What you need from clients before you start designing

Posted by on Oct 21, 2010 in Website Design |

Getting a fully functional, effective website isn’t something that “just happens” after you sign a deal with a client. Clients can get extremely excited about the idea of having a new website and if they’ve bonded with you, they’ll assume you know exactly what they are expecting. Re-doing work because you didn’t ask the right questions in the beginning is a time-consuming mistake. Here are some things to ask from your client before you get cracking: High resolution pictures You may have access to a bunch of generic pictures, but you will often see this pictures used on another site. If you are designing a website for an architecture firm, roof installers, make-up artist or any type of company that can show visual proof of their services, ask for some pictures of past projects. This will not only help you incorporating some great “Case Studies” or “Past Projects” pages, but also help to get your creative juices flowing. Created by link Many websites have a “Designed by”, “Created by” or “Maintained by” link at the bottom of the page. A client may be reluctant to give you this credit on their website (especially the larger corporate clients), but you may be able to negotiate if you show them how small and unobtrusive the link is. Your logo or a link to your professional site can help get you business in the future. More business Website design can be lucrative, but an ongoing relationship with a smaller amount of hand-picked clients can go a long way too. It’s important not to blindly call up old clients to find out if they “are still happy with their website” or “need work done”. Rather send an e-mail out once or twice a year offering a follow-up service (such as incorporating a blog onto their sites for SEO purposes or a discount on bulk business card design). Correct copy Very few website designers want to be stuck with the copywriting part of the website. Give a list of all the information you will need to the client (such as a company profile, full contact details, testimonials, product descriptions) etc. It is good to have a standard template that you can send to each client before you start a design job. Please follow and like...

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Who web designers should network with

Posted by on Oct 12, 2010 in Website Design |

Whether you do freelance web design, work as an in-house graphic designer or with a number of other designers in a creative ad agency, there are a few people who can become extremely helpful in your career. Creative people, like web designers, tend to attract one another, but these are some people who you should keep an eye out for in the future: Programmers Most web designers can do a bit of programming and figure out the rest as they go along. Knowing a few software developers and trained PHP developers, however, can save you a lot of time. Buddy up with these people and you will be surprised at their wealth of time-saving and money-saving tips for building larger, more complex sites, incorporating cool tools on your site and more. A designer that’s better than you Some people have a knack at designing and whether you’re the only in-house designer or are considered the best in your team, it’s good to know somebody that has inspired you and who can act as a mentor. Choose somebody who is experienced and ask them to crit your work from time to time (also ask if you can see what they are busy with). Photographers You may not have the time, patience or interest to develop this skill, but knowing a good photographer or two can really help you in terms of web design. They will be able to create their own photos for websites and you could also ask them to take pictures of your design work for your portfolio. Industry leaders Get to know other professionals in the creative environment, such as project managers, talent scouts, creative directors and copywriters. A quick catch-up meeting can get you up to speed on all the ins and outs of the industry as well as give you some insight into the problems and challenges that other creative professionals experience when it comes to branding and marketing. Please follow and like...

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Colour psychology and your website

Posted by on Oct 5, 2010 in Website Design | 1 comment

Colour psychology has been around for a number of years and many marketers, retailers, restaurant-owners and interior designers use the analysis of the effect of colours on the human psyche to their advantage. Some of the basic connotations and emotions associated with colours: Blue: Calmness, stability. Also associated with men, water and depth. Pink: Feminine, romance, soft, tenderness Purple: Royalty, power, spirituality Green: Nature, money, safety, freshness These are universal colour psychology examples, but how a person is affected by a colour can also depend on a number of things, such as origin, religion and so forth. Some helpful tips for incorporating colour psychology when you are choosing colours for your website can be taken from research that has been done for retailers and other brand marketers. Red on a website: This colour is often associated with passion, danger and excitement. According to marketing research, this colour on a website can be used to stimulate a person to make a quick decision (such as incorporating red into a Buy Now button, for example). Pink on a website: Pink is feminine and calming, which will work well for a website for women’s insurance or websites along those lines. But be careful to not overdo pink because the feeling turns to irritation after the calming effect has worn off. Green on a website: Green is often associated with environmentally friendly products and services, banks and corporate services. Research, however, has shown that website users don’t always want to stay on a green website for too long (if you have to choose green, make sure you get your message across quickly and that the site is easy to navigate). Orange on a website: Orange is associated with affordability and enthusiasm and the colour is well-received in websites aimed at young people. White on a website: The colour is associated with newness and purity. Incorporating white in your website gives it a simple look and feel and it is often appreciated by traditional people. White and grey work very well for business websites where the website user is mainly searching for information about a product or service. If you are trying to incorporate colour psychology into your web design, make sure you have taken a look at the client’s corporate colours first. Use a colour wheel to find out which other complimentary colours can be used before you get started! Please follow and like...

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Is Website Design that important to SEO Marketers?

Posted by on Sep 28, 2009 in Website Design | 2 comments

I don’t want to overemphasize the importance of design as from an SEO perspective experienced digital marketers can work with most creative design…with the exception of an entire site built in ‘flash’!, but I do want to mention a little about it as there are some common mistakes made. Once you have your ‘marketing dashboard’ of site analytics and statistics collected from your site’s traffic, take a look at what pages visitors are looking at and where they are navigating afterwards. When looking at this kind of data for our many clients we have found that about 80% of your site’s visitors will never click to anything else linked on the page they are looking at. Most of the others will click to no more than three other pages. When you view your logs, notice where this is happening and on what pages and use this to improve your ‘persuasion architecture’ to drive visitors down a sales funnel. If your site requires more than a single page-view to get to the meat of what you are offering, you are throwing away your traffic. This is another area where the concept of synergy is very pronounced. Linking within the site in context in addition to having major links in a sidebar, header, and somewhere below-the-fold is a good idea. Don’t be afraid to run your own “ads” on your site within content. As much as people say they hate ads on pages, they are found there because they work! You may want to use a simple script to rotate different ads that link to services and products available on your business website. One final point on design is more of a warning that anything else. Have you noticed how so many of the websites out there look so much alike? That isn’t necessarily because it’s a good idea to look like everything else. Try to balance functionality with uniqueness; after all, there is no law that says you have to use a standard three-column design and the normal 7/8 page website which could be pages like Home, About Us, Product, Services, Contact us ,FAQ etc. For some really good site examples from www.wsioms.c.za Please follow and like...

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