One of the reasons that images work in advertising is down to their impact – cleverly designed images get the message across in a way that verbal communication doesn’t.
It’s why they’re so heavily used in TV commercials, and in the event you don’t know what we mean, think about the end of any commercial. What are you usually left with? An image of the product, complete with a tag line. Clever stuff indeed, because you will associate the two when you think of the product.
The image below is the online version. It’s a creatively designed infographic. An image that’s designed to cover several bases, but most of all grab your attention. Truth be told, it works. Perfectly.
Responsive web design is based on the concept that consumers will view websites on different devices. A PC screen is much bigger than a smart phone screen. Tablets are a different size, as are laptops. These disparities in shape and processing power mean that to have an effective and universal web page, a designer must be able to adjust the view, depending on the device used to view the material.
This is accomplished through the use of a program that finds out what device is being used and then adapts the layout of the web page to fit that screen. These are called CSS3 media queries and are the backbone of responsive web design.
When a user accesses a website, the code of the website sends a media query to the user, asking what device is being used. The user then sends this information back to the web site. This process happens very quickly and without the conscious input of the human using the device.
If a web design agency designs your site with responsive web design it will be able to adapt to the screen size of the device by altering its presentation. The web site does this through the fluid grid concept. Websites are usually made up of rectangular items. Pictures are rectangles, as are menu buttons and blocks of text. With the fluid grid concept, these items are not sized absolutely, but rather by being compared to the other elements on the page.
For example, a block of text may be twice as big as a photo next to it. If the two items are described in the programming as taking up the entire screen, but maintaining that specific ratio, they will be optimized to the viewer, whether the web page is on a phone or a large computer screen.
Using a fluid grid to make a responsive web design means more exposure for a website and more chances to reach out to consumers, and increase its longevity.
There’s a lot of truth in the above statement, especially when it comes to marketing your product. We’re talking about branding, the image that you want the world to recognize as being all about you, your company, the service or product that you’re selling. In today’s world, a competitive edge is an absolute, and without one you’ll find yourself wallowing in the dust whilst your competitors remain ever in front.
Branding – It’s All About Branding
Whenever you think of a world famous brand, how to you think of them? As the product. Or the logo? Kentucky Fried Chicken? Dunkin’ Donuts? Starbucks? Probably both, when it comes to food and beverages. And that’s the whole point Mentally you associate one with the other. Visually, you will see the pink and orange words, and immediately think about eating, buying, or wanting a donut.
Same with the Colonel and the KFC logo. Mouth watering yet? WE lover clever branding, though admittedly some do have us scratching our heads. As an example, we get the one used by short-term lenders Save My Bacon. A pig. A happy smiling pig. We get that, right, we understand the association between the product, the product and the image?
But what about something like Reeses? Peanut butter cups. Just the word, rather than an image that reflects the product and yet it works. And why? Because the company pushed their brand ‘out there’. They got their audience to associate one with the other. Everywhere you looked, back in the early days, the brand logo (see image below) covered their product, appeared on advertisements, headers on all their correspondence and so on.
These days, branding your product is easier. The internet and (believe it or not) social networking makes it so. Of course we don’t expect a smiling pig to become the global face of a short term money lender, as the service/company is provided by way too many outfits around the world but you get the idea. Clever use of images do paint a thousand words, and once people start to associate your company with a specific brand, you’re on the right road to success.
I’ve seen some dumb stuff on the internet, but I’ve also seen some of the best stuff you could ever hope to stumble upon. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a web site that shows you how to train your dog, or one that offers information about foreclosures, it will be out there somewhere.
The hard part? Knowing which ones are telling you the real story, and which ones are stuffed full of spam and made up crap.
That said, a little common sense should help you know the difference between spurious rubbish and the good stuff, especially when to comes to the average human being. Of course there’s always room for human error in all things but it may interest you to know that Google, as well as its competitors, has been working hard to weed out the not-so-good stuff in recent years.
The online world is much like any other, it’s chock full of genuine retailers and service providers, as well as the same again that are only out for one thing – to scam, to dupe, to cheat. It’s a great shame, and one that shows just how devious and how long certain members of the human race will stoop in order to part people from their money but such is life.
Still, knowing that even the virtual world has its own version of law and order is comforting. The average internet user isn’t quiet as savvy as the media would have you believe, and it remains incredibly easy to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. There are so many ways in which the low-lifes can dupe online users that the mind boggles, and it’s a wonder that more is;t done about it.
However the last year or two has seen massive inroads into how certain behaviors are dealt with, both physically and online, and slowly but surely the message is beginning to filter out into the real world. Scamming people, lying and cheating, trolling in forums and on social networking sites is fast becoming frowned upon – not to mention hammered with the iron fist of the law.
Rest assured that however hard the scammers keep trying to take over the internet, there will always be the likes of Google et al standing in their way
There are several things that you, the prospective web site owner, need to think about before you forge ahead and decide to have a web site built for you. First of all you need to think about your product – are you selling something physical, or are you providing a service? Perhaps you’re all about information and advice? Maybe you’re an author and want to share your poetry online?
My point re the above is this: your website needs to reflect your product.
Next up is your target market. It’s pointless assuming that everyone has the same level of skills that you possess. A lot more folks (than you’d realize) struggle with the likes of good old www google, or even what a ‘browser’ actually is. Of course that’s still not everyone, and maybe your traffic will come from folks that are more savvy on the internet than you? The point being that you need a website that’s easy to navigate and bridges the gap – rather than being flashy, confusing and distracting.
A fussy, high-falutin’ front end can sway your click-through rate the wrong way – and cause your browsers to hit the back button. You need your visitors to stay on page, to buy your product or at the least contact you for more information – leaving you more opportunity to push your product.
There’s no point sharing info about UK property auctions if you’re hosting a website that features lots of flash graphics and annoying pop-up windows, and all the content points to the American real estate market.
As an example, I worked with a couple of guys that wanted a nice simple interface for their website, in order that their information spoke for itself. They wanted a newsy-type blog, one that would showcase what they had to say, and not interfere with their content and images.
Again, they steered away from flashy graphics and allowed the content to speak for itself. Equally you could be selling iphone bluetooth headsets and your site needs to be about the product – and your customers need to be able to navigate easily around your site in order that they can make their choice and leave having made a purchase.
As you can see, the whole website design business does need a little thinking about. However – there are experts out there, not all of whom are looking to make a fast buck. Listen to the pro, explain what you require and hopefully you’ll end up with exactly what you need!