Tag web design

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!


Well, You’ve Got To Start Somewhere…

…so this is where I’ll begin:  Eight (8!) years ago this month, the metaphorical doors of Diamond Mind Web Design opened, and since we are still alive and kicking, I thought that maybe it was time to start my own blog.  Not my first, actually, as I’ve been blogging for about three and a half years over at Business Power Network, but for the first time I’ll be able to focus on topics specific to the web world.

What you will find here: Posts about the dos and don’ts of web design, posts about social media in general, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular, posts about SEO and profile management, and more.  Some will be more technical in nature, some will not; hopefully all will be useful, or at least interesting.  You’ll also find some humor, I hope, though the odds are it will be of a more Pythonesque nature than anything else.

What you won’t find here: Posts about finance, religion, or politics.  Not only did my momma tell me to avoid those subjects in polite conversation, as I have no expertise in any of those fields, I choose not to blather on about any of them.  You can find plenty of that elsewhere; you’ll find none of it here.

Wait, did I say “none”?  Oh, yes, well, one, anyway.  The candidate I endorse in this fall’s election is…

Craig For Prez!

Yes, that’s right — Craig Ferguson for President!  I don’t care if he wasn’t born in this country.  He speaks with a Scottish accent, and that alone makes him trustworthy! 🙂  Okay, I’ll quit now while I’m still ahead.  Encourage your friends to sign up for the blog; we’ll have a kick-off contest soon.  Until next time!