7 Web Trends to Watch for in 2015

Beautiful, effective website design – where’s it headed? Read on for trends to keep in mind as you move forward with your website in 2015…

Big, beautiful background images are the web trend for 2015

Responsive design works well on a variety of screen sizes

1. Get Responsive or Go Home.

This is the standard for web design now. A large percentage of your market is most likely viewing your site at least occasionally, on a mobile device. Fortunately the wordpress based sites we design make this simple by offering this feature as part of the package. We incorporate your design into a responsive format. Period.

 

Mobile-style web design

Mobile-style web design 

2. Mobile-style Design

Web design is beginning to move in the direction of a more enjoyable mobile experience. As a result, design is reflecting mobile elements such as: vertical design – long, scrolling pages (but better than before), simplicity, and well …

You'll find big type and better use of fonts in 2015 web design

You’ll find big type and better use of fonts in 2015 web design

3. Big Type. Nice Type.

Web font kits have become plentiful and affordable. (Amost) gone are the days of sticking with Helvetica and whatever whoever had on their computer. Now all of our sites incorporate great headline fonts. More and more we’re able to use nice looking type as part of your site design. Look forward to a more lovely readability experience in the future ­– we love pretty things!

 

Card design on the web delivers information in tasty bites

Card design on the web delivers information in tasty bites

4. Card Design

Been on pinterest? More and more websites are incorporating “card design” for photo images, blog posts, news feeds and more. The cards re-sort and restack nicely. These tasty bites provide a clean way to browse stories or items you’re selling, and are a LOT more fun to peruse than columns of type. We love a fun web experience!

 

Gorgeous background images make dull pages a happy boy

Gorgeous background images make dull pages a happy boy

5. Gorgeous background images

Show off your great content by displaying it prominently. If you’re in the outdoor industry, backdrop the glorious mountains or bike terrain. Turn a less interesting part of your site into a show-stopping display case.

 

Google’s use of flat-toned vector illustrations and icons echoes the company’s dedication to clean and modern design

Google’s use of flat-toned vector illustrations and icons echoes the company’s dedication to clean and modern design

6. Flat Design

Google has revealed its love of “flat design” for websites. Flat design means simplifying the website by keeping the essentials and removing unimportant elements such as gloss, bevels and textures. Overall we’ve seen a trend towards more simplistic design with popular operating systems. There is beauty in simplicity, just be careful not to lose your personal/emotional connection with your customer.

 

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7. Compelling Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful approach that can convert people to your brand. I’m a big fan of telling your story with logo design. In the web world, it’s time to take that to the next level and relate to your clientele personally, to build loyalty. Be sure to transfer your logo elements into your web design for a more integrated story in your online appearance. Talk with viewers in a conversational tone, and let your personality show through in a way that your customers want to hear.

Here’s to evolving your site into a more effective sales tool for your business in 2015!

Call or email us if you’re ready for a more modern website

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NEW Ouray Hot Springs Website Makes a Splash

The NEW Ouray Hot Springs website features seasonal experiences

The NEW Ouray Hot Springs website features seasonal experiences

 

Splish splash! The Ouray Hot Springs is promoting not just itself, but the Ouray area.

Much like the Ouray Ice Park, the Hot Springs understood that by promoting the Ouray area, the springs itself would increase visitors.

Through a newly designed wordpress website, Dayzign Graphics developed the components that were important to the Hot Springs. This included a Call to Action on each page, driving visitors to site goals, along with links to the Ouray Chamber and the Ouray Resort Association.

A Seasonal Experience

An interior page on the Ouray Hot Springs website, newly designed by Dayzign Graphics

An interior page on the Ouray Hot Springs website

It was also important to the City (the Hot Springs are a city entity), to highlight the rich history of the area, and the different experiences visitors have in summer vs. winter. For example, summers are busy, colorful and more family-oriented. Winters can be quite, steamy, and even romantic.

What Functionality Do You Need in a Website?

The Hot Springs needed not only an attractive website, but one that allowed online swim lesson registration and employment application. Dayzign’s developers incorporated an event sign-up component that allows visitors to register their children for different swim lessons, check availability, and pay online.

Job postings are listed through a separate plugin, where potential applicants can view job descriptions and fill out secure online applications. Job availability can be turned on or off by the Hot Springs.

A Site That’s Easy to Edit

As always, our clients can edit their own site, through the wordpress dashboard.

If you haven’t experience the amazing Ouray Hot Springs and the view that goes with it –  you can take a peek on the new website here.

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Maya Nut – A Website with a Library

Maya Nut Institute Website by Dayzign Graphics

Maya Nut Institute is a gem that empowers women in Latin America economically and nutritionally through harvesting an ancient nut known as the Maya Nut.

Founder Erika Vohman learned about the Maya Nut while visiting Guatemala on an animal rescue mission in the 90’s. The Maya Nut tree is an ancient staple of Latin America, but long forgotten.

An interior page of the Maya Nut Institute website

An interior page of the Maya Nut Institute website

Vohman’s organization supports women to produce and distribute Maya Nut as a means for nutritional and economical sustainance.

A Website with a Library

Dayzign Graphics was the lucky firm chosen to develop a new website for the Institute this year. The undertaking was large due partly to an extensive, open- access library of documents and photos collected or written by Vohman. Students and researchers from all over the world can access the new library, with over 300 documents written by Spanish and English scientists.

The Language Component

The site also needed to be bi-lingual. Thus a wordpress feature was installed that allows each page to have a Spanish version. Viewers can click back and forth between English and Spanish pages as desired. The feature also detects the primary language of the user’s computer, and automatically displays the website in their native language.

A Design that Fits

The colorful, bright design gives a jungle feel with green bird and plant graphics. A media section chronicles CNN and other videos from around the world, on the Institute and the Maya Nut.

The Maya Nut Institute has created substantial Programs that include Reforestation, Children’s lunch programs, and Green Ranching, and many more, which are organized in an intuitive navigation.

Needless to say, Erika Vohman has made incredible accomplishments in young her life to date, helping many people and countries of Latin America.

You can enjoy reading more about the Maya Nut Institute here.

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Coming up with Content – get a jumpstart on your website redesign

So you’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to redesign your website, to bring it up to date with the latest technology and features. You even have design ideas and have hired your favorite designer to create the “look”. Maybe you’ve even seen the first draft. Then comes the big realization: you’ve got to come up with content for your site.

tips for coming up with web content

Coming up with web content doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth

Coming up with web content does not have to be like waiting in line at Walmart, pulling teeth or watching a bad chick flick. Here are some thoughts to give you a head start, so that when your designer calls for that content, you can shock them by handing it over…

1. Figure out the Goal

What’s the goal of your website? Are you booking trips? Are you educating? Are you selling cars? Every place you take a viewer should be leading them to your goal in a user-friendly manner. Figure out the goal, and keep that in mind every step of the way. There should be a “Call to Action” on every page leading them to your goal.

2. Start with the Content, Start Small

Unless you’ve booked a week away from the family in a winter cabin all by yourself, don’t try to write the whole site content at once. It can be overwhelming enough to freeze up the best of us. Make a goal to do one page at a time. Maybe one a week. Get your content together, and make it quality. Keep it simple, keep it clear. It doesn’t have to be Ernest Hemingway. Just pleasant and organized.

3. Think Like a Client

Organize what you want to say due to your client needs, not your company structure. What do they want to hear about your business that will convince them to choose you? Don’t focus on telling them all about yourself. Get them excited about what you are offering by answering their questions before they ask. Let your history, years in business and technical details be subsidiary information.

When you write each page, think about what they will be looking for first. Then second. Lead them to your goal, and make it a pleasant experience for them. Break up big paragraphs with captivating headings. Use videos, photos, podcasts and graphics in key places that make sense, to make the experience palatable.

Don’t waste their time by creating unnecessary pages. Keep your site clean and efficient and provide valuable information. Your viewers will appreciate it, and your search engine rankings will show the results.

4. Extra credit

If you have the budget, we’ll hire out search engine gurus to sprinkle key words for search engines throughout your text. However, as you’re writing, keep in mind terms viewers may be searching for to find businesses such as yours. For example, if you sell health care services, include terms specific to your industry such as “teeth whitening”  or “crown repair”. Not just general terms like “dental health”. Speak specifically to what folks will search for, and what you are selling. Just remember not to let search engine language drive your content. Good, human content comes first.

5. Use Savvy Nav

Once your content is written, coming up with your site navigation will make more sense.  There are lots of ways to determine the navigation of your site…

  • Notecards – use 3” x 5” note cards and write a page on each of these . Then sort them into stacks of what topic goes with what. Now put the most important one on top to determine the main navigational link. You might also have a few “test” people go through your notecards and give their feedback on what navigation makes sense to them as well.
  • Spreadsheet – If you have a larger site with more pages, you may want to create a content inventory in a Microsoft spreadsheet. This should include links to each page and a sentence about what will be on each page.
  • Creative Brainstorming – Drawing with markers is fun. Tacking papers/sticky notes up to a bulletin board and moving these around can be a more creative, fun way to play with your site structure. This is a great way to get the ideas flowing, and is often a great way to start the process, allowing for creative brainstorming with your group. Once you begin to nail down the site structure, you can move to the spread sheet.

5. Give links clear names.

Don’t be cute on your main links. Clients need to know exactly where they are going. Be respectful of their time, and don’t lose them. For example, “News” is better than “Tidbits”. They might not know what Tibits means.

Relax, You’re Done

If you give yourself enough time and a little head start, the process of coming up with your web content can be a breeze. Coupled with the stunning website design your designer is working on, you’ll have a fantastic site that will keep users coming back for more.

Be sure to ask Dayzign if you need help with any of your site content – we have great resources for writing and editing! (970)275-5186

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Evolution of an Ice Climbing Business

The Chicks with Picks 2014 Tshirt is OUT – Illustration by Kellie Day

The Chicks with Picks 2014 Tshirt is OUT – Illustration by Kellie Day


 

Started as a means to teach women self-sufficiency in ice climbing, Chicks with Picks has become a key business in building commraderie in the climbing world.

Co-Founder Kim Reynolds realized that much of the initial attraction to chicks was the sassy, independent attitude reflected in the logo and brand. She has continually built this brand over the last 15 years, beginning with the logo, and including yearly, hand-drawn tshirts.

The Chicks brand is strongly backed by quality built ice climbing clinics for women, that include strong female leadership and skill building. Gals from all over the country visit Ouray, Colorado each year to attend Chicks clinics. There’s one for every skill level.

Coming up on 15 years of being in the biz, Head Chick Reynolds felt the Shiva (Indian God/Goddess) themed tshirt illustration reflected the evolution of the business, and the strength and balance women have in so many aspects of their lives as mothers, business women, and climbers.

You can visit the Chicks with Picks website here, which is being redesigned as we speak.

Interested in a custom illustration? Contact Kellie Day here or call (970) 275-5186

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Flagstaff Snowshoe Company – Running it Right

The new Kahtoola Home page, with the San Francisco Peaks in the background

The new Kahtoola Home page, with the San Francisco Peaks in the background

 

Kahtoola sets a  business example by doing good things, supporting the environment, and keeping it as local as possible.

Handcrafting many of their products in house, and deeply tied to their geographical region, Kahtoola’s snowshoes, hiking crampons and Microspikes are a proud product to work with.

Looking to sculpt the company’s brand even more locally, and gain greater hands on with their website, the Kahtoola team came to Dayzign Graphics for their new online image. Keeping it locally tied with Flagstaff’s prominent San Francisco Peaks in the background, Dayzign sculpted a clean look that shows off stunning product photos, in use in our southwest mountainous region.

What was important to Kahtoola?

The "mega-navigation" gives viewers quick access to all products and enough info to make a quick decision on where they want to go

The “mega-navigation” gives viewers quick access to all products and enough info to make a quick decision on where they want to go

In order for viewers to gain quick access to the variety of products, Dayzign suggested a “mega-navigation”. On rollover, instead of the typical page listings of typical drop down menus, photos of each product are shown, with price and key info. This allows viewers to make a quick decision about where they’d like to go, without having to navigate through pages.

Responsive/Mobile-Friendly Design

Our partner SOF Inc of Durango worked diligently with Kathoola to get their site to look as appealing as possible on a variety of mobile devices, including phones and tablets. Although sites get bumped around from screen size to screen size, SOF incorporated parameters to keep the site looking clean in all formats.

Online shopping that ties into company software

As with all of our wordpress sites, shopping carts can be readily integrated. In this case, Kahtoola wanted to tie their online shopping into their in-house accounting.  Working together as a team with a variety of players, from custom design to final product, Kahtoola  has the business flow, information and look they wanted. Shopping pages feature great product photography,  tabbed tech specs, reviews, and “how-to” videos, along with other suggested products.

Bells and Whistles?

Lots of other great features went into this site to give Kahtoola exactly what they wanted. From a Dealer-only log in, to Pro-sales forms, a media “Clip Book“  and blog, Kahtoola now has greater access to updating their site, the look they desire, and a updated shopping flow. With wordpress, the site will be easily updatable and technologically current for  years to come.

If you’re looking for mountain footwear that travels well from rock to ice to snow, or just something stellar to slip on for an icy driveway, we highly recommend checking out Kahtoola.

Thanks to John Burcham and Paul Berg for their excellent photography and touch up!

To inquire about your new website design and build, email Kellie at Dayzign Graphics, or call (970)275-5186

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Boost your Site with a Custom Google Map


View TOWN OF RIDGWAY, COLORADO, Art District and Creative Industries in a larger map

Google maps are far more than a HOW TO for finding your favorite restaurant.

Custom Google maps increase your website user’s experience by adding richer, more interactive content. Vineyards can plot wineries, towns can plot walking tours, guiding services can plot adventure locations – all with photos, text, links and all of googles’ zooming and interactive capabilities.

Recently, Dayzign Graphics was contracted to build a Creative District Brochure, to serve as a marketing piece for the Town of Ridgway’s newly designated Colorado status. As a centerpiece for the brochure and it’s future website, we built a custom google map plotting all of the galleries, studios and creative venues.

Town of Ridgway, Colorado's Creative District brochure

Town of Ridgway, Colorado’s Creative District brochure

Beyond walking around town with a brochure in hand, tourists can now conjur up the map on their phones and mobile devices, and find out where the Art Galleries and restaurants are in town, read descriptions, and even see photos.

The map has the added benefit of search engine boosting for the town, as the town strives to increase its tourist and creative based economy.

Custom Google maps are great for adding to any organization or corporate website, to further enhance your site’s interactivity and illustrate all you have to offer. Rich content is what keeps your viewers coming back.

Keep your eye out for the Town of Ridgway Creative District Website – coming later this year!

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