Small business post courtesy of our sister company’s blog, OnTheCloud!
I’m not exactly sure where mine is, but I’m sure it’s hiding somewhere. Every time I receive a new phone book on my doorstep, I have a tough time deciding whether to keep it or throw it in the trash. Most people I know throw it away.
Essentially, businesses listed in the yellow pages of the phone book are either hiding under my couch or waiting for the garbage truck to take them away.
When I’m looking for a specific service, instead of finding my phone book I head straight to Google. The Internet has made searching for a local car wash or dry cleaner SO simple. It seems like everyone else is right there with me, 79% of Americans online use the Internet to find a local business.*
Which leads me to my point, is your business online?
In the past year, the amount of small business’ with their own websites have increased by 46%. However, there’s still a long way to go.
Before coming to MycroBurst, I worked with a variety of small businesses to help establish their online presence.
One of my clients didn’t really know where to start, but they knew they wanted to make the transition from the Coupon Clipper to online. This owner previously established a Facebook page, which was a great start. But when searching for their company online, all you saw was an arrow on Google Maps. They had no other online presence.
One piece of advice I shared with my clients is: Social Media is a great way to interact with your clients but it should never be used as your business’ main website.
Don’t get me wrong I’m well aware that social media is the future of the Internet and I’m a true believer in it. But you have to be careful — as the rise and fall of AOL demonstrated, you cannot control the future of someone else’s domain. You need to create your own.
In the end I was able to help my client establish their own, personalized website – for less than $900. With their brand new website they are able to highlight each of their employees, show what services they offer, schedule appointments online and share their special promotions!
Their website is still in existence and is rising to the top of Google searches for their industry in their local area. They now are able to share new products and sales with their customers and they couldn’t be more thrilled.
Between the always changing Internet and lack of phone books, a professional and custom website should be the next step in your business’ plan. Get out of the dumpster and get online!
November 13th, 2012
In my opinion, there are two types of designers in this world – trained and untrained. Those that have been trained are well equipped to handle challenges ahead and tasks at hand. In an effort to be fully prepared, web designers attend school and spend countless hours in design labs. That design diploma, along with a portfolio, is their key to seek new design opportunities.
While school teaches you the main foundations of your field, there are important skills that you can only learn from experience in the design field.
1. Difference between School & Design Projects
Web design schools do their best to give assignments that closely resemble the practical world. However, they tend to be a few steps behind. One reason is because the constant advances in technology and updates in design trends. This creates a big gap between a school project and a design project. Your grade depends on one, but your career depends on the other.
2. Become an Expert
There are thousands of web designers out there vying for the same job. Becoming an expert will distinguish and establish you as the go-to source in web design. If you have a certain talent, always be sure to highlight it. Master your craft in every aspect and market yourself to become a well-known expert in that niche.
3. Low Budget Equals Hands on Client
All companies have a budget they must follow, web design included. Professional designers agree that clients who have a higher budget for web design tend to allow more freedom during the design process. A company with a lower budget tends to be more hands on. They’ll probably analyze and critique the design process because of the limited budget. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work for clients on a low budget; you’ll have to work with smaller companies to build your portfolio. Take it step by step and work your way up.
4. The Design Project is the Client’s
Designers sometimes lose sight of this. Once a project is finished, clients are free to make changes which can alter or distort the overall look of the website. Those designers who tend to get frustrated with this, remember, that it is the client’s website after all. Give them advice, guide them and provide additional services but don’t get mad if they want things their way.
5. Keep the User in Mind
This is a big one. Web designers keep their client in mind when designing a website, but they should also consider the user. After all, user experience is what counts the most. The more comfortable users are with the website design and its navigation, the more likely they are to return to it. Develop a thorough understanding of the users’ needs and requirements.
These points are good ones, but do not confuse the message behind this post. It is not meant to discourage people from learning about web design, it’s meant to give an idea of the professional world that awaits designers after school. Don’t be intimidated; just understand how big this industry is. You can accomplish a lot, all you need to do is work harder and stick with the basics.
September 18th, 2012
We are always educating our designers about submission standards to ensure a hassle free design process. In today’s post we are reaching out to our web designers to share some important submission guidelines.
Web Design Submission Checklist – Web Designing 101
When submitting web design drafts to Logo Design Guru and MycroBurst, web designers must be sure that their design drafts are up to standards. Please make sure that you follow all of the following criteria:
1. Web Template Draft Size
Your design template should be 1001px in 72 DPI, PNG format. Do not stick to the traditional 800 x 600 pixels as it is outdated.
With various screen options available today, web templates should be flexible enough to adjust to all sizes. Customers can sometimes also demand for liquid or fluid templates that are meant to consume all 100% of screen width. You may send in liquid drafts only when it has been specially requested by the client.
2. Correct Color Standard
Nearly all monitors are RGB calibrated, which is why your web template should also be in RGB mode. Web designers can also manipulate CMYK, HSB, LAB and hexadecimal values to get the right RGB colors. You can search online for color values to find the perfect shades for your web template design.
3. Web Template Optimum for HTML
Web template should always be optimum for both Table & Table, less html methodology. Odd designs or design elements may look good as a template, but optimization on several different browsers does not often look right.
4. Prefer Using Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop is not good for logo designing. However, it is exclusively recommended for web template designs. At Logo Design Guru and MycroBurst we accept layer based web designs in PSD format, with each layer having specific folders and names.
This allows the customer to easily review the template and analyze details of various layers. We highly recommend using Adobe Photoshop 7.0 or higher.
5. Avoid Clipart and 3rd Party Stock Images
Do not use clipart. Images from a 3rd party source can be used only if the source website has deemed images as royalty free. An alternative option is to use images from a 3rd party that has a watermarked logo. You can then supply image ID along with the final source files so the client can buy those images.
6. Don’t Use Watermarks On Web Design Draft
Do not add watermarks on web design drafts as it hampers visibility.
Before submitting a web design to any project make sure you have fulfilled all the requirement given above. In case of any query regarding submission guidelines, feel free to contact us.
February 6th, 2012