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Image+ launches The Wave


6th December 2019

Adding to our ongoing success was the recent launch of a brand-new and sleek web design for The Wave. 

Over the past few months we have been working with CV Life to launch a captivating new website for The Wave. This was not the first project that we worked on with CV Life. We have previously created a website for their Mana Spa– a spa in the heart of The Wave– and we have just launched CV Life’s main webpage. Hence, we are over the moon with this flourishing partnership that we have developed. 

Aman Surey, CV Life’s own Marketing and Communications Manager (pictured above, in the middle),  said that The Wave’s new website is “attractive and intuitive”. According to Aman, the new design has been instrumental to The Wave’s launch success, with most of their sessions becoming “sold out” within the first week. 

The key to this particular website’s success lies in its simple but effective design structure. Our mobile optimised version allows the user easy access from all types of devices. Moreover, its “streamlined booking system” allows the user to book a session without having to register first. As a result, it is “much more likely for visitors to The Wave to book again”.

The impact of our impressive design has been recognised by various organisational bodies, including Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. They published a wonderful coverage from The Wave’s website launch. You can it read here.

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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3 Benefits of Having a Responsive Website


2nd October 2019

The days when mobile was a niche means of browsing the world wide web are over. More than half – around fifty-one per cent – of all global internet users now access their online resources using only their smartphone.

That makes huge demands on websites … and on designers. When mobile is the dominant means of accessing the internet, webpages need to display beautifully on even the smallest screens.

And yet, other devices – from tablets to laptops, desktops to large plasma screens – remain significant channels for internet activity. The marketplace is fragmented and is likely to remain that way. The days of the one-size-fits-all website have been gone for some time.

The answer to this new age of variety is responsive design. Put simply, this is an approach to web development which ensures that a site can query a user’s device – and display in a way that is appropriate to that platform’s screen size and orientation.

 

Responsive design enables any site to look beautiful on every device. And that brings with it significant benefits in this age of mobile internet access.

 

1. Responsive Design Improves User Experience 

These days, users are looking to have the same experience of a website, no matter what device they are on. Non-responsive websites distort the user experience because they don’t appear the same across the board.  So, users have to learn the site anew on each visit. Reduce this kind of friction – it’ll increase your conversion rates.

 

2. Responsive Design is Cost Effective and Requires Less Maintenance. 

Having a responsive web design which works on every device will not only save on costs but will also increase the reach of your business to different users. That’s because you won’t need to build a different site for each platform. Responsive design means one website – and that means one bill and one set of maintenance tasks.

 

3. Responsive Design Means Better SEO and Better Rankings.

A responsive website only generates one URL instead of two URLs for two different versions of the same website (or five for five!). This, in turn, facilitates better search engine optimisation – which results in better ranking on Google. Google also awards extra SEO points to websites that use responsive design – so you’ll have a head start regardless.

 

There’s no excuse not to use responsive design in today’s web marketplace – in fact, it should be non-negotiable. The reasons to use responsive web design are legion in today’s multi-platform world. In fact, the case for responsive design is more or less unanswerable, as these key three benefits for having a responsive website show!

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

 

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How to Use Graphic Design to Generate Website Traffic


4th August 2019

When many people think of ‘design’, they think of aesthetics: how pretty a thing is, how it looks and how attractive it seems to those who use it.

In truth, design is rather wider in its techniques and goals. Good design is about ease of use. This can involve looks, of course – a cluttered webpage, for example, will be too confusing to be intuitive.

But it can also be about elements you can’t see – function as well as form. Elegant code is invisible to the end-user, but it can contribute immeasurably to the pleasure of using a website.

 

That said, looks are important – and graphic design, that element of design that so many of us first jump to when thinking about constructing a website, is critical. It can have really important effects on the success of a site.

For example, a site’s colour palette is crucial to its overall impact. Choosing a colour theme is an integral part of a website’s branding: every palette speaks a different language and sparks a different emotion.

Colours are the first thing users notice on your banners and ads: whether a designer chooses blues or reds really matters.

Animation, too, can deliver a real fillip to a site. In fact, we recommend that a website should include animation on every page. This is because animation speaks to a visitor as nothing else can: static banners are all well and good, but animated banners take your calls to action to the next level.

Movement attracts the eye – and smart use of animation brings your website elements to life.

Finally, consider a responsive design. Five billion digital users will be browsing your website through a mobile device. This means that your website should be prepared to alter its orientation and appearance to fit different device sizes.

 

Google will also prefer to rank your site over others if it has a responsive design – giving designers another incentive to cater to mobile users.

Deploying graphic design techniques correctly will ensure that your site is attractive, pleasurable to use and compelling. Users respond to attractive design choices – and that means that good graphic design will increase your web traffic and your conversion rates.

There may be more to design than just looks … but specifically this is how to use graphic design to generate website traffic!

 

Contact Apps Plus for Mobile App Development

We provide mobile app design and development for all project requirements, both consumer and business apps. If you’re in need of a mobile app or just have an idea for a project you wish to discuss, please contact us to arrange a consultancy.

Call us on 024 7683 4780 or email us at info@apps-plus.co.uk.

 

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5 Essential Web Design Trends For 2019


26th March 2019

Like the proverbial rolling stone, web design gathers no moss: it’s always moving. The best designers are the ones who keep tabs on the trends, so that they can employ them to make your website look attractive – without being a slave to fashion.

In other words, you don’t want to look old-fashioned … but nor do you want to look silly. Understanding trends are also about understanding why they’re suddenly popular: beneath all the hype is the function of the thing.

You should take advantage of trends – that is, use the latest technology because it makes sense for your site, not merely to follow the crowd. Of course, to be aware of the newest developments in design, you need to keep your eye on the competition … so what are this year’s big innovations on the web? We thought you’d never ask!

 

  1. 3D Illustrations

 

For a while, ‘flat’ or ‘cut-out’ illustration was all the rage: thing Google or Slack. These clean lines, though, are being phased out (familiarity always breeds contempt). They’re being replaced by vibrant, three-dimensional designs that will blur the lines between reality and the digital world.

 

  1. Helveticization

 

Your logo, on the other hand, should be heading towards minimalism: think sans serif fonts and similar styles. Times New Roman is out, in favour of Arial. Logos used to be very varied beasts, but every new rebrand seems to involve Helvetica logo: think Spotify’s recent overhaul. Make your logo light.

 

  1. Going Horizontal

 

We’re all so used to scrolling up and down on a website that it feels sometimes as if that’s the only way things can be. But horizontal web pages have seen a growth in adoption and they make the browsing experience more unique and memorable. They’re especially suited to graphics-heavy and showcase websites.

 

  1. Chaotic elements

 

Show your personality! Unique design concepts, vintage designs and bold use of colours are all very much in. Don’t be afraid of experimenting within your brand: the more sophisticated web users become, the more they will be struck by variations to the usual structures of a site. Throw in some randomness!

 

  1. Screen-dominating text

 

Hero images are great, but the text is design, too. Perhaps that’s why designers are getting reacquainted with letterforms, and why websites are putting textual content centre-stage. Think about the popularity of letter-press postcards and posters: eye-catching typography is the new banner video. Make an impression!

 

So, there you have it: five trends you should be tracking, and applying intelligently to your own site. Just remember that fashion is like hot sauce: a little goes a long way.

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Landing Page Conversions


30th May 2018

Improving your landing page conversion rate is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to enhance your business’s performance online. Imagine a physical shop that was so uninspiring that, upon entering it, shoppers almost immediately left – and certainly never purchased anything. That shop wouldn’t last long, right?

You should think of your website in the same way.

Your landing page is the first block of content visitors will see when arriving at your page. It might be your homepage, or it might be a specific area of your site set up to receive specific traffic from a particular ad or email offer; whatever its precise composition, its purpose is simple: to encourage your visitors to enter your sales funnel.

Amazingly, many landing pages simply don’t do this job as well as they might. Businesses focus on great search engine optimisation, but forget that, once all those new visitors arrive, the work isn’t over: your site still needs to put its best foot forward and convince customers to engage.

Try these tips to grab your users and not let go!

 

Keep a clean layout. A cluttered layout will simply drive users away from your site. To convince your visitors, and then direct them appropriately, you need to make your calls to action – and your steps to purchase – clear and easy to understand. Your text and images should come together logically to emphasize each other and make next steps plain.

Consider your Above-The-Fold content. “Above-the-fold” is a phrase from newspapers: broadsheet-style papers appear on shelves folded, and so it’s only the content in the top half of any front page that is visible on newsstand shelves – and therefore which contributes most to sales. Likewise, the first slices of content that appear on the opening screen of a website make-or-break: they need to engage users … and keep them engaged.

Consider your language. Your copy is important – it needs to be accessible and authoritative without being hectoring. People visiting your website want to know what your product or service can do for them. Consider teaching them about your product rather than selling it to them as this allows you to build trust. Inform and entertain – the hard-sell is a turn-off.

Use social integration. Make the most of your customers’ enthusiasm for their own networks. Integrating social media on your website allows your users to share your products or services with their friends and family – and that increases everyone’s interest in your business. Provide something useful – a download or a video – that people will want to share.

Use stats on your landing page. There may lies, damned lies, and statistics – but numbers matter. Meaningful statistics are powerful proof of your customer’s satisfaction with your product or service – and your users will respond accordingly. Using your numbers responsibly in this way can build further trust with customers from the off.

First impressions matter. So think hard about these five ways to improve your landing page conversions.

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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Tips for a Great Responsive Web Design


16th May 2018

One of the most important things you can do when building a new website is to commit to making it responsive. In 2018, people view websites on all sorts of screens and platforms – equipping your site with the ability to flex to any requirement on any device is crucial if it is going to be used – and enjoyed – by as many people as possible.

This is what we mean when we talk about responsive web design: deploying the tools and even tricks now available to web designers which can allow a website to query a given user’s device and software, understand the requirements thereof, and alter its own display properties to find a best-fit particular to that user.

For example, a mobile phone screen is far smaller than a desktop computer’s; your website cannot render identically on those two platforms, so how can it change its appearance to fit those two radically different environments? What should it look like on a tablet versus a laptop?

Does one of its features work great in Chrome but poorly in Firefox? These things matter if your bounce rate – the measure of how many users leave your site within seconds – isn’t to go sky high. Make your site as responsive to an individual customer’s needs as your other elements of customer service.

 

Navigation

For example, think about navigation. The adoption of responsive web design has had a huge impact on site navigation. Since you’re designing for smaller screens, your design needs to work within these limitations.

Long, collapsible menus might be fine on a big screen, but on a mobile, they’ll swallow up all your space; you might get away with devoting a lot of permanent screen space to a navbar on a 14” screen … but what about a 7” one? Consider the famous hamburger icon – hide the menu unless that is tapped or clicked. Give space to your content, not your waymarking.

 

Usability

On which note … really concentrate on the usability of buttons. Your call to action buttons should pop out from the page, both in colour and style. The size and shape of your buttons are just as important as their colour, especially for those with disabilities.

What do I mean by this? Simple: your buttons are where the action of your site is. The Pay button, the Contact button … these are the points of interaction that really matter, that convert eyeballs into customers. Don’t let the, float off a mobile screen; don’t allow them to be lost in a sea of stuff on a desktop. Consider them the stars around which your whole site orbits – the central points around which your responsive website shuffles the rest of its content. The technical term here is the visual priority, and your buttons should have it.

 

Imagery

Beyond this need to orient your site around your key buttons, content remains king – so use responsive imagery. One of the problems people run into with responsive design is that while images visually scale on smaller devices, they may still be large in file size and take a while to load. If your user is connected via a mobile data connection poorer than 4G, that can be a pain. Responsive images offer a powerful and effective workaround but can take a long time to hand code.

It’s a good thing you know a team of experts, then. Give us a call to discuss all these issues: there’s a lot more for us to discuss beyond these tips for a great responsive web design!

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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5 Upcoming Web Design Trends of 2018


16th April 2018

We’re already a quarter of the way into 2018, which is as good a time as any to pause, take stock and looking around us: what are the emerging web design trends of 2018? How has the year gone so far for designers, and what lessons and latest fashions can we take from the front-end of the year? In short, what should your site be doing to look like it’s keeping up with the crowd?

Web design trends should, like any fad or fashion, be used sparingly. It’s important to know what the latest developments are, but not necessarily essential that you use them all at once. Understanding the general lie of the web design land is crucial; being a slave to fashion will, in design as in life, only ensure you date yourself faster.

So take instruction and inspiration from the latest trends, but don’t make your site dependent upon them. Add accents to your current site by tapping into the newest design thinking, but at the same time don’t abandon the lodestars of usability and clarity that define good design whatever the year.

All those caveats given, however, what are the cool kids doing in 2018?

 

Web Animation

First and foremost, they seem to be into web animation. Flat design is being enlivened by subtle movement – and sometimes not-so-subtle! Animating transitions, or featuring animated characters throughout your design to add a little spark or interest, is the new normal.

We’re seeing more and more uses of web animation because they make ideas and interfaces easier to understand. Animation can direct and channel a user’s attention in helpful directions, enhancing their experience of a website, as well as also adding personality to it and its brand.

 

Bold Colours

Indeed, adding personality is a big element of recent design trends. Bold colours are increasingly a “thing”, which exciting and unusual hues standing out more and more from designs and replacing the once dominant whites and cool greys that defined a more minimalist approach to design.

There will continue to be more uses of adventurous colour in 2018 because getting out the paint pot can likewise help draw your users’ attention to specific areas of your site – and make the whole look and feel of your online home memorable and quirky.

 

Creative Typography

Adding that additional layer of character is probably the reason behind the explosion in creative typography, too. Don’t hide behind Helvetica – we’re seeing increasing experimentation in the realm of type, with all sorts of interesting and attractive fonts deployed to hold a user’s attention and add emphasis to key elements of a site’s copy.

 

Semi-Flat Designs

All of this is moving away from the revolution of a few years ago: we went from skeuomorphic design trend, which sought to make websites look and feel like their real-world equivalents, to a flat design fashion which emphasised the artificiality and sleekness of the online environment. Now, we’re in a “Semi-Flat Design” stage, in which sites are still sleek but gradients and shadows are being used to add nuance to a website.

Used in moderation, those gradients and shadows – like animation, colour and typography – can provide better aesthetics to a site. The final trend for 2018, however, is all about functionality: the increasing flexibility of mobile websites.

 

Priority on Mobile Browsing

Mobile phone browsing has now overtaken desktop browsing, which means that developers are focusing more and more on the mobile audience. That means more intuitive microinteractions and gestures will be incorporated into every design, to improve the browsing experience of mobile websites. Form and functionality: enhancing both is what defines the upcoming web design trends of 2018.

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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5 Benefits of Using WordPress for your Business


19th March 2018

WordPress is one of the most used web design platforms in the world. As of January 2018, nearly a third of the world’s top ten million websites were WordPress-based. In a world so full of digital options, that’s a huge market share – and there’s a reason the platform is so popular.

WordPress began life as a humble blogging tool, a quick and easy means of setting up a website online that could play host to all your posts. What made it special was that it was totally open source – in other words, users could access the code that made the platform work, and alter it. Before long, WordPress had, through the contributions of its users, grown far beyond its basic beginnings.

WordPress is now a system for building websites of infinite variety: from blogs to brochures to portfolios, the platform is now incredibly versatile. Users have created innumerable themes to alter and customise the look of websites, and countless plug-ins to add functionality and features.

Most of all, it’s incredibly easy to use – once set up by your web developer, the basics of updating your pages and products is intuitive and takes seconds. Businesses have adopted WordPress readily for this reason – it takes up less staff time, and its ubiquity often means that only the lightest of training is necessary … because staff are already familiar with it!

Ecommerce websites, of course, can be different beasts. They have very specific requirements and need to inspire total confidence in their users. But the truth is that WordPress has come so far from its beginnings that it is often the smartest choice even for ecommerce.

Extensive Plugin Marketplace

For one, it has an extensive plug-ins marketplace. That means that your site is potentially extremely powerful – because simply installing a new plug-in can make it capable of whole new things in seconds. From security to sales, plug-ins will offer your customers all the services they need.

 

Wide Selection of Themes

Secondly, that variety of themes puts thousands of different looks at your fingertips. You sell online because customers enjoy their experience on your website. WordPress themes look great and load seamlessly – that’s the best way to inspire confidence in your clients.

 

WordPress is Search Engine-Friendly

Thirdly, WordPress is astonishingly search engine-friendly. The system has been perfected over years to appeal to search engines, and that means your products will be found by people typing their phrases into Google, Bing and the rest. This is key to developing new business.

 

Highly Customisable

Fourth, WordPress sites are highly customisable. This means you’ll never be stuck with a site past its sell-by date – as you expand, or your customers’ expectations change, you can simply retool your WordPress site. Voila! You have a whole new home on the web.

And finally, don’t forget: WordPress is for blogging. Don’t ignore the system’s core functionality – reach out to your clients and create a lasting connection with them!

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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Why Responsive Web Design is Important


16th January 2018

Responsive web design is important. If you take only one sentence away from this blog post, let that be it: in today’s online environment, ensuring that your website can respond to the devices and screens on which it is viewed is absolutely key, for all sorts of reasons.

Clients and designers alike can get wrapped up in colours and font faces and where the navigation is positioned. They can become very agitated by the wrong graphic or a button that stands out insufficiently. The truth is, none of these will damage your site as bad as failing to make it responsive will.

To be fair, what everyone wants is for your site to look good – and the truth is that responsive web design ensures it always looks its best. No matter how great your graphics or vibrant your colourways, all that work will be for nothing if your site doesn’t look good on a mobile phone or a tablet or any of the countless types of device which can now be used to view your site.

This is all that responsive web design means: building a site that can shrink and resize and even display differently depending on the platform. For example, on a large desktop monitor, a site might stretch across the screen, displaying big and bold slider graphics and expanding its menus fully. On a mobile, however, it might contract and intelligently crop those images, or collapse the menu into a ‘hamburger’ icon.

Responsive web design is important because it enables you to ensure your content looks good in every context – and that you get the message across immediately, however, a user is logging on.

Ensuring this cross-platform compatibility will increase mobile visits to your site – crucial given that mobile internet usage is increasing constantly, and is now the dominant method that many people use to go online.

Likewise, search engines such as Google reward website that provide this courtesy to browsers – meaning that your rankings will improve if you adopt responsive design. Should you for some reason choose not to go down this route, don’t expect to reach the top of the search pages for your chosen keywords.

For example, some businesses still use multiple non-responsive websites, directing users to the site most applicable to their device. Not only will this ensure that all of your sites do worse in search engine rankings; it also makes managing them a nightmare, since each time you update a page you’ll need to do it on every single non-responsive site you maintain. Responsive web design is a time saver and will make your business more productive.

In other words, these taking advantage of responsive technology is the only sensible way to approach building a new website. In fact, all your competitors are already doing it – and maybe that’s the best reason of all why responsive web design is so important!

 

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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