Why should you pay for a quality website?

quality website

Building a quality website for your company costs money, but it also serves as the face of your company to all of the world.

As a web developer, I have always been curious about how incredibly difficult it is to convince a business owner the value of a quality website. Why should a startup have to pay for a quality website? There are plenty of reasons, but for some reason it is difficult to convince many business owners of the value (and cost) of high quality websites.

I get it, I really do. Many of the companies I work with have been ripped off by developers in the past. The stories I hear vary, but the gist is the same: They finish a website for the business, and then disappear before handing over the domain and files making updates difficult to impossible to manage. Or they make promises that they will get you listed #1 on google search, but fail to deliver. Or they build a great CMS site, but they never show you or your employees how to make updates and you are way to busy to figure it out. Continue…

Interaction design and web animations

Animation timing and interaction design

Animation timing and interaction design

Have you ever thought about what makes a particular app great? You know, something about the design just feels right?

All of the design decisions- from fonts to colors to graphics to motion effects- on an app or website work together to create a consistent feeling in users. Sometimes the combined effect is positive and we love to shop, visit, play at a particular site and other times it just feels wrong and we are not likely to purchase or visit that site again.

According to this article, Guidelines for Animation Timing, a lot of our perception of great design comes from what happens in the in between states, which is called interaction design. Think of hovering, clicking, motion animations- those sorts of things. Some examples of interaction design is how the page turns when we are reading a Kindle book or how an app reacts when we click on an internal link. Continue…

Data is necessary for design decisions

Netflix redesign relies on dataAs graphic designers, we often feel like we know instinctually how to best design a website, logo, or brochure. It is true that the more practice you have in any art, the more you develop keen instincts on how to create better artwork, but it is probably a little dangerous to rely solely on instinct when designing successful client projects.

Have you noticed how often Google services change the layout of their products? Sometimes the constant changes are enough to drive you crazy, but sometimes you go to the page and think “wow, they must have heard my thoughts, this site is so much easier to use now!” Continue…

Styletiles tool to communicate with clients

One of the most difficult jobs of a web designer is to accurately communicate with clients. Some clients have a very good idea of what they want their website to look and feel like, but have difficulty communicating their vision. Then there are clients that hand all the creative decisions over to the designer, but then can’t figure out what they don’t like about the mock-ups of the proposed design. Either way, as web designers, we need to come up with quick, easy ways to get our ideas down in a way that visually communicates the website design to a client in a clear way.

Style tiles are a way to create style guides for a website prior to building it.

Style tiles are a way to create style guides for a website prior to building it.

 

There are many tools out there for this purpose, but lately, I’ve been interested in the process of using style guide, especially on team-based projects. One tool that serves this purpose is Styletil.es.”A Style Tile is a design deliverable consisting of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicates the evolution of a visual brand for the web.”  Continue…

ClemsonGC attends Front End Design Conference

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With two seniors from the Clemson Graphic Communications  program, I attended Front End Design Conference & Workshop in St. Petersburg, Florida this week #frontendconf. Not only was it one of the most well developed (pun intended) conference I have ever attended, it also had the perfect mix of inspiration and information. My brain is saturated, but I now know where to head to sort out all the amazing ins and outs of Front End Design.

So what is “Front End Design?” Every job has to have a name describing it, right? In this case, front end becomes the go-to term for website design and development and includes a wide range of related specialties and careers. But before I get in to any of the technical info we absorbed, I want to share what I think emerged as the underlying theme throughout the conference- community.


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