Category Archives: Web Design Southampton

Evolution of technology

I am from an era where the internet did not exist at one point in my lifetime. I have just turned 30, and by no means do I feel old….yet! I even remember listening to a debate over the radio which my parents had put on in the car many years ago, on encyclopedias v internet. Need I say more.

It still amazes me however, how technology and the web based world has evolved in the last three decades. Many of us will remember watching Back to the Future II, and thinking how amazing would it be to have a telephone conversation with someone where you can actually see them at the same time on the screen! Who knew that 28 years later, we would all be making those sort of phone calls on a daily basis and not have to worry about any extra charges for it.

I was also from a generation where the mobile phone was only just coming into popularity for both the old and young folk. I think I was 14 years old when I got my first phone. My 7 year old nephew has his own iPad!

With this advance in technology, it opens the world of possibility to people. It can create knowledge, power and even love. However it can also create a lot of issues that perhaps people never foresaw. As a Mum of two boys, I worry about giving them a facility where the world (good, bad and ugly) is at their fingertips.

For now though I have comfort that they do not know my password for my phone or iPad, and they have never asked for it….yet!

The only one advance in technology that still hasn’t come to fruition, is the expandable pizza that takes two seconds to cook. One can still live in hope.

Rosie Ward

Why HTTPS?

As a start in a 2017 effort to update and revamp TidyDesign.com, we have upgraded to HTTPS, the security-concerned friend of HTTP.

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, and it denotes the set of rules computers use while communicating in HyperText (web pages) over the web. That HTTP’s rules underpin the web can be seen in the typical URL – “http://website.com”. The prefix to that address denotes the protocol in use.

You may have noticed that more and more sites over the past decade are labelled with a different prefix – “https://website.com”. This denotes that the site is accessed over HTTPS; or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS adds security concerns to HTTP’s base ruleset, ensuring that all transferred data is encrypted, undamaged and travelling to an authenticated recipient (in other words, HTTPS helps ensure that you are actually browsing Amazon.com, not someone pretending to be Amazon).

For the modern web, HTTPS is important. There’s no way around it. HTTP doesn’t concern itself much with secure communication, because the original purpose of the web was just to share textual information. The modern web, by which we trade personal details millions of times a second, requires a more secure underlying ruleset. When you’re sending someone your credit card details to make a purchase, you’re going to want that to be encrypted – it’s as simple as that.

There are reasons other than adapting to industry standards to upgrade to HTTPS, from SEO to simple consumer reassurance. Google ranks secure sites higher than insecure sites by default, so upgrading is a good first-step for getting to page one. Consumers are becoming more aware of security concerns on the web, too – largely thanks to that green padlock you see next to secure web addresses in the browser – and are less likely to provide any details over an insecure connection. The sound theory is that if you provide a secure connection, your customer is much more likely to contribute to your business with confidence.

Implementation of HTTPS for a domain involves purchasing a certificate from a Certificate Authority, and some server configuration. Those certificates verify domains as being owned by the people who claim to own them, facilitating the green padlock your users will see. Here at Tidy, we’re happy to provide this service and set up secure connections, moving the web forward and growing your business – just give us a call, or send us an email.

Jonno

The importance of Title and Meta tags

HTML documents are not all about text and content. While the bulk of an HTML document will denote the content seen on a webpage and how that content is displayed, some of the most key facets of these documents are not shown to the user in the conventional way – instead, these elements are shown to search engines and browsers.

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Two of the most important of these “hidden” elements are the <title> and <meta> tags. Both serve to improve the general usability of search engines, and attract new traffic by way of advertising a page and its content more accurately.

<title> tags – you guessed it – define the title of a page. This will be used both by the browser (to name the tab and window), and by the search engine (to name the Search Engine Results Page entry for the page). This is your user’s first contact point with your site and should be unique and descriptive to avoid being lost in the crowd.

A great example of a unique title tag could be:

title-tag-html

<meta> tags are a little more complex. They are designed to contain “information about the information” – character encodings, geographic locations, authors and many more fields can be defined with a meta tag. One of the most important pieces of meta information is a “meta description” which should be a short (150-160) character description of the page.

This description will appear as a snippet underneath the page’s title on the Result Page, and serves to bring more traffic to the page from users who will actually benefit from visiting your page.

A typical meta description for the About page defined above might take the following form:

meta-description-tag

Note that if a page lacks a meta description, the search engine will usually take the first content on the page for this field – this is almost never ideal, and can detract from the professional look, feel and usability of the site – usability starts at the Results Page, not at your actual site!

Jonathan

New Solent Fire Website

A few weeks ago Solent Fire contact us to discuss their website, it was pretty dated and required a complete re-design. Working with Solent Fire we put together a couple of design concepts, these soon evolved into the new website, please see below:

solent-fire-services

solent-fire-services-02

We hope you like the look and feel of SolentFire.co.uk, Tidy Design is delighted with the end result. We are now discussing the next phase of website development, please stay tuned…

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Finally, it was great to receive such positive feedback from Solent Fire on this project, thank you so much for choosing Tidy Design.

A Recent Testimonial

Working with an array of different clients in different sectors is great, there is never a dull moment. Many thanks to Portsmouth NHS for their glowing testimonial; we look forward to working with you on future projects:

portsmouth-nhs-logo

“We asked Tidy Design to help us to develop an interactive, informative and user-friendly App to help expectant mothers choose where they would prefer to birth their baby. This is what they did. Mike and the team at Tidy Design were invaluable; their passion and expertise helped us achieve our vision.

The project was completed to an exceptional standard whilst maintaining timescales and financial targets. It was a pleasure working with Mike, Rosie and Blayne and we would not hesitate in recommending their services.”

gill-walton

Thanks again to Portsmouth NHS, here is a link to the project MyBirthplace.org

4 Modern Website Layout Examples

Layouts have not changed an awful lot since the release of CSS3 and HTML5. The days of using tables to layout a website are long gone yet websites still feel table like. There are benefits of having an unorthodox layout. No matter your trade you will always have competitors and I bet a lot of those competitors have similar websites (table like). Will a user remember one hundred similar layouts or the one that was different?

Diamonds

CSS3 has really changed the way we can style elements on a page. Using transform we can alter the appearance of nearly any element. Giving us the power to create some really unique layouts. Rotating squares into diamonds is one of the more basic examples; nonetheless very unique compared to its square cousin.

diamond-layout

The layout I have created can be used in a number of ways. An e-commerce store may use the two side diamonds as links for either men or women. They could be used as image placeholders to accompany the text in the centre. Whatever you choose this is a sure fired way to ensure a memorable site.

Box Overlay

Overlaying boxes on a traditional looking website can really impact its appearance and break the mould. Using shadows you can effectively turn the content inside into high priority areas for your call to actions (cta). Users are more likely to scan those areas of the page before anywhere else. Overlapping the boundaries of the layout beneath can also add to the effect.

overlaying-blocks

This layout would be great for a personal blog, the longer box to the left can act as an effective side bar while the posts can be placed to the right. The featured post can occupy the top of the page, its image being inside of the overlaying square.

Masonry

There are a couple of ways to achieving this effect. The easiest is to use a Javascript grid layout library called Masonry, it sorts all of the boxes into optimal positions to prevent huge vertical spaces. As quoted from their website “sort of like a mason fitting stones into a wall”. This means you can have many different shapes and sizes all fitting nicely next to and beneath one another.

The sidebar is also a less common feature and takes up a fraction of the space compared to more traditional versions. Using icons and single words allows the sidebar to become less of a prominent feature but remaining just as useful.

masonry-layout

This layout again can be used for blogs but also for dashboards. The boxes can contain important information for the website owner such as statistics or quick actions etc.

Marginless

This final concept is the most traditional looking of them all but it still has its unique qualities. The majority of websites use CSS to include margin between their sections. A marginless layout throws that out of the window and uses padding instead to create its white space. If you can get the correct colours and images then these layouts can look amazing.

no-margin-layout

These types of sites are great if your trying to sell a single product or advertise your business online.

Hopefully by now you have a few ideas you can take away with you to start building some truly unique looking layouts. It does however take more then just a great layout to build a memorable website but its the foundation on which everything else will be placed. Have a favourite layout? let us know in the comments.

Blayne Phillips

Website Layouts

Website layouts can be one of the easiest but also one of the trickiest components of website design – it may take a few minutes to map out a website structure and design, it could take a few hours…

website-layouts

Each web design project is unique; this calls for a unique solution and approach to our clients requirements. Ok, there are several website layout guidelines we can all follow to create user-friendly layouts, these include; a good use of whitespace, obvious (and easy to follow) call to actions, consistent font styles, alignments, positioning and device compatibility…

If you would like to find out more then please do not hesitate to contact us, our office in Old Portsmouth is open weekdays, 9am to 5pm :)

Tidy Goals for 2016

A slightly belated Happy New Year! Last week was pretty hectic; lots to map out and catch up on following the festive break… Throw in a couple of meetings, a few new enquiries and lots of web work; it was “all systems go” at Tidy Design HQ in Old Portsmouth…

tidy-design-2016

So, week one of fifty-two is almost over (says Mike, blogging away on a Sunday evening)! Here at Tidy Design we have some big plans for the New Year ahead, nothing too crazy, a healthy mix of client work, a new in-house project and some intelligent business development.

Rewind twelve months; I am delighted to say we grew as a company throughout 2015 – This was down to our amazing clients, their on-going business and kind recommendations, new enquiries and that all important ingredient, ‘hard work’.

Although growth is great, we are by no means perfect! We do a lot of things very well, but we could become far better. Throughout 2016 our goal is to be more streamlined, efficient, energetic and driven – Improvements can always be made in life and business, we do not plan to stand still!

New Websites, Great Clients!

Over the bank holiday weekend Tidy Design launched a new website for the Royal Beach Hotel in Southsea, Portsmouth. Over the years we have designed several hotel websites, working closely with hotel owners, duty managers and key staff to deliver results…

the-royal-beach-hotel-portsmouth

We are very happy with the new site; it is great to have another hotel on our books and to be working with established local businesses such as The Best Western Royal Beach Hotel. Stay tuned for more news and more new websites; we have another going live tomorrow – Yippee!

FREE Clipboard Icons

Yes, another freebie icon set, hand crafted by Tidy Design. Are you looking for a flat clipboard icon with a list, some stats, a graph or tick?

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Download Icons

These FREE clipboard icons can be used on commercial or non-commercial projects, all we ask in return is not to re-sell or distribute our work via any third party websites. Like them? Please link back to this post our FREE Stuff page, help us spread the word, sharing is caring… We hope you find a home for these tidy free clipboard icons, thanks for visiting!