Until recently, scrolling through a website was a routine action that was so natural that it required little thought. For even the least savvy computer user, thinking about scrolling was as unnecessary as thinking about breathing. Breathe in, breathe out. Scroll up, scroll down.
Enter Apple’s Lion operating system in 2011 and suddenly scrolling is reversed. You’re a fish out of water, flopping around your desktop like you’d never used a mouse before, because Apple decided to mirror it’s desktop scroll to it’s touchscreen scroll.
And now ambitious designers and developers are rocking the boat even harder. Websites don’t always move straight down when you scroll anymore. Sometimes the scrolling moves the site in large chunks. Sometimes scrolling gets you out of the bed and into the shower. Sometimes scrolling moves sites horizontally instead of vertically. Sometimes it does both.
It seems that a two-sided revolution has crept up on us, starting with Apple integrating it’s mobile-style scrolling onto it’s desktops, and more recently with designers and developers disregarding conventional scrolling to create standout experiences. With both hardware and software changes, scrolling is no longer second nature, it’s now something that requires thought, preferences, and intention.
It’s always great to see a new frontier open up for digital design. If one-page sites seemed like the cat’s pajamas, imagine the possibilities a one-page site that scrolls off horizontally, vertically and upside down! The purpose of many websites is to tell a story, whether that’s the story of a business or of a product, of an individual or a landmark event, and stories often run through paths that are not straight and narrow. With your scroll path reflecting your content’s dips and turns, the web will be a richer place. On top of that, it allows users to engage more in the site, which in turn creates more engagement in the content of the site. And most importantly it creates that intangible quality that attracts someone on an emotional level. It’s the little unpredictable delight that brings them back for more.
Technology has its ups and downs, but for the most part, it gets better. Web browsing, which was once only restricted to our desktops, now has the ability to be done on our tablets and smartphones. However, with this breakthrough came complications. Among mobile devices alone, there are numerous variations of size and resolutions. How could a single website accommodate for all of that? Or more importantly, imagine how much time/money is spent on designing and developing for that large of an audience?
I’m sure a lot of us have come across a website on our phone that is simply not “mobile-friendly.” Responsive design eliminates this problem. Simply put, all it takes is a single design to be compatible with multiple devices. Layouts are “fluid” so that when you adjust the size of the window, the layout and design will correspond with your desktop, phone, tablet, game console, etc.
Another essential fact to realize is that we are using mobile devices just as much or even more than we are browsing on our desktops. If you encounter a website on your phone and it is uncomfortable to view, are you likely to visit that site again? Responsive design is a smart method to consider, not only because it’s designing for the future, but because we can cater to all users.
I know, I know. You’ve heard it a thousand times: “you should blog!” Yet somehow you still have NO clue what to write about nor do you ever seem to find the time (let alone the desire) to get started. Believe me, I understand. We hear it all the time and it’s a common problem. Let us give you an edge with some fresh new ideas. No more excuses!
25 things you can write about on your company blog
Feature your customers via real pictures, quotes and stories
Make people laugh with videos - Share a collection of hilarious YouTube videos within a relevant theme. For example, if you are a retailer trying to drive traffic to your site around the holidays, you could post great “Christmas Gone Wrong” videos.
Pose a question- If you’re looking to engage your audience, this is the way to do it. Who said you have to know all the answers in order to blog?
Introduce your employees
Do a photo blog post - Use an app like GramGrab to make your Instagram and Pinterest photos into content your audience will love. Remember to give proper photo credit when due if you’re not using your own images.
Give your opinion on industry news - And remember: an opinion that not everyone agrees with is OK. In fact, sometimes it’s a good thing.
Show a visual evolution of your website - Make people smile by using Way Back Machine to take screenshots of your site over time.
Share a personal story - the most viral content on the web is content that people react to emotionally. Share a struggle, triumph or endearing story that will make any reader want to share it.
Upload a video from your smartphone - When it comes to your blog, an occasional amateur video is acceptable.
Working as an intern, becoming a contractor, and then being offered a full-time position at EIM is a journey that is truly too great for words. When I came across Envisionit, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass. After an interview and a review of my portfolio, I was lucky enough to be hired on the spot as an intern!
During my internship, I was able to work on logo concepts, create stationery collateral pieces, work on several social media backgrounds, among many other things. It wasn’t just the projects, but also the atmosphere of the company that allowed me to enjoy my time as an intern.
My internship was coming to an end, but I believe it was through my eager interest that helped my internship grow into a three month contract as a production artist. This extended opportunity was perfect in all aspects; I was approaching graduation and I loved working for this agency. I was given more responsibilities and continued to work closely with the creative directors, working on revisions or adding on to existing projects. This three month period allowed me to not only become more comfortable with my ridiculous commute from Naperville, but it also helped me gain more experience and knowledge in what it meant to be working at an agency. The organized structure helped me become more organized, and the deadlines challenged me to work more efficiently; and it took this job for me to truly understand the importance of teamwork.
When I had been offered a full-time position, I was completely overwhelmed with pure joy and gratefulness. It was hard to believe that I had actually made it here! I give so many thanks to Envisionit Media for paving the path for me to start my career and become successful in what I love to do. I couldn’t have imagined this being a better journey than it already was and is going to be!
It’s not everyday someone as talented as Hannah comes by. She’s a self-taught designer with a writing and development background, working on concepting, designing, and occasionally coding creative projects with us. Sitting down and creating layouts, making graphics, brainstorming design strategy, and designing how user interactions work is why she loves being a designer. And though she’s got quite a bit of experience working on some major brands and organizations—Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Progresso, Aveda, Save the Children—she’s always finding ways to improve her design and create a meaningful user experience.
Our 15-second interview with Hannah:
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Fried goat cheese.
What’s a book you could read over and over again? Pride and Prejudice.
As a graphic designer and a student, I cannot help but drop my head whenever I see improper use of typography. It’s everywhere. But what truly makes me cringe is the logo I see whenever I tune into my weekly guilty pleasure, Glee:
The kerning is unpleasant and it’s obvious. Kerning, the spacing between letters, is normally judged by your eye rather than mechanically. The negative space in between the letters should be relatively even. This reads “g-lee.” As minor as some might find this to be, I cannot stand it!
It is very difficult to watch for the two seconds the Glee logo appears on screen and I know I’m not the only Gleek who feels this way…
Perhaps this was purposefully done and I’m sure there was a motive, but it has brought discomfort and grief to my Tuesday evenings. So please, Ryan Murphy and Co., take the time to kern your letters! There are only four of them.
Look—a Frequently Asked Questions page is included in the site architecture! This will be a great place to give information and answer questions for users. Let’s go! FAQ away!
But hold your questions for a minute. Is an FAQ really a necessary part of your site?
An FAQ section is necessary if it:
Educates users about service or product
Keeps users engaged with site
Gages effectiveness of content
An FAQ section isn’t necessary if it:
Act as a substitute for clear, useful content
Doesn’t add value because questions aren’t real or aren’t asked
If content clearly tells users everything they need to know, an FAQ doesn’t need to happen. If your organization is asked the same questions over and over—it might be a sign to adjust your site content, not add to your list of frequently asked questions.
Good pairings help make for a complete, thoughtful experience. The icing on the cake, if you will. Though cakes, with the exception of coffee cake, need icing. They just do.
Now that you’re thinking about cake, let’s jump to dinner. Dinner is fun! Especially when you’re able to consider a wine to drink with your dinner (perhaps pairing acidity to heaviness), or a beer to drink with another dinner (bitter and hoppy plays well with heavier dishes). Pairing can elevate a meal. Similarly, well paired fonts can make a good design.
The purpose of pairing fonts is to improve readability and establish hierarchy. The classic serif-with-a-sans-serif combination is used on print and web, often with the headline as the sans-serif font. It works because it grabs attention, but more importantly, it’s easy to read.
The ease-of-reading factor is key in font pairing. (And ideally, in choosing a font in general.) When readability becomes an issue, communication becomes an issue. This is to be avoided. Using fonts that are legible on screen or when printed is always a good place to start. If you find a font combination that works both online and in print, you have made magic and deserve cake.
But note! Two fonts looking good together does not equal good design. There are images and layouts and format to consider. Consult your local graphic designer for more information.
Known for: Pitching ideas and doing whatever he pleases as a partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce
Once said: “Just think about it deeply, then forget it…then an idea will jump in your face.”
Who else do you think has contributed to part of our culture through good copywriting? Tell us in the comments!
*Ogilvy took on a client who had $500 to spend on the promotion of his new hotel. Ogilvy bought as many postcards as $500 would purchase and mailed invites to people listed in the phone book. The hotel was packed at opening. “I had tasted blood,” he later said of the experience.