Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Best Website Design Structure & Layout will provide Great user interface and make for a popular and appealing website

"The secret of all victory lies in the organisation of the non-obvious."
Marcus Aurelius (Roman emperor, best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy, AD 121-180)

A well organised article in a magazine or paper will deliver a much more understandable message than a poorly laid out area of text. Even if the content is written in perfect English and makes for marvellous and entertaining prose, bad layout will generally be the reason for the perfect article to go un-noticed.


The same is true for website design and structure.
Is this not obvious? Apparently not!

It would not take anyone long to stumble upon a deceptively highly regarded website that lacks even the basic structure and layout that its content deserves. Now why is this? Surely the vast amount of these websites out there want to project themselves in the best possible light and ensure the maximum amount of people read and absorb what their websites offer.

Many websites of today are forgetting the fundamentals that make an appealing, engaging and interesting website.

The following fundamental rules of design will ensure your website works well for you and for you users:

1. First Impressions

It is common knowledge that the majority of internet users will quickly scan websites.

Our brains will make a snap decision regarding visual appeal, content, structure and relevance. If the first impression is lacking the rest of the site becomes instantly redundant. A click on the ‘back’ button and the potential powerful content within your website is lost to another visitor.

In an online world where choice is unending, the FIRST IMPRESSION has never been so important.

Visual appeal is an important factor of the first impression. We as humans will tend to look for similar colours, shapes and structures. Through the information gained our brain will instantly have calculated areas of viewing importance. In the western world we all read from left to right which is also a similar ingrained habit of the brain. Google heatmaps look into the most popular areas viewed on websites. Worth a look for any further reading.

As important as a good first impression is, another point to consider is where are your areas of importance laid out on your website? This is a vital question to ask within the design stage of a website. 


2. User Interface

The great benefit websites have over books, magazines and newspapers is of course the power of physically engaging the audience. This trend is ever growing, from Apple iPhone apps to facebook groups. The power of USER INTERFACE must not be underestimated.

The more a user can experience, learn, engage and feel part of a website the more successful and appealing the website will be. Features such as polls, comment boxes, video tutorials, links and online games are just a handful of the vast collection of user interface applications to help hold your potential audience.


3. Organised Content

The human brain constantly looks for patterns and similarities, and will often fill in the gaps subconsciously. For example when reading ‘tihs slcetieon fo wrods’ although all words are wrong the brain can quickly make sense of it as ‘this selection of words’.

Like a highly tuned and efficient computer, our brains are constantly assessing information around us, categorising it into levels of appeal, importance and relevance.

Small sections of key information will allow your users’ brains to work at a more efficient level and draw from your website the desired information or outcome. A good example of this is the ‘mind map’, a tree like formation linking up relevant information. This is how neurone pathways link up in the human brain.

Try and link up important information within your website design using this theory via illustrative graphics that will guide the viewer’s eye.

A good balance of features is also important. Ensure the websites content is not all text, if a large amount is required try to break it up using images and graphics. The use of bold, italics and different coloured text is also a useful tool as the viewer’s brain will instantly be able to determine a difference.

Final Thought


Spending the extra time over these points covered earlier will set up your website for popularity and success.


As Featured On EzineArticles

Monday, 24 May 2010

Web Branding present the UK’s Best Ranking Web Design Forums

Forums are an important tool and resource for designers and web developers alike.
A quick and easy interface is provided to communicate with like minded individuals.

At Web Branding we Design Brand Identity through some of the best website designs, search engine optimisation and company branding.

Below are our favourite Web Design focused forums in order of Google page ranking:

Web Designer Forum
PAGE RANK: 4

This forum covers such topics such as web design & development, design competitions, website reviews, a graphic design forum and much more

URL: http://www.webdesignerforum.co.uk/








Graphic Design Forums
PAGE RANK: 4

Web Design Forum | Web Designer Forum - CSS Forum for Web Design & Web Development. Expert Advice Design Forum for UK Web Designers & Developers

URL: http://www.graphicdesignforums.co.uk/








Webmaster Forum UK
PAGE RANK: 3

UK Webmaster forum is a discussion platform where webmaster discuss web development, web hosting, web design and other website related topics. Membership is free.

URL: http://forums.ukwebmasterworld.com/











Design Forums
PAGE RANK: 3

UK Graphic Design & Web Design Forum offering an ad-free, friendly community to discuss design.
A good source of information available by communicating with UK designers. A well presented website.

URL: http://www.designforums.co.uk/













I have struggled finding about any other specifically UK based design forums. If you do know of any other worthwhile UK Design/ web design forums please do make a comment and we’ll add additional links to this post.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Score Big with your Audience with Web Branding

Let Web Branding Launch your Company and help you reach your business potential.



Check out: www.webbranding.co.uk

Over 40% of all sales are expected to be made online by 2020. Therefore it is more important than ever to have a digital shop front to the online world with a strategic campaign in place to ensure that your website helps you capitalise on this lucrative market. After all… your competitors are doing.

Let us Brand your business and boost your online presence. Web branding will provide you with the ideal webpage to increase traffic to your site and improve customer confidence. Our Search Engine Optimisation service will make sure you get noticed by everyday search engines and improve your online sales.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Designing Brand Identity - The Key to a Powerful Logo

Designing Brand Identity - The Key to a Powerful Logo

Logos are definitely not a new concept born out of the 20th Century but can be traced back through all ages of human civilisation. Many different cultures throughout time have used images as a vital form of communication. From cavemen scratching marks into the stone. The Egyptians with their unique Hieroglyphics or early Roman coins bearing monograms of rulers or cities.Logos have the ability to inspire confidence, trust, admiration and loyalty. The Logo is the ‘keystone’ to a successful brand and therefore must be well thought about and planned. In our world of ever growing visual stimuli, a logo can be used to represent pretty much any modern entity.Logos to inspire confidence share these key elements:

  1. Easily recognisable and relevant to its cause, entity or sector. Invariably a strong logo will instantly tell the viewer its purpose and meaning. Many modern day logos such as the Nike tick or the BMW propeller are instantly recognised without the company name attached.
  2. Bring about past and present associations of power and presence. Many logos will use well known images or icons of past times to re-affirm and strengthen its modern day meaning. A logo using a flag or city symbol within its logo will instantly be associated and will add weight to the logos interpretation.
  3. Simplicity and Clarity, the most successful logos tend to be the most simple. These logos are to be seen everywhere today. The apple logo is a clear example of this in action for over 30 years or the Shell logo which has remained pretty much the same throughout the 1900’s.
  4. Complementary colours, although generally no more than 3 colours. Colours have the power to summon emotions within us. Red for danger or excitement. Green, a colour associated with nature and healing. In regards to a strong colour for a logo to inspire confidence it would have to be blue. Blue is a stable and dependable colour. As with the sky and seas that are always constant. Blue inspires confidence, commitment and a sense of calm.
  5. Use of Natural shapes and curves. I make reference to the Fibonacci sequence that can be seen throughout the natural world and as Da Vinci believed could be used to paint the perfect picture. The golden ratio can be seen  within the famous Fibonacci spiral. 

A well thought out combination of these elements hold the key to creating a logo its user can engage with, feel part of and ultimately inspire confidence. Logos are key to designing brand identity.


As Featured On EzineArticles

Saturday, 8 May 2010

"To free up disk space, Outlook Express can compact messages. This may take up to a few minutes"

Are you receiving this warning message despite not using Microsoft Outlook Express?


"Why do I get this warning?"

Although you may not realise it, Windows constantly indexes certain files on your PC to speed up responses when you search for files and documents.

By default, Windows (XP and Vista) includes the files that Outlook Express uses to store emails on your computer in this index. Unfortunately, disabling Outlook Express as your email software (or even removing it from your computer completely) often does not stop Windows from trying to index the location of these files.

Don't panic, this annoying alert can soon be overcome by following these few simple steps:

Go to your start menu and click on control panel. The screen print below has been taken from Windows XP but you should have similar options in Vista. You are looking for an icon called 'indexing options':


(If your control panel is displayed in category view you may have to select classic view down the left hand side first)

Double click on indexing options and you should see a new window open like the one below:


This tells me that Windows has currently indexed 61,237 of the files on my PC but is still trying to index the Microsoft Outlook Express files. You may see more than one option for Outlook Express and probably different folders to the ones shown on my computer too.

Click the Modify button in the bottom left and another window should open:


Don't worry if you don't see exactly the same files as me, the cause of our problem is a tick next to any of the Outlook Express options in the top half of the window. Untick all of the boxes that correspond to Microsoft Outlook Express options (just the middle one of the three in my case).

When you untick each option, the window will refresh and you will see Outlook Express disappear from the bottom window.

Click OK to close this 'Indexed Locations' window, then click close on the 'Indexing Options' window which is probably still open. Close your Control Panel and you are finished.

Now, the next time you switch your computer on you may still get the warning but this should be the last time. We can only assume this is just to confuse us! If you still get the warning after this, get in touch via our website and we will see what we can do to help.


Adam