Educate + Explore

After doing what we do for a couple decades now, we've amassed quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to design, marketing, and doing better business. The purpose of the JVM blog is to share this knowledge with small business owners and entrepreneurs. If you have a request for a particular topic or would like to be a guest author, please get in contact.

Latest Posts

Is your real estate businesses making a great first impression on the web?

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.

Stock Photography and Bad Form

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.

How to use Information Architecture to Make Website Better

I recently read an article in a popular design magazine. It was a discussion of information architecture and how it relates to building websites. Information architecture, in a nutshell, is the organizing and labeling of websites to support usability. On a website, you are presented with options (for example, links or buttons), you make choices, and then you are presented with what you were seeking. In so doing, you're completing a series of steps that were all laid out by a designer.

Why not seeing exactly what you want in a designer’s portfolio is a good thing.

I recently received a response back from a proposal we had out. The client said the proposal was great, the price was just right, but they went with another firm because they, "felt that the portfolio of work of the company we finally chose was closer to our current needs". So basically, they did not see exactly what they wanted in our portfolio. As part of our on-going series on "client education" I'd like to take a closer look at this line of thinking and reasons why making it the number one deciding factor on choosing a designer might not be your best bet.

Thinking about “crowdsourcing” your logo?

To many companies and individuals seeking design services the attraction and benefits of crowdsourcing (outsourcing a task to a larger group of people) seem like a win-win situation. On the surface, it appears that you don't have to worry about researching designers and contacting them on your own. You can get a large variety of designs to choose from for just a fraction of the cost of hiring a single designer or company. And on many crowdsource sites it seems very, "no strings attached" in that if you don't see something you like, you can simply walk away or keep asking for more designs.

Always know who your web hosting and domain name provider is.

Recently we had a client contact us concerned that her domain name might be expiring, but also confused as she had just renewed her web hosting (and her domain name was with the same hosting company). Along with the message she sent us was a very intimidating "notice" that she had received in her email. She wanted to just, "check with us" to make sure. I reassured her that she did the right thing in NOT just automatically thinking this was a legitimate email (and bill) from a company she's already doing business with.

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