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Graphtek Supports the Coachella Valley Community

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Here at Graphtek, we not only want to help businesses grow, we like to see our community grow and prosper by supporting non-profits like Desert Best Friend’s Closet.

Desert Best Friend’s Closet empowers low-come Coachella Valley residents to attain employment through education and wardrobe services. Desert Best Friend’s Closet partners and collaborates with other agencies in the Coachella Valley to provide interview-appropriate attire at no cost to individuals seeking employment who do not have the means to buy such attire themselves.

Graphtek made a donation to the cause by building the site in approximately two weeks, for free.  We launched it on November 13th 2013.

Graphtek President, Kate Spates said, “I was so excited to hear Desert Best Friends Closet was chosen for the Extreme Non-Profit makeover and I couldn’t wait to dig in to redesign her website. I felt like her website could do a better job to simplify what Connie’s organization does, what they need from the community and who they help. By using images with text in the photo slider at the top, along with simple calls to action, we achieved that.”

“This site shows Desert Best Friend’s Closet as a more polished and professional agency that we are striving to become,” said Connie Golds, President and Co-Founder of Desert Best Friend’s Closet.
We want to wish Desert Best Friend’s Closet and those seeking employment big successes in 2014 and beyond!

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What makes a great website?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Good web design is a careful balance between technology and aesthetics.  When you visit an eye catching website, what is it that makes it stand out?  Is it the visuals?  Is it the content? Or, the easy navigation?

The following are some important factors to take into consideration when designing or purchasing a website.

Your online image should reflect your offline identity. Ultimately, you want your website to connect the user with the information they are searching for. You want to do this by peaking and keeping their interest.  This is where your company should craft a mission statement and business goals and objectives.  A pretty site does nothing without strategy.  A well designed website should fulfill the business objective, whether it’s to inform or sell.

Your target audience’s interests should be the overarching consideration in determining the style of your site.  Consider Orbitz.com or Expedia.com websites. Their layout and styling focus on the search tool rather than adding flashy elements.Web-Design-Infographic_200x765

Understanding the human thought process is important in designing an idyllic experience on the web.

-    Clean Visual Design: Keep is simple. You’ve heard it over and over. The visual effects play an important role in the communication of content, but only as long as it serves the website’s primary purpose. The aesthetics should support the navigation and interaction functions.  CSS transitions can help us to make website interactions more human.

-    Ease of Use: Start out with a structure that appeals to and works with your audience first. The last thing you want is for visitors to become flummoxed by a confusing website. Simply, make sure people can effortlessly find the information they’re looking for. This is where text structure, search placement and other site elements come into play. If your viewers have to go searching, then your navigation is too complex. Knowing how users move around a web site is useful in keeping their interest and helping them easily find what they’re looking for. Increasing the usage of the successful callouts and eliminating the ineffective ones will increase conversions.

-    Functionality: Whether it’s to inform, entertain or serve as an e-commerce platform, a good website has to serve its purpose. It can be the most strikingly beautiful site you’ve seen in years, but if you can’t find the information quickly, you’re going to leave. Your site on a mobile device should anticipate their need and address it with design and navigation that allows them to easily find whatever it is they need. Make the site intuitive.

-    Speed: About 30% of consumers will start to abandon a website after 5 seconds of loading time.  There are many factors to consider in making a site load faster. Simplify design elements can not only increase the speed, but can be popular aesthetically. It won’t matter how pretty your site is if nobody waits around long enough to read it.

-    SEO:  A gorgeous website doesn’t do much good if no one can find it!  Content is king! This can be augmented through blog posts, static pages, eBooks, YouTube videos and more. Keywords, frequency and relevance are crucial in your SEO efforts. Establish an ongoing content marketing campaign where relevant and timely content is placed on your website, regularly. Google will reward websites with fresh, relevant content.

With the massive increase in mobile usage, responsive web design provides an optimal viewing experience across all devices.  Creating a website version for each resolution and new device would be impractical, given the endless number of resolutions and devices. New devices with new screen sizes are being developed every day, so web design should automatically adjust.  Responsive design is just that, responsive. It’s the concept that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.

Believe it or not, there is a science to how we view the web. Companies like Google, Barnes & Noble and eBay are all integrating neuroscience discoveries into their web design.  Our eyes will be drawn to certain common elements of web design.

EyeQuant uses algorithms based on eyetracking studies and research to evaluate web sites, claiming they can predict where a viewer’s attention will go when they load a web site. Realeyes uses computer vision to read people’s faces and to measure how they feel.

The significance of a good web design in the modern day is monumental. Be sure you have an expert/s working with your business’ best interest in mind.

Recent Work: RandyWillardInc.com Gets a Website Redesign

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Randy Willard WebsiteIs there any fashion designer faux pas worse than having outdated collections on the brand’s website?

For men’s custom clothing designer and desert resident Randy Willard, who frequently styles and designs custom clothing for high profile athletes, releasing a new clothing collection meant his website would become outdated.

Willard, who designs custom suits for clients including Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Joe Buck, NBA player Grant Hill and former NFL player Kevin Carter, was frustrated with his website when he turned to Graphtek for help. He needed an easy-to-update website design that could keep up with his fashion forward collections.

He also wanted his website to be a strong tool to help sell the look that Randy Willard’s collections offer. We knew nothing could sell the Randy Willard look better than high quality fashion photography, but the existing website design wasn’t very photo-friendly.

“Randy has always had amazing photography but it had to be cropped to fit his old site,” Graphtek President Kate Spates said. “When we started the redesign, we wanted to make it so that the photography would be the center of the design.”

Keeping this in mind, Graphtek recently redesigned the Randy Willard website to focus on dramatic, full-screen fashion photography, allowing his products to speak for themselves.

And with Willard’s fashions constantly moving forward, we needed to ensure that his website could keep up with his new collections. To achieve this, Graphtek incorporated a user-friendly content management system into the redesign that will allow Randy and his team to easily change the website’s photos, headlines and content as needed. Collections can easily be changed out as soon as they become dated, and the CMS also allows Willard to update the “Events” page with information on the various charitable events and social functions he donates to.

Since Randy Willard is not only a designer but also a renowned stylist, we added a “Stylist” page that features his handpicked style pairings. As Willard says, a beautiful suit means nothing if not styled correctly, so his redesigned website provides plenty of visual inspiration on the art of styling.

The redesigned and recently launched randywillardinc.com is now an immersive men’s fashion experience that effectively sells the Randy Willard look by focusing on stunning photography that’s easy to update.

With summer being off-season in the Coachella Valley, it’s the perfect time to redesign your website. Whether you want to make a few functionality changes or completely overhaul your existing website, starting your website redesign during the summer means your perfect website will be ready for business this fall.

At Graphtek, we understand that there’s more to effective website design than templates and text. We specialize in custom-designed websites that work for your business, and we’re ready to help your website reach the next level. Whether you need website design, a site redesign or other digital marketing services, contact Graphtek today to discuss how a digital marketing strategy can benefit your business.

“Surf the Musical” Launches Marketing Campaign for Vegas Production

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
Surf the musical

“Surf the Musical” might be hitting the stage in Las Vegas this summer, but the ‘60s surfer love story has Coachella Valley roots.

Graphtek worked with the producer of “Surf the Musical,” a full-time valley resident, to create the original artwork and website for the highly-anticipated musical hitting the stage at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas June 11, 2012. The producer worked with our agency previously and knew our creative resources and capabilities would create the perfect branding for the production.

Even more important for our client was the ability to be involved. By working with a local marketing agency, our client was able to have the hands-on interaction that one only gets by working with a local agency. His creativity wasn’t diluted by emails or Skype chats. Instead, he could come directly to our office to work with our creative team, going from concept to implementation without delay.

Because of our client’s accelerated schedule, we had to move very quickly to get “Surf the Musical” ready for its summer debut. The artwork for this project needed to span the generations to bridge the gap between ‘60s music and modern times. Not only did our artwork need to be multi-generational, but it would require the versatility to work in a variety of formats, ranging from video displays to traditional print.

While the project originally explored using royalty-free images and photography for marketing, we quickly realized that neither would be capable of setting the right tone for the project’s ‘60s surf vibe. It soon became clear that original illustrations would create the ideal face for “Surf the Musical.”

The illustration also needed to encapsulate the laid back vibe of California beaches in the ‘60s, and we needed an illustrator with just the right style to bring the concept to life. With Graphtek’s vast network of creative talent, we were able to quickly locate the perfect illustrator for the project.

As we worked to evolve the concept into an illustration well-matched for the show, Brooke was born. From her blonde hair and blue bikini to her red surfboard and quintessential tan, Brooke is the epitome of ‘60s surfer girl. The illustrated Brooke is now the face of “Surf the Musical” and adorns billboards, taxi cab toppers , video screens and printed materials.

As the face of SurfTheMusical.com, Brooke can also be seen on the Graphtek-designed site. Graphtek’s in-house creative team also drew inspiration from ‘60s surf culture to develop the logotype, which incorporates surf-style lettering and a chrome finish. With a solid website and versatile artwork in its marketing arsenal, “Surf the Musical” is ready to hit the Planet Hollywood stage on June 11th.

From branding and artwork to web design and SEO, our one-stop marketing agency has the creative resources and marketing expertise to grow your business. Discover how Graphtek can fulfill your marketing needs by contacting us today!

BIGHORN Golf Club uses new technology with redesign.

Friday, March 16th, 2012
BIGHORN Golf Club

BIGHORN Golf Club, a gorgeous landmark located at the base of the mountains in Palm Desert, came to Graphtek Interactive for a website redesign. Their old site was created using Flash technology, which does not work with any mobile Apple products such as iPhone, iPod & iPad. They needed their site to be visually beautiful, yet functional across all platforms. Utilizing emerging technologies, such as a fully customized Content Management System (G|CMS) providing high level access to a broad range of media including high-definition images, responsive elements, dynamic content windows, custom video, and database connectivity to both members and non-members alike. Designed by Ed and Paul, implemented by Israel.

The Art Place in Palm Desert gets a site refresh

Friday, March 2nd, 2012
The Art Place Palm Desert

The Art Place in Palm Desert, famous for their monthly Art Walk’s, refreshed their site as part of their monthly G|ROI program with Graphtek Interactive. Part of our ROI program is evaluating the current website and it was time to refresh after reviewing our analytics. In this new design, we utilized rich colors and organized the site in an easy-to-use format where users can easily find what they are looking for and it highlights all the stores in the center. Designed by Paul and implemented by Chris.

Costa’s nightclub at JW Marriott Desert Springs launches new website

Monday, February 20th, 2012
Costa's Night Club

Costa’s, The Desert’s Hottest Nightclub, contracted Graphtek Interactive to create an interactive website that would allow users to sign up to be “on the list” and give loads of information on upcoming events as well as join the mobile club.  Designed by Paul and implemented by Israel.