The Davey Awards is an international creative award focused exclusively on honoring outstanding creative work from the best small firms worldwide.The 2014 Davey Awards received nearly 4,000 entries from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms.
We are so very honored to announce that we won 3 Silver Daveys this month for our most recent web design projects! Thanks to our hardworking, dedicated team; and our fantastic clients that continue to challenge us to create such high-quality work.
In 2001, we built our first CPA Society website for the Massachusetts Society of CPAs. Thirteen years later, we are proud to say that we've now worked with sixteen CPA Societies and have developed long-lasting, collaborative relationships with each of them.
Through our experience, we have established a strong understanding of how CPA Societies--and membership organizations as whole--define themselves, what they need to succeed and how an effective website can help them get there.
Here are 5 of what we have found to be the recurring business objectives of a membership organization and a few of the (many) ways we help to support them.
It goes without saying that as a member-driven organization, gaining new members is imperative for CPA Societies. One of the ways we achieve this through a website is by demonstrating the value of membership and highlighting the contrast between membership and non-membership options.
Once you’ve got the members, the next most important task is keeping them. As a member, one of the main functions of a CPA Society’s website is to drive membership renewals. To make that process easier, an effective website will feature a paying in advance function, automatic dues-renewal, send notices when dues are due and include calls to action to pay.
One of the best ways to support both membership growth and retention is by delivering a positive user experience. As part of our craft, we want to make sure that when users go to the CPA Society website, they find what they’re looking for quickly and easily on all different devices. An effective website will invite members to stay a while by providing them with a positive user experience that makes them want to return.
Once your CPA Society is keeping members, members and lowering the membership attrition rate; the next most important task of a website is to increase revenue through non-dues revenue. To do this, a good website will seamlessly support the CPE registration and check out, making it quick and easy to add and change courses. An important aspect of this process—which separates the “men from the boys” of websites—is having the ability to allow members to register themselves, as well as coworkers, friends and family. By understanding and supporting the needs of members, your CPA Society website will ultimately increase profitability.
Nevada Society of CPA's website creatively features CPE courses and events with a fresh and modern user-friendly design.
Identifying New Sources of Revenue
It’s important to remember that your website is a tool. Beyond using it to elevate current sources of revenue, your CPA Society can leverage its website to identify and monetize new sources of revenue. By supporting advertisements and featuring job listings your website can help support new channels of monetization.
This only affects end-users who are still using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 to access HTTPS sites. (IE6 does not support the newer TLS protocol that has replaced SSL nearly everywhere.) Since Microsoft dropped support for IE6 and provided free upgrades to newer versions years ago, this probably doesn't affect you.
The goal of every public facing website is for brands to better connect with their audience on an emotional level and set themselves apart from their competitors. Most people seem to overlook the importance, value and emotional power that good photography adds to their website. Here are a few tips to help you find and use photography that will enhance your brand and communicate you message.
"90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text." *
Don’t just tell. Show.
Nobody likes a wordy website. If you stuff your page with dense content, it wont take long for users turn away and find a better, more engaging site to spend time on. Instead, break up your text and by adding relevant imagery to enhance visual interest. Users will be pleasantly surprised, and find themselves actually wanting to explore your site.
Now, I could write the sentence, “I went hiking this weekend and after a long trek up a steep mountain it was completely worth it..."
- or -
Choose text friendly photos
Photos can help copy hit harder, so using them in close proximity is a great idea. Stay one step ahead by selecting images that have enough "dead space" within the photo where text could sit. Obviously, less is more so don't add too much copy. This is a great concept to keep in mind when you are searching for website header images.
Unify and enhance your images
Using stock imagery that has a unifying tone, style, or subject matter is a good idea to help establish visual cues that better connect to your audience and hit harder. If you find images that don't necessarily look like they go together, using a photo editing application like Adobe Photoshop or Blend to treat them in a more consistent and eye catching manner can turn the ordinary into the incredible.
Make sure it’s relevant
Photos are the fastest elements to look stale on your site compared to your website copy. It's important to select images that feel current. Nobody wants to see a business man rocking a “Zack Morris” style cellular phone or a 1980’s mullet (although I heard the mullets are almost back in style). This is especially important when showing technology. Having a dated looking piece of hardware will immediately make you seem out of touch.
Can't find stock, shoot your own. Direct the photoshoot.
Rather than spending hours on stock photo websites looking for the perfect image, grab your camera and capture exactly what you are after. In the long run, shooting your own footage is the best way to go, as you don’t have to worry about licensing restrictions, can have more control over the direction and can create better continuity between shots. Plus, you get the added bonus of being able to build up skill as a photographer.
5 key lessons
Leverage images that reinforce your brand and connect with users on an emotional level.
Don’t be afraid to shell out money for the right photo. You get what you pay for.
Select images that haven’t been overused and feel unique.
You can always get you hands on a camera to take the photos yourself and tone them accordingly.
Select images that have enough open space for placing text on down the road.
From time to time we update our browser support policy. While you can always find the latest version of our browser support matrix in our Frontend Handbook, what's not there is why we made each decision.
Here's a look behind the curtains: what we mean by “support”, what data we gathered and analyzed, and the changes we made to our support matrix.
“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
The definition of “support” can be slippery. In essence, we mean “it works well”. Not “it looks the same”, or “it works the same way”. What’s appropriate for a mouse-and-window PC is not neccessarily appropriate for a finger-and-fullscreen phone. And that’s okay.
For views into specific industries or demographics, Google Analytics offers great value. Quite a few of our clients’ sites have very focused demographics, ranging from accounting and insurance professionals, to security and technology. Others provide a broad consumer survey. We draw from these to better understand and refine the high-level data drawn from other sources.
Android Phones and Tablets
Looking backward, Android 2.x devices are becoming pretty darn scarce. While Google reports that about 10% of Android worldwide devices are running 2.x, our data in the US puts that number closer to 4%. With Android accounting for, at most, 18% of traffic to consumer web properties (and just a third to a quarter of that at tech and professional sites), then at best Android 2.x represents 0.7% of traffic to our clients’ sites.
Android 4 is the most broadly deployed version, so we concentrate our testing on Android Browser (on Android 4.1–4.2) and Google Chrome for Android (on Android 4.3–4.4).
Looking forward, Android 5.0 (sometimes called “Android L”) is around the corner. Aside from Google’s Nexus devices, it typically takes a few months before major new Android versions start arriving at stores, and can be up to a year before there’s significant uptake. We’ll be watching Android 5, but we don’t start formal support until you can walk into a store and buy a phone with it.
The real trend of note in Android is steadily larger screen sizes:
Not even 1% of Android devices we saw in our broad consumer data last month had screens under 4".
iPhones and iPads
As usual this fall, Apple introduced new iPhones, a new version of iOS, and quietly dropped support for older devices.
Safari on iOS 8 changes how it treats viewports, and we had to update a few sites to allow for this. Aside from this, compatibility is pretty good. The new larger iPhones require a look, but since we already test on 4–5" Android phones, we haven’t had any real surprises here.
Past experience tells us that a third of iPhone users are very slow to update to the latest OS, so we will be monitoring iOS 7 use rates and continue supporting it for the coming year. iOS 6 is effectively gone, though, so we’ve dropped it from our standard matrix.
PCs and Macs
We haven’t changed our Windows Internet Explorer support policy lately. Although Windows 10 has been announced, it’s not yet a factor.
On Mac, we’re adding support for Safari 8 on Mac OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”, and Safari 7.1 on 10.9 “Mavericks”. We’re dropping support for Safari 6, as it’s dropped to just 1.1% of total web use-share:
We dropped Safari 6 and Mac OS X 10.8, added Safari 8 and Mac OS X 10.10. No recent changes to IE, Chrome or Firefox.
Internet Explorer 8.0
Internet Explorer 9.0
Internet Explorer 10.0
Internet Explorer 11.0
yes (*8.1 only)
Safari 7.1 Retina
Safari 8.0 Retina
We added Apple's iOS8 on all supported devices, and dropped iOS6 devices. (This means no more non-Retina iPhones—high-res all the way!) On the Android size, we dropped Android 2.x, added 4.4, and set a minimum screen size of 4". We've also simplified the table for ease of reading.
Debating if you need a website redesign? Wishing you just had a sign that said, “it’s time”?
Sign #1: It’s not responsive.
Long gone are the days when you can afford to have a website that doesn’t look good on mobile/tablet. In fact, according to Cisco, mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014 alone. If your website isn’t looking and performing flawlessly on desktop, mobile and tablet, it’s time for a redesign.
Sign #2: It’s hard to navigate.
Websites are supposed to help, not hurt. When a user comes to your website, they should be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to find what they’re looking for, and how intuitive the navigation is. Otherwise, they will simply leave disgruntled and go straight to your competitor’s easy-to-use site. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, it’s time for a redesign.
Sign #3: Your analytics show high bounce rates.
Data doesn’t lie. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave after visiting one page. If your bounce rate is high, it could mean your site isn’t providing the information the user is looking for, is taking too long to load, or perhaps there is a larger disconnect between your site and your users. The bounce rate essentially measures how effectively your brand is resonating with visitors, so high bounce rate=low resonation=time for a design.
Sign #4: It’s slow to load.
Load time is crucial to website success. You can have the most beautiful, innovative website, but if it takes too long to load, users will exit before they can see any of it. One study showed that if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost $2.5 million in lost sales every year. So what contributes to slow load time? A lot. Check out our more detailed post about it. Moreover, if your website’s load time is inhibiting your success, it’s time for a website redesign.
Sign #5: You don’t show it off.
If you’re not showing off your website, you’re probably not proud of it. If you’re not proud of your website, what better time than the present to update it? Your website provides an amazing platform to showcase your expertise, uniqueness and overall flare. It should be leveraged as a tool and seen as an opportunity to differentiate from competitors. Additionally, the majority of the consumer decision-making process happens long before they visit your store or go to checkout; it’s happening on your website. So, “if your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.” (Entrepreneur article). Make the investment in your website, and make the investment in your brand.
If any of these apply to you, consider it the sign (or 5) you were looking for! It’s time for your website redesign.
So what are you waiting for? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’re here to help.
A long overdue item. iMarc now has its own stencil set for use in OmniGraffle. What is OmniGraffle? It's a Mac-based diagramming tool often utilized in the creation of site maps and wireframes. For years, we have relied on the Konigi stencil set and it has served us very well. We have taken some elements from Konigi and created a stencil set based on our needs.
We have been using Fontawesome icons within OmniGraffle lately and they have found a home in this stencil along with larger form elements, meta data and annotation badges, tables, social media, pagination and more.
Clark Nuber is an award-winning public accounting firm located in the beautiful Puget Sound Region in Washington. We were thrilled when they chose us for its website redesign project, and are even more thrilled with the end result!
The new website features responsive design, seamless video integration and a clean, modern look-and-feel. Clark Nuber's online presence has been enhanced by showcasing its vibrant, engaging blog, social media integration and personalized employee profiles.
It's refreshed with a modern and clean design, streamlined, intuitive navigation, and is fully responsive so users will have an optimal experience on mobile, tablet and desktop. Check it out and let us know what you think!
I'm a latecomer to most of the fascination with the belongings people carry with them on a daily basis. I keep my laptop bag stuffed as much as the next person here. So here's all the things I carry with me every day (mouse over for details.)
How It's Made
While putting together the graphic, it occurred to me that it'd probably be possible to build an entire website using SVG instead of HTML, but I expect that there's probably ramifications that I've forgotten.