Archive for the ‘Website Design’ Category
Photos are generally regarded as “factual,” as opposed to a drawing or painting, which would be the artist’s interpretation. Photos tend to be trusted more, because they accurately depict what was in front of the camera at the moment the picture was taken.
At least, photographs are supposed to be accurate. How easy is it to edit a photo so that it shows something different than what really happened?
The concept of photo editing is almost as old as photography itself. The first photographic images were recorded in the 1820s, and one of the first widely known edited photos was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Sometime in the 1860s, someone took a standing portrait of Southern Congressman John Calhoun, pasted in Lincoln’s face from the portrait for the five dollar bill, and created a historic photo of Lincoln on the spot.
Even an action as simple and innocent as cropping the picture can be controversial. Imagine a scene of the wreckage left by a tornado. If the photographer cropped out all of the damage, and focused instead on a single building that somehow survived, it would appear that the tornado hadn’t damaged very much at all.
In today’s world of digital photography, some photo editing is necessary on nearly every picture. Digital cameras have to “guess” at the proper color, contrast, and shading of the pictures they take, and proper use of photo editing tools can correct or even enhance the camera’s guesswork.
At the same time, digital photographers must keep in mind that photography–especially journalistic photography–is meant to be a record of a moment in time, and not an artistic recreation of what the photographer wants his audience to see. While editing photographs has become quicker and easier, the temptation to alter the photographs has risen as well.
A lot of successful websites depend on returning visitors to account for a major part of their traffic. Returning visitors are easier to convert into paying customers because the more often they return to a site, the more trust they have in that site. The credibility issue just melts away. Hence, keep your visitors coming back to your site with the following methods:
1) Start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox
When you start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox, you are providing your visitors a place to voice their opinions and interact with their peers — all of them are visitors of your site. As conversations build up, a sense of community will also follow and your visitors will come back to your site almost religiously every day.
2) Start a web log (blog)
Keep an online journal, or more commonly known as a blog, on your site and keep it updated with latest news about yourself. Human beings are curious creatures and they will keep their eyes glued to the monitor if you post fresh news frequently. You will also build up your credibility as you are proving to them that there is also a real life person behind the website.
3) Carry out polls or surveys
Polls and surveys are other forms of interaction that you should definitely consider adding to your site. They provide a quick way for visitors to voice their opinions and to get involved in your website. Be sure to publish polls or surveys that are strongly relevant to the target market of your website to keep them interested to find out about the results.
4) Hold puzzles, quizzes and games
Just imagine how many office workers procrastinate at work every day, and you will be able to gauge how many people will keep visiting your site if you provide a very interesting or addicting way of entertainment. You can also hold competitions to award the high score winner to keep people trying continuously to earn the prize.
5) Update frequently with fresh content
Update your site frequently with fresh content so that every time your visitors come back, they will have something to read on your site. This is the most widely known and most effective method of attracting returning visitors, but this is also the least carried out one because of the laziness of webmasters. No one will want to browse a site that looks the same over ten years, so keep your site updated with fresh bites!
When it comes to your website, extra attention should be paid to every minute detail to make sure it performs optimally to serve its purpose. Here are seven important rules of thumb to observe to make sure your website performs well.
1) Do not use splash pages
Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a website. They normally have a very beautiful image with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just that — pretty vases with no real purpose. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the “back” button! Give them the value of your site up front without the splash page.
2) Do not use excessive banner advertisements
Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valueable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, and let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.
3) Have a simple and clear navigation
You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.
4) Have a clear indication of where the user is
When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Don’t confuse your visitors because confusion means “abandon ship”!
5) Avoid using audio on your site
If your visitor is going to stay a long time at your site, reading your content, you will want to make sure they’re not annoyed by some audio looping on and on on your website. If you insist on adding audio, make sure they have some control over it — volume or muting controls would work fine.