Relax & Rejuvenate arrived with an out-of-date WordPress site. The theme was too old to update. And the WordPress installation had long expired (and failed all attempts to upgrade). We also streamlined the Hosting and Domain management. Transferring our clients to a Fast Forward Hosting account is essential to the website performance and security.
SEO Services / Design
Getting to know your customer’s customers is the most important aspect of creating a website.
Who is the end user?
Are they local?
Are they repeat customers?
What is their online experience?
Just a few of the questions. What we quickly discovered.
Local Repeat Customers had no need for the website.
Tourists relied on the site.
Google Maps had multiple lists.
Website Design Consideration
WordPress is a suitable platform for most everyone. With a carefully configured Theme. And optimized content.
Being user-friendly is the most important consideration for all websites.
For this site, we had reported that most all of the traffic and conversions are from people traveling. We knew it was important to provide a website that will load onto mobile devices quickly.
Providing the end user with a strong call to action – CALL US TO BOOK. Is the most important function. With Directions being the second action.
Website Booking System
Adding a booking system to your website is a HUGE deal. For the end-user, your customer. Visitors can book their appointment online at any time and from anywhere. For the website, we kept the booking system very simple. Most customers when asked said they liked the ability to pay online so that they could focus on their spa experience.
Google My Business & Google Maps
There is no getting away from Google My Business. Google Map had populated the Asheville business in four different locations. At one point the only correct location was published as “Permanently closed.” We claimed all of the lose Google My Business listings. Tracked down all the different variations of the address that were online.
With the information on Google corrected. Fewer customers reported having difficulties locating the spa.
Every good blog needs a strong graphic. Asheville Dental Care like a crisp, clean typeface. Eating apples are a key element of the blog. At the store, I bought the best-looking apples they had.
In the photo studio
Once in my photo studio, it is lights, camera, action. The studio is not a place that I spend time figuring stuff out. I arrive at the photo studio with a task to do, a concept devloped, and outcomes expected. In this case, the subject is an Apple. But what an apple. It took six takes to get the right bite incision into the Apple. I did use the apples to make a pie (I like pie).
What I did not say. I bought red apples, not green. The photography I did was a red apple. With Photoshop I adjusted the color values of the Apple to make it appear green (to match the Asheville Dental Care brand).
Greeson & Fast were ready for a website redesign. The theme selection was a basic Hero slideshow with a simple grid system layout. The client liked the user-friendly experience on their previous website design.
Accordion Navigation for Content
Using an accordion system to display content provides the right look for the website. The design objective – clean and fresh. The clients interior design work does speak for itself. In the Portfolio Session, there are no words; the entire page is a wall of beautiful photos. I strongly recommended keyword conscience content on the other pages. The design that we arrived at was to use an accordion navigation system. Search Engines can easily rank the page content – and the end user can request to see as much or as little of the written content.
The best web designers have the talent and experience to create the right balance between graphic design and technology. Website design technologies have come a long way. In the early 1980’s Edward Tufte said that informational design needs to be minimalism to be understood. Last year, web technology and design concepts caught up with visual communications century old standards and perceptions.
Today’s world engages with online content differently than before. We measure a person’s attention span in seconds. We rate 3-seconds to load a home page as slow. We know experienced online users reject extra content as meaningless and distracting. Web users know what they want.
Web Site Features
Less-Is-More Focal Point.
For the Sweet Carolina Labradoodles (SCL) website design project – we began with the end user in mind. With the graphic design approach of Less-is-More. With any internet site, it is important not to overwhelm your audience. Creating a primary focal point is essential.
For Sweet Carolina Labradoodles the focus on the homepage is the dogs. Nothing more, and nothing less. The right amount of information is on the homepage. The audience is welcomed to the website and embraced with the strong brand colors for Sweet Carolina Labradoodle.
On the sidebar is the “Countdown Clock.” for the new arrivals of puppies. The sidebar also includes quick links to the bio pages and recent blog posts. The SCL website design holds true to essential elements of graphic design.
Establish your Brand
The logo and brand color are clearly stated and instantly understood. The Brand secured without distracting or overshadowing the doggie photos.
Successful modern web design can be highly intricate. For SCL the design involved a layered approach. Presenting information and functions to the end user as they needed them. For the first time visitor to the site, there are the large photos and links to each’s dog’s bio. There is more information available for someone research adopting a dog. As well as an adoption application for website visitors who wishes to begin the adoption process.
Have More Information Available
Have information to discover for users who wish to dig deeper.
As well as more details. Have functions for users who want to engage. When your audience needs to participate with you – make it easy.
For Sweet Carolina Labradoodles we made the online process seamless, cost-effective, and straightforward to complete.
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.
Creating content for PBS was awesome. The website banners were firsted designed to be deployed in Flash. The example posted is an animated gif (for our iPhone & iPad users). Some image quality is lost during the Flash to GIF conversion.
Working with the Greeson & Fast Interior Design team in Asheville has been an incredible experience. Their design work is exquisite, modern, and forward thinking. Creating their online portfolio was a very natural experience. The website remained active during all stages of the redesign, with a focus on SEO and improved usability.
Greeson & Fast have a clear and efficient communication chain – and have always had a definite vision of what they wanted from their website.
“The website has got to be user-friendly, secure, and easy to navigate.”
Made In Honduras published in the New York Times and The Washington Post.
If you don believe in online marketing, you might want to track how many clicks these banners got – it was huge!
Using Adobe Flash, I created the Motion Graphics from still photography. Due to the size requirements for Banner ads, I had to reduce these ads to a 27K file size. Creating a banner ad is certainly one skill, having that banner come in under 27 K is quite another skill altogether. Data file reduction is a skill that I excel in.
The work of Mitchell Lonas, Asheville is outstanding. The website was built under the close direction from the artist. It is was very important to Mitchell that his artwork show well. As a web designer, it is critical for me to understand my client’s aesthetics.
Mitchell first request was that his website should be, “user-friendly, and easy to get around.” Due to the heavy traffic that Mitchell’s website receives since his work was featured in The Twilight Series (2012) and Architectural Digest (2014).
Much of Mitchell work ranges within the earth tones. The website color palette is directly influenced from the earth tones that Mitchell used in his work. The darker screen for the viewer significantly reduces the brightness (similar to reading a Kindle in night vision). I found that the details in Mitchell’s work showed better with a darker palette – which created an impressive balance between Mitchell’s visual aesthetics and my values of usability and utility from the website were met.
While working with my clients, it is imperative that we are collaborative. A successful website needs that a driving focus behind it to maintain success.
The sample animation has been converted to an animated gif. The original project was package as a Flash banner ad.
Storyboard your project
The importance of creating a true to form storyboard is the key to keeping any design project on budget. I love making storyboards. I like to arrive to a video shot, or begin an animation – and know that what I am creating has been approved.
People who are new to digital media often underestimate the value of a true storyboard. Those who enter into a motion design project without a storyboard are a bit crazy, or rich. Ah, to have clients who are that rich to waste production time on non-complete design ideas. The storyboard (even in the smallest of projects), outlines the main action of the design piece. From a well developed storyboard a client can gain a clear sense of composition and timing.
Always request a storyboard.
*Special Note: Yes, there are those designers, that take the time to create a storyboard – then go on a creative leap of faith – that’s not the person that you want doing your digital media projects.
*Special Note: Yes, there are those designers, that take the time to create a storyboard – then go on a creative leap of faith – that’s not the person that you want doing your digital media projects.
Animated banner ads created to publish on New York Times and Washington Post. Believe me, I never saw so much travel before. These banners were not only loaded up millions of times an hour, 1000’s of people were click on the follow-through message.
Storyboard for Banner Ad
Motion Graphics take a long time to create. Having a precise storyboard is a great method to visualize the end result prior to starting.
Getting to refine to the Unilever International Management Training Website was an excellent project of coding tricky.
The Rexona Crystal Training Website is a stellar example of ActionScript showmanship at it’s finest. Inspired by Superman, and his Crystal home. The website was not built for the public – but rather was a special training tool – most used accessed the data via a DVD and private online network. Given the controlled environment for deployment – we were able to deliver media rich content to the viewers in a way that a conventional could not be trusted to do.
While it is not possible to share the website content – it is fair to say that much of the content was solid information of compounding data. Creating a visual environment that could transfer the data-heavy content into an engaging training opportunity.
Creating the brand, motion graphics and one-page website for the DJ iGuy project was a fun coding project. I created the website using advanced HTML 5 and CSS positioning. CSS can move the content around the screen. Unlike other one-page, that can either go up and down or right to left.
Building sites in Dreamweaver with advanced coding is an excellent showcase – not ideal for updating. The DJ iGuy website could move in four directions – up, down, right, or left. The HTML 5 sites are ideal for static web content. Or for a small website that does not have to be often updated.
Working with the Chrome Domes brothers was an excellent experience. Both guys were out there trying something new. During which time they worked on some different developments to bring their product to market.
Clean and precise graphic design solution for Asheville Portal site. Showcasing and connecting the six user resources provided by the Asheville design firm. The icon graphics are Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). The SVG format is naturally a small file size. Small file sizes reduce page loading time. This website was developed to load in under a second – on any device.
The Asheville Hair Project was a fun experience. Creating a fun hip website with Dreamweaver is always fun. The website was a favorite tool for the Asheville production – with many media outlets crediting the internet site as their source for information.
The Asheville Hair Project also sold the tickets from their website.
Asheville WebSite For Local Production
I also created a series of digital animation projections for the Asheville Hair Project. The American Flag Dancers animation played during the closing scene of the production.
Historical Website opens with the extended family tree. Many of the family members died during the Second World War and no photos were available of them. The website objective was to collect information and pictures of the entire family tree.
Each family could also few just their family tree – with each icon active to launch the personal profile of each family member.
Each family member was given their page. That viewers could add information, photos, and at times the person name (which had been lost over time).
Oh, the days of Flash were a fun time for website design. Sure, connection speed was certain. And, smartphones or tablets were a far off idea. What Flash did deliver to the internet user was motion. The My Native Ireland website was a project of passion. I do miss my Curved Scroll Bar – it was quite fancy (even for then). I wrote the ActionScript to create the scrollbar to find the design of this website. The paint brushes I created in Adobe Illustrator. The entire site had a sense of soft movement – which captured the Asheville store so perfectly.
Screen Captures of Web Site
As a Website Designer and Developer, working with Flash was fun!
Building a website for your local TV station is a great horror. Working with the URTV group was a fun project.
The brand and style of the Asheville TV Station were carefully planned. The launch of the website provided the Asheville members with the ability to book equipment, upload new content, connect with other Asheville TV producers.
The design goal of the website – simple and clean. The entire website design was about form and function, while also looking for ways to more expressive.
Custom Website Navigation
The Asheville TV station URTV website included a great deal of information. However, it was quickly discovered that the website main focus for visitors were 1-of-4 web pages.
Given the draw to these four pages – I quickly created a custom navigation system that would let the website visitor access these four web pages directly.
The use of the remote was a design element that we all liked. Each website page had some type of digital tool or code.
Asheville Small Business website (before there was Wicked Weed). Was created to include the following functions:
Easy to use the drop-down menu.
Interactive events calendar.
User login – and ability to make revisions.
Basic shopping cart.
Website Photo Galleries.
Embed youtube promotional video.
Gary Crossey created all the graphics, photography and promotional videos for the website.
Product Website Pages
Having an online program that looked good and functioned are difficult to find online. When created the Class Schedule page for the site I used dark & light contrast for the date, time, and cost. While opting for a light, less stress on the reader’s eyes. Soft green background with crisp black type.
For Fastfwd, the mock was clean and precise. With content in five central sections – and each chapter assigned a color code.
The website visitor could also access website content by click on 1 of 3 menu drawers.
Sections – with labels and color code.
Quick links – most recent content.
The Fastfwd prototype built with ActionScript. While the website framework is clean, open, and neat. The white background is serving as an interactive stage where the viewer can interact and watch content unfold.
Planning Website Content
Most businesses fail to spend enough time on considering how their site content is to present. For most websites it seems sufficient to toss the content simply at the screen and run away.
Personally, I do not like that method of managing website content.
Website Design styles are similar to an old pair of pants. Once, those pants were new. They were the pants wore on special occasions. The pants quickly start to look old and dated. But, a one-point-in-time those were the best pants!
GIF Animation of Flash Navigation System. Web Design is slowly returning to the freedom of Flash web design. With many themes include robust apps that are engaging via any device.
A coding pleasure that WON FIRST PRIZE for BEST BUSINESS WEBSITE from WIRED Magazine. The Dagnabit website was my introduction to Flash and ActionScript. Before DAGNABIT I had not used Flash. I had no idea at the time that the website would be considered, let alone win the Best Business Web Site award from WIRED.
The website houses an extensive collection of work. From elaborate storyboards, animation samples, video reels, and skills (lots of stills). Everything for the DAGNABIT website is custom built. I wrote all the ActionScript. The website has a treasure of hidden features or events.
The year is 2000 – people were new to the internet and were happy to click around. Standard Screen resolutions were 720 pixels wide. Flash was an incredible option for developing web content. Fast Forward, some years and Flash content, will not play on Apple devices. For that reason – I have created video captures of the old Flash content.
The initial years of web design were exciting design times. As a young designer, I was exploring different methods for deploying online content. Even before Flash – the creative curve was already very high. There were no design rules for website design – web standards were not on the table. In fact, most no-one was at the table.
Those initial years were a testing playground without users. Media Rich Content was loaded, tested, and achieved without anyone interacting with the content. Before YouTube – Connection speeds and limited deployment tools made sharing video content.
Web Design Crosseye Graphics
The website was one large graphic. That was cut into small pieces and loaded into a table from the server. The process could be streamlined to be quite fast. Then users arrived at the internet, and the design of websites changed.
Photography created for the Crosseyed Graphics website. Set up in the early days of the internet. I built the site with HTML.
Due to slow connection speeds, the background photography was sliced into hundreds of small tiles. The small tiles would reduce bottlenecking the server while creating an interesting loading pattern for the viewer.
A long time ago – I began my website design career with an artist website. It is alway fun to work with creative people who have creative ideas. Building Tom Williams website in the early days of website design was a tremendous learning experience.
The right side panel has a slow-moving animation that I coded using ActionScript and math. The math creates a series of random numbers that would control the bend in the animated string. Creating a lively pattern, each time it played the animation cycle.