Have you heard of the term ‘progressive enhancement’ in relation to web design? If you haven’t, or lack thorough knowledge of the definition of the term as it relates to web design, then you – and, more crucially, your website – could likely benefit from your educating yourself on this particular web design procedure. Furthermore, Rake Mark can provide web design Stafford services which can greatly assist you in using high quality progressive enhancement as part of your website. This, in turn, can – as this blog post should make clear – greatly enhance the website’s accessibility and, thus, popularity.
A straightforward definition of progressive enhancement
The Internet is commonly accessed through a huge variety of computers and other devices. Such computers and devices vary hugely in their power and speed; hence, many people can struggle to use their computers and devices to load a website as quickly as many other people can do so using their computers and devices. It is for this reason that progressive enhancement has become an increasingly useful web design procedure. Progressive enhancement basically involves developing a website in layers to ensure that the website can be accessed just as easily through a big variety of computers and devices.
How Rake Mark can assist in creating effective progressive enhancement
We offer a great variety of web design Stafford services which can greatly assist you in developing a similarly great variety of layers for your website and, thus, create effective progressive enhancement for your website. It is straightforward to use the Rake Mark website to learn more about this great variety of web design Stafford services – and, of course, if you have any unanswered questions about our web design Stafford services, don’t hesitate to drop us a line using any of the relevant contact details on our website. We eagerly anticipate helping you!
‘Skeoumorphic’ – now that’s a word that you probably shouldn’t attempt to utter ten times fast. At least not in public, anyway – you’d just look silly. However, what does ‘skeoumorphic’ – we just love repeating that word – actually mean? Or Perhaps a much worthier question is: What are skeoumorphic web design packages? That’s the question that we are going to answer in this blog post – but you might not be surprised to hear that high quality skeoumorphic web design packages can be courtesy of Rake Mark.
So, what does ‘skeoumorphic’ mean?
To get an idea of what ‘skeoumorphic’ means, first, look at your wardrobe. Do you have clothes with fake decorative pockets? These are skeoumorphic pockets, as they are intended to look like, but not serve the same purpose as, real pockets. Then, think of those flame-shaped light bulbs that, when switched on, look like lit candles. Those, too, are skeoumorphic. So, basically, anything skeoumorphic is something that has been designed to look almost entirely like an object or objects from real life.
What, then, is skeoumorphic web design?
Basically, skeoumorphic web design involves giving a website an element with a strong visual similarity to a real life object. A website with a background that looks like the top of a table, for example, has a skeoumorphic web design. Similarly, a website with links in graphics that look like chocolate buttons has a skeoumorphic web design. We at Rake Mark can provide many businesses with web design packages that can greatly enable them to benefit from skeoumorphic web designs. These web design packages include our 5 page starter package, which is especially ideal for businesses inexperienced with the web, and our CMS package, which enables businesses to stay on top of their website content 24 hours a day without having to pay any update charges.
The smartphone and tablet markets are ever-changing beasts, with more and more new devices regularly being launched into these markets and more and more companies regularly making their first forays into these markets. All of this can have many implications for how websites should be designed in order to remain effective, but Rake Mark’s web design Staffordshire services can take account of these implications. Here are just some of the smartphones and tablets that could soon be going on sale.
New Nexus devices
Many Google Nexus devices have proved popular and currently rumoured future Nexus devices include the Nexus 5 smartphone, which is rumoured to succeed the Nexus 4 smartphone and have an expansive 5.2-inch display, and a new generation Nexus 7 tablet, which is rumoured to have a 1,920×1,200 pixel screen compared to the 1,280×800 pixel screen of the currently available Nexus 7 tablet and a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera.
Smaller Windows 8 tablets
There have recently been many indications that smaller Windows 8 tablets will be going on sale before the end of the year. Here at Rake Mark, we should be able to take account of this especially easily with our web design Staffordshire services, as by the time such tablets will arrive, the people responsible for delivering our web design Staffordshire services will be thoroughly familiar with the operating system, which is already running on many desktop and laptop computers and even some tablets.
New Apple smartphones and tablets?
Apple have shown few signs of resting on their laurels as competing companies attempt to trump them in the smartphone and tablet markets. Currently heavily rumoured are the iPhone 5S, iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2; could all three be unveiled by Apple at a press conference held this autumn? We think that many signs heavily suggest so.
When designing websites, attempting to innovate can be a true double-edged sword. Done effectively, innovating could lead your website not only to be easy and enjoyable to use, but also to become a big trendsetter among other websites. All of this, in turn, can help to attract more visitors to your website as word of its great design spreads. Done ineffectively, however, innovating can leave your website’s visitors feeling needlessly frustrated. Here are some tips for how to innovate in the right way when you use web design Stafford services courtesy of Rake Mark.
Avoid just using technology for the sake of it
Though it can be easy to be wowed by a recently-introduced technology, you should resist using it for your website if it fails to add any true functional or aesthetic value to it. Innovation does involve taking risks and exploiting promising opportunities, but not using a new technology just because you can.
Keep things simple
As a general rule of thumb, if your website is so innovative in its design that you have to educate your visitors about how to use the website, you have probably innovated a little too much. The problem with making a website design too complex is that it can deter people from staying with your website to see what of substance it offers.
Avoid a tendency to show off
Some website designers can be tempted to add many bells and whistles to a website simply to show off their web design expertise. But what is the point of this if it sees the website sacrificed in both its functionality and appearance? Consider how your website’s design can convenience your website’s visitors, rather than satisfy your ego as a website designer. You can do this with help from Rake Mark’s web design Stafford services
Imagine that you have just discovered an exciting new website that you would like to keep revisiting again and again. However, imagine that, whenever you do revisit, absolutely no part of the website has changed. Then imagine that, after a bit of looking around the website, you find proof that it hasn’t been updated for months. If all of this actually happened, then you would probably be led to think: “Why should I feel bothered about a website if its own web-master doesn’t?” However, this only begins to hint at the importance of updating your own website regularly.
Reasons to keep updating
If you fail to update your website for months or years, then it will likely fail to keep up with a changing market and so increasingly struggle to attract the exact types of visitors that you desire. Furthermore, search engines like Google and Yahoo will give higher rankings, and therefore higher visibility in their search results, to websites that are frequently updated with new content. But how exactly should you frequently update with new content?
Ways to regularly update
Adding and maintaining a blog on your website can be an excellent way of ensuring that the website is regularly updated with new content. Furthermore, a blog can provide regular visitors to your website with the latest information about upcoming news and events related to your website’s subject while also helping your website to amass higher search engine rankings.
However, it is also important to make sure that all the information on the main pages of your website remains relevant and is regularly updated as necessary, or else people may be deterred from even looking at any blog on your website. You should, for example, avoid placing any ‘under construction’ pages on your website.
Many businesses have realised how beneficial their websites can be for helping them to spread the word about the companies and what they have to offer. Indeed, for the average business, setting up a website is probably easier than it ever has been. However, there is one large drawback with the ease with which websites can be built: the great frequency of particular errors in the designs of many websites. Here is a list of just some of the most common errors in website design that any future website designer should avoid making.
Too little originality
Though a company might be tempted to save time in the short term by simply copying the design template of a competing website, in the long term, their website will be more successful with a more unique design that is more representative of the company.
These days, there are so many different possibilities concerning images, graphics and flash videos on websites that it can be tempting to draw on many of them for the same website. However, too many visual bells and whistles like this can cause a website to load slowly, which can lead many people too impatient for the website to load to abandon it for a rival website. Hence, it is better to keep a website’s design more minimalistic.
Too little content
A website shouldn’t just look good; it should also be highly informative. After all, many visitors to a company’s website are there because they want to learn about what the company is and offers. However, such a website should also avoid going too far the other way and providing its visitors with too much content, as many visitors to the website will want to get the information that they seek through simply taking a quick glance
If you tend to regularly familiarise yourself with what is going on in the web design world, then chances are that you are already familiar with responsive web design. Responsive web design is, as its name suggests, a web design that is responsive to the different screen sizes and other factors of different devices through which the website is viewed. However, though the rising use of devices like smartphones and tablet computers for Internet usage might hint at many great benefits of responsive web design, otherwise commonly known as RWD, for many website owners, it should still not necessarily be made a priority for every single website. So, how can you tell if it should be for yours?
Check your website’s statistics
It would be common sense that, if your website is most commonly viewed through devices with smaller screens than desktop and laptop computers, like smartphones and tablet computers, then your website could benefit much more from an RWD than a website that is mainly viewed through more traditional means. You can see profiles of the types of devices that are being used to access your website by looking at relevant statistics generated for your website by highly-esteemed statistics service Google Analytics.
Consider your own expectations
However, one problem with such statistics is that they would only demonstrate how your website has so far been viewed, rather than also how your website is likely to be viewed in the future. Hence, you should think carefully about how your website might be viewed in future by members of your target audience. Are such people likely to, for example, initially view your website through smartphones while on the go before later accessing it through desktop or laptop computers at their homes?
For many website owners, it might seem obvious that they should regularly update their websites with new information – for example, through the regular posting of blog posts – in order to attract and maintain the interest of the websites’ visitors. However, there are many other strong reasons for people to regularly update their websites – and, indeed, many other ways in which they can do the updating. Here is just a list of just some of them…
Improving navigation and usability
Improving a website’s navigation and usability has been demonstrated to help to improve its conversion of visitors into paying customers.
Redesigning your website
This will make your website’s visitors realise that you are pro actively doing something to get their attention. If you seem to care about your website, then it will encourage them to follow suit. Redesigning your website could also help to boost its speed and performance.
Incorporating new technology
Given that the ways in which people view websites are often changing, you need to take account of these changing habits if you don’t want to risk deterring fussy potential visitors to your website. You could, for example, adopt a responsive or adaptive design for your website, which should improve the experiences of viewing and using your website for the increasing number of people who often view and use websites through smartphones, tablet computers and similar devices.
Improving interactivity tools
Adding tools like blogs, social media and forums – in other words, tools that can be used by your website’s visitors to interact with you – to your website will give its visitors good reasons to keep revisiting besides potentially dull graphics and text.
And that’s not all…
Indeed, the possibilities for enhancing your website could be limited largely just by your own imagination.
Long-established UK entertainment store chain HMV recently entered administration following two years of financial struggles and the failure in recent weeks of the group’s major creditors, including banks, landlords, film houses and record labels, to agree revised terms that would keep HMV trading. Many people have already speculated about the reasons for the chain’s fall from grace, but one reason that has been particularly commonly cited is the chain’s failure to embrace the world of online retail quickly enough. Could some important lessons about e-commerce web design be learned from HMV’s failure?
Children of the revolution
Well, basically, yes. Ten to fifteen years ago, many similar retailers, including Amazon, heavily invested in online operations; many of these retailers are today thriving. Though HMV did eventually follow suit, it ultimately proved a case of too little, too late; other online retailers had already established their names. Phillip Beeching, in an article for the Guardian, has suggested that HMV could have very effectively exploited the power of the Internet due to the power of its brand and its heritage in music and unrivalled access to content from film, game and music companies. However, it instead left a gap in the market that online retailers like Play.com exploited.
Lessons to be learnt
So, what are the lessons that retailers can learn from HMV’s failure? Well, firstly, that the convenience of the Internet in helping many people to buy items both flexibly and affordably should not be underestimated; therefore, retailers that currently run only bricks and mortar operations should seriously consider investing in online retail arms, while retailers already based online could benefit hugely, especially in the long term, from endeavouring to further improve their online retail offerings.
In a recent blog post, we pointed out just some examples of the many modern trends in web design and exactly what they could teach us to help us to become better web designers. However, there are so many enlightening such trends that we reckon that it wouldn’t be sufficient to discuss such trends in just one blog post, which is why we are about to discuss many more examples of such trends in another!
One noteworthy modern web design trend is the use of photo backgrounds, which seems to have originated from the online revolution brought about by Facebook, on which everyone’s page appeared (and, of course, still appears) to display a massive array of photographs side-by-side. Many web designers consider photo backgrounds to create strong illustration statements, especially for the purposes of branding.
Web Design changes made easy with Rake Mark’s CMS
Many website owners in the UK and Ireland may feel compelled to alter the designs of their websites to take account of modern trends like those described above. Thankfully for those website owners, they can alter those designs quickly and easily with the help of Staffordshire-based web design services provider Rake Mark. These website owners can peruse our website to learn more about the many ways in which we could assist them.Another modern web design trend concerns the use of more minimalist website designs which contain limited text content compared to many website designs of years past. This trend is likely to have been encouraged by the increasing tendency of many people to view and use websites through mobile devices, as websites with considerable amounts of content are often more difficult to view and use through mobile devices, due largely to their smaller screens and more modest technical specifications compared to larger devices.