Pages

Monday, February 16, 2015

How do I design a logo?

Logo design is not just creating an identity or brand, but it needs to be scalable, memorable, versatile, and appropriate.

Some rules that I always stick with when designing a logo.

1. Simple

    A simple logo makes it easier to recognize and remember than the complex one. The other reason is the more shapes being used the harder to keep them clear in small size.


2. Memorable

    Your logo should be unique and stand out from the others in your field. I usually try to avoid the overly used symbol. For example, how many logos incorporate with Alaska flag that represent business logo in Alaska? Because you do business in Alaska, it doesn’t need to have Alaska flag in your logo. “A logo doesn’t need to say what a company does” David Airey, he writes on the popular logo design site Logo Design Love.


3. Versatile

    A good logo should look good in black and white as well as color. It should stay effective when print on different kind of mediums.


4. Appropriate

    Your logo must be relevant to your target audience. A logo is designed for a lawyer should look and feel professional and conservative, which is opposite feeling with a child day care logo.


NWDS Alaska Web Design


About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. www.nwds-ak.com

9 Ways Your Website is Driving Customers Away


You want your website engage new customers, but these mistakes could drive them away.



1. Registration form


There are some websites like Real Estate Listings; register users only will be able to see their properties. Asking users to register right away can just drive them to your competitors.

2. Auto playing music or video


This is unexpected. Music on websites is not a good idea. If you need music on your site have a link to turn it ON/OFF as an option. The same applies to video. Disable auto play on your videos, have users control what they want.

3. Looks old and outdated


Take a look at your website. Does it look old and outdate compared to your competitors? Does it look good on all devices? If not, maybe it’s time for a website redesign.

4. Stale information


If your website offers a free tool kit but already expired last year. That’s not a good sign for your potentials and repeat customers, they probably won’t come back.


5. It’s hard to find information


Make it easy to find what you do and what you offer. Ensure users can contact you if they need more information or problems. It’s a good idea to have phone number and email address in the footer on all pages.


6. It’s hard to navigate


Make sure you main products or services are easy to find in 5-10 seconds after your users arrive. Users are not going to click through several pages to get to the information they want. If your navigation is confusing, users will leave your website. And that will affect your bouncing rate higher also.


7. Content problems


  • Large blocks of text that are difficult to read. You can portion into small chunks and surround it with white space.
  • If you’d like your users to read easily on your web pages, avoid black background with light color text or text is too small.

8. Slow loading web pages


KISSmetrics shows 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. If your web pages take more than a couple of seconds to load, most likely users will go to your competitors’ website.


9. Annoying ads


The ads that follow users around make it impossible to read the content. It leaves only one option for users is get out of the website. The study in Journal of Marketing Research reveals
The practice of running annoying ads can cost more money than it earns, as people are more likely to abandon sites on which they are present. In addition, in the presence of annoying ads, people were less accurate in remembering what they had read.

The key to have an engaging website is to provide users with an excellent experience. If you think your website may have one or more of these mistakes that drive users away. It may be time to update your site to be better.



NWDS Alaska Web Design


About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. www.nwds-ak.com

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Log in Design for Regina Airport Authority

Regina Airport Authority is a non-profit corporation which operates Regina International Airport under a 60-year lease from Transport Canada. Their mission is to manage and operate their airport in a safe, secure, efficient, commercially viable and environmentally responsible manner.


Screen shot of existing log in page.


First Design


I’d like to have the login page looks similar to their current website. So I took one image and incorporated it to my new design. In order to turn it to the nice background image, I made it blur with Photoshop Gaussian Blur. And I decided to center all elements. Then added color to username, password, and login boxes with their logo color scheme. The rest of the content, I wrapped with slightly transparent white background.


Screen shot of first design.



Second design


The second design, I used the image from current login page. But half of this image had very bright light. It could draw users’ eyes to it so I decided to cover with login form. It turned out great since the bright part helped to draw attention to the form. Besides that, I relocated “REGINA AIRPORT AUTHORITY’S SMS PROGRAM” to the left side which pointed to the form. The rest of the content left on white background made it easy to read.


Screen shot of second design.


Both designs are looking good now. We will have our client make decision which one should be their new login page.


NWDS Alaska Web Design


About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. www.nwds-ak.com

Do you need a new logo?


A logo is one of the most important aspects of your business. It is not just making a good first impression. But it represents your business on every medium like your website, business cards, letterheads and etc. If done well, a logo can boost sales and recognition.


Here are some of the reasons you may need a new logo.

1. Created by an amateur


If your logo created by someone who doesn’t know about logo design. Your logo may use clip art or created with raster graphic like photoshop. And you don’t have other formats beside jpg or png, so you should consider having a new logo. A good logo should be created by a vector-based like illustrator, which allows for reproduction in all media and all sizes.



2. Is your logo readable in all sizes?


When a logo tries to add too many details, it becomes fuzzy and unreadable in a small size. A logo should be simple and easy to read in all sizes.


3. It doesn’t work in all formats


Your logo should work well for both prints and online uses. It should be effective in black and white as well as full color.


4. Does your logo feel clichéd or overused?


You want your logo to be unique and memorable. Do not use fonts or elements that overuse. A clichéd or generic logo won’t make your logo stand out from the others.



5. The nature of your business changed


Businesses evolve over time, your brand and logo should reflect that. It may be time for a new look of your growing company.



NWDS Alaska Web Design


About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. www.nwds-ak.com

Why does your website need SEO?



It’s about 91 percent of users use search engines to find information on the web. And 75 percent of them never look further than the first page. If your website is not on the first or second page of results (preferably page one), most likely your prospect clients will not find you. In that case, your website needs to be optimized immediately.

What is SEO?


SEO stands for the process of “search engine optimization”. The purpose of SEO is to help search engines find, index, and rank your site.

Some good practices for SEO

  • Summarized pages’ content and fill with some keywords on meta description
  • Unique and descriptive title to tell your users and search engines what your page is about
  • Every page should be reachable from at least one text link
  • Create a useful information content on your pages
  • Include words that users would type to find your page
  • Every image should have descriptive “alt” tag
  • Avoid embedding important text inside your images
  • Good user experience: Make it easy for users to navigate around. Users find content easy for what they are looking for otherwise your bounce rate will increase

What should you do after get website optimized?


You may see the result rank higher after your optimized your site, but it won’t last long. You should add new content to your site often because search engines reward websites that continuously post new and engaging content.

SEO is complex, but most people can easily understand the basics. If you’d like to learn more or get helped, contact us for more information.


NWDS Alaska Web Design


About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. www.nwds-ak.com