3 Reasons Custom Web Design is Not Dying
In many design circles, the word “template” has replaced the concept of Custom Web Design. Yet only a few years back, webmasters struggled to avoid use of a template boiler front. Part of the confusion comes from misunderstanding the practice of applied and reusable code. Rather than comprehending the essence of reliable and speedy programming application, some vision-limited designers lump all aspects of website construction into a single “template” format. In essence, they accept the myth of death to custom web design.
Every programming language takes advantage of reusable code. Failure to do so reflects narrow-minded thinking. A box is a box and a circle is a circle. Yet to reduce the entire process of web design to a collection of boxes and circles lacks creative appeal. For example: When designing a new automobile, Chevy doesn’t reinvent the wheel. However every auto manufacturer must incorporate the newest technology, aerodynamics and energy-management concepts into new product design. To be competitive, they can do no less.
Myth One – Custom Design Encourages Clients To Out-think the Designer
Clients are not website designers. Wise clients understand why they hired you rather than doing it themselves. A few may believe that the term “custom” reflects client management of the web design process, but any reasonable craftsman can easily deflect such false comprehension. Along with other features, custom website design applies to color schemes, graphic layout and goal-focused content. The core of the website consists of reusable program code modified only at strategic points best suited to the client’s vision and performance goals.
The client may always be right, but it is your job as a custom graphics and functional design expert to sell your skills in a way that:
- Permits client involvement
- Exalts the client’s corporate vision
- AND still maintains the efficiency of professional design.
Myth Two – Visitors Ignore Custom Site Features
According to HubSpot, 76% of all website visitors count ease of use as the most desired design component (1). Beauty in appearance and a cutting edge interactive experience rank less than 10% in importance. However, such studies are somewhat misleading. Although most users do not conceive your website as custom or “template,” originality, color flow and layout affects the sense of usability.
For example: During the late 1700s, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) argued that human perceptions of color directly affect what we see, think, feel and experience (2). Throughout the history of visual advertising, this simple truth has remained self-evident. How your website crafts and applies graphics can be used to establish certain consumer thought patterns. Observe how colors affect human emotion:
- Red generates a sense of energy and excitement
- Greer produces feelings of rest and peace. In fact, the color green when used in hospitals helps reduce patient blood pressure levels
- Blue evokes a sense of calm and cool. Furthermore, Americans favor the color blue above all other colors
- Purple brings about a sense of assurance, comfort and spiritual peace.
Custom colors and custom website graphics affect how visitors respond to your website. Never forsake sensible website design practices, but know that the same customized components that work to make your visitor feel relaxed and at ease will help promote a sense of satisfaction in how the site presents data to that visitor.
Myth Three – Custom Web Design Carries Poor Return On Investment
Too many web designers have come to believe that custom design and template design are distinctively different processes. This is due to the failure to comprehend the essence of computer programming. Now we know that custom menus can be more expensive than template menus, and we know that to be user-friendly the functionality of both menu-types must follow a common pattern. In the earlier days of custom web design, crafting a custom menu with distinctive graphic appeal amounted to considerable additional programming time. Modern custom website coding incorporates highly developed child-themes into existing bulk-order template themes, and produces a distribution ready product in record time frames. The old concept of months to readiness versus weeks to readiness is obsolete.
The ROI on modern custom web design barely exceeds the cost of moderately modified template website design. In a world driven by visual concepts, the ROI on a visually enhanced customized website may actually out deliver the out-of-the-box solutions being promoted by common web designers.
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In the article, “6 Quick Ways to Use Social Media for Branding,” the U.S. Small Business Administration addresses the value of consistent website custom business logo placement on social media networks (1). The article cautions business owners of the need for a unique business logo applied as a single avatar across all social network channels. No matter what social platform your customers view, you must present the same mental connection to your official business website.
In quick review, the article suggests that a website customer business logo should be crafted as follows:
- Identify your voice or the impression that your company seeks to convey and then design the company logo so that it reflects that voice.
- Let your logo reflect your company qualities. For example: The logo for a website that promotes luxury vacations should relay a sense of lavish comfort. However, a website that promotes health insurance needs a business logo that reflects professionalism and trust.
- Use high-quality, large pixel logos. Remember, many local business yellow page sites will download your logo for use in “free” promotions. Don’t let such a simple opportunity pass you by.
- Identify your social network real estate and then integrate your custom website business logo and background into the layout of the social design.
- Apply consistent and similar design and colors across all platforms. For successful messaging, your company logo must present cross-site consistency.
- Mix in unique content. Although your message is constant and your custom business logo remains unchanged from site to site, your content should reflect diversity. Avoid the temptation to pop identical content on each social site.
Create a Website Custom Business Logo Policy
The first words printed in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Logo Policy specifies that the site logo may not be used on private sector materials (2). In fact, unauthorized use of the FDA Logo may violate federal law. Furthermore, the policy clearly defines the colors and layout of the FDA Logo. Thus there is no excuse for misuse of this legally copy-protected logo.
Write your business logo policy to the same effect, using the following guidelines:
Business to Business Logo Freedom – In designing your website custom business logo, you too must determine the flexibility of use. For example, the FDA presents a specific and written notification to contractors and consulting firms. There is no question as to when and how a contractor is permitted to affix the FDA logo to any document. Your website instructions should be just as detailed.
Private Sector Logo Freedom – This aspect of logo use applies to the private sector. Whereas the FDA prohibits any use of private sector logos on Government publications other than those within specified limitations, your options my be different. Will you permit non-profit organizations to affix your custom business logo to certain types of documents? Are business partners authorized to apply your custom website business logo to sales pages? Do you want to ensure that no external agency uses your company logo to imply your support or do you permit some measure of approved usage?
These decisions must direct the flow of your custom website business logo usage policy. And this is a part of the company logo design process. So think it through and make sure that you protect your custom designed business logo.
Register Your Custom Business Logo Copyright
According to Copyright Gov, Copyright protection is grounded in the laws of the U.S. Constitution (3). Designed to protect original works of authorship, U.S. Copyright laws cover both published and unpublished works. Included types of intellectual property covers original works in the following areas:
- Computer software
- And more.
However, Copyright does not include concepts such as methods of operation, ideas, facts or systems of process. A Copyright is not a patent or a trademark. Mere ownership of intellectual property does not assign the possessor the Copyright.
As a pictorial, graphic and sculptural work, logos are protected from the moment of creation into a fixed and tangible form. Copyright registration is voluntary. However, without registration, your rights during a lawsuit for infringement may be at risk. Go the extra mile. Register the work: $35.00 is the current registration fee and the process may be completed online.
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Few things in modern history so clearly illustrate the visual communication power of graphic design so well as the war against smoking. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a requirement for more pronounced visual graphic warnings on cigarette packages. In November of 2010, the push ramped up to include 72 specific advertisement options for 36 unique graphic warning images. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, custom designed graphic warning labels prompted a significant reduction in U.S. and Canadian cigarette consumption (1).
Custom graphic design defines the strength of visual communication. Pictures and images modify consumer beliefs and consumer buying habits. Studies designed to evaluate the effectiveness of visual warning labels on American smoking habits establish certain patterns associated with natural image recall. For example: The Viewing duration defines a positive link between eye fixations on advertisement and memory for brands (2)
Website design graphics that promote extended dwell time duration after the viewer first notices the images ensure greater correct brand recall. The quicker the image captures the reader, the longer the dwell time and the better the associated product recall.
Effective Use of Website Graphic Design Geometry in Visual Communication
In a field experiment performed by The ERIC Institute of Education Sciences and designed to examine advertising graphic design, the students noted that housewives tend to perceive advertising graphics with an emotional response. When describing the basic appeal of a specific design graphic, common words used by housewives include:
- AND Sincere.
Mature housewives also tended to supply favorable ad evaluation regardless of the geometric layout of the ad. However, students and other young people lean toward circular website graphic designs. Point to remember throughout the study is this: Favorable evaluation of the graphic design does not ensure a favorable viewer perception of the advertised product (3). Although the geometric design of a visual communications container presents a better showcase for the product, the actual contents within that container establish the critical appeal most important to your website goals and purposes.
Custom Website Graphics, A practical Fact of Modern Life
With the advent of the Windows computer operating system, Microsoft sealed the value of visual communications during digital activities. American’s are consumers of design graphics. From what you read to what you buy and from what you view at the movies to where you go on the Internet, custom graphics play a major role.
In website design, hiring graphic designers with advanced visual skills and intellectual understanding of how images, backgrounds and calls to action work as a single unit determines the success of the website. Modern visual communication professionals must possess:
- Technical Understanding
- Visual Communication Skills
- Experience With Multimedia
- An Eye for Graphics That Prompt Buyer Action
- A Powerful Sense For Fluent Color Flow
- A Firm Grasp on Emerging Communications Applications and Technologies
- AND The Programming Know-how To Make A Seamless Website Experience.
Putting Website Graphics To Work For Your Website
Visual communication design combines research, analysis, conceptual planning, strategy, and practical realization. The best designed custom website graphics integrate cultural expectations and human factors with environmental context and contemporary technologies. Graphic design strategies merge:
- Website objectives with rapid but effective communication
- Information with education
- AND Calls-to-action with efficient consumer focus.
Collaborate with one of the top visual communication design experts in the nation. To contact a DzoneCG Website Graphics Designer, click here.
- “Eye fixations on advertisements and memory for brands: A model of findings,” Wedel M and Pieters R. Marketing Science. 2000;19(4):297–312
Beautiful, efficient and quick-loading website graphics don’t come about by accident. Successful Internet imagery is the product of a craft that combines natural visual talents with graphic styling and a knowledge of website design functionality. Effective web design binds know-how to show-how.
In the 2012 Occupational Outlook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the median pay for graphic designers is listed at $21.22 per hour (1). A Bachelor’s degree defines the entry-level education range. In 2012, total available jobs in graphic design topped 259,000. Most graphic design employees work in specialized design agencies, including:
- Public relations
- AND Website graphic design.
Website Graphics Optimized For Superior Web Performance
When crafted perfectly, graphics website designs present such a beautiful and interactive display of color and imagery that the skill of the artist conceals the underlying education and SEO training that makes it all work as a single unit. But successful web imagery merely begins with vision and color blending. It always ends with optimized web graphics crafted to maximize the loading speed of your website.
Optimized graphics take up less space on the server. They load quicker than standard images. They stir the imagination of the viewer. And in the end they move the visitor toward you business goals. The process is neither easy nor simple. It takes an expert in graphics website development.
Graphic optimization incorporates three primary processes:
- Reduction in physical size
- Reduction in the number of displayed colors
- Reduction in the dots per inch that define the image resolution.
Trained website graphics designers understand and apply the principles and methodology of each process. Whether editing existing images or designing custom graphics, expert graphic designers know how to bring your website to life while retaining the expected and desirable loading speeds.
The Information Technology Division of Brookhaven National Laboratory defines the maximum desirable web image size as 150KB (2). They also counsel website graphics designers to limit images to gray-scale when possible. However, due to the speed of modern Internet connections, most sites now opt for extended use of color graphics.
Other tips that help designers reduce image load times include:
- Thumbnail Links – Using gray-scale thumbnails as links to full-size full color images saves your visitor the download cost of images that do not peak their interest
- Main Image Size – Limiting large images to 400-500 pixies helps increase loading speed while also reducing the need for screen scrolling
- Thumbnail Descriptions – Including the main image’s file size in thumbnail captions gives the visitor an idea of loading time
- Captions – Use captions to define what the viewer is seeing, what the image means to the site and to the viewer, and what the viewer should be looking to see in the image.
How to Find Great Website Graphics
Graphics website design can be crafted in several methods. Some designers locate and modify free images. Other web graphics designers custom-craft each and every image. The most efficient web design team takes advantage of both methods.
Warning: Not all “free” web images are actually free. Be careful in your search. Many artists and photographers willingly share their images with the public. Some provide free usage and demand nothing from you. Others merely request a link to the original share site. Make certain that you fully understand the copyright notice of shared “so-called” website graphics. Respect the rights of the artists.
Custom Website Images
Although many web designers are capable of reworking existing images, custom graphics work best when designed by skilled Internet artists. Very few people have the natural talent that is necessary in the creation of beautiful, efficient and effect website graphics. Your website needs:
- Custom buttons
- Your own logo
- Unique icons
- Precise and powerful sales graphics
- Strong thought-provoking headers and sidebars
- And absolute certainty of ownership and non-copyright infringement.
Great Web pages are attractive to the eye, easy to read and active in the sense of moving your visitor to respond to your business goals. Designed placement of bars, buttons and other images defines the direction of your reader’s eye. And don’t forget hardware limitation. According to Mobile Gov Blog, by 2016 Smartphones will include:
- Ocular Scanning technology for eye and voice security authentication
- Indoor Positioning (IPS) location technology
- AND Touch-free input for control via user gestures and eye movements (3).
Today’s graphics website designers must plan for tomorrow’s technology. Images must be plotted and configured for a variety of computers, monitors and mobile devices.
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Second image ideas.
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