These days, the interest in social media is continuing to grow at exponential rates and it is important that your business is taking advantage of this by making brand-oriented accounts on some of the more popular platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. To help you out, here are some tips that you can use to make your website social media friendly:
- Killer Content
Have you ever heard the saying ‘content is king’? Whilst this is true of anything that you upload to the internet, it is especially true of social media, as you need to stand out from the crowd. Ordinary content won’t cut it anymore because there is simply too much out there.
- Social Buttons
Users expect convenience when they browse the web; they want to be able to share things they like or find interesting through their social media channels as easily as possible. This is why your website should include buttons (such as ‘like’ and ‘tweet’) to streamline this.
- Social Content
Whilst social media platforms are built with the intention of connecting people, you can actually take a similar approach with your website. Why not incorporate a blog section where users can post comments? Or post your advertising material on Facebook to see the reaction?
- Titles & Images
You need titles that are eye-catching and straight to the point, otherwise users won’t read your content (no matter how interesting or relevant). You also need images that explain the main points of your content in the same kind of tone that you have written in.
Whilst a website does provide you with a foundation for establishing a successful online presence, social media will provide you with an avenue for even wider coverage and more opportunities to connect with your customers. By using the above tips, you can effectively integrate social media with your website and will, hopefully, start to see it working for you soon.
Every day, the number of people accessing the internet via their smart phones and other mobile devices (such as I Pads and tablets) is growing. Many believe that it won’t be long before this is the norm in terms of surfing the net, leaving desktop computers and even laptops far behind. Because of this, it is important that all companies focus on mobile web design.
Whilst it is possible to create a website specifically for mobile devices, it is also possible to make a single site (known as a responsive one) that can be accessed appropriately on all devices. Simply creating a design that can be viewed on a smart phone is not enough, however; you need to test the site out and make sure that it works on these smaller devices and platforms.
This can be achieved with the assistance of mobile emulators, which allow you to check the site’s responsiveness and functionality across a variety of platforms. Some of the better emulators out there include: ‘Mobi Ready’ (which also allows you to check dot Mobi compliance); ‘Screen fly’ (which covers a variety of platforms); and ‘Responsive’ (which allows you to check responsiveness).
The other great thing about using an emulator to test your mobile website design rather than the devices themselves is that they provide you with free feedback regarding the functionality and responsiveness of your site. They also ensure that you can test the design on all platforms and devices without having to actually go out and buy them, which will save you money.
When clients are late in making payments or simply choose not to pay at all, those who work in graphic design (and put all of their creativity into every project) often become jaded with the industry. If you are experiencing payment issues, use the following tips to help you ensure that you get paid without damaging your reputation:
- Speak with the client about the issue; having a face-to-face meeting is preferable, but over the phone may have to do. Explain your point of view, then let the client explain theirs. More often than not, the issue is a result of miss communication.
- Send a number of ‘payment due’ notices, often a week or so apart, so that there is a paper trail of your requests for payment. Finally, send a late notice and inform the client that if they do not pay within a certain time frame you will be sending the issue to credit bureau.
- Keep hold of the graphic design work until the issue is resolved. Even if the client has samples or drafts of the finished product, if you still hold the original files you are still technically the owner of the work. Make sure that samples and drafts are watermarked.
The moment that a dispute arises over a graphic design payment, you should pull out the original contract that the client signed and look at the original price that was agreed upon (as well as additional costs due to changes), the payment structure and clauses that state what to do in the event of late or nonpayment. If you bring these to the attention of the client, they should be willing to pay.
You might be a designer who has never really had to deal face-to-face with clients before, or you might be a client who is seeking design work for the first time. For whatever reason, talking about a graphic design portfolio can actually be a difficult and intimidating task – you don’t want to use terminology that the client won’t understand and you don’t want to insult their work after all.
The first thing to understand is that this is not easy, especially for designers, but it is certainly a good skill to learn. Try not to be afraid of making mistakes when discussing a portfolio; instead, treat each meeting as a training opportunity that teaches you what is and isn’t okay to say. For a designer, the aim is engage potential clients in your work. For a client, the aim is to gather more information.
Clients will like to discuss your graphic design portfolio because they are trying to determine whether you possess the skills to undertake their project, whereas designers will like to discuss it so that they can show you that their work is of a high quality. By being aware of these reasons, you can ensure that you don’t alienate the other party during the discussion and that you answer all queries.
Finally, you must be aware of how the person (or persons) you are speaking with is reacting to your comments. As a designer, watch for the clients’ reaction when you briefly explain a project that is similar to their own. As a client, look for the artist’s reaction when you ask them questions about their graphic design work or experience.
Think about the last time you looked something up on your mobile phone – did you keep hitting the wrong link or button when you were trying to navigate the site? This is a clear sign that the designer or developer has little experience with mobile web design, as they have failed to take into account the fact that fingers need a large target size for clicking.
But how big do these targets need to be to ensure that touchscreen users can navigate the website in relative ease? Even though developer guidelines for these sorts of features do exist, these guidelines don’t seem to be consistent with each other. When Apple says that they expect a minimum target size of 44 x 44 pixels and Nokia says that they will accept a minimum of 28 x 28 pixels, you can see why there is a problem.
Would you be surprised to learn, then, that both of these recommendations are entirely too small for most fingers? The average index finger size is around 45 to 57 pixels square, whilst the average thumb is about 72 pixels square. If you are working to the recommendations provided by Apple, your users will probably find that they are still experiencing the same problems.
As mobile web design becomes more and more popular, it is imperative that you take into account the target sizes that you are using. When testing how the design works, ask yourself whether you would struggle to press links and use the navigation or whether you would find it fairly easy. If you think that you would still struggle, you should consider making targets bigger.