Monday, January 9, 2017

Geek deals: Save big on a 14-inch Dell Latitude 14 7000 touchscreen laptop

Dell Latitude 14 7000

For a limited time, Dell is discounting the dual-core Latitude 14 7000 touchscreen laptop by 65%. With a full HD display, a solid-state drive, and excellent battery life, this 14-inch laptop is well […]

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How to Create a Website to Compliment Your Logo


When it comes to creating your website and logo design, nothing but the best will do. You need to consider your branding always when creating any STD or web property. You also should consider your logo design and how your website works with your logo to help your branding.

Remember that branding is a concerted effort where you pull all of your resources together to prevent your company ideals to the world. You should use all of your assets to do this including your video content, social media networks, logo, and website.

Your Logo Does Not Work in Isolation

First, it’s important to realize that your logo does not stand alone. Look at your website. Does it say everything you want to say to customers regarding your brand?

If not, maybe you should work on your website first. Your logo should simply be a reflection of your brand. Make sure that whatever you present within your website is reflected in your logo as well as all of your other assets that you use for branding.

Why is your logo so important?

Your logo is one of the most important things that your potential clients and visitors see when they enter your site. For that reason, it is important that your logo represents the same values that your website does. This is especially true with business logos, where the product branding and exposure is always going to be working 24/7 for the brand. Just take a look at names like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Nike and Target… all of them have such power logo designs and branding on place, that they don’t even need to include text to let people know who or what it is.

It’s not Just the Design

Remember that just like a logo is not just about the logo design, a website is not just about web design. It is always more about the quality of the content that you offer your customers and visitors that will keep them coming back. What you should strive to do is to create value that will improve your brand image, no matter where it is seen.

Some ways to increase the validity and credibility of your logo and your brand are;

  • Create a video or infographics with your brand prevalent in the video or infographic.
  • Put out literature that features your brand logo prominently.
  • Create real-world flyers and mail them out with your website and your logo on the mailers.
  • Do a podcast on the way up and display your logo throughout the podcast. Also be sure to include your logo on all of your molars that you send out to your customers and leads.

BOP Designs stated recently that any 9% of B2B manufacturing marketers side increase brand awareness as a goal for Content marketing compared to 85% for sales and 80% for leads generation.

This fact alone illustrates the importance in the minds of marketers and business owners to focus on your branding which includes your logo, website, YouTube accounts, and social media. Remember that branding is an integrated process that involves some different assets seamlessly working together in unison. It is not ever just one isolated thing working by itself.

Creating Brand Loyalty

Concerning brand loyalty, this is what a company should strive to achieve. It should be noted that the single most important element and factor in increasing brand loyalty is excellent customer service as well as a strong brand identity. In other words, if they are treated fairly, and they have a good impression of the values of a company, they are going to remember your brand.

This is why your logo should be memorable and should be integrated wisely into the branding of your website. This way people will not forget your brand identity and they will come back to you if they were pleased with their service and products that you offer them. If you are still at a loss for ideas, be sure to check out these content creation tips from 60 different content creators within the design and marketing industry. Each of these methods can be applied to your own site or brand, no matter the niche you are currently in.

Entrepreneur Magazine states on an article about branding that, “The foundation of your brand is your logo.”

This should serve to illustrate the importance that Entrepreneur magazine places on a logo and how it should work with your website to promote your brand. So how can you create a site that works with your logo?

  1. Think of your target audience.Remember you are not required to Market to the entire world even if you are a global company. All you have to do is appeal to your target audience, those little people who are looking to connect with a brand that Embraces their values and solve their problem.
  2. Create perceived value for your customers and visitors.Remember that there is a difference between real value and perceived value. The real value is nothing more than the street value of your product that you can sell it for on the open market. This just involves money. But branding involves much more. And creating perceived value with your customers is crucial to creating value for your brand. When you create a perceived value matching your ideals to that of your customer, you will win customers for life rather than make a sale for a day.
  3. Use branding assets such as graphic design in your website and your logo.Also, make sure the colors either match or complement each other nicely. They should seem to fit together.
  4. Ask for customer feedback regarding your logo and your website occasionally.Customers like to feel that they are involved with your brand, especially if it is one of their favorites. By asking the opinion of your loyal customers, you help relationships with current customers and give the impression that you care about what they want. And that is what this is about, isn’t it?
  5. Create brand equity in the minds of your customers.As we mentioned before, creating both perceived and real value in the minds of your customers is essential to succeeding as a business person. By creating brand equity, and raising the value in the minds of your customers, you can also charge more for your products or services. Remember as economics goes, the more they demand is, the more you can charge. Regardless of the economic affairs of the country or the world, one thing stays the same. When customers value your product in their minds, they will pay more for it. So creating brand equity in value through your logo and your website enables you to get more back for your investment and increase your ROI.

Summary

In the final analysis, when it comes to your logo for all practical purposes your logo is your brand. To those customers who never come across your site because your logo turns them off, you may have lost them forever.

A lost customer is a lost sale and lost revenue for your business. Granted, you will not get them all, but you certainly don’t want them to bounce off your page simply because your logo looks like a 1st grader did it.

According to Varun Aggarwal, founder of Designhill, it’s very important for any kind of business to invest in their logo design. “Logo defines any company’s brand identity and that is something one can not change very often, in my opinion, not for at least for 8-10 years. So its very important to invest in a logo design,” he says. Think about the value you wish to create for your brand and your company and build an association between your website, your logo, all of your video assets, and social media channels, and pull it all together for your brand.

Finally, over saturate. Write down your brand message and what the key messages are that you wish to communicate about your brand and integrate it into your website.

Pulling it All Together

Develop a good credo or tagline that you can associate with your brand and your logo. There are many more things that you can do to increase awareness of your brand and help customers realize that you are the company they wish to do business with.

By pulling it all together and putting your logo everywhere, you will increase awareness of your brand, keep your customers on your radar, and provide credibility for your business that all work seamlessly together.

The post How to Create a Website to Compliment Your Logo appeared first on SpyreStudios.

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Your Dog’s Grey Hair May Not Be Due To Old Age

dog-916099_1920

If you’ve ever noticed your doggy companion’s fur gradually turning grey or white, you’re not alone. And it’s a real thing that’s happening. But it might not be due to aging. It could […]

The post Your Dog’s Grey Hair May Not Be Due To Old Age appeared first on Geek.com.

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MIT Wants You To Help Teach Morality To Self-Driving Cars

moral-machine
Isaac Asimov gave us the Three Laws of Robotics ages ago, but not every decision every robot makes will be black-and-white. That’s why MIT wants your help teaching machines all about morality. Head […] Read more

The Flash’s Best Villain is Coming Back and Bringing Company

Gorilla Grodd in The Flash. (Via CW)

Normally, I might try to tease out exactly who I mean by “best villain” (completely ignoring that he’s probably in the feature image right above this sentence), but you already know who I’m talking […]

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We Swear Curse Words is Other Worldy

CurseWords001
Curse Words, published by Image Comics, is the new series from superstar writer Charles Soule, who has done a ton of work at Marvel and DC in the past few years, and artist […] Read more

Keurig Is Working On An Instant Beer And Cocktail Machine

keurig-kold
Consumers may have given Keurig’s last instant beverage machine the Kold shoulder, but the company isn’t ready to give up on it just yet. They’ve got a plan B… and the B stands […] Read more

The Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Website


Code, Mark-up & Load times

Using up to date mark-up

It’s one thing to make a website look beautiful, but underneath, the code needs to be beautiful too, therefore it is important to use up to date markup (HTML5 & CSS5) in order to adhere to W3C standards. A correct use of hierarchy & indentation is also.

Good code is usually indented, to clearly display hierarchy and intended relationships between parent-child elements. However, sometimes third-party plugins and bad developers produce messy code, for example:

optimized website

Code arranged in this way is not only a nightmare for developers to read, it doesn’t clearly display hierarchies for quick and simple editing. Thankfully, there are a few programs on the web that address this issue and can transcribe your messy markup into clean code, like so:

clean optimized website

Utilizing image compression

Page load speed is somewhat a big deal in the web-dev & SEO world – primarily for the fact that a slow loading website is arduous to the user experience; putting people off visiting & sharing your site, eventually impacting conversions.

Some sites have a lot of products or extremely high-resolution images that are very much required, but nonetheless are contributing to a slower page-load speed. Taking the necessary steps to employ image compression can help to combat slow page load.

Minifying code

Minifying code is another way to reduce page load times and improve the user experience. Some sites employ a lot of javascript and jquery to load and display elements on the page, however this increases the amount of data that must be sent and received. Minifying your code with a tool such as JSCompress is therefore recommended.

You can test your page load speed with Google’s helpful page speed insight tool.

Design & Content

Using a suitable layout

In a world where aesthetics rule the roost, a great layout is the bread and butter of any website. The arrangement of elements on the page is what (functionally) draws people in and generates sales, and (aesthetically) communicates the brand’s ethos and character through a visual medium.

Websites can take on a variety of layouts depending on their purpose or the device they’re being viewed on; from single-screen portfolio designs to modular & grid-based layouts and from liquid to responsive page elements. Let’s look at some examples in further detail:

Static

A static page layout responds to resizing exactly as you’d expect: by staying still. Static web pages are becoming increasingly less common now as designers move to build websites suitable for a variety of devices, but can still be useful. One might use a static website if building a desktop-specific website, keeping a separate website exclusively for mobile devices.

Adaptive

The adaptive layout utilises CSS media queries to detect the size of the browser window and adapt the page layout accordingly. However, since this method does not consider relative units, the code only changes the layout when a breakpoint is met and does not resize elements pixel by pixel.

Liquid

A liquid layout (also referred to as fluid or fluid width layout) uses relative units to resize the elements on the page, depending on the width of the browser. That is to say, the smaller the browser window gets, the page elements reduce their width accordingly.

Responsive

Responsive website layouts are fast becoming the most popular way for designers to tailor websites to a number of devices. By using a combination of relevant units and defining breakpoints using CSS media queries, the website will rearrange its elements in both an adaptive and liquid way – reducing width of elements pixel by pixel until it reaches a breakpoint, whereupon the elements will get rearranged to suit the display.

For a visual representation of these types of layout, check out these examples.

Well-defined navigation

Page hierarchy and navigation is one of the most essential components of a website – both in terms of user experience and good design. Many sites (including large e-commerce retailers and directories) may make use of multiple navigation menus – making the size, layout, position, and pages featured in the menu all contribute to the design and usability.

bad user navigation

[This navigation bar from Expats.org.uk is definitely in need of some CSS love and currently isn’t contributing much to the user experience with the stock blue background on hover]

A well designed, well optimized website will ideally feature one main navigation bar underneath the header image, as well as a smaller navigation bar running across the very top of the page and/or a bar in the footer.

In the spirit of web design’s best practices, the main navigation will likely contain the site’s most important pages, including the blog, about & contact pages, while the top and footer navigation will contain the secondary navigational elements such as account features, search functions & social media links.

good user navigation

[The navigation on organic produce retailer Abelandcole.co.uk is designed with the user in mind – featuring a full-page drop down menu, contrasting colours and a second, smaller navigation menu at the top of the page for users to visit their account]

Carefully developed user experience

The user experience is of upmost importance to web developers and is usually fleshed out in context before the development starts. The ultimate end is to produce a product that users find easy to navigate, enjoy to use, and something that guides the user gently to a desired outcome (i.e. buying a product, signing up to a newsletter or sharing a blog post).

The task of developing and refining the user experience falls primarily to the UX designer and the UI designer. Both must work in tandem with the rest of the web development team to make the website as user-friendly as possible.

Engaging use of media

Rich media is an excellent communicator of information and can offer more of a context than a simple static image. The latest craze being to feature a full-screen background video across the homepage – perfect for giving clients an insight into your office culture or offering customers a behind the scenes glimpse into the inner workings of your company – before they’ve even scrolled or changed pages. Check out State Interactive & National Parks homepages – both great examples of video montage as a homepage background!

Provocative typography

Font and typography are essential features of a website and can go as far as to make or break a design. Great design aims to bring all elements together into one visually coherent and beautifully functional piece of web content – typography and all!

Take this web page, designed for legendary TV explorer Ed Stafford. The typography is bold and all caps promoting masculinity, complete with a scuffed texture to communicate the wildness of the content. The paragraph text is written in a typewriter-style font, likely imitating a journal entry style reminiscent of past explorers.

A perfectly optimised website not only takes the type of font into account, but also the colour, the size of each piece of text and the how much larger/smaller they get when the page is resized.

Call to Actions

Optimized landing page

Depending on the function of the website, a custom landing page may or may not be appropriate. Nonetheless, the homepage can be considered a landing page as it is the first page your user will land on when visiting the site and ultimately needs to be optimised for directing your users to a certain action.

optimized website CTA

The key to a perfect landing page is to keep it succinct. Landing pages exist to persuade users to complete 1 specific action, therefore it is essential to maintain your user’s attention with minimal content. Just check out Quicksprout’s homepage. Apart from a logo and some minimal navigation, the entire page is dedicated to funnelling users to sign up, whereby he can send marketing offers straight into their inbox.

Many designers go as far as to remove main-site navigation from the landing page, since giving the user as few choices as possible increases the chance of them converting. Think about it, you’ve likely spent lots of money directing users to your page through google ads, it’d be a shame for them to navigate away.

For loads of tips on landing page optimisation, check out this extensive post from Unbounce.

CTA design

Call to action buttons are a staple of the modern website – the essential step where users become customers and readers become email subscribers. Every one of these eventualities starts with the click of a button.

Naturally, the size, colour and shape of a button play a big part in how many times it gets clicked. Therefore, designers spend countless hours running split tests to ascertain which sizes, positions and colours are the best performing.

Size

The size of a CTA button is usually defined by where it sits on the page. For example, a sidebar button would likely be smaller than a centrally-located landing page button. Generally, though, designers make CTA buttons as large as possible without being overbearing.

Shape

The shape of a CTA button is often inherited from the other clickable elements on the page, In order to preserve continuity and offer the user a seamless experience. If, for instance the images on the page employ a round edged square shape, it’s prudent for the button to match the other elements on the page.

Similarly, if other buttons around the site perform a CSS animation, such as changing colour or performing an action on-hover, your CTA should follow suit to maintain continuity.

Colour

In terms of colour, you’ll want your button to stand out from the rest of your page – not blend in. This means using a colour generator (such as Adobe’s colour wheel) to find complimentary & compound colours that work well with your websites existing colour scheme.

Related: How to Use Color In Web Design

According to Quicksprout, Google tested over 50 colours to find the shade that converted the most visitors. While testing 50 colours of button is not practical for the layman, it shows the influence CTA colours have over conversions.

This post was written by Alex at Mob Is It – A platform enabling you to build and sell dedicated mobile websites & native apps, no coding knowledge required!

The post The Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Website appeared first on SpyreStudios.

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Razer’s Crazy Triple-display Laptop Was Stolen From Their CES Booth

razer-valerie

Razer’s chunky, mind-blowing Project Valerie laptop and its three 4K displays were one of the most impressive pieces of hardware at CES this year. So impressive someone decided to steal it. At around […]

The post Razer’s Crazy Triple-display Laptop Was Stolen From Their CES Booth appeared first on Geek.com.

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