Check out these great web design tips!

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    April 2013
New Website Seven
New website in the works? We’re often working with clients on this process but recently the "shoemaker got new shoes," so we’ve given even more thought to what really matters when redesigning and reorganizing a site. The fact is, your website has mere seconds to engage new visitors so it's essential to get it right. Here are seven website must-do’s we wanted to share…

Looks count
Make sure the first glance truly conveys your branding. Select good graphics and images that both support the text and show off your product or service. If applicable, show examples of your work, product or services. And remember that web users spend most of their time above the fold so key messaging should be high and easy to see. Also, include the latest meta tags to improve how your site looks in Facebook and Twitter when shared.

Organize Intuitively
Project Spotlight
spotlight This month we’re showing off our own stuff—our new website. We've worked hard to make sure visitors can easily learn more about our work with examples of NMR's, websites, evites and more. In addition, we've designed an Insights page loaded with our thoughts and ideas We even included a little info about our Veeps! Check it out and let us know what you think. We hope you enjoy!

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It’s essential to make it easy for people to navigate through
your site, painlessly finding what they’re looking for.  Intuitive navigation is a must. It’s also important to both minimize and highlight your calls to action. Keeping them above the fold is a good start—indeed above the fold is a great place for social media icons and, if you have an e-newsletter, a great place for a subscribe button. Also remember to use navigation names that are intuitive for visitors so they get where they want to go effortlessly.

Use your voice
Writing good web copy doesn’t necessarily mean
being buttoned up and stuffy. Use your own voice, whether it’s funny or professional or even downright hokey, as long as it represents your brand and is consistent across your collateral. Start with a headline that conveys your value statement.  And if Search Engine Optimization is important to you, make sure you understand and incorporate the right keywords.

Engage with content
Keep your site updated and fresh by incorporating content that can be easily updated and shared so return visitors can find their old favorites plus some new things to love about you.  Think about using multimedia elements, interactive content such as surveys, or graphically interesting and sharable content such as downloadable infographics.

Time matters
The web moves fast and making people wait for a slow page to load will turn away valuable eyeballs. One way to ensure your site isn’t too slow is to use multimedia and animation prudently—its great to incorporate both as needed but make sure the elements you select really communicate key messages and aren’t merely superfluous. And if you must include an animated entry screen, include a “skip this” link for those folks who just want to get to the meat!

Edit, edit, edit
Coco Chanel once said, “Before you go out, always take something off.” What works for fashion also works for good websites. Consider editing out pages that no one visits anyway. Track your page views so you can analyze visits and simply wave goodbye to pages that don’t get traffic. A great ten page site is often more engaging than a good fifty page site! And if that content really must be included, consider show-hide script so pages expand and collapse, or interior scrolling elements, as an alternative way to limit the number of pages.

Be device sensitive
Computers and smartphones and tablets, oh my! With all the different devices people will use to view your site you need to really think through ways to ensure it’s friendly everywhere. Limit flash to elements that aren’t essential for understanding or navigation (don’t use flash for nav buttons for example). Select video players that work across mobile devices and design your site with all screen resolutions in mind. Finally, check design and interactive elements on all browsers and operating systems before you go live.
Content Tip Freshen Up a Bit
Keep your website fresh by updating assets on a regular basis. It's a good idea to dedicate a little homepage real estate to flexible messaging that can be easily and frequently updated.
Design Tip Give It the Right Touch
Make sure navigation buttons and links are large enough to be touched easily when viewed on a small, touchscreen device. That way, visitors can navigate around your site from their smartphones.
Delivery Tip Sign 'Em Up!
Put a subscribe button on your website so you can build your list and keep delivering terrific e-newsletters and other emails right to the inboxes of your site visitors.
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