Perspectives

The Art of Parallax and the Long Scrolling Narrative

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It used to be that a website homepage operated more like a marine cover with a brand, a branding image, links and calls to action — a jumping off point for all the content.  Not so much anymore.  Now, the hallmark of leading edge sites has a narrative and offers an opportunity to educate, emphasize and make calls to action along the way.  On wireframes, Web Designers used to make an equatorial dashed line on the lower third of the page to show that certain content was intended to be “below the fold”, referencing an old newspaper industry term who would reserve the most important stories for the top half “above the fold”.

Thanks to the mobile phone revolution coupled with responsive web, scrolling with your thumb on a phone is just as normal as a page on the web.  It’s to be expected. Parallax scrolling further enhances the experience by allowing desired background images to move at different rates as the foreground, creating a sense of animation and propelling the user to scroll further.  Sure, your audience can still click just like before, but now they can get a lot more information now without having to.

How to Build a Great Brand

Who Are You Now? Where do you want to be five years from now?
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Creating a great brand is all about dreaming big, creating a strategy, and imagining and realizing the ideal vessel of your future you.
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It is not simply about colors, type and logo. Even though
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It is how you position the words on your site, how you emphasize them and the actions you call out for. It is the images that you choose and the narrative you build as you show them to your user. All of it expresses YOU.
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Even though hopefully most of it cannot be “seen”, technology also has a way of reaching its electronic tentacles through the screen and into the user’s impression of you. This includes deploying easily updatable and database-driven tools such as WordPress, and making sure your site is responsive on all devices , especially mobile, where an increasing number of people are accessing the words and face you present to the world.

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After you’re website is dressed and ready, it’s time to consider how your brand goes out and onto the social networks. The art of being social is about giving and interacting, seldom about directly promoting. You are creating an environment around you, as if spraying a mist of ideas — some literal, some direct, some not — that expresses your brand and who you are.

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Deciding which social networks and which other people/brands with whom you interact, is a part of it too. Because life is short and time is money, we also embrace the idea doing the least amount of work on for the most amount of impact. Because it is critical that using social networks should not be depleting, but only grow your audience and expand opportunities.

Additional Reading here, and here and here.

©2013 Lightray Productions

What Is Responsive Web Design?

A RWD site “responds” on-the-fly to the screen size of the device viewing the website. So if you are on a phone, a 3 column website for instance will stack all content into 1 column, keeping the scale perfectly legible. It also will remake a menu for easier navigation, and do it all quickly and seamlessly right on the device. For developers, it requires designers and developers to rethink how certain things are done, and address new design and layout challenges previously not at issue.

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It’s Inevitable

A June 2012 Pew Internet poll noted that 31% of current mobile device owners say that they mostly go online using their cell phone and not their desk or laptops. The number of people who now read everything on a mobile device has sky rocketted.  We’re talking about long articles, newsletters, emails– you name it.

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PREHISTORIC

A long time ago, a huge majority of us relied on desktop-based boxes to read email and surf content on the internet. It wasn’t until the iPhone was introduced, circa 2007, that people could surf the web their phone for reals.  But web pages didn’t look the same on the phone and we’d only see a piece of the page at a time as if peering through a key hole.  When the Amazing App Store was created, everyone started pouring their resources into mobile app development to make content specially viewable on the phone.  But after Joe Art Gallery and Shelly Business realized that spending from $5 – $30K on an app wasn’t paying off — developers upgraded the way we view content on the phone via browser via auto-scaling or compressing the content to fit on the screen.

 

Below is an example of the Lightray BEFORE we converted it to be “responsive” on a mobile device.  Note how it’s a compressed replica of how it would look on a desktop, forcing the user to pan and expand, a royal pain to read and navigate on a mobile device.

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Now we have converted our site to be “Responsive”, a coding methodology called “Responsive Web Design” or RWD.

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Just like Life imitates Art imitates Life, the proliferation of mobile surfing has revolutionized the way we experience content by seeing it as a narrative as opposed to one static image. Find out more about The Art of Parallax Scrolling and Long Scrolling Narrative in this article.

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Overhaul your site and contact us today.

©2013 Lightray Productions

The Art Of Being Social

SocialHeader We love being social, as in, having a dinner party or taking a walk with a best friend. Spending our days on social networks promoting ourselves? Not so much. We love what it does, but it’s essentially more work. So our job is to make it less work. How do we do that? We identify what kind of company/brand/person you are and the least amount of social pipes to blast to as many social networks as possible that are going to matter to you.

Here’s one tiny example: Let’s say you’re an artist or a designer or an international cosmetics company, we would set you up so that your Instagram feed would also feed Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and update your website at the same time.  Yes, you can actually update all the social networks and your website and from your cellphone using Instagram.

PastedGraphic-12 As we mention in our article about the Branding:

The art of being social is about giving and interacting, seldom about directly promoting. You are creating an environment around you, as if spraying a mist of ideas — some literal, some direct, some not — that expresses your brand and who you are.  Deciding which social networks and which other people/brands with whom you interact, is [an integral part of building a brand].

Being social is not just about promotion. It is more like a mist of energy and ideas that broadcast who you are.   Our philosophy is, the less time you have to spend pumping social networks, the more time you can spend on your work, or better yet, joining a book club, throwing a dinner party or learning how to surf.

 

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