Where brand messaging and web design intersect, successful websites result. This is the lens through which discussions of web best practices and trends are best viewed. Best practices, like trends, are constantly evolving measures, but where trends are a measure of popularity, best practices are about quality standards. Here, I offer a mix of universal best practices, and with the ruthless speed-of-change in mind, a few that reflect the current era of web design.
Am I nuts?! Why would I, the owner of a web design and marketing agency say that? Am I trying to make a fine distinction about the word “need?” Or is it just a provocative headline?
The most critical first step in a website design project is to define your intention. Many business people seeking a new website identify their situation, but fail to define their intention in an actionable way.
Are you struck by the homogeneity of today’s long, scrolling web pages with full-bleed stock images and bold headlines? While this mobile-driven trend is here to stay, there is good news for marketers looking for the next new thing. There’s a growing trend of using illustration and hand drawn imagery in addition to, and in some cases, instead of stock photography.
Why is illustration poised for a comeback? Because the web is in the age of Personalization. Consumer brands have been utilizing personalization for a long time.The latest and greatest being Coca-Cola, who last year introduced the familiar silver and red cans and bottles emblazoned with people’s names and now is introducing millions of custom, hand-painted bottle designs; for several months, no two bottles will look the same. Coca-Cola hired artists to create a small number of unique bottle designs and then utilized a computer algorithm to create virtually unlimited variations of these designs.
Personalized design is not relegated to the consumer world. B2B web visitors today have also reached the point where they expect information tailored to their needs, presented visually in a non-generic way that makes them feel like the brand understands them — not only on an analytical level, but in a more intuitive, emotional way.
So, you have a project and you need the right digital agency but it’s getting harder and harder to understand what various agencies do. The language they use to describe themselves is full of acronyms and insider references; while nearly all sell themselves as web designers, quite a few claim to specialize in UX design and then there are some that do UI design. Sound a bit confusing? In this post, I will briefly address each of these disciplines, explain the differences between web design, UX design and UI design and why it matters to the clients that hire these designers.
You are in charge of Marketing. Your competitor just launched a new site. And it’s good. They have case studies, testimonials, video and interactive diagrams. What’s even more disconcerting is that they are telling a compelling story with a point of view. Their copy is solid, design is modern; They got their branding right.
Your CEO is not happy, wants to see something done about it and wants results fast… but within a budget. How do you get it done?
My mother taught me how to write. My father taught me how to defend myself (verbally). Art Center College of Design taught me how to present my ideas. But none of these venerable resources taught me how to read minds. What does mind reading have to do with marketing or design: practically everything.
The other day, I saw a website for an agency that uses the tagline, “We Work on Your Business, Not Just Your Website.” I related to the line’s strategic positioning and have to admit to being disappointed that I hadn’t come up with it myself.