Is web “DESIGN” important to visitors?

Is web “DESIGN” important to visitors?

On occasion I get a prospective client or two who sincerely ask me, “Does it really matter what the website looks like?”. Every time I hear something like this, I have a little heart attack and shake my head. Have you ever seen an episode of the popular ABC show Shark Tank? It’s one of my favorite shows that features different American entrepreneurs trying to convince a panel of multi-million dollar investors to invest in their product/business. The panel consist of very successful businessmen and women such as Lori Greiner of QVC, Mark Cuban and my personal favorite, Kevin O’Leary. I don’t think I’ve missed an episode yet. While watching Shark Tank, one important thing I’ve noticed is that Barbara and Laurie almost always point out when the packaging and presentation of these products is not up to par, and for that reason alone, they will either not invest at all, or invest and demand a change in “design”. Why? Because it’s simple. If a product or service is not designed well, it’s not marketed well. And marketing is all about design. Having a website that looks great and functions well is as important as having a physical brick & mortar business that is clean and organized. It’s exactly the same.  Would you hire a dentist who’s lobby was messy, outdated and cold feeling? Would you trust that this dentist had all the best and newest technology available? Thoughts like this run thru the minds of a prospective customer regardless if you have a restaurant, medical practice, insurance company, etc… Take a look at these two dental websites. Which dental practice would...
Best Web Design in Spokane – Top 25 Awesome Websites

Best Web Design in Spokane – Top 25 Awesome Websites

[notice]Some images may take a while to process. You may try reloading/refreshing your page in order to view all entries. [/notice] Often I find myself admiring the work of many local web design companies in Spokane. So, I thought it would make for a great post to highlight some of the best looking website designs in Spokane and the Inland North West. The chosen are of course just my opinion and what I find to be attractive in web design varies. I tend to love abstract, colorful and image powerful designs. The following websites caught my attention because of they presented these elements. You will not find any of my personal web designs in this article as I felt it would not be fair to include myself. There are many beautiful websites and website designers in spokane and it’s unfortunate I had to limit this to 25. Perhaps I will have to make this a monthly post? Feel free to add links to any sites you feel didn’t make the list in the comments below! Please explain why you like the site. Ski Northwest [browser-shot url=”http://www.skinwrockies.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Main Market of Spokane [browser-shot url=”http://www.mainmarket.coop” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Madeleines in Spokane [browser-shot url=”http://madeleines-spokane.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Idaho Forest Group [browser-shot url=”http://www.idfg.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Ski Idaho [browser-shot url=”http://www.skiidaho.us” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Edge View Homes [browser-shot url=”http://www.edgeviewhomes.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Bridge Press Cellars [browser-shot url=”http://www.bridgepresscellars.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Play N Stay in Spokane [browser-shot url=”http://playnstay.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] CDA Boat Rentals [browser-shot url=”http://www.coeurdaleneboatrentals.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Rhino Tuff Tools [browser-shot url=”http://www.rhinotufftools.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Concept [browser-shot url=”http://duhconcept.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Spokane Humane Society [browser-shot url=”http://www.spokanehumanesociety.org” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Anthony’s [browser-shot url=”http://www.anthonys.com” width=”600″] [divider_padding] Hugos on the Hill [browser-shot...
Facebook Timeline | Enable Your Timeline Now in 10 Easy Steps

Facebook Timeline | Enable Your Timeline Now in 10 Easy Steps

1. Login to Facebook and become a Facebook Developer. 2. If you are not automatically brought to apps page, you can choose apps from the top blue bar navigation 3. Click grey button that says create a new app 4. Give it whatever name and namespace you want and agree to facebook policies 5. Click “opengraph” link on the left 6. Define actions in the text boxs. Write anything you want. “People can ____ a______” could be “People can upload a picture 7. Click Get Started 8. Change some default settings like “upload” to “download”. whatever, no big deal. We are just messing around to be able and get an invite 9. Don’t worry about changing anything else and click thru all the pages. Until your finished 10. Go back to your profile in a few minutes and you should see an invite above from facebook to try out Timeline! No one else will be able to see your Timeline. I think timeline is super cool. There are awesome features like a map that displays where you took your pictures, and dedicated well organized pages for your about info, friends, likes, and more. Its different and new and will take a day or two to adjust, but I think if you give it a chance and look at it with positive wonder, you will enjoy the new Facebook. Facebook is currently in a legal battle with Timelines Inc over the use of thier trademark “Timelines”. The exact date of Timelines official release is still unknown. Take a look at my...
Smashing Magazine’s Web Design Challenge

Smashing Magazine’s Web Design Challenge

This article is in response to a blog written by Paul Boag at Smashing Magazine. Paul invokes a challenge to designers everywhere asking that they post a blog that explains their reasoning behind their design process. This is my response to that particular article. Hello readers and designers of the world. My name is Heather, Owner of Ravenous Raven Design. I graduated with an A.A.S in software development back in 2010. While attending college I learned very little about the design process as we concentrated more on programming. In fact, the most we learned was basic Photoshop skills. My talent for design is natural, self taught, boundless and probably very egotistical. Before learning about WordPress 6 months ago, I was creating all my designs in HTML, CSS and JQuery. Since then, I have have been creating child themes utilizing the awesome Thematic Theme Framework provided by The Automatic Theme Team. So, for that reason, I cannot take much credit for the grid structure. Ravenous Raven Design’s Death Sentence So now I leave unto you, my website, my design, my heart. I expose my code, my creation and my world. Please, handle with care. The following is an explanation as to why I do the things I do within the realms of the inter web. Grid Like I mentioned above, I cannot take credit for the grid. I made very little changes to the grid with CSS because the current structure provided by thematic was perfect in my eyes. I used a full page width on my services pages. After reading a few articles on how too long of a...
How Much Does a Website Cost?

How Much Does a Website Cost?

The following information is to give the average consumer and idea of what websites cost. There are several factors that decide a websites costs and the following will give you some insight as to what goes into figuring web design prices so you may be able to budget yourself accordingly. That being said, although you will see approximate prices for web design, good designers will usually charge what they are worth. The area you live in can make a huge impact on price as well. You should expect to pay a little less in a smaller city as apposed to a larger one. Why is this? There is more competition in a larger city than a smaller one which means more work on the designers part to compete in design and search engines. It goes without saying; you get what you pay for! It is my recommendation that a person looking to have a website designed should look to a few local professionals and receive at least 3 quotes. Web design is not just a product being built for you. It’s a service you’re investing in for the future of your business and the professional you decide to hire should be made with great consideration. Factors in web design pricing 1.Type of website you need 2.Payment options available 3.Type of Web Designer you hire 4.Website Features you would like 5.Needed elements to keep your website running Types of Websites on the Internet [wpspoiler name=”Portfolio, Informational and Brochure | $300-$2,500+” style=”wpui-green”] Portfolio, Informational and Brochure This type of website simply describes the business, services offered, hours of operation etc… They...
5 Skills you Need to Start your Freelance Web Design Business

5 Skills you Need to Start your Freelance Web Design Business

Back when I was in school for software development, I befriended a fellow student who seemed to think he new a thing or two about conducting a freelance business. At first, I approached him open eyed and with a curious sense of wonder as to how he managed to make a living working from home. Most Everyone’s dream is to work for themselves! As I probed my peer with question after question, they responded in ways I truly did not expect to hear from a professional business person. Me: “Hey, it would be awesome if you and I could partner in web design!” Him: “yeah, that sounds cool” Me: “Awesome, I can design and you can code, it will be great! I should start researching contracts, marketing and legal aspects” Him: “I don’t do contracts, never have, never will” Me: “What? how do determine the work the client receives for the amount paid to you?” Him: “I don’t. I tell them a price and they pay it…that’s that.” From experience, I am a very organized person who loves to keep track of all my business via paperwork. That’s when I knew, It would be too difficult for me to partner with anyone. From that day on, I knew, I would be a professional freelance web designer. I purchased a bunch of books, and now I am sharing my knowledge with the next generation of newbs. 5 Skills Needed for a Successful Freelance Web Design Business 1: The Propeller Head This is the person that sits in dark room for 16 hours a day coding and analyzing while drinking 6...

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