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Which Online Marketing Avenue is Right For My Business with Kellen Kautzman
Which Online Marketing Avenue is Right For My Business with Kellen Kautzman
The Proven Approach To Marketing With Shaundell Newsome
The Proven Approach To Marketing With Shaundell Newsome
Top 2017 Web Design Trends
2017 Seems to be the year to buck norms. Established web design trends are being overturned for a preference on visuals in spite of logic. Designers are heeding to the proven stats on video and custom branding and challenging developers this year with complex design that is not always mobile friendly. Taken to extremes, this could result in an inconsistent user experience across devices as some design elements would only appear on certain devices. In the long run, this sort of complex trend-bucking design could be the motivation software developers need to continue modernizing powerful and smart technology.
Let's take a look at what to expect this year.
Cinematography can be either videos, GIFs or still photos with repeated animation that run on a continuous loop. This is a fairly simple way to add engagement to a static page and hold interest for more than a couple seconds. High quality cinemagraphs can be found at Flixel. And if done right, they can be lighter than a heavy video file.
In A/B testing, Turnstyle compared the effectiveness of a cinemagraph versus a still image on their homepage. It resulted in a 20% increase in new visitor conversions, which hints at the power of cinemagraphs.
Virtual Reality & 360 Video
Gamers had a heavy influence on VR as it's common in the video game industry, yet fairly new to commercial web design. 360 Video allows for a walk through of a campus or office tour and significantly increases web engagement. We'll continue to see more VR software emerge, but the most popular include Google's VR View. We also like krpano.
Companies with aggressive marketing goals should implement this tactic early while it's relatively new and impressive.
Another web design trend bucked. Interesting visuals are becoming dominant this year without regard to "pretty." This results in content not equally balanced on the left and right sides.
Bright duotone gradients are a great way to add visual appeal to an otherwise unimpressive image. Most styles are using just 2 color options, but it can be done in a kaleidoscope of ways. Spotify has already implemented this trend to attract and appeal to a youthful audience.
Original navigation doesn't always make the best user experience, but if done well, it can leave a unique lasting impression. It's a risk, but designing for a unique header menu or uncommon way to navigate through the site can set the company up as a thought leader. If done poorly, it can simply frustrate the user when they can't quickly find content.
These are the smaller details of web interaction such as mouse hover animations, scrolling effects and click features. They are a highly effective but overlooked tool to improve user experience. In 2017, designers are spending more time on micro-interactions and putting thought into the end ux.
Geometric lines, shapes and patterns are in stark contrast to the flat design styles we've seen the past 2 years. Photos are being cropped to fit inside interesting shapes and designers are thinking outside the box - ahem, square.
Check out how we utilized this trend for Nevada STEM Mentor Network....
Hey Las Vegas: It's Not 1994!
Last week my husband and I dropped off family at McCarran airport and on the way back to the parking deck, I stopped cold in my tracks in unbelief and disappointment for Las Vegas marketing when I saw this blurry, pixelated attempt at advertising:
Most locals walk past these advertisements daily without a second thought. And that's a problem. Poor, outdated presence has become part of Las Vegas cheese. But as owner of a digital marketing agency, my heart is for design, presence and first impressions. And when I saw a multi-million dollar Strip hotel casino with a faded, blurry and flat out ugly wall banner that looked like it had been there since the airport was constructed, it confirmed for me that Las Vegas has an online culture problem. We have come to love this community, its people and the organizations that make it up, so we hate to see beautiful places like this present themselves as less than.
So let me tell you a bit about why this strikes a chord with me: I grew up an hour south of Cleveland, OH with a work ethic and a strive for excellence and quality. Many parts of northeast Ohio are rural and I suppose the culture carries its farmer roots when it comes to work principles. It's not unusual to see people who still live in their 1800's well-kept family home. Buildings don't fall apart after 10 years, jobs aren't finished until the customer is happy, and business websites are modern and up to date. Companies understand the importance of quality representation online.
Let me give you an example from a small winery in Hartville, OH called Maize Valley. This is a tiny local winery off State Route 619 that you finally arrive at once you pass fields upon fields of corn (hence the name). They're not famous, and their wine isn't the best you've ever tasted, but you would never know that by their presence online. Maize Valley sits on beautiful land and they know it. So what do they naturally show off on their website? The very thing that makes them great! (And in a modern, high quality way might I add).
Las Vegas is a much younger culture than those closer to the East coast and it has settled and become comfortable with an outdated online presence. The 1990's still dominate this region's graphics, usability, look and feel. It's embarrassing. I could ruthlessly list outdated website after website, posts, banners, and endless advertisements I've encountered since relocating that I would be too ashamed to put my name on and label "finished work." We're talking serious, established, legitimate companies that anyone would be (unpleasantly) surprised to land upon. It just doesn't match up. There is no consistent experience. But there will be no name and shaming.
Instead, we're looking to shape the culture in Las Vegas and bring a modern, high quality standard through our agency. Las Vegas is a leader in tourism, entertainment and attractions and every business here should reflect that on every front. Las Vegas should lead online.
Here is a prime example of what that looks like: Below is the old, "before" screen shot of Nevada NASA Programs, a division of Nevada System of Higher Education at UNLV. It was a typical, unimpressive, outdated website.
Every state offers NASA Programs, but we wanted Nevada to be the leader and the best so that when other states check them out, they're absolutely floored. And so we did. This is the new face of Nevada NASA Programs and you can believe other state programs are talking.
Top 2016 Web Design Trends
Web design trends change every year, and as website designers, it's crucial to know what trends are popular so you can stay ahead of your competition and meet your clients' needs. Remember, "trend" doesn't necessarily mean "new," just popular.
But before we take a look at what's gaining attention, let's first look at the web design trends of 2015, as many of them are being refined and will reemerge this year with a new face.
* Responsive Design
* Infinite Scrolling
* Flat Design
Some of these trends have been replaced, while others have evolved and improved as web designers equip better technology. Many refined processes will become the standard norm this year.
Now let's take a look at what to keep an eye out for in 2016:
Mobile Responsive Web Design
We just tipped the scales last year when Google announced more search inquiries are being conducted through mobile devices than on desktop computers. In the United States alone, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. What's more is that Google announced it will give higher ranks to responsive websites (that is, websites that pass Google's standards for mobile friendly viewing).
So that means avoiding any content that requires Adobe's Flash Player, ensuring the website is readable without zooming, and separating content with white space so links can easily be clicked.
And for those of you still a little confused about how responsive design differs from dynamic serving or having a separate mobile URL version of your website, remember this: Responsive web design serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can render the display differently, or “respond” based on the screen size.
Responsive design has a focus on the mobile user's experience. Certain desktop features become hidden when viewed from a mobile device, allowing for clean minimalism. Images, buttons and menus are all designed with the mobile user experience in mind. These elements adjust and "respond" depending on the screen size and type.
Unsure if your website is responsive? You can check it here.
User Experience (UX)
The overwhelming majority of visitors are less likely to revisit a website if they had a bad user experience. So trends will continue following the best practices for UX and mobile. These 2 forces are center stage and are driving web design trends toward an uncluttered user interface. Consumers expect companies to fulfill their needs in real-time. So any web design practice that reduces page load time will be favored as more and more users opt to view websites from mobile devices.
The overwhelming majority of visitors are less likely to revisit a website if they had a bad user experience
Not only will web design cater to the mobile viewing experience, but the mobile user experience as well. Designers are now considering elements as they never have before such as the amount of pressure necessary and the use of various touch gestures like 2 finger tap, swipe, or finger spread to perform actions.
The use of video is becoming more impressive as developers l...
7 FAQs About Web Development Made Simple
It seemed last year many of our readers had the same questions about websites that kept coming up. So for convenience's sake, we've compiled them neatly right here. Take a look and see if one of your questions topped our list of FAQs:
1. Why Does It Cost So Much?
This most frequently asked question opens the golden gate of opportunity for us to explain precisely what the value of your website is. In a previous article on the cost of a website, I likened your website to an employee for your business. Your company's website is working for you 24/7, without ever needing a break. It sells for you while you're sleeping, and it's a constant advertisement/promoter/educator for your products and services.
So if you paid $20,000 for your website, that means after 2 years you have paid your website "employee" $10,000 per year. That's an hourly wage of $1.14! Whatever the cost of your company website (and you should expect it to be at least $15k if working with an agency), you can be sure that it will quickly pay for itself and its value greatly outweighs the initial cost.
Want further insight on what other agencies charge? Let a global digital agency expert, Karl Sakas, give you his weigh-in.
2. Can't You Just Build on the Website I Already Have?
Do I Need to Start From Scratch? I hate this question because no matter how thoroughly we explain why a prospect's current website isn't usable, many clients still come away feeling slighted as if dealing with sleazy auto mechanics pushing to sell them a manual clutch for their automatic car. I addressed this issue in Before You Hire a Web Developer as a caution to clients.
Just like you need the keys and title to a car before you can make any changes to it, your web agency also requires a few things in order to touch your website:
* FTP / SFTP Access
* Admin Log in Credentials
* Proof Of Domain Ownership
If you rent or lease your site, we do not have the legal right to make changes to it and therefore need to build a new website from the ground, up. Also, if it's been coded in a custom framework such as a privately licensed shopping cart, it's on lock down. Try translating Japanese into English after only taking a year's worth of education in that foreign language. That's why we use and recommend open source code (like WordPress).
3. Why Should I Switch to WordPress?
Our favorite reason? No monthly on going maintenance fee to install and run it on your website. WordPress has become the world's most popular content management system (CMS), with over 24% of websites powered by it. That means naturally there are more themes, plug-ins and tech support than any other CMS out there.
It's also the most user friendly. More and more entrepreneurs want to learn how to maintain their own website, and there's no better platform than WordPress. It's intuitive, simple and many features require little to no coding. We could go on and on, but I suggest you read the following article on how your business can use WordPress.
4. Isn't There a Plug-in for That?
As easy as that would make our job, the answer is not always, "Yes.