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Our team appreciates great ideas and the sharing of information. We've provided a collection of design focused, thought provoking articles and informative content.

Either thanks or no thanks to the increasing use of different media formats, web development has become a little more challenging in creating designs for specific screen widths. Now you have to consider how your retail website will look not only on a 16x9 screen, but also a vertical-shaped smartphone screen, a tablet and dozens of different browsers.

It can all get complicated, even though you have some resources online that let you see how your web design fits in every possible format. Nevertheless, you may want to plan ahead before you get started on how your website might look in those formats. This may trigger early ideas on how to market your site by removing certain things and reshaping others for the specific device it'll be viewed on.

Planning Your Design for Desktops

While the sky's the limit in desktop web design thanks to widescreen monitors, consider how some of that content will conform in small formats later. If you have overly busy information on the far left and right of your screen, some of that may have to be removed later when designing for mobile or other devices. And that can be a problem if those graphics, images or text are vital in conveying the essence of your retail brand.

It's slightly easier with text since the shape of text is usually conformable into different shapes. Regardless, large images and certain graphics depicting distinct colors or shapes could be a problem if they bring personal meaning to a retail store.

A desktop design has to consider graphics and images that can be cut or reshaped in ways that still convey the same message.

Designing for Mobile

You may have to remove more things than you intended when designing for mobile screens. While it can be a pain trying to fit a design into a vertical screen width, it's still possible to bring the same essence of your desktop design to smartphone screens. Images might actually be improved by cropping to zone in on a product image or someone using your product. On a mobile screen, a consumer wants a good, quality image of the product you're selling. This might mean replacing the picture with a new one.

Bodies of text, as mentioned above, are the easiest to shape for mobile. Text can simply be scrunched into a vertical, rectangular shape if it was originally stretched across a wider screen.

Eliminations may have to be animation or other complicated graphics that take longer to load. You don't want slow load times on your mobile site, so seriously consider whether it's vital to your site or easily removable without ruining impact.

Designing for Tablets

With tablet screens being a little wider, you don't have to adjust quite as much. This doesn't mean that it still fits the same dimensions as a desktop screen, and even a slight adjustment could throw things off. When designing, consider how things would look if the borders are reduced by a mere inch or two. It's why thinking about centering your most important information should be considered for tablet screens, including images of your retail inventory.

Designing for Multiple Browsers

It's here where it can get extremely complicated considering the numerous browsers available and viewable in different media formats. This can create a combination of design problems that you'll need to test. Browsershots.org is a site that lets you view your site in all of the major browsers at once. It helps, though, to think ahead, read on various browsers and plan in your mind how your site would look in those formats.

Here at Forsefield, Inc., we can help create a marketable site that looks good in any format. The option of adaptive design is also available to help make this process a little easier.

If you need this done, contact us for all your marketing needs. With recent attention on retail, we can help your retail store create a website that conveys your brand compellingly, no matter where it's viewed.

As a long-time Internet user, you've noticed that nearly everybody has a blog, including your closest competitors. You're thinking of getting one for your company website but you're not sure if you can devote the time to it and whether the effort will produce good marketing results. To find out if blogging is right for you, follow these steps.

  1. Post on the blogs of companies that complement rather than compete with yours. For example, if you're an accountant, look for office supply companies. If you sell flower seeds, look for florists. If the website owner doesn't actively solicit guest posts, ask if you can write an entry of two for them. End your postings with a question and tell readers to respond in comments. You can then find out if the audience responds to what you have to say.

  2. If you're getting some results, move to a stand-alone blog on free sites like Blogger or WordPress. By choosing a template and choosing a few options, you can set up a blog within a few minutes. Write several entries, ask questions, and tell your audience to post answers in comments. Don't forget to tell your customers about this blog and to put a link from your company website to it.

  3. Integrate a blog into your website design, so your readers don't have to leave your pages to view your entries. This requires the technical and artistic expertise that we can provide. Otherwise, your blog will look like it was just pasted on as a second thought.

For more information on blogging, or help with marketing your business online, please contact us.

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