Tag Archives: design

How to Design a Search Page That Goes Above and Beyond

mart49-11When bouncing around the interwebs accomplishing the various tasks of my day, I am often confronted with a strange disparity. I’ll stumble across a competently or even beautifully designed site, but when I attempt to use it’s search function I find that the search results page hasn’t been given the kind of love and attention that the main pages or posts of the site have.

This is a major missed opportunity. The person who lands on your search page has already decided that your site is one worth delving deeper into, and to make the process of finding the info they are looking for difficult or unattractive is to take a prime lead-gen opportunity and squander it.

How do you take a generic search results page and make it sparkle? Stick around and I’ll give you a few pointers! Continue reading

How to Be Creative When It Doesn’t Come Naturally

cvbgI admit that being creative comes to me naturally, as it has my entire life. That’s why being creative is what I do for a living every day as a writer, although some days it’s harder than others to be creative.

As a kid, I always had a crayon or pencil in my hand doodling some imaginary animal or writing a poem or story. As a teenager, my peers turned to me for an off-the-cuff song parody for a high school revue.

But many people tell me that being creative doesn’t come to them naturally. They moan, “I am not a creative person,” or “I don’t know where to start.”

Don’t fret! Many psychologists argue that creativity isn’t something people are born with. Good news though—it’s actually a skill that can be learned. And, practicing being creative can make you more and more creative. So, what can you do to exercise your creativity muscles and jumpstart your creativity? Here are 9 creative suggestions: Continue reading

9 Tips to Improve Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

PrintMobile is the most personal medium and one of the most popular…and it’s growing fast. In fact, eMarketer reports that mobile ad spend will top $100 billion worldwide in 2016…51% of digital marketing. That’s an amazing 430% increase in just 3 years.

More and more customers are using their smartphone and tablets to engage with brands via apps, email, social media, and text. They expect a flawless mobile customer experience that seamlessly integrates with the email and web experiences they have with a business.

If you want to tap into this rapidly growing market and improve your strategy, you need to consider these 9 mobile-specific tips. Continue reading

Always Design With Your Community In Mind

community-designWhen it comes to web design, it would be nice if there was a unified ideal that we could all reach towards, but that simply isn’t the case. Sure there are best practices, and techniques that tend to look good wherever they are applied, but in the end it gets messy, as usually happens when humans are involved.

The thing is, people change, and since web design is usually a creative effort focused on user experience, we must take the changing whims and diverse nature of humanity into account when we design for them. Of course, we cannot take the entirety of everyone’s desires into account, and we cannot even focus it in by nation or region if we hope to maintain any of our sanity. The pool would still be too large, the number of conflicting needs and likes too great to come to a consensus on which direction a given design should take.

This is why it’s so important to design a website with your (or your client’s) community in mind. The more focused your design is on a specific subset of people, the clearer your choices will become, and the more tailored to their wants and need it will be. The more those wants and needs are filled, the more successful your business will be!

So how do you design to demographic? Stick around, and I’ll throw you a few pointers. Continue reading

What’s Hot In Web Design — May 2016 Edition

Since the fickle fads that govern the design world’s sensibilities are constantly shifting, we find it useful to check in every once and a while and see what’s new, what still works and what has gone the way of the Dodo. Let’s jump right in!

Flat Design Still Rules

accountingrx-fullThe original shift towards flat design was in part caused by our collective shift into the mobile web-space, where vector-based graphics (many of which are flat-style) were able to deliver much speedier load times than traditional images. Given that our reliance on mobile devices has only grown, it only makes sense that flat design still reigns. Plus, it’s just so darn attractive! You’ll see flat design used everywhere, from simple icons to logos to large complex graphics. The solid colors of flat-design recall the bold palate of children’s animation, lending a light-hearted air to the graphics, which in turn can create a welcoming atmosphere wherever they are used. Continue reading

How to Create a Basic Brand Style Guide for Your Business

Style word on vintage car license plates, concept signA brand style guide is like the blueprint for your visual identity and website design. It includes all of your chosen design elements, serves as a set of design standards, and provides a foundation for the overall look and feel of your online presence across platforms and printed marketing collateral.

Establishing a consistent and cohesive brand bolsters your company’s brand recognition, reputation, and trustworthiness; so creating and following a brand style guide to stay on track with cultivating your brand equity is worth the time and effort. Continue reading

Why We Still Use WordPress in 2016


I like new things. I’m an early adopter, meaning I have to have the latest tech right when it’s on the bleeding edge. I prefer seeing movies in the theatre. I enjoy wearing fashionable attire. So why is it, when it comes to web development, that I (and all of the fine folks here at Solamar) still use WordPress, a Content Management System (CMS) that has been around since 2003?!

I mean, newer options have certainly become available during that lengthy tenure, surely WordPress has been surpassed by something more recent and shiny, right? Right?! Wrong.

While there are comparable offerings on the table, none of them hit all of the buttons that WordPress does when it comes to being a supple development tool, an easy system for clients to understand with a robust and supportive user community.

As the web has grown and changed, so too has WordPress, keeping pace with our needs and desires without sacrificing stability to the whims of the moment. That is why, here in the fuuuuuuuture, we still use the crusty ol’ dame. She may be getting on in years, but she still kicks butt with the best of them.

Here then, are a few great reasons you too should be using WordPress in 2016. Continue reading