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.

New Year, New Look

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

A new year is a good time to update your website. A new year is not a reason to update but it is one of those times when you think about new things for the future, resolutions, and all that. Plus, every site should be reviewed and renewed on a regular basis.

WordPress offered an article about signs that it is time to update. I don’t think most sites need a full site redesign which can be costly and time consuming. If you’re using WordPress, Squarespace, or any of the popular providers, it is possible to select a new template and apply it with a minimum of revision.

Here are some considerations that you might not have considered.

How fast does your site load? It’s easy to test your speed using a free tool like PageSpeedInsights, which can reveal underlying design issues.

How’s your branding? You have branding, right? Has your branding changed?

Is your site good on mobile devices? Did you know that more than half of global internet traffic now originates from a mobile device (
BroadbandSearch). Using responsive design means the site will scale to different device screen sizes. Most new sites have that built-in but if your site is older ut older sites probably aren’t really mobile-friendly.

You site really should be “secure” by now. That means rather than having http in fron t of the URL, it has httpS protocol. Visitors who see that warning that the site is “insecure” in their browser can stop people from going any further. Google and their Chrome browser will even drop your search engine opimization. (More on HTTPS and SSL as it relates to WordPress websites.)