Clients Understanding Web Design Language

From experience I’ve found it helps when clients, collaborative artists, programmers, directors and project managers are up-to-date with the jazz and latest buzz words circling the web design scene. For clients working with their web designers/developers, I stress this to be especially important so that as a client you know how to express your requirements in a website, you know your options and also, you know that you’re investing in the latest technology. Below are some key terms that business owners and web designers alike should know about (it’d be especially scary if your web designer didn’t).

RESPONSIVE DESIGN
A key term that clients should be aware of before going into business with a web designer is “Responsive Design”. What is responsive design you ask? Simply put, it means that you’re website has been developed to be user-friendly on mobile devices and not just on the desktop browser. When viewing your website on an iPhone, Android and Windows smart phone, if you have a responsively designed website, you’ll notice graphics are sharper, buttons and menus are larger to work with these touch devices and text is designed to be readable, and by this I mean there is certainly no frustrating pinching and zooming. Always ask about this service when getting a website.

SEO AND SEM
I’m talking about marketing here and I’m especially talking about Google. If you have used Google before, you’ll know that it finds things you are looking for with a few simple keywords in a search box. Well, SEO (search engine optimisation) and SEM (search engine marketing) basically mean consumers who are searching for products in your area of business, if done effectively, will find you! That’s the aim of SEO, to be at the top of the Google search results when people type in specific keywords related to your business/products. SEO = getting to the top of the organic or real (non-paid) search results; and SEM = paying Google directly to be found in the advertising space at the top. See below.

What is SEO and SEM?


SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ just to name a few are all forms of Social Media. Web designers will tell you how important it is to leverage Social Media when developing your business’s online identity, and which forms of Social Media depending on what your business and strategy is. Tying in a business themed Facebook and/or Twitter page, and committing to keeping it active with regular posts will help you reach an audience that no doubt, is full of potential clients for your business, especially if you work it right. Facebook for instance; friends of yours can like your page, then your friends friends will see that they’ve liked this awesome new business page of yours, and depending on your business, relevance to the audience and whats currently trending, you could see a formidable chain forming of marketing brilliance taken care of with the help of a few friends.

Essential social media
So there you have it! If you know the key terms above, you’ll be smooth talking your way to a great, up-to-date website. You’ll have your web designers sitting up straight listening to your requirements because they know you know what you’re talking about. For all businesses and organisations out there looking to develop their websites, have confidence in your ability to express your vision, but remember to never be afraid to ask questions either.

Maximise Creativity Cost Effectively – FREE Stock Photography

In Web Design, It is important for designers to have the potential to maximise their creativity in a cost effective way, which means having maximum exposure to the FREE photo and graphic stock libraries available right now on the web. It’s just knowing where to find them that’s the quandary.

It’s too often that we find ourselves digging through the generic stock photography sites when all we really need is a bit of inspiration combined with a FREE photos from a no-strings-attached library to help guide that magic touch we look for in creating a website’s persona, theming banners, funky menus, finding the right smile portraying that happy customer for a testimonials page, merging photos when one shot doesn’t quite say it all. Again at the right price, FREE, and without a reference statement. Mmmmm.

If you know how to use photoshop, even basically, then you are going to have a dream run when visiting the following websites. sxc.hu is one of those FREE stock websites that provides free images that are basically a guided blank canvas, and combined decent resolutions, you should have no trouble knocking out something unique that hasn’t been downloaded <100 times and slapped on to the next steely website.

The next website i want to boast about is one that is almost a meta search, that trawls through some of your favourite image galleries, but with the predefined search setting “show me the photos that are free to use and alter!!”, I’m talking of course about Creative Commons and Free-use stock images. search.creativecommons.org searches your favourites like Google images and flickr and delivers stock photos with a good-to-go licence. Just a note that some creative commons licences specify you to actually reference the author, but with that said, a lot of the time, this isn’t the case, but do respect the authors wishes if so.

The final thing I want to mention as I did on a post on ExistsOnline.com, is the idea that was put forward to me by a reputable man at a web seminar. Developers and designers need to exercise their thumbs and help contribute to these libraries by taking snapshots of items and situations in everyday life and then putting them up on flickr under the creative commons licence. This would be a great thing for the Web Design community if we all took part. Whether you’ve got an iPhone, Android or something in-between, you’ve no doubt an excellent camera, and an app for easy uploads to flickr. Let’s build these libraries, it’s not hard, and I find taking photo’s to be a fun, perspective skewing, mind expanding and creative experience.

An excellent image I found in 2 seconds on flickr