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Web Design:

Is the contextual web a good or bad thing?

Posted on July 27, 2016

We are in the age of the personalised or contextual web. This opens up many opportunities for websites, but there are also dangers.

If you’ve never heard of the ‘contextual web’ it’s basically where a website’s content, and even design, are created dynamically based on the browsing habits and interests of the person using the website.

For example, keyword research can look at the search terms the target visitor is using to find (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Four design trends that can harm your website

Posted on July 20, 2016

Each year, new trends in web design emerge. Most of these trends have a positive effect on websites but, embracing a trend without thoughtful consideration, can end up harming a website. Here are 4 design trends you can employ but you should be wary of.

As Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park:

“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

1. Beautiful looking but complex home pages

Many years ago website visitors were often faced with a complex Flash driven home page. On slow internet connections these could take minutes to fully load. Whilst Flash generated pages were often (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Is the future of web design pageless?

Posted on July 6, 2016

Pageless web design is one of the newer trends, but what is it and what are its advantages?

What are pageless websites?

Traditional websites have a number of pages. The pages are generally accessed via a menu at the top or at the side of a page. Some large organisations have websites that consist of hundreds, or even thousands, of pages. The idea of a pageless website does not immediately make sense.

To be strictly accurate, a pageless web site does not have zero pages. It has one page. All the information that the website contains is (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Do you need a psychology degree to design websites?

Posted on June 22, 2016

To design a good website it helps to have knowledge of how minds work. You may not necessarily need a psychology degree, but a basic understanding of how web design elements affect the brain is useful.

Content

Human beings have a tendency to be irritable, stressed and anxious if they feel overwhelmed. Website visitors are generally looking for a specific piece of information when they come to a website. If they are faced with 10,000 words of content, they may find it difficult to find exactly the information that they want.

There is a balance between providing enough information to satisfy the user’s need, and having too much information. If visitors can easily find the content they want they will (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Websites that stand out from the crowd

Posted on June 8, 2016

Apple and Google have created design guidelines that many web designers now follow. This has led to many websites looking very similar – you can at the very least tell in which camp the designer belongs. To make a website visually stand out from the crowd web designers need to be more creative and challenge what they know.

Flat and material

Apple, in its IOS operating system, pioneered flat design. Apple has published a guide for app developers which they call (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

The dangers of cookie-cutter website providers

Posted on May 27, 2016

Most business owners understand the need for a website. It’s just something you have to have when you set up your business, like business cards, a phone and an email address. Whether you intend for your website to be the sole source of your business leads, or whether you’re just getting one because it’s the ‘done’ thing, a website is usually one of the first things a person gets when they start their new business.

It’s this naivety, or lack of vision, that causes so many awful websites to be set up. It’s also because of this naivety that so many cookie-cutter website providers have flourished.

What do I mean by ‘cookie-cutter’? They’re the companies that offer websites for pennies, or even for free. Companies like (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Does your website cater for smartphone users?

Posted on May 25, 2016

Last year research by the communications regulator Ofcom revealed that smartphones are more popular than laptops or PCs for accessing the internet. The average smartphone user spends two hours online each day, which is twice as long as those using laptops and PCs.

Mobile first?

The widespread use of mobile devices has implications for web developers, and businesses with websites. Traditionally web developers would create a website for a large screen, and then add on mobile-friendly features like responsive design, or media selectors to switch to a mobile version of the website (basically a second version of the website that is only seen by mobile users).

If more smartphone users are accessing a website than desktop users, then it could be argued that (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Should web designers deliberately make ugly websites?

Posted on May 18, 2016

There is a current backlash against the trend of flat, material and minimalist website design. A new design movement has emerged, one which celebrates the ugly. It is called Brutalist website design.

Apple pioneered the flat design look in their iPhone and iPad operating systems. Google has joined in by creating a design framework known as Material Design. There are many websites based on Apple and Google’s design principles which use simple shapes, little in the way of gradients and are not afraid of (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson
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