Web Perspectives

May 20, 2010

WinsomeWatches, Wireframes and Web Design

Filed under: Web Design,WinsomeWatches — dberch @ 11:54 am
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Normally, at the beginning of my day I come up with a topic to focus my social media energies.

We documented the trip to Ireland, amusingly, through the eyes of a teddy bear we named Terence - pictured here with Molly Malone

When you’re following as many blogs and twitterers as I like to, it helps to have a goal.  Particularly if the goal is a little wacky, far-fetched, and creative.  I once traveled to Ireland and took with me the goal of finding, as a gift for a friend, a leprechaun in a vase and a leprechaun in a sack.  :o)

Today I’m working on two projects – researching good examples of business online response strategies, and continuing to learn CSS to build the website for my watch company.

The watches featured are designed for those of us women who tend to like to know what time it is without reaching for our cellphones.  We don’t want to spend a fortune on designer watches.  And we’d like our time pieces to be worn like jewelry, match our outfits, and speak to our personal styles.

winsome watch

One of the first watches I put together for WinsomeWatches.com - hopefully for sale online soon!

For the website, I’m going for something classy, but not your usual jewelry store.  I’ve looked at Zappos and BlueNile and that’s just not the right look.  I’m thinking something a bit more fun and catchy – like 1saleaday.

If you’re a self-starter like me, you know the stubborn pull to do everything the hard way.  I’m determined not to use a template for my website.  I want to learn web design, even if that means my site will never launch.  To that end, the W3Schools website is becoming my bible.  But I’m always looking for new and helpful sites and blogs.

Today I stumbled upon YourInspirationWeb.  This site has fantastic guides and ideas.  I’m working my way through the css tutorials.  Maybe by the end of today I’ll be able to update this post with a picture of the framework for my future website!

Update:  Thanks to YourInspirationWeb, I’ve written up a ‘brief’ for my future web company.  Please take a look at the  Brief for WinsomeWatches – feedback is always welcome!

May 19, 2010

Words of Web

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 5:06 pm
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It’s amazing how much thought can go into something as simple as choosing the background for your blog.  :oP   Having spent the last two weeks rethinking the purpose of this blog, I decided to change it up a little bit.  Starting with the background.  Not sure if I’ve settled on this one or not – but it’s a start.

I admit, I got into blogging to sell myself.  For future job hunting, for networking, for experience, for knowledge, for connections – it’s hard to say.  I think it came as no surprise to most of my friends.  I’ve had a personal blog of some form or another since LiveJournal back in college.  Then MySpace, now WordPress.  No big jump, other than redirecting the content to more professional pursuits.

When trying to dive into the whole world of new media there are more list of suggestions and best practices to pour over than anything I could have imagined.  Here’s a few I picked up:

1. Strategize. Sure, this seems like an easy one.  And you’re all probably thinking ‘if I’m doing this whole social networking thing just for me, and not for a business, what do I need a strategy for?’  But branding is a new buzzword – and it’s everywhere.  It’s not just for companies.  It’s for people, too.  You are your brand.  Think about it.  Plan ahead.  For example, if you’re going to show pictures on Facebook of happy hours with coworkers, consider carefully your Facebook privacy settings.  Maybe leave your profile for personal use only, and create a page for more professional use.

2.  Start a blog (check).  Make the content inviting, accessible, interesting (working on it).  Try not to just blog about social media, but use social media for something else that also shows you know what you’re doing.

3. Get on twitter. If you have nothing to write, retweet others.  Listen to the conversation.  Find your niche.

4. LinkedIn. I was overwhelmed at first, and thought this was just Facebook for professionals.  But now that I’m connected to a few people, have an updated profile, and belong to a few groups, I couldn’t imagine doing without this great service!

5. Follow other blogs. I’ve got subscriptions to SocialMediaToday, Mashable, Radian6, and half a dozen others.  Anything to keep me in the loop!

6. Experiment. Have fun, try new things, see how it goes!

In other news, I’m still slowly learning CSS.  My little brother (web designer at twelve years old) may laugh at me, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?  AND, the shipment of watchfaces I’ve been waiting for finally arrived.  This means CRAFT NIGHT!  Hopefully http://www.winsomewatches.com will be launched within a month as a working store, with actual products for sale.  Then the real fun begins with social media marketing, search engine optimization and online ad campaigns!

April 27, 2010

Designing a Webpage

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 6:28 pm
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What are the first steps in designing a web page?  What do you think about?  What are the top concerns?

I think about playing to my audience.

Then, functionality of the website.   How easy is it to find everything?  Do all the links load properly?  Does this site accomplish what it sets out to do?

My focus is on http://www.winsomewatches.com, a website designed to sell beaded watches.  My target audience, I’m assuming, will be women above the age of 30, and maybe the men buying them gifts.  I’m looking for fonts and styles that are professional but light, funky but not cliche.  Something clean, fresh, and interesting.  For color schemes I dismissed the idea of greens and purples because it just seemed too young – I’m still thinking about where to go from here.

What else would you think of first when designing a website?

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