I challenge every website owner to change their site and be interactive in 2011. I challenge you to think like Skittles.
This video I created elaborates…
My Personal Blog
BzzAgent is an international company serving the needs of nearly 1 million users. Unfortunate for them, they heavily rely on Facebook on their home page so much so when Facebook is down, their site fails.
I am shocked and you should be too.
So you want to buy a computer? Imagine you’ve already done the research — talked to your friends and colleagues, tested them out in a store, and want to buy something cheaper online. You conduct a Google search and click the first result for Best Buy.
That experience sucks, so you next click through different computer manufacturer websites.
Here’s my video review below of 6 websites if I was on a quest to buy a computer. My results may surprise you.
This is a guest blog post by Wes Towers.
Designing for the web can be a totally different ball game to designing for print. I have worked with both areas of design for over 10 years and have never stopped learning how to better myself as a graphic designer.
It’s my intention to share what I have learned via this article, so I can help aspiring graphic designers with the basics and explain to businesses owners a few things to consider when selecting a graphic designer.
If you wish to become a serious graphic designer, then you must understand the difference between working on a website or print design. The same is true when selecting a designer to work with.
Consider the differences in various areas of design include the colour, the resolution, the file size, the measurement units and the ability to transfer files from one medium to the other.
The primary difference you need to know between web and print graphic design is the colour profile used for both media.
Basically, when working on the web you must use RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colour profile while for print you will use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black).
Although there are some printing companies that will convert RGB colours on your behalf, it is best if you convert your files to CMYK yourself. Often when printers convert colours it doesn’t print as you would expect for example colours may appear washed out or muddy.
When designing for web, the fundamental thing you must keep an eye on is the appearance of your colours on various computer monitors. One colour can appear a multitude of ways on various monitors depending on if they are using an LCD or CRT screen, and the configuration of that monitor.
Unfortunately it’s not a perfect science so you just need to bear that in mind.
The next big stumbling block graphic designers will experience if they are not familiar with both mediums is the resolution of your project. Ideally, you will use 300dpi for print, while 72dpi is the maximum resolution used for the web. That’s why printing a design made specifically for the web will print poorly.
If you are designing something for both media, design it for print quality first and then resize it for web. You can always downsize a file but trying to scale something up results in a loss of quality.
Although you need not worry about file size if you are primarily designing for print, this is a big concern if you are designing for the web.
As a web designer, you must make sure your design is free from excessive file sizes so it loads as quickly as possible. Most people are on fast broadband these days so you don’t need to compromise on quality however you should keep the file size to a minimum.
If you were to put a ruler up against a monitor and measure a website you would find the measurements vary according to the monitor being used. That’s because the size unit utilised for both web and print design differs.
A design for the web is measured using pixels, while any print design is measured using millimetres, centimetres or inches.
Print based design obviously has limitations and requirements based on the materials and the printing technique used. An understanding of the print process used for a particular project will be a great advantage when designing for print.
For example, if you were designing a project that will be screenprinted on t-shirts, you may need to ensure colours are ‘loose register’ meaning colours don’t touch. This allows for a little movement that may occur in some forms of printing. Meanwhile, if you are designing for the web, you need to consider the resolution, the interactivity and designing a layout suitable for various lengths of content.
This article really is only scratching the surface of what it means to design for print or for web.
The important thing for graphic designers is to understand the medium you are using. The important thing for business owners is to select a graphic designer with experience and expertise in the medium you are using.
Some 16 months after comparing seven hotel chains’ websites and observing which had noticeable social media presences that were visibly linked on those sites, Best Western continues to take top honors.
You may click the image to zoom.
The Four Seasons arrives in second place for me, because of small-font Twitter and Facebook text and icons near the bottom.
Clicking the text and icons (which I think should have larger fonts), they redirect to inside pages of every global location you can either follow and tweet or like and share. Their social media page also references a YouTube channel, iPhone applications, and a custom short URL. Have a look.
Marriott takes third place, mainly due to Bill Marriott’s blog which has links to three Twitter accounts.
Hilton takes fourth place because of their Twitter (@HiltonOnline) and Facebook pages that rotate in and out in the bottom left of the website. I wish these links didn’t rotate but were placed side-by-side like the Four Seasons in a static location.
Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Days Inn round out the seven websites I looked at — and these three have zero social media references on their websites. None that I could find, anyway. I also place them in this order due to their user-friendliness and not overwhelming me when all I want to do is book a room.
Thoughts? Do you like these?
If your favorite hotel isn’t highlighted above, let me know what it is and whether social networking sites are linked therein.
If the goal of a blog is for one person to post content and another person to read it, how necessary is it to stray the reader’s eyes with a page listing contact options?
What about a different page to learn about the blogger?
I share the above links of my blog only because Code Anthem’s blog lacks those pages. Visiting the site, you’ll see article after article listed in vertical reverse chronological order — and the sidebar is equally minimal with RSS and Twitter icons, a list of recent articles, a list of frequently-written topics, and popular articles.
Scrolling down their blog, people do comment. But nobody sends them email messages or knows who they are — because they don’t share. They prefer anonymity.
Amber Shah, the software developer behind the start-up company, elaborates:
Between managing the blog and building the Code Anthem site itself, I never got around to putting up a bio and photo or a contact form. One reader called me out in the comments, saying:
“I am enjoying the articles. However, the anonymity and the stealth-mode is a little weird. I think using real names would give your company and site a lot more personality.”
And I think he’s right. The point is not “don’t do those things”, the point is just to prioritize on what makes the most sense for you, and realize that they aren’t necessary to having a successful blog, at first.
With the caveat I’m not getting rid of my contact and about pages any time soon, what do you think about blogs that don’t have them?
How necessary are standardized blog elements for a blog to exist?