Google Tag Manager is a faster performing process for streamlining tag deployment.
Combine reporting processes into one interface.Google understands that running customer reports is important. Google also understands why we are running all of these user reports. It’s our job because we can improve the user experience with informative data. The downside, the embedded tags are slowly the website performance times. Google Tags offers a solution by combining all the requests into one interface. Google Tags promises that users can trigger Tags with events, reducing the processing to only when the user makes a request.
The Outcome of Using Google Tag Manager
The first step to a successful Google Tag project is to set your plan.
For each business, the plan will be different. Do your research to define what your business goals are. And, how Google Tags can help define when you have reached that goal?
Develop a measurement plan.
Develop a tag management strategy.
How to set up variables.
How to reuse variables across the website.
How to use the Data layer.
How to use variables.
How to use events.
Pass information from your website to marketing and analysis tools.
Set up Advertising.
Set up Remarketing tags.
Measurement Plan for your business.
Which metrics and dimensions will be used for measurement and analysis.
ID key performance indicators and segments.
Implement Google Tags
GOAL: Additional revenue from online sales.
STRATEGY: Provide a website where customers can research, connect with other user and buy our product.
2017 Internet Trends report concluded that the increase for smartphones is on the decline.
2017 = 3% grew of shipped smartphones.
2016 = 10% increase of shipped smartphones.
Like most tech products the decrease of sales of smartphones is expected. However, smartphone reduction was not projected to happen so quickly. The smartphone decline is contrary to all other internet trends.
Global Internet User = 10% increase.
Global Internet User has a steady history of increasing usage by an average of 10% (since 1995).
What does the smartphone decline mean?
The drop in demand for the smartphone may indicate that the customer base is saturated. And, that everyone who is going to buy a smartphone, has done so.
How is the desktop/laptop market impacted?
In the past decade, the desktop/laptop usage growth has barely changed. Desktop/laptop usage has remained constant. Indicate that smartphone users are not adapting to new devices. But, rather they are adding the device to their arsenal of tech tools.
Smartphone users have not slowed day.
The demand for new smartphones may be on the decline. But the requirements that users are placing on their devices is on the increase.
Adults spend on average six hours per day on the internet.
2011 = 1 hour of usage on mobile devices.
2017 = 3 hours of usage on mobile devices.
In recent years, the increase for time devoted to hand-held devices has increased by 2 hours per day. The demand for desktop/laptop access has not declined.
Usage reports suggest that the average user used to spend up to 3 hours a day on the internet. Compared to now spending up to 6 hours a day on the web. With the increase of time on the internet is via their handheld devices. I am sure binge-watching Orange is the New Black (and other Netflix shows) has an enormous impact on handheld device usage.
The most important aspect of SEO is it still works. Moreover, SEO is going to keep working.
Sure the rules of SEO are always changing. However, for websites with experience and education to improve their site’s ranking can adapt quickly. The higher ranking site benefits from increased visibility, traffic, and conversation rates. Do not get out maneuver by your competitors by ignoring how your business ranks.
Timeline of SEO Tactics
Using old SEO tactics can seriously harm your SEO ranking. Keep current with SEO rules by making your content user-friendly, easy to navigate, fast loading, and easy to scan.
1990 – Meta Keyword Tags and Keyword Stuffing.
2004 – Buying Links, Link Farms, and Link Bombing.
2011 – Social Media Marketing.
2014 – Media Rich Content.
2015 – Responsive Design.
2016 – Unique content and images.
Search Engine Essentials
Having a blog, online store, or website rank well can significantly increase your business.
People trust Search Engine Results.
People typically select from the top 5 search suggestions.
Get ahead of your competition with a strong SEO framework.
Improve your user experience.
Provide quality content.
80-90% customer read product/service reviews before purchasing.
Not building an active content profile over months/years will potentially damage your business.
I am thankful to renew my Advanced Google Analytics Certification every year. Keeping current with online trends begins (and typically ends) with Google. Google provides an in-depth certification program that challenges to adapt my SEO methods.
Every year I complete the advanced Google Analytics Certification program with three core values.
I learn something new.
I gain a deeper understanding.
I have new opportunities for my clients.
2017 is a superb time for Google Ad Campaign
Google Analytics new measurement plans can make your Google Ads more effective. With new tracking codes that can connect you with returning customers. Or, reach out to customers on other networks.
Create Meaningful Google Ads Campaigns
Text Ads on Search Engine results.
Banner Ads on other websites.
Social Media Campaign.
Or, a mix of the above.
I can establish your core keywords to begin your Google Ad Campaign. Know which keywords are worth pursuing before running your Google Ads.
I find better keywords that generate more solid leads.
What is the best process for successful Conversion Rates?
The first step to a successful ad campaign is to set a business goal. Each ad campaign should have a simple action and outcome. For each website visitor, the goal may be different. For the same site visitor, the goal may change each time they visit the store.
I begin with the basic Google Ad formula.
Business Goal = Action = Conversion
Google Ad Dynamic Remarketing
Have us create your Google Ad Dynamic Remarketing Campaign to ensure your ad populates with the people who are interested in your brand, product, or service.
With Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing Tracking Code added to your website you can target the next visitors. So you can re-connect with people based on what they showed an interest in before.
The visitor that left before completing their purchase.
People who viewed your homepage.
Individuals who browsed your product pages.
A web visitor who reviewed a product.
A person who used a search result to access your website.
Every year I renew my Google Analytics Certification because it is important to me to stay current. The internet landscape is always changing. Web trends come and go. Often, without anyone else noticing. But, I notice.
The Google Analytics That I See
There is an art to Google Analytics and a digital artist – I understand how to work with numbers to create art. I also know how to see patterns in numbers, to capture trends before they burn out. Every year I return to the Google Academy eager to refine and define my SEO, Google Analytics, and Google Ad talents.
Thre are three things that happen with every Google Academy course without fail:
I always learn something new.
I always complete the course with a deeper understanding of what is important to Google.
When creating a logo – the process can be very different from one client to the next. Often the clients expectations and lack of experience can account for the varied design processes.
Designing a Logo for a Brand
Given my client pool, I am lucky to work with creative people. I surround myself with skillful and creative types that are seldom wrong when it comes to the principles of visual composition.
When clients come to me for graphic design services – they often have the design concept and brand philosophy developed. At which time – my role as the graphic designer is defined. I am there to ensure that the logo renders correctly and is aesthetically pleasing – while reaching the project design objective.
Designing the logo for a Brand.That’s the natural Logo Design approach. The conceptual developmental of the Brand is complete. The visual logo simply needs to acquire the right personality.
And the Rough Sketches can quickly move into refined ideas.
Designing a Logo without a Brand
Yes, I know – as a graphic designer we should never let this happen. But it does. Maybe you like the business idea or the client is refreshing, or you just feel like giving someone a break. Whatever the reason – you allow the client to move forward to the design process, without a brand. With the idea of working backward to establish the brand philosophy.
The difference between the old client and the newbie is that the experienced have structured their thoughts into a formatted project plan. The other client this has the ideas in their head. It isn’t that they don’t know – they just have never been asked before. And so the process begins.
From Logo to Brand
For most of the world, the role of Branding and Logo Design is confusing. The experienced graphic designer understands that the Brand is the business reputation – the business equity – built upon reliable products and reliable service.
The Logo Design – while the logo is the first visual component of the branding process. The logo does not stand alone to create or maintain the business values and customer loyalty.
For more information on how to build a strong, loyal brand – read my blog BUILDING A BRAND.
Creating a logo without a brand is not an ideal approach. But, as many graphic designers understand – especially those graphic designers that work with start-ups. You as the designer may be the first person in the world to ask your clients about their business goals.
Your Graphic Designer is the only person who cares to ask you branding questions
Be honest, no-one else is interested in our work ideas. People are not stopping me in the street and asked about my yearly business goals, or what I hope to achieve ten years from now. No one cares about my moral stands. I do however get stopped in the grocery store to answer computer tech and design questions. Which is typically fine, expect when selecting toilet rolls – that I like to do alone.
Building the Brand backward
The logo creating begins. In this case, the client was more visual that conceptual.
Crossey Receives Adobe Award for Digital Storytelling
(Asheville, NC) – Technology offers unlimited global reach for personal storytelling and experiential sharing via digital tools and social media platforms. Gary Crossey, CEO, Irish Guy Productions (www.irishguy.us), an Asheville-based business, has been recognized by Adobe Education for Digital Storytelling curriculum design.
“We live in a world where students have unlimited resources to create, revise and share their unique stories with students and teachers around the world,” notes Crossey, a native of Northern Ireland. “I am honored that Adobe has recognized me for my work utilizing current digital trends to connect Asheville students with global audiences.”
A native of Northern Ireland, Crossey received his B.A. from AIU Atlanta. He has taught computer classes for faculty and staff at UNC Asheville, AB Tech Community College, and other institutions. In 2009, AB Tech honored Crossey as the Continuing Education Faculty Member of the Year.
Every year, I look forward to the Pantone Color predictions. And, if colors are anything to go by - 2016 is about going back to basics. The design craze is clean and precise. Pure color has returned to mainstream culture.
Do color trends reflect modern society?
The selection of the top ten color predictions for 2016 is not random. The selection is a sincere reflection of our modern society. Most people do not notice color trends. The consumer dollar depends upon its success.
People who work with color - do so with meaning and intent. I have spent hundreds of hours processing color photography. I have trained my eye for Color Correction. And training my brain with Color Theory. And creating artwork with an in-depth knowledge of color limitation for print and the web. For people like me, color is much more than a general interest.
A bold statement with muted colors
Muted Pink and Boy are the core color values for 2016. Normally, the core color value is only one color. For the first time, Pantone included two core colors. The muted pink and boy is a strong statement in the role of equality. In 2016, the role of men and women in society has changed. Core values are different. A redefining of the gender role has happened. And here we are, the muted pink and blue - one no louder than the other - on an equal playing field. A bold statement with muted colors.
What is important about the color selection?
COLOR - Back to Basics
The Red-Yellow-Blue (RYB) combination is perhaps the most meaningful. Red-Yellow-Blue combination make-up the primary colors for creating all other colors. Pantone showcases not the primary colors of Red, Yellow, and Blue. The message here is to get creative. Experiment with the primary colors - see what happens.
Pantone reinforces its message to be creative and experiment with the Battleship Gray choice. The color that materializes when you mix too much Red-Yellow-Blue together. Pantone makes you fail a success.
Yes, too much pigment is a top trending color. There is no losing for experimenting with color in 2016.
Download 2016 Color Trend Swatches
Download the 2016 Color Trend color swatches for free from Adobe Color.
“A summation of my nervous system, religious inklings and aesthetic ideas” Michael Snow
In the first scene, a woman in a fur coat enters the room accompanied by two men carrying a bookshelf or cabinet. The woman instructs the men where to place this piece of furniture and they all leave. Later, the same woman returns with a female friend, they drink the beverages they brought and listen to “Strawberry Fields Forever” on the radio. Long after they leave, what sounds like breaking glass is heard. At this point, a man (played by filmmaker Hollis Frampton) enters and inexplicably collapses on the floor. Later, the woman in the fur coat reappears and makes a phone call, speaking, with strange calm, about the dead man in her apartment whom she has never seen before.
In the end, one can hear what sound like police sirens, but could just as well be a part of the musical score, a distinct piece of minimalist music that pairs tones at random. These tones shift in frequency (and in “wavelength“) as the camera analyzes the space of the anonymous apartment. What begins as a view of the full apartment zooms (the zoom is not precisely continuous as the camera does change angle slightly, noticeably near the very end) and changes focus slowly across the forty-five minutes, only to stop and come into perfect focus on a photograph of the sea on the wall.
TITLE: Spiral Jetty
“The earth’s history seems at times like a story recorded in a book each page of which is torn into small pieces. Many of the pages and some of the pieces of each page are missing” – Robert Smithson
Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson
“it deals with limitations of perception through the camera eye as Bob and I struggled through a muddy New Jersey swamp. Verbal direction cannot easily be followed as the reeds crash against the camera lens blocking vision and forming continuously shifting patterns, confusion ensues.” Smithson said.
“it’s about deliberate obstructions or calculated aimlessness”.
This was attained by having Holt walk through the swamp while simultaneously filming, only seeing where she was walking by looking through the lens of her Bolex camera as Smithson gave her verbal instructions which he recorded as he spoke them.
Left side Right side
Jonas translates her performance strategies to video, applying the inherent properties of the medium to her investigations of the self and the body.
Jonas performs in a direct, one-on-one confrontation with the viewer, using the immediacy and intimacy of video as conceptual constructs. Exploring video as both a mirror and a masking device, and using her body as an art object, she undertakes an examination of self and identity, subjectivity and objectivity.
Creating a series of inversions, she splits her image, splits the video screen, and splits her identification within the video space, playing with the spatial ambiguity of non-reversed images (video) and reversed images (mirrors). Though Jonas’ approach is formalist and reductive, her performance reveals an ironic theatricality. Illustrating the phenomenology of video as a mirror, Left Side Right Side is a classic of early performance-based, conceptual video.
Art Make Up
In each of these four related films, the artist applies a successive layer of colored makeup (white, pink, green, and finally black) to his face and upper torso. While he masks himself literally, the title implies that in so doing he also creates himself, “makes himself up.”
Initially, the films were intended to be projected simultaneously on four walls of a room. Although this form of installation was never realized for this piece, Nauman employed the method for subsequent film and video installations.
QUOTE Source: www.eai.org/title.htm?id=605
You can no longer think about website design with considering website design for smartphone users. The adoption rate of people accessing website content via their smartphones is HUGE!
Website Design for SmartPhone Users
The one thing people like better than their smartphone has something to do on with their smartphone. There is no denying it Smartphone users are accessing web content, at an alarming rate.
What are the SEO reporting?
During recently web site traffic reports for my clients. Most of the popular sites are reporting smartphone access rates to be between 53% – 65%. With online trends indicating an increased spending rate with Smartphone users.
How the same site content loads on different devices?
With so many different devices on the market. And people using a broad range of various devices to access the web – it may surprise you what your website experience for each user.
The primary objective for Asheville Super Duper Team Computer Training website design was to be user-friendly. The interface and navigation system needed to run successfully on all devices. The core principles of the Super Duper Team Computer Training is to teach people how to improve their skills with computers.
When considering website design for smartphone users you can quickly see even with the different iPhone models how the content loads differently.
Asheville Website Design Example on iPad Users
The same website content accessed via an iPad provides the user with a different layout – and choices. Both in landscape and portrait view the site content is loading in four columns – similar to the experience of someone accessing the web content via a laptop or desktop computer.
On a computer display, the navigation section spreads across the top of the page. On the smartphone, the navigational buttons stack on top of one another.
The iPad and iPad mini website content load the same on both devices.
The website loads slightly differently on the Blackberry device. In portrait mode, the layout exposes a small amount of the first website publication.
The Google Galaxy Nexus appears to load more of the first post than an of the other smartphones. Both the iPad and Computer load the website content in four column, infinite scrolling homepage.
WOW - Even for me, that was a difficult class. I am glad that I have the experience of advanced programming During the Adobe App Design class I utilized by knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS, and ActionScript.
How long does it take to build an International brand?
It might surprise you to see the historical timeline of your favorite brands.
Hope you enjoy the interactive timeline – over time I will add more content to the timeline and informational table. If you would like to add information to the either the table or timeline please email email@example.com.
Logo has changed
Still in Business
Changed 3 times.
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase Bank
The corporate name was dropped in 1995
Changed 3 times.
Merged in 1999 with Exxon to form ExxonMobil
Merged in 1999 with Mobil to form ExxonMobil
Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Yes – The egg packaging was one of the most successful product launches of all time.
The brand no longer use the plastic egg as it is seen as wasteful.
Internet tech is often blamed for moving forward to fast. The changes happen too quickly for people to keep up. Sure, sometimes this may be true. However, there are some techs that flood around for years before taking a hold (Bluetooth). Or, there are other techs that are reinvented, or at least relaunched and begin another cycle of usage. The latter example is the certainly the story of the GIF animation.
GIF animation early days may have been jumping hamsters and spinning blinking buttons (my personal fav). Which is a far cry to presenting high-end fashion for some of the most pristine fashion houses. 2015 is the year that GIF animation returned to the tech world as a stylist fashionable option for delivering media rich content.
VIsually I wanted to create a mirror image of the music - using colors, tones, and contrast to create the more involved parts of the music. In Premiere - I am a big fan of the blend tools... which I used on ALL OF THE FOOTAGE - nothing got spared! The Blend Tool (same as found in Photoshop)... simply blends the content of layers together.
Using 3 pieces of footage, I copied each piece of footage - and placed one on top of the other. I then flipped the top layer, and applied a blend - which creates a low tech mirror effect. The patterns that go across the screen are the wipers on my car. I did slow the footage a bit, so that the wipers would match better with the beat.
The background is a great example of LOW-TECH. The water effect was shot with a $20 digital camera - the video is water from an over flow. The main effect of the shining water is that the cheap camera got wet. The footage imported in at 420 px x 240 px (cheap camera). I placed the video footage in After Effects, and copied the layer 8 times, each layer with a blend to pump up the color saturation. Once I got something I could work with, I copied all of the content, flipped and aligned with the original (making my video footage twice the width).
The second piece of footage that I used - was an old stained glass window with lead. Using my smart phone (build in camera) I aligned the lense with the lead of the window and recorded moving along the lead. The center of the window has a purple and red tulip, that I placed a desk lamp behind to highlight the colored glass. (I added a screenshot of the window).
The third shot - was again captured using my smart phone. The image circle image is the inside of a purple bottle. I placed the lense right over the opening while moving a desk lamp around the outside of the bottle - created an awesome color blend.
The 21st century presents us with huge challenges. How can we empower people to be active participants in creating a world we want to live in? Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, offers a vision for the future - a world where every individual has the freedom and opportunity to develop their unique capabilities to the full.
1989 - Tim Berners-Lee Proposed the World Wide Web.
1991 - Text based websites.
1993 - Mosaic Browser is launched.
1994 - The W3C is created.
1994 - Amazon arrive.
1995 - Design with Tables.
1996 - Browser War: Microsoft and Netscape.
1996 - Internet Explorer - Uses CSS and tables.
1996 - Flash - in the pan. The unlimitless website design Flash Era.
1996 - Website Design with Dynamic HTML.
1997 - Macromedia release Dreamweaver website application.
1998 - Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) begin to impact website design.
2003 - WordPress arrives and provides user driven content websites - takes a while to catch on.
2007 - Grids and Framework websites.
2010 - Responsive Website Design - why didn't any website developer think of this solution years before?
2010 - Flat graphics are in vogue for website design. Yes, Apple did it first for the iPad. But rather than a new solution, Apple choice to step back to the early years of website design when graphics file size was a concern.
I was 15 when Tim Berners-Lee proposed the internet. A few years later I was knee deep in design websites with code. I was the graphic designer in 1995 who understood what an impact TABLES would be! I built websites that were balanced with spacer transparent GIF tiles. Those days were web design wonders.
Upon the arrival of CSS in 1996 - I grasped the potential. However, unlike any other website code CSS is easy. Too easy.
In 1996, Website Design and Development was hard stuff. The learning curve was so short for CSS, that it took programmers years to adapt to using CSS as the design element for controlling the website design.
You have got to recall that 1996 was also the "Flower Power" year of website design. Yes, we had Flash. I WAS A BIG FLASH FAN & MASTER FLASH DEVELOPER. My first Flash website (www.dagnabit.tv) won first prize from WIRED magazine. I loved working with Flash.
Graphic Design and Website Design Color Trends for 2015.
We begin the winter season with the color trends for 2015 starting to take effect. The inspiration for 2015 is nature. From the earth tones to the blues and grays of the sky. Bright colors take a backseat for deep hues. Orange plays a strong role to balance the blue hues.
Deploying media rich content requires a wealth of tools, knowledge, insight, and experience. The books I have wrote for address how to best use digital media software within an adapting environment.
My focus is always on how to develop and deploy online content seamlessly into complex applications. These books help to address the best practices for deploying online content. With highlights on some of the best tools for building our online environment.
Published Art, Tech, and Web Design Books
The difficult digital media problems often have the most basic solutions.
While the easiest tasks can often be impossible to complete.
A-B Technical Community College, Asheville NC adopted the "Exploring Multimedia for Designers" book into their Digital Media Program. The book was used as the textbook for DME 140 Audio/Video.
Long gone are the days of launching "Notepad" to write some clean crisp code - web developers have a much larger job to do.
Web Developers and Digital Media Artists have to deliver the content they create with the industry tools they have available. Dreamweaver has the tools needed to built any online environment. The three books that I worked on are an introduction to working with Dreamweaver to build websites.
The objective of the books is to development the future of Digital Media by creating perfect solutions that are adaptable for customizable web site installations, online applications and Online Multimedia Players. Keeping ahead of the Digital Media trends requires an understanding of the tools of the industry.
Like many people, I use Wikipedia as my starting point for all information.
Over the years I have come to depend on Wikipedia. Often using Wikipedia to help build the foundation for my classes. I use Wikipedia so much I first got involved with editing and updating incorrect information. Which was followed by adding new content and having my photography accepted.
A photograph say a million words. Having Wikipedia accept my photography is a great horror.
Here are some of the images that are being used by Wikipedia.
The main page which I monitor for corrections and new content.
IMMERSION is an online project that aims to address four precise areas of our email usage. By generating visual reports on your overall email usage. You are first stuck with self-reflection. Is it really possible that I composed (replied) to that many emails?
For most, it is now difficult to think what life was like prior to email. Two decades of internet usage we have witnessed an incredible increase of users. In December 1995, an estimated 16 million people logged onto the world wide web. In March 2014, 2,973 million people accessed the internet. In 20 years almost half (40.7%) of the world population now access the internet. An estimated 204 million emails are sent every minute. With 1440 minutes in the a day (204 milion x 1440) ... you can do the math!
Until recently accessing the web for many was to check email. Email was initially used to connect and correspond with family, friends, and businesses. Social Networking channels have transferred a large part of what was considered base email interaction - the simple chit chat.
The next aspect of Immersion, is the Art of connection. Visually the graphics relate how connected you are to one group compared to another. The graphic will also help visualize the connection between groups.
Privacy is perhaps the third reaction to the visualizations. As awesome as this visualization tool is, it is available to everyone. When Google hand over your email records to the FBI (or other agency). This is what they see. WIthout even opening any of your email, it is now easy to build an entire history of your usage in moments. Having access to one email account may not reveal a huge amount of information. However, having access to a vast number of emails, and cross referencing data reports - well, you can figure out that conclusion.
The next aspect of Immersion, is the Art of connection. Visually the graphics relate how connected you are to one group compared to another. The graphic will also help visualize the connection between groups.
The final aspect of using Immersion is for strategy. From my email data reports it is easy to see where most of your email time is spent. Which clients or family members have the most interactions (demands)? I can't say I was surprised to see which one of my clients emails me to most. What I found to be of most interest. The one client I find the hardest to understand via email, is also the person who emails me the most.
But visually seeing how much, or little we connect may have a profound impact on how you view and react to these relationships.
Over the past 15+ years, the face of the graphical internet has changed. Often most of these online trends go unnoticed, or at least not talked about (considerably). Unless those changes happen on Facebook, then everyone has something to say.
The changes I am talking about are different than when Facebook make an update. Those changes come from one online business. Online trends come from more than one source. The trend may very well start from one source. When Apple updated the iPad to include more “simpler” icons than before – what followed was an online trend.
Why do online trends have an impact?
Everyone that works with a website has a sense of what is cool, and what is out. In internet years – Flash may be but a distant memory, Today, every business runs directly to WordPress for their online solution. With clean, functional, and user-friendly themes.
In 2014 – the modern website was light on design – has thoughtfully written content. Highlighted with photos or graphics. Forget the bells and whistles – we know they have never worked. Clean layout with precise content is king.
Here are the websites that have that curbside appeal (more sites to be added soon).
Studio O+A is a San Francisco-based interior design firm.
Adobe invited me to join their beta testing team. I said yes. Got approved. And am now part of the Adobe crew. Yes, that's right. I get access to prerelease apps. Giving me a lovely sneak peek.
What does that mean?
Adobe provide me with future apps to test drive. With access to use new tools. Prior to their release as new apps. With the 24/7 Creative Cloud. Adobe is always working on new tools. And I get my hands on them first.
How does that impact you?
With an inside scope. I will provide app insight. What to expect? And the why. There are strict rules to when I may reveal. Adobe will first launch the app, with demos. I then post my findings. Adobe does not medal with what I publish. Only that I publish after app release.
What does that mean to me?
I get access to the beta software of the future. Insight to what is coming next. Upcoming trends. Which I will share on my blog and classes.
Getting the Design Bug
Back in 1998 I entered my first computer lab. Less than a year later I managed the lab. Yes, I got the Photoshop bug. Followed by Illustrator. Premiere. Poser. Director. Dreamweaver. Painter. AutoCAD. I was there for the launch of InDesign. That was my first three months. I am a fast learner!
Fast forward all those years. Back to now. Media has changed. Back then, they still preferred print. The world wide web was a notion. AOL was trendy. No one dared use their real ID. Now with hand-held devices we have access. Right in our pocket. There is no limit. And everyone has their name and birthday posted on Facebook.
My first call to action.
Test drive the new Adobe video apps. Yes Premiere Pro is now a rocket. Adobe video apps have always had a powerhouse of easy to use tools. Tools that have improved. But mostly, tools that work.
Look for my upcoming blog posts on the New Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects features.
The idea of creating your own e-book can be exciting. That is until you see your own content in an e-book format. Those design ideas - are for the most part not included in the final hand-held device rendering.
Last week, I spent most of the week reading Cooking Books in e-book formats. During the week I jumped between using the Kindle app on my phone, iPad, MacBook Air, and HP laptop - each device presented a different experience with a changing array of tools.
NOTE TO SELF: Drop caps do not work on the Kindle app.
What you can expect from one device to the other:
The device determines the best settings for the content.
The reader can select:
The size of the font.
How wide to make the columns.
How many columns to use.
How many words to include on each line.
How much space to include in the leading (space between lines)
What the background color should be: white, black.
And what page margins to use.
A few other end-user considerations:
Image wrap rarely works well.
Images need descriptive captions as images often load onto the device screen alone and out of context.
Aligning images with content is different, as break pages can occur unexpectedly.
While teaching a recent class on building an ebook it became very clear that few students understood the format. The simple truth is that most of the student were also not reading ebooks to have a working knowledge of the format. While the other remaining student who had experience, their knowledge was based on using one device.
The launch of ebooks have many parallels with the early years of web development and design. When web content was restricted by access limitations. Over the years, the web became somewhat standardized, with CSS3 and HTML5 adaptation. As of now the ebook realm does not have clear standard practices that can interpolated content from server to device without some degree of visual compromise. Yes, the line between content and visual integrity are getting closer - while the interactive elements drag behind. When building an ebook - you have got to visualize how the interactive components of the book will be.
The parts of an Ebook that need to built.
When using Adobe InDesign to create your ebook, each of the following pages and features should be included within your InDesign document. Often creating a Master Pages will help maintain the visual integrity of the publication.
Color Front Book Cover - PNG format.
Color Back Book Cover - PNG format.
Title Page - and author credit.
Table of Contents.
The Book - With Chapter Titles and Sectional Consideration.
Include artwork and illustrations.
Index of book (optional).
Book Extras - Reader Resources (optional).
Author Bio and historical background.
Link to Author's Website and Newsletter.
Promotional Page - other publications, products, and services.
The Book Blurb
The book blurb is an essential component to a successful ebook. Without a blurb readers have no idea what your book is about. Your blurb should include enough information to connect with your reader and encourage them to download your publication. A poorly written blurb will result in poor downloads.
The Table of Contents
Ebook readers rely on the Table of Contents to navigate the book. Unlike a printed book that the reader is award about being in the middle of a book, compared to being at the end of a book, or within the first few pages. Knowing your placement in a book is determined by the feedback into your hands and eyes. It is easy for the reader of a printed page to see and feel what page they are (within reason). While the ebook reader has limited visual feedback and no feel feedback to determine their placement in a book. The void created by the reduced feedback from an ebook is at this time dealt with the Table of Contents. Permitting the reader to quickly move between chapters without have to flip one electronic page at a time.
Writing the book Facebook for Business was an essential to the success of my class. I first developed the Facebook for Business class as an online class. Offered directly from my website. I later developed the the class into a six hour presentation, which I taught at Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College. I later moved the Facebook for Business class to Charlotte Street Computers.
Reducing the Facebook for Business class to 3 hours made the class length more practical for business owners. And adding the Facebook for Business book for future use. The students could access the Facebook for Business book for one year after the class.
For many people this was the first time that they were working with a living document. Given how often Facebook is updated and changes, my book would update too. Providing my students with the most current solutions available.
Example of how to layer searchable text over your website graphic. A great method to keep your graphics up-to-date. While improving your SEO ranking.
Sample of series of marketing graphics created to promote computer classes.
What made this project interesting was how I coded the graphics into the website.
We know that Search Engines do not read text in graphics. Having searchable text is one of the most important elements for any website. I created a practical custom CSS solution. That is visually pleasing to the website visitor, while capturing interest of the search engines.
NOTICE: you can not select the text from the top part of the graphics, but you can select the red notice text. My method makes the graphic content completely optimized for the search engines. Continued
It might be the Unofficial Adobe CS5 Blog, but they have rounded up some really interesting time saving tips and tech information for us everyday users of Adobe Creative Suite 5 & 5.5.
The Unofficial Adobe CS5 Blog is heavy with follow along video tutorials – and with 22 different categories running from the A of Acrobat to the P of Photoshop there is certainly something there for you, as long as you time a little time to dig around the web site a bit.
A logo is not a magic wand. A well-managed brand can do much to create a loyal customer base. However, a logo can not take a bad product and make it good. A logo can not change how a corporation, group, or organization is run.
A logo can represent a good business repetition. A well-designed logo joined with strong customer support and reliable products – creates a strong logo.
The standard practice of having a business logo got momentum in 1862 when Guinness included the symbol of a harp on its bottle. From this moment forward the concept of creating a household brand was adopted.
With every new brand being differentiated by a visual symbol.
There is an art to choosing the correct font. Typefaces set the tone and feel for all graphic design project. Finding that font that can stand out independently – yes that is the challenge for all graphic designer.
New Apple Ads – Be sure to check out the article posted on ZDnet.
Working & Teaching on both a Mac and PC (XP and Vista) – with good and bad happening on either platform. I would appreciate Apple getting back on focus by marketing it’s own OS.
The iPOD ads are beautifully created, with a strong message of unity, oneness and a company who cares. Bringing in GREEN issues into their marketing has enforced that Apple are an honest company that cares. Granted the PC ads are funny, but as consumers can we really buy into “funny, creative and green” as coming all from the same vein?
As a consumer of both platforms, I would benefit from Apple taking the time to inform me about their OS with the same upbeat cheer their do with all of their other product lines. The first run of PC “stupid” ads were incredibly hilarious, to which Microsoft responded with some really well crafted television commercials that rebranded the PC user, without any attack toward Apple.
Do we need a replay of Coke and Pepsi? I don’t think so. Come on Apple do better next time… we already love your shiny silver boxes – shiny things! That’s all it thats.
Irish Guy Productions is proud to announce that Gary Crossey returned for the second year as a judge for the Competitive Events Series of the National Awards Program. PBL’s National Awards Program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. Through state-based competition, students compete in events testing their business knowledge and skills. State winners compete for honors at the National Leadership Conference. Gary Crossey adjudicated two sections that included Digital Video Production and E-Business.
For the Digital Video Production contestants were required to produce a 4-minute informational video spot for high-school graduates about pursuing a career as an educator.
For the second topic, Gary Crossey reviewed and assessed the E-Business Web Site Development submissions. Students were responsible for designing and developing a user friendly E-commerce web site that was cross-platform compatible, while adhering to web standards, accessibility and semantic guidelines.
Gary Crossey returns for a second year as a judge for the PBL National Awards Program.
Irish Guy Productions have spent the past year reviewing and working with a variety of different Content Management System (CMS) – many of you have seen the active results right here on our website – with quite a mixture of good and bad results.
We have finally rested upon WordPress as our web tool. Compared to other similar online applications WordPress has an array of plug-ins, themes and customization capabilities that makes working with WordPress effective… but certainly not without its own challenges and innate problems.
Out of the box, WordPress is a basic blog website. Adapting WordPress to function as a CMS is a completely different situation.
Irish Guy Productions utilize WordPress as the sturdy foundation to build a powerful online application driven website that can easily integrate into the most popular social network websites, be completely optimized for high-performance SEO ranking, create automatic back-ups, authorize membership levels and responsibilities, conduct newsletter campaigns and subscription statistics, track online visitors, and yes also accessible for real-time updates with users access available from any computer or hand-held device that has an Internet connection – without additional software or expense.