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The Importance Of Mobile Website Speed

The Importance Of Mobile Website Speed
The loading speed of your mobile website is the most important feature

It can seem that maintaining a website is a never-ending work. There are a million prerequisites for making visitors happy – everything must look nice, the content must be fresh and updated, all the pages should be properly linked together, etc. It’s easy, in the midst of all that fuss, to forget something.

And, often, that something is website speed. It makes sense if you think about it. If you’re planning to spend the entire day polishing every nook and cranny of every page, you probably won’t be too concerned that the pages take five seconds to load. And yet, for the visitors, it is an entirely different story.

To put things in perspective, let’s say you’re doing a quick Google search. You’ll probably want the information you’re looking for as soon as possible. Heck, you might just open several search results and pick whichever loads the fastest.

And just like that, it suddenly doesn’t matter if a website is perfectly designed or if it has the most engaging content. If the visitor has to wait too long to see it, all the effort might go down the drain.

Even so, most website owners seem to neglect website speed. This is especially true for mobile websites. To illustrate, the average time for a mobile web page to load is 22 seconds, while the recommended maximum is only 4. That’s 5.5 times longer than it should be!

Admittedly, desktop websites also tend to be slower than recommended. Still, the discrepancy is nowhere near as large. So, are website owners right to disregard mobile website speed? We will attempt to answer by considering some facts about mobile websites.

Search Engine Rankings

In 2016, mobile phones and tablets officially overtook traditional computers as the most used devices for internet browsing. This means websites have been receiving most of their traffic from mobile devices for two years now, and website owners still haven’t adapted. However, they might have to.

In 2016, mobile phones and tablets officially overtook traditional computers as the most used devices for internet browsing.

For a few months now, Google ranking system prioritizes the mobile versions of websites over their desktop counterparts. Also, in July this year, Google has implemented its speed update which makes speed a ranking factor for mobile websites. Officially, this will only punish the slowest websites. But if desktop search rankings are any indication, we can expect to see faster mobile sites outrank the competition.

Of course, this is not the only way search rankings are influenced. We can mention that about half of the people leave if a mobile page takes over three seconds to load. Considering this, you can imagine the percentage of people who won’t wait out the 22-second average.

Unfortunately for slow websites, Google records which pages are abandoned quickly as this indicates a lack of content relevant to the search. As this is important for search ranking, slow websites also get a much lower ranking score. And, considering the average load time, most mobile websites are likely to be severely penalized.

All things considered, this makes a great opening for website owners to get the upper hand. They just need to have their mobile websites load reasonably quickly.


User Experience

Although people tend to have marginally lower expectations for mobile websites, high loading times elicits similar reactions regardless of device. We can outline some of the statistics about user expectations:


74% of smartphone users leave a page that takes over 5 seconds to load


1 second of delay means a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction


Mobile sites that load within 5 seconds make twice the average ad revenue


If we take average loading times into account, we can safely call mobile websites an untapped market, in spite of their popularity.

This particularly applies to online stores. It is true that mobile conversions are lower than desktop ones. However, contrary to what some retailers claim, this does not mean it is more difficult to turn a profit with mobile stores.

To explain, users do not shy away from buying via their mobile devices. The more likely reason for fewer conversions is that mobile retail websites are not as well optimized as desktop ones.

Google supports this by stating that a single second of delay can make a 20% difference in conversions. This is a much higher percentage than for desktop websites. If we consider that checkout speed is extremely important for customer confidence, we can conclude that people want to make purchases over their mobile browsers, but that they are opting for websites that seem reliable.

We can look at this from the perspective of our untapped market claim. We have already said that lowering load times is more effective for mobile stores than desktop ones. Also, we should take into account that bad experiences make nearly half of the people go straight to the competitor’s website.

That makes mobile websites a very fertile ground for amassing a following of loyal customers. The only thing to take care of website speed on mobile.


The Next Step

So, we can confirm that, even though most online traffic comes from mobile devices, the internet community has not adapted to it. This makes mobile website improvement the way to go. The market is sure to accommodate the demands eventually, so improving the mobile version of your website as soon as possible is a good way to get a head start

So, how do you do this? Well, according to the experts over at the Hosting Tribunal, the basics are making sure you have found the right hosting provider and chosen the proper hosting option for your website’s needs.

Following that, there are numerous techniques and devices you can use to make your mobile sites load faster. You can begin by minimizing landing page redirects. There should be only one redirect from any URL to its target page. Each additional redirect triggers an HTTP request-response sequence which introduces unnecessary delay.

Another popular way to make websites load faster is compression. There is a range of options, from plugins that reduce the image size to Gzip which compresses your entire website. Here we can also mention various tools which remove unnecessary code, making the rendering process far less complicated.

Finally, an option reserved for mobile websites is AMP. Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source website publishing technology. Basically, it creates a version of your website which is designed to load extremely quickly on mobile devices. It does take some of the freedom away from the website creator, but experiments have shown that it can shorten loading times anywhere between 10% and 85%.


Some Final Remarks

In the end, we can safely confirm that making your mobile website faster will help its success tremendously. Moreover, due to the overall poor performance of most mobile websites, we can point out that improving your mobile website speed is a good way to capitalize on the current situation before the market catches up.

We have already listed some of the means to make your mobile website faster. For a more comprehensive list of techniques, as well as some relevant statistics, you can take a look .this infographic.

So, now that you know the importance of mobile website speed, you are ready to go out onto the World Wide Web and make your website prosper like never before.

5 Reasons Why Color Matters for Web Design and Branding

The importance of color for Web Design and Branding
Color Matters for Web Design and Branding

When it comes to branding and web design, color matters - not only for more visible, aesthetic reasons but also less apparent ones related to user engagement, brand success and driving revenue to name a few.

In this post, we bring you five reasons why businesses (both large and small) should pay attention to their color choices backed by research compiled by DesignAdvisor, complete with some advice on how to get started. The truth is, some companies have been using color to drive revenue and assert their brand image for ages while the rest are only now catching on, as they come to realize that these tools are valuable and available for anyone to use.


1. The Stats

The first thing we’d be smart to take a look at is straight up, reliable, hard data. Research on consumer behavior has established that color turns out to be one of the most relevant factors at the time of assessing a purchase decision.

Product assessment takes 90 seconds on average and consists of different factors like price and shape, durability, and others. According to research on the topic, 62 to 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.

Others add that color impression is responsible for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product. When it comes to brand recognition, color accounts for 80% of a brand’s capacity to be consistently recognized. All these factors add up and place considerable weight on making color-related decisions, as brand owners quickly become aware that a choice of color can determine the success of their product. Applied to web design, the wrong color could result in a bounce, lack of engagement, or even rejection of your product or service over lousy user experience.


2. Color Psychology: The Messages Behind Color Choices

Ever wondered why most fast food restaurants use red in their logo and color schemes? This is no coincidence, as red is one of the most emotion-inducing colors. It has been shown to increase heart rate by creating a sense of urgency - an emotional state which fast food franchises utilize to sell more food. The fact is, colors convey messages; your choice of color for a company logo or web scheme may either tank your chances of success or increase them. This is why conducting research related to color psychology and your brand message before choosing a strategy is a must.

Color psychology studies the most common associations that people have with certain colors. These findings are not absolute, as some people with different cultural backgrounds, moods, and memories may draw different associations from a particular color. When choosing a color scheme for a brand, it is best to formulate your brand message beforehand carefully. For instance, if you need to assert your brand as an eco-friendly alternative, you may want to try a shade of green, if you need to be trusted blue may be the way to go, and if trying to break into the luxury market, black is a safe bet.

3. Think in Terms of Your Target Audience

Understanding your customer base is the first step towards success in virtually any business. When it comes to color choices, this matters quite a bit. If you have an already established brand, extreme or sudden color changes may disconcert your base. In other cases, a fresh image may be more than welcome. Knowing what your customers want before you make any changes is of vital importance.

Color psychology helps us understand the differences between certain types of consumers. 

Using the shopping world as an example: in outlets, where shoppers are impulsive, green and royal blue are good colors to use. On the other hand, if your buyers are a bit more cash constrained and shopping on a budget, a more reserved navy blue, or teal, works well. Finally, if your buyers are more traditional and old school, more refined colors such as pink, rose and sky blue are the way to go. We use this example to show how due research into a customer base can lead you to entirely different color choices. The right decision, as we know, can make a world of a difference.


4. Conversions Through Color

While color is exceptionally useful as a way of establishing a brand message, it is also used very successfully to drive conversions in web design. Good web designers know that certain colors are more effective at drawing user attention than others, and use them in Call to Action (CTA) buttons to increase conversions.

Red, green and orange have been shown to be the most effective colors for website calls to action.

The primary reason being that they are highly contrasting colors, meaning that when a user is browsing through a site with, say, a predominantly blue color scheme and bumps into an orange button, their attention will be drawn to it immediately. This is why thinking about contrast is very important. For example, if you have a website where green is the prevailing color, a green CTA button will never work. So, while there may be some temptation to simply choose the prettiest colors for these elements, thinking about how they grab user attention can seriously increase your revenue, as we’ll see in the following section.


5. Success Stories, and the Importance of Testing

Many brands have successfully deployed the tactics described above and seen significant growth in conversions, revenue, and even brand engagement. In terms of branding, the case of Heinz is a spectacular one indeed: as part of a marketing test, the brand changed their traditional red logo and product color to green, to test whether that color would be a better fit for their products and company. After making the change, the company saw perhaps the most significant sales increase in their history, $23 million in sales in only seven months, to be exact. It’s safe to say that green worked better.

As discussed above, orange, red and green have proved to be great conversion drivers. In fact, the projection screen store Beamax saw an increase of more than 50% in engagement with links when they changed their color from a dull blue to a highly contrasting red. By changing their CTA button color to red, Dmix saw a 34% spike in conversions, and Performable experienced a 21% rise. When it comes to color, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, learning what color is best suited your business’s particular needs requires performing testing. A popular method is A/B testing, which provides a way of empirically verifying that what is true in theory, will work in your specific case.




To Sum Up

These success stories, along with many others that can be found in this colorful infographic, show the vast array of instances in which color choices can end up affecting the way your business performs. Ranging from drawing more attention to a CTA button to increase conversions, to completely reshaping the way your brand is perceived by customers to establish a message, using color to benefit your brand is a smart thing to do.

There’s much more to color choices than meets the eye - it’s not merely about what’s pretty, but also about what works best for your unique business purposes.

Create a Guest Bedroom Oasis

Cool Spare Bedroom
A guest bedroom is a great opportunity to experiment with creative interior design styles

Expecting overnight guests? Are you excited to host and pamper them a little, but your current extra bedroom is a little more office space rather than an inviting oasis? Transform that extra bedroom into a dreamy escape for your visitors, so they’ll want to “book” their next stay with you before they say their goodbyes on this visit.

When overhauling your guest room space, you’ll want to focus on the elements top hotels offer that keep their guests coming back: cleanliness, space, comfort, and that extra bit of homeliness.



Comfort is key...

Invest in the largest bed your space can accommodate, without it taking over the whole room. A queen-sized bed is a popular choice, as it can sleep two people comfortably. You don’t have to break the bank on a top of the line mattress, but test out different mattresses yourself until you find a comfortable one you can fit into your budget.


Invest in the largest bed your space can accommodate

Or, if you already have a mattress, simply add a plush mattress topper to make a huge difference in comfort. You want your guests to be able to relax and wake up feeling rested.

Once you have your mattress, put it on a frame and choose a headboard style you like. You can also completely avoid using a headboard for a more modern look.



Invest in added extras...

Luxury bedding will make your guests feel extra pampered. It’s amazing the difference a good set of sheets can make. Have you ever climbed into bed and the sheets are cloud-like and perfect? That’s the goal when choosing sheets for your guests: something soft and sleek that doesn’t get too hot or too cold. Keep a nice flannel set on hand for cold months.

And now for the comforter and bed frame: this is completely a matter of individual taste. Choose a furniture style and design personality that fits you: modern, traditional, floral prints, neutral colors, or lots of eclectic layers – it’s all up to your personal preference. 

Want to add art without committing to something permanent? Go for vinyl wall art for an easy, fun addition to your space.


Vinyl wall art is an easy, fun and cost effective way to add an extra dimension to a space

I personally like to keep decor neutral when putting together a guest bedroom: soft colors and simple designs are my go-to. Whatever style you choose, be sure that it’s inviting.

And don’t forget the pillows! Your guests may bring their own pillows to sleep on, but it’s a good idea to have both firm and soft pillows available for them as well.



Furniture must-haves...


Bedside lockers are easy to find and are super useful in a guest room

You should provide at least one bedside table with a lamp next to the bed so your guests can access lighting in the middle of the night. I personally like to have a nightstand on each side of the bed, both for looks and functionality. I keep one completely cleared off except for a lamp, and on the other, I leave out a short stack of books in case they want to relax and read a little before bed.

Even if your guest never reads them, books are a simple and stylish finishing touch

A dresser or chest of drawers is nice too, if you have the space. On top of the dresser, I like to put out a fresh set of towels and a new bar of soap, a vase with fresh flowers, and a small tray with a couple of water bottles and a bowl of mints. It’s often these little touches that stand out the most for your guests.


Keep it minimal...

It’s tempting to go overboard decorating your guest room and filling up every available surface with the cute things you’ve collected. And that’s fine when your guest room is free, but you’ll want to clear some things out when you have visitors. Your guests need space for their luggage.
A dresser with at least an empty drawer or two for them to use, a closet with empty hangers to hang their clothes and space to store their suitcase, will be much appreciated.

Being able to unpack while they stay with you really does make it feel more like home. If you’re limited on space and don’t have room for a dresser, a luggage rack is a great idea-and you can easily store it away when not in use.


The perfect guestroom...

Create a Guest Bedroom Oasis
The perfect guest bedroom oasis

Once you have your guestroom all set up, you just have to change the sheets, vacuum and dust. Just a little effort goes a long way in making your visitors feel welcome.

Whatever you decide with regard to your guestroom decor, focus on making it feel like a second home for your friends and family. Comfortable fabrics, inviting colors, and simple designs to allow for a space meant for relaxation and rejuvenation.











Mobile vs Desktop SEO

Mobile vs Desktop SEO
Mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic but we are yet to rethink our SEO strategies to be mobile specific

Mobile and desktop SEO both require very different strategies, so it is not surprising that they will both provide some very different results. Today, people are shopping both on the move on a mobile and in their homes using a desktop computer, so website or blog owners need to be considering both these factors when optimising their website.

Over the years, mobile search has picked up considerably, with research by SEOTribunal showing that 58% of all searches coming from a mobile device. Additionally, 40% of people are now only searching only on a mobile device, and will not use a desktop computer at all. Since so much traffic is occurring on a mobile device, it makes sense that businesses should be using this to their advantage.

General or Specialist

It might be tempting to think that those techniques that you use for a traditional site will also work for mobile SEO, but this is not strictly the case. Although it is still SEO, they need to be treated as separate entities. Take going to the doctor as an example. You are able to go and see a general doctor, but you are also able to go to see specialised doctors that specialise in different areas. They will each have a different technique that will treat different issues better than just a regular doctor would. Let’s take a look at the key difference of mobile and desktop SEO.

Search Behaviour

Search behaviour between the two devices are very different, as generally using a mobile device will have a different context for the search. Business owners should try and figure out what their customers are searching for, and do some mobile keyword research to make sure that you are including the right ones in their content.

Engagement

A mobile users is likely to be highly engaged, as they are constantly on the go. They won’t be interested in scrolling through tons of search results, therefore reaching the top spot is an even more desirable position.

Ranking Algorithm

Both desktop and mobile SEO have completely different algorithms, so that the search engines are able to provide an even better mobile user experience. This wouldn’t be possible without major changes to their algorithm.


Some Statistics

The infographic below outlines some key statistics related to SEO in 2018. These can be used to identify areas within mobile and/or desktop SEO that you optimise for your website.



Conclusion

So now that you know a little more about mobile, desktop and general SEO it's time to put your new found knowledge to work on your website and then watch it rise up the rankings. 

If would would still like to know more you can read our other SEO articles on Image SEO, Image Optimisation For The Web, Top SEO Tips and Web Design Tips From A Professional Web Designer.



Interior Design Flooring Tips & Inforgraphic

Why flooring is an important part of interior design
Flooring is a key area of every interior design project that is often overlooked

Most people have been to a loved one’s home previously when they’ve been having refurbishments carried out and have seen an array of colour swatches all over the walls. We often put so much thought into the colours of our walls and decor as a whole, but one thing we never seem to pay much attention to is flooring. We may just walk all over it but it accounts for almost a quarter of the surface area of a space and therefore justifies due consideration for every interior design project.

Why flooring is an important part of interior design

Flooring is one of the most important aspects of interior design because it acts as a base for the overall feel and aesthetic of a room. It’s often a feature that many people ignore when renovating, but flooring doesn’t have to be boring.

If you’re opting for a rustic yet modern feel throughout your home, distressed wood could be just what you’re looking for. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative with patterns and colours when deciding on your perfect flooring. If you’re opting for a rustic yet modern feel throughout your home, distressed wood could be just what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to create a comfortable and more homely atmosphere, carpet may be more suitable.

However, it’s not just the aesthetic of the flooring and the atmosphere of your home you need to work on, there’s a few other things you need to consider too...

A few considerations for choosing your perfect flooring

One of the main things you need to think about before purchasing flooring is your budget. Carpet is usually less expensive than wood and it costs less to fit. However, if wood flooring is what you would prefer, there are plenty of lower cost options – so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Carpet is usually less expensive than wood and it costs less to fit. 

Our infographic outlines some more top hints and tips you can follow and walks you through the entire process of choosing your perfect flooring step by step. We’ve even thrown in a few killer statistics about the flooring market too. Check it out below and let us know what you think!




5 Main Skills You Should Develop to Build a Great Web Design Career

If you want to be a web designer then develop these 5 key skills

With the world becoming ever more dependent on online environments it is becoming increasingly more important to have an online presence if you want to succeed in business. For this reason, quality web designers are becoming sought after. That is both a good and a bad thing.

Seeing that web designing is becoming such a popular profession, everyone wants a piece of the action, whether they are good or not. Therefore, you have to stay ahead of the masses and keep your skills up to date if you want to make it as a web designer. Here are the 5 main skills you need to develop to become a great web designer.



1. Know the whole process

Web design is a complex process, and it often overlaps with graphic design. It is therefore very important to be competent in graphic design and know the basic principles of design.

Color is the most basic skill you need to master in order to design eye-catching web pages. Apart from knowing what colors work well, you also need to know what color pallets are popular during a season. You can click here to explore colour theory.

Proportion and spacing are two more design principles that can make or break a web designer. Your customer and also the type of website you are designing will dictate whether you design a symmetrical or asymmetrical page.

You also don’t want to have the page feel cluttered, but you want to use the space available optimally. This will ultimately influence the flow of the page which is another design principle that you need to master.

With all this is mind,it is vital that you are fully familiar with the web design process and over time and with experience you can develop your own process as you discover what works best for you and for your web design clients.




2. HTML

One of the things that sets a part-time web designer apart from the rest is an in-depth knowledge of HTML. This is the foundational language on which all websites are built.

Although there are numerous WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors available which help anyone build a website, you will never have a proper grasp of how a website operates if you don’t know HTML. You’ll also have a much harder time figuring out what is wrong if your site doesn’t work the way you want it to.

WYSIWYG editors are limited in their functionality, and you will only have the available tools and formatting options of the specific editor to build your site. If you know HTML, your imagination and skill is your greatest asset. You have absolute freedom in terms of design and functionality when you are skilled at using HTML. If something doesn’t exist, you can create it.

Once you learn HTML you can progress to learn CSS and then JavaScript and then.... The more web related programming languages you know the more options you will have as a web designer and developer. HTML is always the starting point for learning web programming.



3. User Experience Research

Have you ever browsed a website and felt absolutely frustrated or discouraged? The chances are that the design of the page was not done properly. If you want to stand out as a web designer, you need to be an expert on user experience and design according to experience. This is by no means an easy task, and there are a number of routes you can take to ensure proper design.

When you look at an operating system like Windows for example. There is never only one single way in which something is done. The user decides which path works fro them and goes from there. The same applies to your websites.

You will need to create sitemaps and track user habits to determine which design will work best for the users. This is easier said than done and you will need to update a site from time to time as you gather more user data. Google analytics is a great way of gathering this type of data for free.

Once you have gathered and analysed the data use it to improve the user experience which in turn will make your websites more effective.



4. Mobile support

Gone are the days when being online meant that you were either sitting in front of your PC or browsing the web on your laptop. The smartphone and other mobile devices have changed the online landscape and so also the design world.

Anyone will be able to tell you that browsing a traditional website on a mobile phone sucks. More people gain access to the web via their mobile devices than stand-alone PCs or laptops.

Therefore, you need to be able to adjust your design to accommodate mobile browsing. The best way to test whether your site is mobile friendly is to browse your site on a mobile device or use an emulator like Screenfly

In truth you should ideally take a mobile first design approach. This means designing the mobile version of the website first and then scaling it up from there for larger devices such as tablets, laptops and desktop PC's. If you are designing this way you will need to learn about responsive web design and media queries.




5. Continue Learning

There are so many designers that fall into the trap of getting some sort of qualification and sticking with it without doing any further learning. It doesn’t matter how advanced or comprehensive your education is, the knowledge that you gained during your first year of studies will be outdated by the time you graduate.

The tech and online world is continually changing, and if you don’t commit to keeping with the times, you are going to quickly fall behind and become a second-tier designer. You need to stay abreast with new technology to keep your sites relevant. If you can’t deliver on your client's requests due to your lack of skills, they will get another designer.

Apart from tech skills, you also need to be aware of new design trends and be able to adjust your style from time to time. Sign up to our newsletter below and select the web design option to receive web related articles straight to your inbox.




Conclusion

Although you have all the skills in the world, there is one thing that skills won’t give you, and that is passion. You need to be inspired by what you do, or you won’t be able to harness all of your skills effectively. Passion and inspiration is the glue that combines all your skills and makes you a better designer.



About The Author

Howard Robson is an editor at educational portal AustralianEssays. He is interested in getting and sharing new knowledge about different topics, especially education, modern technologies. So, feel free to join him on Twitter and Facebook.

10 Free Ways To Improve Your Website

how to improve your website for free
The internet has a whole world of great free resources for your website

If someone told you that you could quickly and easily improve your website and that it wouldn't cost you a penny, what would you say? Probably something like "what's the catch?". Well no catch here as I highlight 10 great (and free) website add-ons that can immediately improve your website.

5 Signs You Need To Update Your Website

Signs that you need to update your website
If your website matches any of these signs then it needs updating

The internet is a dynamic and rapidly changing place. It is not enough for a business to simply have a website. In fact your website needs to be fast, attractive and effective for it to be worthwhile having. Here are 5 quick things to check to see if your website is performing or whether it is in need of an update.

5 Approaches For Creating A Recognizable Logo Design For Your Brand

A Strong, Distinctive Logo will represent your brand as strong and distinctive

Strong Logo, Strong Brand

Many companies out there require a strong logo to discern them from all the others out there. One of the best ways to do this is to create a powerful logo that engages people and serves as a recognizable symbol of your brand. If you have this, your customers can easily identify your products or services from those of others.

The right logo is an essential part of branding. Think about all the biggest brands: Nike, Apple, Starbucks - they all have great logos that prove their success and make them stand out even when there is no context around them. A great logo will allow you to instantly capture a user’s attention, and let them understand what your brand represents.

Look at the Nike tick. What does this tell you and what can one learn from this logo? It’s certainly recognizable and only created using two skewed lines, so its simplicity is the key to its design. The design indicates a strong sense of positivity and motion that is synonymous with this brand, and its ethos of providing the best sporting equipment. This logo has survived the test of time and has become affiliated with all aspects of transcendence through sports – from basketball to running. Nike and its tick have penetrated all sports markets and much more.

So what is the right logo? You’ll need something that can represent your brand in a visual way, whilst also embodies your company ethos without sacrificing its visual appeal in any way. How can one work to create this perfect logo? We’ve come up with five key tips to help you out.


1. Simplicity Is the Key

Clever design can allow a very simple logo to be effective

Good logo design means that your logo should be kept simple. Too many distractions for the eye and too many things for the eye to focus on will serve to not recognize the logo, not remember it and not let it represent your brand as easily as possible. Try and represent your brand as best you can with a punchy and simple logo. Why is design so difficult when it should be so simple? Your logo should be able to thrive in a variety of different contexts, just like Nike’s logo, through pure simplicity.

If you’re coming up with a logo from scratch or redesigning an outdated but effective one, you should keep it simple and in tune with your brand. Keep things appealing visually, whilst also retaining a clean and simple design. A good design tip is to make sure your logo appears strong in black on a plain white background, or with a duo-tone. As an example, consider the Windows logo - what is it about this logo that retains the brand image over time, even as the logo has undergone several design changes? 

The simple and digital feel of two windows shows that the brand is at the forefront of the digital age, and will continue to be through the rest of time. It’s a statement that is easily read from the logo in its simplicity. A simple logo will also fit harmoniously with other materials that your company produces.


2. Where Will the Logo Go?

Your logo will appear is a wide variety of locations, it's important to have it right

As a part of the design process, one needs to consider just where the logo will go within your brand, and how this will appear among other materials? You may have a logo that would look great on a poster, but wouldn’t work well on a business card, so you’ll want to think it over to visualize where your logo will be. Think about flexibility and where your logo can work, and where it can’t.

Deliveroo recently took major design steps to simplify and more accurately represent their brand story given that most of their users work with smartphones. This is a good example of thinking about where your logo will go - failing to grasp this, as your brand is growing, can lead to difficulties further down the line. Deliveroo may have been thinking about the fact that their logo would have looked good on a delivery motorbike bag; however, most people are seeing it online via their phone and app. 

The result of their change was to take a complex drawing of a kangaroo carrying food to a much more minimalist abstract shape depicting the kangaroo’s face – this can work well and be placed in all sorts of places now that it is a whole lot simpler. Something may look good on a motorbike bag that might not necessarily be appealing on an app - redesigning for a smartphone use was the clever solution. If you fail to grasp this at first, this could result in a lot of future failure for your brand further down the line.


3. A Design that Lasts Through Time

A logo should not be designed to be trendy, it needs to be timeless

The best thing one can do is try and stick to a design that lasts through time - something iconic and timeless that people can remember forever. A common mistake is that brand's design logos are trendy, but these trends won’t last forever. The best approach is not to go down a trendy feel and look because it won’t work over a long period of time, and we can expect that you’re in it for the long haul. However, you’ll want to pay close attention to the fact that if you choose something too classic and timely, there is a good chance that a lot of other brands have also used a similar design and also it may not fit in with your brand value. Think about your brand and its message more than what the trends of the year are. You will want your logo to shine and engage through every year.


4. But... Update the Design When it Needs to Be

The ford logo has evolved over time, most noticeably twice in 1912 as the initial redesign was not well received.

Your company may change over time and even though you want your logo to be timeless, it won’t last forever. To stay as up to date as possible, whilst also keeping your theme current, one needs to occasionally change their logo to keep up with the times. If your logo has been rather successful in the past, it’s not ideal to significantly change from the design you’ve already been using for a whole, so sometimes just a simple change of type or a slicker icon will make your logo more appropriate for the current times.

A good example of this is with Marriott hotel’s recent shift from an old to a newer look, whilst also refraining from giving into current trends. The logo was redesigned, keeping their giant “M” but also making the other text within colored black as opposed to red. This logo is now a whole lot more modern and wasn’t a great shift from the original, but it certainly packs more of a punch. 


5. Don’t Copy Clichés

All these company logos are too similar for any of them to stand out from the crowd

When designing a logo, one should make a serious effort not to use clip art or copy other people’s work. The final approach to any logo design should be that you don’t copy cliché work and come up with something unique; otherwise, your logo will look like someone else’s and won’t help cement the brand image. You’ll need something that’s instantly recognizable and not confused with someone else’s brand.

Your logo should have some form of original art that tells the audience what the company is and how their ethos shines through. Sure, you can draw inspiration from other logos, but make sure your work is unique and not just a copy of something else.

Definitely, don’t try and emulate commonplace forms of art in your logo such as clipart. This will cause your logo to have an amateur and childish appearance, without being special in any way at all. If you want something that’s memorable, it needs to be special. Your logo will want to make an instant click with whoever is looking at it. Make it stand out from your competitors in an instant – don’t make your audience have to think about how your logo is similar to something else. 

Conclusion

Approaching a logo designing process isn’t a walk in the park, it’s a walk along several different paths in one’s mind, exploring different possibilities whilst always trying to channel the audience into the direction you want them to go in. Take note of the five tips above to help you do well on your way, ensuring that you have a cutting edge and unique design that will engage your audience in an instant.

Remember that your design should aim to depict your brand and ethos in a way that is instantly recognizable without any thought. You should have a logo that packs a punch but is also simple and visible, wherever you decide that you want to use it.

We hope that you have fun in your creative process and create a logo that your company can look back on with pride through the ages.

About the Author:

Richard Nolan is a professional educator and team building coach, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship, web design and psychology. Currently, Richard works as an editor-in-chief for essaywritersite.com. Follow him on Facebook


Why Your E-Commerce Business May Be Losing Customers

Why Your E-Commerce Business May Be Losing Customers
This article and connected infographic will highlight how to solve the problem of losing customers

In the earliest days of online shopping, selling to customers via the Internet was a novelty. Simply offering customers the ability to buy anything online was enough to drive new business to many retailers.

Today, things have changed. What was once revolutionary is now commonplace, and e-commerce is something most shoppers expect retailers to offer.

One of the biggest reasons why e-commerce sites fail is related to simple design flaws...other times, e-commerce businesses stumble because their sites ask for too much information

In this new landscape where e-commerce is the norm, it takes more than a website to get people interested in buying from a retailer. Understanding visitors’ behaviors and what makes them choose one website over another is critical for any e-commerce business, especially when it comes to reasons that drive away customers.

For instance, one of the biggest reasons why e-commerce sites fail is related to simple design flaws. Whether the website is too confusing to navigate, too buggy to function properly or simply visually unpleasant, bad design can ruin an e-commerce business faster than almost anything. E-commerce businesses need to invest in high-quality web design to ensure that customers don’t have an excuse to go with a competitor.

Other times, e-commerce businesses stumble because their sites ask for too much information. People often are sensitive about the amount of personal information they put out online, and an e-commerce site that asks for too much information can be a turn-off. If e-commerce businesses simply removed one field from their online forms, for example, it could make a tremendous difference in the number of customers they retain.




E-commerce isn’t the future anymore — it’s here and now. The novelty of online sales is no longer a selling point, and e-commerce businesses have to be willing to put in the hard work necessary to make their sites the best they can be. This infographic contains the most common problems e-commerce businesses have — and what they can do to solve them.

Author bio: Matt Wollersheim is Vice President of Sales at Performance Card Service, where his focus is on general marketing, client relations and development of new processing channels.  


Everything You Need To Know About 3D Modelling

These series of updated articles aim to provide you with everything you need to know about on 3D modelling and graphics. In 3D graphics, elements are visualized by creating three-dimensional models out of them. The final image is rendered from a virtual scene that utilizes several elements which are familiar from real life such as lights, materials and cameras. 3D graphics can be seen in multiple different forms such as an image, an animation or real time visualization inside of a computer game. If you are interested in a career in animation or gaming then this series is especially relevant for you!

We recommend reading this articles in the order presented if you are a beginner, however they are designed in such as way as that they are relatively independent of each other.

Select an area of 3D modelling to get started...




The creation of 3D graphics is a complicated process and therefore is, in my opinion, easier to understand when discussed in small pieces, hence this 8 article series. we hope that you find it useful and as always we welcome your feedback.



10 Writing Tips for Web Designers

There is more to web design than just code

Once you’ve created the perfect looking website, the next step will be to get traffic to it. It must be very frustrating to have a unique site without any visitors, but one needn’t worry about this. This could only be the result of you not applying techniques that are essential to you having a successful website. In order for your website to flourish, consider some of the following key tips to get traffic moving just the way you’d like it.


1. Have an SEO Strategy

For you to generate traffic, web users need to find your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boosts the ratings of your site on Google, pushing it higher up the electronic hierarchy to make it among the first websites to pop up when someone searches for related keywords. Without an effective SEO strategy, users won’t be able to find your page when they enter relevant queries in a search engine. 

75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results which makes SEO very important – if you’re not part of this first page, how will potential viewers find your webpage?

Keywords are important i.e. you need to know what keywords and terms your audience will be searching for. It is important that you are aware of target keywords and how to link them with relevant pages on your site. Make sure that these keywords are relevant to the page that they’re on, because relevance scores in Google and other search engines will affect your page ranking. Overuse of certain keywords will have your readers lost and Google will penalize you in their ranking system. Google Analytics and Keyword Discovery websites are amongst some of the useful tools that will help with keyword phrases for your website.

Posting content that is relevant to your target audience is also vital. You can use blog posts, articles, videos and eBooks material for this. However, don’t let Google notice that your writing is purely geared for search engines. Google have developed algorithms that can spot automated and inorganic content from a mile away, so it’s important to keep your content organic.

Link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO. You can link to your own content but you can also have external websites that link to you (inbound links) or links on your webpage that direct users to external sites (outbound links). The correct use of internal and external linking tells Google and other search engines which pages on the internet are more important and relevant. Try to get other websites to link to your own content and try to provide links on your website to other domains to boost your SEO. 

Be smart about how you do this – you’ll get more SEO ranking benefit when you have both inbound and outbound links to or from authoritative websites rather than sites that no one cares about. People care about what authoritative websites say and do, and people value their content – websites that receive more inbound links from these sites will rank higher in search engines. However, if you completely flood your website with links to authoritative sites, this will be obvious to the SEO algorithms and your website may not rise to the top of the ranks as a result. Also, it may be very time consuming to acquire good inbound links, so prioritise your efforts. Pay attention to your variety of inbound and outbound links, where the links and going and where they are coming from.


2. Navigation

Make your site easy to navigate for your users. Design the site so that a reader will access the content fast. Do not clutter your homepage with so much content that hides the vital information. Keep in mind that the attention span of a viewer is only a mere eight seconds, so once they visit your site you need to capture their attention immediately. A great way of doing this is to include icons that will direct a reader to the information they desire such as a video, photo or article. Your page should not overstretch in terms of content length, scale it down to what is relevant. Remember the phrase “Quality, not quantity”.

Also, make sure your site is easy to navigate by search engine programs that determine your SEO. Paying attention to the names of your URLs will also allow search engine Spider programs to “crawl” through your pages better. Make sure you structure your URLs so that these Spider programs know where they’re going, for example:

Unstructured URL:

www.website.com/store/products/View?ID=1237863product=134987&locad=323

Structured URL:

www.website.com/products/cars


If a website is easier to navigate for search engine programs then you’ll move higher up in ranking systems. To create better navigation you can also find and delete broken links, generate sitemaps and use online tools to assess crawling ease.


3. Research

Research is key
Know who your target reader is, what they want and how to get them to your site. What is your target reader’s demographic? Are they teenagers, middle-aged or elderly people? What is their field of practice? Do they like controversy and scandals or are they into love stories? Answering these questions will help you to develop an effective online strategy. Stick to one type of reader because if you target them all, you will end up losing all of them.

A great way of knowing what your readers want is to see what kind of viewers are coming to your site. If you know who’s coming, you’ll be able to adapt your website to suit their needs. Once your website is up, use free tools from Google Analytics in order to track your viewers. You’ll be able to see many things such as who is visiting your website, where these people are coming from, how they are getting there and what devices they’re using. 

Knowing this information will allow you to find out if you’re attracting your target audience or not. If you find out that you’re not attracting the right target audience, you’ll want to understand why that is and make changes to correct it. You’ll be able to develop better strategies and ideas to be able to attract the correct audience you want.



4. Be Professional

Let your website reflect its developer and designer. It goes without saying that each site should be professional, so pay attention to detail. It should not look like everything was thrown together in a hurry. A reader will immediately skip your site if the first thing that they see is poor layout and design. 

The theme color, font size, and content setup should look like the work of a professional. A reader will not take your site seriously if they think that no time, money or effort went into creating it.

Once you have a specific target audience in mind it can also be helpful to research websites that are similar to yours. Assess your competition – who are your main competitors and what have their websites got that you don’t have? Looking around at what else is available will give you some interesting insights and ideas about how to improve your own website. Go further than a short Google search – dig deep online!


5. Avoid Sales Jargon

Yes, of course, you want to make money from your site but do not make it too obvious for your readers to see. What is written for sales on the print will not work for web content. “Order our product here” is more acceptable rather than “our products are the best.” A reader will switch from your website immediately if they notice that it’s more of an advertising site and not the informative one that you had promised. 

Some words and phrases are also just not understood by anyone, or worse, they don’t mean anything to the viewer at all! Think carefully about the meaning of the language you’re using. If you sound too smart or if people can’t understand the meaning there will be less interest.


6. Mobile Friendly

Mobile optimization

Mobile users log on to websites with their phones more than their computers. 80% of the internet users own a smartphone making them an excellent target for online content. Tailor your website to satisfy the needs of all its visitors. Once a reader has a problem accessing your site through any of their devices, they will visit your competitors instead. Google’s own research has found out that 61% of users feel this way.

It’s easy to make slight changes to your site in order to make it mobile phone friendly. With a restricted amount of space, it will be important to simplify your site so that things can easily fit on a mobile screen. If you’ve got small fingers it’ll be much harder to tap a small text on a small screen. The amount of white space is also important. When designing a website you can have a tendency to squeeze in as much information as you can, but this won’t look good on a tiny screen, so keep plenty of space in the design. 

Try not to use any pop-up windows because these will come up in new tabs that will take up the whole of a mobile device’s screen space, which can be off-putting to a viewer. If you do decide to use such pop-ups, make sure you give clear instructions to users about how to navigate their way back to the page they linked from. Also keep in mind to match the branding of your standard site to that of your mobile site because even though your site will be “moving” to a smaller screen, you don’t want it to lose its touch.


7. Focus on the Readers

If your content is interesting to your readers, you’ll increase the chances of them visiting your website and linking to it. In turn, such linking will boost your SEO. Do not focus too much on the technical side of the site but also think of your visitors. Write keyword phrases so that they are recognized as part of the topic and not just to boost your SEO rankings. Don’t fall into the incorrect practices such as using a single keyword more than twice in one paragraph.

With a large amount of content already out there, “quality content” should be the number one focus.

It goes without saying that all content needs to be properly proofread to ensure there are no mistakes, by reputable editors if necessary. As the focus has to be on your viewers, don’t try and accommodate all viewers’ needs and make sure you don’t lose your voice and message. Make content shareable but also consistent with the message you’d like your site to bring.

Once you have some decent content, you can diversify the next batch available to give your viewers something new to look forward to. Diversity will also allow for more ways to reach potential viewers. If you’ve been writing a lot of blogs, try publishing a few infographics on Twitter or other social media with clear links to your website or even some videos. Add a bit of variety and spice to your website through a variety of content. Your existing viewers and new viewers will be sure to appreciate it!


8. Update your Content Regularly


Ensure that the website uploads new content on a regular basis, but not just anything, real engaging content that adds value and is of use to the reader. When a visitor finds no recent posts in a while, they will go and look for information elsewhere. If you’re in need of ideas, research trending topics and emerging issues to get ideas on what to write about. 

A reader will log in to your site on a regular basis if they are confident that they’ll be able to access new content that is useful to them. Your content will be great for keeping interest, so keep it informative for your viewers, but don’t lose sight of a call to action – you don’t want your viewers to read your content and then run away. Including links to join mailing lists, subscribe or receive further updates can bring those users back in the future and wanting more.


9. Write for Everyone

The online community is international. Not every person that visits your site is smart. Keep in mind that your website’s viewers understanding of the English language varies. Keep it simple and coherent – do not use complex terminologies and words to impress a few readers whilst potentially losing a whole lot more. You want your users to get what they’re looking for, not to feel challenged by what you present them. If it’s too difficult to understand your message or content, a viewer can always head elsewhere.


10. Include Sharing Options

Include sharing options

Having a reader visit your site and enjoy your content does little. Give your visitors a chance to share your content with their friends and followers on social media. This works well for you as it generates traffic to your website and brings in new subscribers. If you’d like viewers to be able to share your content, you’ll have to do a little research in your own time, but this can bring a lot of benefit. 

If you’re sharing on social media, make sure you send it out at the correct times so that more people can see and share, such as in the evenings during the week. Make sure that your website content includes the relevant social media sharing buttons so that users can share with one click. These buttons to facilitate sharing are slick and easy to implement into a website’s design, at no cost to you.


Conclusion

Knowing how to make a website is only the first step to success. Ensuring that it is successful is the hard part of it. Always test that your website is running smoothly on a regular basis to give your visitors an easy navigation time when they log on to your site. Simple log in errors and lengthy loading times will make you lose readers to your competitors. Use a professional and reliable web service provider to host your website so that you know it’ll be problem and error free. Do your research, determine who your users are, who they will be and what they want – this will allow you to make the changes to your website and design. Time to get to work!


Author's Bio:

Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over eight years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer for eliteessaywriters.com. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.