Can I speak to someone?

Friday, August 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Do you list your telelphone number on your website? How about your physical address? Your city? Your country?

I recently did a Google search for a specialist developer in New Zealand. From the results I got, I narrowed it down to about 5-6 websites. I was surprised that two of these sites didn’t list a phone number. The only way of making contact was to email or sometimes only completing a form – not even an email address listed! Another of the sites made no mention of any city or country. They clearly didn’t want to be affiliated with any ‘place’ in the world. I understand that they’re probably trying to encourage international clients, but I wonder if this really gives any credibility.

Now don’t get me wrong. I understand as much as the next person how frustrating it can be to be interrupted by phone calls throughout the day, but isn’t this taking it too far? Certainly at the beginning of a project I’d like for my clients to be able to call me and talk through their ideas or concerns. I would certainly have liked to have a quick conversation with a developer to explain my project and ask about their experience without having to write it all down.

When I send out a proposal, I include a note that says that email is my preferred method of communication, but it isn’t something I would enforce. Where is the customer service?

Do you disagree? I’d love to hear some other views on this issue.

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The evolution of Web 3.0

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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F3 design – fun, functional design and eCommerce

Friday, June 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments

I loved getting involved with F3 design and working with them to create an online presence and store.  The product has a brilliant aesthetic – simple, industrial, recycled and very functional.  F3 use old materials and make them fun and super-functional.  Playfulness is right up there on their list of how to make and experience their designs.

Working with the F3 team was heaps of fun. As designers they are committed to their ideas, their product and how it was to be represented. My challenge was to represent them as they see themselves while making sure the site ticked all the technical and usability boxes.  With some careful compromises we achieved a site that communicates the wide range of design work F3 are involved in – manufacture through to exhibition and event design.

F3 Design - website design included eCommerce, CMS and hosting

Integrating the F3 range together with the distinctive red and steel colour palette we created the main body content section of each page as if it were mounted on a scroll, created from the rails that are integral to many of  F3’s products.  While this limited the space available to mount the ranges it works well. The page appears to roll up and down on the rails as the user scrolls, focusing the attention on the selected product.  Nails ‘tack’ up the header to create the feel that the user might have stepped into the work shop and can be part of the design world at F3.

The site is first and foremost an online store front  so the left menu displays the ranges and directs to the shopping cart.  We brought the search menu into the side navigation to invite the shopper to browse. Top menus offer more information about F3 and their other work and has lots of opportunity for that section to expand as F3 does.

Here at New Media Design we really like the F3 ethos : Fun then Form then Function

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Seven Oaks logo development

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 | Design | 1 Comment


Seven Oaks is an independent school in Christchurch. It is built on the principle that our children are not merely pieces of clay to be moulded into a particular size and shape. But in truth, as they will tell you, they have a great desire to create their own world and to live their own dreams.

Their requirements

They wanted a logo that was relevant for their school and encapsulated the holistic approach. At the same time it was important they didn’t appear airy fairy. They needed to show that they were grounded yet forward-thinking.

I feel passionately about raising our children to be empowered, responsible, passionate people and I loved what Seven Oaks were doing, so I was super keen to be involved with their new logo.

Final logo:

Seven Oaks School logo

I chose  this icon as I felt it represented

  • the internal/external holistic balance
  • a seed or growing shoot
  • a child in play

We then set about designing their website.

You can see the Seven Oaks logo incorporated in their website below.

View the Seven Oaks website

Client comments

You are gooood! I think that the icon is beautiful and it is very appropriate. I agree that it represents all the things you mention. It also points the way forward. It looks so good, I’m struggling to find some good critical points. It’s unusual for me to find a logo which works so well at first take – maybe I need to live with it for a day or two, but to be honest, I’m not sure I can provide any feedback to improve it.
- Bruce McIntyre, Seven Oaks

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Mistakes to avoid when writing website copy

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 | Great website tips | 1 Comment

1. Using so much emphasis that NO ONE knows what you are trying to say.

Try to keep your bold, italic and caps to a minimum and save it for when you really need it.

2. Overuse of exclamation marks!!!!!!!! – One is enough unless you are writing a teenagers skating blog. OMG LMAO!!!!!

3. Underlining anything that isn’t a link – this is confusing for your audience. It’s commonly accepted that if a word or phrase is underlined it’s a hyperlink. So if it aint linking, keep it naked.

4. Try to avoid writing “Please feel free to look around”. No one needs permission to look at your website and it will make you appear amateur.

5. A main heading that says “Welcome to our website” is another overused, unneeded line. Search engines take notice of these H1 headings, so make them useful – use your keywords “Outstanding Real Estate in Christchurch”, make them inticing “Top tips for selling your house” or try some of these collected from CopyBlogger

  1. The Secret of [neon lights]
  2. Little Known Ways to [lose weight]
  3. Get Rid of [viruses] Once and For All
  4. What Everybody Ought to Know About [UV rays]
  5. Warning: [Two Out of Every Three People in Your Industry Will be Out of Work in 5 Years].
  6. How [this product] Made Me [a million bucks].
  7. If You’re [a parent], You Can [save money on..].
  8. [10] Ways to [gain muscle].
  9. Give Me [a week] and I’ll Give You [a better complexion].
  10. If You Don’t [eat right] Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
  11. The Lazy [woman's] Way to [beautiful skin].
  12. Do You Recognize the [15] Early Warning Signs of [meltdown]?
  13. See How Easily You Can [increase web traffic].
  14. You Don’t Have to Be [superman] to be [good in bed].
  15. Do You Make These [accountancy] Mistakes?

6. Pretentious drivel: Company X is dedicated to remaining fully committed to fulfilling your needs as pertaining to every project you summon our marketing assistance with.

7. Too much text – Write for skimmers. Online users scan the page looking for information they may want to read. Break up text into short paragraphs, use clear headings, bullet points and simple to-the-point text.

8. Apostrophe in the wrong place. It’s amazing how often people get these ones wrong. There are two situations where you use an apostrophe…

  • For contractions – it’s is short for it is
  • When something belongs to someone – New Media Design’s new blog – means the blog belongs to New Media Design

Copyblogger says

If still in doubt, leave the apostrophe out. It causes more reader confusion to insert an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong than it does to omit one. Plus, you can always plead the typo defense if you leave an apostrophe out, but you look unavoidably dumb when you stick one where it doesn’t belong.

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Kate Hindin-Nikau
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New Media Design
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