Taking a St Louis Retirement Community Social

A good website is a “living” marketing tool that can evolve to accommodate different approaches to engage with it’s users.  Our long standing client, The Rockwood, a St Louis retirement community, understands this and recently asked us to revisit their site and make suggestions on how it could be improved.

The site has now been overhauled  so it performs better in the search engines and offers interactions with it’s users through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.  We also built them a custom WordPress blog which was seamlessly integrated into the site.


Rockwood st louis retirement community

You can subscribe to their blog, become a Facebook Friend or Follow them on Twitter

© Chicago Web Designer

Eye of the Louis web Designer:The five senses

Do you allow you customers to experience your brand through all five senses?

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Taste

Not one medium allows  indulgence in all five. Take web sites for example, here we are limited to just two, sight and sound. These limitations  definitely affect my actions. When in come to buying things like sheets I abandon my online shopping experience and head out to a store. There are some things I just need to touch before I buy.

Talking of the five senses take a look at this fabulous sculpture, The Awakening, near the Mall in Chesterfield.  He was made to be touched!

Eye of a St Louis web designer: Call to action

As a web or graphic designer one of our jobs is to create design elements that result in an action by the viewer. Whether it is a button to click on, a web site to visit (think banner ads) or creating an interface which is easy and intuitive to use we are constantly thinking about the “call to action” of our designs.

Nature does a fabulous job at this. Take a look at these beautiful purple flowers (anyone know what they are?) blooming in my garden. A flowers job or “call to action” is to entice insects to visit so they can cross pollinate.  They do this using color, contrast, shape and scent to direct the insects to where it’s all happening the in center of the flower. We don’t yet have scratch and sniff monitors so scent is not one of the tools us web designers can use. Maybe it will be an internet technology of the future!
call to action in nature

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

Can you see bluish yellow or reddish green?

While at the airport on my way to Chicago last weekend I picked up the Feb issue of Scientific America. It’s always a good read and I was particularly intrigued by an article on impossible colors, colors that we are not supposed to see. Can you imagine a reddish green (greenish red) or yellowish blue (bluish yellow).

You can read about the theory here but cut to the chase and do these simple tests below to see the colors for yourself.

  1. Click on each of the graphics below, this will bring up a much larger image in a new browser.
  2. Hold a finger in front of your nose and focus intently on it. This will cross your eyes.
  3. Slowly remove your finger from view
  4. On your screen you will see three boxes. The middle box will show the impossible color, a bluish yellow or a reddish green. Make sure the crosses line up.

Can you see yellowish blue?

bluish yellow

Can you see reddish green ?

reddish green

It took me a while to master the visualization technique but it is a bit like doing the magic eye pictures. The key to seeing the colors is to hold the cross steady. They are pretty unstable and seem to flick in and out but they are definitely colors I have never seen before.

How about you, can you see them?

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

Eye of the St Louis web designer in Chicago

I have had an incredibly busy week, working on web and logo projects and meeting with five new prospective clients. All is good but only now on Friday afternoon have I found a few minutes to write a blog post.

I spent a fabulous few days in Chicago last weekend and the view from the place I stayed was definitely eye candy for the St Louis web designer (or should that be “the Chicago web designer”)
You can see lake Michigan in the distance which was encrusted with “icebergs”

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

How to hire a website designer

Hiring a web design company can be a daunting task. Here are three steps to make it a little easier.

The Planning

  • What are your internet goals. Setting your objectives is the foundation of any project and creating a web site is no exception.
  • Create a “must have” list. For example it may be really important that your site include a blog or that it is configured so you can maintain it yourself.
  • Got some ideas on the architecture of your site? Get out a pad of paper and pencil and create a rough sketch
  • Don’t be intimidated to do a little research, e.g Check  Godaddy to see if can you get the domain name you want.
  • Get online and start browsing, bookmark sites you like, they don’t have to be in the same sector as your business or organization but this exercise will help determine what appeals to you and also enable to articulate your design preferences.
  • Check out your competition

The Search

  • Try a simple Google search for your area. Here are the results for St Louis web design.
  • Word of mouth, ask members of your business network if there is anyone they can recommend.
  • Found a web site you really like? Very often a web design company will have a simple link at the bottom of the site directing visitors to their web site.
  • Draw up a shortlist of design companies you would be interested in meeting.

The Meeting

  • Arrange to meet three design companies.
  • The research you have already done will put you in a great position to talk about the specifics of your project.
  • Do they seek to understand your business?
  • Are they goal/objective driven?
  • Do they listen?
  • Ask to see a portfolio of their work. Does it show a diversity of style or does everything look the same? 
  • Do they know their limits or will they try and sell you “everything”
  • Discuss the creative process they follow. Is it flexible?
  • Do they seem like a good fit for your project, do you feel a connection?
  • Will you enjoy working with them?
  • Ask them to put together a comprehensive web design proposal which outlines all the specifics of your project, pricing and terms and conditions.

You’re Hired!

The contract is signed, the deposit  paid and the project  is well underway. Is it time to site back and relax? Next time I will talk about how to work with your web designer.

2010 © St Louis Web Designer