Blog

Fending off the Marketing Dead

Beware undead websites, mindless ads, bloodthirsty campaigns, and wandering hordes…

zombie-infographic

Quality, Speed and Price Nails it for Real Estate Development Company

Municipal Development Services (MDS) is a full-service real estate development company focused on the government sector. Their services include: site selection, space planning, design & construction, accounting and project financing.

Situation: Before coming to Stroud & Associates, MDS had spent months and thousands of dollars trying to get a website designed and programmed with little to show for it. Additionally, they faced a looming deadline for a major RFP submission, which necessitated having the website done within 3 weeks. Since the site would be 25-30 pages and only two pages of copy was written, this was an aggressive timeline.

It was essential the site feature easily accessible information on MDS’s projects. The client also wanted to be able to update content themselves and have the site display properly across mobile devices.

Solution: MDS severed ties with its original design firm and hired us. We chose WordPress–a free open source content management system (CMS)–as the site development tool. Its flexibility and ease of use made it the perfect choice to create a modern site that MDS could easily update.

The site text was designed, written, programmed and launched in just under 3 weeks—2 days before the RFP submission deadline.

MDS was as a true partner in working to get the site live by having a point person who:

  • Quickly provided content (copy points, photos etc.)
  • Answered questions
  • Utilized an efficient approval process

This was crucial in allowing us to deliver quality and speed at a reasonable price, since it reduced time spent chasing down content and approvals.

“We couldn’t be more pleased…Stroud & Associates exceeded our expectations
and delivered what was promised.”

– Don Chandler Principal, Municipal Development Services

www.mds-ga.com
MDS homepage

Flat, Responsive, Infinite—Some Web Design Trends

The web is a constantly changing entity–what’s hot now may be passé in a few months. With that in mind, here are some design/functionality trends that have become more prevalent in 2013 and will carry on into 2014.

FLAT DESIGN
Flat Design is marked by a simpler, cleaner look, emphasizing content by:

  • Use of bold colors
  • Elimination of drop shadows (or use of very subtle ones)
  • Elimination of textures
  • Clean typography
  • Two dimensional flat illustrations/icons

Flat design can be particularly beneficial on mobile devices where a clean, legible interface is essential.

Windows8

Flat design is featured prominently in Windows 8.

Examples of flat design.

RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
Responsive web design allows sites to automatically adapt to the screen size of the device on which
they’re viewed.

responsive

Some of the benefits of a responsive site include:

  • Elimination of the need for a separate mobile site
  • Smoother user experience since the responsive site is optimized for the device on which it’s being viewed
  • Google endorsed for mobile SEO as it makes it easier for their algorithms to work with a single url
  • Faster content update since only a single site is involved

Examples of responsive web design

INFINITE SCROLLING
As a user scrolls down a page, more content loads automatically. This precludes having to wait for pages to
preload–making for a more efficient browsing experience–especially for heavy content sites.

infinite scroll

In particular, sites with user-generated content can benefit from infinite scrolling. Also where content is
represented by images and the user isn’t looking for specific information.

Twitter, Pinterest and Google Images use this type of scrolling.

The drawbacks of infinite scrolling:

  • After clicking on a link, the user can’t return to where they were on a list before clicking
  • Site visitors may feel they can’t get anywhere and get frustrated
  • It uses lots of browser memory

Examples of infinite scrolling:
http://www.reunitetheriver.com/#
http://journey.lifeofpimovie.com/#!/

PARALLAX DESIGN
A scrolling technique where various images move at different speeds or change size, giving a 3d illusion.

parallax

Here some examples.

EXPRESSIVE TYPOGRAPHY
It used to be that a website had to draw from a relatively limited pool of “web-safe” fonts–those that were common across PC and Mac platforms.

typography

The advent of Google and Adobe Edge fonts among others, have opened up a world of possibilities for web typography. There’s no longer any reason for Arial, Georgia, Verdana and the other “usual suspects” to be so ubiquitous on websites.

Site typography can now better reflect the personality of its respective organization, company or institution.

Click for examples.

Will these web trends be short-lived or with us for awhile? Who knows, but either way it’ll be interesting to see where web design goes in the next year or two.

Choose Your Words Wisely— Writing Tips from Famous Authors

scrambled-lettersThe proliferation of social media and content marketing means more people doing more writing–some of it actually good, more of it mediocre and some just plain bad.

Read more…

Tickle Me Pink (as Well as Blue, Red, Gray etc.)

paint-splatterColor—few things in this world are more subjective. We all have our favorites. What looks great to one is putrid to another.  Be that as it may, there are psychological connections to color, though these can be affected by culture. Read more…

The Power of Once Upon a Time

once-upon-larger One of the oldest forms of communication is one of the hottest marketing tools at your disposal. The story–which for thousands of years has conveyed information, entertainment and cultural values – can be an effective way to connect with your audience. Read more…