Web Design For AMP Pages: A Helpful Guide

AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages are a recent addition to the projects Google has started. The goal is to create web pages that are highly optimized for mobile devices. There are many different optimization techniques that have been developed specifically for this project. These techniques are enabling mobile users to experience loading times that are super fast. The sites developed using AMP are changing the mobile web scene and creating surfing speeds that were once unheard of. As you consider website design using AMP, there are some helpful tips that can be quite useful.

It is important to keep in mind that AMP is focused on speed and delivering lightning-quick loading times is what this project is all about. Once AMP pages are validated, they are stored in the AMP cache on Google. Also, the format is supported by many different platforms, and if other pages reference or link to your page, Google will index them.

With AMP, you do not have to replace your website. You can add it on to your existing site without the need to redesign anything. And yes, you can use nothing but AMP if you want to design a new website. You will want to make sure you speak with a Tampa SEO Company to make sure your website is optimized for search engine optimization. Page speed is important but there are other aspects of SEO you will want to consider.

AMP is ideal for a number of sites and hopes to continue improving for more and more types of websites. It is perfect for blog entries, news articles, informational pages, and just about any published content.

As you consider using AMP, you may wonder if your site needs it. Again, remember that it has been started to solve a particular problem, delivering super-fast content. In order to do this, however, AMP is not yet full-featured enough. It does not support JavaScript or web forms.

If you decide AMP is for you, you can get started designing your site. In doing so, following the AMP HTML specification is highly recommended. If this is new to you, there are many tutorials online that you will find helpful.

As you can see, if you are ready to deliver super fast loading speeds to your audience, considering AMP is a smart decision. Learning how to design your site for AMP pages is something you should consider, and you can find this information online. Use the tips you have found here to help you decide what direction you want to take your mobile website.…

20Jan/22

7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Websites | Drawbacks & Benefits of Websites

Having a website is very crucial for a business. Websites have paved the way for businesses to carry out their operations as long as they are having internet access. Today websites are not only owned by businesses, even individuals who are interested in particular niche can write articles related to that. 
With all the benefits, websites isn’t advantageous for everyone. Just like everything else, websites too posses certain drawbacks. By exploring the pros and cons, you could determine if websites will be right for you. 

In this article, I will be discussing about 7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Websites | Drawbacks & Benefits of Websites. At the end of this post, you will know the pros and cons of having a websites.
Let’s get started,

Advantages of Website

Advantages and Disadvantages of Websites For Business


1. Information
Internet contains millions of websites which is dedicated to different topics. Information related to studies, technical or IQ enhancement is provided by a website. Even some of these websites are focused on providing step by step instructions to solve a problem. Search engines display all the listed websites as soon as a user types the relevant keyword.

2. Communication
A website allows communication to take place between buyer and seller. Most sellers display their contact information or come up with a contact form to facilitate communication. For the purpose of communication, websites use modes such as video conferencing, chat box or other methods. 
This type of communication is considered to be a highly cheaper option compared to other traditional methods. Companies and some individuals prefer email as a more secured mean of communication.

3. Entertainment
Websites are also used as a form of entertainment. Numerous entertainment options such as games, music, movie are available from a website. Some services are absolutely free that does not require even a single penny from a user. 
Other than that, there is also a possibility of earning from entertainment industry. Users can start a blog and upload their own talents . Talents include singing, dancing and other entertainments where people will be interested in.

4. Banking
Banking industries also currently use websites so that customers could get connected to their service. Without even coming to the bank, customers will be able to check their account information. 
And this service is 24/7. Meaning, the service is available even when the bank is closed. Banks could notify their customers immediately in an emergency situation.

5. Marketing
Both startup and established businesses can be benefited from website marketing. With the use of websites, businesses can target their potential customers. Customers interested in your products and services can easily make transactions. 
However, businesses must make sure that their websites are user friendly and well optimized. Hence, customers could easily find information they are looking for.

6. Advertising
If you own a website, you can also place advertisements and start earning. There are various advertising services like Google AdSense and Media.net that offers advertisement for potential websites. Moreover, these advertisements have a tendency to reach customers more accurately than other offline methods of advertising.

7. Employment
Whether it can be for freelancing from home or online job applying, various employment opportunities are provided by a website. For an example, companies display their vacancies online so that suitable candidates can be found. 
Similarly, it is easy for candidates to find their required job by applying online rather than searching job opportunities from a newspaper.

Disadvantages of Website

1. Cost
Websites are not entirely a free service. For building a website, a professional needs to be hired who should be paid for his work. Furthermore, companies need to spend on web hosting and domain. Now this is not one time payment, the users need to renew them yearly. 
There are also other indirect costs involved like internet connection and computer system all which can increase the expenditure.

2. Privacy
Some websites require personal information from the user for market data. Most often these data is used by hackers for the purpose of identity theft and other frauds. For an example, banking websites need users to enter sensitive information such as Security PIN, CVV and account number. These information is at a risk of theft.

3. Socialization
Although websites helps to get connected with people all over the world, the same could take you away from the people around you. Users who focus more on websites prefer to chat in messages rather than having face-to-face conversations. They find it hard to talk to persons in real. 
Now this type of habit is not only bad to the user but also to the society around them, especially to their family. Ideally this is a risk to personal relationships.

4. Addiction
Excessive use of website after a certain period can bring many negative effects to the user. Particularly, websites that promote entertainment such as games could make a user addictive. 
Researches have found that playing games releases a hormone called dopamine which induces a feeling of happiness. Due to this feeling, unknowingly the players could become addictive that they cannot come out.

5. Illegal Activities
Websites are also used for illegal activities. Some of the information provided are used for cybercrime works. Even other dangerous crimes such as terrorism and kidnapping are carried out using a website. 

And also, privacy concerns are created if contacts provided by a website is from other sources. If necessary permissions are not obtained from the original owner, …

13Jan/22

8 Benefits of Being A Web Developer

Since the innovation of computers and the birth of the internet, the growth of technology is changing lives. With the rapid growth of smartphones, gadget development, and the increasing reach of tech in everyday life, web development is one of the most attractive fields in the tech industry. And being a developer is one of the coolest and most beneficial jobs in 2019. We compiled a fun list of the 8 core benefits of being a Web Developer in today’s world. But first, what is web development?

What does Web Development mean?

UI website creative designer workspace with template framework for mobile phone layout on dark leather desk

Web development is simply how websites are built, implemented, and displayed on the internet. It pertains to the work behind the scenes that creates a functional website that performs a set of particular, defined functions. This includes various aspects of network security, web content development, web designing, web publishing, database management, and more. And to make the website look better and work well, it needs the application of DOM or Document Object Model; HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

The Role Of Web Developers

Web developers are programmers who specialize in the development of applications relating to the World Wide Web or distributed network applications. These network applications typically run protocols like HTTP from a Web server to a client browser using associated programming languages like JavaScript, C#, Ruby, and PHP—to name a few.

In simple words, web developers are programmers who use programming tools and write codes to “tell” a website what to do or how to function. They are like the directors and scriptwriters behind every movie.

8 Benefits of Being A Web Developer

  • It’s one of the most sought-after jobs
  • It’s a high-paying job
  • You can work independently(be your own boss) or with a team
  • You can work from anywhere
  • It brings out or improves your creativity(build your own idea from nothing)
  • It’s interesting and fun
  • It helps you become a better problem-solver
  • It is a job for the future

One of the Most Sought-after Jobs

Web development is becoming one of the most in-demand jobs. It ranked 8 in the report of  U.S. News & World Report for Best Technology Jobs in 2018. Because of today’s technology, hospitals and clinics, hotel, resorts, restaurants, and many others have their own websites.

Websites are becoming so popular; they can even be called a “need” in almost every company and business. If you browse the internet, you’ll literally see millions of different websites, all over the world.

High-paying Job

When choosing a career path or switching to another, salary is not the only significant factor, but most of us undeniably consider it as well. With thoughts like, “Would it help me pay my bills?” or “Is it enough to provide for my family?”

Web developers’ salary is definitely not cheap. In a Glassdoor report, the average salary of a web developer is $93,402 per year which makes it one of the most lucrative jobs in the market.

Be the boss of yourself

Yes, you can be a freelance developer and be your own boss. You can have better salary rate negotiations for your skills and codes. You don’t have to be tied down to just a single company; instead, you can be a freelance developer, where you can work for various employers with your flexitime work schedule. And because you’re a freelance developer, you won’t have to deal with annoying officemates. The choice is all yours.

Work Remotely

4824

One of the perks of being a web developer is whether you work as a freelance or working for a company, you do the job from anywhere as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection. If a typhoon or a snowstorm is going on, you can still do your job and get your work done while staying in the comfort of your home.

Improves Creativity

As mentioned earlier, designing is part of the job of a web developer. And creativity is a vital skill for web development. You get to mold your own creativity and come up with different ideas. As time goes by, you will also learn from yourself by re-using your previous idea. And the limit? Only your imagination.

Have an Interesting and Fun Experience

Most of us grew up being excited and thrilled about magic. When we watch magicians perform we always have the thought, “how did they do that?” But making something disappear or appear physically is not the only magic in this world.

Programming is like magic on computers, websites, and software. You can make texts appear or disappear, create a clickable button and even drag pictures wherever you want on the screen. It all depends on however you want software or a website to work. But the magic on computers isn’t the only thing that makes web development a fun and exciting work. It is the thought that you are creating something to make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable

Depending on what you are working on, whether you are making a website for a hospital, a school, or a business, you are making it easier for users.  You help them find or contact a hospital or a doctor immediately, make students have effortless access to their grades or help a startup company grow, you are contributing something to other people’s lives while enjoying the thrill of coding.

Become a better problem-solver

Problem-solving is one of …

21Dec/21

Highly Effective Web Design Tips Backed by Research

On the Internet, web design tips are a dime a dozen. Many people have opinions on what the perfect website looks like. That’s because, to a certain extent, design is subjective. What one person likes, another might find hideous.

At the same time, web design is one of the most important factors for the success of a website. In fact, almost half of people say that the design of a site is their main factor for judging a company’s credibility. As a consequence, it also influences conversions, bounce rate, and more.

Sigh, if only there was a way to find some objective data on how to create a successful web design. Wait, there is! And a bunch of it has been compiled in this article. Stay on the page for some web design tips backed by science. Stop relying on your gut feeling and start doing things proven to work.

Science-based Web Design Tips to Crush Your Next Website Project

In the following, you will find some research-based tips and tricks on how to improve your web design.

1. Make Site Speed an Absolute Priority

It’s probably one of the least debated facts in the web design sphere that speed is important. Research has shown that it influences everything from bounce rate over user satisfaction to conversions and revenue.

website speed effect web design tips

If your site is slow, visitors will not stick around. Period. Plus, because users care, search engines also do and factor your page loading speed into their rankings. For that reason, it’s paramount that you invest in making your site as fast as possible.

How? The articles below will put you on the right track:

2. Leverage the Fold

Whether or not there is still such a thing as the fold is part of a heated debate. Some say that because of the multitude of screen sizes these days, the fold doesn’t matter anymore. Others have a different opinion.

However, the fact is that even in 2018, people spend 57 percent of their time above the fold with a sharp decline afterwards. 74 percent of their time is dedicated on the first two screenfuls.

take advantage of the fold web design tips

So, it seems like the fold still matters. For your website that means you need to prioritize your content and use the available space to hook users in so they continue. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Use a clear and descriptive headline — Explain what your site can do for visitors, highlight the benefits. Be brief and use power words. For more advice, look into our copywriting tips.
  • Include your main call to action — To improve your chances for converting, the fold is the time to start the user journey. Make sure your CTA is clear and visible.
  • Include media — Images, videos or audio help emphasize your point. We will talk more about visual content further below.

Find more awesome examples of the practices above in this article.

3. Take Advantage of Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law states that the more choices an individual has, the longer they will take to make a decision.

There’s actually a fascinating study on this phenomenon in which people in a supermarket were given more or less varieties of jam to try. In the end, those who had more choices were much less likely to end up buying some jam than the ones that had less variety to choose from.

hicks law web design tips

How’s that important for your website? Because you might be able to boost your conversions simply by limiting the choice you give to users. Here are a few examples of what that might look like:

  • Reduce the number of menu items
  • Limit form fields
  • Focus on one call to action
  • Only display social buttons for networks you are active on
  • Stick to one goal per page

There are plenty of other ways you can reduce overwhelm on your site and move users towards the choices you really want them to make. There’s actually an ebook on that.

4. Keep it Simple

Continuing with the theme of less, this also applies to your design in general. A huge study by Google has shown that visitors don’t like visual complexity. The gist: the more complex your design, the less it is perceived by visitors as beautiful.

What does that mean for your site? Besides the point above, here are a few ideas:

  • Rethink the sidebar — More and more websites are ditching the sidebar in favor of single-column design (for example, the one you are on right now). It means less distractions and puts the focus clearly on the content.
  • Stick to standard layouts — People love familiarity and can get weirded out by non-standard site designs. Therefore, it can be a good idea to stick with familiar design tropes and layouts. You can still find ways to stand out in other ways.

5. Avoid Carousels, Sliders, Tabs and Accordions

Website owners love carousels. It’s probably one of the most client-requested features. Unfortunately, the research says that they are pretty useless.

One of the most mind-blowing data comes from Notre Dame University. The webmaster there noticed that the first slide on a carousel received almost 90 percent …

10Dec/21

Useful tips to help you create good habits as a web developer

Useful tips to help you create good habits as a web developer

by Antoine Lechenault

This article is aimed at junior developers but may interest anyone as a bank of useful tips on how to grow some good habits.

I’m constantly trying to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. Here is the summary of the best daily tips I came up with.

I try to perfect my working habits as I’m growing, so feel free to suggest some tips not specified in this article to help me too!

Alright, first tip.

1. Do technology watch. A LOT.

Technology watch” is the activity of keeping abreast of innovations in a given sector.

There’s not a lot more to say, but in my opinion, it’s the easiest way to learn just by reading. Even if you don’t understand the whole subject or learn how to do the magic thing the article talks about, you know that it exists. And that’s what really matters.

A lot of services and tools are now available online to help you do this. You should use them because they’ll be your first source of information and new ideas on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Tools like Netvibes can help you save a lot of time by monitoring all your technology watch in one place. Plus, I would recommend tracking new content and reading all your feeds for example on Monday and Thursday, not every day.

Some of the websites/forums I read every week :

But when you’re using content monitoring tools, try to stay focused on a subject related to the skills you want to work on.

It’s easy to get lost and jump from one subject to another. Ok, the last article on the new Crypto ICO is SUPER INTERESTING, but do you work in cryptocurrency? Stay focused.

2. Look at awesome websites. And unpack them!

You can easily find awesome websites, resources, or code experimentations here:

But the point isn’t to look at them and say: “I’ll never be able to do this!”

Ask yourself: how you would do the magic, and try to understand what they used to build it. New technology, new JavaScript library, unknown CSS property? We live in a world where every day new things come up and we are not able to learn as fast as the technologies grow themselves.

But I would suggest that you not only try to understand the process but also try to reproduce it, and explain it. Generally, if you can teach someone, you have mastered the subject.

Over the past year, I spent a lot of time changing my process. Unpacking the websites and understanding how skilled people built them. All these steps helped me to combine different techniques and find smart ways to construct my websites.

That directly leads me to the next point.

3. Learn from those with more experience

How to Start a Web Design Business: Tips on Building a Profitable Online  Company with No Experience – The Web Designer

Usually, when you start as a junior in a company, you’ll be directed by a Lead Dev who will have a look at your code, schedule your tasks, and prevent you from dropping the database.

Don’t be shy to ask to learn more from them. Ask them to show you how to do the cool things they did on the last website they launched, or the nice component they made to make life easier for everyone on the dev team.

But most important: don’t be afraid to ask for things you think are dumb.

Everyone starts with different education, so it is natural to ask questions that may sometimes seem “silly”, but those answers will help you for years to come.

Another way to learn from the best is to code review.

If your team doesn’t do it on regular basis, be the first to introduce it to your dev team. Don’t hesitate to ask other members of your team to review your code and try to improve it.

Listen to them. Start a debate. Explain why you did it that way and not the way they would have done it. Exchanging, discussing, and learning from each other’s strengths is probably the healthiest way to improve.

4. NEVER, EVER, forget to comment your code

Ok, I know, you’ve read that sentence a million times since you started coding. On the internet, by your superiors, by your teachers, even maybe by your dog.

The point of commenting on your own code isn’t to make it only easily understandable by another developer or yourself. It’s also a way to think about your function before writing it. To define a purpose. And only one.

Stop yourself from creating a multiSuperTaskFunction().

Let’s say, for example, you start to write a function to manage a planet’s ecosystem. With the habit of commenting on your code, you’ll automatically sequence your code in multiple functions. And every function has only one task to execute.

This principle of separating all your functions into small ones will help you identify your bugs more quickly. This also allows you to isolate elements and reuse them later (modular components). Finally, it will be much more readable and you won’t need to hide when you show your code.

5. Improve your own code: Refactor.

Refactoring: Improve your Code Quality - Rootstrap

If you rely on everyone except you, you won’t be able to progress AND gain self-confidence. That’s the reason why it’s important to …

03Dec/21

Value-Added Services Web Designers Can Offer Clients

Common Web design languages - what they do and why do you need them

After I design a website for a client, I am often asked to provide other (somewhat related) services, such as managing e-mail marketing campaigns, creating various reports, and updating online stores. This is perfect for me because it supports the model I follow in my business. But even if you typically only provide design services, there are ways you can offer your clients even more value for working with you, and develop a long-term relationship that benefits everyone.

If clients are happy with your work, they are likely to consider you for other projects because they trust you, they know you’re web savvy, and you already have a handle on their businesses. Building on a previous post, “Recession Survival: 9 Ways To Make More Money As A Web Designer,” here is an expansion of #8: Diversify, with seven value-added services you can offer to your clients.

1. Analytics Interpretation and Reporting

You’ve designed the site with web analytics code in place and the site usage is being tracked. But it takes a lot of the client’s time to review the analytics and, most importantly, interpret what it means. It can be beneficial for your clients to have someone who understands the data create reports, interpret them, and make suggestions for site improvements based on the data.

2. Competition Monitoring

Regardless of the industry your client is in, there are competitors online. It might be worthwhile to have someone keep an eye on competitors’ websites to stay up to speed with what they’re doing, especially if it can impact the client’s business.

3. HTML E-mail Template Design

If your client sends e-mail marketing messages, he/she may be interested in having e-mail templates created that have the same look and feel as the website.

4. Blog Customization/Management

Blogs are another area where a client may need help carrying over the same look that you created for their website. Beyond the customization and setup, there may be an opportunity to provide blog management services for your clients, where you publish posts, manage comments, add the blog to directories and promote linking.

5. Pay-Per-Click Campaign Management

This is another area that requires a lot of work on the client’s part. If the client doesn’t have dedicated marketing support and if you have experience with PPC campaigns, this may be a great way to give your clients more value, and save them time.

6. Sales Presentation Development

One of my clients had a team of sales people who wanted to use the website as a visual aid during sales presentations, but always feared there would be spotty or non-existent Internet service for the meeting. I was hired to take the website, translate it into an auto-run demo, and burn it to a DVD. This gave the sales people an offline solution, plus a leave-behind for prospects.

7. Usability Testing

The Importance Of Website Design And How It Helps In Making Business  Profitable | by Marielle Anya Nilsson | codeburst

After the site is live — or before the work begins in the case of a redesign — it may make sense to get input from the client’s customers and target audience. You can manage usability testing by creating and compiling surveys, managing one-on-one interviews, and reporting the feedback to the client.

Once you know what services you want to offer to retain clients, its time to focus on bringing new ones in. Here’s a great guide to finding freelance work over on Millo.…

16Nov/21

Tips for Improving Your Web Development Skills

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Want to Improve Your Web Development Skills? Here's how - CompanionLink Blog

Keep up your development in your role with these tips for improving your web development skills.

Web development is a fast-changing industry. As a developer, there is no excuse for slacking off. You have to constantly learn and improve your skills if you want to stay on top of the industry trends and ahead of the game.

And if you’re like most developers, you probably looked at your code and wondered how you could make it better.

While the old adage, “practice makes perfect” certainly applies to developers, whether they are web or software developers, there are a few other ways to improve your development skills.

In this article, we’ll share five tips that you can start implementing today to become a better web developer.

No matter where you are in your career as a developer, there is always room for improvement. Beginners need to improve their skills to become better at their craft, and experienced developers should always strive for optimizing their code for readability, performance, and maintainability.

1. Write Code Every Day

web development coding on a black screen

If you ask any seasoned developer for their best advice on improving your skills, almost everyone will tell you to write code every single day. While the advice might sound obvious (and therefore not very useful) the simple truth is that it works.

Just like you become better at any skill by practicing it regularly, you will become a better developer if you write code on a regular basis. This will allow you to catch your mistakes and it will improve your typing skills as well, which reduces the chances of making mistakes.

Bear in mind, this doesn’t mean you have to come up with new projects every day. But it does mean practicing consistently.

And while you’re at it, take the time to learn the ins and outs of your favorite code editor. Learn the shortcuts and try using it without relying on your mouse or your touchpad. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll be once you actually know all the features your main tool has.

2. Contribute to Open-Source Projects

Computer Science | Fowler School of Engineering | Chapman University

Working on open-source projects from places like GitHub helps you immerse yourself in code. You can choose to fork an existing project and create your iteration of it. You can also contribute to an existing project by helping the project reach its final stage or by fixing minor bugs to improve the project’s stability.

No matter which option you choose, it inevitably leads to understanding your code better and it also exposes you to other people’s code which might show you a new way of doing things.

On top of that, you get to collaborate with others on fun projects which help you get a second (or a third!) pair of eyes on your code. You’ll also learn to work better in a team and gain an invaluable learning opportunity.

3. Teach Others What You Know

You might think you aren’t a good fit to write about code. After all, you’re not a writer. But starting a blog, where you share your knowledge with others, is a great way to continue learning.

By writing about what you know, you will learn to organize your thoughts and structure the topic you’re writing about. It gives you the opportunity to review what you already know and back it up with practical examples. In some cases, you might want to research the topic further which leads to more learning and a better understanding of the problem you’re trying to cover.

Not only that, but a blog increases your visibility and it positions you as the expert on the topic. So, go ahead and add a blog to your website. You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

4. Challenge Yourself With a New Skill

Code tutorials from Envato Tuts+

There is no shortage on development tutorials on the web. And while some of the new trends in the development industry don’t stick around for long, there is no reason to stay within your comfort zone.

Break the monotony of working on various projects by trying out a new programming language or a new way of doing things.

If you’re a WordPress theme developer, try your hand at creating a plugin. If you’re a software developer working with web apps, why not give mobile app development a try?

Even though you won’t reach a level of mastery by going through a tutorial here and there, it still follows the principle of being exposed and immersed in code on a daily basis.

Don’t forget that in many cases, the tutorials on these sites have been written by developers with years of experience and they also often highlight new features in new technology, languages, and APIs.

5. Schedule Regular Downtime

While coding everyday is extremely beneficial, take care to schedule regular downtime, too. As ironic as it may sound, time spent not producing anything will actually make you more productive.

If you’re constantly working, you run the risk of burning out and living under stress, which can result in sloppy code, missed deadlines, and missed opportunities. Your ability to think clearly and solve problems will deteriorate and, ultimately, your health will suffer too.

That’s why it’s crucial to schedule regular downtime. If you find you cannot break away from work, then schedule it in your calendar and set a reminder to stop working for a set period …

26Oct/21

Essential tips for improving your web design in 2021

Within five seconds of landing on your website, can your visitors determine what your company does? Could users easily navigate to the blog if they need to? Is the layout of your pricing easy to understand? Does your website have a low bounce rate? 

If you’re finding yourself answering ‘no’ to these questions, it might be time to take a hard look at the way you’ve been designing and optimizing your website.

A website truly excels when it has a design that feeds into your website’s user experience, functionality, and appropriately complements your content.

It can be super easy to neglect these things, thinking these updates are the lowest thing to worry about on your totem pole of website priorities, but a successful website has both high performing content and an exceptional user experience needs to have balance. 

The last thing you want is to be spending time writing some amazing content on your blog or service pages, only for it to go unnoticed due to design flaws, navigation issues, or confusing layouts, or missed conversion opportunities. 

But the umbrella of website user experience has a lot under it, and it can be challenging to understand all that’s under it while figuring out the most important things to tackle.

So, what do you need to know to start improving your web design?

To answer that, here are 12 website tips to ensure that you’re going in the right direction in your redesign and are assuring you aren’t turning visitors away.

1. Have a plan

Now that you’ve acknowledged that your site likely needs some improvements, it’s time to work your way backward and create a plan detailing how you’ll tackle them. 

Start by mapping out your customer journey from the first time someone visits your website to the moment they become a customer.

When doing this, think about which pages are they going to view, what content are they going to read, and what offers are they going to convert on. Understanding this will help you design a site that actually helps nurture leads through the sales funnel.

I’ve always liked Leadfeeder’s customer journey map as a great example. You don’t need to make it as graphical as they did, but it gets the point across. It illustrates what users do when visiting their website and what commonalities occur between those who do and do not become customers. 

leadfeeder infographic

If you are struggling to compile this data, or, lack a CRM that would make researching this easier, you can always interview your customers. Ask if you could have 15-30 minutes of their time to ask them a few questions (you can even compensate them with a $10 Starbucks or Amazon gift card). Interview as many people as you can, but no need to go overboard. 

Then, use this data to map out your strategy. This will help you identify the key touch points of your website or the areas your users interact with. 

Throughout these touch points, you should be able to map out the emotion, thoughts, goals, pain points, and opportunities each touchpoint needs to evoke.

Answering these questions will help you direct your design. Is their imagery that will help best address these areas in the way you want? What about a particular color palette? Getting started on your customer journey map will help create answers to these questions and better reinforce your design. 

2. Remove distractions and reduce friction

Certain elements on your website are going to detract from the value and message you’re trying to convey. Complicated animations, content that’s too long, and “stocky” website images are just a few examples. 

With an audience that only has an attention span of eight seconds, you need to make it abundantly clear what your user will learn on the page they’re viewing and your design must not detract from this. 

This starts with making sure you have consistent brand guidelines you can work off of. 

This should detail your font styles, colors, imagery, iconography, and logo usage. Without this, it’s easy for brands to struggle when designing pages. You’ll likely start to see arbitrary colors and varying font styles and sizes used, which in turn, can distract from your message or create visual confusion for people trying to convert. 

It’s also important to avoid too many on-page animations or interactions. If you’re scrolling through a page and see every button pulsing or a section of icons each with their own animation, it can  feel overwhelming and distract them from reading what’s on the page.

Let’s take a look at the website below as an example. Note, since I’m treating this as more of a critique, I’m removing the brand’s logo from the image so they can remain more anonymous.

remove distraction and friction 1

When looking at this site, the first thing I noticed was the colors. 

For one thing, the way they are used makes it hard for the user to decide where their eye is supposed to go. Should it be one of the two red buttons? What about the hello bar? Or maybe the top of the navigation? 

You need to figure out where you want users’ attention to go when they arrive on the page and what order it needs to flow naturally. This current color arrangement creates friction in accomplishing this.

Second, there are some areas of inconsistent spacing. The hanger in …

13Oct/21

The 7 Essential Tools for Frontend Web Development

Web development tools have come a long way in just a few short years. Thanks to this progress, we can harness the power of highly tested libraries to improve our workflow and benefit from greater possibilities when it comes to responsive design. Not only that, we can build things together thanks to ever-improving version control systems. From browser add-ons and plugins, to processors that streamline your code, there have never been more possibilities for creating awesome web applications.

But with the number of web dev tools increasing almost daily, finding the best software to get the job done can sometimes feel daunting. To help you out, we’ve created a list of essential tools for frontend development to get you started. If you’re interested in finding out about one in particular, simply select it from the list below.

  1. Sublime Text
  2. Chrome Developer Tools
  3. jQuery
  4. GitHub
  5. Twitter Bootstrap
  6. Angular.js
  7. Sass

Not keen on reading? Then watch the video below in which Will, one of our course specialists, talks you through the tools.https://www.youtube.com/embed/I527_XR76PE

1. Sublime Text

Let’s start with the basics: a first-rate code editor – one that features a well-designed, super efficient, and ultra speedy user interface. There are several that do this well, but arguably the best (and most popular) is Sublime Text.

Artfully run by a one-man development team, the secret to Sublime’s success lies in the program’s vast array of keyboard shortcuts – such as the ability to perform simultaneous editing (making the same interactive changes to multiple selected areas) as well as quick navigation to files, symbols, and lines. And when you’re spending 8+ hours with your editor each day, those precious few seconds saved for each process really do add up…

You can start coding with Sublime in this free web development tutorial (no sign-up necessary).

2. Chrome Developer Tools

Wouldn’t it be great if you could edit your HTML and CSS in real-time, or debug your JavaScript, all while viewing a thorough performance analysis of your website?

Google’s built-in Chrome Developer Tools let you do just that. Bundled and available in both Chrome and Safari, they allow developers access into the internals of their web application. On top of this, a palette of network tools can help optimize your loading flows, while a timeline gives you a deeper understanding of what the browser is doing at any given moment.

Google release an update every six weeks–so check out their website as well as the Google Developers YouTube channel to keep your skills up-to-date.

A web developer using Sublime Text

3. jQuery

JavaScript has long been considered an essential frontend language by developers, although it’s not without its problems: riddled with browser inconsistencies, its somewhat complicated and unapproachable syntax meant that functionality often suffered.

That was until 2006, when jQuery–a fast, small, cross-platform JavaScript library aimed at simplifying the frontend process–appeared on the scene. By abstracting a lot of the functionality usually left for developers to solve on their own, jQuery allowed greater scope for creating animations, adding plug-ins, or even just navigating documents.

And it’s clearly successful–jQuery was by far the most popular JavaScript library in existence in 2015, with installation on 65% of the top 10 million highest-trafficked sites on the web at the time. If this sounds like something you’d like to look into some more, we have a full guide to jQuery vs JavaScript.

4. GitHub

It’s every developer’s worst nightmare–you’re working on a new project feature and you screw up. Enter version control systems (VCS)–and more specifically, GitHub.

By rolling out your project with the service, you can view any changes you’ve made or even go back to your previous state (making pesky mistakes a thing of the past). There are so many reasons why GitHub is vital to developers. The repository hosting service also boasts a rich open-source development community (making collaboration between teams as easy as pie), as well as providing several other components such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.

Many employers will look for finely-honed Git skills, so now’s the perfect time to sign up–plus it’s a great way to get involved and learn from the best with a wide array of open-source projects to work on.

Curious about a career 
in Web Development?

Start learning for free! 

5. Twitter Bootstrap

Getting tired of typing in that same styling for a container? How about that button that keeps cropping up? Once you start building frontend applications regularly, you’ll start to notice the same patterns emerging.

UI frameworks are an attempt to solve these problems by abstracting the common elements into reusable modules – meaning developers can scaffold the elements of new applications with speed and ease.

The most widely used of these frameworks is Bootstrap, which is a comprehensive UI package developed by the team at Twitter. Complete with tools to normalize stylesheets, build modal objects, add JavaScript plugins, and a plethora of other features, Bootstrap can dramatically cut down on the amount of code (and time) needed to build your project.

A frontend developer looking at code

6. AngularJS

HTML is usually the cornerstone of any frontend developer’s toolbox, but it has what many perceive to be a serious flaw: it wasn’t designed to manage dynamic views.

This is where AngularJS, an open-source web framework, comes in. Developed by Google, AngularJS lets you extend your application’s HTML syntax, resulting in a more expressive, readable, and quick …

06Oct/21

How to Customize UX for Mobile

So what does psychology have to do with it? When it comes to user experience, almost everything.

With so many device types and sizes and so many different ways to design websites for those devices, the user experience a designer creates is what determines overall success of the site and whether a user will return.

What is user psychology?

User psychology is the science behind what people want and need when they visit a website or mobile app. Psychology is rooted in everything from whether a user trusts your brand to how they feel about the message you are trying to convey.

And design is a big part of that. Everything from color to images to patterns to how the site works can impact those feelings and emotional connections.

Each of these elements should ultimately lead to an action from the user. Most psychology textbooks reference triggers that cause people to act and react. Those triggers also apply to web design, and even more particularly to mobile design, where a user almost always has to physically interact with a website to make something happen, such as the swipe or tap fingers on the screen.

  • Reciprocation: if you do something for users, they will do something for you. (They sign up for a newsletter, you give them a freebie.)
  • Framing: users will make comparisons between things. (Do I want this or that? Most users fall somewhere in the middle of all options.)
  • Salience: users want what matters now. (That’s why e-commerce websites add related items to the screen during the shopping experience.)
  • Social proof: users look to others to see what to do. (The influence of social media.)
  • Scarcity: users want what they can’t have. (Limited number of items.)
  • Contrast: What stands out in the user’s mind. (Design theory 101.)

Two different user experiences

While the triggers are the same regardless of the device, the user experience is not. Users overwhelmingly want the content to be the same regardless of device, but have different ideas of how to use and interact with that content.

Desktop websites are for reading and perusing. The reading and information gathering process may result in an action, but users often have a distinct reason for going to a website, such as work. Not all of these experiences are based on entertainment or pleasure and most of them may not be.

Desktop users are relatively still in their online interactions as well. Every action is done with a keyboard or mouse. There’s just not a lot of actual physical interaction with the device. (Few users will ever touch the screen.)

The user experience for mobile is significantly different. Users constantly touch the device – casing and screen. So the size of these elements and how they feel are quite important. This use of physical touch makes designing elements on the screen especially important, because they must be easy to touch, unlike desktop versions where the mouse click is always the same size.

Mobile device users often access websites with different intents. Entertainment or task completion activities are more common than reading and research actions. (Just think of how often you pull out your phone to play a game in line at the grocery store or respond to a text message.)

Physical differences also impact the psychology of mobile design. You have to consider lighting conditions, device size and touch options. How will these elements come together for an actual user?

User expectations

It all comes down to a central question: What does the mobile user want and expect?

Unlike with desktop websites, where users expect a visually dynamic and engaging experience that is relatively two-dimensional, mobile users want everything to feel real and live in the three-dimensional space.

Mobile users have come to expect certain things from the interface:

  • Every action needs to be tappable. (And easy to see and tap.)
  • Graphics and images should load fast, and might not be part of the mobile experience at all.
  • Options need to be contextual. Users want to know what’s next and where they can go from here; they don’t need to know every possible option.
  • Websites need to integrate with all mobile device functionality, such as mapping, calling and integration with other apps.
  • Interactions have to be easy and follow generally accepted patterns. Mobile users have almost zero attention span. If elements don’t work the first time – and without a lot of thought or explanation – the user is lost.

How to design it

The actual secret is combining triggers and user expectations; then design for them. Let’s break down a few examples of sites that do this well and how they combine triggers and mobile expectations for an excellent user experience.

MINT

Mint uses a card-style interface where every box is a clickable element in its mobile app design, whereas the desktop version features more click-style links. Bright color and plenty of white space contribute to the streamlined mobile version as well.

Triggers: Framing and salience are the key triggers here, because as a free service mint is asking you to sign up for limited time offers based on things you likely are thinking about or need, from credit card to insurance offers. 

Mobile expectations: Mint loads exceptionally fast with up-to-date user data. The mobile app drops many of the heavier images that appear in the desktop site and uses a simple vertical pattern for the user to …

22Sep/21

Doing Web Layouts with a Graphic Designer in Rockford

​Facts surround us. It comes from everywhere, irrespective of whether we are on the web or offline. Our sensory system receives inputs and transmits them to the brain. The process of recognizing and interpreting the inputs is named perception. Among all kinds of perception (sound, touch, taste, smell, etc.), visual perception is primary, considering that 90% of information that comes to our brains is visual. Based on this, each marketer and graphic designer in Rockford recognize the significance of employing visual materials in advertising methods.

Visuals in Social Media Marketing and Advertising

When it comes to social media promotion (SMM), graphic style is a decisive part of an overall content method. Regardless of how fantastic the text is, nobody will notice it unless accompanied by good visuals to grab people’s attention within the middle of browsing. Running a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) organization, owners can get clients via social media because their leads reach the final stage on the sales funnel without even leaving social media networks. B2B (Business-to-Business) firms are more focused on directing possible leads to their websites to introduce those results in the firm and demonstrate its experience. That’s why designers should really perform out visual materials primarily based on the business enterprise model and marketing and advertising strategy.

Not only marketing and advertising objectives but also social media networks affect visual design. If the firm communicates to its Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn audience in an official way rather than within a friendly way, the design should support the tone with suitable colors and typography. Whereas visual material styles for Instagram and Snapchat could be a lot more casual and relaxed.

Wonderful Design and Style Boosts Social Media Engagement

You could use your graphic design and style expertise to send engagement on any social media platform employing the roof. Social media managers work on engagement, virality, and score for every post. There are actually all kinds of ways to go about achieving these points with a simple graphic style. As a graphic designer in Rockford, you’d almost definitely do several items to improve this post. Initially, you’d add an image one individual could not resist sharing. Second, you’d shave down the text and incorporate it onto the image, so the whole factor is quick and sweet and has immediate influence. Fantastic news: by improving the post from a graphic style standpoint, you’d strengthen be able to increase the engagement and almost surely get a much better shot at virality.

As a graphic designer in Rockford, you may build visual concepts to convey information through photographs and art. You’ll also develop posters, bus wraps, billboards, packaging, logos, and advertising supplies, based on the industry-graphic designer in Rockford operates at magazines, advertising and marketing, advertising agencies, and much more. Picking pictures and typefaces and building layouts for ads, annual reports, brochures, magazines, and other projects are also part of the gig.…