I recently received a request for a quote from a prospective client. There were about 3 lines of text which simply explained that they were starting a new business, needed a website, and needed an online reservation system with a way to pay. They also mentioned they were on a "tight budget". When I responded, my initial question was concerning the budget. I needed to know what they were working with in order to determine if we could help them at all. From there, a dialog would normally begin where I could learn a little bit more about their business, their goals, and most importantly, the functionality of their website.
In the past week, via Facebook, I happened to spot 3 different companies advertising for design contests. These contests ranged from a design to be printed on a book bag, to a full website. I should also note that some of these did not have cash "prizes". These types of contests are nothing like the type of design contest that seeks to award designers for outstanding work on a particular project (think: Webby Awards, Davey Awards, AIGA contests, etc.). While many people think these type of design contests are perfectly okay and a positive thing, professional designers like myself have a different perspective.
We've written a number of articles on the pitfalls of believing that you can cut costs by doing your design and marketing on your own, but we haven't written an article specifically discussing what the actual return on investment (ROI) for professional design and web development is. Read on as we explain what may be currently holding you back, why professional design is an investment (and not just an expense), and of course, what the return on that investment is.
Back on January 1st, 2011 the credit card industry rolled out mandatory PCI Compliance for both e-commerce and traditional brick and mortar merchants who accept credit cards. Here we are 2 years later and many business owners delving into doing business online and obtaining a merchant account are still unaware of what steps they need to take in order to be PCI Compliant and avoid monthly penalty fees (or worse).
The world of real estate is a place where excellent first impressions can lead to very nice commissions. Learn some of the selling points of custom website design and how it can boost your sales.
Bad form, simply defined as behavior that people do not like because it breaks a social rule. How does this apply to stock photography you might ask? The top faux pas in my book is using stock photography but claiming the person in the stock to be an otherwise real person. This would be similar to posting a not-real photo of yourself on a social networking site and claiming that's the real you.