Aztek Blog
Aztek is a web design, web application development, and digital marketing agency in Cleveland, Ohio who blogs about those very same topics.

Card-Based Design: A Winning Pattern

Grouping related information into a single container can be extremely useful on the web and off. Card-based design takes this simple idea and strategically applies it to the web, and particularly to mobile design.

example of card based design


Content is King, Structure is Parliament

Okay, the web isn't a constitutional monarchy, but go with me.

Back in 1996, Bill Gates declared that "Content is King," and that's been a mainstay of web design strategy for the past two decades. However, like a king can be a tyrant and run roughshod over a country without anyone to check his power, sprawling and unstructured content can hurt your website if it doesn't have structure (and a good editor, but that's another article).

Content is King, but structure is Parliament, keeping the content in line and making sure it does what is best for your audience and your business.

“Design your system to serve your content, not the other way around.” — Jeffrey Zeldman


Compatible Cultures - Tips to hire the right web design agency for your company

Culture is a word that is simultaneously over-used by companies (especially tech companies), and over-looked when choosing business partners (like your web design agency). Even if all other things are equal, having a compatible culture with your web agency can be the difference between the success and failure of your project.

Culture mismatches - What can go wrong?

At the beginning of a project, everything is fine...great even. You're both in that "honeymoon" phase. Everyone on both sides of the project is excited about all the new and wonderful things you are going to build together. Unless you aren't a cultural match. Then things go south pretty fast. Communication is difficult. Your processes and workflow styles don't mesh well. They just aren't "getting it" (and behind closed doors, they're saying the same thing about you). After a few weeks, the project implodes and nobody wants to finish least not with each other.

Yikes. And this may have nothing to do with anyone's competence or motivation level. You're just not a good fit for one another. So how do you avoid this project destroying fate?

First off, what is "culture" exactly?


StirTrek 2016 was awesome and you should feel bad that you didn't go

There's hardly a better use for an empty movie theater complex during the day than packing a couple thousand developers and designers in for some serious learning. Sure, this is the only place in the Universe where the line for the men's room is out into the hallways (and the Ladies' room is clear), but it's well worth it. This was our third year attending Stir Trek, and this one of those core "must-attend" conferences each year for our team.


6 Ways To Step Up Your E-Commerce Game

There are many reasons to love giant e-commerce retailer Amazon and the shopping experience they provide.

On Amazon you can:

  • Find what you want
  • View products before purchasing
  • Get reasonable / competitive prices (usually)
  • Check out in one click
  • Expect quick delivery, typically 2 to 3 days
  • Get free shipping with Prime

While you probably won't receive as much traffic or sales as Amazon, we'll share six ways you can increase your revenue by enhancing your e-commerce presence.



How Basketball Explains Attribution Modeling

Is Your Website Helping Your Business?

Finding ways to increase conversion rates online is a top priority for many businesses. Whether it's driving new leads, selling products online, or having someone sign up for a newsletter, we're big fans of the marketing channels that generate the highest number of conversions.

When a customer completes an action that you've defined as valuable, these customer actions are called conversions. - Google AdWords Help

But what do you do with those channels that struggle to meet your conversion goals? Are they necessarily a bad thing? These questions can be better answered using a powerful tool called, "attribution modeling."

To better explain this concept, I'm using the help of a favorite pastime of mine... sports!

Image of a basketball hoop. Find out more about how basketball can help explain attribution modeling.


Three Reasons Designers Will Like Umbraco

Why Umbraco?

We’ve been using Umbraco as Aztek's content management system (CMS) of choice for over a year — and not just because it’s free and open source. It's also created opportunities for our front-end developers that used to require the resources of our back-end devs. Thanks to Umbraco we’re able to offer more custom functionality, a better user experience, and a quicker turnaround time for the client.

Do-It-All Designers

At Aztek our designers are more like front-end developers and graphic designers. We go from Photoshop to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You might be more of a visual designer who only uses Photoshop, or maybe you're a designer who also does some front-end development. Either way, these tips show you the power you'll have as a designer using the Umbraco content management system.

Image of designer muscles. With Umbraco designers can learn code quickly to expand their capabilities.


Why You Should Invest In A Great Website Design

Today, an astounding 93 percent of B2B buying decisions start with online research. Often, your website is the first touchpoint your prospective clients have with your company. Further, customers are not contacting companies until they're 57 percent of the way through their decision-making process. Based on these numbers, more than half of the sales process happens online. To have a conversation with your prospective client in today's marketplace, your website has to do the initial selling for you. And it turns out, the look and feel of your website plays a much bigger part in the process than you ever thought was possible.

website design


How Haters Can Make You Great: Responding to Customer Comments

While many companies believe they provide excellent customer support, their customers don't necessarily agree. According to marketing consultant extraordinaire Jay Baer, only 8 percent of customers feel like businesses provide good customer support experience.

Image of an angry customer. Responding to customer comments can help with customer retetnion and give you ideas for content.

Some unhappy customers may walk away grumbling to themselves, but others may decide to take their vitriol to the Interwebs. You may not be able to control what your customers say online, but you can always respond to them. Don't fear the comments, use them to your advantage.


Don’t Get Blinded By Distraction Metrics In Digital Marketing

In Digital Marketing, It’s All About Conversions

While other metrics are important — things like keyword rankings, bounce rate, and social media followers — you shouldn’t let them blind you from what matters most.

Many digital agencies focus on these less significant elements in client reporting. I call them “distraction metrics,” because they’re just that: distractions from what matters most.

If you’re not making money, then it doesn’t matter if you rank well for a specific keyword phrase. If you’re not getting qualified leads, then having thousands of likes on your Facebook page is meaningless.

digital marketing metrics and ROI