Posted In:Web Design and Development Archives - Pligg

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How to Select the Right Colors for Web Development and Design

July 6, 2017 - By 

Web development and design can be a challenge. There are so many decisions to make, and color is one of the most fundamental.

The right color scheme can make or break a website, playing a huge role in how well it serves its purpose.

A poor color scheme could:

  • Create a bad first impression.
  • Drive customers away.
  • Make your business appear unprofessional.
  • Make your site hard to read or navigate, damaging user experience.
  • Damage your brand image.

Does this sound extreme?

How likely are you to purchase services from a business with a website that has a black background and neon-yellow text?

Or pale yellow text on a white background?

Or every color under the sun on every single page?

You get the idea. In web development and design, color matters a whole lot.

If you’re not sure how to create the right color scheme for your website, you’re in the right place. This post will take you through the color schemes you should never use, then give you clear steps detailing how to pick the right colors for your site.

Ready to create some amazing web color schemes?

Let’s do this.

The color schemes you shouldn’t use in web development and design

Before you learn what you should do when creating color schemes for web development and design, let’s cover what you should avoid at all costs.

If any of these choices feature in your current color scheme, it’s time for a drastic redesign.

Using only one color.

You might think you’ve hit on the solution to all your color scheme woes.

“I know, I’ll just use a single color!”

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Using a single color makes it hard for visitors to distinguish between the different areas of your site. It means you can’t highlight links, buttons, and other important elements which would usually be shown in a contrasting color.

Having a single color also makes your site look basic and poorly-designed, which is not what you want.

Using rainbow colors.

On the other side of the coin, don’t think you can get away with using every color. Rainbow colors might look great on your toddler’s latest finger painting, but they aren’t right for a professional website.

Too many colors will make your site look cluttered, busy, and hard to navigate.

Too many bright/neon colors.

Your website should be easy on the eyes. If any of the colors used are painful to look at for long, they need to go.

Imagine that someone is reading a long blog post with small text on your site. Would the colors you’ve picked be comfortable to look at for long periods of time?

If not, give them a miss.

Too many dark colors.

For the vast majority of websites, light, bright colors will create the most user-friendly experience.

Sites with very dark backgrounds, lots of dark elements, and dark text don’t appear professional and aren’t pleasant to browse.

Imagine you’re designing a room, and you want it to look as welcoming as possible. You’d pick bright, neutral colors – you wouldn’t paint the walls black and put up dark brown drapes.

Light colors on a light background.

This is one of the biggest issues for many sites, especially those with lots of text.

Light colored text on a light background just isn’t easy for visitors to read, which will put them off spending time on your site.

Choose clear, contrasting colors for your design, and remember that people may be browsing on screens with low brightness, or could have visual impairments. Test your colors on a few different devices to make sure they’re as clear as possible.

The color schemes you should use in web development and design

Want to learn how to create a winning color scheme in a few easy steps?

Read on.

Pick the right starting color.

Take a deep breath.

You’re about to pick the color that your entire color scheme will be based around. This is an important color, and you might feel spoilt for choice.

If that’s the case, here are some ideas to help you pick the perfect shade:

  • Use a color already associated with your brand, like your logo color.
  • Don’t use the same color as your competition. A new cola brand in red? Not a good idea.
  • Pick a color to appeal to your audience. Gardening blog? Green could be perfect.
  • Look at color psychology for ideas. Blue is calming, orange is comforting, and yellow is emotional.

Use color palettes for inspiration.

Once you’ve decided on a base color, like red, yellow or blue, you’ll need to pick the exact shade.

This can feel pretty overwhelming, and looking to existing color palettes for inspiration can be a big help.

Simply search ‘color palettes’ or ‘design trends‘, then copy and paste hex codes, or use the color picker in your design program to grab colors. Compare a few, and avoid copying the exact shade used by a competing brand.

Save your favorite palettes, as they could help with the next step.

For a more organic color selection process, try picking colors out of a photograph – this can feel a lot more inspiring than staring at hex codes.

Choose at least one accent color.

Okay, you’ve got your base color.

Now you need to choose an accent color.

This is the shade that will be used to highlight certain elements of your site, like links, text, and buttons. It should be a color that complements your base color and stands out without looking too jarring.

If you picked your first color using a palette, you might find a suitable accent color there. If not, try looking at a color wheel and picking a color that’s opposite or next to your original shade.

Multiple accent colors can look good, but don’t go overboard – stick to a maximum of three.

If in doubt, stick with one accent color for a simple, sleek look.

Use different shades of gray for text and backgrounds.

We talked about how too many colors can make your website look cluttered.

That’s true, but it doesn’t mean you can’t add different backgrounds to certain areas of your site, or highlight specific pieces of text.

You just need to use a magical color called gray.

Grey matches perfectly with any color scheme and draws attention without looking busy or tacky.

Your color scheme should include a light gray and a dark gray, to be used anywhere you want to create separation. Pick grays that match well with your base color – for example, blue gray to match a blue base color.

Feeling lost when it comes to color schemes for web development and design?

Follow this guide and you’ll soon be creating color schemes that perfectly represent your brand and provide the framework for a beautiful, professional website.

Start creating your new web color scheme today.


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5 Benefits of an Internal Search Bar for Your Website

July 5, 2017 - By 

Anyone who has a website is always on the lookout for ways to improve its performance. A search function can improve a website by keeping visitors on the site, speeding up the user experience, focusing on the customer, and by providing valuable data to marketers and SEO professionals.

Think about a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Shoppers enter the store but have no way to find the book they need. Most of them will leave the store, possibly never to return. A website is much the same. If users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave.

To learn how every website can benefit from having internal search, keep reading.

5 Benefits of Internal Search

Let’s get down to brass tacks and look at each of the benefits for a search bar on your website.

Keep Visitors on the Website

Like the bookstore example above, it’s bad for business when visitors leave because they can’t find what they’re looking for. If they have to leave to search Google, for example, that’s called a bounce.

The percentage of users who bounce is known as a bounce rate. While a higher bounce rate may not always be cause for concern, it can be. Websites can be ranked lower on search engines sometimes if they have high bounce rates.

Speed Up User Experience

People want results and they want them fast. If a website offers a search bar, that can save visitors precious time navigating through menus and sub-menus. They can find what they came for much faster, which creates a better user experience.

A better user experience can lead to higher rankings on search engines.

Focus on the Customer

A search bar to find information and products internally sends a specific message. It tells visitors that the website is focused on their needs. When visitors feel their needs are important, they can be more likely to convert. That means more customers.

Think of implementing a search bar the same way as creating a customer service department. Tell visitors that the website is for them.

Provide Marketers with Data

Successful marketing relies on all sorts of data. Demographics such as age and gender, product relatability, and even active time of day can play an important role in marketing. Internal search provides first-party data for marketers.

That means the data is direct from the source. It’s not filtered or controlled in any way contrary to what the marketer needs.

Gather SEO Data

SEO, or search engine optimization, makes websites more attractive to search engines, and the users who search them. There are many ways to improve SEO, but one way is to use the right keywords in the right places. Getting those keywords can be tough.

Without reading visitors’ minds, understanding what they want can be a roundabout process. Search bars can make keyword data gathering more straightforward.

A website without a search bar is missing out on these and other benefits. The good news is that any site can be fitted with an internal search feature. We’d love to hear about how a search bar helped your website. Contact us to share your story!


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How to Create and Ensure Excellent User Experience

June 13, 2017 - By 

There are a lot of factors that go into creating an engaging product. You’ll need a great logo, solid copywriting, and an intuitive design.

But above all else, you’ll need to make sure you’ve provided a superior user experience. Without it, you’ll practically be able to watch the users flock away from your site.

Your goal is to provide users with an experience that will want them leaving more. They’ll need to see your design and immediately know who you are and why they want what you offer.

Here are some tips to creating a user experience that customers will love.

Think of the User Above All Else

Remember the old saying, you can’t understand a person until you walk a mile in their shoes? The saying translates to UX creation perfectly.

Think of it as user empathy.

You’ll need to put yourself in the shoes of your user to make sure that your design functions in an intuitive manner. Take some time to examine your pre-existing UX and see what needs retooling.

Maybe your menu system could use an update, or perhaps your images aren’t as clean as they could be.

Your user needs to come first or else you’ll suffer some unintended consequences. What would you want to see changed about your UX? If you can’t come up with anything, browse the web and glance at your competition.

What about their design works better than yours? How can you implement those changes into your UX?

Create a Cohesive Color Scheme

Part of creating a great user interface is having a pleasing aesthetic. Work with your team to create a pattern that appropriately represents your product.

It’s suggested that your finished product follows the color scheme of your logo. Color matters more than we may think, as they have subconscious implications. Create an atmosphere with warm, welcoming colors.

Keep Consumers Engaged

Above all else, your job as a UX designer is to keep users interested. Whether it’s a website, a new brochure, or a cardboard display, users need to be engaged and stay engaged.

There are a few ways you can create an experience worthy of attracting attention.

Always block your text in a logical, scannable manner. People’s attention spans tend to be a bit shorter than they used to. Breaking up your text is an easy way to get them to keep skimming.

You can also use a variety of colors to create a varied look. We’ve already mentioned how important color schemes are, so use all the colors of your logo.

Users Love Video

If a picture says a thousand words, then a video likely speaks tenfold. A video is one of the most effective ways to get your brand’s name out in the public.

With thousands of videos viewed per day, if you don’t have a video strategy, you’re making a mistake.

When presented with the option of reading a block of text or watching a video, users will almost always choose the video.

Be sure to look into the latest video in print technology. This innovative new concept provides the artistry of text with the and finesse of video.

A video-oriented UX is sure to wow your clients and it leaves a lasting impression.

If you really want to stand out in today’s competitive market, you need a clean UX. And nothing is easier and cleaner than video. Don’t just write about your products, show them off in a crystal-clear video.


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7 Graphic Design Trends You Need To Know

June 6, 2017 - By 

Graphic designs trends are not so unlike other trends. Every year ushers in a new set of them. Hot pinks replace sky blues, and brazen colors replace more subtle hues.

As a result, keeping up with all of the latest and greatest trends can get tricky. Even if we can keep up, we might not be able to incorporate new trends into our designs as quickly as we’d like to.

Fortunately, there are those amongst us who take the time to put together nifty lists of some of the latest trends.

And – wouldn’t you know it – you’re reading one of those lists right now. Continue reading for 7 graphic design trends you’ll need to know this year.

Authentic Images

Once upon a time, we could use stock images to our hearts’ content. They made plenty of lives easier.

So much so that you’d often the same stock image in someone else’s design.

Times, however, have changed. People are no longer fond of boring old stock images. They want something authentic. Consequently, you’re going to have to put in a little extra work this year.

Which means that you’re going to have to put in a little extra work this year.

Personal drawings and original photos are a must in the world of graphic design today. As a matter of fact, we’d wager that this trend, unlike some the other graphic design trends we’ve listed, is here to stay.

Needless to say, though, there are plenty of people who have had success with stock photos. There are several sites which offer high-quality stock images.

That said, if you must use stock images, don’t completely rely on them. Take the time to create some images of your own as well.

GIFS

Who doesn’t love a good GIF nowadays? You can find them on your favorite social media sites and multiple other platforms, yet you never tire of them. There is literally a GIF for almost every situation and feeling.

And if the GIF you’re looking for doesn’t exist, you can make it.

As a graphic designer, you can leverage this love of GIFS. Just consider including one or two in your next design.

Minimalism

Apparently, “doing the most” is not trendy this year. People are moving away from busy designs and choosing minimalist designs, and people are loving it.

So how can you have a little fun with this trend this year?

Try simple logos and palettes. You might even consider playing around with the spatial relationships between the elements of your design. There are also tons of other tips that can enhance your minimal designs.

Don’t be tempted to add tons of elements to your design. There is no need to do so since minimalism speaks for itself.

User Experience

As far as graphic design trends go, we’d like to think that prioritizing user experience has always been hip. Regardless of whether or not that’s the case, user experience is definitely hip this year.

And for good reason.

According to Goran Paunovic, “every dollar invested in UX returns $10 to $100.” The amount you stand to save should be reason enough for you consider prioritizing it.

You can start by doing away with much of your designs’ complexity and opting for simplicity. Customers should be able to navigate your design easily. Of course, we don’t want you thinking that you must sacrifice the visual appeal of your design to improve UX.

We also don’t want you to think that you have to compromise on security. Data breaches don’t, after all, make for user-friendly experiences. They can also get you into some legal trouble.

Storytelling

You’re a graphic designer. You excel at making things look pretty while (hopefully) maintaining their functionality. Storytelling might not be your strong point.

In any case, storytelling is becoming immensely important. People want more out of a design than the visual appeal these days. They want a story, and not necessarily in the form of words.

You should be able to arrange your images in order to make people who view them feel something. Whatever they happen to feel should keep them coming back for more.

Perhaps your images could share a theme. Maybe they could be sequential and tell an actual story. Maybe they could all be interpretations of each other.

There are so many ways to incorporate a great story into your designs. Don’t shy away from storytelling. It’ll give your designs more dimensions.

Geometric Designs

We’re not sure what it is about geometric designs that make them so popular. Is it the circles? The squares or trapezoids?

Perhaps it’s n-gons?

On a more serious note, graphic designs take everyday shapes and turn them into something eye-catching. Imagine staring into an image and feeling as if you’re falling into it. How about feeling as if the image itself is moving?

Those feelings keep people staring at your designs for seconds as they try to decipher them. As an added bonus for you, they’re fairly simple undertakings for designers.

Vintage

Blasts from the pasts are apparently trendy again. Of course, we can’t pretend to be surprised. They go in and out of style quite frequently.

So which decades have been getting the most love lately?

Word has it that the eighties have been a popular source of inspiration.

Why, however, stop with the eighties? You have plenty of decades to choose from. There is no reason to limit your inspiration to one or two periods.

If you’re interested in vintage, though, make sure you do your homework. You don’t just want something that looks good. You want something that really captures the spirit of the period which inspired the design.

Stay On Top of Graphic Design Trends This Year

We’re not sure about you guys, but we think that this year’s graphic design trends look promising. From fewer stock photos to vintage designs, designs are sure to produce some awesome work in 2017.

And, yes, that includes you, my friend.

If the trends on this list haven’t inspired your next design, though, all hope is not lost. You’re welcome to take a look around our marketplace. It’s full of affordable graphics that can help you take your designs the next level.