If you are thinking about pursuing web design as either a career or a hobby, you must be able to do more than simply design a pretty page. Professional web designers are experts in programming and coding as well. The most talented web designers are those that can adequately balance both their creative and artistic sides with their love of technical coding.
As a web designer, there are plenty of different web design standards one must master. The two most important in the industry today are HTML and CSS. What are these methods all about and how much time and money will you need to invest in order to learn them?
A picture is worth a thousand words. Graphic design schools teach us that photos on web sites have the potential to capture our attention, motivate us to read more or even propel us to navigate to another web site entirely. They inflict emotion and can establish a connection between site visitors and the goods or services that are being represented. Industry experts have debated the value of using “real” photos versus stock photography. Here are my thoughts on the pros and cons
Influence of Print: Incorporating Newspaper & Magazine Layout Design.
New web pages are being designed every day. Great web designers not only keep up with the rest of the pack, but stays ahead of it by tracking what the current trends in web design are. Right now the influence of print design on the web is making quite an appearance in online page design. While many consider the days of newspaper to be archaic and magazines to be a waste of trees, there is great design to be found in these publications. Using that as inspiration for your web pages could jump you up to the cream of the web designer crop.
Print publications have decades worth of experience in the type of design that works and is the most impactful. The best design is always powerful, clear, simple and easy to understand. Negative or white space is king when you are talking about print advertisements including billboards, magazine layouts, newspaper ads and other forms of visual marketing.
The Internet has not necessarily followed this method of reaching their target audiences and making a strong statement to their traffic. One of the greatest benefits to web design is that users are not restricted in what they can say. There is no per word charge when designing a webpage. There was also a lot of flexibility in what graphics could really do. Print advertising does not allow users to incorporate audio, video or Flash. The novelty of being able to design and use these tools is really the fuel for early webpage design.
Today, however, the market is asking for less clutter. They are overloaded with all the information available on the Internet. There is a demand for better search engines, easier to navigate websites, and simply less animation and distracting graphics in modern web design.
This type of design is especially frustrating and ineffective for businesses and marketers who are trying to get one message across. It is too easy for that simple message to get lost in the bells and whistles of an overly design website.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, web designers are going to the experts of old. Print publications have mastered these challenges and understand what it takes to get an audience’s attention.
Building Value With Social Marketing.
Social networks are for far more than kids. Social marketing is a science with many useful strategies for monetization and building value. How can you show value with your social marketing campaign? You might be different. You might be personal. You might get technical, answering questions. You might walk readers through what you do in a day. In other words, you get creative.
Here are a few useful strategies to get you started building value with social marketing.
This may seem obvious, but many of us forget social marketing was made popular not just when teenagers started using it, but when businesses started. Some early adaptors had huge success with Facebook and Twitter by taking a risk and trying something different. Think beyond your business page and today’s status update and do something complete out of the norm. Come up with a campaign that will utilize its interactive and viral capabilities.
The myth is that being personal is bad. Another myth is that you have to show what is happening in your life every moment. Unless you’re an entrepreneur living a vicarious life, this is unnecessary, but you can build value by showing happy moments you had with family. Instead of looking like a corporate suit out for money, you can appear to be a regular person living life. This boosts your value and makes you stand out from the competition.
Answer Questions, Or Ask
If your business is in a more technical field, perhaps one where customers don’t exactly understand how you help them, you might show them how you do certain things. If you run a computer design company, you may answer common questions about faults in computer designs, or how much it really costs to build a computer, or even how you build them in the initial stages. On the other hand, you may ask questions of your customers yourself. You may ask for complaints or how they use your product. You may ask how you can help them save money rather. These are the types of strategies that build value.
While creating an entire video can seem daunting, just about anyone can do it for cheap. And YouTube commercials actually get viewed, especially if you can somehow add humor. Just as some movie trailers have taken off on YouTube, your product on safely downloading music with the right program may become a hit. This happens more often than you might think.
Bottom line: Have fun with your social marketing campaign. Don’t follow all the rules you read online. Get creative and try some new ways to market your product or service and you’re sure to build value.