All posts by: Vanessa Petersen

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The Scrolling Site: Getting It Right for The User

Believe it or not, at one point, in the not so distant past- scrolling was a major faux pas. The mantra of ‘above/below the fold’ rules were ubiquitous with designers working to get as much information as possible into the immediately seen space that ultimately would overwhelm the user. Along with technology, the user has evolved. With the popularity and prevalence of parallax, so much has changed – including user preference and their interest in truly connecting and engaging with the content they are looking for. Scrolling has become an ally of both the user and designer alike – and with screen resolution improving it seems on a daily basis, this trend is only on the rise. While standard scrolling is not a new trend, though the proper implementation of it’s features are a hotly contested debate. With sites developing more in depth content and the prevalence of parallax and animated […]

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4 years, 15 days ago
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Incorporating Video for Heightened User Engagement

The goal of a website is to draw in a user and convey the message that needs to be told. A well designed site crafts an experience for the user and takes every opportunity to connect with the audience and interacting at every angle. A solid content strategy, site architecture and usability testing can do incredible things for user engagement and conversion to create this connection, however, the scales are tipping for some toward a more interactive environment. The most effective experiential application to cultivate this connection, is the use of the moving image. As video becomes more and more prevalent through the immediate use of mobile phones with quality results, it’s become increasingly clear that this platform is an important part of a digital marketing strategy that will only continue to gain traction. We’ve extolled the virtues of visual storytelling across various platforms, and briefly touched on the use of video – here we go into […]

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4 years, 2 months ago
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Approaching a Responsive Strategy With Flat Design

With the prevalence of connected devices in varying sizes and dimensions, the work of interface designers requires a mobile strategy – with responsive web design (RWD) being the optimal route. While responsive design does not require a singular aesthetic, interfaces designed with a flat approach work with a responsive approach must better than many other styles. Its clear that one of the main reasons flat design has taken shape, beyond usability and the rise of minimalism, is the development of responsive design. Personified by two-dimensional, clean, smooth, crisp edges and bright colors – flat design could be coined the ‘champion of usability’. Designers who employ flat design identify with a simplified, digital aesthetic, choosing to oppose artificial realism and intricacies in favor of simple iconography. Designers who embark on a scheme that requires a responsive design and employ the same old styles including fixed imagery, shading and drop shadows quickly realize that […]

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4 years, 2 months ago
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From Zero to Hero: Using Oversized Images in Your Site Design

All pun intended, a huge trend in current web design is the implementation of oversized images (often called mega images) on the main page of a site. These images, when placed and curated properly, create an instant connection to the information on the page and illuminate the content. Even static, still images that are oversized in this application have a life-like, somewhat interactive quality. The hero or mega image, as the names imply, is usually the first thing that draws the eye on a web page and is most often placed at the background with text overlay. Choosing an image that is relevant to the brand or illuminates the lifestyle it creates is critical to ensuring a user connection. The use of an extra large image stretched across the entire page is a newer trend, however, the hero header has been around for some time. A hero header is the […]

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4 years, 2 months ago
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Responsive Design: Now More Than Ever

Responsive web design couldn’t have made its entrance and rise in the digital marketing industry at a more perfect time. With the new announcement from Google that mobile usability will count as a search ranking factor beginning in April 2015 – now is the time to pay attention. We’ve all known that mobile is rising quickly as a main platform for users across the board, but now the stakes are higher. Mobile search results will now reflect how mobile-friendly sites are, and if a website isn’t optimized for mobile browsing, it will most likely drop in ranking. Choosing Responsive Design There are more people using mobile devices today and companies have been struggling to set up and market mobile versions of their sites. This new design methodology takes away the necessity of building a separate mobile site and makes it easier for companies to deliver the best website user experience possible. Whether […]

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4 years, 3 months ago
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Design Process: Wireframe vs. Prototype

Much of design requires the ability to collaborate. Whether it is with an internal team or client, having the tools to effectively present an idea and show the process to delivery is integral in gaining stakeholder approval and ultimately, the best end product. The path of designing a website or app is no different that any other creative process. Designers require a toolbox to aid in the communication and visual aspects of the project, and wireframing and prototyping are the main drivers for helping this process along. Wireframing and prototyping have many similarities but act as lo-fi and hi-fi counterparts. Determining which method to adopt for a specific project will depend on the content, team cognition and budget constraints. Wireframing Technically speaking, Wireframing has long been an important step in any screen design process. The action of planning and laying out how the user will process information will allow a greater definition of information […]

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4 years, 3 months ago