Blog Archives


Top tips for succeeding with your web development company

I recently read some of the many tips by Richard Branson’s  and applied to web design they just make for good reading and common sense. Continue reading “Top tips for succeeding with your web development company” »


It’s the salt and pepper…

Salt and Pepper? I hear you exclaim. Yes. You see, my husband and I were grabbing a quick lunch in a very nice little deli in Oakham, Rutland (a lovely part of the country) and when thinking about my contribution to this blog, our lunch came to mind… yes, yes, it all seems a bit incongruous I know, but allow me to expand. Continue reading “It’s the salt and pepper…” »


A Heuristic Approach to Web Design

“Heuristic”… serving to indicate or point out, stimulating interest.

So in web design a heuristic approach is to embrace the way people experience and use a website so as to encourage them to find out more, or indeed to spend money.

There’s la lot of information available from UX research. An abbreviation for “user experience” research of which there are many, many kinds. Indeed the UK Government published guidance on using UX research so it’s pretty fundamental and well recognized. Although having said that, you could argue that it’s what you do all the time in web design. You perhaps spend painful hours trying to establish the best way to engage a user and how best to get them to “click” to go to the page you want them to.

Heuristic evaluation on the other hand is far more structured in its approach in establishing your approach and is not dissimilar to equations, you know, if A+B=C where A=10 and C=15, what value is B? There is a very interesting and useful document on the whole process here

Cutting to the quick though, there has been a lot of work going back several years into how people make decisions and as we are busy people, a deal of those decisions can just be reflex or habitual, but designers can use this research to their advantage when looking at website layout.

Indeed one common effect established in research was that of users acceptance of a website or suppliers default settings. In an interesting article that I credit to one Jared Spool. It was established with interesting amusement that a programmer in Microsoft had set all default settings on a program to zero as it was quicker to program and assumed that someone would give him the right settings later. No one did tell him, thus millions of us just went on using that particular version of Word without the most ideal set up. The point? Users tend to just accept the default, thus if you don’t explain well enough how your product will work and what a user needs for it to perform its application correctly, you could get some unhappy customers who’ve bought the wrong model and you’re going to have a lot of costly returns.

Rarity: I recall watching a program on TV that looked at children’s diet (I’m sorry I can’t recall which channel). In the program one group of children at a party were offered one buffet with a vast array of wonderful choices and another group offered a far smaller range of equally lovely food. The children offered a vast range took much more than they needed in a rather less than select way, whereas the children offered much less were far more selective, choosing carefully what they would like and taking a much better balanced meal because (if was concluded) they needed nourishment and the food was less available.

The rarity factor as established in heuristic research can be used in design to help sell. It turns out that if we think a product is rare, uncommonly available or available for only a short time, we are more likely to purchase it. Thus limited time special offers do work, so you would need to include the ability to promote them in your design brief.

Until next time



The Simplified Web Design Trend 2015

I found myself with a few spare minutes whilst I relaxed with a cup of coffee this morning and decided to look at the latest things in Web design. Continue reading “The Simplified Web Design Trend 2015” »


How to get decent staff.

So if you’re expanding your small web design business, how do you employ decent staff? Continue reading “How to get decent staff.” »


Copy! I can take it from another site can’t I?

The challenges of creating content for your website are more complex than many think. Continue reading “Copy! I can take it from another site can’t I?” »


Tips On Retaining Clients

There are many things that make running  a business difficult Continue reading “Tips On Retaining Clients” »


THAT call to customer service…

Full marks for John Lewis and a lesson for all Continue reading “THAT call to customer service…” »


Is Animation On A Website a No N0?

Back in the dark old age of 1999 when my beaux set up his web design company, I recall with clarity that any kind of animation or movement was a big no, no because it slowed the site opening. Continue reading “Is Animation On A Website a No N0?” »



I recall when I set up a web design agency many moons ago we used to have an array of terminals set in different resolutions and with different browsers to test our new websites. Continue reading “GeoPeeker” »

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