Non Designer’s Guide to Hiring Great and Good Freelance Web Design

Communication

This one doesn’t need much explaining. Having a good line of communication is important in every area of your business, especially when it comes to nailing down a UX design that meets your business goals effectively. Some people, however, let this fall by the wayside when choosing a web designer, which can lead to trouble later on.

So, if you are finding a freelance web designer on your own, pick up the phone and call before making any decisions.

Sure, it sounds old school, and tools like email and gChat are great, but you want to make sure this is a person you can have a conversation with, will listen to your concerns along the way and will follow up with questions of his or her own regarding the project’s specifics.

If the designer spends the whole conversation speaking over your head, using confusing tech jargon, this scenario probably won’t change and will cause problems for you down the line. A great designer will be deeply interested in you, the client, and your business and its needs, and will explore early on how those

Exams and Tribulations Hiring Website Developers

Within 48 hours I had received three different pieces of communication from people speaking negatively about their website developers. Which is beyond frustrating since this is my profession and we’ve been working with WordPress development for over seven years.

Does a website design and development project really need to be filled with trials, tribulations, and ongoing angst? Can the process ever go smoothly and within the expectations set prior to money changing hands?

Yes it can, but these successes are never the stories we hear about.

My communication this week made me think of the phrase “trials and tribulations” and it took my back to Sunday school and listening to Bible verses from Corinthians or Romans. So much disappointment and struggles fills these project. Money is wasted, time lost, and sales disappear into thin air.

Think I’m being overly dramatic? Let me share some real-world comments received within the last two days.

10 Websites That Can Make Your Business Fail

A website for your business is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity. But, just because you invested in a website doesn’t mean that it’s effective in connecting with your customers and ultimately improving your sales. While there could be numerous reasons why your website isn’t effective, here are 10 of the most common explanations for website fails.

1. It’s not mobile friendly

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most of us, but for the first time ever mobile and tablet usage surpassed desktop usage. As the mobile revolution continues to grow around the world, this trend toward “on the go digital,” will continue. In other words, internet consumption is moving away desktops and in to the portable devices territory. This means that your business’s website has to be optimized for mobile users.

Unfortunately, there are still lots of websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. This is just bad for business since it can lead to penalties from the Big G (Google), decrease conversation rates and deliver your customers a poor experience.

To make sure that your

14 Best and easiest Web Design Trends

1. Minimalism

From simplifying logos and typefaces (here’s looking at you, Google) to cleaning up entire web pages, minimalism is the trend influencing all others. Websites are focusing more on their actual content and reducing all of the clutter around it. Footers, sidebars and borders are all disappearing, and even color palettes are being simplified as companies emphasize one dominant color in their visual design.StubHub’s logo change is a perfect example of this trend.

2. App-like menus

Designing with the mobile market in mind changes more than just aesthetics. It has impacted the way web illustrators think about organizing their content and how they let readers access it. Sticky menus and sidebars are falling out of favor to make room for content that readers actually want to see. These days, menus are at the top of the screen and are mostly hidden, noted by a single icon (often a stack of three lines called a “hamburger”) that when selected drops down or slides out into a more robust menu. Social media analytics companyUnmetric has a beautifully simple example of this style of menu.

3. Ghost buttons

Web sites are moving away from

What is Heck Inclusive Design?

Naming things is hard. And I don’t just mean CSS class names andJSON properties. Finding the right term for what we do with the time we spend awake and out of bed turns out to be really hard too.

I’ve variously gone by “front-end developer”, “user experience designer”, and “accessibility engineer”, all clumsy and incomplete terms for labeling what I do as an… erm… see, there’s the problem again.

It’s tempting to give up entirely on trying to find the right words for things, but this risks summarily dispensing with thousands of years spent trying to qualify the world around us. So here we are again.

Recently, I’ve been using the term “inclusive design” and calling myself an “inclusive designer” a lot. I’m not sure where I first heard it or who came up with it, but the terminology feels like a good fit for the kind of stuff I care to do when I’m not at a pub or asleep.

This article is about what I think “inclusive design” means and why I think you might like it as an idea.

Isn’t ‘inclusive design’ just

The Basics of Web Design using Adobe Dreamweaver CC

Developing a new website

Before you begin any web design project for yourself or for a client, you need to answer three important questions:

  • What is the purpose of the website?
  • Who is the audience?
  • How do they get here?

What is the purpose of the website?

Will the website sell or support a product or service? Is your site for entertainment or games? Will you provide information or news? Will you need a shopping cart or database? Do you need to accept credit card payments or electronic transfers? Knowing the purpose of the website tells you what type of content you’ll be developing and working with and what types of technologies you’ll need to incorporate.

Who is the audience?

Is the audience adults, children, seniors, professionals, hobbyists, men, women, everyone? Knowingwho your audience will be is vital to the overall design and functionality of your site. A site intended for children probably needs more animation, interactivity, and bright, engaging colors. Adults will want serious content and in-depth analysis. Seniors may need larger type and other accessibility enhancements.

A good first step is to check out the competition. Is there an existing website performing the same service or selling the same product? Are they successful? You don’t have to

Design Puzzle on Front Page

Home page design isn’t just about headers, content, and footers. It is about asking the right questions and making sure those questions apply to your website visitors. It’s about finding solutions to problems and bringing it together within a cohesive design.

Have You Ever Wondered?

  • How do I make my website memorable?
  • How do I make sure people stick when they hit my home page?
  • How do I make sure website visitors dig into my content and explore my product or service offering?
  • How do I make sure website visitors take a moment to reach out to us by email, phone, or inquiry form?

If you read those questions and thought “yes that is exactly what I want to ask” then know you’re not alone. I know a lot of people, marketing departments, and companies who all wonder the same about the design and function of their website.

If you take a step back and read through the list, you’ll notice all the questions included I or me. None of them focused on the visitor.

Best Practice in Home Page Doesn’t Include Me or I

Best practice in home page design is about website visitors,

Value Content first Before creating a Website Design

Website design should be crafted around the user, their needs, and the desired outcome of a website visit. It should be focused on the user’s challenges and the website’s ability to solve these issues.

It should not be focused on coding trends and prepackaged templates.

Design Trends Come and Go, But a Focus on the User Should Not

I’ll receive emails from people discussing their website design requirements and many times these lists will be focusing on specific project criteria like infinite scroll, hamburger menus, hero images, video backgrounds, and motion.

Rarely do people approach a design firm and present data based on their visitors, the user’s needs, and the ultimate goals of a website visit.

Website owners get caught up in design trends, their competitors’ websites, and what they believe is modern and current design elements. In doing so, they lose track of the actual website visitor.

All too often people select a website template or blog theme and get caught up in the graphical presentation or bells and whistles it offers. It’s an emotional buy that supersedes the desire to help the actual website visitors.

Once they buy the stock theme,

Why do some web design designers let themselves go?

We like to keep our eyes out for new websites to ensure that we’re on top of the game, and far too often we see new websites being launched that are, putting it nicely, below par.

Yes there are home-built websites, or ones produced by web designers who don’t have the necessary skill sets, but there are others built by web agencies that, in our opinion, can do a lot better. It appears as if they have given up, or just gone through the process of doing the minimum required to get paid. But why wouldn’t they do a decent job?

When I started making websites back in the late nineties I loved it, and wanted to make every last pixel perfect. Even though by today’s standards the websites weren’t brilliant, I really took pride in what I did, and did my best.

Fast forward ten years to around 2007 and Webbed Feet wasn’t just me, it was a team, and we were doing things commercially. Many web and design agencies have issues keeping projects ‘on track’ and preventing them from overrunning, after all we’re all in business to make money.

Vacancy to create creative web designer

We’re an award-winning web agency who have been creating bespoke websites since 2001. We’re expanding and looking for someone to join our friendly and informal team. We have clients ranging from small local businesses to large corporates.

We’re recruiting a junior creative web designer to join our team in Salisbury.

Applicants must have a flair for design, experience with graphic design specifically for websites, and be familiar with wire framing and design mock-ups. Print-based graphic design is advantageous, but not a necessity.

From a web-perspective applicants must know HTML and CSS inside-out, and ideally have an understanding of JavaScript.

Crucially, applicants will be judged on their portfolio rather than their qualifications. So any successful applicant will likely have examples of websites and graphic design that they’ve built either commercially, or as part of their private portfolio. We’d also like to see, where available, the interim stages of a design (such as mock-ups and sketches).

Applicants must be able to code the front-end of websites from scratch, not relying on WordPress templates or equivalent, and this must be apparent in any examples given.

To some extent we can match the jobs to your

6 Skills You Can Learn Online

I am so much in love with this era we are in — an era where there is so much information online for self-development. A focused and determined person can learn many skills online and use them to diversify his or her income. With all the advanced, digital technology in this world, no one should give excuses of not having one or two skills to remain relevant and competitive.

In the days of yore, skill acquisition and dissemination were limited to certain geographical locations because of the low level of technological know-how. However, the advent of sophisticated technology — which propelled the development of many apps, software and social media — has made skills and knowledge easily disseminated and accessible.

Related: 8 Free Training Tools That Will Help You Excel at Your Job

There are countless websites readily available for you to acquire valuable skills and knowledge for free or with little fee for a productive 2017. These skills are:

1. Web design and development.

Web design and development is a highly sought-after skill. This is because we are in a digital transformation age where every business — small, medium

10 Steps to Create a Engaged Digital Experience

In order to be effective, websites need to be multifunctional in design. They need to be built like a house: protecting against the elements, providing a comfortable living space with ample storage, meeting basic needs, etc. Your website should be designed to improve user acquisition, lift engagement and help you retain customers.

It’s science and psychology combined with art. Your team should focus on several different elements to create an interactive experience that directly engages the target audience. Here are 10 steps to follow while refining the user’s online experience.

1. Focus on user types, not buyer personas

Buyer personas are primarily designed to align marketing messages and ad copy. To create the ideal user experience, you don’t need to know what “customer Lisa” specifically likes or what her pain points are. However, you do need to know the user types you’re targeting and how they browse and shop, which devices they use, and how they find and use your products. Create your experience around those user type segments rather than buyer personas.

2. Create simple experiences

Customers should feel engaged immediately. Keep your interface clean and simple

How to Manage the White Space in Mobile Responsive Layout

White space is a crucial design tool whether you realize it or not. Many designers adjust page elements until they “look good”. Most often this leads to a natural balance of white space between page sections just from gut instinct.

But when you get into responsive design this subject gets a bit tricky. White space needs to be adjusted at different breakpoints to create a seamless experience for all users.

This can be done with many different techniques and I’d like to cover the best ones here. All modern websites should be fully responsive so it’s no question that responsive design is important. The only question is how to handle white space so that all users have an awesome experience.

Rearranging The Navigation

Naturally the first thing every designer considers is how to handle the navigation menu.

If a site has dozens of links you really don’t have many options. You could use a select input field or a hidden menu with the three-bar hamburger icon.

Here’s an example where the top navigation doesn’t even resize. Once your browser window hits a certain breakpoint the links automatically hide into

Use of Web Design For Billing Forms

Each ecommerce site has its own checkout flow moving the user from a shopping cart to the final purchase. This differs based on what the user is buying and their intentions, but finalizing payment is always the toughest part.

Your billing fields need to really keep visitors engaged and encourage them to complete the checkout process. I’d like to share some usability tips you can follow to improve your billing form designs and increase user checkout conversions.

Clarify Intent

Your goal is to design forms that encourage users to buy. So you want to make this process as simple as possible, especially at the billing phase where money is on the line.

There is no single way to clarify an entire billing form. You just need to keep each field clear and concise, never let the user feel confused or unsure of their decision to check out.

Here are some techniques you should keep in mind that work well:

  • Larger typography
  • Labels instead of placeholders(or both)
  • Extra padding between fields
  • Custom tabindex for easier navigation

Also add plenty of icons to demonstrate visuals where needed. The Threadless checkout page offers a great example.

The credit card

Designing Forms for Upgrading Content Registration Taking People’s Attention

The best email opt-in forms use a lead magnet to draw attention and gather emails. You can spend weeks tweaking a signup form but the biggest factor is usually the content offer.

There’s a special type of lead magnet called a content upgrade which gets placed on a relevant piece of content. This usually converts much higher and it’s a great way to add value to your subscribers.

In this post I’ll explain the basics of an e-mail opt-in content upgrade, how you can design one yourself, and some examples you can study to get the ball rolling.

Intro To Content Upgrades

The idea behind a content upgrade is simple: you offer something valuable to visitors in exchange for their email.

This valuable item could be a free PDF guide, icon set, photography pack, or really anything. But this technique works best on specific posts where your free resource actually upgrades the existing content.

So for example, if you write a post about “best icon design styles” you might add a small opt-in form at the bottom of the article offering a freebie icon set. When the user enters their e-mail to sign up they

Proper Tips for Designing Newsletter Layouts

Newsletters still offer the best way to reach your audience directly and increase sales. But if you’ve never managed an email list before this can be an intimidating process.

Once you have a list you’ll need to send out emails that connect with subscribers and offer real value. This means great content and great design all wrapped up in a pretty bow.

Let’s dig into the UX side of email design to consider what makes an email engaging. This goes far beyond a great headline and once you know how to design emails you’ll see incredible results with your open rates.

Single-Column Layouts

Emails need to be designed smaller because email readers like Outlook have more restrictions than web browsers. This means your average newsletter is rarely larger than 600px wide, so it’s best to use a 1-column layout or at most a 2-column layout.

When you plan your content it’s good to organize this into a single column format. Think about how you can organize your writing so it flows down the page and offers an easy reading experience.

Take for example the WistiaFest 2017 newsletter design. Each section of the design spans the entire width

Difference between Design and User Experience

The design world is abuzz with the rise of online magazines. But the vast majority of these sites run on blogging platforms like WordPress, and they operate almost exactly like traditional weblogs.

So where does someone draw the line between a traditional blog and an online magazine? And if you’re thinking of launching a new blog/magazine how do you differentiate yourself?

Let’s delve into this subject from a designer’s perspective. The growth of online magazines means that more publications are going digital with plenty of opportunity for newcomers to get into the action.

Modern Online Publishing

Digital publications have such a wide audience that it almost makes more sense to go digital over print. Most people have digital e-readers and in this past year mobile use surpassed desktop for the first time ever.

But what makes an online publication seem more “authoritative” like a magazine? What differentiates between general blogs and online magazines like Time, Inc, and Forbes?

It seems like many factors are involved but this concept of “authority” is definitely a big one, both in design and content.

For example the TechCrunch wiki entry doesn’t describe the site as a blog at all. Yet

How to Implement Good Consistency in Web Design

There’s tremendous value in consistency of digital interfaces. People browsing the web encounter dozens of websites that all have different styles, yet most feature very similar page elements.

Most designers don’t even think about these features. Page headers, navigation menus, body copy, CTA buttons, the list seems endless.

By designing with consistency you’ll learn how to create interfaces that encourage typical user behaviors. Your layouts will build trust and teach users repeatable patterns that help them work through your site much quicker.

Design For User Expectations

Most users expect websites to work a certain way. It should scroll vertically, links should be clickable, and the navigation should be visible right from the first page load.

How you design these expectations is completely up to you. But when you’re designing for consistency you want to keep a clear uniform design across the entire layout.

For visual consistency on the web I think BodyBuilding.com is a pristine example.

This site has many portals linking to their forums, their eCommerce shop, and their online help guides. All of these pages have the same design and the same navigation to keep them consistent with the entire site.

Suggestions for Developers and Designers web design

If you’re a web designer or developer, it’s always smart to keep up with the latest website building trends. That doesn’t mean that you have to be caught up in the “innovation” rat race.  Even though innovative work, ideas, and technologies are what many clients are asking for.

There’s no need to chase after the newest and shiniest innovative technics. They can be a never-ending waste of your time and money. A simpler solution is to take advantage of innovative concepts and designs offered by others. You will find 10 examples of that described below.

All the Innovation You’ll Need is But a Single Click Away

Be Theme is the largest WordPress theme ever, and a Top Five ThemeForest best seller. Be’s 260+ pre-built websites make it easy for you to do quality work, and do it fast.

So, where does the innovative part come in? It’s build right into each of these professionally-designed pre-built websites. They come with a 1-click installer, so these innovative designs are yours at a touch of a button. This cool 40 second video shows you how easy it all is.

It’s a win-win situation for every type

Best and Finest Practices UX Website Design

User experience is an integral part of any website design and there is no doubt about that. However if there’s a single industry where user experience matters more than anything else is, of course, hospitality.

Hospitality is all about meeting and exceeding guest expectations and providing stellar guest experience from the very first touch point till the last.

And in the digital era that we live in, hotel website is quite often where the guest experience with a hotel starts. At least that’s what every hotel brand strives for: direct bookings. So as a hotel owner you want to make sure the user experience of your website is as good as the guest experience in the hotel itself.

To do so you need to understand why travelers visit your website in the first place. What are the main traveler intentions? Once you know the answer to this question, you will be able to meet traveler expectations with a matching, user-friendly website.

Understanding Traveler User Behavior

As a designer you will need a little bit more insights into hospitality industry and traveler behavior analysis to come up with a well-thought user experience flow that