Web Design 2010: Trends for Effective Web Development

At Visible Logic, we’ve been designing Web sites since we started the company in 2001. Over that time, Web design has become a larger and larger share of our business, as small business owners realize the ROI of Web site development. Over this time, we’ve watched advancements in Web site development, and increased our own capabilities. Building robust sites for small businesses is more affordable; and more critical. The recession has forced us all to do more with less and to focus our spending where it will have a strong impact. Here are my thoughts on how a small business owner should move forward with a Web design or redevelopment project in 2010. Content Management Systems: Content that is educational, inviting and up-to-date is key to drawing web traffic. We are trying to build all new web sites with Content Management Systems (CMS). That means you the business owner, without any HTML skills, can edit your pages, update images and […]

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Information Sells: Give Customers Enough to Complete the Sale

This weekend I spent time at what may become one of my favorite spots in Maine. It was an apple orchard + bakery + home-roasted espresso bar. Those are three of my favorite things in life. However, their lack of information in the bakery nearly made me overlook several items. The more I knew, the more I wanted to buy. The bakery case was filled with different goodies. I knew from reading their web site that they were supposed to have many items that featured their own, organic apples. So I wanted to choose one of those. But nothing was labeled. So, I started asking: “What is that?”, “What is that?”, “What is that?” as I pointed to anything looking apple-y looking. My first two guesses were incorrect, and as I sensed the line growing behind me, I was feeling some pressure to make a decision. I knew the donuts were cider donuts (they had been advertised on the web […]

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Are Branding and SEO at Odds?

Several items have crossed my virtual desktop recently that had me wondering: “When did branding and SEO become opposing goals for a web site redesign?” For example, I recently read Hub Spot’s materials on Web site redesigns. I also listened to a podcast by SEO Rockstars called Branding versus SEO on Corporate Websites which used the Target web site as a case study. Both of these presentations seem to suggest that branding and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) were at odds with one another, and that SEO should be of primary importance. Let’s start with what we all agree on: You should build a web site so that search engines can easily find you. This means use of key words in content, titles and tags. Key content should be searchable. Which means it should not be embedded in graphic files or within a flash presentation. Content matters. You need to have lots of fresh and inviting content. Don’t redesign without good […]

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Twitter Would Have Failed Without Design

When I first heard about Twitter, I thought it was pretty stupid. I didn’t care to read the banalities of someone’s Tweets as they ate, waited, shopped, etc. I’m not alone in questioning its merit, there are many, many articles wondering what the long term impact of Twitter will be. However, in the short term, Twitter is growing like crazy, with more than 32 million accessing twitter.com in April of this year. So it is obviously appealing to some, at least enough to set up and test it out once or twice. Picture Twitter Without the Design Recently, Twitter has experienced frequent outages and over-capacity issues. The other day, I went to twitter.com and the page content (HTML) loaded but the CSS style sheet did not. Below is what the login screen looks like without the benefit of design. If you thought Twitter was mundane when it’s working correctly, it’s much worse without the benefit of design. Seeing this twitter.com […]

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