Graphic Zen recently completed the website redesign for Cougar Mountain Landscaping. The new design features a “Video” page, where Cougar Mountain will feature videos of client landscape installs and DIY tips. Dave Wells, partner at Cougar Mountain said, “We really love the new design. It’s much cleaner and puts the focus on our projects through the use of many photos.”
The new site also features a comprehensive client survey – for those seeking a custom quote – that goes into great detail to provide Cougar Mountain with your landscaping wishlist. Once submitted, Cougar Mountain can provide a series of landscaping options to fit the clients’ budget.
As we go about our business of logo and web design, we occasionally receive calls from people asking about website redesign. If you own a website, chances are you often wonder whether it is the right time to do a total redesign of the layout of your website. Here are some points to consider:
Are you thinking of a redesign just for the sake of it? If you answered yes to that question, it is not yet the right time to do a redesign. Remember, a design serves a specific purpose. Make a list of the pros and cons of getting a redesign. You’ll likely find the core of what is lacking in your current site. Can it just be added to your existing site without a redesign? Cool, you just saved time and money.
On the other hand, if your website has had the same website design since 1990, perhaps it is high time to do a redesign. The last thing you would ever want to happen to your site is when visitors leave your site without taking a look at your content just because the design is old fashioned (or takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to load). If this is your case, here are some points to ponder before doing a redesign.
Redesigning your website is like doing a remodel on a house. Your website loses its current identity (for the better or worse) and your regular visitors might not recognize your new design at first glance. You risk losing them just because they thought they landed on the wrong page. Hence, it is very important that you retain a characteristic feature from your old layout. Perhaps it is the logo of your site; perhaps it is the same text style for the title for your site.
Check out your competition. Notice I didn’t say copy your competition. You are different, so choose a different design. Can you incorporate certain similar elements like your competition’s website? Sure. But if you want to innovate, you gotta design. That goes for logo design too.
Oh wait, I never had it in the first place. So can I just call Google and ask them to send it over to me? That seems to be the impression one client had of us recently. Yeah, Graphic Zen and Google, we’re like this. Seriously….and all sarcastic snarkiness aside, that was an actual request of a client recently after we’d done some web design for them. They wanted a higher search engine ranking and suggested we “Just call Google and ask them.” I had to explain that just as they would not give out their company secrets, Google is not about to reveal theirs to anyone, let alone a great Boise web design company like us. Maybe someday Google’s formula will get out, just as the secret formula of Coca Cola is now out, but probably not before we catch Bigfoot and discover life on another planet. Now back to your regularly scheduled logo design channel.
Graphic Zen would like to welcome Richard “Chad” Villapando to our development team. Chad is a talented and experienced website coder and will be one of the lead developers for our web division. He’s developed a wide range of websites using HMTL, CSS and WordPress including sites for start up companies and small businesses. Chad also specializes in designing graphics with Photoshop and User Interface coding with CSS/ HTML for website development projects.
Chad also brings some experience in flash animation, domain name registration, webhost management, Joomla, Dreamweaver and search engine optimization.
We’ve always used the analogy that building a website is like building a home. Imagine that you’ve just purchased ten acres of beautiful land, and you hire the best builder in the area to construct your home. You drive the builder out to your land and point to a spot and say, “Build the house here.” To which the builder replies, “What kind of home do you want?” Now imagine that you say, “I’m not sure, but I’ll know it when I see it.”
Surprisingly, we’ve had some clients that have come pretty close to saying those exact words to us, regarding the construction of their website. So if you’re not sure of where to start, let us offer five tips (which may or may not also apply to home construction).
1. Decide what the main objective(s) of your site are. Is it a membership site? E-commerce site? Informative/interactive site? Blog?
2. Decide how many pages your site is going to have and develop some content for them. It’s okay to change this later (and it probably will), but having an idea of the type of content helps when constructing the layout of your site.
3. Create a list of websites that you like. Note what you like about them. Is it the layout, features, color scheme?
4. Sketch a draft of your site. This would show where you want the header images, navigation, content, widgets and other areas of your site placed. (Hint: it’s okay to involve the web designer at this point).
5. Be flexible. You may want every widget, gadget and calculator on your front page, and it may work for you. However, be flexible if your designer points out alternatives that will make it easier for the web surfer to navigate your site.
If you follow some of these basic tips, you’ll go a long way to creating the awesome site that’s in your head. “I’ll know it when I see it…” is okay, but “I know it because I planned it…” is a much better way to go.
The font is a critical factor in creating a website. For one, it will either make it easy or difficult for your readers to read the content of your website.
Another thing is that, it also says a lot in the overall design of your website. It is therefore important to choose a font that is legible and pleasing to the eyes as well.
Here are some factors that you should consider when choosing fonts for your website:
1. Font size
– this is an important consideration when choosing a font. You should determine what font size will do the job that you expect it to do. For your overall content, you should make sure that they are big enough to be readable by average readers.
Also make the size varied for different elements such as the content, the headline and the header. Also consider offering an option for changing the font sizes for the convenience of your readers.
2. Font type
– apart from the graphics, the font type also says a lot in the overall design of your website so you should choose your font type carefully. In general, fonts used nowadays are sans serif fonts which are easier on the eyes. Arial is probably the most widely-used of these sans serif fonts.
– once you’ve got the color scheme of your entire website figured out, choosing the color of your font would be a breeze. However, keep in mind that the color should contrast well enough with the background so that it will be easy to read.