Category Web Design

Random Image Rotation – Sally Ride Google Doodle

I hope you all got the opportunity to check out the excellent Google Doodles honoring Sally Ride yesterday, on what would have been her 64th birthday. Sally was the first female astronaut in the United States, riding the space shuttle Challenger into space in 1983 and again in 1984. In addition to her inspiring career with NASA, Sally started a company helping to educate and inspire young people, with an emphasis on girls, to pursue careers in science.

Below are the five Doodles covering aspects of Sally’s life and career, as well as a “behind the scenes” video by the artist/animator of the doodles, Olivia Huynh. You may have noticed that the Doodles loaded randomly each time the Google home screen was refreshed.  This random image rotation effect can be accomplished with a small bit of Javascript, and we currently make use of it on several websites. If this effect is something you are interested in placing on your site, give us a call at (417) 496-9905.






The Ever-Changing Web Design Challenge

Think the life of a web designer is an easy one?  Check out this article from Creative Bloq on “10 Ways The Role Of Web Designer Is Changing”:

One of the often pre-supposed tenets of web design (that I quickly learned was false) is that once you have mastered the skill set necessary to create a website, you can use those same exact skills to create the next website, and the next one, and so on. Sooooo not true!  Not only do the needs of each client differ so widely that almost no two websites are ever alike, the amount of time that passes between the start and completion of each project, even if only a few weeks, often means that something new has arrived in the world of web design, necessitating yet another skill set that needs to be learned.  It is a constant enhancing and refining process, but at least it keeps the job challenging — and yes, at times somewhat TOO challenging!

saynotodweaverAs the author of the article, Sush Kelly, states: “Things move so quickly now that the modern web designer needs to be able to spread their skills across several areas in order to achieve their client’s goals. It’s no longer enough to have an eye for design and a copy of Dreamweaver. Web designers, possibly more than any other design occupation, have to constantly update their skills. The web doesn’t stand still for one second.”  And the article doesn’t even mention social media, or SEO, or other similar tools of the trade that go beyond just the design aspect, yet also need to be learned by the web designer to craft a truly effective product.

Oh, and don’t get me started on Dreamweaver.  If you overhear ANYONE mention that their website was built with Dreamweaver, a) bash them over the head with the nearest hard object, and 2) give them our contact information once they recover consciousness!  There are so many things wrong with Dreamweaver-built sites that it is well worth the investment to have them redesigned and updated to the 21st century — EVEN if the visual design of the site isn’t changed one bit.  (Though I can pretty much guarantee that it ought to be updated as well!)  A former Dreamweaver client is a happy client, and we LOVE happy clients.  Remember, at Diamond Mind Web Design, our time is on your side!


The Art Of The Segue

(Adapted from a Facebook discussion, so some of you will have already been down this road with me before…)

So.  I’m driving around one day with the radio on, listening to AC/DC’s “Back In Black” on a local radio station.  The song ended, and without a pause or a break, launched right into “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.  My first thought was, “Whoa, now THAT was a jarring transition!” (Listen to the two songs back-to-back sometime; you’ll see what I mean.) This particular station’s motto is, in fact, “You never know what we’ll play next,” but I spent the next several minutes thinking about how that’s not always such a good thing, and that the DJ (whether live or programmed, I don’t know) really didn’t seem to have put much thought into what I call “the art of the segue.”

The Art of the SegueThe very next day, radio on again, but a different station this time, I was listenening to “Under The Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  That song ended, and again, the next song started up without a break, only this time, it was “Party In The U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus, and a big smile broke out on my face as I thought, “Aha! Now that DJ gets it!” Did the two artists have a particular style in common? No! But the guitar solo that ends the first song is nearly identical in tone to the guitar sound that begins the second; the two songs flowed seamlessly into each other.  Even better, there was subtle subtext going on with the Southern California origins of the Peppers and the lyrics of Miley’s “Party.” Ask my friend Chris Jarratt, the graphic designer, and he’ll tell you that subtle cues are often just as important as the more overt ones.

So, what does all this have to do with web design? Well, in my youthful days as a non-professional DJ (as distinguished from an “unprofessional” one), I learned how important the art of the segue was when it came to setting a mood, or keeping the dancers on the floor — you have to learn how to successfully transition from one moment to the next in order to keep the message going.  The same holds true for good website design; everything that goes into making up the design of the site should help move the viewer along through the site, so they don’t lose the train of your message. The way the text flows, the images and graphics, the navigation, even the color scheme should transition smoothly from one thing to the next.

Why? Think back to those original two songs by AC/DC and ABBA.  While I like both songs, and had enjoyed listening to the first, as it turns out I missed most of the second song because I was distracted by the jarring transition, and spent the next several minutes thinking about that disconnect, instead of hearing the “message”, or in this case, the music.  Don’t let your website viewers get disconnected from the message you are trying to convey with your site and end up losing them because of an unprofessional, jarring segue.  It’s far too easy on the ‘Net to surf on to another website, so your site needs to pull the viewer in with smooth transitions.

Now that you know more about the power and the art of the segue, take a look at your own site(s), and think about whether or not improvements can be made in the way it transitions from one message, or one page, into another.  If you have questions or concerns, you can always contact Diamond Mind Web Design for advice. We can help you turn “surf-by” traffic into click-through traffic!