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by design

Thursday, 08 May 2008

It's a fine line between love and tech

When your computer people talk, your brain hears radio static. Or, maybe, you feel frustrated by the thought of another conversation that doesn't start and end with a simple 'no' or 'yes.'  These people, who you brought in to help make your business run smoother - these people are making you insane with jargon and gibberish.

Yes?  And even though you say, frequently, "that's too technical for me," they still continue to bring the crazy-talk?

Let me take you back a year or five ago, to the day when those computer people were new and shiny, not the haggard, coffee-clutching crew you see before you today.  When what they said sounded strange, but you went with it, because what came from their hands was pure magic.

Remember that?  You loved them.  They were young, and fearless.  And they could solve problems you didn't know you had, and didn't want to deal with.

Now that everyone is a little more technical, the problem of communication between computer people and "everyone else" is becoming more complex.  When you can log in, edit, update, and broadcast, with [...]More
From by design by Fran Wilde on 08 May 2008Permalink

Saturday, 12 January 2008

the internet is people

(with apologies to the makers of Soylent Green)

Yes, websites can pretty much run by themselves if they're set up well.  They'll keep selling your product or telling your story while you sleep.  And they'll do it beautifully.  They don't take vacations, or ask for a corner office. 

They do require regular tending by humans, however.    This is true whether you have a very basic site that mimics a brochure, or a very dynamic, changes-every-day, resource that has become a site-of-choice for the masses.  

People make the internet vibrant; their input on your website makes things fresh. It keeps the most up-to-the-moment ideas front and center.  And your website can help your people do this in amazing ways.

These include:
  • daily updates to news on the front page.  Showing people who you are by what you do.
  • personal and public interactions with visitors who leave messages, especially on your blog, customer feedback area, or visitor's log, but also by email and in conversation.
  • refreshing images and updating information - your business changes every
[...]More
From by design by Fran Wilde on 12 Jan 2008Permalink

Monday, 19 November 2007

beyond redesigns

If you're still thinking about redesigning your site every couple of years and then announcing a splashy 'launch' - stop. 

Plan for your site's evolution instead.

A site that is designed to grow as you do will serve you better in the long run.  This isn't easy.  It takes good architecture, a good sense of what your long-term goals are, and a designer with a solid understanding of dynamic sites.
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From by design by Fran Wilde on 19 Nov 2007Permalink

Thursday, 15 November 2007

hand in glove

if code and content are the bones and brawn of a website, design should be a custom-cut, Italian leather glove - something beautiful that doesn't obscure the point of the site, or impede its ability to function.  Even better if it is nearly impossible to tell where function ends and design begins.  Skin, rather than glove.

that said, some cautions to keep in mind that will give your site a perfect fit, rather than muffling it in a frumpy mitten.

  • a 'just put it up and we'll deal with it later' decision-making process guarantees clutter.
  • more is not always better.
  • know your business goals.  they'll serve you better in the long run than knowing which other websites you want to be like today.
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From by design by Fran Wilde on 15 Nov 2007Permalink
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