Career Growth in Industrial Design

c10b0f6f-cb37-44a7-980f-bcd01d9d61dfIndustrial designers are heavily involved in many of the steps of basically everything that is mass-manufactured from the initial concept all the way through to its presentation to the marketplace. The rapid pace of the development of new technology combined with a constant craving for the latest and greatest technological gadget means that good industrial designers are in great demand. [Read more...]

Today’s Top Industrial Design Companies

Hochhäuser - BankenWith the advent of many new technological features, many companies are starting to produce their own industrial designs. These include a wide variety of different machines and computer products. Many new consumer goods originated through the industrial design process, since companies often have to patent these products. Identifying the top industrial design companies these days can be a challenge, since there are so many different fields now. But it is possible to measure their success by the number of patents that they generate and how successfully they are received by their consumers. Take a look at some of the best industrial design companies operating today. [Read more...]

Industrial Design Careers – Choose Your Path

StudentA hard question for industrial design students to answer is what exactly it is they design.  There are so many options in the field of industrial design.  What’s the right direction?  Commercial Products?  Industrial Products?  Household Products?  This is also a question industrial design students face when trying to pick a career path.

The difficulty is understandable as the term “industrial design” is  young one compared to other design fields.  It is also a broad discipline that is still expanding.  Even those within the field are hard pressed to explain which industrial designers design what products.   Below are four basic categories of industrial design but they are not the entirety of the industrial design continuum.  Design is in flux and the terms describing different types of industrial design are fluid so use the descriptions as a overview in choosing an industrial design career. [Read more...]

Industrial Design Defined

Engineering industrial designing. Electrical schemeIndustrial design is not a new concept.  It’s been around for a very long time.  The term “industrial design” is just something that’s been more commonly referred to over the last 20 or 30 years.  Industrial design is the utilization of applied sciences or engineering and art to design or produce an actual product.  An industrial designer will often be hired to solve for a problem by designing a product that fits the problem’s need.

What Does an Industrial Designer Do?

Let’s start with a simple example of what an industrial designer does.  Let’s start with you – the small business owner.  You have the problem that your employees are constantly complaining about back pain due to sitting long hours in a chair.  Then you, as a business may order some ergonomic chairs to help your employees with their back pain.  The chair company supplying you with these ergonomic chairs has a team of industrial designers that are on staff built to design that chair that will help alleviate back pain and meet certain specifications.  Part inventor, engineer, graphic designer and artist, industrial designers need to be intelligent, patient and above all creative. [Read more...]

The Top 5 Industrial Design Schools

College door with fall ivyAre you interested in a career in industrial design, but aren’t sure what college is right for you? Don’t worry. Your talent deserves the best it can get.  While we could talk about the best design schools in Canada all day long, below is our list of the top five industrial design schools in the United States.

1. Rhode Island School of Design
RISD is one of the oldest colleges of art and design in the United States. The school was founded in 1877, and is home to around 2,300 students with a driving need to become the best they can be in their respective fields. RISD offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 19 different programs, including architecture, design, fine arts, and more. Located in the beautiful and historical Providence, Rhode Island, RISD is close to New York City and all its attractions. [Read more...]

Why Build a Website on WordPress?

Having worked with many types of web building platforms, it’s clear that not every platform will be good for every job. Joomla, for example, is great for portal websites. There is one, however, that is consistently used more than any other: WordPress.

WordPress was launched in 2003 as a simple CMS for blogs, but it is now one of the most-used content management systems and nearly 10% of all websites are built on WordPress. Just a few years ago, many website designers viewed WordPress as reserved for blogs, but this has changed rapidly, and the platform is now used by big names like CNN. Why is WordPress the best choice for building a new site this year? Here are some good reasons.

1. Plenty of standard features
While WordPress has maintained an almost identical back end interface for years, it continues to grow its feature list, including menu configuration. It’s this evolution in each version of WordPress that allows it to become a good choice for all types of sites.

2. Perfect learning curve
WordPress has a very easy learning curve so it’s easy for you to handle if you’re still gaining experience, or for your clients to take over if you’re designing a WordPress site for a client. Despite this, WordPress offers plenty of functionality. You can ignore what you don’t understand yet and take the time to learn more slowly, unlike Drupal.

3. Awesome plug-ins
There are hundreds of excellent plugins for WordPress, and you’d have trouble even coming up with a function you can’t add quickly. Most functions can be added with free plugins in minutes. If you think of something you need, you can also try your hand at designing your own plugin.

4. Great support
WordPress has a thriving community of developers and designers who have discussed just about every topic related to the platform. If you ever run into trouble, you’ll have no trouble getting a pointer in the right direction.

5. Google loves WordPress
WordPress is automatically SEO-friendly, and this can be boosted even further. The platform automatically generates SEO-friendly URLs and plugins like the All-in-One SEO Pack and Google XML Site Map are easy ways to help the site perform better with minimal effort. This is especially important if you’re designing a blog or website for a client; they’ll be more satisfied with your service and more likely to refer you.

6. Setting up WordPress sites is inexpensive
WordPress is open source, and hosting and themes are very inexpensive. Business owners can also contract web designers to create a custom theme for a relatively small amount of money. This makes them ideal for businesses with limited budgets, or business owners who want to create a WordPress site for marketing purposes.

A good example of this idea is this WordPress cosmetic surgery site. This WordPress blog was created for a cosmetic surgeon to discuss areas of his practice and answer concerns his patients have about issues like breast reduction recovery and facelift procedures, and it looks like it was relatively affordable with a simple WordPress theme that’s branded to his practice.

WordPress is definitely here to stay, and it’s become the backbone of some of the most well-known sites today. These are just a few benefits of the platform, but you can definitely find more as you learn more.

Design Tips to Improve Blog Conversion

Great content has a big impact on your client’s readers, but the design itself also plays a big role in performance. How readers experience the content on the blog will impact social shares, newsletter sign-ups and eventual conversion. When you’re contracted to design a high-performance blog for a client who will use it to build leads, here are some good design elements you want to incorporate.

1. Newsletter sign-up at the end
A newsletter is an important tool for many business owners to stay in contact with loyal visitors and keep them coming back to the website. Most designers will add the newsletter signup to the top of the sidebar, which is smart. After all, this is will visitors will look for it. Still, it’s just as important for this call-to-action to be at the bottom of each blog post.

Why? Because visitors who stick around long enough to read the article are more likely to sign up for the newsletter and hear more. You can also add a sliding sign-up box that moves to the bottom of the screen, but this may seem intrusive.

2. High-contrast calls to action
Calls-to-action should be bold enough to stand out and draw the eye as the visitor scans the page. If the background is white, a good call to action should be the only dark-colored element on the page.

You need to take it easy, of course, as stark contrast is enough to draw attention. Don’t try to increase font size or add arrows to compete with the rest of the page, which will diminish the user experience.

3. Relevant blog navigation
If the business blog is on-site, links to information about the company, quote requests, and products are fine to include on the homepage or when viewing products, but they have no place on the blog and won’t be relevant to visitors who are reading an article. The goal of the blog navigation should be helping visitors explore other blog posts.

Keep in mind that most visitors will also arrive at the blog through Google or social media, which means they came for the content, and that should be the focus.

Avoid too many navigation links as well that will compete for attention. A good option is adding a “popular posts” widget to direct traffic to high-converting blog posts. Skip the tag cloud and archive links.

4. Social media integration
Finally, make sure the blog doesn’t just convert visitors into customers or subscribers but also helps spread the content. The best way to do this is through valuable articles and making social sharing easier.

There are several ways to do this. One popular design technique is adding social sharing buttons that float alongside the article as the reader scrolls. To make the best impact, be selective in the social networks you include. Good research will help you better understand your client’s audience to avoid overloading the blog with every network in existence. Pick a few where you know readership is active.

You can also use ClickToTweet to create a custom “Tweet This” link and place it anywhere within the content, particularly after an insightful or interesting sentence.

At the bare minimum, the client’s blog should have links to their social media profiles. A good example of this is here: http://virginiaplasticsurgery.wordpress.com/. This strategy is non-intrusive. You can see this off-site blog for a surgeon who performs cosmetic surgery in Richmond, VA also includes a link back to the surgeon’s website with good branding that doesn’t feel forced down the reader’s throat.

Popular Off-Site SEO Services You Can Offer Today

More freelance web designers are now understanding the importance of search engine optimization and how it relates to their business. Clients know that a beautiful website is only part of the battle to capture an online audience, gain leads and perform well in the search engine rankings. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer SEO services to your web design clients — assuming you understand the principles of good SEO.

You will likely already incorporate onsite SEO when you design your client’s website. This includes SEO-friendly web design like a crawlable link structure, title and meta tags, and SEO-friendly URL structures. What many of your clients will want along with web design is off-site SEO services. Here are some popular services and strategies you should be offering.

1. Setting up an off-site blog
Some clients may do well with an off-site blog, even if they have a blog on their website now. For example, this plastic surgery WordPress blog belongs to a plastic surgeon who does not have a blog on his business website. The blog allows him to discuss topics related to his practice, such as breast augmentation recovery time or new facelift procedures, while improving ranking for his website.

To decide if this strategy is right for your client, first discuss their blogging goals, as a WordPress blog won’t help them if they don’t plan to update it regularly. If your client wants a blog but doesn’t have the time to update it, you can also offer content services. You should also discuss their budget and branding ideas, as the off-site blog should be branded.

2. Social media marketing
Social media marketing has become an important SEO tactic, even though most social media websites use no-follow links. Using social media for SEO includes optimizing social media profiles with the About Us section filled out and links to the business website; optimizing content and updates and sharing content from the blog or website; building links by makin content shareable on the website; creating a Google+ Local listing; and setting up a Google+ Business Page.

3. Directory listings
Many of your client’s customers will search online for information about local businesses and services, and most will end up on a directory listing like YellowPages.com. That’s why this is an important service to offer any local clients you have that do not operate entirely online. There are literally hundreds of directories — some local, some national, some international — but they are not all equal. Most of your clients do not have the time to submit their website to each directory and make sure their listing is SEO-friendly with a link back to their website. This is a very much in-demand service.

4. Press releases
While Google has said that press releases have no SEO value, SEO experts disagree. Even if this is not true, it is still a good way to generate traffic and attention for your clients and highlight the work they have done. Offer clients press release services with naturally written releases with a specific audience in mind.

More web design companies and freelancers are now moving into the realm of SEO because that’s what clients demand. If you want to grow your business, SEO is something you will need to learn to do well for happy clients and more referrals.

3 Ways to Find Clients Offline for Your Web Design Business

Most freelancers start out without a good marketing plan in place for their web design business. Despite this, marketing is an important aspect and it’s why clients will eventually hire you. A great site shouldn’t be your only form of marketing, either. Whether you are just starting out or you have a good portfolio already, these tips can help you find new clients and keep your business growing, just by thinking outside of the box and moving your marketing offline.

1. Look for big influences in your community
Start by identifying people in your community who are trusted and able to influence the decisions of other people. These are people who are often asked for recommendations. Good examples include doctors, real estate agents, bankers, lawyers and dentists. The next time you see or work with one of these professionals, give them a business card and let them know you can set up a website for their business or improve the one they already have. Along with potentially getting a client, they can refer other people to you.

A word of caution: most professionals want to see that you have experience with a good portfolio already. They won’t just want a promise that you can deliver. A fellow web designer named Joseph tried this strategy by handing out business cards and calling doctors in his area, but they thought he was too inexperienced. The funny thing is he now works with several prominent doctors in his area now that he has more experience. He even added a new client recently: Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, which specializes in offering the facelift in Houston.

2. Connect at business networking organizations or your chamber of commerce
While you probably excel behind a computer and not necessarily at social functions, your job also requires connecting with people and being friendly to sell your services. A good way to get new clients is attending these types of meetings or organizations to make small talk with other small business owners. Offer to look at their website, give them suggestions and make sure they leave with your business card.

3. Look into regional resources for small businesses
This strategy can really pay off, especially because it’s rarely tapped by designers. Search for classes or workshops targeting new business owners and ask about speaking to the class about creating a website for their new business. If possible, even offer to design a website for the class or workshop, because they will be likely to recommend your services to students if they’re happy. You get bonus points if you search out programs for funding to new businesses, as small business owners who get a grant will have money to spend on marketing, which includes a website!

4. Turn to local tradespeople
Finally, don’t overestimate the demand for web design from tradespeople, including contractors, electricians and plumbers. More people now go online to find local tradespeople, and these people need websites as much as any other professional. To get their attention, leave your marketing material in plumbing supply outlets, building supply stores or anywhere else you think you will find them.

Easy Techniques for Effective Calls to Action

A call to action in web design is simply an element on the page that solicits an action from the user, whether it’s clicking on a new page, buying a product, or scheduling an appointment. Every website needs effective calls to action, but how can you encourage website visitors to act? There are several techniques you can try, depending on the website you’re designing.

1. Offer something extra
Sometimes it helps to sweeten the deal. If you want visitors to sign up for a newsletter, you may offer a free ebook. If you’re soliciting donations, maybe a free t-shirt. This cosmetic surgeon’s web designer used this technique here: http://www.masriclinic.com/facial_plastic_surgery/facelift.php. You can see that visitors are prompted to schedule a free consultation and receive $100 in savings on a procedure. This call to action includes a contact form.

2. Use urgent, active language
A call to action should always make it clear what visitors should do. Use strong action words like Call, Buy, Subscribe or Donate, which encourage action. It’s also to use these words with phrases that add urgency, like “For a limited time only,” or “Offer expires April 1st.”

3. Large call to action
While size isn’t everything in web design — despite what your clients may tell you — a larger call to action is more likely to get noticed. You shouldn’t rely on size alone, as you also want to consider position and white space around the call.

4. Top of the page placement
Another trick you can use is adding the call to action button to the top right corner of the website. This is a very prominent area, and one of the first places the eye goes. Users will be more likely to notice the button and remember it later after they have looked through the website.

Common Call to Action Mistakes
Now that you have a few tricks you can use, you should also be aware of common mistakes designers make.

Too many calls to action is a very common error. If you give visitors too many options, they won’t know where to go, and will probably not convert. What is the main call to action for the page? It should be obvious.

Calls to action should not be evenly weighted, either. The most important button should be more prominent, whereas a “learn more” button should be minimized in appearance. This alone can result in a 65% increase in conversion.

Finally, the very worst mistake is no call to action at all. This blog post for a cosmetic surgeon is a good example: Breast Implant Options Available. While the surgeon discusses many options and ends by mentioning his practice, there is no link to take readers to his website.

Calls to action are one of the most important elements in web design, whether you are working on an ecommerce website, a doctor’s website, a non-profit, or a newspaper. You need to anticipate how visitors will respond, what they will naturally look for next, and understand how to funnel them to the next step in the conversion process, regardless of the end goal.

5 Types of Web Design Clients

There will always be those clients you need to avoid. You know the ones: they make your life a nightmare. Even after you filter these clients out, you will often deal with clients who aren’t necessarily fun to work with. Understanding these different clients and their needs will help you plan your design process and avoid disasters.

1. High Maintenance Clients
This is the type of client that needs you to walk them through every step of the process. Most have never worked with a professional designer before. To make this relationship go smoothly, be fair and give them a clear understanding of what will be done ahead of time, and explain each step as it approaches. This will give them more faith in you.

2. Clients with High Expectations
This type of client can be a handful, usually because they assume your job is easy and you can take care of any request they have in a manner of minutes. This type of client may assume, for example, that you can just turn an Android app into an iPhone app with little notice.

To deal with these clients, breakdown every stage of the project and the time involved. If they make ambitious demands from you, agree to an extra cost and work with them. A good idea is inviting them to a meeting when you make changes so they can see first-hand that things are not as easy as they want to believe. You can do this through Skype screen-sharing to make it easy.

3. Unrealistic Clients
Unrealistic clients have big ideas, but they don’t necessary have the budget or need to make these ideas a reality. To help ground them, as why they want a particular item or design, what type of research they have done, and where they got their idea. Too often, they’ve just skimmed an article online to reach an unrealistic conclusion. If your client has a crazy idea they won’t get rid of, try convincing them to put it into “phase 2″ of your project by explaining it’s important to first create a solid foundation then add the crazy details down the road. In most cases, they’ll have so much success with “phase 1″ they won’t want to add their other ideas anymore.

4. Direct Clients
Every web designer’s favorite client! These clients already have experience working with designers and they know exactly what they want. In most cases, they already have the design, logo, fonts and other requirements ready to go. Their main need is confirmation, as they will want to know that you receive and understand their requests.

I recently worked with an Atlanta plastic surgeon, Dr. DeJoseph, who performs facial fillers and injectables. He was this type of client: he knew just what he wanted and he was very clear, reasonable and grounded. His main need was that I respond back to each request with a summary to let him know I understood and to keep him involved and informed.

5. The Unresponsive Client
Finally, we have the client who is eager to begin the project but then disappears. They wait days to answer your emails, your money is tied up waiting for feedback, and deadlines keep getting pushed away. The only way to deal with this client? Be firm and fair. Set deadlines and explain clear consequences if these deadlines are missed. If they still go cold on you, let the project die or wait until they get in touch, at which point you can tell them you’re not putting anymore resources into their project until things change.

Designing Client Blogs: Offsite or Onsite?

Blogs are a great source of online marketing, and it’s likely many of your clients already request adding one to their web design package. Blogs are an excellent SEO tool to generate original, optimized content, but not all blogs are the same. As the web developer, your clients will likely turn to you for advice on which is better for their branding: an offsite or onsite blog.

Whether you’re being contracted to add on a blog only or do a complete web design package that includes a modern design with more features, it pays to understand the different types of blogs so you can better serve your clients.

What’s the Difference?
An onsite blog will be set up directly on your client’s website. This type of blog offers several advantages, as it increases indexing of the site, improves branding and draws more people to the domain. An on-site blog will help build inbound links to the client’s website and it may be on WordPress or Blogger, for example.

A good example of an off-site blog is here: Could Rhinoplasty Save Your Life? This blog belongs to a cosmetic surgery practice that uses it to advertise its services and produce inbound links for its domain. The off-site blog discusses different areas of plastic surgery, such as facelift surgery cost in Sarasota, whereas the actual business domain has no blog. This is one strategy your clients may request from you, in which case they will want an off-site blog that complements their domain and helps build their brand.

Advice for Clients
When your clients come to you to decide which is best for their business, here are some questions you can ask them.

1. What is your budget? Onsite blogs tend to be harder (and most expensive) to implement, which means this may not be a good option for a client that wants to give their website a facelift without spending a lot of money on your services.

2. What are your blogging goals? If the client wants to blog about non-business topics or less related areas without a strong focus on the business itself, an off-site blog will be better. If the goal is to relay information about the industry and discuss the business, an onsite blog is the best choice.

3. What is your website’s CMS? There’s a good chance your client does not know, but you should check yourself if their current content management system supports blogging. If it doesn’t, you’re left with no choice but to use a blog hosting platform like WordPress.

You should also tell clients that having an offsite and onsite blog is ideal, as this allows them to build their brand, establish authority, build links, and discuss both company topics and industry topics. If your client has a limited budget, you may want to advise they start with an offsite blog, which will be cheaper for you to implement for them. Make sure any offsite blogs complement the design of the client’s domain; this is why it’s usually best to revamp both at the same time for cohesive web design.

Great Stories of Old Buildings Getting a Facelift

It’s not only human faces that get facelifts; across the country, dedicated architects are looking past old, run-down buildings and giving them a facelift and new life. Here are some of my favorite stories of breathing new life into historic properties that have been neglected.

Waltham Forest College
This college in North East London has several buildings from the 1930s and it recently underwent a green makeover to reduce energy costs by 25%. This great retrofit project is aiming for zero carbon emissions by 2016, according to Richard Hopkinson, the lead architect. Retrofitting an old building comes with many challenges, and the team had to make a very accurate 3D model of the building by combining traditional surveying with mini-helicopter drones with laser scanners.

Sahara Hotel & Casino
The Las Vegas Strip in general is a great example of the ever-changing face of architecture. After 60 years in business, the Sahara Hotel & Casino was shut down and completely gutted. The only remaining hint of the old casino now is the ornate columns; everything else has been torn out to make room for the SLS Las Vegas, the newest luxury resort in the city. The hotel and casino was purchased by SBE Entertainment, which has a reputation for turning old buildings into luxury hotels.

The SLS (“style, luxury and service” will open on Labor Day. The $415 million rebuild will breathe new life into the Downtown Vegas area, which is just a bit off-strip. This project shows just what is possible with a creative architecture team willing to remake rather than implode and start over.

Facelifts on Declining Detroit Buildings
Detroit has gone through rough times for the past two decades, but several architects are not content to let the city’s beautiful architecture fall into ruin. The most dramatic change is GM’s World Headquarters, called the Renaissance Center. The project, completed in 2006, gave the building a contemporary look with better navigation and interior circulation without losing the charm of the original building.

Another good revamp is the DTE Energy Plaza in Detroit, which was designed by Neumann/Smith architecture. The 2008 project remade a dull building from the early 70s, which had been slapped onto a yellow building from the 1930s.

Revamping Old Buildings is a Growing Trend
More architects are now seeing the appeal of remaking and updating existing buildings rather than starting from fresh. While starting a new project from scratch allows the architects to form their own vision for the space, giving an old building a facelift is a challenge that many veteran architects find hard to pass up.

In some areas, tearing down new buildings to start over will always remain the trend. This includes the Las Vegas strip and Miami Beach, which has fortunately saved its beautiful Art Deco district. In areas with more space, like South Carolina, many businesses still find it more cost-effective to contract an architect to design office buildings, stores and more from scratch.

You can see a good example of this by visiting Dr. Weniger of http://www.savannahbreastaugmentation.com/. If you visit his page for Savannah rhinoplasty surgery and view the About Us page, you can see aerial shots of the construction of their new Weniger Plastic Surgery building. You’ll notice acres of untouched land. While this works in less populated areas, major cities will see more interest in “building cosmetic surgery” in the coming years.

4 Things That Every Web Designer Must Avoid

If you are going to be a successful web designer that clients flock to for your expertise, it is not enough to know the things you must do. You must also bear in mind the things that you must avoid in each project you handle.

The following is a breakdown of the things that can seriously hurt your web design career if they show up in a client’s site that you have handed over.

Irrelevant Links.
It is suicidal to design a website and then have links that are not connected to the subject matter of that website. A client will never forgive you if their visitor clicks a link and finds that it takes them to content that has no bearing on what they were interested in when they visited that website. Test all links within the web content and be sure that they are all relevant to what the client requires to have on his or her website. You will save yourself some major blushes.

Poorly Laid Out Content.
Nothing puts off visitors more than poorly laid out content in a website that they are visiting for more information. As a web designer, it is your job to ensure that content is well organized in aspects like proper alignment, proper margins, and so on.

Once the visitor feels irritated by the way content appears on a website, he or she will immediately leave that site. In contrast, if the client visits a site that has well organized content that makes it easy to find what they are looking for, they will stay and continue to explore the site. This furthers the goals of your client.

Minimize Distractions.
Some web designers think that having a very interactive site means including as many things as they can. They therefore put many pop-ups, music and other obnoxious distractions. Such distractions make browsing very slow and they divert the attention of visitors away from the core content of the site. A good web designer should avoid having distractions on all sites that he or she builds so that visitors will have no complaints while they browse through the site’s content.

You can see a good example of a no-nonsense website for this plastic surgeon on Tumblr. There are clear images to go with each post and a short introduction with no distracting background or animations.

Avoid Thoughtless Logos.
In case the client that has hired you wants you to come up with a logo to go with the website, pay very close attention to what logo designs you suggest to the client. A good logo should communicate as much as possible about the company without being too complex to be understood. Keep it deep, yet simple at the same time. A good example of this can be found at this website for a doctor who performs the neck lift in Austin, TX. The logo is very simple – just a butterfly – and it seemingly has nothing to do with cosmetic surgery. Yet, what does a butterfly represent? Freedom, possibilities, beauty and soaring to new heights.

Final Comments.
A website is supposed to be the first face of any company so let your creation be something that your client will be proud of. A big part of doing just that is to avoid the no-nos mentioned above, as well as any others that you can think of.

Quick Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

While we all aim to create a striking and beautiful website, it’s often a challenge. The truth is, the greatest challenges arise when you over-think your approach. Many times, just going back to the basics of good design will make your life easier. Simplicity is what you should aim for with sleek, straightforward navigation to achieve the desired goals, whether it’s sales, phone calls or subscribers.

Focus on the Essentials
Sure, this sounds really obvious, but it can be easy to get caught up on the unimportant page elements and make a mess of the design. When you’re caught up on a project, every element may seem essential at first, so you need to begin by identifying what needs to be the focus of the website before you begin.

Reduce Page Count
One way to simplify the design is giving visitors fewer places to explore by reducing the page count. You may want to get rid of unnecessary web pages that aren’t essential, or just merge several pages into one. To determine which pages are essential, think about the visitor. What do they want to do on the site? Will they want to learn more about services, read technical information, or just want contact information?

Of course, you can’t always reduce the page count. In many cases — depending on the client — several pages will be required for SEO purposes and for educational purposes. A good example of this is the medical field, where visitors will want to learn more about a wide list of procedures, see before-and-after pictures, get contact information and download patient forms. In this case, the best thing you should do is make sure navigation is very intuitive so visitors are not overwhelmed by their options.

A good example is this page, which belongs to Dr. Marc E. Yune MD. This page has a very narrow focus — rhinoplasty — but the navigation to reach it from the homepage is straightforward. You can see the navigation is not cluttered with a flow-through style.

Limit the Color Scheme
You should also visually simplify the website by limiting your color scheme. When in doubt, always use less color. A good rule of thumb is sticking with a three-color palette and being consistent for a cohesive look. If you need greater subtlety or texture, use shades of the same color.

Increase Above-the-Fold Content
Visitors spend the majority of their time above the fold, which is part of the website that appears on the screen without scrolling. To further the goals of the website, make sure the main content and calls to action are placed above the fold. You may want to shorten the header height and navigation to make this happen.

Give Content Breathing Room
Finally, make sure everything has enough breathing room with proper margins for focus and legibility. Too much text can be overwhelming, so it should be broken up with sub headings and smaller paragraphs. You may want to mix it up by using images and icons to communicate some of the message as well.

Above all else, remember to stick with whatever you choose because consistency is key to simple, attractive and effective design.