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Web Design

Web Designing: What It’s All About

For any business to effectively compete in the present-day world, an online presence is a must. A simple Facebook page won’t work anymore – you need a website that will act as your business front office for the cyber world. Your website has potential to harness the purchasing power of the over 2.2 billion internet users.

You need your website to stand out. It should be beautiful, and at the same time simple to use. If your website is simply flashy but confusing, your traffic will end there without maturing into actual sales.

Responsive web design

A responsive website is simply one that responds appropriately to the device that accesses it and delivers the appropriate output. A responsive website will automatically re-align text and images to best fit the screen of that device. The approach eliminates the need for different websites for different devices. Most websites today fit that description.

However, some websites are poorly designed and thus will mess up when a mobile device accesses the site. In some typically bad cases, the text fields may not accept input or buttons being unresponsive. No one has the time to Google an alternative site for your business; instead, they go to the next best site – your competition! Today, even free websites like the WordPress free websites come with responsive designs that allow even amateurs to manage how their sites appear on different devices.

Professionally done e-commerce websites

However, your business cannot survive and thrive with a free WordPress site. You need features that support e-commerce, whether B2B or B2C. You need something more than an introductory message – your clients need to know how to find you, what other products you have, their prices, random comments and so much more! More than ever, business is conducted on the go through mobile devices. Thus if your site has problems launching on mobile devices, then you need to step up! The same applies if your website has too many different media that it takes forever to load.

One thing you can’t expect is for your audience to look for better service in order to view your website. It is possible to fit images, GIFs, videos and more into a page without running the machine down. Your web designer understands this issue well.

Website redesigning

If you already have a website, there is no need to create a new one in order to have a responsive site for your business. Some websites look like online brochures, with the only interactive bit being the hyperlinks. Thankfully, it is possible to have it totally revamped and give it a new lease of life and thankfully, better search engine ratings.
Your website will be modified to touch your target audience whether visually or with audio. A new, professional touch that will reflect the current shopping trends of that particular niche will be applied, giving you the online boost your business needs.

Switch to a responsive site

How do you know a web designer is good? Simply check out their website!
Web design company like One Thing Marketing promise to deliver a responsive website that fits your needs. You can’t expect a ship at an airport, thus if the website looks like one you’d swipe over, then that is the quality you can expect from them.

How Graphic Designers Work – Equipment, Software and Routine

Graphic designers are a huge part of any digital marketing initiative.  Without the proper user experience (UX), any website, mobile app, or advertising campaign will surely fall flat.  The question comes up regularly, how exactly do these expert do their jobs?

While the individual talents and expertise of an individual design will vary, they generally have very similar supportive equipment, whether hardware (computers, peripherals, workstations), software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), as well as similar workflows and routines.  In this article we will delve into each of these a little bit, to give a behind-the-scenes look at what high level UX designers do when they are hard at work.

The Equipment

Obviously, like any digital job, a good computer is necessary.  What separates a graphic design computer from a regular data entry computer is a few things.  Including:

The Monitor – It’s important to have a monitor that provides a close enough color gamut to reality, especially when dealing with print graphics.  Some monitors can vary greatly with specific colors, leading to inconsistent designs.

The Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) – The graphics card, or CPU, is obviously very important for any graphic designer, but it’s more important when dealing with 3D modelling, video editing, or other high intensity objectives.

The Memory (RAM) – Because design tasks will hold so much graphic data in it’s RAM, its crucial to have enough to complete your tasks.  At least 16 GB, with upwards of 64GB for high intensity tasks, is recommended.

The Software

Software is what most people think of when they think of graphic designers.  Photoshop is obviously the most famous example, and it’s still the dominant software used my most.  However, other Adobe products have started to become more common, including:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Adobe Fireworks

Furthermore, some other competitors have started to come into the market, such as CorelDRAW, Corel PaintShopPro, and a few others.  Free software includes GIMP and SUMO Paint, among others.

The fact of the matter is that there is no lacking in available software, and each comes with its own quirks and features.  If you just beginning, it’s probably best to get training and experience in the industry leader (i.e. Photoshop/Illustrator), and branching out from there.

The Routine

Not referring to the daily routine of an individual (such as morning coffee and Yoga), the routine of a graphic designer in this case refers to the process by which they go about the creative analysis of a given project.  While this will vary from person to person, there has been lots of study into the effective management process, and we’ll summarize a bit below.

  1. Information Gathering

The initial step is to gather as much information of the requirements of the project as possible.  This includes questions such as:

  • What is the deadline?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What is the intended action or actions?
  • Are their any competitors we should be investigating?
  • Are there any branding considerations?

After we’ve pulled as much information as possible, we can proceed to the next step:

  1. Brainstorming

Since you now have a decent idea of the needs of the project (which should be documented as best you can), it’s now up to your creative side to brainstorm the best designs for these specific needs.

This can be the hardest part, but don’t worry, simply set aside a solid chunk of time for you and your team to storm ideas.  In this phase, there are no bad ideas.

  1. Wireframes

After the brainstorm process, its time to put together wireframes.  These will be initial designs that will serve to represent what the final, completed designs will resemble.  These are meant to gather feedback from stakeholders, so its important to design multiple iterations of each, to allow for possible feedback and selection from higher-ups.

  1. Revisions and Feedback

The revision process will be the bulk of work, since you will need to go back and forth between your team, your client or stakeholders, to perfect the design.  It’s important to get this done right, as it’s likely the most important part of the process.

Conclusion

This is not a comprehensive list of everything involved in the design process, but it does provide some helpful guidance, especially for those just starting out.  We hope it’s been a useful guide, if you have any questions you can forward them to info (at) draftfcb.eu.

Will Crowdsourcing Work for Search Engine Marketing?

Trada, the Colorado-based company backed by Google’s VC arm will try. 
Launched in March, Trada will attempt to simplify the complex and often-changing world of search engine marketing by relying on a group or ‘crowd’ of experienced search experts to drive results for clients.
On the surface, this approach seems to make sense for most “mom and pop” type advertisers with basic goals and limited marketing budgets.   My concern is how Trada will manage large, multi-million dollar search campaigns which have constantly changing metrics or campaigns which require search experts to strategically create goals with clients.  While this model may be sufficient for selling things like sweaters (Trada uses this example in their YouTube demo video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYgHxjkdq_U), I’m not sure how well the model will hold up supporting sophisticated verticals like finance or healthcare.
Paid search is successful due to how search experts align their strategies with other disciplines and develop partnerships with clients to create marketing strategies, goals and measures of success.  This rationale is reflected in the increasing number of large agencies who have acquired SEM firms over the years.
It will be interesting to see how Trada evolves from simply driving ROI or sales to providing clients with competitive analysis, market trend information, attribution modeling and site analytics. 
I absolutely love the idea of crowdsourcing to solve complex problems, but unless the “crowd” in “crowdsourcing”  is managed properly, I see a number of potental pitfalls in ever evolving search campaigns.

Celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday

Heeding the plea for all South Africans to rally together and dedicate one minute for every year Mandela spent in politics to community work in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday, a plea endorsed by Old Mutual, a team from communications agency, Draftfcb Johannesburg, headed to the Ekhukhanyeni Crèche on Sunday July 18.

Here Percy Matee, Natalie Noel, Khuthala Gala, Vuyo Otto, Rose Ralinala and Craig Page-Lee spent longer than the 67 minutes asked of them to clean and paint the crèche, and play with the children.

Many other members of the agency gave of their time to community initiatives in other areas. And some even reached out in a manner that showed appreciation – Romaine McKenzie took her son Max to the Douglasdale Police Station to hand out coffee, muffins and a smile.

It’s the Seconds that Matter

In Germany, 14- to 29-year-olds spend 32% more time online than watching TV. Add to this the reality that sliced bread is not a hot topic for them. And you know that a typical TV spot for bread would probably never reach them – not even if placed online. So, we took a different approach and created an entertaining Internet film showing the genesis of bread in a fascinating way – completely drawn in flour.

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Network Sourcing

Over the last two years crowd sourcing has been a hot topic for a lot of marketing agencies, either positive in case of gathering more interesting ideas from a wide range of free-lancing type talent, or negative in case of clients who avoid paying high fees to agencies by using crowd-sourcing tools to get free ideas.
Interestingly enough, most marketing organizations and articles on marketing have misunderstood and misused the concept of crowd sourcing. Instead of using the underlying philosophy and related tools to leverage the internal resources that are quite often spread across tens or hundreds of offices, they perceive it either as a cost efficient way to collect ideas or as a revenue threatening danger utilized by clients. The real power of crowd sourcing can be leveraged when it is understood as network-sourcing to truly build a globally connected organization. This requires a few ingredients:
  • Put a clear brief, tight timeline, and a democratic evaluation system in the center of the network sourcing assignment that is distributed to a manageable number of people in the organization’s network. More is not always better.
  • Balance the drive for great ideas with the benefit of utilizing network sourcing as a tool to virtually bring together a normally poorly connected network of physically separated offices. Network-sourcing is both about idea generation and building a connected organization.
  • Celebrate the winning ideas in a public forum to show the power of the marketing agency as an exciting virtual network that is better than just the sum of all the different global locations
  • Slowly learn of how this “Closed loop network” can be opened up to some external players without diminishing the focus on the integrating powers of the network-sourcing
The principles of crowd-sourcing will become increasingly a strong approach of how to join large marketing organizations together against one common challenge and brief without the high travel and communication costs and frictions that we have been used to.

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