Written by Stu Kushner

The Future of Web Design is Mobile

Can anyone predict the future? Maybe we can with web design. After all, web design depends on technology, and once a technology is invented, someone will figure out what to do with it.

Responsive design is the hottest thing in the web: merging speed, movement, color, depth, flexibility and interactivity. The same website can be seen on a desktop or a “hand held” and still look and act the same. So what’s next?

What the user sees now is graphics and groupings of text/images/icons and various links and images. Many sites ask a user’s name and email address before even learning about the site itself and what it offers. Responsive Design will remove these “archaic” elements by not building websites, but building “Smart sites”.

With a pageless web site, the user is essentially reading a story – not an advertisement. Entering the site is like opening a book:  the visitor progresses naturally from beginning to end by merely scrolling. No “link hunting” or “point and click” guesswork. According to the developers, this makes a “seamless experience” where you go from page to page until the “story” ends. No “wrong turns” or “dead ends” and no more back to “page one” to start over. This also makes the message clearer and more powerful than separating the “message” among a home page, “about” page, mission page, sidebar, etc.

By using parallax technology, web designs create uniformity: scrolling content is already used across many platforms and devices. Even better, removing the traditional “page-jumping” mode creates seamless, single-page site “stories” that flow, creating interactive narratives leading  to both rational and emotional experiences;  regardless of the content.

Marketing is an increasingly important and visible presence on the Internet today. Websites using responsive design techniques can more effectively promote their company and products.

Written by Stu Kushner

Responsive Web Design for Dummies

…or at least, the uninformed.

What is Responsive Design? Well, imagine you just opened a blog, a website, or this article on your iPad, mobile phone or desktop. With Responsive Design, you will see the layout of the article automatically adjusted so that it fits the width of your browser. Even on a thin mobile phone the resolution is clear, and the entire page can be viewed – no scrolling or manual resizing required.

The entire spectrum of screen sizes and resolutions has widened since the advent of small hand-held devices like iPads and cell phones that act like mini-computers. In the other direction, computer screen sizes have become larger and more “cinematic”; with wide screen images as large as suitcases.  For web designers, creating a different version for each individual device is not practical; but now, Responsive Web Design essentially sizes itself to adjust to your device automatically.

Responsive web design is not a single piece of technology, but rather a collection of techniques.

The idea behind a “responsive design” is what’s known as a “fluid grid”; a “‘liquid layout” that expands with the page.  Traditional layouts have fixed widths with a fixed number of pixels across and centered on the page. But the number of different screen resolutions today makes “liquid layouts” a necessity.

Fluid grids are an important part of a responsive design, but can only go so far. A complex three-column layout isn’t going to work on a small mobile phone, but responsive design can deal with that. It’s called “media queries”, or “CSS3 media queries” that allows you to gather data about the site, and, in that time-honored tradition of trouble shooting: “then a miracle happens!”

Don’t worry about it. It’s magic, and it works.  That’s good enough for me.

online marketing, website management,website design
Written by Stu Kushner

Is your website mobile ready?

As you can see from the chart below, mobile searches are increasing and are predicted to be equal to desktop searches in just 18 more months. What this means is that your business website needs to be mobile-compatible. This is also referred to as a responsive website design.

 online marketing, website management,website design

A responsive design enables a website to reconfigure its layout and design to fit different screen sizes and resolutions. So that when your website is viewed on a tablet or on a smartphone, it still looks great and is easy to view and to navigate.

This is a responsive website.

You can see how it will look on a smaller screen by simply dragging the bottom right corner of your browser up and left until the screen is the size of a mobile phone. As you drag, the images and menu automatically resize and the content re-position  to fit down the screen so that the visitor only needs to scroll up and down.

Now go to your business website and try this test. If your site does not adjust for a smaller screen, it means your site is not responsive and it will not be as effective at keeping your visitors engaged . We do mobile website conversions.

So, please contact us for a free quote on making your website responsive.

Bilingual Website Design
Written by Stu Kushner

Bilingual Website Design

Website Design, online marketingOn occasion, a business needs to cater to clientele that are bilingual. And, as a bilingual business owner, it is imperative to capitalize on that unique skill because it is very likely that there is a market for it. For example, if you are an attorney in the US that speaks French, it certainly is a good idea to target French-speaking clients. This was the case for Pierre Choné. Mr. Choné is French and his legal practice specializes in assisting in immigration issues for French speaking immigrants in the US.

For Mr. Choné, having a website that is bilingual is very important in properly representing his office so that it appeals to his French speaking clients. So, adding that feature to his site must be achieved in a way that provides the ability for the visitor to switch between languages by simply popping down a menu. And if there are multiple languages, again, switching should be effrtless.

Go to the Mr. Choné’s website to see how we handled that issue for him. And please contact us if you would like us to propose a solution for your website.

Written by Stu Kushner

Looks Good, Feels Bad

Are you happy with how your website looks but still feel like you are missing out on its full potential? If your site looks great but can only be changed by going back to the programmer and having him/her edit the page and FTP it out to the website, you have a problem. Or, maybe you are doing that your self. That would make you way more savvy than most business people. But what if you want to add a new page? Or maybe you would like to write a short article that informs your community. Hey! That is what I am doing RIGHT NOW!

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Written by Stu Kushner

The Most Important Features of a Website

OK. Right off the top of your head… what do you think is the most important feature of a website? Do you think it’s the look and feel? Well, of course, that is very important. Your site must be attractive. But if that were really so important, would Craigslist be popular at all? So maybe I need to rephrase my question a little bit. If your goal is to attract new customers and convert them into potential customers, what are the most important features?

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Written by Stu Kushner

Observing Success

Key-to-SuccessYou may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but in business you are never too old to learn.  If you want to be as successful as possible, you need to make an effort to learn from the best.

Your competition may not be willing to take you under their wing and personally teach you the tricks and tips that they have amassed over the years in order to be successful, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn a thing or two from them.

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Written by Stu Kushner

Examine Your Site From a Client Point of View

Client-NeedsYou’ve generated tons of SEO friendly content for your blog, you’ve spent time on all of the popular social networking sites advertising your wares and offering up coupons and you’ve built a substantial e-mail list for your newsletter.  This has all translated into a giant upswing in incoming traffic, but you just aren’t seeing the conversion from “site visitor” to “actual customer” to make your heavy internet marketing efforts seem worthwhile.  The problem may not be that you aren’t getting enough traffic; it may not even be that you aren’t getting the right amount of relevant traffic – the problem may be with your site itself.

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Written by Stu Kushner

Most Users Are Blind To Advertising

website advertisingResearch has shown that most users are essentially blind to ad banners. If they’re looking for a snippet of information on a page or are engrossed in content, they won’t be distracted by the ads along the top or down the side.

The implication of this is not only that users will avoid ads but that they’ll avoid anything that looks like an ad, even if it’s not an ad. Some heavily styled navigation items may look like banners, so be careful with these elements. If you design a graphic to look like advertising, you may find that users are going to ignore it.

Content links that are the size and shape and design layout of banner ads may be overlooked by some users.Internet Marketing quote

That said, ads that look like content will get people looking and clicking. This may generate more ad revenue but comes at the cost of your users’ trust, as they click on things they thought were genuine content. Before you go down that path, consider the trade-off: short-term revenue versus long-term trust.

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Written by Stu Kushner

Effective User Testing Doesn’t Have To Be Extensive

The ideal number of test subjects in usability tests found that tests with just five users would reveal about 85% of all problems with your website, whereas 15 users would find pretty much all problems.

website design testing

The biggest issues are usually discovered by the first one or two users, and the following testers confirm these issues and discover the remaining minor issues. Only two test users would likely find half the problems on your website. This means that testing doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive to Internet Marketing quoteyield good results. The biggest gains are achieved when going from 0 test users to 1, so don’t be afraid of doing too little: any testing is better than none.

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