Have you been thinking about hiring a pro to create your website for you? Even if you’re already in the middle of making your own site, we believe that everyone involved in the website creation process can always benefit from tips directly from the pros themselves. This month, we’re putting the spotlight on the talents of Wix Arena certified design pro, Ryan Atwood. He’s been in the web design game for years and looking at his portfolio, we think he definitely has some wisdom to share.
What’s the first step you take when creating a website?
Before we (my team and I) can create a website for anyone we need some basic information, as our approach will change depending on our client’s needs. To do this we always ask that prospective clients fill out a design questionnaire. This consists of some simple questions that are based around color scheme preferences, layout and more so we have a better idea of where to start. Many times we are asked to come up with new ideas based on established graphics or logos. Other times, new startups might need a whole new brand, identity or logo. Then and only then can we start to build.
Do you have a favorite design trend of the season?
Lazy-Loading Animations. These animations are a subtle way of emphasizing key images, graphics or titles. Visit our company website so you can see how they function: www.atwoodsites.com
Where do you find your design inspiration from?
We find inspiration from all kinds of places. Website design blogs, photo sharing, social media, film, television and content provided to us. However, our biggest inspiration comes from constraints and restrictions which forces us to think outside the box and get creative.
What’s the best web design tip you can share with our users?
Content like text and images should drive or determine your design layout if you are building a website from scratch. This is also true for those who are going to choose a template design. Don’t try and force your content into something that won’t fit. First, look for templates that might fit your content and images then change the colors and images. This will save you a lot of time.
What’s the most common design mistake that you see in web design that you’d like to eliminate?
Sometimes people (who don’t have much experience building websites), make the mistake of having too much information on the home page or try to push every point of interest there. The trick with any website is to take the ideas you want to communicate and refine them down to simple concepts for the masses. As Patrick M. Lencioni said: “If everything is important, then nothing is.”
What’s your tip for keeping a website looking fresh without having to redesign the site?
One great way keep things fresh is to first build a website that is image driven. Then on a semi-regular basis you can swap out older images for fresh new images. Wix makes this very easy to do with their slideshow galleries and image storage system.
Why do you like using Wix?
Wix is quite simply the easiest and most robust WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website editing platform on the market. I like using Wix because they continually update their functionalities and features. Plus, when a new function or feature is introduced it works seamlessly with older websites I have already built.
What’s your favorite Wix web App of the moment and why?
Strip Slideshow Gallery – This newer Wix gallery lets me build slideshows using the full screen effect which a lot of my clients want.
What’s your favorite Wix website that you designed and why?
www.c-mindsolutions.com. This was a full scale remodel project. We drastically changed the look of her initial design to made it bright and fun – and the client loved it.
What’s your biggest challenge in working with clients and how do you overcome it?
The vast majority of our clients have been extremely gracious and have not posed many challenges. I think the greatest contributor to this is the fact that, while we have gotten lucky, we always gather as much information as possible before we begin the process. This way our pricing estimates and delivery times are accurate which makes our clients happy.