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2019 Website Trends

2019 Website Trends

In our constantly evolving world of web design, it’s befitting we stay on top of the latest trends to remain competitive. Not surprisingly, time spent on the World Wide Web is continuing to rise. Mobile first websites (that is, sites designed to first and foremost look great on mobile devices) is a definite must.

As attention span is increasingly becoming shorter and shorter, we must compensate for this by developing websites that load quickly and successfully capture their gaze.

More Movement

You’ve likely noticed the trend toward more dynamic sites. A simple hover of the mouse can create interesting effects such as slide-in text, fade-in photos, shifting graphics, or a pop-up on your screen. Engaging video backgrounds are now very commonly seen on the site header. All these things are intended to be attention grabbers, and it’s highly effective (provided that it’s also fast-loading.) It is satisfying for viewers to interact with your site and inspired with their mouse clicks. Just be sure not to overdo it.

Creative Use of Geometric Shapes

Colorful graphics and shapes are becoming increasingly popular. It’s a great way to add interest without slowing the site down as the images tend to be low resolution and therefore fast loading. It’s common to find these geometric shapes on the website header to direct the user’s gaze to pertinent information including your CTA button. The design should be strategic and correlate with your site theme. Keep it fresh, original, pair it with photos when appropriate
and don’t forget the “less is more” principle.

Below is an example of a site that effectively uses hexagon shapes to form an exciting and colorful picture collage.

Original + Quality Images = Attention Grabbers

At one time cheesy stock images were all the rage. OK, at least acceptable. Fast forward to 2018, and it’s a very different picture, literally. If you want to appear credible and gain the attention your site deserves, be thoughtful in your image selection. Choose only high-quality images that seem authentic for your website; if you have original photos — even better. However, there is indeed no shortage of high-quality stock images available from several different sources.

We love Pexels.com for a decent royalty-free selection that is cost-free. Adobe Stock is another excellent option with a broader variety for pay by image or month plans.

Asymmetrical Design

As original, cutting-edge web design is gaining recognition, and there is a growing trend toward asymmetrical design. The asymmetrical design is just as it sounds; a design layout that is not symmetrical and not following a grid layout. For instance, you could have a text block balancing out an image. It must be used strategically so that it still appears balanced and pleasing to the eye.

Chatbots

Chatbots are becoming more and more common in our ever-increasing technological generation. Many prefer digital communication to potentially waiting several minutes on hold to reach customer support. It’s convenient for users to type in their questions and receive instant feedback for their query. It benefits business owners as it allows them to assist customers without being physically there. Besides, you can gather information about your potential customer to serve their needs better.

Bright Colors & Gradients

In the last few years, we’ve seen more and more vibrant color schemes stylized on websites. Instagram popularized this concept by being one of the first companies to brand their logo with the flamboyant purple, pink and yellow gradient. It’s an effective way to gain interest when applied to headers, images, page backgrounds, and even text. It can be incorporated boldly to add intensity or subtly as in the below website examples.

Alluring Typography

As web browsers are better supporting custom fonts, we are noticing an increase in gorgeous typography that can sometimes gain more attention than the images! Bold, eclectic and occasionally custom fonts are a nice touch and should tie in with your company design style. Experiment with different font pairings that look good together.

Sites like TypeKit, FontSquirrel, and Fonts.com make it easy to check out different fonts and obtain the web font information.

Conclusion

In our constantly evolving world of web design trends, there is one thing that will remain the same: UX Design or User Experience. Ensure that your site functions well and navigation is made easy. Make sure your website provides ample information and is a satisfying and visually pleasing experience. Just as you would expect on a world-class cruise ship, go the extra mile and exceed your client’s expectations.

Das Studio Ecommerce Importance

Das Studio Ecommerce Importance

Understanding the effects of COVID-19 on businessess

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting businesses, large and small, across the world. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that 92% of small businesses were negatively affected by the epidemic.

It is drastically changing the way we shop and do business—from essential to nonessential items. As safety measures have come into place, many business owners have had to shut down temporarily or even permanently.

Amid the seclusion and ambiguity, we find a drastic change in the way people purchase items. Many buy in bulk to prepare for the worst. There’s an increase in online shopping, as customers feel safer receiving orders at their front doors versus jam-packed stores.

Even before the Covid-19 outbreak occurred, online purchases have become quite popular (Hello, Amazon Prime). It’s just so easy to do a product search, check reviews, then type in credit card info without batting an eye. It wouldn’t be surprising if e-commerce purchasing continues to rise even after the pandemic is over.

Rather than bemoan the shift in the business market tide, why not rise above it?

Maintain your business and thrive

Here are some ways you can maintain your business and even thrive in the face of uncertainty.

1. Create a landing page with a sign-up form to stay in touch with your customers. Share this link across your social platforms or through email.

2. Start an e-commerce site and sell your products online. You could even offer gift cards for buyers to purchase now and use later when life becomes “normal” again.

3. Ignite your social media presence through your platforms of choice. Don’t just start up a Facebook page with a few posts here and there and expect a following. Regularly update and provide new, informative messages that will engage your audience.

Whatever direction you decide to go, stick to the course and don’t give up. Allow this change to grow you and your business. You may have to switch up your online approach a few times before you find what works. Ultimately, you know your customers best.

As Helen Keller wrote, “a bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.”

 

Contact us if we can help you in your online business journey.
2020 Design Trends

2020 Design Trends

Our world is evolving at an ever-increasing rate with new trends. Technology-wise, we now have airpods, smartwatches, and security systems accessible on our mobile devices. Graphic design is no different. Just as the fashion industry goes from one fad to the next (You’d better re-think that leopard print shirt!), so too does graphic art styles.

If you want to be competitive in your market, you’d best stay on top of the latest design trends. We’ll take a peek into upcoming trends we predict will be hot for this tech-driven year of 2020.

Collage Style

Back when you were a kid in school, did you ever cut out magazine pictures and paste them on a poster board to create a one-of-a-kind hodgepodge?  You’ll see it in graphic design as well. There is a certain appeal in paper-cut illustrations that gives off a vibe of authenticity to your viewers.

Bolder Text

We anticipate heavier typefaces as designers strive for engagement in a sea of competitors. Large text is easier to read and more impactful–expressing power, confidence and influence. Brush scripts will continue to rise popularity as well as custom fonts made specifically for the brand.

Geometric Shapes & Lines

Designs made up of shapes and lines was wildly popular in 2019, and we expect this trend will continue to evolve in 2020. The style is reminiscent of our ever-growing age of technology and digital lifestyle. Lines form the basic patterns of design and can bring a simplistic edginess to modern designs. The sky is the limit when it comes to the blends of lines, solid colour, and gradients that can be superimposed on one artboard to form a unique and stunning design.

Ultra Bright Colours

Vivid colours are in again, with every colour of the rainbow uncovered in these striking designs. Bright, contrasting colours will always capture attention more than dull pastels.  Duotone colour palettes maintain their popularity in addition to those gorgeous gradients we find in art sponsored by Apple, Instagram and  Spotify.

Vintage

On the flip side, you’ll see vintage styles continue to make a comeback from pretty much any time frame. You may notice the retro colours of the 70’s (think maroon, tan and pea-green) or an Art Deco style design such as this lovely restaurant logo. Designers will combine these former styles with modern designs to create something absolutely unique and exceptional.

Illustrations

More and more companies are turning to hand-drawn illustrations for the authentic flair it delivers to their products. You’ll find this style is frequently juxtaposed with photographs in a unique and harmonious way. Check out this mixed media art at it’s finest.

Liquid Art

In contrast to geometric shapes, liquid shaped graphics give off a creative vibe with their smooth ambiguous edges. You will commonly see this art as bright gradients and patterns with dots, triangles and other shapes.

Animation

Animated logos, text and graphics on websites have recently become a staple in website design and will remain popular in 2020.  Dynamic graphics animation can transform a boring website into a sleek, engaging one. 

Who is My Target Audience?

Who is My Target Audience?

Think You’re ready to launch your business? But have no clue who your target audience is? Slow down. You don’t want to miss this important, and overlooked step selling your products or services.
It should be one of the first things to consider when starting your biz.

“Defining your target market is one of a marketer’s most important tasks. It’s the foundation of all elements of your marketing strategy, from how you develop and name your products or services right through to the marketing channels you use to promote them.” Christina Newberry, Hootsuite.

You wouldn’t fire a gun without aiming at your target. It’s the same way with distinguishing your target audience. It’s impossible to appeal to everyone, and if you try to please everyone, you’ll waste valuable time and money.
Invest some time honing in on who you think would be your typical customer using your products or services. As you get a clearer picture of who your target audience is, you’ll find an increase in your conversion rate.

So how do I determine who my target audience is?

Break it down to these demographics:

  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Job description
  • Location

For example, say you are a massage therapist, consider a typical client. A middle-aged (40-50 age range) divorced woman who works full time as an RN, has grown children, loves to scrapbook and lives in the suburbs of Toronto.
Get super detailed about these characteristics. The more you know your audience, the better you will be in tailoring your marketing campaigns to appeal to them.

Once you’ve established these characteristics, identify his or her pain points.

There’s a good chance she deals with pressure and emotional stress working in the medical field. She works long hours, is on her feet all day and suffers from back pain with the constant bending over and lifting she does for her patients.
She would be the perfect candidate for a 60-minute deep tissue massage.

The next step is determining what will convince this person to buy from you.

This middle-aged nurse, we’ll call her Diana, already has a massage therapist she has been going to for years. What do you have to offer that the current massage therapist lacks? Your competitor is a massage therapist who works at a spa, 10 miles away from Diana’s house. Diana often misses her massage appointments with her busy schedule. But you provide in-home massages at an affordable price. Diana saves both time and money by choosing you to meet her therapy needs. This scenario is one specific example of your target audience. You may have many niche markets. Now that you know your individual strengths, your next step is getting them in front of you.

Determine what marketing strategies you will use to persuade people to try your services.

Maybe you will send out coupon mailers, build a following on your Facebook business page, or focus on an effective landing page with a compelling call to action. There are many approaches to reach your customers and you will likely use many facets of marketing. Let’s say you are targeting college students. You may find more success in focusing on digital marketing efforts like your website or social media versus a mailer that is trashed at first glance.

Like any successful business, it’s trial and error that will lead you to the best methods. But by identifying your target audience ahead of time, it will narrow down those approaches to what is appropriate for your future consumers.

How to Install WordPress Using GreenGeeks

How to Install WordPress Using GreenGeeks

Green Geeks makes WordPress installation nice ‘n easy with the Softaculous installer. We will walk you through the steps to complete setup so you can get your website up and running pronto!

Once you have registered and set up a user account with GreenGeeks, you will find the Cpanel, which is your dashboard to access all your website features.

1. Click the blue cPanel button at the bottom.

2. Once you are in cPanel, scroll all the way down to “Softaculous Apps Installer” and click the WordPress icon. You could also search “WordPress” in the top search bar to find the icon.

3. Click the “Install Now” button. The latest version of WordPress will automatically apply.


4. Now it’s time to get your settings configured. You will find the following sections, which are pretty straight forward.

Software Set up
The latest version will appear at the top. Enter https if you have an SSL. Otherwise, http://. The next is your domain, “yoursitename.com”, which will automatically appear unless you have more than one domain. Unless you’re technically-minded, you can ignore the “In Directory” section. This simply helps you organize your web directory.

Site Name
Enter the title of your website. The title appears in search engines as well as the top of the browser window tab.

Site Description
The site description is an important one to fill out. The site description determines how likely you will show up in a search result. Keep it simple but accurate and including your location is helpful. Example: Title: Das Studio — Making Brands Better.

Description: Das Studio is a remote, full-service design agency. Specializing in branding and website designs for small businesses with big dreams.

Admin Account
For security reasons, be sure you remove the “admin” and enter your own unique username and password. Make the password Is complex. You can click the little key icon to automatically generate a new password. Voila!

Choose Language
This is self-explanatory. Select your language from the dropdown.

Select Plugin
Here you have the option to automatically install some of the more popular plugins.1. Limit Login – protects your site by limiting the number of login attempts. 2. Classic Editor – the original WordPress editor, which was recently replaced by Gutenburg. Select this if you prefer the original look or you’re using a builder/plugin that requires the old editor. Elementor Page Builder – a popular drag and drop WordPress page builder. WPForms Lite – best free WordPress contact form.

Advanced options
This section includes advanced options, including auto-updates and backup. We recommend automatically upgrading to the latest version of WordPress, theme, and plugins.  Also, be sure to backup your site at least once a week.

Select a Theme
And finally, we have our theme options! You can choose a free WordPress theme if you desire, or allow the installer to automatically pick the default theme for you. This can be changed at any point and custom/paid themes can be added once logged into your WordPress site.

Now click the blue install button and you’re done!

You’ll see a notice that your software was installed successfully at your domain. It’s a good idea to bookmark your WordPress login address (www.YourSite.com/wp-admin) for easy access.

That’s it! You’re ready to begin working on your new website. Let the fun begin!

Contact us if we can be of assistance in your web building.

 

Color Psychology

Color Psychology

Have you ever walked into a doctor’s office with bright red walls? Of course not. It’s more likely a pastel green that can actually make you feel more relaxed. Colour has a notable effect on our moods and can even influence how we react to design. An experienced designer knows this well and strategically selects colours that will create the desired reaction for a product or service.

Although colours can affect individuals in different ways, the overall tone is universal. Red is bold and attention-grabbing while blue evokes a sense of trust and authenticity.

Note that the degree of each shade will produce different reactions (i.e. a light yellow-green having a more energetic vibe vs a deep evergreen shade offering a more calming, conservative feel). In general, though, brighter shades tend to be more energizing while darker shades offer a more relaxed and refined vibe.

RED

Bold, Unapologetic, Romantic

A very powerful and confident colour, red is associated with intense emotions like love, anger and aggression. It can be used to indicate danger (think stop signs), power (red sports car) or even passion (Valentine’s Day hearts).

Seeing the colour red can raise respiration and blood pressure, so use with caution. This colour is seen on national flags, sports advertisements, and even lingerie ads.

Bright, red background with black and white text commands attention to Word & Co’s ‘About Us’ page. The bulky text and limited information help the user digest the information without being overwhelmed by the blatant hue.

Source: https://work.co/facts

Successful Red Brands: Target, Coca Cola, Netflix, Staples, YouTube, Marlboro, Red Bull, Chick-Fil-A & Red Cross

ORANGE

Creative, Fresh, Enthusiastic

Orange is a friendlier shade than its cousin red. It is associated with optimism, creativity, vitality success, playfulness and sunshine. The colour of oranges, it can also be associated with health and wellness. It’s an effective colour choice to market children’s toys, food, and even home merchandise (Home Depot).
Whataburger, a family-friendly burger restaurant uses a few different shades of orange to evoke feelings of warmth, trust and positive energy to their audience.

Source: Whataburger.com

Successful Orange Brands: Fanta, Harley Davidson, Amazon, Nickelodeon, Mastercard, Reese, Soundcloud & Firefox

YELLOW

Sunny, Joyful, Cautious

Yellow is a complex colour representing cheerfulness, knowledge, confidence, communication and creativity. It is also associated with cowardice and warning (think caution signs), so use carefully.

Mailchimp recently rebranded their website using a striking yellow colour scheme. The logo has been simplified and converted to black for easy visibility over the yellow background. It makes the site more vibrant and memorable, while still engaging the audience with its new innovative look.

Source: MailChimp.com

Successful Yellow Brands: McDonald’s, Best Buy, Ikea, National Geographic, Snapchat, Shell, Mello Yellow & Cheerios

GREEN

Healthy, Prosperous, Tranquil

Green is the colour of our environment. It’s about growth, balance, nurturing, renewal, even prosperity. It is one of the most soothing colours and–as a result–is commonly seen in medical offices.

You will find this colour in environmentally friendly and organic nutrition products as well as banks, financial organizations and medical products. Starbucks utilizes green in its logo to embody the growth, novelty and financial success of the company.

Source: ethereumworldnews.com

Successful Green Brands: Spotify, Heineken, BP, Whole Foods, Android, Tic Tac, John Deere & Publix

PURPLE

Perceptive, Artistic, Royal

Purple is a creative and intuitive shade.

With its imaginative & introspective properties, many businesses like design studios, spiritual or counselling centers employ the colour in their marketing designs. The colour of royalty, purple can also represent financial or e-commerce sites nicely (think WooCommerce).

Purple is a balancing colour of the intellect and emotions, connecting the spiritual and physical world. It is not uncommon for psychologists and philosophers to have an affinity for this intriguing colour.

Kaleidoscope cleverly uses a combination of deep and bright purple to give their tech site a creative and edgy feel. The dark background pulls the user’s attention to the headline while the bright purple call to action button commands attention to download their application.

Source: kaleidoscopeapp.com

Successful Purple Brands: Cadbury, Yahoo, Roku, Niveo, Monster, Zoopla, Hallmark & Aussie

BLUE

Honest, Down to Earth, Calming

Perhaps the most popular of all colours, blue conveys trust, serenity and graciousness. It is easy on the eyes and gives off a welcoming vibe. As such, you will find this colour commonly used in financial, legal and medical practices.

The colour of sky and water, blue is seen every day in our environment, is extremely versatile, and compliments other colours effectively.

bZx effectively uses multiple shades of blue in their website to help build a potential client’s trust for their margin trading industry.

Source: bzx.network

Successfully Blue Brands: Facebook, Skype, Ford, Paypal, Samsung, GAP, General Electric, Chase & IBM

BROWN

Ordinary, Sincere, Earthy

Brown is a very natural colour. It is the colour of our earth. It conveys solidity, safety and a strong foundation. By itself, brown can appear dull and unrefined but combined with other colours, it can be strikingly beautiful. It’s an excellent colour choice for outdoor recreational companies, coffee shops, and wood furniture stores.

Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences uses brown very effectively for their elegant site. The brown gives it a warm, cozy feeling to entice the potential buyer to book a hotel room.

Source: guardagolf.com

Successful Brown Brands: UPS, Hershey’s, A&W, Cotton, Cracker Barrel, M&M’s, Hollister & Back to Nature

BLACK

Formal, Powerful, Secretive

Black is the absence of all colours and it can convey the feeling of power, sophistication and mystery. It is the colour of evil, the night sky, and ravens. Despite the negative connotation, black can exude elegance and confidence, creates contrast against other colours, and makes text extra legible against a white background.

The black background provides a perfect contrast to the white text and interesting graphical outline. The ‘o’ in two also serves as a target to bring your focus to “two chimp’s awesome, no-nonsense coffee.”

Source: twochimpscoffee.com

Successful Black Brands: Nike, Chanel, Canon, Adidas, Belk, Allure, Forbes, PBS, Puma, Calvin Klein & Loreal

WHITE

Innocent, spotless, sophisticated

It’s clean, pure and unadulterated. It is associated with virtue, but can also give off a cold or formal tone. White can complement literally any colour and bring attention to the places you want with its negative space. Adding just a touch of another colour to white can bring a very elegant feel to the design.

Apple does it best. A clean, easy to read design that accentuates the sleek phones showcasing colourful images of planets.

Source: apple.com/iphone

Successful White Brands: Crocs, Teslr, The North Face, Nescafe, Apple, ABC,  Pop Tarts, Uber, Dove & Pandora

GRAY

Professional, Muted, Somber

A blend of white and black, gray is a very neutral colour, which makes it an excellent transitional colour. Sometimes pure white or pure black can be too stark for the design. You can choose a deep gray instead of black or the lightest of grays to add some colour to a lacklustre design. Since gray can seem gloomy, be sure to balance it out with colour when appropriate.

My Own Bike uses a gray background very effectively in their interactive bike building site. The use of neutral dark gray in the header text and logo helps eliminate distractions, drawing attention to the most important element—the bike.

Source: myownbike.de

Successful Gray Brands: Wikipedia, Wii, Sketchers, Mercedes-Benz, Swarovski, WordPress, Microsoft