Month: February 2016

Business Tips: When it is Time for a Web Redesign.

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A website is a huge marketing tool for your business. It is very difficult to keep your website standing through the test of time. To keep you and your business from falling behind in your industry, here are ways you can tell it is time to redesign your website.

1. Leads are no longer coming from your website.

If you are tracking your analysis on your website and see that your views are not congruent with your leads, it is time for a redesign. This would indicate that your website is no longer responsive, and your website isn’t holding well with your customers. By updating your site’s framework and user interface, viewers will have a more enjoyable experience utilizing your website.

2. Your site clearly looks dated.

It is common for website owners to not know if the look of their website is outdated. The standards of web design changes quickly and even though you are managing the core of your business, it can be very easy to dismiss them. There are sites that have not been updated since before HTML5 and it clearly shows.

3. Your business has changed.

Whether your business has changed plans, focus, or image, your website is going to have to change to compliment it. Your website is a powerful marketing tool, and has a unique ability to give your customers a five second explanation as to what your company is all about. If your business changes and your website has yet to follow, customers are required more time on your website which can easily tune them out.

4. The industry has changed since your last update.

When an industry changes, it is because the technology within that industry changes. A good amount of those changes are complimentary to your website, so it is very important that your business does not miss out or you will fall behind very fast.

5. Traffic has declined.

The amount of visitors dropping can be due to either a SEO issue, or that your competition has addressed reasons 1-4 and you have yet to follow. Always try to be a step ahead of your analytics and find the root cause of the traffic drop. It is very likely that it is time for a redesign.

 

 

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Designer Tips: Top 5 Books to Read

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A great way to get ahead as a designer to keep yourself educated. A great way to continue learning is through books. Here, I have a list of books that you can read that may very well improve your design business when starting out.

1. Work for Money, Design for Love by David Airey

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Author of “Logo Design Love”, David Airey created this book that answers a lot of basic questions about starting and managing a design business. The questions answered were based on the questions his followers would ask on his blogs. This book is written to be read easily without going too far in depth. It talks about what you should do in business as well as what you should not do in business. I would recommend this book not just to people in the design industry, but for anyone who is working independently.

2. Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton

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A book I would recommend to both designers and editors, Thinking with Type teaches the basic laws of graphical lettering for both print and web. Typography is a subject that seems to be either overlooked oroverwhelming to beginning designers. This book does a great job giving tips for beginning designers as well as tips for more seasoned designers. This is a book that I keep near my desk as a guide for lettering.

3. HTML & CSS by Jon Duckett

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Like Thinking with Type, HTML & CSS teaches the concepts of web building
quite well. This is a book I would recommend to anyone in business and to every designer.
Designers tend to avoid learning web because they find the coding aspect a bit too intimidating thus preventing them from increasing their value. This book is designed to be read both from start to finish and by “dips”. 

4. Contagious by Jonah Berger

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A great book about what makes brands so memorable, Contagious is a great
book for designers because it talks about why people hang on and stick with
certain brands and products. One of the main objectives for designers is to
get an audience to connect with a brand or product. This book does a great
job in explaining how to do just that.

6. Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

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Pitch Anything is a book that talks about the science of persuasion. A great book for designers on how to present an idea to bosses, clients, and an audience. Persuasion is a key factor when it comes to executing a creative idea and this book will teach you what to do, how to do it, why to do it, etc.

These are books that I would recommend to a designer who is starting out in business, but please don’t limit to just these books. There are hundreds that will allow you to improve your skills. What are some books you would recommend? Please comment below.