Web Design By Category

instagrams

Instagram during the pandemic via instagram.com/cedarbeanscoffeejoint

 

I have some designs and content lists I use based on categories. For example, I have done several writer’s sites (especially poets) and ones for artists and photographers. Each has some unique needs. Artists and photographers obviously want to feature their images – and also protect the images so that they won’t be downloaded at high quality and used without permission. It’s hard to fully protect images other than watermarking them because it is so easy to do screen grabs. So, designers will use smaller or lower-quality images and perhaps code to disallow right-click saving.

Writers probably want to show some of their writing – an excerpt of prose and maybe a few poem samples. As with images, it’s hard to fully prevent copying of text and that may be the cost of being online. You can make a page of text into an image to prevent quick copy and paste of the text, but you may also want to share your work and sometimes even encourage sharing via social media links.

During these two COVID-19 pandemic years, many restaurants found their website more important than ever. It may have needed an upgrade to allow for placing online and takeout orders. Menus and hours may have changed. They may have wanted to include information about the safety measures in place.

I haven’t worked on any restaurant sites in a few years but I read this article on designing restaurant websites which has an eye to the special needs of that category and to what the pandemic may have changed. Small things like adding a pop-up info box or notification bar on your home page so that that you can feature changing elements (like hours, availability, or even staffing needs) is one design element that may have been needed.

I know that my local favorite coffee place, Cedar Beans Coffee Joint in Cedar Grove, New Jersey – added information (shown below) in a notification bar to its already well-designed website.

“Excited to announce 100% capacity indoors with masks optional in NJ. We are also operating with curbside delivery and walk-ups in the store. Please continue to utilize the MyCoffeeHelper app to place your orders (it’s fun!).
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay informed about events, and promotions.”

They added the app for ordering quick and contactless pickup in the worst of these pandemic times, notifications about policy changes, and they have an email option for updates that is always useful, along with a very dynamic social media presence.

It helps that the Cedar Beans’ owner is Dave Fletcher who also runs a digital branding agency, The Mechanism, and so was well aware of what needed to be done.

Design by categories is a good approach and it always includes taking a close look at what your direct competitors as well as what others in your category are doing as best practices.

UX Designer As a Career

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

What is user experience and what does a UX designer do?

You are interacting with this site now. That is user experience. When you’re in a brick-and-mortar store, the way things are organized, laid out on the floor, and on the shelves are all UX. An employee asks you “Did you find all you were looking for today?” Were there signs to get you where you wanted to go? Were stuck in line waiting to check out? All of these things have comparable UX concerns for a website or app.

Spending your time on a site clicking around, frustrated, or digging for some contact info so you can get some help, that’s not ideal for anyone.

Enter the UX designer whose job is to make sure the site is a seamless experience for the user. UX designers a re not web designers, though they would interact with them and have some similar skills.

While a web designer build the framework of the site and a graphic designer is charged with making the site look good, the UX designer is responsible for optimizing how the site functions.

UX designers also work with the marketing team making sure what goes to the public and the feedback that comes from them makes both sides of the screen happy.

UX designers work with many team members. (Though we should note that with a small design company one or two people might do multiple jobs.)

Some jobs that are clearly on the UX designer’s menu, such as analyzing marketing data about customers and conducting surveys, focus groups, or other research to see how people use the site and their opinions.