SEO

SEO

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What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it basically attempts to improve search engine ranking. It is a marketing discipline that tries to create visibility in organic search engine result. By using words and phrases that are searched; GoogleTM will show links to websites to the user that it considers will include contents that is relevant and is authoritative.

How does Google TM rank pages?

Ranking pages does not happen overnight. This depends on the authority of the page which and it is a measurable and repeating process. When ranking, it looks at the quality, trust and the authority of the pages.  It is then sends signals to the search engine that your pages are worth showing on GoogleTM. This is why it takes a period of time for a site to be ranked. For your website to be ranked at the top, it needs to have the following requirement which are effectiveness, efficiency, learnability, memorability and error prevention.

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Google, Bing and Yahoo are major commercial search engine that drives the web traffic which is why it is crucial to have SEO for your website as you will draw in more visitors to your websites. Even though there are other options such as social media can generate more visitors to your site; for most internet users, the main method for navigation are search engines.

It is essential to have contents in your website that is useful so that SEO will be able to find your site and add your contents to their database. SEO is a traffic that will deliver people looking for what you offer.

What are some ways to accommodate advertising on your website and optimize it for SEO?

Consider accepting ads for other company on your website can add new revenue to your business and getting more traffic from the search engine for our website. Optimizing contents around using Keywords. This method consists of selecting two or three high priced keywords and focusing your contents around those keywords will boost your traffic. Another way to accommodate advertising on our website is to use targeted advertising with Google AdSense. This allows Google to place target text ads on pages of your website that runs across or down the side of your page. When you get visitors on your site and they click on the ad, you will earn money. This also means that you’ll generate more traffic which will notify the search engine. Because of this, your website will get more notice.

 

References:

Fishkin, Rand (2017). THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SEO. Retrieved from https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

Red Revolution (2017). What is SEO?. Retrieved from https://www.redevolution.com/what-is-seo 

Overland, Helen (2017). What is SEO Marketing?. Retrieved from https://www.shopify.com.au/videos/ecommerce-seo-101/what-is-seo-marketing-tutorial

Responsive Design

Responsive Design

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is when websites design are developed so that it adapt and responds to the user’s behaviour and environment based on different screen resolutions such as mobile devices, platform and orientation.

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This consist of using a mix of fluid girds and layouts, flexible images and using CSS styling media queries. This allows the images, scripts to accommodates the different screen resolutions when the users switch to different devices. Because of this, the websites should automatically adjust to the user’s preference. As a result, there would be no need to design and develop a different phase for each new devices that are being produced on the market. You should design at least three different layout for a responsive website design. Small layout for phones. Medium for iPad, tables, lager mobile screens and small size net-book computer type. The large would be for the desktop and personal computers. Things to think about when designing responsive design are the user experience, engagement, flexible image and navigation.

It is important to make a responsive design website that works on all different devices out there as mobile has become a primary use and users tend to use mobile first than desktop and tablets devices.

Options to making the websites work on mobile device?

An option to making a website work on a mobile device is having a design that is dedicated to mobile device only for your mobile visitors. If you already have a website for a desktop, this would mean creating a new layout for the mobile based on the desktop site.

Another option is to work with responsive design. With this options, your website can correspond to all the different devices out there whether it is a desktop, mobile, table, android, surface etc.

Pros and Cons

Both of these options has their pros and cons. With the mobile dedicated options, you are left with managing two separate. This includes managing the site, maintaining it and updating it and

the desktop version of the website as well. This would mean that it can be time consuming. On the other hand, it could be less expensive if you are happy with your current desktop which means you don’t need to change the design of it.

You only need to maintain one site with the Responsive Web Design but this mean that it can be costly as you revamp entire web presence. The responsive design lets you keep your own domain which avoids any complicated redirects and nothing else changes other than the code on the back-end. Responsive design embeds new code in the back-end, this preserves your company’s link equity

Is there a specific situation where you should use one over another?

Responsive web design could be use over the mobile site as the technology is more forward-thinking. Once it is added to the site, it will work on other new devices that are being produced which means that there is no need to program further. This would save you time and will be less expensive.

 

References:

The Smashing Tutorial (2011). Responsive Web Design Techniques, Tools and Design Strategies. Retrieved from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/01/guidelines-for-responsive-web-design/

Image: https://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/06/22/how-to-make-your-site-mobile-ready/#.tnw_IPYwyBKd

Use of Table in Web Design

USE OF TABLE IN WEB DESIGN

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With HTML and CSS advancing over the years, there is no need for using table to layout pages for websites. Tables were once used for structuring layout for entire pages which made things difficult to create sites in a short timeframe. Tables were made of blocks which were known as rows and columns. The first and last rows were for the header and footer. The columns were used for body and contents. When tables are used for layout, makes it hard navigate. it also makes it hard to redesign existing sites and contents intensive and also expensive. Another problem with using table as a layout is that it is difficult to maintain visual consistency throughout all the pages on the site. Therefore, tables should not be used as it is a pain. Although it is challenging to use table, it can be use but not use it to layout a page.

Tables are now an outdated method to layout websites that why they are now use for showing information. It is appropriate to use table when anything that is tabular data such as contact page or log in page. They are also used to organise, display information in a presentable manner so that it is not only legible but is also appealing to the user. Another use for tables are for advertising. It is best to use fluid type for table as text can flow in the containers as texts can grow and shrink. Not only that, images and videos can flex and squish depending on the screen dimension.

This is great for advertising as they are design based on the four fixed dimensions which are:

  • Medium rectangle: 300x250px
  • Rectangle: 160x150px
  • Wide skyscraper: 160x600px
  • Leader board: 28x90px

It is important that these do not changes otherwise they will become unrecognizable or illegible. Therefore, table is a great way to be used for ad as they resize depending on the screen sizes.

References:

Yates, Ian. (2013) The Role of Table Layouts in Responsive Web Design. Retrieved from: https://webdesign.tutsplus.com/tutorials/the-role-of-table-layouts-in-responsive-web-design–webdesign-10294

Scott Design Inc. (2017) Why Tables for Layout is Stupid. Retrieved from: https://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/everything.html

 

Marketing Techniques: Design

INDIE MARKETING TECHNIQUES

 best-marketing-techniquesThere are many ways to develop a marketing techniques for designers to promote themselves. The first thing that needs to be done is coming up with a goals and action plans. Having an outline of your goals and action plans will help you figure out what are the steps that needs to be taken to reach your goals. Some of the questions that you can ask are who the audiences are going to be and who your clients are. Another important question to think about is how you can showcase your skills. You also need to take into consideration if there are any problems and issues that needs to be resolved as well.

With these questions in mind, you can start to create plan of actions and put in creative ideas in motion.

To produce an effective marketing plan, you need to position yourself as an expert and also as a customer. you also need to think about how you want to portray yourself and what you want others to see you and your design as This will help you figure out issues that needs to be addressed and when positioning yourself this way; you will be able to have a broader idea on how you can address issues and develop an efficient marketing tactic.

 

In a design strategy plan, a list of this that needs to be included are:

  • Existing problems and ongoing challenges
  • Emerging ideas and trends
  • Opportunities to differentiate

 

With these list, you can create a more specific steps to reach your goals. Other ways to better promote yourself is through your website. Create a website with your work that showcase your skills. Not only that, you need to make yourself stand out from everyone else.

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(stand out concept)

Differentiation is key. There are many other that are trying to do exactly the same as you so it is imperative to make yourself stand out. As a designer, I need to find ways where I can myself in front of my competitors where I can get more customers to view my art. Some of the thing that I could do to make it easier for my viewers to contact me. Engaging with fans can also leads to many opportunities such as collaboration with other and possible others who are in different industry as me. This could then lead to creating unique art which would surly make us stand out like the purple cow.

Using different platform that are out there on the web as a marketing techniques can be very effective. As employers and clients tend to search for possible candidate to look at their profile and portfolios; it is better to have a social media presence on the web than none. I believe that making my own portfolio website on wix was a beneficial step to promoting myself and getting a head start in building up my presence on the web.

However, there are many social media platforms to choose from. They have their own pros and cons to them. Choosing the right one is crucial to establishing your social media presence. Once you have firmly establish your presence and developed your company, having positive testimonials from your clients will help you build trust with possible new clients. Negative testimonials can also be used as feedback for you to improve your work and services that you are providing for your clients.

REFERENCES:

Bell, Jamie. (2016). How to develop a killer marketing strategy for your design agency? Retrieved from  https://getflywheel.com/layout/how-to-develop-a-killer-marketing-strategy-for-your-design-agency/

Stone, Lee Terry. (2013). Understanding Design Strategy. Retrieved from http://www.howdesign.com/how-magazine/how-march-2013/understanding-design-strategy/

Stone, Lee Terry. (2013). Design Business: Industry Issues & Advices. Retrieved from http://www.howdesign.com/design-business/self-promotion/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HTML 5 Elements

HTML 5 ELEMENTS

Html is a mark-up language that is used for presenting contents on the World Wide Web. It is constantly updating and not all the browsers support it. Html 5 is better than the previous doctypes which allows you to have better control. Here are some Html 5 elements that can be implemented and still work on older browsers. Semantic elements that will be looked at are header, navigation, section, article, aside and footer.

Header (<header>) is a section used for introductory content of the website. They can be multiple header element in one document.

Navigation (<nav>) defines set of navigation links. It can only include the major blocks of navigation links such as home, about, contact and many more depending on the website.

Section (<section>) is a grouping of content on a website. This can be used on home page to separate contents such as introduction, content, contact information and many more.

Article (<article>) is an independent self-contained content. This can be used in websites for forum post, blog post and newspaper article.

Aside (<aside>) is like a section for content that is similar to the content of the website.

Footer (<footer>) is at the bottom of the website and contains information such as the author of the site, copyrights information and contact information.

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Html 5 is designed to work for all modern browsers.

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Therefore, the older browsers can be taught to handle these new elements. To do this, these semantic elements needs to be defined as block elements in order for it to be recognized in the older browsers. The CSS display properties for the semantic elements needs to be set as block.

Example of the coding:

header, nav, section, article, aside, footer {display: block}

Reference:

W3Schools. (2017) HTML. Retrieved from https://www.w3schools.com/html/html5_semantic_elements.asp

 

Efficient and Inefficient Site

EFFICIENT AND INEFFICIENT SITE

The site that I believe that is efficient is called Food Sense (http://foodsense.is/). It is a blog site that post vegetarian and vegan recipes. The layout of this website is designed and well thought out. The site uses minimal colour scheme with white clean background that is on trend now. Not only is the website effective but is also attractive and pleasing to look at. Instead of having the navigation on the top of the site, it is on the left-hand side. This is better for the site as they have the large images gallery on the right-hand site which makes sense to have the navigation bar on the left. The website also uses image icons on their navigation bar which I really like. All the images are perfectly aligned which makes website neat and professional.

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On the other hand, Ling’s Car website (https://www.lingscars.com/) is poorly design which makes it inefficient. There are texts all over the page and uses many different fonts which creates confusion. You don’t know where or what you should look at as the site has no design principles applied to it. Many different colours are used on the website which makes it look too busy. The chosen floral background does not suit the site as the website is about cars. 0verall, the site has too many colours that clashes and too many different typefaces.  

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From the efficient website, elements that I can adopt into my website design are their minimal colour scheme and their illustration icon on the navigation bar. The illustrated icon added character to the website which I really like.

The inefficient website can be improved by using two or three different fonts and less colours. Unnecessary elements such as gifs, music, and icons should be removed. The layout of the website should also change to make it less messy. The texts should also be placed where necessary as it is all over the place.  

 

Reference:

Sandu, Bogdan. (2017) Design Your Way. Retrieved from http://www.designyourway.net/blog/inspiration/clean-and-efficient-website-designs-32-examples/

Foodsense. (2017) Food Sense. Retrieved from http://foodsense.is/

LingsCar. (2017). Lings Car.com. Retrieved from https://www.lingscars.com

 

Trends in Web Design Layout

CURRENT TRENDS IN WEB DESIGN LAYOUTS

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Design has evolved over the years; each year designs follow different trends. It is important that trends are followed so that it stays up to date. Current trends in web design layouts include video with sounds, unique layout, custom typography that are big and bold, bright and courageous colours, bespoke illustrations, mobile first approach, authentic photography, animation and many more.

The ones that will be discussed are Bespoke Illustrations, Big Bold Typography, Authentic Photography, Animation and Mobile-First Approach.

Bespoke Illustrations is when the site uses illustrations to create visuals that are playful and friendly. This adds personality to the website. The illustrations are tailored to match the tone of the brand. Illustrations are fantastic versatile mediums and this trend can be found in sites such as SoleiNoir, Babel, Aggregift, Muffi and many more.

Big, Bold Typography has become a popular trend when designing a website layout. Using this technique is a powerful visual medium as the big and bold typeface creates personality to the website and not only that; it can evoke emotions and sets the tone of the site. When this is implemented the solution becomes sharper and the type becomes more easy to read on screens. Websites like Themes Kingdom, Folks Verona, Prime and fire and many more uses this technique on their homepage.

Authentic Photography is usually used for Homepage as well. The images that are used for the background has high definitions and is clear. This method is used as users’ desires authenticity from brands. Therefore, brand and designers hires professional photographers to take their images and frame them how they want to be seen. FormTroppers, group94, Werkstette, GOTOCHINA, Phillip Toledana are examples of web site that uses images for their background.

Animation has become quite popular in web design. This is a unique approach to communicate by storytelling with their animations to communicate and add personality to the website. Using animation captures the users’ attention. HTML5, CSS and jQuery plays a big role in creating animations to add to web design. These websites such as Publicis90, Chekhov Is Alive, and Rollpark uses not only animation but illustrations as well. Animations can range from entertaining users while waiting for content to load to a larger scale such as full screen animations that’s for scrolling, navigation or to use as a focal point of the entire site.

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The last trend is the Mobile-First Approach. This method is when the layout of a web site is design for mobile devices first then moving onto larger screen resolutions such as tablet and desktops. Since mobile devices has become the primary tool to browse, companies have realised the importance of designing effective websites for mobile so that the site delivers information.

These are some of the list of trends that are out there for web design layout. Some sites use more than one of the techniques on their websites to draw in users and create appealing web sites. The focus of web design at the moment is creating website that is only appealing but is easy to navigate and that it will communicate to the users.

http://www.pnwx.com/ This site would benefit from adopting these trends as it needs work and could uses less colours so that the text is legible.

REFERENCES:

Cousin, Carrie. (2017). 10 Web Design Trends to Try in 2017. Retrieved from https://designmodo.com/web-design-trends-2017/

Williams, John Moore. (2016). 18 web design trends for 2017. Retrieved from https://webflow.com/blog/18-web-design-trends-for-2017

Leeson, Jamie. (2016). Web Design Trends for 2017. Retrieved from https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/blog/digital-design-trends/#gref

Babar. (2017). Illustrations in Web Design: 30 Inspirational Examples. Retrieved from http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/illustration-in-web-design-30-inspirational-examples/

Laurinavicius, Tomas. (2014). 20 Websites Using Big and Bold Typography. Retrieved from https://theultralinx.com/2014/02/20-websites-big-bold-typography/

Andrew, Paul. (2016). 50 Examples of Large Image Backgrounds in Web Design. Retrieved from https://speckyboy.com/large-image-backgrounds-web-design/

Fillopov, Stas. (2017). 30 Creative Website Examples of CSS Animation. Retrieved from https://www.intechnic.com/blog/30-creative-website-examples-of-css-animation/

image: https://www.intechnic.com/blog/30-creative-website-examples-of-css-animation/

 

Using Data

USING DATA

It is key to use the right method and ask the right questions when collecting data to get the complete and accurate picture of an area that you are interested in.

Data can be use in a number of ways in creative projects. You can collect data to develop your creative work and also develop your marketing. The examples that we were shown for collecting data was how Netflix brought a TV drama called House of Cards based on what the data was telling them. They had collected information using a subscriber viewing which shows how many views the TV drama has. The view on House of Cards was above Arrest Development but was just under Hemlock Grove. This has shown that collecting data can be very useful as it can be used as a feedback or finding out ways to get ahead of your competitors. you can start by asking others about your projects and what they think of it.

Dalen Design is a company offers services such as designing website, banding and many more. One way that they collect data is by having a Client Feedback form on their site. Their clients are able to give them feedback on what they can improve on and if they have succeeded in their service that they offer. Here is an example of their Client Feedback form:
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For me as a designer; it would be useful to use data to understand how I can improve on my creative projects, develop marketing and analyse my competitors.

Collecting data can show me where and what I can improve on. Not only that, I can find out who are the people that are viewing my work in which I can pinpoint who I want my target audiences to be for my projects. From those findings, I can work on how I can draw in my target audiences and develop my creative skills to bring them in. it is also a way of learning about who my audiences are and who my clients are. I can also use data to collect ideas and advices on how I can improve my artwork.

There are many ways to collect data such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, mixed method and many more. Survey Monkey is a useful site that keeps the participant anonymous but you can still find out information such as their gender and age. Surveys is a good strategy for me to use to collect data as it would provide me with a broader perspective.

I would also get information about participants such as who they are, their age, profession, hobbies, interest and lifestyles to find out what who my target audiences are. This can be useful when wanting to find out who are interested in the project and if the work interest the targeted audiences. The questions in the survey can include open-ended, closed-ended, scaled and multiple choice questions.

Using open-ended questions would provide me with a wide range of answers and broader perspective as it answers are entirely up to the participants. It would also be crucial that I create the right surveys and ask the right questions to find out certain aspects that would help me develop my creative skills and get also to focus on creating designs and artworks that will interest my target audiences.

REFERENCES:

Data collecting methods: http://mypeer.org.au/monitoring-evaluation/data-collection-methods/  accessed on 4th of July 2017

Dalen Design: http://www.dalendesign.com/client-feedback-form/ accessed on 4th of July 2017

 

 

 

Copyrights and Contracts

COPYRIGHTS AND CONTRACTS

I don’t fully understand what copyrights is so the questions I must ask are “What is copyrights?” and “What does it protect?”

According to the The Balance copyrights legally protects the authors work. It is a form of intellectual property which protects the original works of authorship that includes literary, dramatic, musical. It also protects artistic works which are anything from poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software and architecture.

It is essential to have copyrights as you should have ownership of anything that you produce. Having copyrights means that the creator has control over their work. The owner has control over who are allowed to copy their work and this also encourages people to create works that is original.

Copyrights also establishes a law that gives everyone a fair go. It gives rights to not only the owner but also to the public who wishes to use sections of the artwork as long as it is not the main focus of the work. The public are able to use the idea of the artwork and are to reproduce their own artwork with a new meaning.

Another thing that copyrights does is that it helps artist to make income from their work. This is useful for me because I’m working towards becoming a designer and copyrights will help me in my career as I rely on my artworks and designs to bring me income.

Contracts can also be useful for me and also for many businesses and company. What contract does is an agreement between different parties. They agree to perform services on the terms and conditions that they have laid out. This can help solve dispute if it occurs. This also gives rights to clients. If the work and services that I provide does not meet the contracts standard; the clients have the rights to ask for a refund. As a designer, it is important that I strive to provide the services and produce work that meets the terms and conditions of the contacts.

 

References:

The balance: https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-copyright-and-why-is-it-important-to-authors-2800060  accessed on 27th of June 2017.

Importance of copyrights: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/copyright-laws-important-52601.html accessed on 27th of June 2017.

 

Interview Techniques

Interview for any job can be nerve wrecking. Everything counts on how you present yourself and carry yourself and also your responses to the questions being asked to you. I’ve never had a job before but I feel like going in for an interview for any job can be stressful. Rather than seeing potential in individual; employers wants young adults with some form of experience before hiring them. It is unfortunate that the system is unfair for some people like me as I don’t have any experience in this industry. But people who have some are more likely to receive the job than people who don’t.

But I also believe that even though some people who don’t have the practice can get notice. Utilising social media as a platform by creating websites to put your work up for others to view. You’ve got to impress the employer and show them that you are fit for the job. Try contacting employers or company that you want to work for is also a great idea. Research about the company before going in for an interview can be very useful. This displays that you have the passion and desire to work with them. Passion is a big factor that employers look for in any employees. This can be seen by the way you talk about your work and what it is about.

Another aspect that employers look for is leadership skills. This is vital when collaborating with other in a team project. This will test if you’re willing to step up and come up with solutions if problems arise.

In a creative industry, communication skills is extremely vital when working with clients. If problems arise, knowing how to come up with a proposal that will meet both parties is a skill that is tremendously beneficial for the company.

At the end of the day, it’s not about having all the experience. Being creative and just putting yourself our there and getting notice will help get that dream job.