Improve Your Site

E-mail Marketing
Use HTML to give your emails a professional look. Use customizable templates to reduce your work effort. Alternatively, you can hire e-mail marketing services or even web designers to create interesting emails for you. Add a concise and appealing subject line to your emails and double check them for spelling and grammar mistakes.

To keep customers coming back to your site, make your emails attractive in appearance and content. Do not go overboard with lengthy messages. Just add short messages with interesting content. Add a ‘tip of the week’ or discount offer in your emails to ensure that subscribers read them instead of simply putting them in trash.

Design for Multiple Web Browsers
Your site should appeal to customers, irrespective of the web browser they use to access it. Make sure that your site works well in popular web browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer. To make it work consistently across multiple browsers you may just have to tweak a bit for each browser.

Get Linked Up From Other Sites
Design a website that attracts other website owners to link up with you. Website links on relevant sites can significantly improve your rankings in organic search results. Get linked up to sites that offer products complementing your products. Send out emails to prospective link partners explaining reasons as to why they should add a link to your website on their sites. Always offer a link back in return. Once you have agreed to exchange links, promptly list the other website’s link. Also, check if the other website has added a link to your site on their web pages.
Building links is a time-consuming and ongoing process, so do not lose your patience. While link exchange is a good start, you should aim to get other sites to link with you without having to exchange a link. This can be accomplished by writing interesting articles and publishing them in article directories across the net. You may also bookmark your web pages on dofollow social bookmarking sites to get SEO some juice. Remember to add a link to your site with desired anchor keywords.

Key Keywords
The right keywords and phrases are essential for the success of your search engine marketing campaign. Be creative and experiment with new search terms for maximum benefit. Ask family and friends to suggest keywords and phrases. You may also like to use the free Google keywords tool to get keyword ideas. Regularly monitor the effects of your chosen keywords and refine them for maximum effectiveness.

Responsive Website Design

When you hire a web design company for responsive website design needs, you should check whether your service provider follows the industry’s best practices while designing responsive websites.¬†With touch sensitive devices, people are not going to be using pointing devices like mouse or touch pads for clicking actions. Here, the links or the buttons should therefore be big enough so that it is easy for the users to make their selections using their fingers without touching the adjacent buttons or links. Designing responsive websites is more about designing websites that are user friendly.

One of the reasons why we are going for responsive websites is due to the fact that internet users access the web using the following types of devices:

  1. Regular desktops and laptops without touch sensitive displays.
  2. Touch sensitive devices like tablets, laptops and desktops.
  3. Touch sensitive devices like iPhones, PDAs, etc., that have very small display.

In other words, there is great diversity in the nature of the devices used and most of the devices today have touch sensitive displays. Your focus here should therefore be on creating optimum browsing experience for your users that use touch sensitive devices regardless of the size of the display.

Yet another factor that you need to remember here is that when people use mobile devices they are not going to have the comfort or the luxury of a large keyboard to input the required information. If you design websites, which require the user to do a lot of typing then it will affect the overall user experience because it is not easy to type using the virtual keyboards on the touch sensitive devices. The best practice here is to reduce the amount of typing input required while using your website. All the possible options should be provided in the form of a dropdown menu from which the users can select by simple clicking actions and this will certainly enhance the user experience.

UX Design

The easiest way to approach the planning phase for UX projects is to determine the approach you think ought to be taken for a project, then examine the constraints and amend the approach based on these constraints. This should enable you to determine budgets and timescales if they weren’t given to you by your potential client beforehand. UX projects that are well planned are easier to execute and offer a higher chance of succeeding than those that are managed on an ad-hoc basis For designers working in the ever-changing field of user experience, it’s always important to consider the fundamental principles of design. At many levels, the nature of the work that we do constantly shifts and evolves-whether we’re designing for new technologies or different contexts, ranging from apps for personal use to cross-channel experiences. When we’re called upon to solve design problems that we haven’t solved before, design principles provide a sound basis for devising innovative solutions. All of these trends have required us to look at design afresh and come up with new interaction models, design patterns, and standards-many of which are still evolving.

Visual design trends shift as well-sometimes for the better; sometimes not. For example, in the recent past, we saw the prevalent use of small, light-gray fonts that were both too small and too low contrast for good readability-for almost anybody, not just those with serious visual deficits. Now we’re seeing bigger fonts-solving that readability problem. UX Design Principles course provides foundational level skills for those interested or working in user experience design. The workshop covers aspects of designing for web, apps, and mobile. This UX workshop is suitable for designers, business analysts, product managers, and developers. No UX or design previous experience is required. It serves as the foundation for the UX Classes as well as the UX Certificate program at American Graphics Institute.

User Interface Design is its complement, the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product. But like UX, it is easily and often confused by the industries that employ UI Designers. User interface design (UID) or user interface engineering is the design of websites, computers, appliances, machines, mobile communication devices, and software applications with the focus on the user’s experience and interaction. UI Design is closer to what we refer to as graphic design, though the responsibilities are somewhat more complex. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) integrates concepts and methods from computer science, design, and psychology to build interfaces that are accessible, easy to use, and efficient. There are three factors that should be considered for the design of a successful user interface; development factors, visibility factors and acceptance factors. Development factors help by improving visual communication. These include: platform constraints, toolkits and component libraries, support for rapid prototyping, and customizability. Visibility factors take into account human factors and express a strong visual identity. These include human abilities, product identity, clear conceptual model, and multiple representations. Included as acceptance factors are an installed base, corporate politics, international markets, and documentation and training. There are three fundamental principles involved in the use of the visible language.

User experience online is very similar to the user experience you get when going to a grocery store. You want a pleasant time without any hassle. You want to be able to navigate the store quickly, get what you need right away, head to the checkout line without a wait, and get back home. You don’t want to deal with a slow cashier, items not where they should be or out of stock, hostile employees, or a crammed parking lot. You simply want what you came for (groceries) and be on your way. Stores understand this and have spent a considerable amount of time and money to help you navigate the store easier, make sure items you want are in stock, and to provide fast and friendly checkout lines. It may seem a bit corny to think of UX design in terms of going to your local grocery store, but the experiences are similar. Our customers are visitors to the sites we create, and the groceries are the content in which they came to the site for. For those of us who go to the store, it’s easy for us to pinpoint things that irritate us or think should be improved. However, when it comes to our own designs and user interfaces and the creation of them, we may not be able to point out these irritants ahead of time before users do. We can fix this by taking a step back and look for these weak points in our design, so that we don’t cause them unnecessary frustration and keep them on our site so they can get to the content they were looking for. To help us designers step back and look at our designs and user interfaces from the eyes of the visitor, let’s run through some do’s and don’ts to look out for so we can help them get exactly what they came for without irritation or a bad UX.

1. DO: Provide a similar experience regardless of the device Visitors are coming to your site using many different types of devices. They can visit your site on their desktop or laptop, tablet, phone, music player, game console, or even their watches. A big part of user experience design is ensuring that no matter how the visitor sees your site, they are getting the same experience they would if they were to visit from another device. This means that if a visitor is seeing your site on their phone, they should still be able to find everything they need without trouble just like they would if they were viewing your site on their desktop at home. A seamless experience across all of your devices helps keep your users on your site regardless of the device they are using.

2. DO: Provide instantly recognizable and easy-to-use navigation The key to providing a pleasant user experience for users is to understand that they are in search of content. They want information that you are providing on your site. The way they get there is by using your site’s navigation to quickly get to the content they are looking for. Provide a user-friendly navigation system that is easy to recognize and easy to use. Design your navigation in a way that gets visitors where they want to go with the least amount of clicks as possible while still being easy to scan and locate where they need to go.

3. DON’T: Letting the design of the site hinder the site’s readability The design of a site or user interface should never interfere with the user’s ability to consume the content on the screen. This includes having busy backgrounds behind content or poor color schemes that hinder the site’s readability. Busy backgrounds cause a distraction and take attention away from the content, even more so if the busy background is directly underneath the content. In addition, be careful not to use color schemes that decrease the contrast of the typography on the screen (i.e. light gray type of a white background). Focus on the typography of your site to ensure issues such as line length, line height, kerning, and font choice doesn’t pose issues for readability.

EDU Links

As these pages are hosted by universities, the topics they have can span the gambit from sports to academics. Most professors will have a page that will list their classes and research. Their will be web pages for many classes as well as pages for the different departments and levels of administration. Everyone on campus from the bursar to the gym will get their own page that has a section with contact information and hours. Many universities will have a human resource section that includes a trusted source of suppliers who have promised to give discounts to community members. It may be useful to check your local university to see if you can get a link from their trusted resource page. In fact, trusted resources are often a giveaway. So many people know about this strategy that it’s value is often not that high from a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) perspective. At the same time, the price could not be better: free. For this reason, many companies that are targeting their local area, as opposed to Internet businesses, love to get promotions from their local university.

There are several other strategies for finding ways to get links from university pages. Some people will post a job for an intern on a college job board. That is very easy, as interns generally are able to do useful work for a small amount of time for experience instead of pay. Others try to find a page of a professor a university that needs updating to include CSS or RSS feeds. In exchange for redesigning an older page, they will get a designer link. Designers should note, however, that Professors often have very exacting standards. Be prepared to work hard to make the page have both the proper aesthetic and text fitting for whatever field that professor is in.