Web design

When Launching a New Website: Avoid These Four Simple Website Mistakes

Having a website is essential for just about every business these days. Not only is it expected, but it helps improve your image and your accessibility for customers. Putting together a website doesn’t have to be complicated, but it isn’t just a snap and to go project either. It takes work. Businesses often tend to make the same mistakes. Keep an eye out for these common errors and correct them before they become a problem.

Unprofessional Or Too Large

“The Importance of Visual Content States” that people tend to respond to pictures and videos more than words. If you have a local market to tap into, then having local pictures can help you give that needed flair. But that doesn’t mean you should just go out, snap some shots, and then post them. Make sure that the images you use add some value to the site and are at least semi professional looking.

Being professional doesn’t mean you should load up your website with massive images. The larger the file, the longer it will take for it to load. “Top 30 Web Design Mistakes” lists slow loading speed as one of the more common devastating errors. If your website doesn’t load within a reasonable amount of time, your potential customers will go elsewhere. As a general rule of thumb, your website should load within 4 seconds on the average system. If it doesn’t, then look at cutting down your image file sizes until it can. Remember that people are coming to your website to find out about your business and what it can do for them, not look at all your pretty pictures.

Now if you are in an industry where you need a portfolio or plenty of high quality images, then have a clearly marked portion of the website where viewers can check those out. You can use simplified versions on the home page and about pages. Some businesses even have two versions of a website, allowing customers to access a site with higher resolution if they would like to.

Poorly Proofed and Developed Copy

Even if the only pages you have up on your website are about your business, your contact information, and the basic details, you still need to make sure it’s well developed. It doesn’t matter how long or short it is. Make sure that it is crisp, clean, and accurate. Always double check contact information and other similar details. If, for instance, you’re taking advantage of the new domain extensions or you have recently changed your phone number, make sure that that information has been updated.

Nothing says unprofessional like simple mistakes. It is advisable that you go through published resources from reputed online players like Shopify to understand how you can best benefit from domain name extensions.

Unnecessary Information

One of the benefits of a website is that you can put up as much information as you want. But the “5 Major Mistakes Businesses Keep Making with Their Website Homepage Design” lists “company updates” as one of the most unnecessary bits of clutter likely to show up on a business website. It’s not that you can’t tell everyone about what you’re doing, but you need to make sure it’s put in its place.

Many businesses start by putting it on their home page rather than on a separate page. Likewise, you can post announcements on Facebook and Twitter so that people know what’s going on. But those activities should not be the front and center of your website.

Disputable Claims

It can be tempting to make yourself look more important than you are or to suggest that your business is doing better than it is. But if you haven’t actually won the local award that you’re listing on your site or you haven’t actually been voted the friendliest business in town, don’t put it up there. You need to remain above board. So don’t put up any details or descriptions that aren’t accurate.

One of the best ways to tank your reputation is to lie on your website. You might not think anyone will catch you, but if they do and you get called out on it, you will have a reputation for lying. Whenever you make a claim on your website, it’s best to use one that’s verifiable. This way if someone fact checks you, they know you’re telling the truth.

Conclusion

Having a website is practically a necessity for your business. You can put one together fairly quickly, but it does require some work. A recap of what we covered in this article: using unprofessional photos or images that are too large. Your website should look professional and load swiftly.

All of your copy should be proofed, and your information must be accurate and pertinent to your customers. Additionally, you should make sure that any claims you make on your website can be verified. Never try to pull the wool over your customers’ eyes. By avoiding these common errors, your website will be in much better condition and better suited to serving your customers.

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Web design

Starting a New Project? Do These 5 Things Before You Open Photoshop

For some designers, the first impulse is to open Photoshop and start going right away, but most projects require some substantial work before digging into the actual design. Here are some of the things you should get done before you start to put together images, layers, vectors, and everything else in your design.

1. Get Core Project Information

Before any design work begins, the client and designer have to agree on the fundamental basis for the work itself. This can include project briefs or folders that go over the top-level objectives, the scope of the project, and what the project should accomplish.

For example, designing a glitzy marketing campaign on a few keywords can be really insufficient if there are specific messages, target audiences, or angles that the client wants to address. This resource from iDesignStudios goes into more detail about planning before designing.

2. Nail Down Contract Issues

Professional freelancers and designers who work directly with clients know firsthand the importance of tackling contract questions before any design work is done.

You may know what you’re supposed to do, but what about the size of the project? Do you know how many pages are to be done, what format the results are to be in, and how long all this will take? Is compensation clearly detailed in the contract?

These are some of the issues that have to be negotiated between the involved parties prior to doing any design work.

3. Figure Out Methodology

When you have determined the goals of the project and its scope, you can start to lay out your preferred toolbox. Think about the software you use to create a design project; for example, is Photoshop the best tool for the job or is it time to try Sketch? The tools that you choose determine your workflow and how you actually do the many tasks that make up your complete project.

4. Go to the Drawing Board

With goals, tools, and a solid understanding in hand, designers can start to experiment with drawings, mock-ups, sketches, or other rough ideas that give the project a skeleton and an overall structure.

Professionals do this in different ways. Some use project-specific software. Others like to use paper. Then there’s this approach, where mobile app designers create paper runners that thread through a cardboard iPhone prototype in order to simulate the scrolling that users will do on the page.

In the end, it’s best to go with whatever feels most comfortable and makes the most sense to you. Anything less tends to obstruct the process and limit the ways that the project develops.

5. Make a Preferred Short List

After doing typography, layout, image editing and so on, you’ll have a collection of possibilities that compete for a place in the completed project file. It’s often useful to build a short list or mark the options that seem best out of whatever’s been generated. In some cases, you’ll end up with a set of very similar plans. In others, you’ll have several options, and the client can choose. Either way, the narrowing down or winnowing of the process is a way to guide the focus of the project as it evolves toward eventual completion.

What Do You Do Before Photoshop?

All of these steps are critically important in the design process. It’s just not as easy as clicking open some software and throwing some images and text around. Anyone who sees design as a simple process hasn’t been in the driver’s seat when putting together quality projects. Leave a comment below and tell us how you kick off a project. What critical steps have you added to your workflow?

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Web design

These Photos Are Why Being An Astronaut Is Cool

When the word ‘selfie’ exploded in cyberspace back in 2013, astronaut Mike Hopkin’s outerspace selfie took off in its on way on Earth, even though it wasn’t technically the first space selfie.

space selfie
(Image source: Mashable)

What makes it such a hit (and one of the most epic selfies, ever) is that it offers us a glimpse of the Earth from space as well as what astronauts risk their lives for. But space selfies aren’t the only photos astronauts take. They shoot plenty of stunning pictures from the window of the space center. You might even have come across a few astronauts on social media like Reid Wiseman and Chris Hadfield on Twitter.

To that end, we went about scouring for these 20 photos taken by astronauts and the stories that came with them for your viewing pleasure.

The Sun is not the only thing that sets and rises on our horizon. The Moon does too as this photo shows. What you see here is the moon setting and the phenomenon is called Moonset.

moonset
(Image source: André Kuipers)

Anyone managed to catch a glimpse of the Supermoon on August 13, 2014? If you didn’t, American astronaut Reid Wiseman managed to take a photo of it. From space.

supermoon
(Image source: Reid Wiseman)

The Sun setting over the Indian Ocean as seen from the International Space Station (ISS).

sunset from the ISS
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

The New Moon as captured over the southeast of the Pacific Ocean. You can see a thin crescent at the bottom of the Moon where it reflects the Sun.

new moon southeast pacific ocean
(Image source: Nasa Johnson Space Center)

This is photographic evidence of how different the two Koreas are from one another. South Korea is brightly litted up with city lights on the right and the dark area in the middle is North Korea. If you look closely, there’s a spot of light that’s slightly brighter than the rest which indicates where the city of Pyongyang is.

north and south korea
(Image source: Nasa Earth Observatory)

To us, the Aurora Borealis is already a spectacular sight to behold. Just imagine how much more wondrous it looks like from space. The Aurora Borealis captured here was taken when the ISS was flying over the eastern North Atlantic with city lights from the UK and Ireland.

aurora borealis eastern north atlantic
(Image source: NASA)

At first glance, this might seem to be just a night view of a country until you notice what seems to be explosions of light. In fact, they are rocket attacks over Israel and Gaza in July taken by German astronaut, Alexander Gerst.

israel and gaza from space
(Image source: Alexander Gerst)

The city of Dubai at night is apparently a favorite photographic subject among the astronauts. It’s not hard to see why, as you can see the man-made Palm Island pictured at the top left corner.

Dubai at night from space
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

This is apparently a river in Bolivia according to this Slate article. The reason why the river looks like a meandering gold thread is that the river’s water is reflecting the sunlight from the Sun, which is situated well off towards the right.

 river in Bolivia from space
(Image source: Chris Hadfield)

This is how Mount Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples, Italy looks like from space. It’s also scary to see how close the towns and cities are around the active volcano.

Mt Vesuvius from space
(Image source: Chris Hadfield)

Astronauts don’t just take photos of volcanoes. They also photograph mountains like this one of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain.

Mount Fuji Japan
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

Photos that are taken also show life growing on earth. In this photo, the milky green trail you see is a plant-like organism called phytoplankton which bloomed off the coast of Oregon and Washington.

phytoplankton growing off the coast of Oregon and Washington
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

Our ocean will always look beautiful from above. Here’s part of it along Hawke Bay in New Zealand.

Hawke Bay New Zealan from space
(Image source: Alexander Gerst)

Anyone remember when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Phillipines? Here’s how it looked like from space; as a gigantic swirling mass of clouds that completely engulfed the Southeast Asian country.

Typhoon Haiyan Phillipines
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

Lightning may not look like streaks of bolts from space but they do flash brighter than the city lights, as shown by this photo taken from above West Africa.

lightning from space
(Image source: André Kuipers)

This is known as the Richat Structure in Mauritania but it’s perhaps better known as the ‘Eye of Sahara’. It’s one of Earth’s landmarks for astronauts.

Eye of Sahara
(Image source: Chris Hadfield)

A reminder that the Great Barrier Reef is called great for a reason. And this is only one section of it off the east coast of Australia.

the Great Barrier Reef Australia
(Image source: Douglas Wheelock)

Every once in a while, astronauts will peel their eyes away from the Earth to look at their surroundings instead and the view isn’t any less magnificent. Pictured among the star-strewn sky is the ATV which fires its boosters to help place the ISS at a higher orbit.

stars with ATV
(Image source: André Kuipers)

Astronauts also take photos when they go on spacewalks especially when mending or performing maintenence on the ISS.

spacewalk
(Image source: Alexander Gerst)

Astronaut Don Pettit used long exposure to capture this trippy photo of star trails.

startrails
(Image source: Don Pettit)



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Web design

These Photos Are Why Being An Astronaut Is Cool

When the word ‘selfie’ exploded in cyberspace back in 2013, astronaut Mike Hopkin’s outerspace selfie took off in its on way on Earth, even though it wasn’t technically the first space selfie.

space selfie
(Image source: Mashable)

What makes it such a hit (and one of the most epic selfies, ever) is that it offers us a glimpse of the Earth from space as well as what astronauts risk their lives for. But space selfies aren’t the only photos astronauts take. They shoot plenty of stunning pictures from the window of the space center. You might even have come across a few astronauts on social media like Reid Wiseman and Chris Hadfield on Twitter.

To that end, we went about scouring for these 20 photos taken by astronauts and the stories that came with them for your viewing pleasure.

The Sun is not the only thing that sets and rises on our horizon. The Moon does too as this photo shows. What you see here is the moon setting and the phenomenon is called Moonset.

moonset
(Image source: André Kuipers)

Anyone managed to catch a glimpse of the Supermoon on August 13, 2014? If you didn’t, American astronaut Reid Wiseman managed to take a photo of it. From space.

supermoon
(Image source: Reid Wiseman)

The Sun setting over the Indian Ocean as seen from the International Space Station (ISS).

sunset from the ISS
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

The New Moon as captured over the southeast of the Pacific Ocean. You can see a thin crescent at the bottom of the Moon where it reflects the Sun.

new moon southeast pacific ocean
(Image source: Nasa Johnson Space Center)

This is photographic evidence of how different the two Koreas are from one another. South Korea is brightly litted up with city lights on the right and the dark area in the middle is North Korea. If you look closely, there’s a spot of light that’s slightly brighter than the rest which indicates where the city of Pyongyang is.

north and south korea
(Image source: Nasa Earth Observatory)

To us, the Aurora Borealis is already a spectacular sight to behold. Just imagine how much more wondrous it looks like from space. The Aurora Borealis captured here was taken when the ISS was flying over the eastern North Atlantic with city lights from the UK and Ireland.

aurora borealis eastern north atlantic
(Image source: NASA)

At first glance, this might seem to be just a night view of a country until you notice what seems to be explosions of light. In fact, they are rocket attacks over Israel and Gaza in July taken by German astronaut, Alexander Gerst.

israel and gaza from space
(Image source: Alexander Gerst)

The city of Dubai at night is apparently a favorite photographic subject among the astronauts. It’s not hard to see why, as you can see the man-made Palm Island pictured at the top left corner.

Dubai at night from space
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

This is apparently a river in Bolivia according to this Slate article. The reason why the river looks like a meandering gold thread is that the river’s water is reflecting the sunlight from the Sun, which is situated well off towards the right.

 river in Bolivia from space
(Image source: Chris Hadfield)

This is how Mount Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples, Italy looks like from space. It’s also scary to see how close the towns and cities are around the active volcano.

Mt Vesuvius from space
(Image source: Chris Hadfield)

Astronauts don’t just take photos of volcanoes. They also photograph mountains like this one of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain.

Mount Fuji Japan
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

Photos that are taken also show life growing on earth. In this photo, the milky green trail you see is a plant-like organism called phytoplankton which bloomed off the coast of Oregon and Washington.

phytoplankton growing off the coast of Oregon and Washington
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

Our ocean will always look beautiful from above. Here’s part of it along Hawke Bay in New Zealand.

Hawke Bay New Zealan from space
(Image source: Alexander Gerst)

Anyone remember when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Phillipines? Here’s how it looked like from space; as a gigantic swirling mass of clouds that completely engulfed the Southeast Asian country.

Typhoon Haiyan Phillipines
(Image source: Earth Observatory)

Lightning may not look like streaks of bolts from space but they do flash brighter than the city lights, as shown by this photo taken from above West Africa.

lightning from space
(Image source: André Kuipers)

This is known as the Richat Structure in Mauritania but it’s perhaps better known as the ‘Eye of Sahara’. It’s one of Earth’s landmarks for astronauts.

Eye of Sahara
(Image source: Chris Hadfield)

A reminder that the Great Barrier Reef is called great for a reason. And this is only one section of it off the east coast of Australia.

the Great Barrier Reef Australia
(Image source: Douglas Wheelock)

Every once in a while, astronauts will peel their eyes away from the Earth to look at their surroundings instead and the view isn’t any less magnificent. Pictured among the star-strewn sky is the ATV which fires its boosters to help place the ISS at a higher orbit.

stars with ATV
(Image source: André Kuipers)

Astronauts also take photos when they go on spacewalks especially when mending or performing maintenence on the ISS.

spacewalk
(Image source: Alexander Gerst)

Astronaut Don Pettit used long exposure to capture this trippy photo of star trails.

startrails
(Image source: Don Pettit)

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Web design

These Fonts Made a Big Impact on World History

Typography is instrumental to many forms of communication in daily life, being used in modern advertisements and designs that we encounter every day. Typographers have practiced their craft for centuries, relaying different concepts and feelings through the intricacies of our species’ form of c…

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