Reel Fly Girls

Samantha Heavrin came to us with her business idea – creating a website that could sell fly fishing gear to women, as well as being a resource for women who fish and love outdoor adventures. We were able to put together a great design that not only told her story, but sold her products.

Samantha put together a fantastic brand with Reel Fly Girls showing women who love adventure and recognize that being the best student, wife, mom or boss means taking time to care for themselves. The focus of the site was for selling fly fishing apparel, but the gear can be used for any outdoor activity, or even for a night on the town after the sporting fun.

Nationwide Services, LLC

Nationwide Services, LLC works with moving large machinery and entire factories, as well as dealing in scrap and other industrial services. We put together a website that would help boost their search presence and increase their reach to clients. Not only did we help Nationwide Services with a website, but we also helped conduct an SEO campaign that increased search ranking and their business online.

Our campaign is helping to increase the search ranking of the website, as well as increasing the position zero, meta data positions, and other business information for the business.

LaMancha 5k

We redesigned the front and back end on the LaMancha Critter Crawl 5k website so that it would function more smoothly and be easier to edit for everyone involved.

We put together the original LaMancha Critter Crawl 5k website a few years back, so it was time for a major renovation. We completely changed out the structure of the site, but we were able to keep all of the content that everyone was using on the site. This resulted in a smoother experience on a much faster-loading site. This also provided a backend so that the organizers of the race could update and maintain the site as they wished.

For event management websites, race websites, or any sporting event website, you can count on Design Web to win first place.

Dettman Law

We worked with Brian Dettman of Dettman Law to put together a great site that would work for his law firm. The site includes a large list of services he offers, each with its own landing page to increase specific SEO on the site for that particular keyword and/or keyword phrase. We also created a back end of the site for easy editing, addition and removal of posts, pages, and other content.

Review from Brian Dettman –
“From start to finish Jael and Sean were great. I hired them to create a new website for my law Firm. They were prompt, available, and responsive when I had questions or input. They didn’t try to tell me what I wanted, but instead helped game plan what I was looking for. I highly recommend them.”

Top Web Design Trends for 2019

Let’s be honest, web design trends are moving much faster than most people would like but at the same time, the world is a much more beautiful place with some of the latest tends out there. It’s true, automation is slowly improving the online world and with unique illustrations and more detail, websites in general are a lot easier on the eye.

But what can we expect in the upcoming year in terms of web design trends?

Let’s take a closer look at the facts and some of the most effective web design trends for 2019:

Top Web Design Trends for 2019


Mobile First and Everything Else Second

Web design is changing at lightening pace and even the word “responsive” can seem a little outdated. Now, that’s not to say responsive no longer matters but simply top point out that websites need to be far more than just responsive to stay relevant and efficient in 2019.

On the other hand, progressive advancement and graceful degradation sound a little more contemporary or up-to-date. More importantly, the comparison between these two give reason for thought in the same way that responsive design did just a few years ago.

As you know, responsive web design simply means that a website will fit the screen and change according to various devices. Needless to say, this improves and simplifies the user experience.

Progressive advancement refers to a process in which the website is designed for lower browsers in a very basic form and then improved upon to make the site more advanced for tablets and PC. Meanwhile, graceful degradation starts by creating an advanced version of the website on desktop and then simplifying this experience for browsers with a lower capability.

However, the problem with graceful degradation is that designers are severely restricted when they start work on the mobile version. After all, they are now stripping down a superior design and creating a simpler version which merely resembles the original without the same functions.

For this reason, mobile first is the way forward in 2019 and the best option for web designers who want to create the ultimate mobile experience and then go about upgrading this even further for desktop.

Chatbots for Interaction and Discreet CTA’s

If you’re like me, you think that artificial intelligence is highly effective and if you listen to Elon Musk, you might even think it’s about to take over the world. Whether AI takes over the world or not, chatbots will be highly important to web design in the upcoming year.

You see, there is now an entire industry dedicated to chatbots and experts predict a market value of $1.3 billion just five years from now. In fact, most major companies and websites are already using chatbots from Facebook and Ebay to a deep black hole called Amazon.

But why are chatbots so important for web design?

Chatbots improve and increase user engagement. If designed the right way, these chatbots are highly effective at retaining customers and providing valuable information without delay. That is to say, conventional customer service is unable to match the speed of chatbots and as long as the information is accurate, most customers care more about receiving this data rather than how it came about.

As if that’s not enough, chatbots are thought to be less intrusive than a standard call-to-action (CTA). After all, most people are tired of the same old prompts to register, signup or buy now and more likely to interact with a useful chatbot through which they can find the most relevant information.

Long Form Content and the Slow Death of Sidebars

When Google released the Medic Update this year, it showed a clear preference for websites with long form content. Interestingly, long form content was often the most confusing and infuriating to read! However, times have changed and as the speed of internet continues to increase, it’s much easier to publish this type of content without it appearing like a slow and cluttered mess.

At the same time, web design can certainly enhance the experience and one way to do this is by using wide pages with less clutter on the screen. Yes, this includes the beloved sidebar and as we move to mobile first, we might be witnessing the slow death of the sidebar completely.

As you know, search rankings are essential for every website and so the importance of simplicity needs to be respected going forward. With this in mind, imagery and infographics are certain to become even more important for long form content and essential for containing a ten-page article within just two or three pages.

Although long form content is usually the product of a writer, web designers will need to respect this trend in 2019 and keep things simplified – especially when it comes to a blog.

Typography for Increased Personality

You might be familiar with Buzzfeed or Mashable and the large typography they use between images. There was a time when large letters and elegant font would have been unacceptable for most websites but opinion has clearly shifted and custom typography is on the rise.

You see, at a time when content is everywhere and saturation is high, typography is now one of the quickest ways to make a web page stand out. It’s true, you need interesting content to capture the reader’s attention but custom fonts can bring even more personality to the words and create a much stronger bond with readers in the process. As if that’s not enough, contrasting fonts can be used for headings and sub-headings and we all know how much Google likes to see a clear and structured set of headings.

In case you might be asking yourself, the likes of Buzzfeed or Mashable are not great examples of this process but for a little inspiration, click here or here or for something more retro – here!

Custom Illustrations for Story-Driven Content

Just a few years ago, Instagram Stories amassed more than 100 million users within a month and more than 300 million monthly users just a few years later. It was the start of a meteoric rise for the platform and pretty much the end of Snapchat. In fact, recent studies show that 45% of professional marketers are now utilizing Instagram as part of the content marketing plan.

But why am I telling you this?

Well, story-driven content was the most successful marketing tactic last year and there’s every reason to suggest this trend will continue. More specifically, an image is worth a thousand words and custom illustrations are the perfect tool for storytelling.

With this in mind, you should see that web design with integrated custom illustrations is far more likely to increase engagement. What’s more, custom illustrations tend to increase dwell time which is highly important for search rankings. In other words, the longer an online user stays on a certain page, the higher Google will rank this page in search results.

At the same time, custom illustrations just look better and while they tend to be more memorable than text, they are often more accurate when it comes to portraying a certain message or identity for the website.

Either way, custom illustrations are already popular and this trend is sure to continue in 2019.

As you can see, web design trends continue to change and there is now a clear preference for function over form. In other words, websites and procedures might look really nice but without the right functionality, they serve as little more than negligent distractions to the average online user.

Function Over Form: Development Vs. Design

The terms web development and web design are often confused and thought to be one and the same thing. The roles that are involved in each of the niches are often thought to be composed of similar elements. Although, it is true that some factors have to be considered by both the parties in order to reach a consensus since web development and web design are both interdependent. The fact remains that both of these two lines of work that are crucial to the formation of a website are actually starkly distinctive from each other. When it comes to the roles associated with web development vs. web design, both differ from each other on various grounds.

What is Web Design?

Think of web designers as artists that help in building a story or an idea into something that can be presented in a visually appealing aspect. They help build a layout for a website that achieves the client’s vision regarding the user experience of the website. A web designer is a person who is responsible for how a website looks and feels. A web designer does a job that is similar to an architect building a plan before starting construction on your house. The web designer is the person who draws out the initial layout of the website (just like the plans of an architect) before a web developer can input his efforts to develop (similar to the construction of the house) the website.

The role of a web designer is not as easy as it seems. They have to create the initial impression that you would have when you visit a website and, along with it, integrate the elements of user experience in order to create an environment which appears to be welcoming. They have to transform an idea into a design that can be used while also serving the purpose of being a great user interface. They also have the task of creating a site that catches the attention of the user. If the website fails to adopt a well-knit design strategy before the beginning of the project, then it is sure to fail. In today’s day and age a web designer enjoys the same respect as a web developer because it has been realized that great coding would be futile if the user experience that complements it is not done properly.

The elements of typography, colors, design, aesthetics, textures, unity, branding, user experience, user interaction, and emphasis all come under the purview of a good web design. All of the visual elements that are capable of making a website look great while also serving the goals of the client, whether that is lead capture, promotion of an event, or ecommerce. Web designing applications include programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Mockplus, and UXPin can be used to help build up the user experience of a website.

What is Web Development?

Web developers are those people who are capable of transforming the design aspects of a webpage into a live and functional website that is actually capable of working. Different kinds of software tools and web languages that are used for programming and coding are utilized by web developers in order to create a functional website.

Even web developers are divided further into two consecutive sub-categories. These two categories are namely back-end developers and front-end developers.

Front-end developers are those people who have some knowledge in both the fields of developing and designing. They are the connection between a back-end developer and a web designer. A front-end developer is responsible for building up the interface of the website and making the website interactive in order to connect the layout at the user’s end along with the back-end servers of the website. The most important programming languages that are used by front-end developers include HTML, CSS/SCSS, and JavaScript (JQuery, React, Angular, and Vue being the most popular libraries and frameworks).

Back-end developers, on the other hand, are those developers who are responsible for controlling the requests and the server data of the website. Most websites which consist of dynamic data as part of their database require services on the back-end. If a website is designed to serve the purpose of storing user information and making said information available at a later stage, creating and managing a back-end database is intrinsic. Database connections are required in order to manage such queries and back-end developers take help of programs like ASP.NET and PHP in order to write these kinds of database queries in MySQL, SQL, MongoDB, or other database languages.

Function over form: Web Development vs. Web Design

When you talk about form of an object, it basically refers to how the object looks, or what visual features it possesses. In the world involving the intricacies of building a website this aspect refers to the web designing department. On the other hand, function of an object refers to the purpose that the object aims to serve. In the world of websites, web development is the department that best describes this term.

In the words of the famous American architect Louis Sullivan, “Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change…It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”

What these words try to mean is that whatever be the entity, it is always the functionality of that entity which decides how the entity shall be formed. Modernism has impacted these philosophies and therefore led to the conception that it is the functionality of an object which decides how it should look. Even in the world of building a website, this notion holds true whereby it is the function of a website that decides how a website should look like or how it should be formed.

It is true that designing, in most scenarios, involves designing the website first before the developing is started. However, every time a web designer designs a website, he/she has to keep in mind the function that the web page is being designed to serve. A web designer must keep in mind the basic interactive experience that the web page must provide and the features that need to be highlighted in order to allow the users to do a particular task on the webpage. Therefore, it is without doubt that a web designer must always design a web page depending upon the factors that are most important to its functionality and thereby shape the webpage to look a particular way that best serves these functionalities. The web developer simply tweaks the web page at the end of the designing process to enable the functionalities that the web page has been designed to serve in the initial place. Hence the function is always considered before the form and the entire webpage is designed based on that, only to be programmed later to activate those functionalities. Therefore it can be easily concluded that in the debate of web development vs. web design, function always triumphs over form. This is especially true when you look at the goals of the client and the user interaction on that website. If a website has not been coded and optimized for SEO will not rank and will not draw visitors to it. If a website has not been optimized for user interaction, then the visitors who do come to the site will not give information or buy your product.

Many times designers use client sites to pad their design portfolios and win design awards, but this does not benefit the client at all. A pretty website will not generate as many leads or sales as a fully-functioning, optimized, and user-friendly site.

American Advertising Federation Louisville

AAF-Louisville is part of the oldest and largest trade association in the country, the American Advertising Federation. They bring advertisers, agencies, the media, and their service providers together to protect and promote the advertising industry, and they’ve been around for over 100 years. After using third party services for a while, they were ready to have their own website that was easy to update and edit, as well as having a way to integrate payments, memberships, events, and job postings. We worked tirelessly to put together a site that worked perfectly and fulfilled all of their needs.

We are incredibly excited for the launch of this website because AAF has been helping advertisers for decades, so we felt it was time that we helped them out! They now have a gorgeous website that is modern and uses the most up-to-date technology and search engine optimization methods. With the new SEO on the site, they should be able to increase their page rank, which will lead to an increase in visitors to the site.

Eastern Star Home

Eastern Star Home in Louisville, Kentucky is going through some modernization and updates, so they needed to get the word out about their incredible services. This senior living home is located right in the heart of The Highlands. We worked with Randall and Robert to make sure that the design was exactly what they needed, including search engine optimization on their site that would ensure they would rank well in the senior living and long term care markets. We were also able to claim and fix their Google My Business account, so they would be able to advertise their services more effectively with correct knowledge box information.

We put together a completely custom WordPress website for Eastern Star Home that is incredibly easy for them to update on the admin backend. With custom posts, linked categories, and more, they have a completely modern and up-to-date website that should last years and years. If your website is outdated and in need of an update, we can help you too! Get in touch with Design Web for the best web design services in Louisville, KY!

Email Gets A Make Over Today: Gmail Embraces CSS Media Queries

As of today, you will be able to use CSS media queries with Gmail and Inbox by Gmail. What does that mean exactly? It means you can ensure that your message is formatted the way you intended, whether it is viewed on a computer, a phone in portrait mode, or a tablet in landscape mode by using a css media query. You’ll even be able to change styles based on rotation, width, and resolution. Your emails, which stylistically have been trapped in the 90s in regards to design flexibility, will now have the potential to be more responsive, with formatting that can be optimized for every device. Goodbye to standard styling for desktop, tablet, and mobile! Hello gorgeous communications! Let’s hope all other mail service providers embrace this new option soon too.

If you are a business that sends out marketing emails, or a business that would like to start sending out beautifully designed and branded communications, just give Design Web Louisville a shout. They have reusable template designs ready to purchase or custom order.

Is Custom Web Design Dying? – The End of Professional Web Design

There was a time when people had to build their own website, or at least hire someone to craft a good site. However, pundits are saying that the customized web design approach is going the way of the buffalo. Is this in fact true? Is web development and design a thing of the past? There is certainly a lot of evidence to point towards that. Could be that the evolution of HTML, CSS, and other things are starting to be so simple that no one needs professional grade help? Or is it that consumers have no idea what they want, until they see it in action? Emulation is starting to take over in some instances, and while that may seem unethical, designers are bending to consumers that are going to pay, and as you may know, standing your ground may not pay the bills.

The Most Important Factors of Design For Websites Today

If you look at what consumers want, and the desire of web users, in terms of important web design choices, you’ll find that a majority will want a site that works. If it works, even if it’s a minimalist design, they’ll want that over a nice looking, attractive and cutting edge digital experience. This is a complete shift from Flash-heavy web design, and splash pages that hit the web in a few years past. Function over fashion is what you should adhere to as a designer. Thinking more like a UX designer instead of a graphic designer will help benefit your client’s web experience. If a site works, if information is garnered with ease, and sales are made, then what’s the point of flashy design work? That’s the kind of questions developers are struggling with right now.

The Saturation of Themes

Don’t give up on custom HTML and CSS designs just yet. You will find that with the over saturation of themes, templates and more, you will want to edit things yourself. The theme “game” is getting a lot of web designers and developers paid to work on a variety of things moving forward. Theme designers push out so much code in a mass-marketed, conveyer belt style that you will not be able to compete with on a technical side.

Learning to edit, modify, and build a template within a CMS like WordPress, Drupal or Django. That’s where knowing HTML, PHP, Javascript, and CSS comes in handy. You may not build a site from notepad up, but you will definitely be editing code over and over again to get it just right.

The Evolution of WYSIWYG Framework

In the past, you needed to get programs like Dreamweaver to build sites. Today, you just need to set up a free account at one of the many dot-coms that are reselling simple hosting plans on the backbone of WYSIWYG editing solutions. That means that you will be able to edit, build, and even use images on a fast paced solution.

The problem here is that things are closed off, limited, and don’t have much in the term of customizations.

Is Custom Design Dead?

The answer is no. While some will decry the death of programming, design, and more, you’ll find that if you learn CSS, HTML, PHP, and figure out how to customize templates, you will always find work. People may like templates, just like purchasing cars of the same color, but customization is still something that they’ll want, and it is beneficial on many levels. It’s not enough to be tech savvy nowadays; learning code, and editing by hand will come in handy more often than not. If you aren’t ready to learn code, and don’t want to use the same-old, cookie-cutter template solution, then contact us at Design Web and we can create a fantastic site for you.