Bear Web Design Blog

Discussing all the aspects involved in having a successful website!

Web Accessibility

Web-Accessibility  -  Jennifer Folsom - Bear Web Design Web Accessibility by Jennifer Folsom

We all visit websites for similar reasons regardless of the technology we use to interact with it. A person who is visually impaired will use a bank’s website to pay a bill with the same intent as someone who doesn’t use assistive technology. A person using their mobile device requires the same functionality of someone using their desktop. Just as a good site design will have considered the requirements of different screens, good site design needs to consider a variety of users’ needs and accessibility issues.

We were at WordCamp Atlanta recently and attended a talk about the inherent challenges of using accessibility tools and understanding how to make user experiences better regardless of ability.

Consider navigation. Large, complex menus can be daunting to navigate without a mouse. A visitor will have to click through your menu every time she navigates to a new page.  A better experience allows users to skip links with assistive technology as they prefer and improve the experience of the site. This is important for more than altruistic reasons. Users who can engage with your content are more likely to use your content. Sites that are usable are visited, the ultimate reason for creating a website in the first place.

In Atlanta, we learned about two great tools userway.org and the WPAccessibility plugin, we can use to add a variety of accessibility features with a minimum of setup. We can include these tools in all new projects and use them to help remediate existing sites.

Users with varying abilities are more similar than we think and websites with good designs will consider every user from the beginning. Keeping every user, regardless of ability, in mind when designing and developing a website improves usability for every user.

Resources:

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Responsive Design

Responsive Web Design with Bear Web Design Responsive Web Design with Bear Web Design

We do our best to help you  "Go Responsive ... Responsibly." When we design a Responsive Website at Bear Web Design we focus on what a mobile, tablet or desktop visitor is wanting to accomplish.  Working with our clients we try to create a user experience that is optimal in varying device sizes. Check out this article from Website Magazine:

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What is a Plugin, a Module and a Component in Joomla?

Joomla Components, Modules and Plugins can have a great influence on your final website design. They can enhance your website design ranging from interesting content such as blogs to desired action items such as purchasing a product.  Some of you may already know what these additional pieces of Joomla are... But for those clients or future clients that are new to Bear Web Design and Joomla! lingo, here's an introduction.

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Responsive Design in 2013!

As 2012 draws to an end, we have lots of new developments ("web developments" that is) on the horizon for the coming year. Most important of these is that our new custom templates will feature Responsive Web Design, also known as RWD -- click here for definition.

In a nutshell, RWD is a design approach that optimizes the web browsing experience no matter what web device you happen to be using - desktop, laptop, iPad or other small-screen device, or mobile phone.

We are in the process of finalizing the templates of our newest sites and will provide links, examples and more info in early 2013... stay tuned!

Vicki Beare (this is my new last name -- as I mentioned, we had LOTS going on around here lately!)

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What's in Your Color Wheel?

One of my favorite lines in the movie The Blind Side is when Sandra Bullock (referring to UT Orange) says, "But I will not wear that gaudy orange, I will not. It is not in my color wheel and I'm not gonna wear it." And that gets me thinking about web design.

color wheelMost people, male and female, have a general idea of what's in their "color wheel" - what their favorite colors are, whether they are comfortable pairing, say, a purple blazer over emerald green slacks, or whether they are soothed by the sight of a closet full of khaki and blue. The same goes for interior decorating, the color of our cars, the television ads that catch our eye... all sorts of things. The bottom line is that, generally, we pay more attention than we know to color and style.

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What is Functionality?

As a designer I refer to functionality on a daily basis. I truly believe in having a well designed website, however, if it doesn't have functionality it is just a pretty image on a computer screen.

SOO.. Let's define functionality.

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We all visit websites for similar reasons regardless of the technology we use to interact with it. A person who is visua...

Web Design & Development

Our custom web designs are directed by our clients' business models and marketing concepts, with a primary focus on their targeted demographics and desired outcomes using the latest in responsive CMS technology.

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