JPS Design Group - Website Trends graphic design, packaging design, web design en-us Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:53:00 -0800 Wed, 6 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 no Study: 57% of Google search traffic is mobile <ul> <li> <p>mobile searches on google <a href='' target='_blank'>now represent about 57% of all search traffic</a>, as mobile web site traffic is now clearly outpacing traditional desktop traffic, according to a new study from content performance marketing company brightedge.</p> </li> <li> <p>the study also found that 79% of all searches were different across mobile and desktop, suggesting a significant shift to the mobile-first search index google announced last year. brightedge said its research confirmed the emergence of two separate search indexes –– one for desktop and one for mobile –– with 47% of keywords in positions 1–20 ranked differently on mobile and desktop search engine results pages.</p> </li> <li> <p>additionally, the study found that the first page that ranks for a domain on a search query is different on mobile and desktop search engine results pages on about 35% of searches.</p> </li> </ul> <p>through 4500+ hd screens in 300+ of america's favorite malls, adspace delivers high-impact video impressions to 71mm unique shoppers steps from your storefront & is proven to increase retail store traffic by 1.5x.</p> <p><a href='' target='_blank'>see the study</a><img src='' style='height:0px; width:0px' /></p> <h3>insight:</h3> <p>the ultimate takeaway from this study goes a little something like this: mobile is happening, people. get with the program.</p> <p>we have been hearing about <a href='' target='_blank'>the impact of mobile search </a>for a while now, so this study should not come as a complete surprise to retailers. there is more detail, of course, to the lessons that can be learned from this study, but a big part of it is that brightedge is presenting some evidence that mobile search traffic represents the majority of search traffic by a margin — 14% — that is only going to grow. well, that and the notion that a mobile-first search index has some unique value.</p> <p>the frequency with which search results come out differently for mobile and desktop-initiated google searches means that retailers need to have search engine optimization, content and marketing strategies that reflect those differences.</p> <p>some retailers and brands may already understand this. in the study, brightedge notes that carlos spallarossa, director of seo at l'orÉal, is pushing for a mobile-first perspective. "we are developing content with a mobile-first perspective to connect with our users with info, use advice, and reviews — especially when they are near a store where they can easily purchase,” he said, according to the study. </p> <p>others may not be so far along in understanding it, and brightedge has a few suggestions about how to change up their approaches. designing and optimizing websites for speed and mobile-friendliness is a start, but among other suggestions listed in the study, retailers and brands need to understand different online consumer intent signals across desktop and mobile devices. also, producing separate mobile and desktop content that resonates on multiple device types is a good idea. brightedge also advises tracking, comparing and reporting mobile and desktop share of traffic continuously, as well as tracking organic search rank for mobile and desktop separately. </p> <p>mobile commerce may have once seemed to be nothing more than a sub-set of the broader e-commerce universe, but now it's becoming clear that mobile is charting its own unique territory.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>retail dive</strong></a>.</p> Website Trends Wed, 6 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Slow apps and websites can ruin your reputation <p>app and web users are growing more demanding and less forgiving, according to the results of a consumer survey from apica. in a clear call to action for organizations around the world, apica's survey found that three quarters of respondents expect websites and apps to perform faster than they did three years ago. <br /> <br /> apica conducted the survey among internet users in the uk, us and sweden, to investigate changing attitudes towards a brand's digital performance. the survey of 2,250 consumers reveals that nearly 40% of us won't wait more than ten seconds for a website to respond before navigating away. one in nine users (11%) won't even give a site <strong><em>five seconds</em></strong> before moving onto another website. </p> <h2>performance affects your digital brand</h2> <p>the survey also found that digital disappointment <a href='' target='_blank'>affects brand loyalty</a>, with 60% of consumers likely to be less loyal towards a brand if they experience poor website or app performance. 10% of participants said they would never return to an offending brand for goods or services. swedes are least loyal towards a brand that lets them down online, with 73% likely to turn to competitors.<br /> <br /> some noteworthy findings include:</p> <ul> <li>over 80% would consider telling friends about a poor website/app experience</li> <li>more than 1 in 3 respondents say long loading times cause them to lose patience</li> <li>three quarters of users expect sites and apps to perform faster than 3 years ago</li> </ul> <p>carmen carey, ceo, apica, said, "these results demonstrate that digital consumers have limited patience for slow performance or delays. there is clearly a general expectation that sites and apps will perform faster and better, particularly with the advent of born digital organizations. the onus is now on businesses, whether they're a leading financial company or an online retailer, to ensure peak performance at all times."<br /> <br /> the survey also revealed that users also have limited patience for organizations that schedule maintenance on websites and apps. less than half (46%) of users said that several hours of downtime was acceptable, and even then, reasons for the downtime had to be properly communicated. 54% respondents had an 'upper limit' of one hour, and more than 1/10 (13%) actually expect 100% up-time.</p> <h2>your app brand reputation at stake</h2> <p>negative digital experiences are also likely to impact brand reputation with 83% of global respondents reporting they would consider telling colleagues about a poor website or app experience, and almost 4 in 10 would definitely share this. </p> <p>"if companies wish to retain both customers and revenue, they must focus on proactive performance testing and monitoring of their digital services to ensure that, even at peak times, downtime does not occur," added carmen. </p> <p>apica monitors ecommerce websites and publishes an annual black friday web performance index. last year, it revealed that whist the top ten ecommerce websites are healthy, the rest are lagging expectations. the 2017 index is due to be published late november after black friday and cyber monday.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>app development magazine</strong></a>.</p> Website Trends Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 An Intro to Minimalist Web Design <p>minimalist design is everywhere, and it’s especially popular among web designers. it’s easy to see the appeal: many of minimalism’s core tenets mesh very well with the constraints of modern ui and ux design, especially on mobile devices.</p> <h3>a (very brief) history of minimalist design</h3> <p>minimalism traces its origins back to the early twentieth century. though we tend to associate it with media and design now, its origins lie in fields as diverse as architecture and painting. here are a few early influences on the minimalist style:</p> <ol> <li>de stijl. dutch for “the style,” de stijl was an artistic movement that celebrated simple, abstract shapes, bold primary colors, and straight lines. piet mondrian’s city grid-inspired paintings are a perfect encapsulation of de stijl.</li> <li>constructivism. the constructivist style came out of early soviet revolutionary art. its goal was to create a new style of art that could create social change, rejecting the idea of “art for art’s sake.” the result was an aesthetic that communicated using a combination of strong, dramatic shapes, black-and-white photography, and bold typography.</li> <li>bauhaus. the bauhaus movement emerged from germany in the 1920s and early 30s. it jettisoned styles associated with earlier eras in favor of practical, functional aesthetics. “form follows function” is a maxim often associated with the bauhaus, one that inspired the designs of visionaries like mies van der rohe and le corbusier.</li> <li>zen simplicity. a final source of inspiration for minimalist design is in traditional japanese aesthetics. based on the tenets of zen buddhism, this style emphasizes clean forms stripped of flourishes and an emphasis on harmony, order, and balance. the stylized arrangements and attention to detail found in zen rock gardens captures the essence of zen minimalism that countless designers have worked to emulate.</li> </ol> <p>you can find traces of these different styles all over the modern web. as you’ve probably noticed, what ties all these styles together is a desire to remove extraneous elements, stripping everything down to its essential elements. if there’s an aphorism that best summarizes minimalism, it’s “less is more,” from the architect mies van der rohe.</p> <h3>the essential elements</h3> <p>there’s no single definition of minimalist web design. it’s less a meticulously defined set of guidelines than a set of general principles that can be applied to any situation. that said, there are a number of features that are frequently (though not always) found across minimalist designs.</p> <ol> <li>the use of typography as a central element. while minimalism is often associated with iconic sans serif typefaces like helvetica, futura, and univers, plenty of apps and sites also use more traditional serif typefaces to great effect. the key is that the type itself is as central to the look of a composition as shape and color.</li> <li>deliberate use of white space. rather than think of white (or negative) space as the lack of something, minimalism treats it as an element unto itself.</li> <li>imagery reduced to geometric shapes. strong iconography is a hallmark of minimalism, reducing a concept (like using a pictogram of a house for “home screen” or a trash can for “delete”) to the simplest and most evocative form possible. while modern design makes more allowances for representational graphics, it still often relies on geometric shapes for guidance, as in twitter’s logo redesign.</li> <li>relying on high-contrast color palettes. inspired by de stijl’s primary colors, minimalism often favors clear, solid blocks of color rather than shadows and gradients.</li> <li>using photography for contrast. large, often full-color photographs are often a key element in minimalist design, providing a pleasant contrast to the simplicity of type, shape, and bold color.</li> <li>an emphasis on cleverness and playfulness. breaking down a composition to its barest elements also gives minimalist designers the chance to take liberties they might not with a more maximalist or traditional style. this especially comes through in logos and wordmarks.</li> <li>the use of symmetry and grid layouts. here you can most clearly see the influence of traditional japanese design, which emphasizes the harmonious relationship between different elements.</li> </ol> <h3>the hamburger nav: a cautionary tale</h3> <p>many minimalist designers are inspired by the words of the author and pilot antoine de saint exupery, who said: “perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” that said, judging what is safe to take away isn’t always obvious. take the case of the hamburger nav, for example.</p> <p>a common design challenge on both web and mobile is how and where to put navigation elements. the hamburger nav emerged in the early 2010s as a way to save space on mobile devices. the idea was to create a recognizable icon where common menu items could be kept so that they’re not constantly taking up precious real estate. after it was adopted by apple and facebook, the hamburger nav became a ubiquitous (and frequently frustrating) feature of modern app and web design.</p> <p>there was only one problem: what apps gained in simplicity they often lost in functionality. multiple studies found that hamburger navs caused user engagement to plummet. fortunately, most apps and websites have found other ways to keep navigational elements, including tabs, collapsible menus, and scrolling menus. but the case of the hamburger nav serves as a good illustration of what can happen when designers favor aesthetics over functionality.</p> <h3>trends in minimalist app and web design</h3> <p>we’ve gone over some of the basics of minimalist web design, and you can find countless examples of this style all over the web. now we’re going to look at a few distinct but related trends in minimalist design you may see on the web and in apps.</p> <h3>“complexion reduction”</h3> <p>over the last few years, you may have noticed a distinct trend among certain apps. from instagram to airbnb to apple music, major apps are stripping away color and ornamentation to create stark, simple, visually neutral uis that put the focus squarely on their content.</p> <p>in addition to draining interfaces of color, complexion reduction relies on large, bold typography to direct and orient users. think of complexion reduction as the white gallery wall on which the app’s photos, music, videos, and copy can be arranged. it lends itself naturally to the idea of a scrolling feed that lets users explore at their own pace.</p> <p>complexion reduction lends itself most to apps with lots of visual content and relatively simple feature sets. that may make it great for certain apps, but wholly unsuitable for others that require a more active hand in guiding users. additionally, the starkness and simplicity of complexion reduction can make it hard to stand out visually. without colors or illustrations, it can be hard to establish a strong visual identity, leaving you to either rely on your typeface choices or embrace the neutral look.</p> <h3>flat design</h3> <p>originally developed by microsoft in the early 2000s, flat design isn’t a new trend, though its use has exploded in recent years. in contrast to what’s often called “rich design,” flat design is known for its simple geometric shapes, open space, solid colors, and conspicuous lack of shadows, highlights, textures, and other features meant to suggest 3d space. using a combination of typography, icons, and colors, it creates a clean, efficient, modern-looking interface.</p> <p>flat design shares many of its characteristics with the bauhaus style, especially its desire to create a design style that feels native to digital displays, rather than relying on imagery ported over from the physical world. removing design embellishments can translate into quicker load times and better performance, especially when developing responsive websites or mobile apps that will need to work on a wide range of devices.</p> <p>that said, flat design comes with its own risks. while designers may celebrate the lack of clutter and sleekness of flat design, many users find it unintuitive and confusing. for example, the lack of drop shadows and highlights can make it hard for some users to distinguish a clickable button from a simple label against a block of color. some studies have shown that flat design can impair usability.</p> <h3>material design</h3> <p>related to flat design, material design is a design language and set of guidelines developed by google. like flat design, material design avoids trying to imitate physical objects. that said, material design doesn’t completely do away with depth. instead, it relies on subtle use of drop shadows to create the impression of many flat panels layered over top one another. in essence, it adds just a little bit of real-life back into digital design for the sake of usability.</p> <p>also unlike classic minimalism, material design uses much less white space and photography. with its solid colors and rectangular panes, material design compositions often look like pieces of colored construction paper layered atop one another.</p> <p>the advantage of material design is that it can address some of the usability concerns that plague flat design. because it comes with a detailed set of guidelines, it can also speed up the design process, since it leaves very little to the individual designer’s discretion. the other side of that coin, of course, is that material design runs the risk of looking pretty generic and distinctly google-esque. so if your visual identity is meant to stand out, material design may not be for you.</p> <h3>looking for a ui or ux designer?</h3> <p>applying minimalist design principles is about more than the appearance of your website or app. it’s about solving design challenges by identifying and emphasizing critical information and functionality. when looking for a ui or ux designer, make sure to pay attention to their portfolio, and ask them about their design process to make sure they have a good sense of how they approach the kinds of problems you’ll be asking them to solve.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business 2 community</strong></a>.</p> Website Trends Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Understanding The Basics Of Responsive Website Design <p><strong>it is no longer enough to design a website solely for the desktop screen. the growing market of mobile phones and tablets is compelling web designers to reconsider how their work would be displayed on various devices. people are using their smartphones more often than accessing their desktops today. this necessitates a responsive web design.</strong></p> <h3>what is responsive design?</h3> <p>rwd or responsive web design is a design approach that would be allowing the code and the design to respond intuitively to the size of any device’s screen. this implies that you would be getting optimal viewing experience irrespective of the device you are using.</p> <h3>why is responsive design so important?</h3> <p>if designers came up with infinite versions of any particular website that would be working effectively for every possible device available to us, the process would be impractical from the point of view of the time and it would prove to be exorbitant. these sites would not be responsive to any technological changes in the future and so site maintenance would prove to be pretty challenging. use responsive design as it is the best solution for future-proofing your website.</p> <h3>know your audience preferences well</h3> <p>the vital factor responsible for the success of a responsive web design is identifying and understanding the preferences of your audience. find out what device they actually use while viewing your website. you need to have a clear idea about the components of your current traffic. how many of them are tablet users, desktop users, or even the mobile users? it is essential to come up with a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>website design</a> that is responsive to varying devices. however, it is quite a complicated and challenging affair to design across diverse web browsers. moreover, there are numerous versions of browsers which require being catered to.</p> <h3>plan for both big & small screen devices</h3> <p>one of the significant factors that are responsible for the success of an intuitive or responsive web design is the capacity to give a better experience to the users accessing the website via mobile devices. responsive web design should not be restricted to or treated as just a small screen resolution. in fact, responsive web design is advantageous to practically all screen sizes including excessively large displays as well. while designing any web experience, you should not only consider mobile first as your ultimate goal, you must also keep in mind larger screen sizes.</p> <h3>arrange content differently</h3> <p>shifting from the typical multiple columns meant for a larger screen to just one column layout meant for a really small screen is the chief characteristic of any responsive site. however, keep in mind that only changes in columns are not enough. different contents present on your site necessitate different layout approaches.</p> <h3>scalable navigation is a must</h3> <h3>navigation plays a pivotal role in the development of a responsive website design. scalable navigation is a must for creating a responsive website. you must understand that what is working exceptionally well for any large device may not perform smoothly on other smaller devices. you cannot just have a constant and a uniform navigation experience across diverse screen sizes. you must concentrate on creating a truly user-friendly navigation all the way.</h3> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business computing world</strong></a>.</p> Website Trends Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Custom Web Design vs Content Management Systems <p>there are two different camps in the world of web design. the first is having a web designer/developer build a custom website from scratch. the second is to use a content management systems (cms) with their included templates. each has benefits and short comings.</p> <p>before we start looking at the pros and cons of each design methodology, i think you must honestly assess what your goals and hopes for your website will be by answering some simple business and marketing questions.</p> <h3>who are you and why do you want a website?</h3> <p><strong>why do you want a website?</strong> do you want just a couple of pages to show the world who you are, what you do and where you’re located (like a placeholder on the worldwide web)? or do you want a website that is expandable and adaptable as your business grows adding new products, services and/or new information?</p> <p><strong>are you looking to build a website that is an online application?</strong> in other words, do you want your website to perform specific functions? these functions might include processing event registrations, selling and shipping products, managing different types of events or activities (i.e. tracking scores from competitions), managing a photo or literature library, publishing quarterly reports - you get the picture.</p> <p><strong>will interaction with your customers online be important aspect of your website?</strong> do you plan on providing quotes for your services, having feedback or reviews of your services or products, providing a comments section for customers, etc.?</p> <p><strong>do you have difficult, complex or extensive data to manage online?</strong> is your website going to be a hub of information such as reports, minutes, action items or service letters that are constantly being added, updated or edited frequently?</p> <p><strong>does your company have a fully integrated branding program for your image?</strong> do you have a logo design, typography/font requirements, spacing requirements, a specific color scheme, etc.?</p> <p><strong>do you do everything yourself or do you have a staff will specific responsibilities?</strong> do you do everything yourself or do have a staff that does procurement, filing, development, etc.?</p> <p><strong>from a marketing standpoint are image and design important to you or just a thing?</strong> do you want to follow the trends or are you more interested in having your own unique image different from those you have seen online?</p> <p><strong>is your website going to be my primary means of getting your message out to the public?</strong> is your website going to be just a small piece of your marketing program? do you have a have a limited budget?</p> <p>based on your answers to these questions, you should begin to understand what kind of website your business needs and if you should hire a web designer/developer</p> <p>to sum it up, if you plan on designing a website yourself with a cms, the following bullet points should apply.</p> <ul> <li>your website is just a placeholder.</li> <li>not looking to build an online application.</li> <li>customer interaction is not important.</li> <li>you have minimal data to manage online.</li> <li>you manage everything yourself.</li> <li>marketing image is not important.</li> <li>your website is not your primary means of getting your message out to the public.</li> </ul> <p>if you answered no to all or most of the above bullet questions, a cms design is not the solution and you should consider hiring a web designer/developer.</p> <p>there are big differences between designing a website with a cms and having a web designer create one for you. let’s look at the differences.</p> <h3>custom-built websites.</h3> <p>custom design websites are built and coded by a web designer and developer. the design of the website is more artistic than what you will get with a cms. a website designer is a professional that will be able to visualize the layout and ergonomics of a site. a developer is a programmer who focuses on the way a website performs – the functionality of the site on different desktop computers and mobile devices, the interaction of your visitors with the site and the mechanics behind the databases and administrative functions of the site. you will want to find someone who does both design and development competently but also offers reasonable fees. with a custom website, these are the things that you can expect:</p> <ul> <li><strong>expense: </strong>web designers vary in price according to geographic region and level of education/experience. depending on these factors, you may pay anywhere from $50 to $120 an hour.</li> <li><strong>design:</strong> a basic, custom designed website will cost you between $800 and $1500, and upwards of a few thousand depending on your needs. the designer can give you a fairly accurate time/cost quote.</li> <li><strong>user interface: </strong>since you are working with a design/developer you can customize the user interface (user experience) of the website to meet your specific needs and wants.</li> <li><strong>access:</strong> because you are working directly with designer/developer, you will be able to call them whenever you need changes or have technical problems with the website. having direct access to the designer/developer is especially important when there are technical problems. they know the code and its uses intimately so if there is a problem they can usually isolated and fixed.</li> <li><strong>extendability and scalability: </strong>having your website built by a designer/ developer, depending on the development platform they use, results in a website that is much more extendable and scalable than a cms site. a good web designer/developer will consider your future plans for the website as they select the technologies they use to build it.</li> <li><strong>looking down the road: </strong>the future of your website needs to be secure. some cmss have gone “bad” and simply stopped working.</li> <li><strong>adaptability: </strong>if you have specific list of features you eventually want on your website, the designer will be able to prioritize these features to accommodate your current budget with your future one.</li> </ul> <p>it is important to note that none of these points involve online applications, large databases of information or interaction with visitors. all of these scenarios require a custom built website by a designer/developer who knows both html code and programming. no cms can handle these issues in a manageable way.</p> <h3>cms/template built websites.</h3> <p>there is a misconception of how beneficial and economical cmss can be. so, let’s take a closer look at them.</p> <p><strong><em>advantages:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>lack of funds/low budget. if a budget is what is keeping you from having any online presence at all, then a cms might be your solution.</li> <li>you need to have a website immediately – not in a few weeks or more. using a cms should require less development time but don’t be fooled, this is not always the case. these days, cmss are just as complex as indesign or any other high level design program.</li> <li>looking at cms templates is a great way to find inspiration on colors schemes, layouts and features. a web designer can’t copy these for you, but they do give them an idea of the visual design you would like.</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>downfalls:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>your design is not going to be original unless you pay the “exclusive” price for a custom template. though, even if you pay the “exclusive” price, there are others who have bought the same template and still have the right to use it.</li> <li>as cms systems try to become a “one-size fits all” application, they actually become more complicated to use. often, the cms comes with a steep learning curve. cms systems are software-based just like microsoft word or adobe indesign and update on a regular basis. and, every time there is an update, the program you are used to using is going to change.</li> <li>you will be limited on the customization of the website template. without web page coding skills, you are still going to have to either spend the time and money to learn how to code a web page or hire someone to help you. some templates are laid out in a very specific way. so, if you incorporate your own graphics or have extensive content, the template could “break.” as well, massive site-wide changes are going to be difficult and you will have to make the changes manually to every page. an experienced web developer will have designed your site with components for common items that are on each page making site-wide changes a lot more manageable.</li> <li>some website templates are not designed to be search engine friendly. as explained above, it is important how the background coding of your website is done. if not done correctly, it could hurt your marketing efforts on the internet.</li> <li>if the website template uses antiquated coding, it might not work with all browsers. some templates incorporate browser specific features that might work in one browser but not the other.</li> <li>customizing javascript is often difficult or next to impossible.</li> </ul> <h3>custom web design or cms website?</h3> <p>when deciding if a custom web design is the way to go or if a cms is a better match, always keep in mind that you want your business to stand out from the crowd and be memorable to the visitor for the right reasons.</p> <p>in either case, you are still going to have to do some homework to increase your standing with search engine results. having a website that is really appealing is only one small part of the internet marketing package. you will have to research the phrases that your target audience will use to find your website and then incorporate those phrases into the content of each of your website pages.</p> <p>to maintain or build a website yourself you are going to have to invest some time (and possibly some money) into learning as much as you can about website design and development. it is a changing technology that has new rules and requirements all the time. you will have to keep up with these changes in order to keep your website active and current.</p> <p>much of the decision comes down to cost and time. you might want to compare the two forms of web design by considering not only the costs but also the amount of time you will invest in designing a website yourself, the skills you have as a designer, how large and complicated your site is going to be and the impact you want your business to make on the world stage.</p> Website Trends Thu, 1 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0800