The effects of the digital graphic on comics: the case study of IronClawed

Today, the world of communication appears to be unidirectional: the flow of information seems to proceed only towards the network. Until not so long ago, people were informed through newspapers instead of now where the web world asserts itself as the main repository of information of any class. It is in this perspective (some people, making a big mistake, seek even medical info for auto-diagnosis on the web!) that the web design has developed enormously. Web design is the graphical performance of a web site or its design in terms of visualization and aesthetics, in order to show an appealing style for those who surf on it. Web design, also, is an essential concept regarding the world of online comics and comic blog, deepening the whole graphic part concerning the development of a site and its dynamism, taking advantage of special programs for graphics rendering.

At this regard, it can be noted a very attractive comic site: “ironclawed.com” where the graphic sinuous lines with decisive traits of the comic’s characters and the resolute use of colours, make, on the whole, a great comic website.

The “ironclawed.com” parallel universe takes place in a context where World War II never ended and the fury of the Kragen, commander in chief of the army of the Fourth Reich, rages against the Allied Forces, represented by the United States of America, Russia and the United Kingdom. The people who live in this world have a peculiar green or orange skin and are in a constant state of tension and siege, forced to use very few technological tools, mostly outdated.

The story focuses on the actions taken by three Croatian pilots friends, who try in every way possible to stop the advance of Kragen; their actions are perfectly descripted thanks to the wise use of the colours and the wonderful cartoons, full of emotional tense.

Therefore it is very easy to imagine in the shoes of our brave heroes, agog to try to undestand the narrative evolution.

In a few words, “ironclawed.com” is a very entertaining and emotional comic website, not only for the originality of the story but mostly for the choice of the stunning graphical web design.

 … Read More

How to Ensure a Smooth Transition When Changing Your Business’ Website Domain Name

Deciding to change your company’s domain name can be a difficult decision. You’ve likely established your business with the old name for months or even years – sometimes even a decade or more. It’s printed on all the business cards and brochures and even incorporated into video and digital advertisements. However, it’s often well worth the effort, especially if you’ve thought of a new domain name that’s shorter, catchier and likely to lead to more visitors.

Consider the Switch for a While

Before you switch, check available domain names and make lists of multiple new names that suit your business. Sometimes, it’s actually better to focus on popular keywords related to your industry than to use your company name. For example, if you sell pet supplies, but your business is called “Smith and Sons’ Pet Supplies,” switching from smithandsons.com to something like cheappetsupplies.com will actually lead to more website visits. Discuss the switch with a team of employees and, if you have the time, do some market research into what people think of the various options. Because domain names are so affordable, it makes sense to buy multiple names you’re considering so they’re not bought up in the meantime, and you can simply fail to renew the ones you don’t pick in the end after a year.

Redirect

From now on, use the new domain name in all advertisements and printings. However, because the old site name is used in multiple sources, continue to pay for the rights to it for several years and simply redirect visitors to the old site to the new one. Remind visitors to change their bookmarks for the first few months at the top of the page.

Keep the Design the Same – for a Short While

To assure visitors they haven’t made a mistake when visiting the new domain name or being redirected to it, keep the look of the site the same with just the domain name changed throughout. In a few months’ time, it may be the right moment to update the design, but don’t attempt both a new design and a domain name change at the same time.

With the right hosting program, switching domain names is easier than you might think. If you really doubt your ability to handle the transition because you’re too busy, consider hiring professional web designers and website management teams. However, it’s easier than ever to design your own website and keep costs down if you’re on a tight budget with affordable, easy-to-use templates and web hosting.

 … Read More

5 web design tools you can’t live without

This year has been a really exciting one for new design tools entering the market. Photoshop has become something of a dirty word, and although it’s still one of my weapons of choice, internet-makers are fighting back with a plethora of tools that aim to make your life as a designer that little bit better.


Static mockups are becoming less useful and the lines between designer and developer are becoming increasingly blurred. As we work more collaboratively with one another the tools we use are having to change.

The era of the HiDPI screen is here and dominating our devices, and designers are having to find new processes that help them produce designs that are more accessible across these devices.

Here, I’ve picked out top 10 tools that I believe are changing the way we think about design, and are key to helping us establish these new processes…

  1. Pixate

Pixate is an app that has been created for making intuitive, interactive prototypes for iOS and Android. What sets Pixate apart from other tools I’ve used is its drag-and-drop animation and interaction panel.

To make an element interactive, all you need to do is simply select the interaction you’d like to use, be that double-tap, drag, tap or one of the other native interactions it provides.

Drag this onto your element, set some variables, and voilà – using the Pixate iOS or Android app gives you a real-time working prototype on your device.

The app allows you to build up an asset library really quickly. To start creating your prototype, just drag and drop your assets into the app and you’ll find them in your layers palette ready to use.

What I really enjoyed about Pixate is how simple it is. Every part of the app is really clearly and thoughtfully designed which makes it easy to understand.

And if you’re not quite sure on what something does, the live feed onto your device allows you to experiment and see how it effects the design in real time.

  1. Affinity

Affinity by Serif has been dubbed the ‘Photoshop killer’ by some, and it’s easy to see why. My first impressions are that the app is incredibly well designed and that it feels like it’s been made to be a dedicated web and graphic design tool.

There were a few features that I really enjoyed, including adjustable nondestructive layers – which essentially means you can adjust images or vectors without damaging them.

The 1,000,000 percent zoom was just bliss (very often Photoshop’s 32,000 feels like it’s just not enough). This is especially useful when working with vector art, as you can really get in close. The undo and history features are also really handy – Affinity allows you to go back over 8,000 steps!

When it comes to designing, the UI feels familiar. When moving from Photoshop, everyone seems to want to start over, which can pose a real challenge.

What Affinity has … Read More

Holiday Shopping Pitfalls

Another holiday shopping season is here! Are you ready? Were your Black Friday sales not as robust as you hoped? There’s still time to fix things, but you need to really buckle down. The first thing to do is review your site stats. Pay particular attention to bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment. Bounce refers to how quickly visitors leave your site. If that rate is high, take a good long hard look at your site. Is it loading slowly? Approach it as a shopper. Is it easy to navigate? Do your product listings have clear, professional photos and well written descriptions? One small pop up inviting visitors to join your mailing list in return for a discount is okay, but more than that will send visitors diving for the back button. Make sure all the images you use are high quality, but optimize them so your site will load quickly. Did your site bog down or crash altogether on Black Friday? Find out why and fix it ASAP. Most of the time it’s due to a lack of bandwidth. Increase yours to as much as you can and if you aren’t on a dedicated server, you need to be! It’s crucial your site be able to handle high volume.

If you’re experience a high rate of shopping cart abandonment, it’s likely your check out process is too cumbersome. It shouldn’t require customers to jump through more than 2-3 pages, nor should it demand their payment info before showing them shipping and tax info. Look at your shipping fees too. While it’s true that shipping seems to be getting more expensive everyday, try not to pass that along to your customers. Offer free shipping whenever possible. It’s been proven that shoppers will overwhelmingly prefer an item with a higher price and free shipping over the same item at a lower price with a shipping charge, so build your shipping cost into your item price whenever you can.

If you’ve been getting complaints about your shopping cart, heed them and make some changes. Check out http://1shoppingcart.com/features to get started. A good shopping cart will go a long away toward building customer satisfaction and loyalty. It should be easy to use and most importantly, save the customer’s choices for as long as possible. One of the best ways to drive a customer away is to have a cart that empties their cart the minute they leave the site. Shoppers love to fill their carts and then think about their purchases or do research/comparison shopping elsewhere. If they know they can come back and simply check out, they will!

 … Read More

3 SEO Blunders for Your Business to Avoid

In recent years, businesses of all sizes have increased their online presence with the help of search engine optimization (SEO). Utilizing a number of effective SEO practices has enabled these businesses to increase their rankings in prominent search engines, increase visitor numbers to their respective websites and step up their profitability. When approached properly, search engine optimization can generate substantial rewards for your enterprise. However, the following SEO blunders are practically guaranteed to leave your business worse for the wear.

1. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is among the most common mistakes made by companies that are new to search engine optimization. It refers to the practice of littering blog posts, feature article and other pieces of text-based content with search engine-focused keywords. Although keyword integration is one of the most effective SEO practices, it’s entirely possible to overdo it. Even if it leads to a short-term increase in web traffic, excessively plugging keywords into your content won’t endear you to the people who visit your site or Google. Furthermore, when certain search engines catch wind of keyword stuffing, they punish the offending site with a diminished ranking.

2. Not Staying Local

If your business is locally focused, there’s no real point in trying to reach a national audience with your SEO efforts. With that in mind, make sure the keywords and phrases you insert into your content reflect the location of your business – “affordable PC repair in Phoenix,” for example. As an added bonus, vying for local search engine attention is much easier than trying to reach a national – or international – audience. Since Web.com offers local SEO services, it may be in your best interest to give them a call or shoot them an email.

3. Infrequent Content Updates

Prominent search engines generally don’t look favorably upon sites that don’t produce consistent content updates. If you have a tendency to go weeks – or even months – without offering any new content, certain search engines will assume that your site has nothing substantial to offer and assign it a low ranking. This is why it’s important to post at least one to two new pieces of content each week. Said content can come in form of blog posts, feature articles, image collections and videos. If you and your staff are too swamped to produce new content on a consistent basis, consider enlisting the services of a seasoned web marketing company.

Search engine optimization is here to stay. With companies of all sizes using it to step up their game, there’s never been a more opportune time to hop on the SEO bandwagon. However, in order for your efforts to be successful, you’ll need to avoid making certain rookie mistakes. With that in mind, make an active effort to avoid keyword stuffing, improper keyword insertion and infrequent content updates.

 … Read More