so will help increase conversions and will ultimately make a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.

Benefits Of A Responsive Website Design

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When the internet was booming, websites were simple, clean cut and very grid-like. In recent years, websites have gone from being bland and spacey, to vibrant and user-friendly. If you have a business in the last 10 years, then you better make your website mobile-friendly. Most people do not even use their laptops and their first and quickest option is their phone. The term Responsive website design means the structure is based off of the browser and device used to visit them. Only website must be designed, but can change with the platform.

More than half of the world owns a mobile phone. That means that five billion of the total population.  Companies would not be able to keep up with the mobile site demand that is happening right now. A small amount of websites are optimized for mobile devices and if you chose to invest in responsive web design, your company will go far.

With Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being a necessity for all companies, being able to have a unified website helps your strategy. You do not have to worry about having multiple URLs and different websites, which is confusing. Instead of chasing away business and potential clients with your multiple website names, you can just condense to one and make it popular on sites like Google, using your SEO strategy.

Some websites still give you the option, when using your mobile device, to go to “full site” when you go to the URL, but that just means more navigation and waiting. If the site is just compressed to sit the mobile device screen and the same options are available universally, then user satisfaction will be higher. The days of old “full site” links will be gone if you have a universal platform for your website.

Website design is not cheap. Those who want their own website and want to copyright it have to by the domain name so they can be completely individualized. If you have multiple website designs for each device, then you are forking up money for each and that can get extremely expensive.  The more cost efficient option is a universal design, which not only helps with less pay out, but also helps build your brand and logo because it is the same on each platform.

Like search engine optimization, the term analytics is very important to digital companies. Analytics means the data found from users and visitors can be seen by the website owners. It is easier to keep track of development and traffic when you don’t have to check the amount of traffic on different sites. There are hundreds of website development companies that are available for site building, SEO, analytics and the universal platform.

Author Bio: PTS Multimedia is a website design company that builds responsive websites. We also provide full inbound marketing strategies that are tailored to your business to increase conversion and traffic on your website.

Web Development With A Magento Website

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Every business needs to have an online presence. It should, however, not stop there; there is also need to ensure that customers can comfortably make purchases from the comfort of their homes. In simple terms, it is important for a business to have a fully functional online store, and this is where Magento comes in.

Web Development with a Magento Website
Magento is an open source web development platform that came into being in 2008. Most developers regard Magento as the most sophisticated open source ecommerce site development platform. With it, developers have immense power and can, therefore, create websites with very advanced and useful features.

Probably the best thing about Magento is the fact that it is an open source tool, hence free. This means that anyone can access its source code; due to this, there are many people who have a deep understanding of it. As a result, it is hard to find a problem that cannot be solved. Magento has a huge community of very savvy individuals who are always ready to help out in case of any difficulties. It is these very individuals who develop plug-ins that are used to solve various issues as well as improve the web development application. Even better is the fact that most of this plug-ins are availed very cheaply.

As powerful and sophisticated as Magento is, most people don’t have that much of a problem understanding how it works. This means that the average business owner can greatly benefit from this web development application without diverting too much of their time and energy from their businesses. It is, however, recommended that one familiarises themselves with the likes of Java and PHP in order to have a much easier time with the application.
Social Media marketing is another important technique that helps your website to gain good online visibility and recognition. SEO companies that you hire, helps in creating a profile for your website on the various social media. Therefore you can brace up for some great online visibility.

Magento is also very stable, and this is attributed to its architecture. In addition to this, it also facilitates online marketing — something that is very vital in these competitive times. With effective marketing, it becomes easier to get a decent return on investment hence keeping your business afloat, learn more about magento development on this website. Apart from the free edition there is also a professional and an enterprise edition. The latter two are more powerful, but one is required to pay an annual fee.

Your Homepage: First Impressions Are Everything

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You’ve poured a significant amount of money into marketing your company and building your website. Now, it’s ready to go live and you’ll be directing people through the marketing funnel to your home page. If that page doesn’t convey the right first impression then all of the money you’ve invested will be in vain. Here are some tips to ensure that the home page is sure to be effective.

Include the Right Information

Your home page is your welcome mat. It must convey the right information. Tell the visitor where they are or who you are. Without this information, they won’t know if they are in the right place. Make your navigation simple and clear. If your visitor cannot figure out how to find what they need from the home page, they’ll get frustrated and take their business elsewhere.

You’re not going to be able to put every link on your homepage without making it cluttered. Be selective with the links you choose. People need to be able to see your main products, preferably above the fold. A simple bit of information about who you are, what you’re about and a bit of contact information will answer initial questions. If you are inclined to add miscellaneous information on a navigation bar do so in a way that avoids a look of clutter.

Make it Searchable

Take a look at Amazon.com. Amazon is one of the most popular online retailers in the world and brings in a lofty revenue each year. What’s prominent on their home page? A clearly accessible search bar. Duplicate this on your site. If the search bar is obvious, users will be able to find what they need without hassle.

Make the Images Shine

The images on your home page need to be sharp and clear. If you’re using a web design firm, make sure the materials you give them, including your images, are high quality.

Remember bigger isn’t always better when designing a website. If the images are too large, your site will load at the speed of a snail, potentially driving visitors away. It is worthwhile to work with a professional designer and offer quality building products. Let the designer do what he has been trained to do.

Run a Spell Check

Who wants to do business with a company that doesn’t pay attention to details? A site filled with spelling errors is going to drive visitors away and give the impression that your business doesn’t care enough to do final quality checks. Run a spell check and hire someone whose role includes proof-checking. Don’t let spelling errors cost you business.

A unique visitor will stay on your site for a matter of seconds before choosing to stay or leave. Your home page is the one opportunity to grab that visitor and turn him into a customer. Don’t waste the chance. With the right web designing techniques and a professional, clutter-free home page, you will see a greater number of conversions.

Top 3 Guidelines for Designing Minimalist Websites

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In an age where websites are the main information hub for a company, it is more important than ever to craft your site with care. In fact, most marketing courses available today have a track designed for online marketing and social media and websites are a huge part of the whole internet world.

Different styles of web design are now being utilized in the graphic and web design industry—bold and flashy, sassy and sophisticated, and simple and straightforward among others. The third option is more commonly known as minimalist design. All these aim to enhance the world wide web.

Top 3 Guidelines for Designing Minimalist Websites

Minimalist design is also called “modern site design”. It emphasizes function over form, encouraging the use of the least amount of elements to formulate a design. A timeless design scheme that’s been around forever, minimalism is seen in art, interior design, and fashion design.  Now, it is enjoying a vogue in the web and graphic design world as well. Minimalist graphic design is ideal for websites because it is clean and very basic in terms of interface. This makes it easier for end users to explore the site. It does not distract visitors with a lot of pomp and blare—rather it highlights the site’s content. It marries perfectly the interests of both graphic design and web design by allowing the design to conform to the graphic designer’s vision while still being fluid and user-friendly across different platforms.

In order to design a good minimalist website, there are aspects of this style that should be understood. Here are the top 3 guidelines you should note:

  1. “Less is More”.

This quote, spoken by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, defines the minimalist principle of design. Minimalism dictates that the less clutter, the better because then you can emphasize the most important parts of the site. Thus, the key is to have a focused design. Create a “centerpiece” that your site visitors can focus on as soon as they get to your website. It can be an image, or a short piece of text. This centerpiece should be used to clarify the purpose of your site or contribute to its message, so make it pop by going for eye-catching but easy-to-read type.

The rest of the site should function to support the centerpiece, so that means minimal use of color and background design. It doesn’t mean, though, that you are limited to just blacks, whites, and grays in your color scheme. Minimalism advocates the use of any color, as long as it is used well to emphasize a detail and does not overwhelm it. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t have a background design—you can incorporate simple, subtle patterns in the background as long as they do not overpower the centerpiece.

  1. “Omit Needless Things”.

This quote appeared in The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and highlights minimalist design’s focus on functionality. Essentially, if an element of the design does not contribute to the content or the function of the site, cut it. Having white space is an important element in minimalist design—it is not just blank, but it fulfills the function of emphasizing details such as content. This applies to the type of layout used as well—the layout of choice is simple and straightforward to allow end users to easily navigate to where they need to be.

When designing your site, never be satisfied with just the first draft, but keep looking for design elements you can eliminate so that your site is as clean as possible. The best minimalist site is one that loads and works easily for everyone because there are no interfering elements.

  1. “Every Detail Counts.”

Cameron Chapman of Smashing Magazine used this quote to describe the difference between simplistic design and minimalist design. A distinction often lost on many graphic and web designers, minimalist design does not eliminate design elements for no reason. Rather, it just concentrates its design into a few, meaningful elements. In minimalism, every detail has a function. Therefore, the foundation of the website design is based on what the goal of the website is and what feeling it is supposed to be evoking in the visitors. This is where using the right color scheme, font style, and content placement come in. Choose a color that stirs up the intended emotion, whether it’s peacefulness, excitement, or focused intensity. Highlight a point by choosing a bold font. Make a definitive image the focal point of a page by placing it at the center.Minimalist design can be elegant, edgy, or abstract, depending on how you apply the right design elements.

Minimalist design is, at its core, a deconstruction of design ideas into their most basic forms. Thus, feel free to experiment with it just like any other style. Infuse your personality into it, and find ways to show off your uniqueness. Minimalism, after all, does not mean empty, plain, or bland. It is a Zen-like design principle that calls you to focus on the important aspects of an object while getting rid of the things that distract you. This simple focus on semantics is the reason why minimalist design is a timeless, artful design scheme that is universally utilized, and is the reason why it is ideal for websites everywhere.

Author Bio:

+Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Marketing Diploma and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.

The Dynamic Digital Marketing Landscape

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The digital marketing landscape is vast and continues to grow at an accelerated rate. There are many opportunities for brands to gain digital visibility. The best way to do that is through strong utilization of consumer-generated data. Big brands understand this concept and employ a number of marketing tactics through all digital channels. Get in front and stay in front.

The Dynamic Digital Marketing Landscape

Visit www.ZOGDigital.com for Link Building ideas and strategies.

What are The Things You Need To Notice In A Web Designer?

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More and more companies now are creating an online presence to attract customers. With the increase of online shopping, websites are becoming more relevant. Customers are now sitting in the comfort of their homes and searching online for goods and services that they want to buy. To ensure that a company doesn’t lose its customers just because it lacks a website, companies are looking for professional and reliable web designers.

A web designer is an individual who will help the company create an alluring website that will list its products or services. It will simultaneously allow customers to easily purchase their desired products or services online. There is a wide array of companies working to help organizations with their online needs. But the real question is how to choose a web designer who will meet all your requirements and create a perfect website for your company. There are certain things you need to look for in a web designer portfolio before you can hire him or her. This is the purpose of this article. It will delve into these considerations that allow you to hire someone who will be ideal for your website creation.

Clients

The web designer portfolio will basically allow you to know about previous clients. Knowing about the web designer’s clients will be of paramount importance. Clients have different needs, and how these needs were met will tell you more about the professionalism and technical prowess of the web designer. Try to measure yourself against the web designer’s clients. See how their websites were made. This will tell you how your needs will be met and what you need to ask from the web designer. If you are a small company and the web designer has been dealing with large corporations, it is a better idea to forgo it. The web designer will charge more and create a website for larger audiences. Try to find someone who has worked predominantly with smaller companies so that you can easily get your needs met.

Clients are also a good way to gauge the reputation of the company. A web designer company is as good as its clients. If it has worked with large organizations, it has an excellent reputation. If it has numerous clients, it means it has a capable work force that allows it to work with numerous clients at one time.

Its work

The portfolio of a company represents its existing or prior work. This means that, when you are in the hiring phase, you can check out the company’s previous work online. You will easily find all its websites and its designs and learn how the company works. It will tell you about its capabilities and potential. If you see meticulously-made websites with brilliant designs, you can enjoy the same benefits by hiring the company. On the other hand, if you find websites that are made with simplistic designs, it means the company is still learning or happens to have employees that are not well versed in excellent or intricate website designing.

The Proper Balance

Many web designing companies found in Toronto don’t have the right balance when it comes to artistic, marketing and technical expertise. To find out whether they will be able to deliver websites that have all these three qualities or elements, it is important to see their portfolios. Only then you will know how well these companies will be able to help you with your website.

In summation, it can be said that understanding a company requires you to understand and comprehend their portfolio. This will allow you to know about their weaknesses and strengths, and you will know what you are paying for. On the other hand, when you get your hands on the portfolios of different companies, you can compare them, as well. Put portfolios side by side and understand what each company is offering you. Then choose a company or web designer that will be able to deliver the promised results. Always remember, it’s your money, and you have every right to take your time, do your research and then choose any company or web designer that suits your needs best. It is important that you settle for substance and not just affordability.

Author bio:

Jane Jones is an artistic web designer residing in Toronto. She learned web designing while she was attending college and now is one of the foremost online authorities on website designing. She is known for her vast knowledge on the subject and writes extensively about it online. Jane is constantly followed by Toronto website designers for her expertise and ideas.

Designing a Site for Mobile

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Image Credit: freedigitalphotos

More people are using mobile in all online areas, and conversions are happening more with mobile than on desktops. This means that business owners need to take mobile engagement seriously and make sure that they design a site that’s easily used on mobile devices. Failure to do so may mean losing out to the competition when it comes to attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

Elements of Mobile Design

A useful mobile site displays the information the user wants to see. This includes:

· Business location – A full address can integrate with mobile mapping systems.

· Email and phone – Linked email address and phone allow consumers to contact you from their mobile devices.

· Mobile-optimized site – A user can quickly scan your site without having to pinch and zoom, and can determine your relevance.

· Mobile e-commerce – A mobile shopping cart allows customers to purchase things on-the-go whereas a traditional shopping cart can be difficult for mobile users to interact with on tiny screens.

· Intuitive search and view – Mobile users require an easy to locate search function and quality resolution images so they can view products on your webpage

If you have these elements in place, it’s easy for a mobile visitor to interact with your site. If you do not, there’s a greater likelihood that the user will go to a competitor than make a point later on to view your site from a desktop PC. Along with the elements above, a good mobile site presents information to users in a streamlined manner and tries to eliminate unnecessary clicks. Flash and Java do not work well on mobile browsers, so avoid these tools when planning your design. Finally, take steps to cut down on the amount of free text a mobile user has to enter. It’s challenging for users to type accurately from phones, and hard to correct mistakes. FedEx does a nice job of using menus as workarounds for user-input text fields.

Ways to go Mobile

You’ve got several options when creating a mobile-friendly web design. There are free and low-cost templates and themes that render a mobile version of your site. These offer a good baseline strategy for displaying basic information. However, you’ll maintain site branding and control by choosing a website that works with responsive design and uses CSS to identify screen size and resize your website to the screen accessing your web content.

This may seem like a lot of work, but its work you must undertake to maintain relevancy to the widest possible audience. An Econsultancy study found that gift businesses with a fully mobile site realized over 5 percent conversion rate, whereas non-optimized websites experienced only a 1 percent conversion rate with many users dropping off along the shopping experience. With travel, mobilized sites experienced a nearly 6 percent conversion rate whereas non-mobile sites had a less than 1 percent conversion rate.

With 100,000 page visitors, a mobile site will experience 500 more sales than a non-mobile site, and this number will rise as mobile browsing rates rise. Already, mobile traffic has risen from 2 percent to 19 percent of all website traffic. The numbers tell the story of future website traffic and sales, so it’s time to listen and keep mobile users in mind with your web design.

Cater to a Larger Audience With Website Simplicity

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Any business today that wants to succeed and thrive needs to have a professional website. It is said that first impressions are everything, and this is absolutely true of web design. Businesses only have a few seconds to capture and keep the attention of a visitor to their site, so it is imperative that the overall design is simple, clean, and concise. Visitors need to be able to navigate the website with ease and locate the information that they are seeking right away. A smart and simple design will generate more leads for a business.

Avoid Alienating Visitors

Although the web has been around for years now, many older individuals are not completely comfortable navigating the information highway. People with little online experience can quickly become overwhelmed. If a website design is too busy, flashy, and cluttered, inexperienced web users are more likely to just click away. Complicated web designs that require effort in order to find the pertinent info are not going to be effective at attracting new leads, and will instead end up alienating visitors.

Easy on the Eyes and Ears

A simple web design should have minimal graphics, which are carefully chosen to best represent the business. Only a few fonts should be used, and the size should be easy to read. Color is also important, as the font color must be dark enough to be readable on a clean, white background. Accent colors should be complimentary and kept to a minimum.

A good website designer knows that less is more, especially when it comes to a business website. The main focus should always be on the content. A few decorative elements may be suitable, but keeping the layout clean and fresh is always best. Music that begins playing automatically should be avoided, as it can be an annoyance to web users visiting a site from work, or listening to their own audio. Fresh, modern, and simple designs win out over flashy, cluttered ones.

Simple Navigation

The navigation is one of the most important elements of any website design. The fewer tabs, pages, or sections that a site has, the better. Each tab or page should be clearly marked and contain the relevant content. One main navigation bar is enough for a business website, as it allows users to quickly and comfortably find the details that they seek.

Clear and Concise

Business websites should be created in order to attract new customers and clients, as well as offer information for current and returning customers. Visitors to a site want to be able to find out the important information quickly, so a simple design makes it much easier to scan and get the details. Maintaining content that is up to date, useful, and can be easily scanned will increase the chances of generating new leads.

Fast Loading

Websites with a lot of graphics and media take far longer to load than simple pages. If a site takes too long to load, many users will just click out and move on to the next. This means that a business never even has a chance to make a first impression, because visitors are not going to wait around. Web users expect to find the information that they seek right away, so businesses would be wise to deliver with a fast loading site.

A business website has the potential to generate an incredible amount of new leads. By keeping the web design clean, easy to navigate, and easy to scan, businesses can ensure that they are not alienating older and inexperienced web users. Websites are an integral part of business today, so the simplicity of the design is key.

Author Bio: Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he explains the benefits of a well designed website for universal access and aims to encourage further study with a masters degree in gerontology.

Navigating to Conversion

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When selling online, conversion is your primary goal. While traffic is helpful, that traffic means nothing if people don’t buy from your site. If you’re struggling to convert visitors to buyers, it’s time to look at the layout of your site.

Keep it organized         

What’s one thing that could be harming your conversion more than anything? A disorganized site. Internet shoppers don’t want to waste time, so a site that’s difficult to navigate turns them away. Your layout needs to show visitors where to go with a logical design.

Make search prominent

Consumers who can’t find what they need at your store often try to search for it before clicking away. Make that search bar prominent on your page, above the fold and in the customer’s natural line of site. Don’t hide it. Make sure it works well, too.

Make it work for mobile

When redesigning your site to increase conversions, make it easy to use on mobile devices. Some companies are getting up to 50 percent of their sales from mobile devices. If your site isn’t accessible to mobile users, you’re losing out on some of these conversion opportunities.

Use a simple shopping cart

Don’t make the checkout process complicated. Give users features they need, like a shopping cart that updates on-screen as they shop, but keep it simple. Put the shopping cart in a location that the customer can easily see it, keeping it obvious at all times. The goal is for the customer to be able to make the purchase quickly and easily. Simply click, and the item shows up in the shopping cart.

Don’t ignore SEO

While playing with your site, don’t forget about optimization rules. Yes, traffic isn’t the only thing you want, but without traffic, you won’t get any conversions. If you have a 5 percent conversion rate and 100 daily visitors, you’ll have 5 conversions a day, but if you draw in 1,000 visitors a day and maintain your conversion rate, you end up with 50 sales per day. Whenever you make a change to your site, make sure it benefits your SEO.

Follow good design rules

Loading up your front page with every product you offer isn’t going to make people buy more. It’ll probably make them run screaming in search of your competition as they rub their bleeding eyeballs. A cluttered site is like a dirty store, and people won’t shop there. Make sure the color, fonts and layout all follow good rules of design, and you’ll keep more people on your site. If that seems overwhelming for you on your own, find a company that can design your business site and work with them.

Make the order total obvious

Consumers are turned off by hidden charges, so don’t hide your shipping and handling charges. Shoppers shocked by your fees are going to abandon their shopping carts and find someone else to buy from. Keeping them informed throughout the shopping process will increase conversions by preventing these surprises. Make the order total obvious throughout the checkout process. As soon as your shopper clicks “checkout,” show the order total, including shipping.

Add testimonials

Solicit testimonials and ratings from customers, then add them to the page. All testimonials or ratings, even negative ones, increase your chances of making a sale. People trust products that others have used. To make them visible, place testimonials on a sidebar box with a slider and display the star rating on the product page.

Converting traffic into buying customers is the definition of success in ecommerce. By incorporating these changes into your site, you’ll start seeing an increase in conversions.

 

How Creative Web Design Can Stimulate Your Audience

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Websites are a given these days for most businesses. When you decide to add a website as one feature of your business, there are things to consider. The following are creative web design tips along with information about how to build a website that will keep your current clients happy and draw in new ones.

Overall Concept

The overall concept should include user interaction as well as relevant content. A fun website is useless if the information is outdated. A website that has relevant content and no creativity or real user interaction may not keep existing clients or appeal to new customers. That said, consider what the site needs to accomplish. Some of the elements pertaining to a successful websiteÕs design and development are E-commerce, links to relevant sites, and useful information about products and services.

Creating a Website

As you consider your web design concept, check out other similar sites. Consider what they have to offer and what you can offer that is better. Consult with the in-house creative director or designer if you have one. If not, you will need to start checking out designers. Get a conceptual idea down on paper and then proceed to develop the areas of content you want included. Write down your ideas and get a mock-up from your designer.

Color Schemes

Color is very important. It evokes emotion and action. Consider what colors represent your business and the overall feel. Reds and oranges tend to evoke warmth. Greens and blues are cool colors and evoke relaxation. Look at some sites and consider how you feel when interacting. A combination of a bold color and a softer color will create a balance.

Kuler is a color system created by Adobe that allows review of color combinations, www.kuler.adobe.com. This system shows various combinations and allows you to mix those colors up to see the results. You can see the newest, most popular, highest rated or even random combinations.

Art/Design

A designer plays a vital role in the completion of a creative and successful website. According to Arealonlinedegree, both web designers and developers are ranked in the top ten for Internet-based jobs in 2013.

The design of the site, as well as the art it contains, should be attractive and engaging. The idea that less is more is very appropriate for many sites. Too much activity can turn off your audience. Too little activity can turn off your audience. The key here is balance. You want enough art and design in the layout to make the site attractive. Consider making the art part of the interaction.

Navigation buttons can be images. Layered navigation can include products and services in different areas. For instance, a book site can include the different genres. Authors can be listed under each genre. As an example, you can see that the user can find specific information without having all the content on the front page of the site.

Interaction

In web design, user interaction is important. Creativity in this area will help draw the user as well as keep the user coming back. Completing informational forms and navigating the site should be easy and engaging. The overall objective of a business is to generate revenue. However, part of keeping loyal clients and bringing in new ones is to consider their needs. You can add survey forms to gather information that will help develop your site to keep the audience happy and returning. This is especially true if you have a site that already needs to be revamped.

Creative design in a website is an important investment. The important goals of the site are to keep the existing audience, engage new audience members, and be an effective tool for the business to generate new revenue. Consideration of your audience needs will provide valuable input when designing the site. Research on design, color schemes, and layout of competitor sites will help you begin and succed in your overall project.

Author Bio: Andy Perez is a blogger who writes content related to web design. In this article, he describes creative web design techniques and wishes to promote continued study with an Art Education Masters Degree Online.