Tag Archives: google

Digital Makeover: 5 Steps to a Successful Web Redesign

web development tips

Every now and again, I got dressed for work or a wedding or whatever, look at myself at the mirror and says, to no one in particular, wouldn’t it be nice to try and style my hair a different way? We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. Whether it’s with our own looks, the way your kitchen is arranged or with how your phone’s home screen is styled, we’ve all had a moment where that makeover itch is waiting to be scratched and it’s no less true for web developers.

Planning a website makeover

When it comes to redesigning a website, sometimes the underlying reason isn’t purely about looks, it’s also about functionality. The realm of the worldwide web, just like every piece of technology in existence, progresses fairly rapidly. Take a look at how much Facebook has changed for example or compare the difference between the website of every American presidential candidate since 1996 for a more pronounced difference.

That is not to say that aesthetics doesn’t matter in a website redesign. Aesthetics or to use the cooler name, design language, is one of the core tenets of your brand identity. There are times when your company has tilted enough from its original purpose that a reformed identity would be needed, which means that it’s time for a redesign. Other times, it might simply because your design language hasn’t aged well, and a redesign is necessary to keep up with your competitors.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter what your reasoning is as long as it’s a good one. A redesign shouldn’t be approached haphazardly, even if it’s a minor one. When done wrong, the backlash, as has been proved by what happened to Snapchat earlier this year, could be detrimental. Both the planning and execution has to be done correctly in order to not mess with the user experience while still achieving your specific business goals.

Step 1: Identify what you want to achieve that’s currently not being met

Before you begin the makeover process, the first step you’ll have to take is outline what you would like to achieve from this redesign. These goals should always be concrete and not vague, ambiguous goals, such as because you’re bored of the current look. If it’s related to a new functionality, ask yourself if it’s important enough to warrant a redesign or if it’s something that could be added to the current design.

A redesign doesn’t always have to start from zero. You have to determine which part of your website works the way it was intended to and which is falling short. Keeping some of the old parts intact might save you both time and money once the actual work has started. This is the stage where you, as the business owner, need to determine whether this redesign is actually needed or not. Don’t forget to set an acceptable timeline for this process.

Step 2: Get an opinion from your users and/or a neutral third party

Once you’ve outline your own goals, the next step is to cross-reference your own goals with what your users want. They’re the ones who’ll be spending time in your website and if it turns out that what they want is in conflict with what you want, it might be a good time to reconsider your own position. This doesn’t mean that you should always take their word over your own, because actually, the customer isn’t always right.

People have a tendency to resist changes, even if those changes are actually in their benefit and even necessary in some cases. Apple’s idea of selling one song at a time when iTunes was first launched was unpopular within the industry but it proved to be a hit and managed to drive established businesses like Tower Records to bankruptcy. If you have the necessary data to backup your views over the customer’s, it might be worth it to stick to your guns.

Step 3: Figure out the sitemap and information architecture

Once you have an idea on how your website is going to look, the next step is to design the layout of the pages in that website and how they connect to each other. You do this by using the concept of information architecture that maps the hierarchy of every page in your website and how they interact with each other. Think of these as the foundation for your website, something you have to take care of first before you could paint and decorate them.

Step 4: Start the design process, with a focus on your homepage

Whenever you go on a first date, a great first impression is the number one thing you’re striving for. Every subsequent interaction will always be informed by what you think of your partner in those first few moments. Transplanting that idea into the world of web development, that first impression is the kind of burden your homepage is going to carry. As such, always stress the importance of your homepage in your redesign.

Step 5: Prepare mockups and prototypes

Before you put pen to paper, do a simple prototype of all of the ideas you’ve accrued in the first 3 steps to see how they would work in real life. Great ideas don’t always translate well into the real world and it’s common for those ideas to require some fine tuning before they can be unleashed to the public. While it is possible for you to perform some on-the-fly changes to a website once it’s live, this is not advisable. Always make sure your product is fully prepped before they’re out.

Once you have your prototype and running, you can evaluate for yourself whether the design you’ve created works the way it was intended to. If you’re completely satisfied, you can proceed with the actual development according to the timeline you’ve set. If it doesn’t, which is more likely, then you could go back to any of the previous steps to figure out things that could be improved. Feel free to take your time with the redesign; it’s too important of a task to rush through.

Designing for Print vs. Digital Media: Feel the Difference Based on the Viewers’ Impression

Web design tips

Design projects may have different kinds of purposes. Whether it is a brochure design, web design, or even interior design, each has different purposes as to why it should be done. However, design has one thing in common when it comes to aim; clients’ satisfaction. Yes, every designer must have a design and practical thinking to a certain extent before diving into a project, because they should also think in clients’ perspective about how a design should be done. In this article, we are going to discuss about the difference between designing for print and designing for digital media. Keep reading to find out.

Viewers’ engagement

The interaction between your viewers and your design is expressed in a different way when it comes to screen and print. For digital mediums, you want to make sure your design is easily accessible, usable, navigable, intuitive and clear while entertaining at the same time. Also, many users arrive in a digital space with a particularly informative goal in mind. When you design for these users, your work should function to facilitate their goal in browsing so that they can get all the information they want to know without having to bounce from the space immediately after entry. In the digital world, there is actual data that can show how effective your design is. For this reason, there is often a statistical element at work alongside the creative design process.

However, in printed mediums, the environmental conditions of how a viewer will find your work can really depend on location and function. Sometimes it is unknown whether they will find your work or not, which can result in these questions; “Will they find my design?” or “Is it seen when they pass by?” or even “Will they even touch my design?”

Senses

Printed mediums give you the opportunity to engage viewers on a physical level. Aside from thinking about the imagination of what you design, you should also consider many of the physical aspects of the printing process. When it comes to printed designs, you should also consider the texture and weight of the paper, foam core or canvas print material. Embossed lettering and design is another way to evoke both visual complexity and the sense of touch.

As for digital designs, we may use our fingers to work on scrolling while viewing a digital design, but it doesn’t give you a sense of touch – it will only let you see visuals. That being said, you can use video and music so you can evoke emotions from your viewers both in audio and visual. Interactive elements can also work to simulate an immersive experience with your design.

That’s how you can feel the difference between printed designs and digital designs. Whether you need it or not, it all depends on your company’s needs. However, when you decide to choose one of them; at least try to make it when the time is right. For example, you are joining a relevant seasonal event to your business; you might want to design brochures to let people know what you are up to in this event. Try to make it more appealing with a choice of paper that can make it more unique and different even though it is just a brochure.

The Not-So-Smart Moves that Smart People Shouldn’t Have Made in SEO

SEO mistakes you should avoid

There are many business owners nowadays and they keep increasing in number. Each and every one of them wants the same thing; success. They may have learned about business, they may have attended business school – even some of them may have gone to the same school, but somehow their business’ progress may not turn out to be the same. Some fail, some grow. That being said, it is only natural for a business to be in an up-and-down situation. However, if you are a business owner, would you let your business keep going down? Well, we are living in a world where everything changes for better or worse. There will always be cool new things in the future that will support what have been made in the past or the present.

In the business world, there are many components that can support the progress of a business. One of them is Search Engine Optimisation, or better known as SEO. SEO is a business ‘instrument’ that can help people find your business by increasing or boosting your online visibility through your website. Many business owners hire SEO companies to do SEO services for them so that their business can grow. However, many of them too, may have chosen the wrong people to do that, which led to SEO’s dumb mistakes that resulted in unwanted situation in their business. Identify what kind of SEO mistakes that can lead to failures, only in this article. Keep reading to find out!

Too much keyword stuffing

Back then, using keyword stuffing as much as possible could really get you ranked high on search engines. However, having too many keywords being placed all over the content or articles can make your content or article lose its meaning and values, especially in the eyes of your readers or visitors. That being said, Google’s algorithm update called Panda has put an end to this in 2011. Since then, many SEO marketers in their right mind have stopped doing this mistake, and if there are some who is still doing this bad practice, you know what kind of SEO marketers they are.

The annoying pop-ups

Have you ever clicked a link to a website to see their content, only to be interrupted by a super annoying pop-up that was really disturbing you, especially if you wanted to know the information in the content? Yes, anyone who’s got pop-ups on their website will likely get their visitors annoyed by the sudden interruption covering the content they want to see.

Irrelevant inbound links

Yes, links are important. However, it’s not just any link. No matter how many backlinks you’ve got, if the majority of those links came from irrelevant sites, it would not give any values for your website. In fact, Google would find your website not credible and not deserving high rank in the future. Therefore, if you are doing any blog commenting, or writing articles, make sure you are doing that in relevant places and talking about relevant topics as well, so that you can get relevant backlinks.

Those mistakes mentioned above are not the only ones many SEO marketers have done. It may come off as trivial, but if you keep doing those mistakes, it would result in damage on your reputation in the long run. Keep in mind that when you are doing SEO, you should be patient and serious as well as focused, because it may take time for you to see results.