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Better Content Legibility for a Better User Experience

Points of emphasis will immediately guide the user to the most pertinent information and help readers who like to scan content.

For those who have worked in the industrial marketing space a long time, it’s clear that websites offer lots of advantages over other forms of marketing – easier to control the message and update it as often as necessary; inexpensive compared to print advertising and tradeshows; and relatively easy to generate leads – if the visitors come, stay long enough to explore your site and follow through with a request for more information or a quote.  

To make sure your website is functioning the way you want, it’s important to give site visitors the right kind of experience. The first step to is getting visitors to your website. The next step is keeping them there.

Content legibility is one of the most important elements in keeping visitors on your site. A confusing, cluttered site is going to chase users away, while a well-organized, well-balanced, easy-to-read site is going to gauge users’ interest. Good legibility helps users to quickly and easily find the information that they need for a better overall user experience.

Find out if your site follows some of the most pertinent legibility standards:

Font(s)

The fonts on your site should support the style you are looking to portray, but more-importantly, they should be easy to read. It’s okay to use a more decorative font for areas of minimal text, but not for large areas of content.

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5 Tips for a Successful Website Pre-Production Meeting

Over time, this comprehensive list of questions has proven to be the best way to communicate to your designer how you want your site to look and function.

5 Tips for a Successful Website Pre-Production Meeting 

Before you undertake a website redesign, it will be important to have a pre-production meeting, which will provide the information necessary for your designer to gain a clear picture and understanding of what you want on your website. In the meeting, topics will be discussed such as, the nature of your company, website goals, website likes and dislikes, styles, colors, etc. The thoroughness of the information that you provide will play a significant factor in how happy you are with the final design of your website.

Follow these five steps to help you prepare for your pre-design meeting. Doing so will help the meeting go quickly, smoothly, and will help you get the results you are looking for in your website design.

1. Review all materials provided to you about the meeting.
This meeting is the information-gathering phase of the website design process and is probably the most significant stage in the project. That is why it is so important to be prepared for the initial project discussion. Read over all of the materials(often including a detailed questionnaire)  that have been provided so you can give meaningful input on the information and questions that have been prepared for the initial discussion.

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Your Website Redesign Begins with Research

Looking at other industry sites will give you a more vast selection of tone, style and design.

When designing or redesigning a website, it might seem overwhelming or difficult to articulate the details of how you would like your site to look. So, how do you describe the appearance of something that doesn’t exist? The easiest way to do this is through research and communication. Finding bits and pieces of elements that you like or dislike and providing your designer with this information is the first step to getting the look and functionality that you want in your website. Once you communicate these findings, your designer will assess all of your input and will produce a unique design to fit your company’s needs.

So, where should you begin?

1. Review your competitors’ sites.
Do you see something that gives other companies in your industry a competitive advantage or edge over your company? Do you like the way the information is presented on any of these sites? Is this done through the use of good photography, colors, fonts, or, all of the above? Or, do you hate everything about a particular site? Understanding your dislikes can be just as important as understanding your likes. Is the site difficult to navigate? Is there too much information on a page? Or, is the site perfect and you would really like to figure out a way to surpass the demonstration of quality with the innovativeness of your own website?

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SEO Planning Saves Your Company Time and Money

Let me give you a good piece of SEO advice: learn from other peoples’ mistakes.

Yes, I do sound more like my mother every day. But that’s not the point.

The point is that Pilot Fish has been spending a good bit of time lately – and, even more to the point, our clients have been paying a good bit of their hard-earned cash lately – to fix problems that could have easily been avoided.

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Keep Your Website Redesign Project on Track and within Budget

Problem: Not getting back with your web design company in a timely manner 

Solution: Be accessible.
Designing a website is a team effort and requires a lot of back-and-forth communication between the client and the design company. To keep your project on track and to secure your place in the production schedule, respondto questions, requests for materials and feedback, and gather approvals on your end in a timely manner.

Problem: Including decision-makers too late in the process, or not at all.

Solution: Involve all decision-makers early in the process and get feedback and approvals for design concepts and content before programming begins. Don’t sign off on design concepts until all important decision-makers have reviewed and agreed. Anyone and everyone that has an impact on the launch of the website should be involved throughout the ENTIRE process. Please do not sign off on any step unless you have gotten the go-ahead from each of these individuals. Not reviewing the design with all of the decision-makers almost always results in complex late-stage edit requests which have proven to be one of the most costly mistakes a client can make. For instance, if the nature of the edit requires a change in the structure of the site, the request could cost thousands to implement. These late-stage changes will undoubtedly throw your project off schedule and off budget.

Problem: Changing out images/sliders/headers

Solution: Know ahead of time which images you would like to use for all areas of the site.

Be specific about which images you would like to include on your website andassign those images to individual pages. Know that design work goes into editing each image and takes time to complete. If approved images have already been edited, cropped, uploaded and incorporated into the site, having to later replace those images could result in additional costs. The same is true, even more so, for header images and sliders, which are often custom-designed and could take a significant amount of time to recreate.

You can avoid having to swap out images late in the process by making careful image choices prior to the start of the design. Also, consult with your web designer about whether the images that you are considering are of a high enough quality to use on your website, or, whether you should hire a photographer for more professional-looking images.

Be sure to discuss your image choices with all of the parties involved in the website design before submitting those to the designer.

Problem: Late-stage design changes

Solution: Don’t sign off on designs prematurely.
This is one of the most crucial and costly mistakes that I have seen clients make. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to request all design edits before the site has reached the programming stage. So, that means, you will need to submit all of your final design edits before signing off on any design approvals. If you have officially signed off on the design, edit requests from this point on will most-likely affect the structure and programming of the design (and of the responsive design), which are often very costly. (Most minor text edits do not apply, unless they are part of an image, or affect the overall structure of the page.)

Problem: Waiting to review content till it’s on the website

Solution: Whether you write your own website content or have your web design/SEO firm write it, it’s important to have your company’s decision makers review and approve the content prior to building the site. Although most text changes are easy to make after the site has been built, some content may be incorporated into more complex graphics or website features that can be costly to edit later. Legal reviews should occur at the time the content has been written or early in the website review process so that the launch date isn’t impacted by waiting for a lawyer to give his/her blessing.  

For assistance in planning your company’s website redesign, contact Pilot Fish at 877-799-9994 ext. 2104.

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Effective Website Redesign Starts with Materials Checklist

Once your company has made the decision that it’s time for a website redesign, it’s important to gather all the materials that your designer will need to start the project.  Putting extra effort up front to pull together the media and content will enable your designer to begin the website redesign process without delay. 

Also, giving your designer access to all available media that could be used for the site prior to starting the project helps the creative process and minimizes the possibility of major changes to the new design.  There’s nothing worse than having your designer create a new home page design and then find out there are several really good videos, PowerPoints or images that could have been and possibly should have been incorporated into the design. 

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Three Costly Mistakes to Avoid when Developing Your Website

It’s easy to let the cost of any project – including a new website – get out of hand. But a few simple precautions can prevent such a disaster. Below are three notable mistakes to avoid during the website development process to help you remain within your website design budget.

1. Including decision-makers too late in the process

Putting off the purchase of an SEO package will save you money now, but you will be losing out on the necessary promotion of your website and on opportunities for business in the future.

Starting with the decision to purchase a design-and-SEO package all the way through the website launch, it is necessary to include all decision-makers who have any say in your company’s website. Through many steps of the development process, you will be asked for sign-offs and approvals. Be sure to consult all of the decision-makers before approving each of these steps and before getting back your web developer with edit requests.

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