Implementing Systems before Your First Hire

If you’ve been in business long enough, you know when things are about to get out of control. You’re working long days, not sleeping enough, and every time you see a new email in your inbox your cortisol levels skyrocket.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to hire someone to help!

The fact is, with success comes more work and more responsibility, and hiring employees and freelancers is inevitable. However, have you ever received bad service or got a subpar product from a previously-fantastic business? Nearly every time, the reason for the decline in service or quality is that the business simply grew too fast and wasn’t ready. Without systems in place to smooth out the transitions, you can lose valuable clients and cause damage to your company.

Of course, you’re so busy already that the idea of developing systems is merely a footnote at the bottom of your priority list. This means that it’s definitely time to carve out space in your schedule to create systems and procedures. To help you get started, here are some indispensable tips I learned as I developed Nook Design Studio.

Continue reading »

Why Your Logo is an Investment

Your logo is the first interaction your clients have with you, your product, service, or idea.

A logo is an investment in your future, and all your hard work deserves proper representation in the form of a unique design that will reflect your company’s values. Your logo is the first interaction your clients have with you, your product, service, or idea. Its elements—colors, typography, shapes—are the starting point for the visual identity of your whole business. A professional will take your venture as seriously as you do to create an original logo that will be fit to represent you and the values of your company, saving you money and headaches in the long run.

Continue reading »

What is UX anyway? User Experience Defined

What is UX anyway? User Experience Defined

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are two interrelated and often interchanged terms that you are likely to come across when you are planning your website. UX and UI take the user into account—who is using your site and what do they need to accomplish while they are there? You could spend years studying the nuances of each and still not be an expert but a basic familiarity is essential and, as you’ll see, recognizing great UI and UX is actually quite intuitive.

User Interface: The Stage

You can’t talk about UX without first discussing UI, which refers to the way in which humans interact with computers and the way your customer interacts with your website. The interface is the tool box we use to control a computer or navigate a website. It is the keyboard, the mouse, the touch screen buttons, the drop down menus and the graphics; essentially the stage on which you set the User Experience.

The UI of a website should be clean and clear, intuitive and familiar, consistent and forgiving. Good web design takes into account the type of device on which your website will be viewed and the different user interfaces that result.

Continue reading »

Web Copy Writing: A How-To Guide

Web Copy Writing: A How-To Guide

You’re starting your own business and there is a lot to do and even more to learn. Your business’ online presence is an important part of its growth and success and so you embark on the epic journey of creating a website.

It’s easy to see why good design is important for an effective website but equally important, and often overlooked, is good web copy. Obviously, if you’re going to write copy for your own website you need to know what you’re doing. But even if you’re planning to hire a professional, you want to have a solid understanding of effective copy writing to evaluate the job that has been done for you. Good copy writing takes some finesse.

What exactly is Web Copy Writing?

Web copy is the scaffolding of your website. Not to be confused with web content (blogs and articles), web copy writing is the core text on the main pages of your website (home, about, contact) that guides people through your site and tells them what they need to know.

Continue reading »

Responsive Web Design: A Small Business Essential

We’ve all been there: head down, phone out, standing still in the middle of the sidewalk as people swerve around us. We are running late, it’s usually pouring rain, often a small dog is barking at our feet and we are trying to navigate a website to find an address, a phone number, or some other vital piece of information that we need to get us to where we have to be.

We drag, scroll, zoom and maddeningly wander around our 4” smartphone screen on a web page that we can’t see because it is too big and our screen is too small. The site is clearly not designed for our mobile device and we are left with a customer experience that leaves us frustrated.

Continue reading »