Creative Instinct Blog – Branding & Marketing Tips for Busy Professionals

Informative articles and tips on marketing for small businesses.


HOW COLORS HELP MAKE WEBSITES SUCCESSFUL

website color tips

You might not realize how important colors are in web design. But the color scheme of your website is actually going to make a huge difference and express something different to your audience. There are psychological effects behind each color and tone.

Colors Stimulate Senses

Colors can stimulate and excite people, increase their appetite, make them feel warm or make them feel tranquil. Red simply makes you excited according to those who study chromodynamics. Coke’s website is red – it gives you a feel of a lazy, hot summer day – just when you feel the need to drink Coke.

There’s more to colors in web design than just the emotional factor. People tend to gamble more under red light conditions than under blue light. This is the main reason behind cities like Las Vegas using a lot of red lights. Colors have impact on performance. Red lights make people act quicker and feel more powerful, which is not always beneficial, while blue makes people think more before acting. There is a reason STOP signs are red – you need to act right away and stop the vehicle you drive, otherwise you are in danger.

Human senses get excited about lots of stuff. One of the most effective ways to excite somebody is to project a red hue color onto the walls of their room. It’s been done before by scientists and they came with a clear conclusion. A person who lives in a red room has a higher heart rate and blood pressure than a person living in a blue room. This is because red symbolizes excitement, we all know this. There is a reason why fast food companies choose red as their main or secondary color. Good examples are Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Burger King or Pepsi (although blue is their main color).

Mixing Colors

Mixing colors is beneficial if done the right way. Mixing very complementary colors is also something people do, but it should only be done occasionally. It shouldn’t be overdone because it has a bad effect on people’s eyes. You can think of a black website with pink text. Now that’s an image I would like to get out of my head as soon as possible :).

There is a very good trick behind using complementary colors together. Drawing a thin neutral white, gray or black line around the two colored shapes will make the eyes see both colors separately. Just look at the Pepsi logo below: red and blue are separated by not only a thin layer of white, but by a quite big one. This white shape blends red and blue better then if they would be placed right on top of each other.

Image source: Pepsi

Colors and Cultures

Moreover, colors mean something else in different parts of the world. While red means luck in China, it means a lack of it in Germany. Huge corporations with lots of financial resources will use large amounts of money to study the effects different colors have on different cultures, before entering a new market. Many think it is impossible, but clients can be lost because of using the wrong colors.

And while huge corporations usually hire experts to do this research for them, the results are not always good. Every designer (and every person in general) has a tendency to like colors or combinations of colors and to use them in different situations because it’s what they personally like. This is not such a good asset when working with colors is your way of earning a salary. It is crucially important for designers to tear all their personal favorites apart and only focus on the clients and their needs.

Colors for a Website

Picking a color for a website means much more then picking YOUR favorite color. It means picking the right color in order to get the desired response from your AUDIENCE. If you know your audience well and figured out which color works best for them, you are already halfway there in the creation process. It is also quite unlikely to pick a color that will fit every visitor of your website, therefore it is even more important to be able to determine which color and tone works best for most users you target.

According to different sources, half of the people visiting a website don’t come back because of the color of the design. The first thing people need to recognize when they see your site are the brand colors. If you have multiple colors and they can’t see the most dominant, it means you should consider a redesign.

  • If you have a blue color scheme, people will likely give you a better response when in a good mood. If you want a clean, white design, it’s fine too. But if you want to make it exciting, use bright red or orange here and there. White and green work great together, and if you want to be stylish and modern without using intense colors, go for white and gray. Such a combination illustrates something glamorous, sleek, fresh, clean and classy.
  • If you like darker shades, pretty much everything works well with black as long as black is not the dominant color. A website with a black background can be fancy and look good, but is not easy to read. The two simplest combinations you can go for are black and white or black and a bright gray. Although a very powerful contrast, black and orange work really well together, but might require white for balance.
  • If you want to combine both black and white with a color, then they work really well with blue; make sure white is dominant, otherwise you need a very bright blue to dominate. Don’t give black a lot of emphasis in this combination.
  • Black and white work very well with red too, but make sure red is not dominant, as then it gets too powerful and creates an unbearable contrast with black. 
  • A third combination I would recommend is black, white and green, with the dominant/background color being white, secondary color green, and black as the accent.

Conclusion

Using the right color in your designs is crucial. Although it might sound wrong, by using the right color in accordance to your audience will increase the likelihood of them doing what you want them to do. But wrong or right, this is what all good designers work for, sending a message to an audience and then hoping to get a response from them. If you understand how color psychology works and which color fits your audience, you are a step closer to launching a successful website.

Need a new business website?

In today’s business climate, websites have to be more than pretty or functional, they must be BOTH. Your website needs to offer cutting edge design, layout, content, graphics and search engine optimization (SEO). When combined, all of these attributes contribute to the success of your website. This is why we offer the best in design, layout, content, and graphics, as well as optimizing your site for strong search engine rankings during the development process, not after your site is deployed.

Let Creative Instinct help ensure you’re getting the most out of your website. Call us at 501-244-0573, or send an email to Gwen Canfield at gwen@creativeinstinct.biz. To see websites we’ve designed for other small businesses – view our portfolio at www.creativeinstinct.biz.

Top of article, image source:  StockLogos

Article Written by:  Christian Vasile
Original article link: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/colors-in-web-design-make-websites-successful/?utm_source=DevSoftTech&utm_medium=DevSoftTech&utm_campaign=DevSoftTech 

Advertisements


GREAT DESIGN LEADS TO DIFFERENTIATION, CUSTOMER LOYALTY & HIGHER PROFITS

Article from Forbes.com

All businesses, no matter what they make or sell, should recognize the power and financial value of good design.

Obviously, there are many different types of design: graphic, brand, packaging, product, process, interior, interaction/user experience, Web and service design, to name but a few.

In this post, I am referring to design as a broad and deliberately applied discipline, with the aim of creating simpler, more meaningful, rewarding experiences for customers.

You see, expecting great design is no longer the preserve of a picky design-obsessed urban elite—that aesthetically sensitive clique who‘d never dare leave the house without their Philippe Starck eyewear and turtleneck sweaters and buy only the right kind of Scandinavian furniture. Instead, there’s a new, mass expectation of good design: that products and services will be better thought through, simplified, made more intuitive, elegant and more enjoyable to use.

Successful Design-led Companies

Design has finally become democratized, and we marketers find ourselves with new standards to meet in this new “era of design.” To illustrate, Apple, the epitome of a design-led organization, now has a market capitalization of $570 billion, larger than the GDP of Switzerland. Its revenue is double Microsoft’s, a similar type of technology organization but one not truly led by design (just compare Microsoft Windows with Apple’s Lion operating system).

Every day my Twitter feed populates with astounding growth facts about the likes of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest and the more recent travel site, AirBnB. It is no coincidence that these successful brands seem to really value design and utilize it to secure a competitive advantage.

Even the UK government has issued its “design principles,” naturally on a clean, easy-to-navigate website.

But why have people become so design sensitive? Why does that credit card mailer look so bad and dated now? Why can’t you access my account details? Why does airport signage seem so unhelpful? Why doesn’t that technology plug and play?

Good Design Is Now Expected, and Creates Customer Loyalty

Perhaps Apple’s global dominance has elevated our design expectations, or Ikea’s vision to bring great design at affordable prices to everyone on the planet has finally taken effect, or perhaps the Internet has taught us what well-designed user experiences and good design really are. Likely, it is a combination of all.

What is certain is that the design bar has been raised and design-oriented businesses are winning.

Think how swiftly and strongly a design experience shapes our opinion of that brand, company or store, for good or bad. For instance, we know quickly when a website is bad. And we associate that feeling of frustration, or worse, disappointment with that brand.

Design-oriented organizations invest in thinking this stuff through. They put design at the heart of their company to guide innovation and to continually improve products, service and marketing. They recognize that a great design leads to differentiation, customer loyalty and higher profits.

First Direct, a UK bank, has designed all its service touchpoints so carefully that it has become the most referred financial brand in the UK, with over 82 percent of customers happy to recommend it to friends. It’s a joy to use via any channel, and despite being a bank, I’d happily recommend it.

When you buy Apple Care, instead of receiving the standard bland letter or email, you receive a nicely designed box containing the paperwork, guidance and all the information you need. You have questions? No problem. There are clear user diagrams and a simple section on the website to help you.

The impact on brand is that customers see these brands as both progressive and customer-centric. Thoughtful and innovative design makes us feel good. It is no surprise that we are happy to advocate them, talk about them in social media and can be fiercely brand loyal.

Business Owners & Executives: Transform Your Brand from Print to Web

As Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, once said, “A brand is a living entity—and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.” That thinking still holds true, but it all happens a lot faster now. Thanks to the Internet and a hyperconnected, social-media-fueled society, brands can be instantly undermined and that experience shared with millions.

So this is a call to action for executives to recognize this new era and make the effort to transform even a mundane product or service into something more rewarding and more memorable. Try to assess each element of your service or product and better it—to see design not just as a marketing thing but as a genuine source of competitive advantage, customer and employee satisfaction and, lastly, a route to higher profits.

Call us now and we’ll build your brand.

When you create a powerful business brand, you’ll attract the clients, projects, and referrals that you want. Deliver your branding message consistently, and your reward will be consistent profit growth.

Call Creative Instinct now at 501-244-0573 for a free quote on branding for your business, including: logos, brochures, website design and more. Or, send an email to Gwen Canfield: gwen@creativeinstinct.biz. To see samples of our work, visit www.creativeinstinct.biz.

– Article by Adam Swann is head of strategy at gyro New York
– Link to article:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/gyro/2012/05/03/welcome-to-the-era-of-design/ 


SHOULD YOU HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE INSTEAD OF A WEBSITE?

Website we designed for 4square Cafe & Gifts in Little Rock

Some businesses have gone the route of forgoing a business website in favor of a Facebook business page. You can generate traffic to your Facebook page through their ad system, as well as circulating it to friends and business partners. A Facebook page is affordable and quick, it’s easy to make simple information updates, and it can be a good tool to work in tandem with your business website. But, this does not mean that a Facebook page is a replacement for a website. It is merely a good compliment to your already established website.

Here are 5 reasons why having a standalone website
is better than a standalone Facebook page…

1. Branding

By using a Facebook page, you cannot fully brand your page as your own. Your page still has the Facebook logo and colors all over it. Of course, you can do your best to brand it as your own, but the amount of time and heavy customization that would need to go into this process could be used to build out your own branded website with your company domain name and your company colors. Your domain name will read as http://www.facebook.com/yourcompany instead of http://www.yourcompany.com. Also, if you are looking for brand and logo recognition, you will never get it on a Facebook page. Your website can have its own brandable logo so your customers recognize it right away rather than the Facebook logo being the first thing they see. Never underestimate the power of having your own .com domain address and logo.

2. Search Engine Optimization

If a company is looking to be found in search engines, it won’t happen with a Facebook page. You cannot apply SEO to a Facebook page and Google and the other search engines cannot index or find your page. Organic SEO traffic is eliminated right off the bat. On the other hand, with a real domain and website, SEO techniques can be applied properly and your website can be found in the search engines. We should know, we do it every day.

3. Lack of Page Customization Options

A Facebook page does allow you to create images and insert all of your relevant information about your company’s products and services. You can do specialized programming with it such as HTML and FBML (Facebook markup language, similar to HTML). But overall, you must still work within the confines of the page and are not allowed full 100% customization control over the look of the page.

4. Exposure

In theory, your business Facebook page and your posts get exposure to anyone who is a “likes” it. Unfortunately, there is a hole in this theory. With the huge popularity of Facebook for both businesses and individuals, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep your posts from getting lost in the shuffle. Your Facebook friends likely have “liked” many, many, many other people and/or businesses and have hundreds of posts to read every day. Who has the time? Unfortunately, your posts can easily be missed by even the most loyal of Facebook friends.

5. In conclusion

Of course, this is not to say that Facebook pages are useless. In fact, they can be very useful as a compliment to your company website. By linking to your Facebook page from your website, you can drive users to your page and you can communicate with them through the social networking features which Facebook provides. It is highly recommended to have a Facebook page in conjuction with your website.

Need a new business website?

In today’s business climate, websites have to be more than pretty or functional, they must be BOTH. Your website needs to offer cutting edge design, layout, content, graphics and search engine optimization (SEO). When combined, all of these attributes contribute to the success of your website. This is why we offer the best in design, layout, content, and graphics, as well as optimizing your site for strong search engine rankings during the development process, not after your site is deployed.

Let Creative Instinct help ensure you’re getting the most out of your website. Call us at 501-244-0573, or send an email to Gwen Canfield at gwen@creativeinstinct.biz. To see websites we’ve designed for other small businesses – view our portfolio at www.creativeinstinct.biz.