Web Banner’s Influence in Today’s Marketing

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Web banners have been storming our websites, blogs, online searching, and so on for a few decades now. Ever since its inventions, this method of advertisement has only boomed further. To many, web banners are overbearing and can become annoying when surfing the web. Because of its increasing popularity, they are now used pretty much in every branding strategy, thus making their visibility a lot larger than before. As a result, it is important to fully understand the concept of it, so as to be able to separate your specific Ad from the rest to make it stand out.

The functionality behind these Ad Banners are plenty, and today we will discuss the most relevant. When creating a Web Banner, the main goal is to be able to come up with a design that will make your content and/or message enticing, engaging, inviting and, of course, “clickable.” The reason why this is so important is due to what I briefly mentioned before: thanks to the reputation that Ad Banners presently have, nowadays designers need to think outside the box in order to be able to make people actually take a look at their Banners, to click on it, to generate tangible results. Once this is achieved, the website will bring about more traffic, which is the main reason why this Banners are created in the first place.

Another objective for applying this advertisement method is to develop an audience. When starting a brand from the ground up, one of the most essential things that need to be researched and thoroughly studied is the brand’s audience. Who is looking for the product that’s being offered? Who can afford it, what age group will be most interested, does it aim to a specific social stance, or can it be purchased/used by anyone regardless of this? And so on. These points are substantially what will make your brand either thrive or fail. The reason being is that although a product or a service might be able to sell itself to a general public, when any type of advertisement is directly laid out to attract a certain part of the population, the probabilities of success are simply higher because the overall ratio is reduced. With this being said, when designing a Web Banner, these analytics are highly relevant and should not be ignored.

Lastly, these ads are extremely helpful for the development of brand awareness. Brand awareness is a marketing term that is defined as the outside recognition that a product and/or service have by its name. Ideally, your brand awareness should identify clearly what your product and/or service are all about. It should be able to (transparently) depict the idea behind the name of your brand to the consumers. A greatly broadcasted brand awareness will produce more sales, subscriptions, popularity, and an overall health for any brand. Web Banners and brand awareness comes hand in hand, as they are both intertwined with their abilities to help a brand flourish by portraying compelling information out to the brand’s audience.

Altogether, these methods are all a branch of what Web Banners are all about. Used together, and properly, they are a strong leeway to understanding how to expand a brand and how to keep up a happy audience.

Why we should all use WordPress

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As of today, WordPress is one of the leading website builders out there on the internet world. Hosting millions of different users, the great thing about WordPress is that it is perfect for all type of audiences. Be it that you are not keen to technology, and that you are trying to build a simple website that does not require a lot of knowledge, or that you are a pro coder and want to assemble a website from scratch, all of these options are found on WordPress.

For beginners, wordpress.com shows you a huge variety of templates that you can choose from for the design of your site. Painstakingly, the professionals working for this company put together different ways of helping people understand fully how to customize their websites. And if more assistance is required, they also have a great customer service that you can resolve to.

On the other hand, wordpress.org serves those professionals that are looking for a blank template to build and develop their ideas into. With this too, WordPress makes sure to enable assistance if needed.

All in all, this company has increasingly become popular to the public because of how reachable it is. When you create such an attainable “product,” it enables people to not only fully understand and thrive within the same, but it also sells itself easily to anybody looking for something remotely similar. Because of its accessibility, its simplicity, and its integrity as a company, WordPress has been giving people the opportunity to flourish online since the early 2000’s and, so far, it will continue to be the leader in this technological era.

All about Web Banners

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When creating a business, exposing a product to the web, or even simply promoting a name, Web Banners are a highly effective type of advertisement to use to one’s advantage.

What are Web Banners, though? Essentially, they are a type of online publicity that consists of embedding useful information about the product and/or promotion that is responsive, so as to attract traffic to a specific website or a function within one. Luckily enough, designing one of these is far simpler than any other thing I have discussed before.

There are a number of different websites that enable you to design your own web banner using their templates. A very popular one is bannersnack, this site gives away free templates for anyone in the internet to use to their advantage. Of course, there are other websites that give you more options to choose from for a monetary “contribution.” Nonetheless, it is quite simple to find one that is fitting for your subject online. However, one can also take it upon one’s creativity to design a banner from scratch in different software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and so on.

One essential thing to always do your research on is the effectiveness of the size you pick. It is highly recommend it to always design at least 3 different banners with the same content, but with different sizes. This will give you the chance to make it more flexible to fit into different sites that you might be interested in. By doing some research, I came up with what would be the top 3 most compelling sizes to use for web banners.

  1. A Leaderboard banner: this one is seen fairly throughout the internet, and it is most commonly placed on the top of websites. (720 x 90 pixels)
  2. A Half Page banner: used to advertise important, enticing information, this one talks (as the name states it) half of the page it is placed on. (300 x 600)
  3. A Medium Rectangle banner: probably the most commonly used, it is big enough to be attractive, but not so large that it becomes unpleasant. (300 x 250)

Although these are largely used among the web community, it is important that everyone does their own individual research. There are factors such as the audience, the product, the interactions, and so on. That need to be taken into consideration whenever picking what size to design into.

UI/UX Design and why we should know about it.

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Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

The design process of a web page is far from simple. There are quite a lot of steps into the process that have to be taken seriously in order for an overall understanding of the user’s persona, the interaction of the site, and the response wanted. This is where the UI and UX designers come in.

UI and UX designing are similar, yet different parts of a process. They are both within the general design, but encompass distinct aspects. As a UX designer, you are in charge of essentially the ongoing process of the design itself. There are four stages to a web design: the research, the brainstorming, the implementation, and the reporting. The research takes care of getting to know the people that are going to navigate through your website; establishing who your audience is and who it isn’t. For the brainstorming part, our creativity plays the biggest role; it consists of suggesting as many ideas as come into our heads (even if they are crazy or senseless) and putting them all together to analyze them so as to then come up with a conclusion. Then comes the implementation. This part is what we will call the UI design. A UI designer is the one that virtually takes care of the technical parts of the design. Typography, color scheme, negative space, use of symbols, and so on, are some of the things that UI designers take care of in the process of web designing. Lastly, the reporting: the observation of how well the users are interacting with the website. In this case, another important term (that we will discuss hereafter) comes afloat.

From the last element inside of the UX design process, the reporting, comes the term of AB testing. As mentioned before, reporting is a fundamental part of the growth and development of a website, and it is easily accompanied by this simple testing method. AB testing is conformed by two sides of an “experiment,” A test and B test. These two are compared with one another with one random change, such as a search bottom being red on test A, and green on test B, so as to analyze the traffic that each subject brings in. The idea of this approach is to understand by comparison which elements of design work better with the site in testing. With this, not only does real data from real users gives the designers the answer to their doubts, but it also enables for proof and existential evidence to be able to make future observations if needed.

All things considered, these individual elements of a web design process are found within the UX design. As a designer, it is important to fully understand all the specific steps, but it does not necessarily mean that it is always done by one person only. Some big corporations have one person specifically assigned to each process of the design, so it all comes down to where you work and how the company manages this area. Most UI/UX Design jobs require for a good amount of knowledge and experience before they hire you, although with some exceptions one can be trained accordingly or given the opportunity as a rookie. The salary is definitely substantial, going from $25-$35 an hour starting, to as much as making $180,000 a year. With that being said, if this is a path you are thinking about taking, I would highly recommend it as it is a fun, enticing and transparent job, it can be done (in a lot of cases) from the comfort of your home, and it pays substantially well!

The Blueprint of Web Design

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The concept of blueprint has existed for hundreds of years. It is defined as a technical and/or mechanical drawing of a detail structural plan. It is most often used by architects and engineers that are working on building any kind of infrastructure. However, Blueprint has a sister called Wireframe. Wireframe is essentially the same as Blueprint, only for Web Design. Almost all web designers use wireframing before jumping into the actual design for a number of reasons that we will discuss hereafter.

Before jumping into color, design and content, wireframing enables designers to form and understand throughly the functionality of the website they are building. This is important because it creates the structure and flow of the site before even putting the aesthetic elements. Some designers do it by hand, with a blank piece of paper and a (neutral-color) pen. Others prefer to do it on the screen. Both options are completely valid and work just as well. However, it is usually advised to create a finish product on the computer, as it makes it easier for the designer to start building the webpage.

Once the wireframing is set, it enables the designers to understand where each element should be placed all throughout the site. This does not only make the overall process easier, more organized, and faster. But it also applies something that is incredibly essential for any type of branding out there: consistency and cohesion. These two result on a stable and balanced design that is easy to grasp, read and navigate. In other words: a win-win situation.

Wireframing is not only simple and easy to learn, but it is also functional and effortlessly accessible. Below is a list of my top 5 free Wireframe websites that make it even easier to start your wireframing adventure.

How Optimizing Might Change Your Life

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Photo by Tianyi Ma on Unsplash

When creating a website from the scratch, one needs to take a few things into consideration. The actual design details of the website are very important, of course, but there are technical elements that play an essential role with web-making. Designers, coders and computer “geeks” would call this Web Optimization.

To optimize something means to amend to all the specifics, to develop everything further, and to enhance all of the functionalities to the max. And when it comes to the web, there are several things that need to be acknowledge in order to properly optimize your design.

To start, one will need to make sure to give the website the fasted speed possible. This has a couple of advantages that are important for any type of website nowadays. Firstly, it allows our users to navigate rapidly and comfortably through our data. The biggest reason why it is important for the users to be able to go through our content fast is because in the technological today, everything flies by our eyes, and if our websites take longer times to load, or have an overall slower capacity than the rest, very few people will actually keep engaging in it. Lastly, it is also a leeway for more information to be able to fit into the website. If the volume of the site is lower, it allows for more content to enter if necessary. The more, the merrier. However, it is vital to understand that having more material does not equal to a crammed, overcrowded website. Websites today should be as minimalistic as possible, as it has been shown to be more attractive to the eye and easier to process.

Another very important element to study when building websites is the file types one will want to incorporate into the site. There are a lot of different file types out there to choose from, but today we will be looking at the three predominant types.

JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

Probably one of the most recognized and used file types, JPEG is mostly used for still images and photography. The reason being is because this type of file has a 16-bit format, which translates to being able to combine the colors red, blue and green in order to compose and display millions of variations of colors. For a color-based photography, you will want to stick with JPEG. In addition, it is also flexible with compressing your image to your liking, which can be helpful in many ways. It goes from 0% to 100%, but it is advised to be careful with compression, as it damages the quality of the image. This is what puts these file types into the Lossy type category. Lossy files are not as useful when you one is dealing with a file that has to endure ongoing editing, because they progressively loose their quality as they are edited and exported.

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

Unlike JPEG, GIF files are limited to using a maximum of 256 colors. This reduces their usage to files such as graphics with flat colors or without gradients and to simple animations. The great thing about GIFs is that, because of its color limitations, the file sizes are usually quite small, which helps improve the velocity of websites. Also, GIFs are a lossless type format, meaning that they are easily reconstructed without loss of quality.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

My personal favorite, PNGs are subdivided by two forms. Both of these are lossless formats that, as I mentioned before, means that they algorithms that allow for the original data to be manipulated freely with no quality or value loss. Because of this, they are also one of the most popular files. Its subdivision consists of PNG-8 and PNG-24. The main difference between the two is that PNG-8 is limited to 256 colors, just as GIF files; on the other hand, PNG-24 allows the rendering of images with the same variation as JPEGs do. Lastly, both subdivisions enable transparency, which is a key factor for a lot of graphic designing.

With this brief but informative material, one can be somewhat prepared to start a web-designing project. Certainly, there is a lot more to this art than what I wrote above, but if you continuously keep these tips at hand, you are likely to start your journey off on the right foot.

The (non-basic) Principles of Marketing and Design

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Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

For years, marketing strategies have had the upperhand in the business world, making us (the consumers) engage further into products that we didn’t know we wanted, that we didn’t think we needed. Now, a very large amount of times we actually do not need or necessarily want some of these products, but thanks to marketing, we think we do. These strategic moves are used every single day by uncountable brands so as to expand their name and companies, and to ensure an ongoing and steady flow on their sales and popularity. Although marketing specialists study these techniques for years, get diplomas and make a six figure income, there is a simple way for us to also understand the way they accomplish good marketing.

First and foremost, know who your audience is and is not.

This is highly efficient when initiating the process of brand development. Sometimes, it is easier to identity what audience you want to target by first recognizing who you do not want to target. Other times, you simply can start by narrowing down the type of people, age group, genders, social stance, ethnicity, and so on. Although many new business owners might want to be optimistic and think that their product could be bought by every type of audience, this thought could potentially harm your brand and lead you to failure. Yes, it is possible to create products that every age group, ethnicity and gender might want, but this is also highly unlikely, and you want to focus on what is going to make your numbers grow, not stay still. A good way of understanding who your audience might be, is putting yourself in the shoes of the buyer… If I were to buy X product, what would my life look like? Do I need to have a lot of money to buy it, or is it a low cost investment? Do I have to have an appropriate age, or is this something my kids might want to use as well? Do I have kids? And so on. A very efficient way of learning these things about your audience, is to conduct short and informative surveys. These can help you gather a great deal of information about the people you are targeting, which will leave you with the answers coming directly from them that you can use 100% to your advantage. Once you have that part figured out, the rest is a little bit easier.

The Law of Attraction (in Marketing and Web Design)

If you have ever read anything about the law of attraction, you might know what I am talking about. It is essentially a belief that we attract what we are most focused on. For some, this might seem delirious. For me, it is absolutely true. In Marketing and in Web Design, something somewhat similar to the Law of Attraction is used. The idea behind designing a good brand, a great website, an alluring advertisement, etc. Is to make it attractive to the audience you are trying to convey. Your brand could have the most amazing product, or offer an incredible service to its customers, but all of this will not matter if you do not know how to sell it accordingly. For this, there are several things that will help any upcoming brand truly blossom.

Before we get more in depth about the design strategies, let’s keep talking Marketing. It is absolutely fundamental to understand the needs of your target audience. This will give you the upper-hand whenever you are advertising your products and/or services, because you will know how to direct the message to their “tender spots.” Also, in this day and age, it is important to be in contact with your audience. Nowadays we live in a cybernetic society. Most of the big brands have moved on to the grand social network to do their marketing, because that is where almost all audiences are now. When you are big and successful, it might not be as important. But for a start-up, maintaining a “relationship” with your clientele is critical to the development of your brand: answer their questions, react to their commentary, make them see that you are paying attention to their needs and they will keep coming back.

Now, let’s talk design. Before anyone gets even a little deep into the design world, it is easy to believe that this job is easy and simply requires a creative mind to be performed well. This is a huge misconception when it comes to design. There are numerous things that need to be considered before even stepping into the actual design. One of the biggest factors that any designer needs to acknowledge and contemplate first is the color palette of a brand. Most companies have chosen their colors for a psychological reason, rather than just for aesthetic looks. This is because color is a very powerful tool to the mind, therefore to marketing. One single color can make a person already determine the way they feel about something, which is why this is such a relevant, if not the most important factor of branding. Once you have the colors all mastered, you also need to re-examine your audience before you start building the structure of your design. If you are targetting people that are over 60, you have to make sure that your design is easy to understand, naked to the eye of someone that is not necessarily familiar to the internet. On the other hand, if your audience is conformed by teenagers, your design should be enticing, modern and fun (because we all know the attention spam of teenagers is sometimes fragile). Lastly, there are many ways in which a branding team can further study the way their audience interacts with their information. There are monitors that can be installed in websites that will track the way your users handle the information provided. These type of tools can help increase momentum, enabiling the designer to understand the feedback and modify the content correspondingly.

All in all, we have learned that so much Marketing as Design are a lot more complex than just advertisements and pretty colors. There is a way in which a brand is able to fully capitalize on their audience’s needs and wants, and in order to do this respectfully, one needs to become one with the crowd, and to put out only the fundamental information that the audience will want to hear.