Author: MarkChips

How to Survey Your Audience

We all have had the same issue at one point or another in our life. Of how to go about surveying our audience and making sure that we have content that is right for them and their needs. This can be quite defeating especially in the fact that when you create your content and suddenly you hear crickets. This is one of the worst sounds you can hear when it comes to your content. This can be a result of simply forgetting to ask people what it was that they wanted to see, you neglected to survey your audience. Everything is not lost though you can simply follow these simple tips, you can redeem yourself. There are three areas that you can use to connect with your audience.

Target People on Your Subscribers List

  1. Let’s start this process off with looking at your list of subscribers and asking them a question via email. This is a good way to get the temperature check of what is going on and where people are currently standing on a certain issue.
  2. Use software to survey your audience. This one piece of advice is huge and has a lot more weight than you might otherwise expect it to have. There are several programs out there that you can use that will give you amazing results in asking your audience questions and getting feedback from them. You will be amazed at the amount of information you will be able to gain.
  3. When you are asking questions, it is important that you get the important ones out first. If you bog down the survey with a bunch of useless questions, then your audience will begin to drop off and you will lose interest from them.
  4. Putting your subscribers into different lists helps you to better understand their needs and allows you to better tailor your content to those particular people. This helps to make sure that you are not sending content on surfboards to people that are interested in dog collars.

Target People with Various Social Media

  1. Take advantage of the Facebook Live feature. This is a huge tool that if you use it correctly will give you instant data that you can use in real time. Unlike email where you may have to wait hours or longer for your feedback, Facebook Live is instant feedback that you can use to tailor your content to their needs.
  2. Conducting a pool on Twitter is another way that you can get honest real-time feedback from your audience. These are becoming more and more popular on a regular basis.

When all else fails, you can use the tried and true method of getting your feedback and that is to simply call people and ask for their comments or concerns. Another way is to look at your FAQ section and see where are the majority of questions being asked and tailor things around that. Having the right content reaching your audience is vital in getting the best results.

Tips for Creating a Memorable and Engaging Infographic

Infographics are a great way to convey information quickly and effectively. However, it’s easy these days for your infographic to get lost in the sea of images and advertisements we see every day. Here are some tips for making your infographic stand out from the crowd.

Think Critically Using the FIRED Method

The FIRED method is a quick and easy way to check if your infographic serves the purpose you want it to in a clear and engaging manner. When you’re creating your visual design, ask yourself these five questions:

Fresh: How can you make your image stand out against others?
Informative: Are you presenting information that is accurate and compelling?
Relevant: Is the information you present clearly connected to your mission?
Entertaining: Will your audience be excited to get involved?
Different: Does your infographic look innovative and unique?

Making sure your infographic meets this five requirements will ensure that your audience is drawn in and that your information is communicated clearly and effectively.

Move It, Move It

Infographics with animation that adds motion is a great way to capture the attention of an audience with a short attention span. If your infographic incorporates motion, the audience will be more engaged and excited to read what you have to say. There are lots of different kinds of animations you can add to your image, ranging from fully independent animation that your audience can sit back and watch to interactive animation that allows users to immerse themselves in the experience. Most animation tools allow you to play around with different templates and find the one that will create the most fun and captivating infographic for your purposes.

Be Informative

The most important feature of an infographic is (you guessed it) information! After all, the point of creating an infographic is to teach your audience something, so above all, focus on sharing clear and illuminating information. The data that you use in your infographic should be well-researched and transparently communicated. Try creating a few different infographics of your data and test them out on a friend, and then have them tell you which one presents the information the most clearly. Remember, your goal is to inform and entertain, in that order!

Infographics are an excellent marketing tool to communicate with your audience. Keep your users engaged and interested by playing around with different styles and formats. And remember, have fun with it!

A Brief History of Web Design

Web design has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Here is a glimpse into how the world of web design developed from its early stages to its present-day glory.

The First Web Browsers

Gopher was the first platform for surfing the web developed in the late 20th century. Its interface involved layer upon layer of windows, using technology that let users access text files from all over the world from their personal computers. By today’s standards it looks quite archaic, but it was truly a pioneering technology of the information age. After Gopher came Mosaic, a program that was released for the first time in 1993. It was the first platform that could display images and text together on the same page, a technique that was revolutionary at the time! The concept and design of Mosaic formed the foundation for later internet browsers like Internet Explorer.

The Evolution of Graphic Design

The appearance of graphic design features has undergone dramatic transformation over the last few decades. Early icons featured flashy designs and three-dimensional aesthetics, while modern icon designs tend to be flatter, sleeker, and more minimalistic. Older web designs also tended to have fewer images and less layering, since slow connection speeds made it difficult for complex or multifaceted web designs to load quickly. Now, with increased bandwidth and the rise of high-speed internet, the possibilities for intricate and innovative graphic design have increased with no compromise to page loading time. Adaptable designs have also allowed for complex web layouts that can be viewed from multiple devices.

The Future of Web Design

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The technology that is available today for web design is increasing at a mind-boggling rate. The limitations we have today are being quickly overcome through ever-evolving technological advancements. With the development of new devices capable of accessing the internet, our web designs must be more and more adaptable to new formatting and new user experiences. Furthermore, as the sheer volume of content on the internet increases exponentially, the techniques developed to sort through all of that information makes search engine optimization and ranking more and more important. These developments have changed the course of human history, and the field of information technology shows no signs of stopping.

A glimpse into the past at the internet’s humble beginnings illustrates how far the development of web design technology has come in an incredibly short period of time. In 30 years, who knows what sorts of technology will make our current web browsing platforms look like technological dinosaurs!

Guide to Modern Web Design

The digital world is continuously evolving, and new web design techniques are emerging every day. Here are some of the hottest modern elements of web design that will make your content stand out from the crowd.

Visually Engaging Backgrounds

Using an eye-catching animation or image as the background of your website is a fun way to mix things up. Using an engaging background allows you to use less text, since the image can communicate information immediately and continuously. Many sites even use interactive video instead of any static text in order to keep the user entertained and intrigued. Just be sure that if you use an animated background, you scale down the amount of information you layer on top of it. You want your background to contribute to the overall user experience, not distract from it.

Bold and Stylized Themes

As our ability to create new and innovative visuals grows, so do the options for matching those visual styles to our personal brands. If your content is fun, fresh, and exciting, use bold and vibrant colors to accentuate that excitement. If your content is cool, funky, and retro, try a vintage theme to match your site’s aesthetic to your voice. Play around with different themes and style to find the one that best complements your mission.

Minimalistic Features

Simple and user-friendly navigational features such as icons, drop-down menus, and banners help make your audience’s experience clean and comfortable. Opt for simple lines, understated and clean button designs, and intuitive functionality. If your website is too cluttered and your visual features are competing with each other for attention, the overall experience of using your site will feel muddled and overwhelming. Nothing turns users away faster than a site design that feels confusing and anxiety-inducing. Remember, you’re not only designing a website, you’re creating an experience. Select one or two elements of your website to be the bold, eye-catching centerpieces, and keep everything else clean and simple.

Playing with design elements can give your website a fresh feel and a professional style. With the rapid development of web design technology, new features are becoming available every day. If you’re creating a new site or your current site needs revitalization, try some of these tips to give your page a stylistic makeover. Aim for a balance of simplicity and innovation, and always keep your users’ experience in mind!

talonX Creative Agency
+1 587-487-6094
1209 1 St SW #200, Calgary, AB T2R 0V3
Kanada

A Beginner’s Guide to Parallax Style Website Design

Parallax technology has been around for decades, forming the foundation of many web design techniques used in modern websites. Here is a brief guide to the little-known technology and how it can help revitalize your website design.

What is Parallax?

Parallax comes from the Greek word parallaxis, meaning “alteration”. It is a web design technique that is used to create particular visual effects on a webpage. The technique involves changing the speed at which graphics move in the background and foreground of a page. When someone scrolls through the site, the contrast between the background and foreground graphics makes the user feel like he or she is moving along with the page.

How Is It Incorporated into Web Design?

There are several methods for incorporating this technique into a website’s design:

Layer Method: Incorporating multiple elements into the foreground and background, which can scroll either horizontally or vertically.
Raster Method: Composites and refreshes and image’s lines of pixels from top to bottom.
Sprite Method: Combining several 2-dimensional images to create a layered illusion.
Repeating Pattern or Animation: Creating the illusion of individual tiles “floating” against a repeating layer in the background.

What Are the Benefits of Parallax?

Using parallax scrolling makes a website more dynamic and engaging, giving the user a more memorable browsing experience. The impressive visual effect created by this technique adds to the overall impression of a site’s credibility and allure, making browsers want to stay longer and decreasing bounce rates. When creative web design techniques like this are used, it makes users want to explore the site’s content and see what else the business has to offer.

Though its roots date back to early graphic design technologies, the parallax technique has only recently become popularized in website design techniques. Its dynamic and engaging effect makes for an unforgettable user experience!

How to Make Your WordPress Site Accessible

Making your website more accessible increases your user traffic and makes your content clearer and more engaging to diverse users. Here are some tips for making your WordPress site more accessible.

Choose Your Theme Carefully

Some WordPress themes are unique and interesting but difficult to navigate. Many themes are tagged as being accessibility-ready, meaning they have been designed and reviewed to meet standards of accessibility. Selecting one of these themes before you begin designing your page will save you a lot of time and energy trying to tweak your layout and content, so choose one of these accessibility-ready themes to give your site a solid foundation.

Use Color

Guiding your users’ experience with the use of color in your design can make it easier for users to navigate your content efficiently. Many users have diminished color perception, so ensuring that the colors on your website have enough contrast makes your page more visually accessible to these users. Using a wider font will also give you more color options, as text that has a wider stroke is easier to read at low contrast levels.

Make Your Content Readable

The way you present the written content on your site affects how accessible it is to users. Writing that incorporates short, scannable sentences, bullet points, lists, and varied font formatting that includes bolded and italicized text can make it much easier for a reader to process content. But remember – don’t vary the formatting too much or it may become overwhelming to the reader. Aim for a balance of clarity and variety to make your content as accessible as possible.

Use Captions and Descriptions

You want your page to be accessible to users who utilize assistive technologies, many of whom cannot see video and image files. Be sure to include descriptions and captions of any visual files, as well as transcripts of any files with audio content so that all of the content that you present is accessible to all users. Refrain from using auto-play on your video and audio files, which can be disorienting to many users.

Making your WordPress page more accessible to diverse users not only makes the internet a more equitable place, it communicates to your audience that you care about their user experience. Explore the accessibility accommodations on WordPress to make your site as user-friendly as possible.

Responsive Web Design 101

Most of our online activity takes place through our mobile devices these days. With more and more variation in the devices we use to access web content, it becomes increasingly important for web design to be adaptable to these devices. Nothing turns away users faster than awkward and user-unfriendly web pages! Here are just a few of the myriad benefits of using a responsive web design for your website.

It’s User Friendly

The easier it is for your users to navigate your site, the longer they will spend on it and the more they will revisit it. Sites that have a simple layout, intuitive construction, and easily tap-able links on their mobile versions help users feel immediately at home when visiting the website. Users should feel comfortable navigating your page, and that comfort should start the moment they access it. The first few seconds after someone accesses your webpage are the most important; a well-designed site will draw them in immediately, but a poorly designed one will deter them from exploring further. A responsive design will encourage users to spend more time perusing your content, as well as making it easy for them to access it from any of their devices.

It’s Cost Efficient

Making different websites for access from different devices is not only more cumbersome, it’s a waste of time and money. Spending energy and funds updating, maintaining, and developing multiple sites is an inefficient use of your resources, not to mention a pain in the neck! Instead of developing multiple sites to accommodate different devices, use a responsive design that can adapt to any device. Not only will it make your life easier, but it will make your web presence more cohesive and your brand feel more unified.

 

talonX Creative Agency
+1 587-487-6094
1209 1 St SW #200, Calgary, AB T2R 0V3
Kanada

It’s Better for Search Engine Optimization

Your website should be designed to help itself gain more web traffic. One of the features that is of increasing importance in SEO ranking is mobile accessibility. The more accessible your site is from mobile devices, the higher up in search engine results your site will appear. Since more web traffic means more business, making your website mobile-friendly means making your business more profitable. Opting for a responsive web design will not only make your website more user friendly, it will increase the number of users that come to your site in the first place. Plus, they’ll be more likely to share links to your site with your friends, which further increases your SEO ranking. Just like magic!

As the use of mobile devices to access web content increases, it becomes more and more important for businesses to adapt their web presence to this technological trend. A responsive web design makes your life easier and your users’ experience better. What more could one ask for?

Guide to User-Experience (UX) Design

The user experience is the overall, combined impression a user has when utilizing a website or web application. It incorporates every detail of the website’s design, appearance, usability, and brand to create a single, unified impact on the user. Here are a few of the most fundamental aspects of a UX design.

Content

First and foremost, a user will go to a website for its content. Whether the purpose of the website is to be informative, entertaining, or inspiring, the content presented on the site is what will keep users coming back time and time again.

Usability

In order to hold a user’s attention and engagement, a website must be user-friendly and designed in such a way that it is easy for the user to navigate. In general, simple designs, clean and understated aesthetics, and accessible features define the best and most user-friendly designs. If the user feels comfortable and at home on the site, he or she is much more likely to stay on the site longer and return more frequently.

Data and Research

A website that provides accurate, well-researched, and trusted information makes the user feel like the site is a valuable resource. Websites should be authoritative sources on the information they communicate, and the best way to ensure that a webpage gives that impression is to use accurate information and provide credible sources for that information. In an internet age where an infinite amount of information is available to a user with the click of a button, a website’s accuracy and credibility contributes to the user’s overall impression that the site is worth revisiting.

Visual Design

The overall visual impact that a website’s design has is one of the most important features of the UX design. The visual appearance of a business’s website gives a strong impression of the business’s credibility, professionalism, and trustworthiness. Clean, crisp visual designs send the message that a business is competent, skilled, and qualified, and a hint of vibrancy in the overall visual impression makes the user excited to be a part of the business’s story.

User-experience design is a crucial part of a business’s ability to create a valuable and distinguished brand. A website is often the first impression that a business makes on potential clients, and the experience of a user on the business’s website defines their impression of the business overall. A carefully crafted UX design can make the difference between a one-time user and a lifelong customer.

Personal Branding 101

Personal branding is the creation and marketing of a distinctive and memorable brand for you and your career. One of the most important parts of creating a successful business is cultivating a following that knows and loves your business’s authentic identity. Personal branding can lead to better professional opportunities, improved and diversified clientele, and recognition in your industry. Here are a few tips for personal branding to help you cultivate a following and increase the opportunities available to you.

Know Your Audience

Knowing who your target audience is and what their needs are is one of the most important features of personal branding. Your audience and your clientele are the ones who will most determine the success of your brand, so be sure to know your market. After all, happy clients lead to brand loyalty!

Use High Quality Images

The visual impression you make on your audience is the first and most lasting impression. Beautiful and professional images send the message that your product or services are high-quality, trustworthy, and exciting. With a strong first visual impression, your audience will immediately feel at ease and engaged.

Establish Networks

Connecting with other brands and professionals can open doors for you in your industry in unexpected ways. Start by listening to other professionals and making yourself of service to them, both so that you can learn from those who have more experience than you and so that you can create a network of allies. Cultivating a personal brand means establishing yourself as a leader in your industry, one that customers and other professionals alike are drawn to.

Don’t Stop Creating

There are thousands of places for you to showcase bits of your work to new audiences, so continue to create fresh and engaging content to share with the world. Don’t spend too much time on networking and forget to deliver creative new content with the networks already available to you!

Tell Your Story

Nothing establishes brand loyalty better than a personal story that your audience can connect with. Remember, your users don’t just care about the products you offer; they want to have a fully immersed, personal user experience. Cater to their experience by sharing your story so that they feel connected with not only your product, but also your lifestyle.

Personal branding is key to developing a successful business, as it connects who you are with the services you offer the world. These strategies will help you develop a personal brand that will increase opportunities and secure your place as a leader of your industry.

Guide to Successful Email Design

Email is one of the most effective ways to market your business. Any marketing campaign will employ a variety of resources to communicate with potential clients, and email can serve as the centerpiece of any marketing strategy. A well-designed email campaign must be attractive and eye-catching, and should direct the reader to the most important information easily and intuitively. Here are some tips for designing emails that will increase traffic flow to a business and keep your customers engaged and interested.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Most people live their lives through their mobile devices, and any effective form of marketing communication should cater to the mobile experience. If an email is difficult to read or navigate on a cell phone, most readers will not bother to struggle with it. There are multiple ways to make an email mobile-friendly. One way is to create emails that resize to fit the screen of a mobile device, which works fine if the email design is relatively simple. For more complex designs with a variety of features, however, the best bet is to make a responsive design that adapts automatically to screens of all different sizes so that the content is easily accessible and readable on a phone, a tablet, or a laptop computer. A responsive design is the best way to make sure an email is readable and user-friendly. In designing an email for multiple devices, make sure the layout is simple, the font size and style will adapt well to reformatting for different device sizes, and the content isn’t too cluttered or close together. Make sure each link is large and isolated enough that tapping on it on a touch-screen is easy, and hide unnecessary information or features of the email when it is converted to smartphone size. The best responsive email designs are the simplest and most legible ones, and it is these designs that will keep users coming back for more.

Variety

Different email designs will work best for different types of content; there’s no need to just stick to one template across the board! Depending whether an email is a newsletter, a notification, a transactional email, or a marketing email, the format and design of the email will vary quite a bit. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and templates to find the one that works best for each purpose.

Highlight Important Content

With all of the design and format considerations, it’s easy to forget about the most important part of an email – the content! An email campaign markets content first and foremost, so be sure to highlight the most important content and keep it concise and to-the-point. An email should communicate information in a fun, engaging, and efficient way so that clients stay interested and informed.

Email design is one of the most important features of any marketing campaign. Make sure emails are clean, clear, and engaging to keep clients happy and attract new ones.