Web Design Archives

Graphic File Formats used by Designers

Have you ever had a design agency ask you for a graphic file format for your brand or logo, only for their request to sound like complete gibberish? It’s about time we helped clear the air and explain what the different graphic file formats are that can be used within the design industry.

When you have finished reading this article, you will know the difference between vector file formats and bitmap file formats, and how to determine the difference between the two.

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39 Questions You Should Ask Yourself and Your Designer

Selecting a design firm for your next creative project can be a challenge. It is important to spend some time in this stage of this process as you and your chosen supplier will be spending a fair bit of time together spending a lot of creative energy, so you will want to spend it wisely!

If you skip or short-change this part, you may wind up with a design firm that does not understand your business completely and may not be a good fit into your organisation.

It is important for you and the potential design business to know as much about the project and your business as possible before beginning any new project. In this way, clear expectations are set for the creative team and it helps clarify what you want to have as an outcome from the project.

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How to live happily with a great designer

In the past few weeks, we have spent more time reading and crawling through so many websites we have lost count. This we do as part of our own marketing and for a source of inspiration and information.

In one such trip down the rabbit hole, we came across a simple list provided by Seth Godin, of Purple Cows fame and many other books (too many to name here). This list provides an insight into what a graphic design business would like you to know.

We have re-published Seth’s article here:

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Analysing Website Traffic

Analysing your web traffic statistics can be an invaluable tool for a number of different reasons. But before you can make full use of this tool, you need to understand how to interpret the data.

Most web hosting companies will provide you with basic web traffic information that you then have to interpret and make pertinent use of. However, the data you receive from your host company can be overwhelming if you don’t understand how to apply it to your particular business and website. Let’s start by examining the most basic data – the average visitors to your site on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

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Good Website Planning

What makes a good website plan? Is it something written, a good idea of what you want to do online, a detailed 20 page document with all the bits and pieces catered for? The reality is that when you plan your website, the best plan is one that can be followed and used to check your progress.

Here’s what I mean…

You are about to set up a business that requires a website to display details about your product or service. You have a rough idea of the type of content that will be in the website and you know when you would like to have it launched. But without having something tangible in your hand instead of relying on memory, you will not know if you have achieved your objective for the site. This is especially true if you are using a service to design and build the website.

A good place to start developing your site is in defining its objective. Here are some possible objectives you may have:

  • Raise awareness of your business
  • Provide a repository of information for people to use as reference
  • Sell products or services online
  • Deliver training through a paid access website
  • Have an interactive website that creates a buzz for a product, service or business

Once you know what you want to achieve with the site, your next step is to plan what your content will be. An easy way to do this is with a flow chart. Flow charts are great because you can see the hierarchy of information in one simple view. For instance, you would start with the home page, and then there would be main branches from this such as Contact, About, Products, Services, etc. Then, under each section will be further sections of information. This process helps to put down on paper the map of the site, to ensure that whoever designs and builds it caters for the various pages in the structure. Have a look at the diagram below for an example:

website planning example

So, you know what you want to achieve and the various pages you can envision for your website. Now you need to describe the flavour, or look and feel, of the site. This will be an extension of your business brand and knowing who your customers are and what their behaviour is likely to be online is vital. Will your site be fun, serious, clean, busy, colourful, subtle? Be as descriptive as you can be so that the design of the site matches as close as possible to your vision.

Other issues such as the frequency of updating the content will need to be considered. If you want to update the content on a fairly regular basis, then structures such as a content management system will enable you to do this. These issues, plus any others you may think of, are not necessarily thought of at the start. However, if you use a professional website design business, they should ask you enough prompting questions to uncover any other details needed to get your plan right.

This process of creating a good website plan may take 1 day, 2 hours, 1 week – it depends on how much time you want to put into it. As long as it covers the core issues of Objective, Content outline, and the Look and Feel, then you will have a solid foundation in which to assess the development and success of your website from the start to the end.

If you would like to share any tips about how you may have already planned a website, please feel free to leave a comment below.