Professional Photography is a Key

​​As a digital agency, one of our biggest challenges is convincing clients that investing in good quality professional photography is a key component in the success of their website.

A photo speaks 1000 words. You can invest in impressive design, carefully crafted written content and seamless user journeys but if your photographic images aren’t up to standard, you might well be wasting your time and money. The internet is a visual environment, your online imagery is one of your most powerful tools to communicate with your audience, yet it’s so often an afterthought and then becomes a sticking point for the whole design process. Your website is your storefront to the world, treat it as you would treat a real shop window, make sure it is visually stimulating, enticing and a reflection of your business in the best possible way. If you are about to embark on new website or a website refresh in 2015, here are a few things to think about when considering your photographic content.

Invest in professional photography

We always use professional photographers who have experience in shooting photography specifically for web design and are up-to-date with the latest technology. Check out other websites they’ve worked on and ensure that their style matches your business image.

Get your web designer involved in the shoot

Including your web designer in the photographic shoot will avoid having to compromise the design to fit the images later on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the designer has to be present at the shoot but having a conversation about how the images are to be used can be very useful. Consider sharing wireframes or designs with the photographer in advance to give an insight into the types of shots that are required, for example, wide portraits of staff members with ample space to the left could be necessary for a particular layout over close up shots.

Be cautious with stock photography

Stock photography can be incredibly useful and has its place in some web projects BUT always use it with caution.  In an online environment, gaining the trust of the user is crucial if you want them to engage in your business. Real photographs, of YOUR people and YOUR products will go a long way to creating user trust.

Stock photography often lacks personality, whereas using genuine photography of your products or business will allow you to portray your brand’s values. So while it can be cheaper to buy stock over hiring a photographer, the benefits of using authentic photography to your business and your brand will out-weigh the potential cost.

We were able to take advantage of the great photography taken for our client Firefly by Leckey when we designed their new website. The high quality product and lifestyle images taken for the client have helped to emphasise how much joy the products can bring to families and show Firefly as a brand that really care about their customers.

Holiday Season!

It’s finally here: the Holiday Season. As the next few weeks fly by in a montage of holiday parties, marathon gift shopping and wrapping sessions and manic cookie baking endeavors, it’s easy to forget what the point of it all is sometimes.

We live in an amazing time. Information is more readily accessible than it ever has been in history. Our mastery of science and technology grows exponentially every year. While we as a country sort out our differences, we have the freedom to do so without fear of recrimination or violence. These things alone are enough to be thankful for.

I have so much to be Thankful and Grateful for these Holidays!

My father who resides in Australia was struck by a car while changing a tire on a side of a road, almost claiming his life. Continue reading

Discover the 10 hottest trends in website design

01. Hierarchy of content

A more descriptive name for this trend could be called “show me what I care about about when I care about it”. It represents the end of the obsessive focus on “related articles” and the unnecessary “you might be interested in this…” clutter around the content that you actually care about at that moment. That doesn’t mean that curated content is a bad thing in itself of course; it still has room in your layout as long as it doesn’t get in front of what you are reading. Here are three great examples of this trend.

We’ve come a long way in web design when it comes to news sites. Remember the small screen resolutions, the requests to fit as many call to actions as you could above the fold, and don’t forget about the 300×250. The layout of Quartz, “a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy”, is a million miles away from all of that. It succeeds in providing a large amount of information without the site ever seeming cluttered or overwhelming.

02. Full screen imagery

More and more websites are taking advantage of the increasing popularity of widescreen monitors to show gorgeous imagery to full effect.

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Positive Breeds Positive: In The Workplace

A positive attitude in the workplace can make a big difference!!!  We’re sure many of you can relate to this in some way or another:

  • Meetings in which most of the discussion is on what is going wrong rather than about ideas on how to solve the problem.

  • Upper management seems to care only about how they are measured (usually by short-term profits) rather than about the long-term success of the company.

  • General conversations occur around the workplace almost daily in which people complain to each other about how this, that, or the entire company is doomed to fail.

  • Employees backstab each other in attempts to “get ahead” in the company.

  • People leave their workplace at the end of the day feeling drained and lifeless from all the negative energy.

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    Totorial on how to Build a Facebook Landing Page for Your Business

    1. Add the Static FBML App


    The tabs at the top of your Facebook Fan Page are apps. Some, like your wall and photos are built into Facebook. Others are essentially plug-ins where fans can view external content, like YouTube videos, Flickr photos, etc.

    The app you need for your custom page is called “Static FBML,” located here. If you’re logged into Facebook, you can add it to your Page. It is essentially a blank canvas where you can add whatever content you want, including custom graphics and links via standard HTML.

    Facebook Fan Page Image

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    The Power of Social Media

    Recent data shows that celebrity endorsements are no longer a “sure thing” when it comes to promoting a product, getting noticed, or increasing sales. Celebrities are losing their advertising power. Ads featuring celebrities aren’t performing as well as they did in the past proving that celebrities aren’t as “worshiped” as they once were. When it comes to purchasing a product or paying for a service people pay much more attention to the opinions of the people that they trust, like friends, family, and colleagues. Social media has certainly made it easier to share and connect with other people that share your interests. Social media outlets provide access to lots of people and lots of opinions and users are more likely to pay attention to those in their social circle than they are of a celebrity that they really can’t relate to.

    Social sites like Twitter and Facebook were created with sharing in mind. People can share just about anything, whether it is the details of the outfit that they are currently wearing, or an interesting article about a new product. Average everyday “Joe’s” now have a captive audience. People are paying attention to “Joe”, which means that “Joe” has power. Whereas this power was once reserved for celebrities and spokespeople, social media has turned the normal folk into spokespeople, sometimes without them even realizing it. A Facebook user may notice that a friend of theirs “likes” something. They trust that friend and value their opinion, so they may check it out too. Without even knowing it, the original “liker” just endorsed a product.

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    17 SEO Tips You Probably Shouldn’t Forget

    seo

    0: Do Not Cheat. Period.

    If you walked into a room full of genius scientists with PHDs, do you think you could outsmart them all? No. Google has hundreds of rooms full of genius scientists with PHDs, and their job is to work 60 hours a week to make sure you can’t fool Google. You can’t outsmart them. Ever. Ignore any advice on trying to cheat the system and focus on making great web sites with great content, and your sites will show up fine in searches.

    1. Proper use of <h1> and <h2> tags

    Headers and sub-headers are not only useful for making up a good layout. Search engines do also love it when we use headers. But that is when we use them wisely. This means that you should use them in a way that makes sense – do not spam your site with various headers as it is a sure way of keeping both the search engines and the visitors away. Most important sections of a page should be H1 and H2 and then smaller sections should be H3. H4-H6 are rarely used tags.

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