Anything in a list that’s not 5 or 10.

7 Deadly Sins of Web Design

I am going to be brutally honest here, readers. Culturally speaking, the United States doesn’t see art-related careers as an important skill set.  At worst things like designing graphics and building websites are publicly viewed a useless talent that leads to little hope for a career prospect and at best it is treated as a quaint hobby that anybody can do with a bit of hard work and no formal training.

Too often I have seen business owners and students with very little aesthetic know how, try their hand at designing a website only to have abandoned their project halfway through or worse, created one of the most outdated and worst looking websites known to the internet.

However, that does not mean that someone must have a formal education in order to do web design, but it does mean that they just have to take the time to learn the important rules of aesthetic appeal.  Because in the world of marketing and advertising, appearances matter.

That is why I decided to make a list of the worst mistakes that someone new to web design should their hardest to avoid.

 


Number 7: Lack of Content Organization

 

 

 

When you were taught to write in school, you started learning the structure speech, then words, then eventually you could sort them into essays and/or books with multiple paragraphs in a standard format that everyone could understand.

Web content has the same structure that makes it easy to convey the message of the site to the audience through both the use of words and illustrations.

The content in the center of the web page (much like the paragraphs in an essay) is supposed to be structured in such a way that the viewer can tell which section the content is supposed to belong to.  If the sections are clustered together with little space or too far apart, your website will look like an untidy mess, not unlike a kindergartner who has yet to master penmanship or grammar structure.

Content for your website needs to sorted in such a way that it looks cohesive to the audience and should follow the path that naturally draws the eye in a top to down and left to right direction with enough space in between for the reader which section is which.

 

Here are a few resources that can better explain what I mean:

 


Number 6:  Lazy Use of Graphics

 

poor website graphics

Have you ever watched an old television show or a movie at some point in your life and noticed that the quality of the footage was filled with grainy squiggle lines, or that you could see the edge of the film strip?  These visual hiccups deter the audience from focusing on the film completely and ruins the immersive experience almost completely.

So, when customers see your website with an image that has a watermark on it from the stock site that you took your image from, or left-over pixels where the background of an image used to be or just blurry photos, these visitors are not going to be interested in your business. Because these errors reek of unprofessionalism, possible copyright infringement, and outright laziness.

The general rule of thumb when selecting your images is that it needs to be at the highest resolution possible, aka the size with the highest number of pixels, only use your own images or images that are free for public use and to make sure that you download png images so that the backgrounds are transparent and not white.

 

For further resources, check these pages out:

 


Number 5:  Bad Color/Pattern/Texture Combinations

terrible website color

 

It is almost surprising how much colors, shapes, and visual textures could influence how people communicate with each other. The right combination of those elements can send either an intended message that can attract an audience and the wrong combination relay a poorly made, unintentional message that can turn potential customers and connections away.

Oftentimes I have seen websites that either too many textures, blinding/inappropriate colors, and patterns that make no sense.

Here are a few resources that will help if you are struggling with colors and patterns.

 

For further resources, check these pages out:

Number 4:  Bad Typography

 

When it comes to building a website, typography, aka the way that your letters and words are styled and sorted, is almost more important than your choice of colors and patterns for your website.  Good typography serves two important functions. It both must be easy for your audience to read your content and it must set the proper tone.

You would not believe how many times, I have seen site owners choose an ill-fitting font for their main typeface, or that the size of the chosen font was too small for anyone to read properly.  And if your customer or audience has to struggle with either the identity of your website or with reading the necessary text, they will not bother sticking around to try to figure it out.

Here is a link to a couple of resources that put you in the right direction as far as what fonts to use, and what to avoid.

 

 


Number 3: Lack of Site Updates

 

With various professional fields (especially when technology or medicine is involved), it is crucial to keep up with the ever-consistent changing tide of progress, lest you get swallowed in a sea of competition.  Web design is no exception to these rapid changes in not only aesthetics but in user experience and functionality.

Between the constant creation and updates for both mobile devices and computer programs it is important that you consistently update your design to keep the structure ‘up to code’. In layman’s terms check and see if the website builder you use is up to date or if the program is discontinued.

But even that is more forgivable than the lack of content updates to your website. If you have changed your address, your phone number, or if you no longer offer a service then it would be important to take the extra time to notify your customers of these major changes.  But I have seen many a website fail to make these updates and wind up literally turning their own customers away, simply because of the unnecessary confusion.

 

Below is a list of top website building programs and hosts that are more recent to more outdated:

 


Number 2:  Poor Grammar

 

a website with bad grammar

The English language is hard to grasp sometimes, and nobody is grammatically correct 24/7 when it comes to sending text messages or typing out paragraphs. However, it takes a special kind of trolling or an almost brilliant form of laziness, if your customer requires translation for the rampant chat-speak in your blog.  With no periods at the end of your sentences, no capitalization at the beginning of your sentences, and atrocious spelling that can make a third-grade teacher cry, virtually no one will have the patience or the time to take your website seriously or do business with your establishment.

 

To avoid this web design sin, you can either have someone edit your content for you, or you can consult the multitude of websites that can help you with spelling and grammar errors in the links below:

 


Number 1:  Audio Automatically Playing in the Background

 

Back in the days of Myspace yore, web pages took ridiculously long to load, and you have a very limited amount of RAM to navigate with on your home computer, so when you loaded a friend’s profile page and you heard the latest pop ballad or television theme song, you were pleasantly surprised and entertained while you were looking at the photos of your latest outing.

10 years later, you have at least 20 web page tabs open, along with a word processor program and a playlist of your own music and when you click on a link, you hear a second audio track that is playing loudly and you don’t know where it is coming from.

What has been an amusing gimmick in the early 2000’s has now become an utter annoyance that is not unlike having nails screeching on a chalkboard and unless you are a musician with a playlist that can be turned on and off, you have no business embedding any audio of any sort on your blog or website.

 

For a list of reasons why this would be a great design handicap for your website, check out the links below:

 


 

Do you agree or disagree with me? Or maybe there was something I missed on the list. If you want to talk about it, comment on this page or on our Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/purpletieguys

 

Image Sources:

http://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com/

http://philsandovals.com/

http://chainsawtreeservice.com/

http://www.danstours.net/

http://www.stereoandalarm.co.uk/

http://www.benefitadvisory.com/new/benefitadvisory/

By | 2017-06-07T13:17:22+00:00 April 10th, 2017|list, mistakes, Post, top ten|Comments Off on 7 Deadly Sins of Web Design

Avoid Web Design Fraud

web design fraud, avoid web fraud, bad design practice

 

The Dangers of Web Design Fraud

It is not easy in the age of information to navigate through all the data to determine which companies you should trust your business website and advertising with and which companies you should steer clear from. By no means am I telling you to trust only us as a web development company, but I have noticed a disturbing trend in the web development industry, the more I have been working for The Purple Tie.
Scammers that either take your money and run or people with “friends” that have little to no knowledge at all when it comes to web development are a huge problem in the web development industry.

There are scammers and con artists in every field of profession, and by no means is web development an exception to that rule, but when even large companies from the phone book industry have been accused of shady business practices, I can’t help but wonder, “What are the ethical standards of web development?”
The best that I can do to explore this question for both myself and for anyone reading this article is offer examples of these terrible business practices so that when you start shopping for someone to do your website that you can at least see the signs of someone who isn’t on the up and up.


They Rely on Outdated Technology

Computers have changed quite a bit since their first conception at NASA as glorified calculators that took up half the size of a room, and technology as a field has been growing and changing at a rapid rate.  That means that the technological hardware and software that have been dated from 20 years ago, to about 3 years ago, are woefully inadequate on both an aesthetic level and a functional one for today’s technology.

outdated_technology

Why yes, I can build your website...

So, let’s say that someone has been creating websites for around 8 years. Unless your web guys can demonstrate up to date knowledge of the latest programming languages, they will create a broken and outdated looking website. Unless the programmer knows how to make your website show up on a tablet or smartphone, you wasted money.

If you have trouble determining if the person that you are thinking about hiring is using antiquated technology, you can consult a programming timeline and directly ask the developer what tools they are going to be using for your project. If their response is anything older than three years ago, I would suggest finding someone else.


There are No Visual Portfolio or Signs of Updates

Would anyone of a sound mind walk into a tattoo parlor and immediately sit in the workstation chair and tell the artist to do ‘whatever’ on his back?  Even drunk people that walk into tattoo parlors either have an idea of what they want or look at the wall of preview images before having something permanently marked on their body.

So why, in good conscience, would you hire any web developer or graphic designer who has not shown you examples of their work before paying them? Chances are if no one has volunteered to show you their work, then they are most likely participating in web design fraud.

 

art without effort or skill

What do you mean I need to paint something before I put it in a gallery?

It does not matter if you know the person’s aunt, if they are your best friends, or if you are the developer’s mother unless you have seen examples of what your web designer can do, you don’t hire them without seeing their work.  You are trusting your, business advertising, and in some cases your entire livelihood to this developer..


They Filed for Bankruptcy or Have Been Downsizing Consistently

In the grand scheme of things, it is perfectly natural for companies to make mistakes or to have bad quarters. No human is perfect, so why on Earth should a company be held to the standards of perfection?

 

Hello, I misinvested all of my money, can I have all of yours?

However, if bad quarters, company downsizing, or filing for bankruptcy has become a consistent trend over the last couple of years within the people you are thinking about hiring to design your website, then it is safe to say that the current business is participating in web design fraud. Last I checked, it is practically financial suicide to entrust your business website or marketing strategies to a design company with little to no stability.

A way to check and safeguard your small business from such a fiasco is to take the time to do a quick google search about the company that you are trying to hire. Did that company’s business license get revoked?Have any employees complained about working conditions? Were there any business news articles that state that the company in question has filed for bankruptcy or has there been any talk of downsizing?


They Have Very Poor Customer Interaction Policies

You wake up at one in the morning as your phone rings. It’s them, again. They haunt your life like an ever-present specter that robs you of your happiness, slowly wearing away every nerve that you have as the phone rings every ten minutes, denying you the small joy of silence as you try to go back to sleep. They feed on every inch of your sanity as you pray for the end of your suffering, but it will never end until you give them what they want.  These monsters that I am talking about are telemarketing sales teams.

 

Your worst nightmare come true…

This technique is not new by any means, and there are large companies that call to pester you into buying or donating something at all hours of the day. But, if the only time that people hear from that company is when they want someone to spend more money on them, chances are they only care about profit.

A good way to check and see if they have a poor customer interaction track record would be to check company review websites, such as the Better Business Bureau or other professional field related review sites. If you either see no trace of positive or negative reviews or a load of negative ones in which customers complain about a lack of actual service, then you should steer clear from this web design company like the plague.

 


Conclusion

Benjamin Franklin had hit the nail on the head, when he stated, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Successful businesses, no matter how small or large, take much in the way of planning and effort. Unless you take that same amount of precaution with who is making your website you will be out of a ridiculous amount of money and you will lose lots of potential business.

I am not saying that you must know all the odds and ends that go into what makes a website, that is the developer’s job. However, if you or the person you are hiring doesn’t treat your business website with the same amount of care and dedication that you do with your physical location, customers will associate your business as one giant mess.

 


Do you agree or disagree with me? Or maybe there was something I missed on the list. If you want to talk about it, comment on this page or on our Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/purpletieguys

Image Sources:

Stockunlimited.com

Pixabay.com

By | 2017-07-18T10:35:57+00:00 March 29th, 2017|list, Post|Comments Off on Avoid Web Design Fraud

5 Steps to Creating a Twitter Marketing Campaign – Part 1

5 Steps to Creating a Twitter Marketing Campaign – Part 1

A Twitter marketing campaign reaches influencers and users alike with a few simple steps and can propel your business with more click-through rates and engagement. Part 1 in a series this month discusses how to begin your marketing strategy.

True, Twitter does have 23% of online users and claims a younger demographic; however, new users (men and those 65 and older) are setting up accounts every day. Taking advantage of this growing audience can be as easy as following the prompts to setup Twitter Ads and posting between noon and 6pm during the week. Brand advocates are created all the time by engaging influencers in a conversation, re-tweeting posts, creating mentions, and by having valuable, personal and persuasive content in your tweets.  Twitter is also creating new ways to advertise all the time.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll cover how you can create a Twitter marketing campaign and bring your business to the forefront of social media. In this post, we cover the first two steps in your strategy – defining your object and making the marketing plan personal.

Define Your Objective

Prior to starting any marketing campaign, goals must be defined. Determine what you hope to accomplish and ask questions: “What do I want to achieve with my campaign?” “Who is my target market?” “How can I best reach them?”

Be Personal

Follow Us!  @thepurpletieco

Once a marketing strategy has been created, consider how you want your company to be perceived on
Twitter. Write posts based on the company personality; add a human element to the business. Keep the content personal but professional. Create a “voice” for the organization and make it consistent.

If you are a company that does accounting, but you want to come across as accessible, reach your audience with some fun tips or a training video on how to record their monthly expenses. Maybe create a few tweets linking to the simplest and most used apps for money management: “Don’t be stressed during tax time 2016! Use XYZ.com to download the best apps to record your expenses all year long!” The content is engaging, helpful to the user and interesting because it will solve a problem for them. No sales pitch – just a personal conversation about fixing a problem.

Along with sharing unique content, you need to speak with your audience as you would a close friend. Use plain language, pull large industry-only words, slang or lingo out of your Twitter vocabulary; you need to make your audience feel like you understand them, not that you must be the smartest person in social media. Save the industry jargon for your next convention! Be personal and personable, but skip the self-promotion.  Users want to read valuable content and become genuinely interested.

Defining goals, making the content personal and creating a voice for your company are just the first steps in getting your marketing strategy going strong. In Part 2 of this series this month, we will discuss how to get your audience engaged and generate leads from that engagement.

By | 2017-05-05T11:05:57+00:00 July 12th, 2016|list, Post|Comments Off on 5 Steps to Creating a Twitter Marketing Campaign – Part 1

Disorganization & Lack of Focus

One of the biggest things holding back most businesses is disorganization and lack of focus. In my business counseling career I’ve seen businesses on the brink of failure due to disorganization and lack of focus; so, let’s tackle these issues one at a time.

Disorganization as definded by Websters dictionary: to destroy or interrupt the orderly structure or function of. This doesn’t just apply to a messy work environment, disorganization applies to the work environment, staff, managers and owners.

When you are disorganized an inherent lack of focus automatically exists. When is the last time you spent more than five minutes looking for something, just to ask yourself “what in the heck is it doing there?!” When’s the last time you had a deadline fast approaching, and panic set in because you felt “rushed” even though you had two weeks prior to finish it only to put it off because you had more pressing things to do! This type of disorganization causes the business owner to feel as though they are always “putting out fires”.

We’ve all seen the business owner who’s so busy, exclaiming “time is money” or “nickel holding up a dollar,” running around barking orders at anyone who’ll listen, then spend twenty minutes trying to find something in their cluttered office or digging through their work truck looking for a tool. This type of disorganization will cost you far more money than the hard working employee you’re so sure is “wasting your time”.

Here are some great tips for getting organized! http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/82924 let’s take a couple of pointers off this list, and get organized today!

 

 

By | 2015-07-16T15:07:20+00:00 July 6th, 2015|top five|Comments Off on Disorganization & Lack of Focus

The Top Business Apps You Need In 2015 For Your Phone and Tablet | TechBeat

The Top Business Apps You Need In 2015

Top business apps. Purple tie guysI love FileHippo. It’s a great place to find the top business apps and, grab any of your favorite downloads, and they house older versions of all of the software they host. Which is fantastic for a variety of reasons we won’t get into right now! I bring up FileHippo because I recently realized that they have a tech blog, TechBeat News.

They’ve compiled a list of the 10 best business apps for 2015, and while I don’t agree with all of their choices and exclusions (I would have included Evernote and Google Sheets), these are some great apps. Download some and give them a shot. I’m downloading Turbo Scan as we speak. Leave a comment here or on Facebook and let us what apps you’re using for your business.

The Top Business Apps You Need In 2015 For Your Phone and Tablet | TechBeat News

For more of the latest news in marketing and technology, check us out at www.purpletieguys.com

By | 2017-06-27T12:47:23+00:00 January 23rd, 2015|list, side tangent, top ten|Comments Off on The Top Business Apps You Need In 2015 For Your Phone and Tablet | TechBeat

How to Avoid the 6 Biggest Financial Mistakes Young Entrepreneurs Make

Inc.com has a magnificent article on financial mistakes new business owners must inevitably face. Filed under hard knocks, this list is a great example of what kind of problems inexperience brings. How many of these things have you encountered in your ventures? Let us know in the comments.

How to Avoid the 6 Biggest Financial Mistakes Young Entrepreneurs Make | via Inc.com

By | 2017-06-29T11:29:54+00:00 January 19th, 2015|list, mistakes|Comments Off on How to Avoid the 6 Biggest Financial Mistakes Young Entrepreneurs Make

15 Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Resolutions for 2015

New Year’s resolutions are a time-honored tradition stretching back as long as anyone can remember. They’re also the first promises broken in the new year. But business owners and entrepreneurs have different standards to live by. That’s why it’s always interesting to look at what they’ve pledged to bring into the new year.

An article published in Business News Daily asked 15 entrepreneurs what their resolutions for 2015 were, and the results were interesting. The replies, from digital marketers to clothing line owners, ranged from economic growth to team appreciation. Not all of these goals can be applied to your business, but give the article a once over. See if one of these resolutions doesn’t peak your interest.

15 Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Resolutions for 2015 | Business News Daily

For more articles like this, check us out at www.purpletieguys.com.

By | 2017-06-27T12:52:10+00:00 January 14th, 2015|interview, list|Comments Off on 15 Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Resolutions for 2015