Size Does Matter

The make or break of a business not only comes down to the business itself, but its website. A slow and useless site will only drive potential customers away from the business. The average person will click away from a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load and will not return to a poorly operated website. To prevent the potential loss of consumers and money, when making a website for a company, consider the page size and content.

Content that can slow the flow of the website can be found in the code. Lines of code in a JavaScript file can greatly increase the loading time of a site. For the sake of the site’s loading time, the person creating the site should try his best to eliminate any unwanted white spaces and comments in the script. Gzip compression should also be enabled because it can drastically minimize the size of the file, which allows more content to be downloaded in a shorter period of time.

A webpage essential is images. They have the ability to draw the attention of any casual who is just surfing the web and possibly draw people to a business. However, the number of images on a website can possibly slow down the webpage response time. The solution to this issue is image compression. This action minimizes the load time without changing the quality of the photo. And along with image compression, getting rid of image metadata can speed up the site’s response time.

Another method of quickly rendering a website is to enable browser caching. Doing this will make it so that the browser will never have to download the information to display the site again. Therefore, the webpage response time will be much quicker.

The last thing to look out for is custom web fonts. While these have gained popularity, now every browser is able to display the font and will have to download it. And to do this, the font will be downloaded as an external source with CSS and extra HTTP requests. When using a custom web font, it should be hosted locally so these extra steps do not need to occur.



Landing Page Designs: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

A landing page is the homepage of a website. As it is typically the first thing someone will come across when accessing a website, the creator of the website will want his landing page to appear superb to his site visitors. However, a beginner at web design may not know how to make his site appear beautiful to the visitors of the page.

A more desirable landing page will consist of only necessary details to eliminate any scrolling that would come with paragraph upon paragraph of useless words that take up the entire page. (That is what the description is for). An eye capturing image is If the website is advertising something, adding in a portion for the visitor to subscribe to the newsletter would be a brilliant idea to put on the landing page. If the page is supposed to advertise a product, the landing page should display someone using the product.

Design aspects that a web designer would want to stray from when creating a landing page especially include clutter. Not only is clutter distasteful and tacky, but it can confuse the site visitor. If the site visitor cannot navigate himself on the landing page, he will leave, and so will just about all the other visitors because the page will make them all feel overwhelmed. Another ugly design technique to avoid using is a landing page full of links that do not stand out all because not only are there a countless number of them, but if there are three line descriptions along with the links, all the links will be lost among the forest of text.

To recap, in order for a designer to create a fabulous landing page, he must use good design tactics. These design tactics include keeping everything on one page without scrolling necessary, uncluttered, and with an attractive and eye catching image. If the landing page is for an advertisement, there should be a portion (like a box or something like that) where the site visitor would have no trouble signing up for the company’s newsletter. And the designer should avoid clutter at all costs because it is hideous and confusing.


Bootstrap CSS

Bootstrap CSS, also known as front-end-framework, is a free software that combines JavaScript, HTML, and CSS code that is used to develop interface components such as forms, buttons, and navigation. This program is filled with a ton of features that allow the user to not have any trouble working within it. There are several more pros than cons to Bootstrap CSS.

The biggest convenience is that comes with Bootstrap CSS is that is comes with free tools and controls for creating interface components and web layouts. This program also saves the user time by providing predefined design templates and classes. Bootstrap CSS also, as mentioned prior, comes with responsive features that are designed to make a web page appear appropriately on different computer screens, tablets, cell phones, and other kinds of monitors. And consistency is key with Bootstrap CSS, this is clear upon using the application because all the components share the same design templates and styles so that the site being created is consistent throughout the project design period.

Not only is Bootstrap consistent, time saving, and free, but it is easy to use-so easy, that even a noob could figure out how to navigate himself through the program, as long as he has basic knowledge of HTML and CSS (still too hard for casuals who visit websites that they only think are “pretty”). Along with the simplicity of Bootstrap CSS, it was developed with modern browsers, such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, in mind so it is compatible with all modern browsers.

However, every rose has its thorn. Bootstrap is flawed in that if the user wanted to add a bunch of customizations or just use his own style rather than the default Bootstrap ones, he would have to override a bunch of the Bootstrap default options. This is how the original file could possibly get deleted and need to be reinstalled. But the websites will all look the same if only default Bootstrap options are used.

Other than these two flaws, noob and skilled web designers usually recommend Bootstrap because it is a free program that comes with free tools to create web layouts and interface components, it’s a mega time saver,  comes with responsive features, consistent, compatible with all browsers, and is very easy to use!


Design Strategies

In order for a website to be successful, it must have viewers and a lasting audience that is viewing the site. To maintain such a thing, the website must not only be helpful, but look appealing to the average person. In the mind of the designer, terms such as “white space” and “sans-serif font” come to mind, but that isn’t what is going through the mind of any old casual. People who do not professionally design look for whether or not a website is “attractive” or not. Someone’s idea of this may completely go against the rules of design.

The first step to attracting people to a website is to make it have a nice, friendly first impression. So for this step, make the site user friendly. All the controls should be clear, and each section of the site should be clearly marked differently by color or design and anything that is able to be interacted with by the user should be made clear so the user isn’t left confused and decides to leave the site forever. The layout of the website must be consistent too, nobody wants to get lost on a website. And the last thing for this step is to have a clear font in a visible color. When creating a site, the designer will want the site visitor to be able to read everything he has put on the website to be read. Having clear words will also increase the attractiveness of the website, which will make more people inclined to visit it.

Finally, the next ideal for design a website is to design with emotion. The goal behind this is for the creator to choose an emotion that he wants his site visitors to feel when they access his website and to be consistent with the emotion he chooses to create for the site. For example, if the web designer wants a light-hearted or humorous feel to his site, he can add in joyful colors and smooth shapes. However, no matter what theme the designer is going for, he would NEVER want to use comic sans because it will make the web page look unprofessional. And moreover on the user-friendliness of the site, if there is an error-404 page due to the website being under construction, the designer could make his own entertaining/humorous error-404 page the take the edge off any frustration the site visitor may get from receiving that error page rather than the real website.


Human Target Practice

A target audience is the intended audience for a product, website, show, and everything else in between. Target audience can be any age group between infancy to the elderly, depending on what the project is. Target audiences make a lot of sense because one product cannot please everyone and the age groups create a division. For someone in a company to determine his target audience, he must consider what the product is as well as the person who will pay for his product, the consumer’s influence, and his supporter.

For the target audience, the producer must determine the audience’s age, gender, job description, and hobbies. In order to gather this information, the creator must think about what problem his product is designed to solve. And then, more in depth: who has these problems? Once he answers this, he will have an idea of his target audience. The best way to get an understanding of the target audience’s thoughts and feelings of the problem is to contact them whether it be in person or via the internet or phone call for an interview. This step is vital for marketing a product because the producer will have no sales without a target audience.

Next, the creator should identify the target audience’s motivations to help achieve the consumer’s goals, which leads to new initiatives to increase sales. And if the producer aims to help their new clients, the new clients will want the same for the company they buy their good or service from.

The person who is trying to sell his product must also identify the influencer of his client so that he can appeal to him too. To do this, the producer can look at social media profiles of his clients. Upon doing this research, the seller will find that his target audience follows accounts that grab their attention. The next step would be to look into online publications that the target audience is subscribed to. This will further grab the attention of the target audience and continue to encourage them to buy the product of service. Once the producer gets online recognition, he should create a description of all the social media linked to his business. The people who follow the links of the creator’s description are a part of the target audience.


Copyrights of Fonts

Along with all original creative works, there are copyright rules, this includes fonts. However, most casuals do not know the rules and regulations for typefaces and fonts. For one thing, fonts and type faces are two entirely different things. The difference is that the font is the file on the computer that allows the user to access the typeface and tells the computer how to display the characters on screen. The typeface is the actual set of letters and characters that are shown on the monitor. Sometimes, typefaces are referred to as glyphs. For example, Comic Sans is not a font, it is a (terrible) typeface, the font for Comic Sans is the file on the computer (that should be burned) that allows the computer to display the characters in Comic Sans.

Copyright is the law that provides legal protection to the owner of a piece of work, giving him the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt, publicly preform, or publicly display the work. The only exception to this law is if the work is bought or the person who wants to use the work asks for permission to use it. In order for a piece of work to be protected by the Copyright Law, it does not need to be donated to the US Copyright Office.

Copyright does not protect typefaces, but it does protect fonts if they are able to qualify as a computer software or program, which most fonts do. There are two kinds of fonts: bitmapped and scalable fonts. Bitmapped fonts are considered to be computerized versions of glyphs and are not protected under the copyright law. Scalable fonts are protected by the law because they are incorporated as part of a software. So basically, US Copyright Laws only protect scalable fonts and not their typefaces.However, this is not the case in other countries. The Copyright Laws in England and Germany both protect typefaces. Some typefaces can be patented, but they rarely are and most of the patents were done a long time ago and are expired now.

Be careful when using free fonts, some of them may be illegally copied. Do research on websites before mindlessly downloading fonts and potentially giving your computer a virus.


I Spot Colors!

Spot colors are any colors that are generated by ink in a single print. These colors are referred to as CMYK. To break it down: C is cyan, M is magenta, Y is yellow, and K is key which is black. Just about any color can be created from the CMYK color model. In order to do this, two or more colors in CMYK must be mixed and with certain amount of each color being used. For example, green would be a combination of cyan and yellow, and for purple, magenta and cyan. The printer that is printing a color created by multiple spot colors, the printer must have a special file for spot colors along with the CMYK colors. However, there are several systems that have been developed for matching specific spot colors. The most common system used in America is the Pantone Matching System. This system has about a thousand pre-designed colors that can be mixed from the company’s “Pantone Colors” inks which are sold individually.

The printer is what produces the spot colors, and to do this, the printer uses a number called a PMS number, which is used to specify ink colors, to locate the base colors by number from the Pantone ink color palette to mix the numbers and percentages of each color necessary to create the spot color. There are even computerized scales for printers to get a color more spot on and accurate.

It is possible to create spot colors from other spot colors. However, this can only be done in duotones (a photo with only two colors) or tritones (a photo with only three colors). This printing is not often practiced because there is very few other effects that can be done along with it since the color range is so limited per photo.

While there are several printing effects that can be done, proofing spot colors is not one of them with today’s technology. But because the Pantone color chart works in numbers and matching the numbers, the production of spot colors is always assumed to follow a PMS guide.