Yarn Brain, Graphic So Good Your Head May Itch

photo (4)

This  is a graphic that so good I had to share. What says “fuzzy” better than yarn? On mornings when I feel like I need that second cup of coffee before the first, I’ll be thinking of a yarn brain! (from O Magazine, July 2014)

Share this post with friends... These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Posted in design | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Online and Offline… Your Business May Depend on Credit Cards

credit cardsAs I work with web clients I ask if they will be accepting credit cards… whether online or through a terminal. There are very few businesses that can thrive without accepting a credit card. This is the new fact of life as we move to a cashless society. So, why is there still resistance to accepting credit cards?

I suggest if there’s resistance to card that someone do a Walmart experiment. I have to admit this is my own tactic to see what’s up with cash vs. card. Here’s how it works… you go to the slow line at Walmart on a Friday evening or Saturday morning. You want the long, slow line so you have plenty of time to scope things out. Why Walmart? Because it’s the crossroads of the American marketplace… you’ll see young and old, rich and poor, credit cards and food stamps (and by the way they aren’t paper anymore, food stamps are a plastic card!). What you won’t see much of are checks. When you do see someone writing a check you’ll notice. Believe me, you’ll notice! Writing a check in line at Walmart is enough to gum up the works. You’ll see everything come to a halt while they pull a cashier off another busy aisle who has check approval authority or they search for a manager. Reminder to self, stay out of the line where it looks like someone will be writing a check!

What does this tell us about Walmart and check writers? Walmart views check writers as a puny enough part of their business that they don’t have a plan in place to streamline through checkout.

Studies of the spending behavior of Generation Y reveals they carry less cash and use electronic payments online as well as credit cards to conduct business. If you think Generation Y are kids in high school or college students you need to catch up. I like to think of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their daughter Cheslea to explain generation distinctions. Bill and Hillary are baby boomers and Chelsea is a child of a baby boomer, a Generation Y. Generation Y are the age of college graduates, young married couples and households who have started having families. Is this a generation of clients or customers you want to exclude from your business?

I know what you’re thinking… only young people use electronic payments and credit cards. I was recently in a bank and overheard an 80-year old (probably older) customer having a conversation with the bank manager. It was a pretty loud conversation because of fading hearing, but it was clear she was. Are you thinking this is one senior, well seniors have been thrown into the world of electronic debits and credits by the Federal government—on March 1, 2013 a new law went into effect that all Social Security recipients were required to switch to direct deposit. If money is going into an account via electronic banking it becomes more likely that electronic payments aren’t too far behind.

If you eliminate the young and the old from doing business with you via electronic payments, then what business is there left to do?

Share this post with friends... These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Posted in Business Tips | Leave a comment

Web Tip: Boost Your Online Image with Professional Photography

camera_illusRemember the new word of 2013? Selfie. I’ve spent the last year encouraging clients to skip the selfie… look less inward and focus more on outward.

The selfie has exploded over the internet and social networking sites. People who weren’t taking selfies before the word entered the Oxford English Dictionary, afterwards jumped on the bandwagon and began taking more photos of themselves alone and with others.

Fast and loose photos have been around for ages. The word snapshot entered our everyday language long before the selfie– sometime after Kodak introduced the Brownie camera in the early 1900’s. The Brownie was the dawn of photography by amateurs – unstaged, no make-up, raw and unpolished. It’s the realm of quick photos of family parties and vacation memories. It never became the standard of graduation photographs, weddings, or business photos. Doesn’t it sound awkward to say you’re putting a snapshot on your business profile? Something just not right about that!

It was the advent of the front facing camera on smart phones that seems to have launched the self portrait fad. Just because we can–  doesn’t mean we should.

Remember that notable image of President Obama with the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the Danish Prime Minister when they took a selfie at Mandela’s funeral? Sorry, you’re not recalling the selfie image? Of course not. You’re remembering the photograph taken of the event by a professional photographer, Roberto Schmidt, with years of camera experience and expensive equipment.  It’s the man outside the photo who made the impact.

I’m going to encourage the web development clients I work with and  other businesses to continue to look professional. A professional photographer can bring to your project experience and polish that you won’t get when snapping photos from your smart phone. Look outward because that’s the way others see you.

Share this post with friends... These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Posted in Business Tips | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

On the Web: Periods Are So Yesterday!

PO Box

It’s time to break out the funeral dirge for periods in punctuation. For folks who have a sentimental attachment to the various English style books, this break-up is going to be hard. Continue reading

Share this post with friends... These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Posted in website content | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Website Forms: Ask It Once to Avoid Redundancy

sears-survey

There’s nothing worse than redundancy in a website. It’s even worse when you’re asking for your web visitor to take their time and provide you with information through a form. Continue reading

Share this post with friends... These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Posted in design | Tagged , | Comments Off