How Artificial Intelligence Is Impacting Web Design

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Several major companies have unveiled plans to develop and implement AI into their existing and future processes to provide better products and better services to their customers. Currently, AI holds a crucial position in the web design world due to the heavy reliance of modern companies upon user data. Data-driven analytics are propelling the business world forward, and AI can help streamline some of the most time-consuming data analysis processes.

How The Tech Industry Is Leading The Charge Toward AI On The Web

Major tech companies like Apple and Google have already announced substantial investments into AI research and development, and web design as an industry has already responded to this innovation. AI can help produce more valuable, impactful, and memorable user experiences by more easily tailoring users’ preferences to each interaction. Predictive analytics, behavioral analysis, search engine optimization (SEO), and data mining are just a few of the tasks these tech companies hope to assign to AI programs soon.

Designing With AI

Web page design hinges on function, aesthetics, and usability. The average user won’t waste his or her time on a slow-loading, choppy page riddled with formatting irregularities and half-loaded images. Similarly, most users will quickly lose interest in a high-performing but boring interface. AI can make high-quality web design even better by tailoring specific interactions to users’ past interactions, preferences, and known data.

Modern professional website development requires a keen understanding of the latest visual design trends and the coding competency to make them work beautifully for the average user. Personalization is also important, and designers try to find as many ways as possible to provide custom-tailored experiences to every user. AI can help tremendously in this fashion by pulling together the most relevant data strands for each user in a fraction of the usual time, functionally creating the most valuable possible interactions for each user on every visit.

Designing For AI

Web designers are also learning how to design with AI programs in mind for SEO and ecommerce purposes. AIs can read and process information exponentially faster than humans, but typically only for one specific task. Companies such as Google may use these narrow-intelligence AIs to crawl the web for specific phrases, images, or data points. As we progress further in AI technology, general-intelligence AIs will be able to perform tasks at levels comparable to the average human being. Eventually, AI technology could lead to super-intelligent AIs capable of processing information and completing tasks at a rate far superior to the speed of a human being.

Chat Bots In Modern Web Design

Another aspect of AI technology most people have encountered by now is chat bots — AI programs built into many websites that function as digital hosts, answering users’ questions and directing them to the most appropriate pages. Although this function is very similar to a search engine, AI can analyze human writing more deeply, and it provides a more human connection with users. This type of implementation leads to more successful customer experiences and more overall customer engagement at a relatively low cost to the web design company.

A high-quality web design company should understand the impact AI has already had on the web design world and have a plan to capitalize on this technology for the future. User experience is the heart of driving businesses forward in a hypercompetitive digital market where fractions of a second count for every interaction.

AI And SEO

If you are wondering how to design a website today, the first step should be to familiarize yourself with the concept of SEO. Building your site from the ground-up with SEO in mind will improve your page loading speeds, boost user engagement, and ultimately increase your search engine success. AI programs crawl through websites searching for update histories, content quality, link histories, and various other data points to rank their relevancy in user searches.

The algorithms in use today provide data streams tailored to collectors’ preferences, but AI advancement will mean the ability to process these streams in the most efficient way possible. AI ultimately makes SEO smarter and more user-friendly, resulting in better experiences for users and the brands they visit online.

Staying Relevant Is More Important Than Ever

It’s vital for modern website marketing professionals and design gurus to stay updated on the latest trends in tech, SEO, and digital marketing, and AI is no exception. Many companies have already invested tremendous amounts of resources into pushing AI technology forward, so modern web designers should not only account for this new technology in their designs, they should also try to capitalize on it.

Soon, AI will enable more personalized experiences by quickly analyzing and processing user data to generate the most relevant interaction possible. The average ecommerce web designer will soon be able to tailor online shopping experiences to each customer’s preferences seamlessly for every transaction. This builds consumer trust and encourages brand loyalty over time.

Finding The Right Designer For Your Organization

Unless you employ a robust in-house design team with access to the latest design tools and working knowledge of the latest trends, AI technology will likely remain out of your company’s reach without hiring the right web design company.

About The Author:

Nicola Yap lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her two cats Marcie and Lambert. When she isn’t writing blog posts, she’s probably playing video games or doing something as equally unproductive. She works as an organic marketing strategy for Eminent SEO, a full-service digital marketing agency that offers high-quality web design, development, and SEO services to small businesses, health care providers, substance abuse treatment centers, ecommerce sites, and much more.

 

How to Come Up With the Perfect Logo for Your New Business

Many businesses have failed to recognize the many benefits that are related to having the perfect logo. However, as an entrepreneur, this is not a mistake you can afford to make.

A business logo is usually the first visual interaction that your potential customers will have with your business. As such, there are many benefits you can get from having an informative and attractive logo such as brand loyalty and repeat sales.

Benefits of having a strong logo

First of all, your startup business logo can leave your target audience with an excellent first impression. This is especially important for those firms new to the marketplace who stand to gain a lot from creating a lasting impression. Therefore, a logo gives you the perfect opportunity to draw the attention of your target customers. Once you interest customers you then can work your way on building brand loyalty with them.

In addition, a great logo is an essential tool that can help you to a build brand identity. Think of the logos of companies like Apple, Mercedes, Audi, KFC, and Nike you can picture them in your mind because they have built strong brand identities. A vast majority of the population can quickly identify these companies through their logos. This goes to prove just how important a logo is towards a business’s identity.

Years ago, when these companies were startup companies, barely recognizable by anyone they began their brand journey with a good logo. They were able to grow into major companies with the winning combination of a compelling recognizable logo and delivering exceptional goods and services. Consequently, you should consider learning how to make a logo for your new business now at your launch stage.

Here are some helpful tips to help you come up with a great logo that will build your business;

1. Learn about the different type of logos

There is a variety of logos types that companies utilize.

Some only use a symbol as their preferred logo, think Apple. If you would like to use a symbol, it is essential that the symbol stays relevant to the type of services and products that you sell. This type of iconic symbol is popular in technology businesses.

On the other hand, there are some businesses which opt to use a wordmark as their logo, which is their company name in a stylized design. Examples include Coca-Cola and Ray-Ban. It is imperative that you identify which logotype that best fits your needs.

2. Look at your competitors brands

If you find yourself struggling to come up with ideas for your logo, you should borrow some inspiration from the logos of other businesses. Notice I said “borrow” “inspiration” not steal ideas, which you would never consider.

Given that you are competing for the same clients, this is the best way to get a feeling of how your logo should communicate.

However, it is crucial that you remain creative and unique. Do not plagiarize their logo as it will have a counteractive effect of confusing customers and lowering your sales. Instead, look at it in the sense of how much better and more creative their logo could be and make it your own.

3. Let your logo have a message

As you come up with a design for your business’s logo, you should ensure that it is backed by a message. Let the logo embody what your target audience would appreciate knowing about your business. (Remember that this is one of the first interactions that they will have with your company).

The red circle of Target’s logo came from an archery target which told customer that their stores where the perfect location to find all their shopping needs at one location.

This means that the logo needs to be meaningful in that when a customer looks at it, the logo passes a message of what industry you are in and the kind of services that you offer. Therefore, it would be better to keep in mind what your brand is about as you design your logo.

4. Your logo should be simple

It is wrong to have the perception that the more flashy and elaborate your logo is the better it serves its purpose. Simplicity is important both for customer perception and ability to use for multiple purposes such as websites, t-shirts and business cards.

It is true that your logo needs to stand out and be creative. However, it is equally important for people to understand your logo. This can only be achieved if the logo is easy and flexible.

Also, having a clean and functional logo is beneficial in that it can be used across different media. Keep in mind that your logo will not only be on your website but also on newspapers, your social media accounts and on your products. Consequently, the visual graphics of your logo should be functional.

Most professional graphic designers suggest that you view all your logo designs in plain black ink on a white background to be sure that it communicates with its design and not its fancy colors alone. If you like it in black you will love it in color.

5. Choose the logo colors carefully

Other than the image or name for your logo, the color that you choose plays a vital role. Do not hurriedly select a bright color because it entices more eyes. It would be better off if you pick a color that that is symbolic of what your business is about. Learn about how you can use color power to boost your marketing.

Also, when choosing colors, you should try and limit your logo to three colors. Having more than three colors will turn out to be costly when it comes to printing. For this reason, you should consider how much you would like to spend when creating your logo.

6. Seek help from professionals graphic designers

As an entrepreneur, generating a logo by yourself can prove daunting. Therefore, if you find yourself experiencing any difficulty, consider hiring a professional logo designer. Recently I had a logo made for my business using a logo design contest at the crowdsource site 99designs – read about my experience in my review of 99designs.

Whereas this means facing additional costs, it is beneficial in that you will do everything in the right way.

If you are on a budget, you should hire the services of freelance logo designers as opposed to going to a design firm. They are a cheaper alternative.

In conclusion, creating an impressive logo for your startup business is essential. As much as it will not guarantee you instant success, it is the perfect way to build your brand by attracting more customers. Ultimately, a good logo will ensure that your business experiences significant growth.

Bio:

Marsha Kelly is a serial entrepreneur who has done time in corporate America, selling her first business for more than a million dollars. She has learned what products and services work in business today, and she shares her experiences on her best4Business blog at https://best4businesses.com/. You can learn from her experiences from shopping the internet for tools, supplies, and information to build your business and improve your finances.

 

7 Reasons to Hire a Professional Graphic Designer

Graphic designing has become a fundamental part of today’s world. It’s surrounding us in a myriad of forms, both in a virtual sense and in print. Graphic designing can make your brand become distinguishable in the jam-packet market, making it look more professional and introduce your services or products to broad audiences.

With that in mind, a lot of companies decide to take the responsibility of graphic designing on themselves, with little or no knowledge at all. The internet offers many solutions for those who want to cut down their costs, so business owners go for free logo online creators, stock images and other quick fixes.

However, that might not be such a clever idea if you’re thinking about standing out in the crowd. If you want to maintain professionalism and raise uniqueness, you’re in the need of a professional graphic designer. We’ll provide you with some additional reasons to help you consider this idea.

1. Save your time

When you’re already overwhelmed by your work, why take another responsibility? Time is a valuable thing in today’s world and should be used cautiously. If you’re running a business, the chances are you won’t have enough time to be really dedicated to graphic designing, since it would take you years to master the complex graphic design work.

Having a professional handle this for you will take loads of work off your back. A professional already possesses all the necessary skills, leaving you room to be focused on other important tasks. Graphic design professionals can put all of their focus on your projects and deliver the desired results in less time.

2. Save your money

A professional can also prevent you from making sky-high costs as they are familiar with the most effective ways to keep your costs at a minimum. An experienced graphic designer would know where to find the best resources needed and which programs to use for the assigned projects.

3. Stand out

It is difficult to get attention in a crowded market, but a professional can assure your recognition amongst competitors. Following the latest trends and thinking outside the box can provide the much-needed uniqueness for your business. They can offer you creativeness and a fresh perspective and put an emphasis on the things you didn’t have in mind, which will help you attract the target audience along the way.

4. Maintain a professional image

This may be the most important factor when hiring a professional designer. Presenting your business in a visually appealing way is crucial because it guarantees a trustworthy image. Designers know how to combine all the essential elements to create a great visual representation of your company.

5. Achieve desired results

A professional designer will make sure to understand your business goals, as well as your audience, so you don’t need to leave anything to chance. Their responsibility is to brainstorm how to convey your message in the most effective way and deliver a wholesome and appealing website that represents your business in a good light.

6. Attract new clients

A successful website incorporates perfect load time, engaging imagery and good navigation, and will work properly on all devices and in different web browsers. All of these segments help you attract new clients, so it’s important to have a highly functional site to speak for itself. Without an expert dealing with your website, you could pass up a great opportunity for future customers as a result of a bad introduction.

7. Ensure consistency

Inconsistency in business can make you look rather unprofessional. A bad design may influence your clients to think you provide inconsistent services. Your brand is a reflection of your business, so you have to be careful about what kind of a message it sends. A professional graphic designer will pay attention to the smallest details and will have the right tools to ensure you credibility. Creating a style guide is highly important if you’re planning on expanding your business and a good designer can help you achieve that.

To conclude, appearance is crucial in the business world and communication is becoming progressively more visual every day, so online success is critical. Ultimately, if you want to wow your clients and beat down the competition, you should absolutely go for a professional to make your business really stand out!

The 2 Essentials for Making Your WordPress Website Load Faster

If your website is slow-loading, then you’re losing visitors hand over fist.  What many website owners don’t realize is that even though WordPress has created a revolution in DIY websites, they don’t do much to prevent unsuspecting newbies from creating sites that load like it’s 1999 when we were all using dial up.

Yes, that premium WordPress theme you have looks great, but when you try to stick numerous 2 mb photos you took with your fancy new phone, you might just be bringing the whole thing to a grindingly slow halt.

Here are the two most important things you should do to lighten up your site so it loads faster.

1.  Reduce Your Image File Size

Of course one main source of website bloat has always been images.  We all want fancy, beautiful images to grace our websites, but if you’re not careful they can be the prime reason your website loads slower than most visitors are willing to wait around for.

Reducing your image file size is the first place to start, especially if you’re using a new WordPress themes which features any of the following:

  • Parallax backgrounds
  • Hero images
  • Header sliders

Also consider your blog post feature images, which can line up on your blog home page like a parade of heavy, slow buffaloes and take eons to download.

But you chose smaller sizes when you inserted those images into your post, right?  Doesn’t that reduce the image file size?  Not always.

Here’s what trips up lots of website owners…

Some WordPress themes will stick a full-size image where really all that’s called for is a tiny image.  But the image is small!  you say.  Not quite, and here’s why.

The displayed image might be tiny, but unless you’ve fixed things, when someone visitors your site, it is first loading the full-size image, then shrinking it on the spot to display it smaller.  Total waste of resources.

There are two ways to handle the image problem in WordPress.

You have a choice in how to reduce your image sizes.  You can use photo editing software (pre-upload), or you can enlist the services of a plugin (post-upload).  Personally, I prefer the first method.  Both give the same result, which is exporting your original (heavy) image into a lesser quality (lightweight) image.

But I don’t want bad quality images that look grainy!

Nope, I didn’t say you had to re-export your images into bad quality images.  I recommended “lesser quality”.  Trust me, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a quality measure of 99 and one of 80.  You’ll be cutting the weight down significantly, but not the perceived quality.

This image weighs a gargantuan 460 KBs when exported at a quality rating of 99.  If I turn the rating down to a quality of 75, I can’t really tell the difference and now the weight is down to 72.9 KBs!

For further reading on the image optimization, I recommend this article which covers everything from how to choose the right image format, downsizing the resolution, and compares different online tools and WordPress plugins currently available for reducing image file size.

Let's see how many MBs when can load on there!

Let’s see how many MBs when can load on there!

2.  Cache Your Site

Images aren’t the only things that slow down your website’s load time.  Your website can be large (because of images) or it can also be complex (because of scripts).

Another reason to cache your site.

Shared hosting will suspend your account if your website uses too many resources.  Scripts that constantly run to the database to create portions of your website aren’t necessarily bad, but once you get a lot of fancy plugins going, that’s a lot of script-grabbing taxing the database.

Plus, once you add lots of traffic to the scene, you’re really dealing with a major slowdown in load time.

JS files are now literally heavier than entire websites used to be.

Modern websites almost always have some javascript on them. For a while, that wasn’t the case, but now JS is back in full force and everybody’s using it.

The problem?  A Javascript file may literally be bigger than an entire website was 10 years ago.

Back in the day, the general rule of thumb was you weren’t supposed to use images that were more than 30-70 KBs.  You also weren’t supposed to make websites that were more than 800 pixels wide, and each page was to be no more than 100 KBs.

Now javascript files are like 100 KBs each, and sometimes there are like 5 javascripts on one page!  Plus plugins!  And plugins use javascript too, so you can imagine how ginormous fancy websites are these days.

So, what do cache plugins do, exactly?

Cache plugins will create a text version of your website.  Instead of calls to database, and having to run all the functions in the PHP script to generate the pages, it’s taking the output of all that and creates a static file of the final HTML.  Then all it needs to do is serve up that one static file whenever someone visits your site.

Cache plugins also put your site on a diet, trimming the fat in several ways to make it lighter so it loads faster.  Here are some of those ways:

  • Minify.  This means stripping the white space out of your javascript and CSS to make those files smaller.  This includes tabs, comments, spaces, and new lines in the CSS files.
  • Grouping of files.  Will combine several script files into one, making it possible to have fewer http requests.  Also does this for CSS files.
  • Packs JavaScript scripts.  

The bottom line.

Examine your photos, and cache your site, that’s really it.  To test the results of your efforts, use tools.pingdom.com or the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see how fast your website actually loads.  Keep tweaking until you get the speed you need.