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Blog Tag: website design

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  • 11 Common Mistakes That Rookie Website Designers Make

    young website designer

    Please understand that we never want to belittle the effort of others. For many businesses, the lower costs that come with using a website developer who is not already experienced, or a DIY approach, are the only option for building their first website. But some common mistakes can kill the effectiveness of your website and decrease your chance of online success.

    Armed with our checklist, you can avoid the most common website design mistakes that will cause a loss to revenue for your business.

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  • 8 Rules for Designing Call-to-Action Bars

    A call-to-action (CTA) bar is a widget area on your page, typically in a color that stands out from the rest of the design and invites visitors to take an action. Using anchor text in your call to action can increase your conversion rate by as much as 121 percent. Call to actions matter, and the way you deliver them matters.

    You already know that UX is extremely important – the user experience is everything if you want visitors to stay on your site. Figuring out the best way to present even a CTA bar can mean the difference between strong conversions and weak ones. If you aren’t quite sure how to utilize a CTA bar, here are eight rules you can follow to make sure yours is as effective as possible.

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  • Building a Website – 5 Keys to an Effective Homepage

    home pageYou might have heard that ‘first impressions are lasting impressions’. This is true for businesses as well as their websites. Your homepage should look professional to promote trust. When a potential customer visits your website, they should be able to identify the products and services which you offer immediately. Many websites lack in providing their users with clear information about their products and offerings. If you follow the five tips for an effective home page below, you will be on your way to generating more potential customers from your existing traffic.

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  • Building a Website – Website Architecture (Site Map)

    What is a Site Map?

    A site map (or sitemap) is a file which contains information about the organization of your website and its entire relative links. In other words, it lists the pages on your website.

    sitemapsSite maps can be used for planning your website design. For this use, there is no specific format that must be used, it could be a graphics file, a spreadsheet, or even a hand-drawn illustration. Using a sitemap in the design phase can help with planning navigation menus and other elements that will appear on all pages, and is a good idea

    Initially we planned to detail how to use a sitemap to plan your website architecture in this post, but we found a great resource at http://www.protofuse.com/blog/how-to-design-structure-website-with-sitemapping/. Please take a look to learn more about the steps involved.

    Most commonly the term sitemap refers to files that can be viewed by humans or web crawlers to determine what pages exist on a website. Not all websites need a site map, but it is a good idea to have one as your business grows and your website increases in size and content. You need to create separate site maps, an XML file that is designed for the search engine spiders and an HTML file that is easy for humans to read.

    Do You Need a Site Map?

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  • Building a Website – Website Content

    Writer TypingThe main reason for people to visit your website is your web content. But many web designers and developers forget this significant fact in their race to design the best looking and most user-friendly of web pages. An okay looking web page with good content is bound to get lower bounce rates than a pretty web page with poorly written content. So, while designing your website, pay attention to the content of your website because that’s what will make visitors stay.

    Types of Web Content

    Web content is not just limited to the quality of text for articles or your blogs. It also includes the graphic displays such as pictures and videos.

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  • Building a Website – What Are Wireframes?

    Website wireframes are visual guides which help you in visualizing a web page. It portrays the structure of a web page without using any graphics or text. A good website wireframe shows the entire structural layout of the website, including where pages link to. Wireframes range from being quite simple to hugely complex, but they serve as a great way to start off the design of your website. Complex wireframes include huge amounts of details while the simplest ones can be drawn by hand on a napkin!

    Website WireframeWhat to Include In a Wireframe?

    Effective wireframes leave out all visual elements and utilize boxes and lines instead to represent pictures and text. Follow these tips to make your first wireframe:

    • Configure placement of headings and sub-headings
    • Choose a simple structural layout
    • Include calls to action
    • Add blocks of text
    • Place boxes for graphical details

    Steps for Building A Wireframe

    In order to build a simple wireframe, follow these simple steps and your website wireframe will be ready in no time.

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  • Building a Website- Cross-Browser Compatibility

    responsive websitesWhen you have everything in place for your website and are preparing to go live, there are several things that need to be checked first. One of those is Cross-Browser Compatibility.

    There are many options for users to surf websites, including different operating systems, different devices, and different types of browsers. It is your responsibility to ensure that your website is compatible with all major browsers available today, as you don’t want to lose any of your visitors just because your website does not work well on their browser.

    The most commonly used browsers over the past year (June 2015 - July 2016) can be seen at http://gs.statcounter.com/.  As you'll see, Google Chrome has the majority of market share, but others like FireFox and Internet Explorer have a decent market share.

    Tips for Ensuring Cross Browser Compatibility

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  • Building a Website- The Importance of Having a Mobile Friendly Website

    woman on mobile phoneCurrently, mobile internet users make up 52.7% of total internet users. This number is expected to increase to 63.4% in 2017. With the increase in mobile internet trend and facilities, more and more people are shifting towards mobile internet usage and accessing online content through their mobile devices.  If you don’t make your website mobile friendly, chances are you will be missing out on quite a large number of visitors and potential customers.

    Benefits of Mobile Websites

    1. Bounce rate Reduction

    Content optimization is not the same for mobiles and desktops. If you don’t optimize your website, your bounce rate is going to shoot through the roof because visitors will just leave after seeing that you don’t have a mobile website. But if you provide them with an engaging mobile experience, visitors viewing your website on their phone will have a good experience and engage with your content.

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  • How to Improve Your Site's UX in One Day

    The user experience is one of the most important things to focus on if you want to grab — and keep — your site visitors’ attention. In the modern digital economy, a website is one of the most powerful tools you have to promote your business. The last thing you want is a site that is cumbersome to the user or doesn't hit all the right marks. You have one opportunity to reach the person who lands on your page.

    In fact, the average site visitor only takes seven seconds to make up their mind about a site before potentially bouncing away. Creating a site with good UX is one of the quickest ways to improve your bounce rates and keep visitors coming back time and again. Here are six ways to improve your site’s UX in a single day.

    1. Add More White Space

    Creating more space between blocks of text and/or images makes everything easier to read, which can add to the overall function of your site. Stop trying to cram everything onto your landing page. The focus of your landing page should be pretty narrow for the reader.

    we are sofa is a good example of using whitespace

    Adding white space around your text and titles improves reader attention by about 20 percent, and makes your site feel updated and welcoming. A good example of a design with a nice amount of white space is We Were Sofa. Notice how the simple design has plenty of space around images and headlines, which allows site visitors to spot what they are looking for easily.

    2. Speed Up Your Page

    One of the elements that will impact your UX is how fast pages load. Most site visitors will wait just a few seconds for a page to load. A delay of a mere two seconds can send your abandonment rates soaring up to 87 percent, which can truly impact your conversions.

    amazon.com is an example of a website that contains fast page load speeds

    When you think of some of the biggest online retailers, what is one thing they have in common? Amazon and Walmart.com both load at lightning-fast speeds. People are busy. They want their online shopping experience to be quick and easy.

    3. Add an FAQ Page

    An FAQ page can help with any anxiety a consumer might have about purchasing your product and expand on information not covered in your product description page. If you’re hearing the same questions from customers over and over again, it’s smart to go ahead and create an FAQ page. This simple step allows consumers to find answers themselves, instead of having to wait on a reply.

    glass.com is a good example of a website that contains a well written FAQ page

    An FAQ also shows you are willing to be transparent, which can add a lot of credibility to your site. Glass.com has an excellent example of an FAQ page. This FAQ outlines everything from fees to ways to get discounts.

    4. Try Out Different Call-to-Action Buttons

    You already know the right call to action can entice visitors to convert into customers, but before you unveil your CTA, you should first try some A/B/C testing with different versions of it to see what is most effective with your target audience.

    For example, try varying the color, size and wording of the buttons. Once you figure out what works best with your audience, you can easily add highly effective CTAs in a single day, driving visitors to the place you want them to reach on your website.

    5. Make Your Site Responsive

    In 2015, mobile traffic grew globally by 74 percent, which means creating a responsive site is now essential for reaching all those people browsing the Internet on their phones or tablets. There are several steps you can take in a single day to create a more responsive site. First, you should check out how your site looks on tablets, iOS devices and Android phones.

    Do the images adjust to these smaller screen sizes? Is the text legible? Can you still navigate through the site with the menus? It is important to understand how your site adapts to each size of screen.

    If your site is running on WordPress, you can try a few plugins that will help with mobile responsiveness. When choosing the size of headers and other elements on the page, use percentages rather than pixels to allow the design to adapt easily. When in doubt, pull in a professional designer to help you fix any unresponsive features so you don’t miss out on traffic from anywhere.

    6. Readability

    The average site visitor is juggling a lot of different responsibilities. For example, a parent probably put in at least eight hours at the office, ran errands at lunch, went and picked the kids up from school and threw food in the slow cooker for later. Then, there were sports practices, homework or possibly a school event to attend. By the time they got home, they barely had time to eat, clean up the dishes and collapse onto the couch for a few minutes of Internet surfing.

    People’s brains are overloaded with an avalanche of information. They want to be able to quickly skim over information and get only the main points of what they need. It is vital to make your pages readable. You can do this with clear headers and text broken into short paragraphs. Bullet points make for “skimmable” reading material as well. Keep it short, to the point and easy to skim, and your readers will thank you.

    Making your site more user-friendly doesn’t have to involve a lot of complicated coding. A few simple fixes can make a world of difference in the UX of your website. The goal is to get visitors to stay and keep them coming back, so think about why you stay on the websites you visit and how your target audience lines up.

    Lexie Lu

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has a cup in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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  • Marketing Your Website - The Importance of Using Analytical Tools

    website trafficYou create a beautiful website for your business, optimize it for search engines, market it through social media, and start receiving visitors. But wait! Do you even know where your visitors are coming from? Are they even interested in what you have to offer or are they just passing their time? How many of them are actually interested in purchasing your product or service?

    Answering such questions might seem difficult, but it won’t be once you setup a tracking tool within your website. A tracking tool will enable you to track your visitors, their sources, the number of clicks, the number of conversions, etc. Analytics are crucial because they will help you understand why something in your digital marketing strategy works and why something doesn’t.

    For example, you will determine how engaging your latest Twitter or Facebook post was, which landing page is the best, etc. Since you have invested time and money on your website, it’s important to define goals and use them when measuring web analytics. You can use this valuable information to improve your website and make the necessary changes to correct the particular problem.

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  • Marketing Your Website- Map Listings for Your Business

    google maps sample search for website design richmond va

    Adding your business to popular maps like Google Maps is not difficult and it can yield great results for your company. Having map listings for your business enables you to reach a wider audience and allows them to quickly locate you whenever they are in need of your products and/or services. For many local searches, Google displays map listings above the organic search results, as we wrote about in this post.

    If you have a retail location like a restaurant or store, Google map listings are very important for mobile search. They'll appear when a user searches terms like "restaurant near me" on their phone, and the user can easily call or get directions to your business.

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  • Multiple Locations Does Not Mean Multiple Websites

    Whether you run a huge corporation with locations all over the world, or you started a small business that has expanded into neighboring towns, centralizing all your operations into one website simply makes sense. Not only will you reduce costs in design and web hosting fees, but customers of one location might be interested in other locations.

    Creating a separate website for each location is a bit old school, and designers did use that model once upon a time. But, with modern location tools and the ability to segment websites, it is less troublesome to serve up unique pages for each location while keeping everything on one website. Google is also shifting the way that it looks at keywords, domains and websites so that it is not as necessary as it once was to ensure you use a keyword specific to that location.

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  • Start Up Business - 5 Useful Web Services to Go with Your Business Website

    useful web servicesAre you an online business owner? If so, you must keep track of your website performance using online web services. A lot of website design tools are available online that can assist with analyzing your site.

    However, the problem is that not all of them are useful — or even effective.

    In order to save you time, we have listed some of the most useful web services for a business website.

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  • Website Basics - DIY Website Builders

    Learn How To Make WebsitesThe days when you have to spend months learning codes or hire a coder to develop and publish your website are gone. Many DIY website builders are now available that enable an average person to create their own simple website, and do a decent job of it.

    Most of these website builders provide you with the necessary hosting service, building tools, as well as customer support so you can easily create your very own website without having the need to invest a lot of money and time.

    Popular Do-It-Yourself Website Builders

    These days, you have a variety of website creators available at your disposal, most of which offer a slew of free features with an added opportunity to upgrade to paid premium services and subscription plans.

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  • Website Basics - How Much Time Does It Take To Build Your Own Website?

    A question you ask may when building a website is how long it will take. You might hate the answer: “it depends”. To clarify, when we say ‘it depends’, we’re talking about how extensive the website is, and also whether you hire a professional or try to build the website yourself. Let’s take a look at the website types upon which the timeframe ‘depends’, and estimate time for doing it yourself.

    websites novice versus professional

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  • Website Basics - Options for Building a Website

    building a websiteDepending on the type of business you own or the type of product you wish to launch, you can decide whether you need a full website or simply a landing page. While full websites are best when you are an established business with multiple products and services, a landing page serves only a single purpose and might be suitable for a start-up venture.

    In this article, we are going to discuss the best options for building both, a landing page and a complete website. Let’s take a look at two options for each:

    Options for Building a Landing Page

     

    LeadPages.net

    If it is rapid conversions you have in mind, LeadPages was designed specifically for that purpose. It doesn’t just stop at the landing page; you have the option to add premium features like ‘click to subscribe’ buttons, boxes for opt-ins, and a number of tools for building email lists. It begins at $37 per month.

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  • Website Basics – How to go about selecting a website design firm

    failure or successWhether you wish to launch your very own website or are looking to improve an existing one, finding the right development team is crucial to the project’s success. The Good news is that you have numerous options to choose from; the bad news is, the large number of website development firms out there makes it more difficult than ever to find the right match for your project.

    To end up with the right website development firm, ensure you take the following steps before finalizing your decision.

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  • What Your B2B Website Says About Your Company

    People often say first impressions are everything. That reality extends to individuals, situations and experiences that are encountered in everyday life. If a person goes to an upscale restaurant for a business meal with a client and deals with slow service and bad-tasting food, they probably won’t be very willing to return there.

    Similarly, if a potential client comes to your B2B website, you can be assured he or she will consciously and unconsciously start judging everything associated with the website, whether it’s the layout, content, color scheme or something else. That’s why it’s so important for your B2B website to say the right things about your company, such as the aspects mentioned below.

    You Have Paid Enough Attention to Design

    A great-looking website quickly inspires confidence in clients because they believe if you have spent an adequate amount of time building a beautiful web presence, it’s likely you have exercised a similar amount of care with the other parts of your business. Take a look at the screenshot below from Social Karma, a French company that offers an audience-profiling platform that gives businesses useful insights.

    B2B1

    As you scroll through the landing page of the site, you’ll see clear descriptions of the product’s unique selling points, plus a video and screenshots. By the time you get through all that, you’ll almost certainly want to learn more about how the company can help you specifically and have an overall favorable impression before you make contact with representatives there.

    However, even before you start scrolling, several strategic design elements are already apparent, such as the pleasing turquoise-and-white color scheme and the easy-to-read font. If you can’t read French, don’t worry, because there is a language selector in the top right corner of the site.

    Good design matters because it makes websites highly functional. Beyond that, well-designed websites look great so they stick in visitors’ memories and make them say, “Wow!”

    Whether or Not You Have a Defined Purpose

    Business clients could quickly become confused if they go to your website and can’t figure out what your company does. That’s why it’s important to immediately draw attention to associated content that explains what purpose your company has and why people should care. If site visitors are confused about what you do, they’ll also be confused about why it’s worthwhile to do business with you.

    Ideally, the first text or graphic that people see when they come to your B2B website should be related to your company’s purpose. Also, make sure the “About” page is very prominent so people can click on it to learn more. If the “About” page mostly talks about how your company came to be, it may also be advantageous to have a second page titled “What We Do” or something similar.

    If You Are Aiming to Be a Credible Industry Leader

    It takes longer to build B2B relationships than B2C relationships because you have to win over an entire company instead of just one consumer. However, one of the ways you can gain momentum is to show how you want to lead and not just follow what successful B2B companies have done before. B2B clients want to know that by working with your company, they’ll be able to tap into something they couldn’t have otherwise.

    Usually, they’re depending on you because you have intelligence or abilities they need. You can show them particular expertise by mentioning how your company has been profiled by major news sources like the BBC or CNN or talk about how representatives from your company have been invited to speak at notable conferences.

    You could even have a section on your homepage that profiles why the people working at your company have measurable expertise, like the Creaform Engineering site. Look at how the first top link is solely dedicated to expertise.

    B2B2

    After putting your mouse over it, you’ll get a drop-down section dedicated to engineering, simulation and design. After choosing one of those themes, you can look through a significant amount of information that describes why Creaform Engineering is a company of choice and has shown its expertise in numerous ways.

    Your Ability to Demonstrate Consistency

    Consistency is something that can be highlighted on a website in several ways, from the navigation elements to the tone of the content. It’s also a good idea to make sure any images you use on the site support the text and vice versa.

    B2B3

    The website for LOOP Juice does that in a smart way by using text that describes how the company creates cold-pressed juices using “the outcasts of the food industry”. That concept is intriguing in itself, especially since the public’s desire for produce that looks as good as it tastes often means fruits and veggies get wasted.

    The main image on the website displays the juices in an enticing way by showing how colorful they are. However, the graffiti-filled backdrop fits with the idea that the fruits really were cast aside before they were used to make juice. This is a clever way to show consistency while promoting the product and the brand’s story.

    You Care About Making the Site Accessible for Mobile Devices

    If you decide not to include elements of responsive design in your B2B website, that’s a risk that could lead to several bad assumptions about your website. People may think you’re out of touch with modern society since so many individuals use their phones constantly. They may also get the idea you don’t care about which devices your visitors prefer because you’re blatantly bypassing mobile device compatibility by ignoring responsive design.

    If you cannot afford a site that’s built with responsive design so it looks equally fabulous on mobile devices or computers, at least think about building a mobile-friendly version of the site that people will get redirected to if they visit your site on their phones or tablets. Then, at least you’re doing what you can to reduce frustration and cater to a larger segment of potential clients.

    These are just some of the things your site reveals when people visit it. Now, you should feel much more informed about what’s in your power to make your B2B company and its website stand out for all the right reasons.

    Lexie Lu

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has a cup in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

     

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  • What's the Difference Between PMS, CMYK and RGB Colors?

    color profilesBefore you reach out to a designer or graphic artist, you need to consider a few things. First, you must know what you want from them, which you can show with a sample image or existing product. Second, what kind of image or content you need regarding color, format and size.

    Format and size are best left to the designer, as they’ll make sure you’re taken care of, provided you offer the right details. The color profile you need for the image, however, should be designated on your end. If you happen to be a graphic artist or designer, then you need to know what each of the profiles is used for.

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Our Before & After Designs

Look at what a difference a website redesign makes!

Before
After

- Before and After- pinnsolutions.com