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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Key Elements of an effective website

Anyone who knows HTML and CSS can create a website. But designing a great one in order to accomplish desired actions and appealing to visitors, needs to have some specific elements.


Don’t make visitors think


Your website should be cleared about who you are, what you do, and how you can help your visitors. If visitors can’t tell what your website is about within seconds, they won’t stick around long.

Good visual design


People like first impressions, your visitors will too. Choose wisely for typography, layout, colors, and graphics. It should be consistent on all web pages.

  • Choose colors that suit and meaningful to your business
  • Choose appropriate font face and font size throughout your website, and try not to have more than three different fonts
  • Choose high quality of image or graphics
  • White space is a good friend to help make important elements stand out and uncluttered.

Easy Navigation


Navigation bar are the links that take visitors where they need to get more information. It usually locates on the top or the left side of web pages. The basic essentials like “About us”, “Services”, and “Contact” page should be easy to find out about you.

Call to action


The call to action is a set of words that urge your website visitors to take an action on your website. In order to direct them to next step, make sure use actionable words like “Free Trial”, “Buy Now”, or “Start Free Now.”

Meaningful content


Who is your target audience? What are they looking for from your website? What products or services can you offer? Most people surfing the internet because they are looking for something they need or get helped.
  • Try to provide helpful, knowledgeable information in your content
  • Keep your pages short and get right to the point
  • Write for your visitors/readers not for search engine. SEO is important to get traffic to website. But if you write too obviously towards search engines you will quickly lose readers.

Load fast


Don’t have your visitors wait for a page to load more than a few seconds because they are more likely to go over to your competition!



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, May 1, 2014

5 Things Your Website is Missing


Chances are your business has a website. To increase visibility and reach more potential customers, make sure your website has these following key elements.





1. Contact information


It is general practice to include a page designated for your contact information. Company’s address, e-mail, map, and phone number should be easy to find on this page.

2. Call to action


A call to action or CTA is a banner or button helps users what to do next. They can be used for downloading a file, get contact information, request quote, or buy now. With effective call to action, you can urge users take action on your website.

3. Social media links


Social media provides the easy way to communicate with your customers and potentials. It becomes a way that people give recommendation to their friends and shares your content with people they connect to. When you add social media links to your site, it will help increase your like and followers.

4. Testimonials


After reading experiences with your products or services, potential customers will be more likely to move forward with your brand. The key to add testimonial is quality not quantity. If a customer gives too long testimonial, quote the parts that sound best.

5. SEO


A properly optimized site can expect increased traffic to your site. Write content that is relevant to your site or topic, and include keyword in the title. Get more info about Search Engine Optimization.




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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Login Design for Trans Maldivian Airways

Trans Maldivian Airways is a private airline based in Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. It operates floatplanes to resort islands in the Maldives. They have recently started using SMS Pro’s web-based aviation safety software. We would like to give them a new look to their login page to generate good will and because we like working with the crew over in the Maldives.

Screen shot of existing log in page.


First Design


First I grabbed a few images from their website and stored them on my computer. Their nice images made my work easier. After picked out the image for first design, I started to work with my favorite tool--Photoshop. I had the image blurred because I wanted the login form dominant, and then placed it below our logo. For the login form, I had white transparent background and changed the tone to be TMA’s logo color and placed it on top of the main image, then relocated all content as usual.

Screen shot of first design.



Second design


The second design, I did the opposite way with the first design. This one I used the original image without blurring it. However I cropped its size to fit my page. I had the login form and TMA’s logo located on the left side. I expanded username and password fields wide enough to make them jumped out of the stunning image background. Then use same tone of TMA’s blue color for login button. I left all content as it was in the first design. Lastly, I repositioned our logo and welcome message.

Screen shot of second design.


Each design had its own unique way to accomplish. I worked around the image since it was the center of attention. We will have TMA make decision on the login page new look.


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, April 3, 2014

Design Login Page for West Air Sweden

West Air Sweden is a cargo airline based in Gothenburg, Sweden. It operates scheduled and ad hoc freight charter services for FedEx, DHL, TNT and UPS. West Air has been using SMS Pro's Web-based aviation safety software since the end of 2013.

Screen shot of existing login page.


First Design


What I would like to change was login form style and color. First I added the grey background to style the form. I also wanted to add color and an element to emphasize it a little more. Then I thought if I have an icon it should work too. So I created the key symbol with illustrator and placed it next to the form title; it helped to gain more attraction. Next, I started to work on the font and size by having larger size for the elements I wanted to emphasize and rearranged their locations. Then added color to it, looked pretty good!

I decided to use the large picture to be background for both login form and content. Then I had login form on the right side of the page. For the content, I changed the font color to be white on the black-transparent background.

Screen shot of first design login page.



A second design


This design I changed the look of login form by having transparent background and font color to be white instead. Then I moved it to the center of the page. I still using the same image but framed its height shorter also added a black transparent layer on top of it. Next relocation the whole content below the image and adjust welcome message size.

Screen shot of second design 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

Friday, March 14, 2014

Design Login Page for Seneca Safety

SMS Pro is web-based aviation safety software for airlines, airports, flight schools and aviation maintenance organizations. This enterprise-level aviation SMS software was developed by the Anchorage Alaska Web design and programming company - NorthWest Data Solutions for the aviation industry in 2007.

One of our clients has been using this login page for a long time. Occasionally, this client would add a picture to this page, but lately, this login page looks and feels empty. I’d like to add some interesting elements to it.

Screen shot of existing login page.


First Design


We have a lot of images about airplanes, helicopters, pilots, airports, and more that related to aviation. But the difficult part is choosing the right image for its purpose. I chose these images from our client’s website Seneca College. But the problem was all images are small, so I decided to use 3 images instead of one to create this login page. I used red and black to be main color design since it matched with their website and our logo. I had grey color to make the contrast in area I wanted to emphasize in the form.

Screen shot of first design login page.



A second design


Instead of using 3 images, I chose only one. But like I mentioned earlier, the image was small size so I had to help cover the pixel looking after enlarge it. I put the Gaussian blur and another transparent layer with Photoshop on top of the image. It became a good background then I had login form locate at the middle of the page. I changed the color on the form area to make it stand out.

Screen shot of second design login page.



I like this design better but again I’m not the decision maker. So which one do you like 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

Difference Between Static and Dynamic Web Sites

You may come across these terms when you’re serving the internet or by your web designer. It’s good to know the difference so you can choose the best solution for your website.


Static websites


A static website is created by tools like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Each web page is a separate document, that means the way to edit this kind of website is go into each page with knowledge of the code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript.) You would have to use a web page editor such as text editor or Dreamweaver, or pay web designer to update your website.

Dynamic websites


A dynamic website is created using more complex code like PHP or ASP with database driven. You would have a blog, search option, contact form and more. Many dynamic websites can be controlled by a content management system (CMS.) You can change the content through an admin panel which changes the source code in real time, no need to know HTML or other languages.


Many people prefer dynamic websites because they have a lot of benefits.

  • Dynamic sites easy to update
  • That helps to get better on search engine like google since you will always have fresh content on your website and google likes it
  • Rich of feature
  • You can enable and add new features easily in the future
  • It’s impossible to destroy the page layout
  • You always update content and images from admin panel when the source code store in separate files


More about content management system (CMS.)
See our portfolio


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

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Why does my Business Need a Website?

Should your business have a website even if your business is small? The size does not matter on the internet world. You may be a one-man show business owner or a big corporate company, if you don’t have a website; you’re losing business opportunity to others that they do.

why business needs a website image

Reason No. 1 – Interactive brochure


By having a website you can save ton of money to create and distribute brochures. A website is an interactive brochure that your clients and potentials can browse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is much easier to update your website than having your print shop to update brochures. Modern websites are created on Content Management Systems such as DotNetNuke, WordPress or Drupal that you can update or upload content and images quickly.

Reason No.2 – More opportunity


More than 2.7 billion people use the internet every day. And more than 80% of those have purchased something with reasons like avoid trips to the store, shopping without salesperson pressure, and easier to compare prices. 

Reason No.3 – Customer service


You can have customer service right on your website by having an FAQ page. The potentials and clients can learn and get company information they want easily. Also FAQs are great place to answer any sales objections. Use a question and answer to explain why you offer more value products or services than your competitor’s.

Reason No.4 – Communication


Having a blog or even just have content on your home page to update your new products, promotions, events or anything you would want to inform your potential and clients.

the reason to have a website - image


These are main reasons for you to have a website. But you should be aware of having a professional-looking one with well design of the ease of navigation, call to action, and all functions work as it supposed to be. Here's why?


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