We sat down with the newest additions to the Hampton Creative team and picked their brains about current web trends, mobile marketing, the new Apple mini iPad and what “interactive” really means. You might be surprised at a few of their answers.
HC: Jordan, you’re the new guy at Hampton. Tell us a little about yourself.
JE: I studied Web Design and New Media at the Art Institute of Nashville, and Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Recently, I worked at Apple for the past year and a half, specializing specifically in mobile devices. It was there my passion and interest in the mobile web was piqued. I was fortunate enough to learn the ins and outs of the famous iOS platform, and became exceptionally familiar with good mobile experiences.
I’m passionate about the web being an enjoyable experience for all users, regardless of browser or device.
HC: Kris – you’re still relatively new to the team as well. What do guys like best about working at Hampton Creative?
KO: The people. The clients. The culture.
JE: I get to work with some of the best designers and developers around, we have a beautiful space, great clients, and lots and lots of candy. I mostly hang around for the candy.
HC: How would you define “interactive” and how does your department impact clients and consumers?
JE: The term, “interactive” has a lot of weight. Interactivity is not just about clicking buttons and seeing what happens as a result; interaction is an experience. With that in mind, interactivity is a powerful experience born out of creativity and quality content.
Businesses, along with brands, all have the opportunity to craft memorable experiences for their customers– experiences that aren’t just based on cool web effects, but rather based on rich content.
The marriage of great content and creative design lead to those memorable experiences. As a business or brand, the best way to advertise yourself is to create those positive memorable experience for your customers. That’s where we step in.
HC: How do you both see the mobile web evolving?
KO: Mobile isn’t anything new. Three years ago the industry was preparing for mobile users by building separate mobile friendly websites. The technology is just evolving. In the past year we have started to see the rise of tablets and touch screen devices drive the need for full websites to fit a variety of different screen sizes. Responsive/Adaptive website design allows a company to feed content to one website and depending on the device viewing the site, sizes itself to the screen size.
JE:It’s becoming more and more apparent that “mobile” is here to stay. Currently, 55% of American’s use their personal mobile devices to learn, browse, and shop everyday. In 2009, that number was only 31%. This dramatic increase can be attributed to the blossoming of new devices, and a more mobile-conscious web. Both of these contributors need to be considered when designing a site; the device and the platform.
Sites now, if not mobile friendly, simply lose the attention of potential and current customers. If the customer feels burdened instead of empowered by the experience, they leave – typically in less than thirty seconds. With this in mind, if a business refuses to adapt to a more forward-thinking mindset when it comes to their website, they are going to be losing opportunity and revenue.
With all of the different devices, browsers, and viewports, it seems like a misstep to not provide the general public with a website that is accessible on all of the web-based tools we use on a day-to-day basis.
HC: Speaking of mobile, what do you think about the iPad Mini? Will you purchase one?
KO: I will not be purchasing an iPad Mini. I’m really not sure why you would purchase one to be honest. Who is their target for this device anyway?
JE: Hmmm…Well, after working for Apple for a year and a half, I have to say, I was excited to see the iPad mini. Smaller, more portable tablets are taking up a good portion of the market, so it’s only natural that Apple would want it’s hand in the cookie jar. After testing one out, I am certain I will get one… but not until they put a retina display in that little guy.
HC: What are some trends that you’re seeing in website design?
KO: I mentioned some of the trends when talking about mobile as far as development goes, but typography on the web is one of the biggest things that has been opening up over the last few years. We are no longer stuck to using the same old web friendly fonts (Arial, Times New Roman). Google Web Fonts and several other online libraries of royalty-free web fonts have allowed web designers to really open up their creativity when it comes to typography on the web. I see this trend continuing to evolve and open up.
JE: Responsive and adaptive sites are most definitely becoming a standard across the web. We also are seeing a lot of rich typography and subtle animations around the web.
HTML5 offers us a new approach with how we develop web pages. It helps search engines find content all the more easily, and gives us some cool new technologies that help with things like web apps.
One of my personal favorite trends is making websites “Retina” friendly. Retina, or HiDpi, displays have an exceptionally dense amount of pixels within the screen. The benefit to this technology is the increase in clarity and color accuracy shown with text, images, and all other forms of content.
So, why hire an agency to build your site?
KO: Everyone knows someone that “can” build a website. There are so many “how-to” resources online about how to do everything. With a little research, I could probably knit a sweater if I wanted to. I can’t guarantee that the arm holes will be in the correct places or that it would even fit. My point is, there are many people claiming to be able to very cheaply produce a website. I have met with countless clients that have a broken website after a few months coming to us and asking for help. The value of hiring an expert, an agency, with a talented group of designers and programmers on staff is the experience. Our designers and programmers have a track record of working with a variety of clients and delivering a great web experience fit for the target audience. This experience along with the honest and up-front approach that we offer, makes Hampton Creative the easy choice.
JE: One should go to an agency for the same reason one would go to a doctor when they’re feeling a little “off” – We know how to diagnose the real problem and remedy it with a solution that solves it best.
We provide websites built with the latest of technologies to ensure our sites are future-proof and optimized for search engines. We specialize in CMS systems like wordpress, which enable our clients the ability to update their website without ever having to look at a line of code.
Three questions a client should ask before re-doing their website?
KO: How many websites have your designers/programmers designed/ built in-house? Are there going to be any hidden fees or charges and will I be notified if I request something outside of scope? Where is my site going to be hosted? Then do research for yourself. Find reviews on the hosting company.
JE: Who is my audience? What is my message? How will they be viewing my site?
HC: Great stuff; thanks for the time!
Feel free to hit up Kris or Jordan with your web-related questions:
- On November 12, 2012
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- Hampton Creative, Interactive Team, Web Design, iOS Platform, interactive