Is Poor Website Design Holding Your Business Hostage?

Poor design

Online visitors form a first impression of a website quicker than the blink of an eye — literally. It typically takes humans 300 to 400 milliseconds to blink. Meanwhile, scientific research led by Dr. Gitte Lindgaard at Carleton University in Ontario reveals websites have as little as 50 milliseconds to establish a first impression — a mere 1/20th of a second. That’s it!

This is crucial information for any business because once a visitor forms an impression on a subconscious level, he or she will selectively search for information confirming that impression. People do this because we all want to prove we have good judgement. So, if our first impression of a website is negative, we have a tendency to mainly seek and see the negatives, regardless how good a business’ products and services might actually be. Alternatively, if we immediately like what we see, we’ll look for positive information to reinforce that impression.

So how do you avoid making a bad first impression on the Web? Easy. Get a good designer.

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Selling With Sex On the Web

Sex sells Nikon ad

Sex has been used to successfully sell products as early as 1890 when W. Duke & Sons became the leading cigarette brand by including trading cards featuring scantily clad women in their cigarette packs.  Many decades of positive reinforcement later, selling with sex has become commonplace, with boundaries being pushed as far as societal morals allow.  Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller even wagers that all of our consumer choices are motivated by our pursuit of primal desire, for procreation or otherwise.

How has selling with sex manifested itself on the Web?  Webcopyplus recently spoke with Melody Nieves, blogger and marketing enthusiast behind www.sexidesign.com, a blog dedicated to exploring the role sex plays in marketing, for her take on sexy advertising online.

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How Is Social Media Affecting Web Design?

Social media design

Social media empowers consumers to be recognized by marketers as human again, their voices amplified through an expanding array of platforms in the transparent online marketplace.  Businesses are learning the value of this increasing amount of unsolicited market data, as well as the power of engaging their customers in conversation.  As a result, products and services are being tailored to customers more efficiently, and businesses are able to respond quicker to issues and concerns.

How are these changes affecting web design?  In order to fully leverage the benefits of this new relationship between business and consumer, websites must be designed with and for the ‘social Web’, affecting aesthetics, functionality, and the development process itself.

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Why Design Needs to be Like A Quesadilla

Vancouver Designer Gonzalo Alatorre of Creative Engine

Award-winning designer Gonzalo Alatorre, speaking at a TED conference in Mexico last month, suggested design needs to be like a quesadilla. Where was the Founder and Principal of Creative Engine, and designer of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics logo going with this? We spoke to the Alatorre to uncover his motivation for making such a seemingly bizarre claim.

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Cost-Effective Design…

Cheap Solution for Website Design and Development...

Group Brainstorming Kills Creativity: Study

Group brainstorming creativity

Group brainstorming is inefficient and smothers creativity, suggests a recent study conducted at Texas A&M University. This might come as a shock to copywriters, designers, developers, and other creative types, who long for and religiously take part in caffeine-powered idea-generating sessions.

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Striking Design: FIFA World Cup Calendar

FIFA World Cup Calendar

Kudos to Marca, the premiere sports news source in Spain, which designed a superb calendar for 2010 FIFA World Cup fans. Beautiful, clean and functional — the Spaniards know a thing or two about soccer and good design.

Enjoy the Marca soccer calendar here.

Crazy For Flash…

Flash Button - Webcopyplus web copywriter cartoon

Good Web Designers Create High ROI

Thanks to the Internet, businesses no longer need to outspend their competitors to outperform them on the marketing front. Small companies can go toe-to-toe with established, deep-pocketed Good Designers Provide High ROIenterprises, virtually overnight.

But how? By leveraging the value a well-versed website designer brings to the table. Regardless of a business’ size or industry, a proficient website designer can help:

  • Achieve a desired image and appeal to specific markets
  • Enable prospects and customers to quickly find relevant information and easily complete tasks
  • Build a customer base and increase leads, sales and revenues

Oddly, businesses frequently fork over significant marketing budgets to PR firms, radio, TV, and print publications. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, businesses spend about $400 billion on advertising annually, much of the money going to traditional channels, like television commercials. However, when it comes to their website — the marketing hub that pulls all marketing operations together — business owners often tighten the purse strings.

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Web Design Tips ‘n’ Links: From Footers to Speed Tools

Web design tips

We often come across and receive killer resources from web industry partners — and we like to share, too.

Here are several that are especially useful for web designers:

Telling Google about domain changes
Moved a client’s site? Tell the king of search about your domain change. Google tells you how.

Are your clients’ soles starting to wear?
Smashing Magazine examines what exactly makes for a good website footer. This insightful article discusses what to include in footers, the importance of sitemaps, usability practices, and styling ideas and trends. Plus, it showcases approximately 50 well-developed footers. Play footsies with Smash Mag.

Fixed or fluid layout?
This Smashing Magazine feature goes over the pros and cons of fixed, fluid, elastic and hybrid layout designs to help web designers head down the right path.

Web browser standards
Web Devout promotes the health of the Web by providing web developers both knowledge and tools. This section covers Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera web browsers, with focus on the HTML, CSS, DOM, and ECMAScript technologies. Get standardized.

Give me speed!
Web users indicate slow load times are one of the key factors likely to turn them away from websites (see Users place more weight on design). Slow-loading sites are caused by everything from too many image requests to heavy javascript. Yahoo’s YSlow analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve website performance.

Useful Firefox plug-ins
Firefox is popular among web designers. Heck, almost 60 per cent of Webcoppylus’ visitors use Firefox.  Web Design Booth brings you 35 useful Firefox extensions for web designers and developers alike. Plug away.

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