How to Give Design Assets To Your Web Designer

If you ever hire a web designer (firm or freelancer), you will need to give them the image and graphic assets to use in your design. And if you are not a designer yourself, you may be a little unsure about what formats and sizes to give them. Here're a few simple guidelines to help you give them what they need.

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Our favorite ideas from "Agile Explained" with LeanDog

Our team had the recent good fortune to attend "Agile Explained" on the very cool boat/office of the good folks @LeanDog

The two-day course is a fire-hose of information about the agile process and will leave you exhausted with your head spinning; but in the best way possible. Our team left positively buzzing with all the ideas we want to learn more about and implement into our own workflow.

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How to Set Smart Goals for Your Website

Problem: Vague or Generic Goals

Many of the organizations I talk with on a daily basis say they want to “improve things.” Of course. That’s always the goal.

But how exactly do you plan to "improve things?" Do you have measurable attributes associated with your improvements? And how does the Web play into those goals? In order for goals to be meaningful, they should include what specifically needs to be done and in what amount of time.

Solution: SMART Goals

I know, I know. You’ve probably heard this term before. And for many of you this isn't going to be anything earth shattering. However, this is one of those things that everyone knows about but is rarely implemented.

What are SMART Goals?

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What Are Personas?

This is part one of a three-part blog series on personas. In this post you’ll learn more about what personas are. In parts two and three you’ll learn ways to develop them and how to use them throughout a web project.

You Don’t Matter

It’s true. We like you, but we don’t care about you. We care about the people who are using your website, purchasing your products, and calling your help line. These are the people who help you achieve your business goals, and we want to get to know them better.

Photos of users

Maybe you’ve heard your web team refer to these people as your “users” or “visitors." Companies will spend time researching, interviewing, and collecting data on these people to find out how they behave on the web. The qualities, characteristics, goals, and behaviors of these groups of people will become the basis for your personas.

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The Myth of the "Big Reveal"

TL;DR: Nobody is waiting with baited breath for the redesign of your corporate website, so don't let minor features delay the launch.

Image of Willy Wonka saying I don't care

For months, you and your team have toiled. You've planned, brainstormed, created, revised, tested, argued, tested, stressed, maybe even cried. The project is close, but there are still a few items on the list. Just a few more features, layout tweaks, and it will be perfect. Crowds will gather at their screens, gasping in amazement at this wondrous new corporate website. Or not. More likely not.

Don't hold your breath waiting for theirs to be taken away.

Why? Because nobody cares about your new website except you. And why don't they care? Because people are busy. Their time is valuable and you've never given them a reason to care before. Let's face it. Your site is not a major Internet destination. Your users are not hitting refresh, desperately waiting for something new to appear (unless you work at Facebook - in which case, forget I said anything).

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How Webmaster Tools Helps Your Keyword Strategy: Part 3

In the first two posts of our Webmaster Tools series, we explained how you can use the Content Keywords Report and Search Engine Keywords Report to build a stronger keyword strategy.

Today, we’ll continue to focus on keyword strategy by explaining how to use the HTML Improvements report in Google Webmaster Tools.

What is the HTML Improvements Report?

The HTML Improvements report tells you whether your site's title and meta description tags are too long, too short or non-informative (or a combination therein). The report also shows you pages that do not have a title or meta description.

Screenshot of the HTML Improvements Report in Google Webmaster Tools

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Our Experiences from CodeMash v2.0.1.5

 

 

"You're all in this together."

I couldn't have said it better myself. There is a glow that surrounds CodeMash, and no, I don't mean the Polar Vortex. Everyone is so excited about what they've learned, or who they've met; it's a great way to kick off the year. With positive vibes and new ideas, I wouldn't dare miss it. 

Having attended the "Precompiler" days, I could tell early in the week we were headed for the best version of CodeMash yet. Being a multi-year alumni, I was ecstatic that we were able to arrange for our whole team to attend this year (read about the sessions we were most looking forward to). I really enjoyed meeting up with them in the hallways after sessions and hearing about what they'd been inspired by. A few times we all sat in on the same session and seeing their eyes grow wide with excitement as the speakers drove home some great points made the entire trip worth it for me. 

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Get Outside Your Comfort Zone at CodeMash 2015

Ever since attending my first CodeMash in 2011, it has been my must attend event every year. Not even the bitter cold can keep me away. The content CodeMash continues to deliver is top notch and the people are just wonderful. I have heard others say it, and I couldn’t agree more, but the “hallway” track is where the true value lies.

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CodeMash 2015: Our Must-See Sessions

Codemash logo

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the Aztek Development Team has been preparing for another self-declared holiday: CodeMash.

Next week our team (along with 2000 other developers, designers, project managers, entrepreneurs, and geeks alike) will convene at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky to spend 2-4 days coding, learning, listening...and splashing (with 173,000 sq/ft of waterpark, how could you not?!).

I've had the privilege of attending this wonderful conference for the past four years, and I am looking forward to most of the Aztek team experiencing it for the first time this year.

With just a week until the sessions begin, our team is counting down the days until the drive out for a few fun-filled and wildly educational days. There are a few sessions the team is particularly excited about, such as...

“See How Easily You Can Create a Cross-Platform 3D Game Using Unity”

Speaker: Chad Carter

I got my hands on the original NES back in 1989, at a time when I was barely starting to speak. It was hard to get my hands off of that controller. My fate was sealed. I have been a passionate gamer ever since. It was that passion which got me into programming. The first things I ever made were silly, text-based games. Sadly, I never managed to complete any serious games. There was always an intimidation aspect. But it seems that it has never been easier to get started. I heard about Unity this past year and I have been meaning to dive in. I am hoping this session will reignite my dreams of video game development.

- Dustin Graves

"How I built an Automated Meat Smoker on Arduino and then Raspberry Pi"

Speaker: Joseph Andaverde

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How Webmaster Tools Helps Your Keyword Strategy: Part 2

Last month, I explained how you can use Google and Bing Webmaster Tools to find and track new keyword opportunities. Today, I explain how you can use another report – the Content Keywords report - to implement a responsible keyword strategy after you know your target keywords.

Wondering what I mean when I say “responsible keyword strategy?" Keep reading. I’ll get to it.

A screenshot of a Content Keywords report in Google Webmaster Tools.

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Who are these guys anyway?

Aztek is a web design, web application development, web marketing, and hosting firm in Cleveland Ohio. We’ve been around for more than 16 years, and we’ve worked with more than 600 clients. Aztek is not affiliated with the unfortunate car of the same name, nor are we descended from a fifteenth century Mesoamerican civilization. At least, not that we know of.