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Posts Tagged ‘Design’

John Maeda on What Really Matters in the World of Design

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Design

Design – Business and Technology

LAST YEAR AT South by Southwest, John Maeda, a design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, presented his inaugural Design in Tech report. In a slideshow modeled after Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends reports, he showed that design has indeed become integral to the business of technology. Figures like 27 (the number of designer-founded companies acquired by giants like Google and Facebook), and $13 billion (last year’s valuation for Airbnb, a company founded by designers), helped make Maeda’s case.

Maeda presented his second Design in Tech report Monday, again at SXSW. In his wide-lens look at the industry, Maeda doubled down on his original thesis: That big businesses want, need, and will pay for design. He supported his argument with data on mergers and acquisitions: This year, he counted 42 design firms that have been acquired since 2004. Roughly half of those transactions happened in the last year, and Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM—not companies you’d traditionally associate with design—were the main purchasers. “I’ve been arguing for a while that the Fortune 500 companies, they’re interested in design but don’t know how to get it,” Maeda tells WIRED. “The easiest way is through a consulting service. McKinsey, Accenture, or whatever. Consulting firms, in order to build capacity for this demand, have been doing so by acquiring design companies, because they can’t grow them in house.”

design

But this year’s Design in Tech report is more than a redux. Not to give away the ending, but Maeda closes on a slide highlighting the “Three Kinds of Design” currently at play. There’s design (“classical design”), business (“design thinking”), and technology (“computational design”). The last two have to do with creating products with empathy for the customer, and keeping pace with current paradigms in technology, respectively. They also tend to have more reach. Where classic design might impact a million active users, design thinking and computational design stand to affect hundreds of millions. What’s more, classic design projects tend to be finite; whether it’s a building or a page layout, once they’re built, they’re done. In business or technology design, the product is always evolving. “The three categories above are co-dependent,” Maeda notes on the slide. But it’s the last two categories—the ones linked to business and technology—that are growing most rapidly.

On the business side of things, design thinking has become an invaluable tool for companies looking to empathize with (and capitalize on) underserved markets. Take Bevel, former Foursquare executive Tristan Walker’s haircare and shaving line designed specifically for men with coarse and curly hair. Or Progyny, a digital platform for fertility health and information about IVF treatment and egg-freezing options. These companies aren’t as well-known as, say, Snapchat, but they’re deploying well-designed systems that cater to underserved markets. These companies, Maeda says, are ones that have established trust and spurred “social transformation.”

Speaking of Snapchat, Maeda singles it out when spotlighting the reach and rapid evolution of computational design. Snapchat clearly recognizes its core appeal, and offers it to users quickly and seamlessly; rather than ask you to swipe or push a button to access your phone’s camera, it opens by dropping you right into the app’s hallmark function. At the same time, the company is nimble and relentless in its pursuit of novel features (consider the success of speed overlays, geofilters, and selfie lenses). These invisible, ever-evolving experiences are what make Snapchat work.

When big companies ask for design, these are the kinds of results they’re likely hoping for. Maeda points out that, while corporate interest in design is certainly a good thing, there’s a supply and demand problem. When consulting companies set out to boost their design chops, they’re not necessarily looking for classically trained graphic artists, architects, or industrial designers. More often than not, they’re looking for people who can work on more esoteric tasks, such as designing culture, or designing systems—areas of study that have yet to be incorporated into business school curriculums. But “there’s a gap between what tech needs and what the programs are creating,” Maeda says. “Business schools can’t move as fast, so students are making design clubs in their schools.” Last year’s report celebrated the proliferation of student-led design clubs at MBA programs like Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford; it seemed like a harbinger of more sophisticated design education. This year, it reads like evidence that business schools are falling behind.

Maeda doesn’t provide any solutions to the supply and demand problem, but his report is still a useful tool for looking at the state of the design industry, whole-cloth. There are plenty of other nuggets worth perusing—Maeda spends time applauding Google, for becoming an examplar of computational design philosophy, and lists design thinking books for aspiring autodidacts—but the changing role of the designer is the report’s the main takeaway. The creative minds who break the mold of what we’ve long considered to be a designer—the architect, the suit-maker, the graphic designer—are poised to shape big businesses the most.

Article Provided By: Wired

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Invest In a Great Website

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

 Invest In a Great Website - Contact

Stop Being Such a Tight Wad. Invest In a Great Website.

You just worked your ass off for the last 12 months.

Creating your product. Having samples made. Ordering 1 million of them because that’s the factory’s minimum.

You had someone in Indonesia create a slick logo for you. You set up your UPS account. You’ve rolled up your sleeves and you’re ready to get started on your ecommerce website.

Maybe you know a guy who’s nephew builds websites from his dorm. Or you read some article on how to build your own website in three easy steps. So now all you have to do is get the website built and you’re good to go, right?

Wrong.

Over the years, I have met too many entrepreneurs trying to build their own websites and too many entrepreneurs whining about the price to build a great website. And it bugs me.

Building a beautifully designed, fully capable website is no longer a luxury if you’re looking to launch or grow any ecommerce business in 2015. It’s a necessity.

Look, I get it. You’re a startup. You have a limited budget. You’re an entrepreneur willing to do things yourself. And that’s all very admirable. But if you’re launching an ecommerce business and you’re unwilling to invest in your website, then you’re better off having never launched your business.

Here’s why. 

You have a single presence. Make it count.

Instead of a website, let’s assume instead you’re opening a new brick-and-mortar clothing store. Since you’re a startup, your shop would likely be small. Your budget for build-out wouldn’t be much. But at a minimum, you still have to pay for paint, flooring, lights, shelves, displays, mannequins, a POS system, an inventory system and quite a few fixtures. Even with just a short one-year lease for retail space, no matter where you open it, you’d still be looking at $100,000 to cover just your physical presence. Probably more.

And even after dropping $100,000, you’d still pale in comparison to the Macy’s down the road from you. Or the Ann Taylor. Or the Men’s Wearhouse. They’d kill you in presentation, assortment and skilled labor. You’d never survive.

But…if you’re building an ecommerce website, customers view you differently. They view you only in the narrow world of online space. They won’t be thinking about what the Macy’s store in their neighborhood looks like. They’ll compare macys.com with your website.

And guess what? Now you have a much better chance in this competition.

While the cost of a good web developer varies, a beautifully designed, fully capable website should cost between $7,000 and $20,000 at most. Now compare that with the $100,000 you’d spend for your brick-and-mortar store — and you’d still lose that battle in every way. So why wouldn’t you spend a few bucks and build a kick-ass website? A website, by the way, that would last far more than a year. 

So what does it mean to have a beautifully designed, fully capable website?

The best place to start when designing your website (both aesthetically and as a utility) is to roam the web seeking out your competitors. What do their sites look like? What do you like most about their design? What do you like least about their design?

Now start looking at sites outside of your competition. Look for anything from a design perspective that appears fresh or unique. I’m building a website now to sell my own line of men’s bedding. Our gallery of thumbnails and product pages were inspired by a website I found dedicated to real estate crowdfunding. A totally different industry, and yet, the design scheme fit perfectly for what I wanted to do.

So after you have the design figured out, then make sure your product photos are professionally taken. Every piece of research I’ve ever read confirms that the nicer your product photography, the higher the conversion rate. And of course, the lower the return rate of your products. Poor photography also intangibly affects your brand. Do yourself a favor and hire a professional photographer.

Now it is time to revisit your competitors and test their navigability. Pretend you’re the consumer. Do the categories make sense? Are there any special features that you love? Is there something you hate? Do you wish it had a certain feature to bridge the gap between shopping in-person vs. shopping online?

A great example is something I had built on The Tie Bar when we launched back in 2004. I always had the hardest time shopping for ties in person without seeing how those ties would look with a particular shirt or suit. And no website out there addressed the problem.

So at The Tie Bar, we built a feature on the site that allowed customers to place our ties against the backgrounds of the most common colored (and patterned) shirts and suits. Back in 2004, it was a novel concept and it got us many compliments and mentions in the press. And all I did was discover a pain point in shopping online for ties and attempted to fix it.

So when building your website, make sure to include the features you love and exclude the features you don’t. And if you can come up with a creative add-on to your site, all the better. 

Mobile

The last point I’ll make is one covered in a million other places, so I will not belabor the point. Just make sure your site is mobile-friendly.

I will not bore you with the stats (which are everywhere) but suffice it to say that if your website does not translate well into an easy and appealing mobile experience, you’re wasting your time investing in your new beautifully-designed, fully capable website I just talked you into.

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your logo, web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Article Provided By Entrepreneur

4 Clever Color Palettes to Try in Your Designs

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Looking for inspiration to make your design stand out? Using colors effectively can be a great way to achieve beautiful, eye catching designs. Here are 4 Clever Color Palettes

Thanks to the endless combinations of hues available on the color wheel, designers have access to a world of unusual and exciting color combinations. Don’t be afraid to experiment, the genius of color is its ability to evoke feelings and emotion – which is one of the key ingredients of creativity!

Choosing colors that work well together before you start designing is a great way to achieve visual harmony. Here are four beautiful color combinations to get you started.

01. Modern California

4 Clever Color Palettes - Modern California

The combination of two warm and two cooler colors will create a calm balance to your design. Crisp apple green is a great color to use if your concept is eluding to freshness or cleanliness.

Using a rich, darker color for your base (4D4D4D) is a nice way to form contrast to fellow, lighter layers.

02. Pastel Parfait

4 Clever Color Palettes - Pastel Parfait

The pastel color group brings with it the visual illusion of femininity, and can often appear a little washed out – apply a stronger tone if you find your message getting lost in the dust.

These powdery tones evoke feelings of ‘happiness’ and ‘lightness’, perfect to use when alluding to the warmer and sunnier seasons.

03. Desert Earth

4 Clever Color Palettes - Desert Earth

The Autumnal effect! Earthy tones are the visual answer to raw materials such as sand, wood, leaves and trees.

Use a creamy, eggshell color as a background to contrast against the bolder hues in your design.

These colors are slightly muted, and therefore an understated and sophisticated collection.

04. Peachy Green

4 Clever Color Palettes - Peachy Green

The combination of two classically ‘feminine’ colors with two more ‘masculine’ ones, is an even fusion, and can be applied to symbolize this balance.

Coral represents warmth, while the green – traditionally symbolizes ‘envy’ and ‘nature’, while in design it relaxes the eye and creates visual calmness.

We hope this post encourages you combine beautiful tonal hues. We look forward to seeing unique and inventive color palettes of your own!

 

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your logo, web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net

Article Provided by Design School

Web Design

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Mojoe.net has created a new web design for www.park-simple.com. This new web  design incorporates the companies colors from their logo as well as variations of the primary color of black and green. The new design offers several call to action buttons that lead a potential customer to content rich sections of the site. The design of the site was completed in Adobe Photoshop. We choose photos from www.istockphoto.com to complete the design of the site. The site is simplistic in design so a user will not be over bombarded with content and can easily navigate the web site.

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing yourweb site, web applicaiton or need custom programming, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net

Web Design Park Simple

Whats your Function Junction | Web Design Greenville, SC

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

So is it okay to have a web site that may look great but does not work?

Well, my answer as a designer and developer would actually surprise most people. YES, it is okay to have a great design with no function, but for your client it is probably a big fat NO. Your web site should not only look amazing and be original; it should also function correctly and perform call to action to get your clients their desired results. There are great deal of developers out in the web community that are not designers and vice-a-versa.

We recently, had a client decide to use another web development company and the design of the site is nice. Unfortunately for our client the web development company was not experienced with shopping carts, so even though they have a nice looking site. The clients customers can no longer order online and the site basically no longer works. So what should you do if you experience this issue.

Ask questions, Ask questions, Ask questions, and educate yourself for the benefit of your company and its web site. Now, I am sure you are wondering what questions to ask? Well, here is a small list of questions that should help inform you if the company that you are about to work with is capable of performing not only the design but also the functions to your web site.

Questions to Ask:

Question: How long have you been developing web site?
Answer: If the answer with 1 year or we are just starting out, this can be a potential red flag if you are looking for a web site to do specific actions that may be complicated.

Question: Who is your developer/programmer?
Answer: We outsource our development to India, or  we know a guy. RUN, the reason is very simple. The person you are talking to most likely has no knowledge of the programming for a website and if this person is your point of contact then transferring your idea to them and then to someone else and so on. Well, you get the idea, your function will get lost in translation both literally and figuratively.

Question: What programming language do you use?
Answer: The answer should be immediate and they should be able to show you examples. If not then this is another red flag.

Question: Do you comment all of your code?
Answer: If they say no, or unfamiliar with what comment your code means then you need to find the nearest exit and leave the building. Commenting code is a practice that all developers should do when coding a web site. It is basically cliff notes to each section of code on the web site. The reason this is important is because the comments will assist another web developer if the site has to be moved or another web developer has to take over the project.

Question: We would like a self contained web site that we manage ourselves (CMS), can you develop something like that?
Answer: Once again the answer should be yes. But they should start out by evaluating your project and seeing if you would be better served with having an out of the box solution; such as, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or DNN. The reason being that if they develop something that only they understand then you are stuck with them and can never move your site. Having a foundation in one of frameworks mentioned before will make your site easier to move and most of these frameworks have a large selection of plugins to quickly add function to your web site. Now, there are some cases where custom programming is warranted and is very necessary, but remember if the programmer comments there code and also the web company agrees the coding belongs to you then there is no problem. Custom programming can be very beneficial in the development of your web site. This answer actually leads us into our next question

Question: Do you write code from scratch?
Answer: The answer should be yes. If it is no or they are unsure then you have an issue. Having a web company that can actually write code from scratch especially for a complicated and very involved web site is extremely important and can be critical to the operation of your web site. Your site need to have the ability to grow and expand over time…as I have said before, ” A web site is a ever evolving and growing means of communication.”

Remember, interview your potential web development company, spend time with them, ask questions, make a plan, and be sure to ask for examples.

I will be writing some more in-depth blog post that will deal with Planning, Development, Design and Maintenance so please be sure to check back often and feel free to contact me at 864-859-9848 or you can email me at dwerne@mojoe.net

Thank you,

Deveren Werne  – Developer, Designer – Lover of the Web.

Web Design Greenville

 

Client Education | Web Design Greenville SC

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Clients our great to work with some will push your talents to the limits or will challenge you to solve a problem.

I personally enjoy working with every client no matter what the project, design, or programming issue. The one thing I think every client should be is no matter the situation on hand is EDUCATED. Education is key so that a client can make an informed decision about the products or services that they require for their web site or web development application.

A great many of clients get different points of view from many resources some of worked on sites before and have good and complete understanding of the development process. Some clients have little or know understanding when it comes to web development or web design. So in general clients can vary in their understanding and knowledge on web sites and web applications.

We spend a great deal of time educating our clients on the services that we offer whether they end up using us or not. The reason we do this is because if a client will actually sit down and takes the time to understand the aspects on Search Engine Registration, Search Engine Optimization, Responsive Design, CSS, HTML, as well as Hosting, SSL, Analytics, and Marketing. Then we beleive we have done our  job to let the client know which company is the best decision for their site or project

We want an informed client who can make an informative decision…..If you would like additional inforamtion or would like to sit down and discuss your site please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can contact us.

Designing and Developing a web site | Web Design Greenville, SC

Friday, June 17th, 2011

So what happens when you design and develop a web site?

Well, there are quite a few steps that happen when developing and designing a web site. So, we are going to take you through the process step by step with a real live client. (Yes, the client is actually real.

First, we begin by having a two hour discovery meeting with the client to listen to what the client needs, wants, and would like to have happen with their web site. During this meeting we ask incisive questions and develop a list of services that will need to be performed in order for client to receive the web site that he/she would like. In the midst of this process we educate our clients about web design, programming, search engine optimization, and all aspects of web development.

So enough about the process lets actually start off with our client which is www.mysolor.com and our contact is Alex Swire-Clark. Alex has come to us to re-design and develop their web site. So we have already meet with Alex Swire-Clark and discussed their site. During that meeting we spoke about what he would like the site to do. What goals they would like to eventually achieve with their site as well as what functions they would like the site to perform. (You can break a web site down into 4 parts; one is the design of the site, two is the structure of the site, three is the behavior of the site, and four is the SEO and Social integration of the web site.) We also discussed content management system and educated him on the difference between two platforms Dot Net Nuke and WordPress. (During this meeting we filled out our Creative Strategy with Alex so we could get a clear understanding of his wants and needs.) While we filled out the Creative Strategy we also educated Alex on each step of the process everything from colors, pictures, text to responsive design .

Once our meeting was finished we sent Alex an email letting him know what we heard during the meeting, after receiving his reply we filled out our estimate proposal and sent that over to Alex. We then concluded our contract with Alex and have begun the development of his web site.
So what’s next?…………………..to be continued.

Here is the initial design of the web site for www.mysolor.com

 

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