Monthly Archives: March 2013

It’s all about the process

3:7:2013So there it is, my web page layout. (See last week’s post.) It’s fine. I like it. But I think I want something a little more well, more. I’ve noticed lately that I can look at web site and tell that they are Word Press sites. There’s beginning to be a format or style about them. It’s very nice, but not what, you, as a client, is going for. I have some thumbnails below (quick little sketches) that I did on the bus. They are a bit shaky but I was kind of musing. The final will likely not look much like any of these or maybe it will. That’s the process, you try lots of things and refine, refine, refine. You, as the client, don’t see all the process and refinement that goes into a design. That’s the reason I decided to step back and move slowly through the process. This project does not have deadline so I can mosey through my process and document it. So how am I going to do this? I’m going to think, draw on the bus, think while I’m running, I will pay attention to posters, book design, web designs, magazine layouts looking for inspiration. I will tear out pages, mark book pages and create a file of ideas. It’s a process. It’s my process. Some designers get instantly inspired after days of agonizing and others have methodology that works for them. I am some place in between. You’ll see how I find my way to the design that will become Parker Payroll Services web site.

web page thumbnails

First blush

3:12:2013Here is the first pass at the web page. This only represents the color scheme and the layout. I think I want to add a photo montage for the top of the page. You know something expected, remember I’m going for strong dependable and yes maybe not predictable certainly not surprising or unpredictable. Notice however, client sign-in. That’s where clients of Parker Payroll can sign-in and enter their payroll data safely and securely. When I really have it ready I will do a couple of pages and provide a link that will go to a mini site within my web site that will have linked pages providing a true user experience.

PARKER WEB

To each according to his needs

2:13:2013Karl Marx was not likely talking about web sites but I am. Don’t be tempted to go over board on a web site. Think. Think about what your audience wants to know, then give it to them. Web designs can do magical things. Check out the following:
http://wechoosethemoon.org/
http://www.mono-1.com/monoface/main.html
Granted the first is out of this world. And the second is rather over the top but these are examples of what the web can do. And only the tip of the iceberg are these. Look, the point is make your web site what your customers need not what you want. Look at my web site, it has my portfolio and contact information and not much more. In my instance, anyone looking at it has already arranged to meet me or are thinking about contacting me. It gives my clients a chance to see if what I do will be a match to what they need. Another site I have done is Civic Square. This too is very simple. It tells potential clients about the principal’s expertise, and yes, the last name is the same as mine; look carefully you’ll see they are slightly co-branded.
lisabelloli.com
civicsquarellc.com
For my example, Parker Payroll Services, my site will have a twofold purpose. One will tell potential clients about the services Parker Payroll Services offers and another part of the site will be for current customers. Next week I will show rough designs for a home page.

Platform throw down which side should you be on?

1:28:2013Phone, laptop, tabletop, tablet. Which device should your content (web site info) be available on? All of them? In order to decide you need to step inside your user’s shoes. Ask yourself how the user is coming to the information, is it via a smart phone, tablet, etc.? Let’s go through the process using Parker Payroll Services as the model and go through each device. Starting with a smart phone, what content would a user of Parker Payroll access using this device? A user may use it to check if paperwork has gone through and checks issued. That could be a valuable option. How about accessing forms to fill out payroll data for processing? Probably not so much but it could be conveniently done using a tablet on the go. The content available for a laptop or tabletop computer is the same but might include expanded features, such as a blog, that isn’t necessarily available on smaller devices. An important and over looked factor is how is the information presented. Content on a smart phone will scroll, put the important need to know content at the beginning. The important take away is think like a user of your services and try to meet that need. Last food for thought, what about an app? Could Parker Payroll Services provide content and collect information using a specially tailored app?