tips & tricks
Design and sustainability tips and techniques, and other ramblings.
- Graphic design
- Web design
Who is your website FOR? (Hint: It’s not for you.) Your website should be for your CUSTOMERS, not for YOU. Read that again. When your website is for your customers, it’s designed to provide a better experience For. Your. Customers. Sounds logical, right? But it’s not the way many websites are actually designed. In fact, most websites look good at first glance, but aren't particularly usable.
Having a multilingual website means your website is available in more than one language. This is another aspect of Web Accessibility we love talking about here. There are two considerations: do you want your website back end to be in a language other than English? Or do you want to have your website served to your viewer in their preferred language?
Your logo has a massive impact on the perception of your organization. It’s critical to keep it looking crisp, whether it's on your website, your email signature, or the side of a blimp. Online platforms all have different requirements. The standard size of a logo depends on which platform you're going to use. For example, a YouTube profile photo is 800 pixels x 800 pixels; a logo for a website often has a maximum height of 100 pixels. If all you have is the website logo, it's going to look really fuzzy on your YouTube profile!
Six tips to help entrepreneurs from an experienced work-from-home mum. With the novel global coronavirus pandemic that began to unfold early this year, you don’t need me to tell you that pretty much everything we thought we knew has been turned on its head. Everyone is stressed, overwhelmed, and several are having trouble coping with the “new normal” - for however long that new normal lasts. For many, working from home on top of all the new stressors is the ultimate challenge.
Sometimes as a web designer, you set up a website based on certain specs and needs and then whoa! Within a very short time, you realize the business has already evolved way beyond what your initial vision imagined and your specs are suddenly much, much different. And the website that was all shiny and new and fun just a short time ago is laggy, getting laggier, and (as its designer) downright embarrassing.
Designing for website accessibility for users with little to no vision, and using Screen Readers. As a user who doesn’t experience any real vision or textile considerations, I find discussions about accessibility within the internet space fascinating.A few months ago I attended a webinar presented by a near-blind web developer. She offered a chance to experience what surfing the internet is like for someone who uses a screen reader. It was an absolutely mind blowing experience.
Or Why Not to Use a Countdown Timer! One of my more challenging recent projects involved setting up a website that included a members-only area. Now, normally building a subscription WordPress website is not such a complicated thing of itself. But there's nothing like compounding the pressure by using a live count-down timer for the new site's launch.
If you manage a WordPress website, you probably noticed the warnings and additional editor plugins that were being promoted over the last year. For a while, there was a Gutenberg editor plugin that would help you to "test" your website. But as of December 6, 2018, WordPress 5.0 and later will use Gutenberg as the default content writer for WordPress. And as a "block editor", boy, is it different.
No matter what platform you're using (WordPress, Shopify, Wix, or something else) there's really no excuse for not making your website accessible. There are, in fact, all kinds of reasons to start thinking about web accessibility (or #a11y, if you're into numeryms). The key takeaway is that making your website accessible makes it available to MORE VISITORS, not just for anyone with physical disabilities.
The word "Internationalization" is often abbreviated to "i18n", which is a numerym. "i18n" is used because there are 18 letters between the 'i' and the 'n'. Accessibility, by the way, uses the numerym "a11y". It's not new - there are web standards to help regulate it, and in fact a whole section devoted to it on W3C. But in terms of Accessibility, making your website available to all users is a pretty big deal. And that includes more than *just* language choices.
Accessibility should equal Usability for all. A design is only useful if it’s accessible to the user: any user, anywhere, any time. We often mistake the concept of accessibility as involving people with disabilities. But accessibility is simply a function of access. If UX is your user's experience, then an accessible UX just means that more users can have a positive digital experience on your website. And that means a more positive experience with your company.
Choosing your font (or font family) for your website may not be something you've thought about, but you should - it can actually be a bit complicated. Maybe you went with whatever site builder you're using had set as a default, and didn't consider its impact or whether that choice is even a good match for you or your website. If your logo has sans-serif font, do you want to use a sans-serif font throughout your site, or a serif font? And what if you want to use some funky font nobody else has used? Will it even show up properly on someone else's computer?
Just as art is in the eye of the beholder, creativity can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Advice is often directed to corporate workspaces and a manager's responsibility to enable and encourage creativity among her staff. As an entrepreneur, that kind of advice doesn't apply to my situation. Instead, I'm going to include some of the tips that work for me here.
The traditional work environment was changing even before the pandemic. Companies were moving away from “Cubicle Land” environments or private offices with long, echo-y halls and fluorescent lighting, and into more open office designs. Co-working also started to change the way we work. So now, a year into a global pandemic, where are we at for work environments?