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Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,279 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Do you have a sense of design?


The secret of great design lies in following the rules and the famous 6 principles of design, and great design masters know how to break or bend those rules to inspire new style, and a new age of amazing combination of shape, color, and composition.

 

Unity/Harmony

 

How far is too far? A good designer has a sense of proximity, the distance between elements, but a great designer pushes these limits until something beautiful emerges. Harmony also means recognizing a similarity and creating a repetition of elements alike, giving the design rhythm and extending the pattern continuously.

 

Balance

 

Having a good balance in design is the key to evoke a visual experience among the audience. More than just a golden ratio, a master of design know when to use symmetry or asymmetry, and to keep a good balance in the design when using elements which are different from each other. Depending on what the design represents, many choose circular form to distribute different sections.

 

Hierarchy

 

Designs are visual storytellers, a shortcut for pitching a product or an idea. Different patterns are telling different stories, which is why a hierarchy matters when arranging your graphic elements - whether you implement an order of a tree or nest, or you distribute your factors according to their class and give them adequate weight.

 

Scale/Proportion

 

Every factor of your design has to be in a relationship with others. You can express this relationship by scaling the elements by size, harmonically distribute it in a ratio, according to laws of geometry, or choose the main focus and explain the connection of other elements using division.

 

Dominance/Emphasis

 

An element that stands out can be highlighted with its size, but there are other ways to create beauty without making something bigger (or something else smaller). Your focus can stand out with its shape - a unique shape surrounded with others which are similar, and also color, which is more frequent in colorful designs nowadays - in other words, if you want an object to stand out, let it shine.

 

Similarity & Contrast

 

Do you know that drawing where all the lines are straight, but one of them is freely wiggling around? When working on a new project, think about that special focus of the design and make it be the first thing someone sees. Practically used in advertising, a visual add in a campaign could look like "Everybody does this, but we do it this special way", so this contrast will make a design appealing and also serve a purpose of selling the product. Another common technique to achieve contrast is to use color and particularly contrast between light and dark shade.

 

As it said at the beginning of the text, a great designer is not only a master of these principles and techniques but is also not afraid to think out of the box and use the rules to create outstanding designs to remember.

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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Go Green with Your Home Décor


home decor

Taking care of the earth’s environment makes a lot of sense, especially when you can manage it without doing anything extreme. You don’t have to be an environmental activist to make a difference. Here are a few simple ways you can do your part.

Get High-Quality Furniture in Timeless Styles

Buying junky furniture means you have to dispose of it more often. When you choose high-quality furniture, though, it will last for many years. Then, you won’t be contributing to the massive amounts of debris already piling up in landfills..

 

Another thing you can do when buying furniture is to stay away from faddish styles. Instead, select furniture that never looks outdated. If your furniture continues to look good year after year, you won’t have to replace it so soon.

And, if you ever decide to update your home décor, the furniture will still be serviceable. That means you can donate it to a charity like a Habitat for Humanity and let someone else enjoy it even longer.

Opt for Natural Warmth and Lighting

natural warmth

Unless you’re using green energy sources like wind and solar power, every time you turn on the heat and lights, you’re having a negative ecological impact. Reduce the amount of heat you use by choosing warm bedding, throw blankets, and rugs. Natural lighting helps, too, so open up your curtains and let the sunlight light up your life.

 

You’ll need far less heating if you can snuggle up comfortably in bed or wrap a shawl around you as you read or watch TV in the living room. And, you won’t have to crank up the heat in the mornings when you don’t have to step out of bed onto a cold floor.

Add Greenery

Eco-friendly habits and products are called “green” for a reason. Green is the color of living plants, which contribute oxygen and eat up carbon dioxide. So, put lots of plants both inside and outside your home. You’ll not only be helping keep the earth environment healthy. You’ll also be making a beautiful ambiance in your home.

 

One thing to remember, though, is that you can get soil and water on the floor easily if you have a lot of plants in your home. It can damage your hardwood floors or carpeting. That’s easy to remedy. Just get an attractive rug to place under the larger plants or groupings of smaller plants that you set on the floor. Doing so contributes to your interior décor while protecting your flooring.

Choose Accessories Made of Natural Materials

Accessories can enhance your home décor dramatically. Choose items that are environmentally-friendly. For example, a plastic laundry basket is both harmful to the environment and unsightly. Instead, choose a rope or woven basket. Unlike the plastic basket, it will contribute to your interior design and decompose naturally when it’s served its purpose.

natural materials

 

The choices you make in decorating your home can hurt the environment or protect it. And, you don’t have to give up an attractive design to do it. You can find the right options at a furniture company that has a wide selection of furniture and accessories. Then, you can breathe easier, knowing that you’ve done something good.

 

At first glance, it may seem that everyone around is going crazy by bothering with materials that complement the interior of their home. However, it is a matter of habit. Trying new, more rational, approaches to organizing and arranging yourself and your home - you expand your world view and cease to be a simple user. You become a thinking citizen who does not just follow the possible trends, but does it wisely!

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What to Think About When Designing a Website


website design

Behind an appealing and user-friendly web design, there is a lot of knowledge about how different elements are connected. In some cases you also have to choose different programming languages, depending on which platform the website is published on.

 

A web designer often works solely with content and layout on a website, but many designers also have programming skills. Web design is the visuals that meets us when we visit a page. The design is put together so that it appeals to the right audience. This means knowledge about web design is also necessary to understand digital marketing.

 

Do you think this sounds interesting? Follow on to learn more about what a good web design entails and what you can do to get a better, user-friendly and targeted website.

Proper Web Design

Before you start designing or redesigning a website, think about:

 

  • Who you want to reach out to: Analyze your customers. The target group will, for example, influence the choice of color, presentation and other visual factors.
  • What resources customers and potential customers needs to choose you over others who offer similar services and products.
  • What you want to achieve with the web design. For example: increased customer activity, commitment, arouse interest, increased sales, etc.
  • How to make your website easy to use: Lack of user-friendliness can result in both falls in Google rankings and visitor numbers. Improved usability can be, for example, fewer menus, search capability and general clarity.
  • Universal Design: There are many users who rely on websites to be functional, even for themselves. Here you can, for example, use supplementary pictures, illustrations and multimedia. Universal design is actually a legal requirement and you should therefore make sure that your website supports these requirements.

 

No matter if you’re designing a website for bank services, a blog about how to find the best personal loans, or an online clothing store, it is important that your design matches what the purpose of the website is.

Avoid Static Web Pages

To get an optimal web design, you need to implement digital marketing, and design and redesign the website accordingly. This is a practice that is often called Growth-Driven Design (GDD). Such a design means that you have a website that is constantly evolving in line with customer behavior. To achieve this, there will be a constant need for analysis of what visitors do, how long they stay on the page, and what services they use the most.

 

In traditional web design, the case is often as follows: A customer needs a new website. The website is designed and then maintained and redesigned every second or third year. For some, this may be optimal, but many also miss out on good marketing and sales opportunities because the development is too slow.

 

With the Growth-Driven-Design method you get a web design that you can change and develop in step with your customers, and this way you will see a faster growth in the number of visits. It doesn't have to be big changes, and often it’s something you can change and structure on your own, without any programming skills.

 

Benefits of growth-driven-web design:

 

  • Result Driven means more results: When customizing the design and content for user experiences, you will get a website that appeals better to the right audience.
  • Flexibility: You are not locked into a design, but has the ability to change and adapt the way.
  • Continuous improvement.
  • You get a website that matches the customer's wishes and needs.
  • More predictable: You don’t base web design on pure conjecture, but conduct the design step by step based on analysis.
  • You'll save yourself unnecessary costs: GDD allows you to make small adjustments and test the effect over a shorter period of time.

 

It can be profitable to get professional help with your web design. Using external agencies will save you unnecessary costs and adjust your budget according to needs.

Responsive Web Pages

To get an optimal web design, the design must be adapted to all screen sizes. Many of us use our smartphones and smart tablets, and therefore you should make sure that the website is adaptable to all platforms.

 

If you are unsure of how the website looks on your mobile, you can change the size of your browser and see how the items move. If the page ends up looking a little strange, the page is most likely not responsive.

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6 Digital Design Tips to Help You Build Your Website


digital design

Are you an entrepreneur looking to build your own website? Here’s a quick pick-me-up for non-designers to guide you through the basics.

Graphics designers all over the world generally prefers Mac over PCs, so congrats if you’re on one. Apple has been consistently stronger in colour display and design support, but either way, get your device ready and let’s dive right in!

  1. Use authentic software

It is rather pricey to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, but you will soon find out that it’s far superior than using free, cracked software. Be it Photoshop or Illustrator, updates are usually unavailable when you’re on a cracked software. It’s also very time consuming to look for a legitimate crack - most of the time you just end up with malware.

Freebies are not worth a virus-ridden, lagging device, especially when the Mac itself is not cheap. Don’t waste time looking for the latest software crack, head straight to Adobe’s official site and get a subscription.

Students get the software at a discounted price, but even if you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur, it’s worth paying full price. View shelling out the money as an investment but not an expense.

  1. Do not overdo it

Once you have your digital design tools all set up, here’s a simple design rule of thumb that should always be at the back of your mind – less is more.

Adobe design software comes with a range of fonts and you might be tempted to put them all to use, but consistency is key. One or at most, two styles are enough: one for the headers (title and sub-headers), and one for the body. If you must use multiple fonts, try to be as organized as possible. Make sure there is strong reason behind each change of font so it’s not confusing to the reader.

As with the saying, ‘simple English is good English,’ any sort of creative work should be focused primarily on getting the message across. If you’re not sure whether you’re overdoing it, come back to your design in a few days with fresh eyes. You’ll instantly notice if something sticks out.

  1. Leave appropriate blank spaces

This might be quite counter-intuitive to the beginner, but leaving blank spaces actually adds to your design. A cluttered layout is overwhelming and confusing. Readers want to be clearly guided as to where to look, so direct their attention to what’s important by leaving lots of blanks around it. Don’t fill up white spaces thinking you’re maximizing your real estate; a messy layout only deters your audience.

Apple’s ads are prime examples. Notice how they’re always ultra-simple yet super impactful? That’s the way to do it.

  1. Keep your objects aligned

Sometimes structure is vital to visual appeal. While we want to be unorthodox and creative, a solid framework gives your design a strong backbone so interesting features pop. Aligning key shapes and texts also makes your layout more presentable and professional. Once you’ve identified the objects you want to align, highlight them in one go and choose the way you want to line them up or distribute them.

  1. Choose palettes made by professionals

Here on Colour Lovers, there are millions of palettes to choose from. Unsure what to go for? You can decide based on the mood of your project or brand, or simply go for the palettes of the year.

Not only is it a dreadful process to pick your colours one by one, it’s also going to take a while before you get it right. Opting for pre-selected combinations will help you jump-start your design process.

  1. Conduct thorough research

The prevalent style of design varies from culture to culture, so make sure you conduct adequate research before you start putting things together to appeal to your audience. If you’re targeting a foreign market, consider installing a VPN on your Mac or PC to change your virtual location to the target locale. With a changed location, you’ll see search results as if you’re in the area, so you can take inspiration from competitor sites. Even if you’re going for an international and professional look, a VPN can still be of help – just change your location to the United States and take a leaf off their book.

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A New Hue For You: Choosing Colors to Match Your Mind


choosing colors

When people see a particular color, or even hear the name of that color, it can trigger deep-set memories and associations made from long ago. Color affects many different psychological and physical aspects, with each color possessing unique attributes. As further evidence of its effects, it’s often used in different types of therapies, including Emotional Transformation Therapy. Surrounding yourself with colors that reflect how you want to feel can have a prominent impact on your well-being. Redecorating is the perfect opportunity to incorporate colors that will benefit your state of mind.

Choose Your Canvas

Home decorating often involves interior wall painting, which is a great means of implementing color- but it’s not your only option. Furniture, flooring, and exterior siding are just a few other possibilities. If you want to go with an exciting, bold color like red, for example, you may feel it’s a bit too much for your wall, but you can accent the room with red throw pillows and tapestries. Make this color the star by balancing the scheme with a neutral wall color, like cream. You can keep things simple with one renovation, or choose to overhaul several to work in your color scheme. If you choose the latter, be sure you have the means to invest in a large-scale project. It’s important to choose high quality materials so your work remains intact for many years to come. You can finance home renovations to meet your needs, or scale back on what you’re remodeling all at once so that it doesn’t become a financial strain. Once you’ve determined how you want to redesign, you can begin choosing your scheme.

Cool Color Tones

When it comes to choosing your color scheme, you’ve likely already given it some thought without knowing the psychology behind specific colors, not to mention other aspects you may want to consider. For example, cool color tones recede within a room, making a space look larger. These tones include pinks, blues, and greens. Pinks create a sense of nurturing, love, and compassion, as well as femininity. Blues are associated with wisdom, faith, trust, intelligence, and confidence. Finally, shades of green represent calmness, harmony, growth, security, and fertility. A shade of green is an excellent choice for a child’s room to provide a sense of soothing, or any space you’d like to embody a sense of peace.

Warm Color Tones

On the other side of the spectrum, you have warm colors. These include reds, yellows, and oranges, as well as many brown-based earth tones. Choose red colors if you’re looking to enhance passion and excitement; red raises a room’s warmth and energy levels and creates a strong first impression. Yellow is associated with happiness and sunlight, and can provide a sense of welcoming. Orange, similar to yellow, is also associated with sunshine, as well as joy, but this color has such a large range of tones that different shades can have drastically different effects, so do a little more reading on the topic if you want to use this color. A very vibrant warm color is a nice choice for any lively, energetic space, like a play room or kitchen, where you’d expect to hear a lot of conversation and laughter.

When you’re choosing colors for your home, there’s really no right or wrong answer. Take your time to decide what you want, and choose what's right for you. Cool colors can bring out your inner zen, while bright warm tones can enhance your zest for life. The choice is yours.

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4 Ways to Improve Your Web Design Skills This Year


web design

Whether you build websites for fun, or want to make a career out of it, it’s important to note that the technology is continuously changing.  Because of this, it’s vital that you keep your knowledge up to date and refresh your skills.  If you’re currently wondering what you could do to improve, read on.  We’re going to provide you with five options that could all work in your favor.

1. Start with the Theory

The first thing you’ll want to do is start with the theory.  You can either purchase books related to web design, sign up to online courses, or take a course at a local school or college.  You can learn everything from SQL to responsive design, and even coding, and every extra thing you learn will place you a step ahead of the competition.  Courses and books are available for people of all different levels of experience, so whether you need beginner help or want to take your current skills to the next level, you’ll surely find something suitable.

2. Build a Sandbox Site

The next thing you’ll want to do is build a sandbox website where you can practice your skills without them affecting your clients.  After all, practicing on an in-production site is a big no-no!  You can do this easily with a local host.  Simply build a sandbox and try out new design concepts without fear of breaking anything.  If you do run into problems, you can simply reset the sandbox to an earlier point in time, while making note of what caused the error.

3. Give and Receive Critiques

Exchanging feedback with another designer can prove immensely helpful, and it’s one of the best ways to improve your knowledge.  Giving feedback to other designers can help you to improve your own skills.  If something isn’t quite right with a designer’s website, you can explain why and what you would do to change it.  Not only are you helping out a fellow professional, but you’ll be practicing communication skills that will be useful for design jobs in the future.  Of course, this works the other way around too and you may end up learning some new tips and techniques that could boost your knowledge too.

4. Pay Attention to Trends

Finally, it’s also important to pay attention to trends.  As we said in the introduction, technology is constantly changing and if you want to remain at the top of your game, you need to be willing to learn and be able to implement each trend as it is released.  Some of the biggest ones over the last decade include the end of Flash, and the expansion of responsive design.  Those who are still designing in Flash, and designing websites that can only be viewed clearly on PCs and laptops are not going to be highly sought after by many people.

Improving your web design skills should be something you do regularly, so don’t neglect this task!

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A Color Palette For Every Vibe


Deciding on a color palette which fits your mood is like choosing the right playlist for the day. Colourlovers are explorers who discover new palettes for every occasion, matching perfect shades with perfect tones, for the blues and the jazz of a perfect day.

 

We came across a list of palettes by Reux Design Co, their top picks for five different ambiances.

 

  1. Soft, Romantic, Organic

 

If you are feeling poetic, full of care and tenderness, this delicate flower which is created with this choice of colors can make your day even more romantic. This palette fits vagabond souls, nature-loving and free spirits, it is a spontaneous yet gentle combination. Every shade is a soft pick, but put together they are a perfect fit for dreamers and love birds.

 

#c6d8cf | #dfbbb6 | #e7c9b1 | #f6e3c4 | #dc7863

 

2. Strong, Masculine, Clean

 

Black and white are always giving a strong impression, like a good cup of coffee in the morning. This combination is exuding simplicity and clear rationalist view. Strong blue and green are empowering this simple base and giving the "muscles" to your combination.

strong color palette at colourlovers

 

#5c5ba7 | #43a472 | #f0f0f0 | #000000

3. Bright, Cheerful, Fun

 

Now, this palette is like riding a roller coaster. It has everything you need for a bright sunny day - the gray is a firm base for the cheery shades of blue and red, not too strong but not subtle either. Smooth shades of orange and yellow are adding the sweetness, playfulness, and goofiness to the combination. Almost if you can taste the lollypop, sugar melting in your mouth, just from looking at these shades full of flavor.

bright color palette

 

#40979b | #acb0ad | #f06134 | #ffd2aa | #faf6a7

 

4. Luxurious, Thoughtful, Mature

 

Sophisticated color palettes never get old. Everybody has a moment when they need one - like a royal outfit combination to make us come across as more mature and serious. This choice, however, doesn't have any haughty statements but offers a wiser point of view, full of understanding.  These colors remind us to appreciate life and the knowledge that comes with time.

luxurious color palette

 

#adc9c7 | #254a45 | #d9b9a9

 

5. Girly, Rich, Bold

 

This brave color composition is contained of very strong, juicy shades, on a dirty white base. Even though it appears playful, nothing about this palette is innocent. The purple shade is the most tricky one - one thing is to be brave, and another not to know if we can pull something off. This blend is both feminine and masculine at the same time, which is its true wealth.

girly color palette at colourlovers

 

#842279 | #f5290b | #f1f0e8 | #171e4b

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Interview questions every artist should be prepared for


Important jumps in every artist's career are being featured in art magazines. These opportunities are always both amazing and scary, which is why it is important to prepare for the interview properly. You will want to make sure that you leave a good impression and that your art statement comes across. To get ready and become more confident, we suggest that you answer these questions yourselves before you get a chance to talk about your art with a journalist. These are some of the most common questions artists get asked in an interview, and they can also help you have a better and clearer statement for your art.

What does your work aim to say?

 

Now, even though you have a full grasp on what is your work about, it is very important for others to have the wide context as well. In answering this question, think not only about what inspires you but how are you personally reflecting on the matter, thus why does it bring a burning urge to create your work. Think about the materials you are using and how do they fit in the concept of your artwork, and then the narrative of your work and what kind of dialogue it should inspire. Formulate your answer in a clear manner, but leave it open for additional interests and further questions on the topic.

Who are your biggest influences?

 

Whether it is one particular artist whose work inspired you to become an artist yourself, or if there is a variety of artists which influenced your style, your theme, your expression - your answer to this question is important because it will help the audience locate you on the big canvas of different creators. Most importantly, this will help curators, critics and collectors recognize you as an artist they should pay attention to. If your influences are your current colleagues from the world of art, you can also show your respect for their work, and elaborate on what aspect of that work you are inspired by, and why.

How does your work comment on current issues on a national/global level?

 

Throughout history, art has played a valuable role in shaping our societies. If your work is making a comment on current political/ social/ ecological happenings, then you have a chance to enter a worldwide artistic dialogue and be recognized on a large scale. Think about how your artwork fits into the great puzzle and how are your pieces expressing your personal viewpoints. Smart and prepared answer to this question can ensure you high rates in the art world and help you grow your network.

What is your background?

 

The purpose of this question is not to highlight your education and achievements in your career. Although this is a part of your answer, the main focus of your story should be reflecting on your personal growth, your cultural heritage and those life events which inspired your work. Readers would like to know more about you as a person behind your art, what set of events shaped you and played an important role in your artistic development, how is your cultural identity tied with the work you've shown so far. This question also opens a possibility for a short glimpse into your future plans and what is your current work in progress inspired by.

Which current art world trends are you following?

 

To be a respected artist, with good sale rates, you'll have to keep track of the hot topics on the current art scene on a local, national and international level. During your interview, you will have the chance to show your awareness of the waves and flows of the market, the trends in the art that is being made by your colleagues, as well as art-buying trends. You can express your deep, philosophical understanding of the phenomena in today's art, your clever predictions on the further interests of the market and reflect on famous contemporary artists and the public interest in their work.

 

By coming prepared to an interview, you are showing your respect towards the time of the person on the receiving end. Knowing what you will talk about in advance, means that you will appear more confident and avoid reckless mistakes which can hurt your career in the long run.

 

Art interview doesn't need to be a date in your calendar which you dread, it can be an awesome opportunity to share your calling with the world. This way, the audience is given the chance to meet the person behind the canvas, and relate to your art on a deeper, intimate level, with a better understanding of the statement you are expressing.

 

Are you prepared for your next interview? We hope this helped you prepare and lose the jitters. Fingers crossed!

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Did The Simpsons Predicts Pantone’s Color of the Year?


simpsons

The Pantone Color of the Year is a calendar event that every designer keeps an eye on. Starting in 2000, the Color of the Year is as straightforward as it sounds. However, are there more nefarious forces at play? The team at Aspire Doors noticed something that may have just blown Pantone’s cover wide open. Kind of…

Before we get into their discovery, let’s discuss the Pantone Color of the Year and its significance…

What is the Pantone Color of the Year?

Pantone was founded in 1962 for the purpose of creating colour cards that would be used by cosmetics companies. The following year they changed course with their colour matching system otherwise known as PMS (Pantone Matching System). What this does is create a catalogue of all colours that can then be used around the world with consistency.

Having consistent colours is crucial for your branding or any other design project and with so many possible colours out there, it became necessary to standardise and quantify colour. Without being able to find and use a colour consistently, design projects would increase massively in logistics and time wasted.

In 2000, they launched the Colour of the Year and it has since made Pantone the global authority on colour. They have moved with the times as well. Before the internet, Pantone would provide solid colour ink printed on paper. They now work in CMYK as well as RGB and have documented and numbered thousands of solid colours for you to use in your web design projects.

How is the Pantone Colour of the Year Decided?

This is where Aspire Door’s discovery comes in. The COTY is supposed to represent the socio-economic conditions of the time and is decided by a number of different colour representatives around the world. They meet in secret to discuss and debate what it should be.

Taking pointers from fashion, art, politics, packaging, branding, film, travel destinations and more, they decide on a hue that best represents that year. Or do they?

The Simpsons-Pantone Connection

Here’s where the truth may lie. Since 2010, the Pantone Color of the Year can be observed in the living room of one of TV’s most famous families, The Simpsons.

As this post from Aspire Doors demonstrates, the 2019 Color of the Year ‘Living Coral’ matches the Simpsons’ skirting boards and thus completes the set from 2010 to 2019. 2013’s COTY ‘Emerald’ matches the carpet, the walls match the 2016 COTY, every part from the magazine rack to the rug can be linked to the Pantone Color of the Year.

Is this proof that Pantone gave up in 2010 and are just pointing to a different part of the Simpsons living room each year? We doubt it, but the coincidence definitely raises an eyebrow.

The Simpsons Future Predictions

This can be categorised as one of many future predictions that The Simpsons have got right. When Donald Trump ascended to the presidency in 2016, viewers remembered the 1998 episode ‘Bart to the Future’ where Donald Trump becomes president. Even the campaign posters were almost identical apart from the slogan. The Simpsons thought he’d opt for ‘America, you can be my ex-wife!’ instead of ‘Make America Great Again’.

This is just one prediction in a long list, from Las Vegas circus tiger attacks to the mass hysteria of the Higgs Boson particle; The Simpsons have had an uncanny ability to see into the future. So, are the writers time travellers?

Probably not.

The truth is, the Simpsons have been going for so long and the world around them has always informed their jokes. In 30 years of writing jokes based on current affairs, some of those scenarios are bound to come true. After all, Donald Trump expressed interest in running for the presidency as early as 1988, a whole decade before the ‘Bart to the Future’ episode and a year before the Simpsons’ first episode in 1989.

‘The Simpsons Did It Already’ is an online meme that is testament to this fact. In 30 years of the Simpsons, they’ve covered so much ground that so many hypothetical situations have already been explored by their writers. It’s made it really hard to come up with ideas for your own TV show, because pretty much anything you can think of has already been done by Matt Groening et al. So, there’s no need to believe in time travel just yet.

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60 Things to Check Before Launching Your Site


designing a website

From a sleek design to functional navigation, a lot goes into crafting a visually appealing, user-friendly website. The work doesn’t finish there, either. The site needs to rank high on search engines, engage users and entice a reaction – whether through conversations or sales.
With so many aspects to consider, the pressure is on to deliver a high-quality website. Fortunately for you, this checklist highlights 60 of the most important things to check before the site’s launch.

page content

Page Content

1. Remove generic content

Website templates usually come pre-packaged with lorem ipsum-type content. Ensure this is removed completely before launch.

2. Proofread the content

Spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar hurt the professionalism of a website. Check all text and correct any errors.

3. All text formatting is correct

From paragraphs to lists, all text should be correctly formatted.

4. Optimise your images

Image optimisation on all devices is an important step, as is making certain all pictures are inserted in the correct areas of the website.

5. Engaging video setup

Video content has to be placed in the right area of the website, while other aspects to consider include setting up a playlist or an auto play function.

6. Audio accessibility and functionality

If your website utilises audio, make sure it’s at the correct volume, plays in the right place and works on all devices.

7. All premium content is stored in the correct places

When premium content like eBooks and case studies are offered, these items need to be stored in the right databases/libraries to work properly.

8. Provide contact information

If users want to get in touch, all company contact details should be up-to-date and present throughout the website.

9. Provide an author’s page

When running a news website, it is essential to supply transparent author information for inclusion onto the Google News Publisher platform.

10. Ensure fonts are user-friendly

Choose fonts which are familiar, easy to read and seamlessly blend together with the rest of the website’s design.

11. Integrate social media accounts

If your website has any associated social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, integrate them within the site.

12. Feature up-to-date copyright

The copyright date, which is often found in the footer, should always display the current year.

13. All rights are property attributed

Using any fonts, images or other content which needs to be attributed or licensed from the owner? Make sure you have the rights to use such assets.

14. Logo is in place

The logo should be clear, optimised and easy to recognise for all screen sizes.

SEO

SEO

15. Use unique page titles

Eye-catching page titles, which incorporate keywords and have fewer than 70 characters, will grab the attention of users (and the search engines).

16. Implement keywords whenever possible

All pages should boast relevant keywords, and each targeted word should appear in the page copy.

17. Don’t forget meta descriptions

For added SEO effectiveness, include a meta description with every page. This description should feature keywords and fewer than 156 characters.

18. Optimise every image title

When uploading any image, its title shouldn’t be wasted. Use keywords to describe the image.

19. Use alt tags for each image

For additional image optimisation and visibility, alt tags should be used. This provides an additional text alternative for the likes of Google, guaranteeing more chance of showing up prominently in search results.

20. Optimise every URL

Webpage URL’s are a key area for SEO. Instead of a URL which includes the date or a generic collection of numbers, it needs to boast the page title – and its keywords – clearly.

21. Have the URL’s display site architecture

URL’s should also display the website’s information architecture. This produces a greater level of organisation, which ultimately improves the crawl efficiency of search engines.

22. Create an XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is essentially a roadmap to all of your website’s important pages. It can be used to incorporate additional information for each URL, which also ultimately helps with SEO.

23. Submit the XML sitemap

The XML sitemap needs to be submitted to search engines like Google and Bing.

24. Have the metadata in place

When content goes through an RSS feed, the metadata needs to be in place. This should display compelling copy, effective keywords and be succinct in character length. Regarding the latter, page titles should sit at less than 65 characters, whereas page descriptions typically fall between 150-170 characters.

25. Metadata is setup for social media

The metadata should also be in place properly for sharing content on any social media.

26. All metadata is grammatically correct

As with all other content on the website, the metadata should always supply correct grammar and spelling.

27. Use rel=”nofollow” tags

These need to be used if your website displays any untrusted content, paid links, or any other pages with content you don’t want search engines to crawl.

28. Utilise 301 redirects

If your website has any old URL’s, these should navigate to new pages via 301 redirects.

design

Design

29. Make the webpages compatible across every browser

Whether it’s Google Chrome, Firefox or any other web browser, your website needs to work across all platforms.

30. Compatibility on all devices

Whether it’s a desktop or mobile, the website has to work on every device.

31. Optimised scripts

To assist with site speeds, optimise the scripts across all web pages.

32. Validate CSS and HTML

This ensures the validity of your web content, and helps towards freeing it of any errors.

33. CSS is optimised

The CSS should be optimised on every web page. This can be done via methods such as using image sprites, reducing unnecessary code and splitting CSS files.

34. Have functional paragraph styles

Lists, block quotes, headers – these styles need to work properly across the site.

35. Apply a favicon icon

The favicon, which is a small image which represents your website, needs to be in place and rendering correctly. The more distinctive, the better it stands out among other bookmarked websites.

functionality

Functionality

36. Have fully-functioning forms

If your website makes use of forms, these need to be formatted and correctly submit data.

37. Say thank you

When a form is submitted, a ‘thank you’ message should be displayed. Every courtesy counts!

38. Have autoresponders in place

If your website needs to provide programmed responses to users, any applicable autoresponders need to work properly.

39. Make use of form data

All form data needs to be correctly stored in a database and/or emailed to a recipient.

40. Working internal links

If these are hyperlinks embedded within page content or links via the navigation menu, these all need to work across the website.

41. Working external links

Have any external links going to other websites? These also need to work and preferably open in a new tab.

42. Check all feeds are functioning

News, RSS and social media feeds need to function correctly.

43. Check all social media functionality

When using social media share icons on your web pages, it’s important to ensure these are functioning as expected.

44. Link the logo

Instead of being a simple static image, the logo should link to the website’s homepage.

45. Implement redirect pages

404 redirect pages are needed for users that turn down the wrong road on your website.

46. Integrate third-party tools

If using e-commerce software, CRM and other third-party tools, these need to be integrated and running smoothly.

47. Optimising page speed

It goes without saying that website load speeds need to be as fast as possible. Optimising can cover everything from minimising HTTP requests to deferring JavaScript loading.

security and compliance

Security and compliance

48. Enable 24/7 monitoring

To ensure round-the-clock surveillance, install monitoring scripts which work 24/7.

49. Get a backup copy

Once the final website is complete, make a copy. This is for backup purposes in case the site encounters any significant issues.

50. Get regular copies made

Due to the continuous threat of malicious activity, copies of the website should be created and stored on an ongoing basis.

51. Have secure password storage

Website credentials and passwords need to be stored in a protected database.

52. Announce those cookies

When websites use cookies – aka those harmless files that track a user’s preferences – it has to be announced publicly to visitors.

53. Comply with usage rights

If code, images or other assets are borrowed/purchased, ensure this is compliant with any usage rights.

54. Have visible terms and privacy policies

Any applicable terms and privacy policies should be easily visible to visitors.

55. Be PCI compliant

If the website is processing and storing credit card details, it needs to be PCI compliant.

56. Consider disabilities

The website should be easily accessible and useable for those with disabilities.

analytics

Analytics

57. Insert analytics codes

To get analytic figures, the relevant codes need to be properly inserted in the right area of your website.

58. Excluding IP addresses

In some cases, certain IP addresses should be omitted from analytics tracking.

59. Using funnels and goals

When using analytics, funnels and goals should be setup. These provide greater visualisation of analytic results.

60. Sync accounts

Google Analytics and Google Webmaster accounts need to be synced, as do Google Analytics and Google Adwords (if applicable).

--- Note: All images were downloaded from Pixabay.com. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

 

Itamar is a digital marketer who specialises in SEO and video optimisation, and has experience in running various social media channels.

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