Picks from the past
Should designers be more multidisciplinary? I.e know UI, layout, graphics, copy, HTML etc??
Because companies often have a confused view of their digital strategy it is often useful to bring some order to the chaos with a SWOT analysis.
Meet John the client. John runs a reasonably large website. He is a marketeer who considers himself smart, articulate and professional. That said, he doesn’t know much about web design and so needs your help.
Web accessibility is not just about catering to the needs of the disabled. It is about providing people with access to your online services whatever their situation, whether that be a disability, older technology or alternative device (such as a mobile phone). Making your site accessible is not only morally right, it will improve your search engine rankings and expose your message to a larger audience.
Featured: Ecommerce solutions fail their customers
A successful website has to be about more than pretty design or even fulfilling business objectives. A successful website has to meet the needs of users. Customer service and usability lies at the heart of differentiating yourself from the competition. However, a great user experience doesn't just meet user needs, it also nudges them in the right direction to ensure an outcome that benefits both the user and your business.
Featured: An alternative approach to personas
Personas are a great way to help visualise the people you are designing for. However, sometimes the traditional approach can be a bit overwhelming. Fortunately there is an alternative.
The original Boagworld Podcast ran for over 200 episodes and was the first podcast on web design. Aimed at those who design, develop and run websites, it won many awards and grew rapidly from its humble beginnings in 2005. We reinvented the show in 2010 but the old episodes have been kept online and redefined as 'classic episodes'.
Featured: 216. Thanks for all the fish
This week on Boagworld: Chris Coyier talks CSS and more, we say goodbye to the boagworld podcast and ask what can you listen to now?
Your website doesn't matter. Neither does it matter what social network you use. What matters is what you say. It amazes me how organisations will spend thousands on a content management system or shiny new design, but fail to invest in their content. What point is there in having a great website if your message is poorly communicated? I desperately want to see everybody take web content more seriously.
Featured: How to make terms and conditions useful
We maybe obliged to put legalise on our websites, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it intelligible.
I began my career in the web as a designer and that is where my passion still lies. I write regularly on all aspects of user interface design from aesthetics to structure and flow. I write about design, not just for other designers but to make the design process more accessible to clients and help them understand exactly what goes into the process. I believe in a collaborative process of design where the designer works alongside developer and client to find the right solution.
Featured: What happens after the call to action?
The ultimate goal of every website is that users will complete your call to action. Whether that objective is to place an order, complete a contact form, sign a petition or subscribe to a newsletter, we obsess about how to encourage users to take that step. But what happens then?
I am the first to admit I am not a developer. However, I am still interested in the development process and occasionally have something useful to say. I also know some amazing developers and try my best to get them to post here from time to time. With the web becoming ever more complex with more diverse devices and powerful applications, I can see my posts to this section becoming more frequent.
When trying to decide which content management system is best, developers often think about how easy the content management system is to integrate before ever considering how easy it is to use. This needs to change.
Ultimately an organisation has an online presence for a single reason, to help fulfil its business objectives. To be online just because the competition is or because that is what everybody does is not enough. Your organisation needs a web strategy. It needs to outline how exactly the web can help. Establishing these goals and working out the best strategy for achieving them has become the primary focus of my job.
Featured: Justifying ongoing website maintenance
Every organisation requires a programme of ongoing website maintenance, but management often doesn’t understand that. How then do you convince them?
It is no longer enough for an organisations 'web strategy' to only consist of having a website. The web is an incredible marketing tool but in order for it to work at its most effective you need to use its many aspects from your corporate site to social media and SEO. I believe that online marketing is about building relationships with potential customers wherever they are and using all the online tools available to us.
Websites do not exist in isolation. They are apart of the overall business which means they are closely tied into things like the sales process and customer support.
The web has changed. Where once we had a fair idea of how people accessed the web (via a desktop computer at home or in the office) now things are more challenging. With a plethora of devices from smartphones to internet enabled televisions, we do not know where, when or how people are going online. Mobile devices in particular have changed the landscape and we need to move with the times.
Featured: Buffer App – part 2
At Headscape we have been working on the redesign of native iPhone app; Bufferapp. In this post Leigh offers some insight into our mobile design process.
One of the things I love most about the web is how fast everything changes. It is hard to keep up, but that is perfect for somebody like me who seems to suffer from ADD. There is always something new happening and that is exactly what I try to share in this category. If you want to stay up-to-date keep an eye on what I post here.
Featured: Bringing in business
Are you a freelancer? Do you struggle to bring in enough business to keep you busy? Are you doing okay today, but have concerns about the future? Well, I am running a workshop that will help.
Boagworld is not just my blog; its a community of designers, developers and website owners who support one another. One of the ways we do that is by answering each other questions. If you have a question about any aspect of the web or digital strategy, ask it here. Alternatively check out the existing questions and add your answer to the mix.
What’s your viewpoint on using a bought wp theme as a starting point for a client’s website. Is it a no no or does it make sense?
If it's shiny and new then you can guarantee I will be playing with it. From new web apps to the latest hardware and software, I share those little discoveries that make a web users life easier. You will find something in this section whether you are a designer, developer or website owner.
Featured: My single most useful application
There are so many applications we rely upon as web designers and website owners. However, one stands head and shoulders above the rest and it won’t be what you expect.
As well as the weekly podcast, Paul releases regular audio tips. Normally only a few minutes long, these tips are ideal for inspiring you while you work. No matter whether you are a designer, developer or website owner, you will find something for you among these tips. You can subscribe via itunes or RSS.
I know I am boring you all with my posts on web governance and strategy, but am I wasting my breath?
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is learning new things and then communicating that to others. I have been privileged enough to travel all over the world talking about every conceivable aspect of web design from accessibility to working with clients. In this section I bring together a small selection of those talks and make them available.
Featured: Marketing without being a douchbag
Whether we like it or not we are all marketeers. However, that doesn’t mean we have to be a douchbag about it.
Working as part of the web design community since 1994 has been a privilege. I love the web and I love the people I meet through it. This section is where I share something of my experiences as part of this community. Some of the posts are dully personal, but some talk more broadly about the challenges we face as web workers.
Featured: Dealing with the dickheads
Many of us are put off of contributing to the web community for fear of criticism. What can be done to stop the negativity?