Category Archives: Design

How to choose a web designer to create a perfect online persona for your business

Unlike earlier times, every organization now is required to create and maintain two personas – the real and the virtual. As vital it is for businesses to build and sustain a perceivable enterprise to attract their target audience, it is equally vital for them to fashion an interesting and workable online presence, one that would build their brand, reach out to audiences, help strengthen customer relationships and expand their client pool.

The website for any organization is thus as important a gateway to growth and development as the other components of the business. Present scenario and customer preferences call for increased e-commerce, easy access to information on products, quick navigation and unique branding and marketing techniques that would ensure that a business stays on top of the audiences’ mind in spite of stiff competition. Choosing a web designer therefore becomes a challenging yet extremely important task. If you are looking to hire a web designer to strengthen your online presence, here are few pointers on how to bet on the winning horse.

Decide on your needs

Does your business need a complete online persona creation or are you looking for someone who can accomplish a specific task alone? Even though many web designing firms have branched out in recent times, they still undertake specific tasks as requested. If you are looking for a A-Z online services organization that would help you with everything from web designing, online marketing and branding, web and mobile application creation, e-commerce management, web hosting etc. you might want to look at sites like Boost One Web that provide overall services to customers. If your needs call for specific services like web design alone, then target those organizations that offer design services as a specialty. It is always sensible to choose companies that offer multiple services to avoid scouring for help in future.

Queries and responses

While picking any web design firm, it is crucial for you to listen to the questions they pose as that will give an insight on not only their competence but also their interest in knowing about your organization. It is important for any web design firm to have a deep knowledge of the business they are designing a website for. If the right questions are not asked at the right time, chances are that they are not competent enough to detail the website to suit your needs.
The next part involves you asking the right questions. Do your homework and look into their previously designed websites. Question them on the technologies they use and how compatible they are with up and coming techniques. Do they have experience with WordPress, Drupal ,etc.? Have they worked on similar businesses like yours before? Are they equipped to provide you a responsive, all-device-compatible website? Are they competent enough to understand and provide you with necessary graphics? Do their design ideas mirror your business ideals while ensuring unfussy navigation to customers? Are they equipped to provide you with SEO or lead generating web content? Do they provide maintenance services post launch? Do they give access to the source code for your future editing purposes? How about registration and copyright? These are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself and the design firm before picking out one.

Price Tag and Testimonials

Though price should not be ‘THE FACTOR’ in deciding on a web designer, enough research should be done to ensure that you are paying the right price for the right services. Too much for too little work is bad enough but too little for too much work might also mean a lot when it comes to competence levels. Testimonials and referrals are sure to help here. You can either request the design firm for references or do a background check yourself and ensure that you are making the right choice for your business. From sticking to delivery commitments to pre and post-delivery customer service, ensure you get the data you need to make an informed decision.

Contracts and the written word

Regardless of how the testimonies turn up, it is always better to get every decision made on website design, services to be rendered, delivery dates, quotes etc. on paper. Written contracts should reflect all decisions made to safeguard your interests in future.
Spending quality time in identifying the right web design firm will certainly ensure that you do not waste your resources on the wrong business partner. Happy hunting!

How to find work as a freelancer

Isn’t there are certain allure and ring to ‘I am my own boss’? Many people today, across skill types, countries and economic situations prefer to either start their own ventures or work by connecting directly with clients. The latter which is nothing but freelancing has been around for a long time now. Yet the opportunities and rewards that can be accrued today are significantly higher than before. We can say that it is certainly a good time to freelance. For those of you who have had the luxury of lucrative jobs, this might seem like a risky proposition. For those of you trying to plant your foot firmly in the any industry, you might wonder if a freelancing choice would give you the necessary firepower to propel your career to greater heights. Freelancing is not without challenges, certainly. Yet with the right tools and techniques, it is possible to ace it. Here are a few pointers for you to hit the bull’s eye.

Strengthen your foundation

It is vital to remember that you are basing your career on the strength of your skills. From journalism, content writing, research, recruitment, consulting to web design, there are umpteen fields that encourage freelancers. Whatever your chosen field is, it is crucial to enrich and update your knowledge on subjects specific to your field continuously to stay ahead of competition. For instance web designers have great opportunity with small and medium businesses that do not have the requisite resources to maintain an in house team. Understanding their need and equipping yourself with knowledge on technologies these companies need for their websites will ensure you have regular projects. Keep your eyes peeled on the web for valuable info on developing your skills and also for cooperation opportunities because freelancers are often prone to help each other find work, as I found in this guide on how to find work as a freelancer.

Make maximum use of freelancing websites

Freelancing websites like oDeskElanceFreelancer etc, are not only great to give you the necessary boost when you start out new, they are also great to sustain your income levels through the years. Register and bid for projects through these websites and watch your career graph move up. The samples that you put up should serve to encourage potential clients in hiring your services. Ensure you carefully select your best works, if totally new to the industry; ensure that you create a base of samples before registering with such sites.

Don’t forget the potency of social media

Social media is a great platform for you to spread the word on your freelancing decision and throw a spotlight on your potential. Highlight your talents and modify your profiles to indicate your freelancing capabilities. Create and enhance your blogs to reflect your talents and link those blogs to other social media sites to attract potential clients.

Search engine, job portals and job alerts

Many companies advertize their need for freelancers through the web, social media, their websites or job portals. Do not wait for them to come to you. Ensure that you are proactive enough to search for such opportunities everyday to pick one that suits your profile. You can also obtain job alerts through tools like Google Alerts that gives you mail notifications for specific queries.

Get listed in directories

A simple Google search will give you a list of links where you can get listed for freelance work. There have a great many instances of freelancers finding amazing projects after making WordPress their area of expertise. Utilize this tool optimally.
A careful, well-planned approach is the need of the hour. Adapt to the changing environment like a chameleon and equip yourself with the latest information and technique in your field of expertise to prepare a killer resume. Do thorough checks to invest your talents in the right areas with the right clients and you will see that freelancing is a much lucrative option than you had previously imagined.

6 Tutorials Every Modern Web Designer Should Read

When we are talking about being a true web designer it’s important you are always up to date with all the latest trends – and with everything evolving with a speed of light in this department it’s hard to keep up, so we have prepared a few tutorials to help you evolve and maintain that quick pace we are in – this tutorials will make your life a bit easier 😉 .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

10 Website Tips to Improve Visitor Experience


With these easy to follow tips you can make your website much more user-friendly and it can help you get leads that could result in a sale.
Most website business owners think that in order for it to maximize your website total redesign and new website would be needed – yeah in some instances that might be the case, but with a couple of tweaks you can make your site more appealing and user-friendly without spending thousands of dollars on a brand new website.

1. Get your phone number and e-mail on your homepage
If you already don’t have your phone/mobile number and e-mail on your homepage put it there. It’s often not so easy to find out how the potential customers can even contact you as many visitors head to your website just to find a means of contacting you and if your contact information are hard to find or aren’t even on site he will just leave and find someone else.
 
2. Your business hours
As with a phone number what potential customers have in mind is can I call them at 10 am? What if I want to eat at their restaurant at 11 pm will I be able to do so? These are some of the questions that visitors are asking themselves more than you think – make job easier for them and put your business hours in your website.
 
3. About us page
Very important thing is to make a “virtual” contact with your visitor. They are asking themselves who are you? What personnel is behind this business? Give them a brief introduction about your business, people, who they are, what are their hobbies – real biography as to show them you are also just a human being.
 
4.  Big and beautiful images
Nowadays this is a big trend as images speak louder than words don’t you agree?  Take pictures of your local area, restaurant, ambient, your team in action or projects you have recently been working on – we are visual beings and as such give visitors what they want to see.
 
5. Add directions “to your door”
Not everybody has a smart phone or uses GPS devices – let’s face it there are people out there who like to do it the old fashion way so make it easier for them to find you. Google offers a nice free map widget which you can embed on your website without any hassle and it will guide your visitor right to your doors in images and words – it shows that you are thinking of everything.
 
6. Make your website mobile friendly
More and more people are using smartphones right now and trend is not stopping so it’s more than likely that 20%-30% of your visitors will visit it from a phone and if your site is not optimized for tinnier screens navigating your website will be hard. There is a handful of free or inexpensive tools to make your website mobile ready without building if from ground up.
 
7.  Company branding
Are your website colours and logo in harmony with your company’s colours and brand? Make sure your website uses colours and that logo on website is the one of your company brand – it will help with brand awareness and people recognizing you.
 
8. Get social
Seems like everybody these days uses Facebook or Twitter – it’s time to jump on that train and get social with your visitors. Create Facebook page and Twitter account and focus on getting noticed – It’s a small step, but it could bring you a big return.
 
9. Using music or splash page on your website?
Do you still have splash page before entering your website? Cut that step for your visitor and remove it – it only distracts them from viewing what you want them to see. You aren’t YouTube so playing them music in the background will only distract them.
 
10. Put up customer testimonials
Good voice reaches far don’t you agree? Use that in your advantage and ask happy customers or other business entities that have worked with you as how your company helped them save money, time, had a great time, how you helped them , … also a small tip to remember – it’s best if you pre-write so your customer won’t have another burden on their shoulders – all they have to do is approve it or modify it.

10 Great Photoshop Tutorials to Improve Your Skills

Adobe Photoshop as being the king of graphic editing software it’s a must to learn and get to know it if you are serious about photo editing, designing or otherwise want to learn as much as possible from it and one of the best ways to learn and master Photoshop is certainly by reading and going through all kinds of tutorials. Following steps from tutorials will give you a new perspectives and knowledge that you will be able to use in the future projects.

A tutorial is usually step by step process formed for you to educate and learn from it. By using these few tutorials you will get a hold of many aspects of Photoshop from layering, masking, creating drawings and much more.

Everbody has his weakness and strengths and so is with Adobe Photoshop – one is great at manipulating images other in creating drawings so here are a few tutorials you can use to improve your weakness:

 
Multilayered Surreal Portrait
 
 
Digital Photo Manipulation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photoshop Photo Effects That Will Save You Time and Money

Adobe Photoshop is the king of photo and design world – it’s versatile, offers tremendeous options and filters – if you have idea what you want to do you can certainly do it with Photoshop. Here are a few photography effects that will save you time and money giving it to professionals or buying equipment for it.

Get HDR results in Photoshop using bracketed exposures in the production process and then Photoshop layers after it.

 
How to create high dynamic range (HDR) images – the author targets on realism instead of exaggerating the application of HDR.

 
  

Tutorial focuses on how to simulate the look of infrared photography in Photoshop using Photoshop’s Channels palette and seeing how to isolate a color channel and how to apply filters to color channels.

 
Learn how to apply the popular “lomography” effect to your photos.

 
With the help of exposure in Photoshop get this great looking HDR effect for your picture .
 
 
 
 
Give your pictures the sepia-toned 300 movie effect.
 
 

Tilt shift lenses focus on a single part of the photo and shift (blur) the surrounding area to create an optical illusion of miniaturized scenery. Real tilt shift lenses are expensive, but a similar effect can be achieved by using Photoshop.
 
 
 
Give your images that dreamy look and make them look more appealing for the eyes.