The Importance of Responsive Website Design

The Importance of Responsive Website Design

I was hanging out with some friends the other day and I saw one of them pull out an old-school flip phone to make a call. I was immediately struck by the resemblance in how we tend to look down our noses at old technology and how consumers tend to snub website designs that are not responsive.

Think about it – when was the last time you saw someone whip out a non-smartphone? The little finger-scrolling motions we all make when cycling through our messages and mail have become a ubiquitous sight in any public setting. A phone without a finger scrolling? How gauche!

Well, our customers look at the website and graphic design in precisely the same way. Smartphone technology is less than a decade old – smart websites are even younger than that – but our customers don’t care. They want websites that interact with what they’re using now, not with what they used a decade ago.

What is Responsive?

What do I mean by responsive website design? In the simplest terms, responsive website design allows customers to utilize the site’s features from any device, be it a PC, a tablet, or a finger-scrolly smartphone.

Anyone with experience in web programming or graphic design immediately recognizes that there’s nothing simple about creating a site that allows full-featured use across multiple devices. As a graphic designer, I’ve been called on to create scalable interfaces that can grow or shrink to accommodate multiple screen sizes, so I know exactly how much effort and planning it requires.

Regardless of how much work it takes, today’s marketing efforts are joined at the hip with technologies that are evolving rapidly. Attracting the right audience, making them comfortable, and encouraging them to buy our product or service all require allowing them to connect to us in the way they want, not the way we want.

My friend with the flip phone? She was sending a text message, not shopping. Just goes to show.

Four Common Reasons Why Some Brands Fail

Four Common Reasons Why Some Brands Fail

It’s no secret that some businesses never seem to get off the ground. Sometimes this is because of a bad business plan, poor management, or because the business wasn’t a good idea. While these issues can contribute to a business’s failure, a surprising number of times, the main reason the business fails is because of poor branding.

There are several reasons bad branding issues result in a business failing to catch on.

They Fail to Connect to Their Target Market

It doesn’t matter how good a business is. If the business fails to catch the eye of its target market, they aren’t going to make it. The problem is that the company usually spends all of its money casting a wide net with its marketing efforts instead of investing in consumer research and pinpointing the type of branding that resonates with its ideal customer.

The Brand Fails to Live Up to Brand’s Promise

One of the common mistakes we encounter when we’re looking at a business that failed because of the branding is that the company failed to live up to the brand’s promise. We see this the most frequently in businesses that novice business owners started. They have a great idea but aren’t confident about how they want to handle their branding, so they look to other businesses for ideas. The result is a brand that looks good but doesn’t quite match the business or product/service they’re offering.

Overextending the Brand

Recently we’ve noticed an uptick in branding failures that aren’t the result of the company having a bad brand but that the company is simply trying to do too much with its brand. This usually happens when a successful company expands its product line or offers more services. While the brand perfectly fits the original idea, it jars with the extension, and customers get confused. When it comes to expansion, careful consideration must be given to whether the company should expand under the same brand or if it would be better off creating two separate brands.

Creating Sub-Brands that Hurt the Primary Brand

While we are in favor of creating sub-brands, we do urge you to use caution. We’ve seen cases of businesses that launched a good sub-brand without realizing that the sub-brand was sending a message that ultimately contradicted and, in some cases, even hurt the main brand.

Does the process of branding your start-up leave you feeling overwhelmed? Feel free to contact us. We take the stress and mystery out of successful brand creation.

Should you Redesign your Website in 2023?

Should you Redesign your Website in 2023?

It’s not always easy to know if the time has come to redesign your website. Many business owners feel that as long as the site is getting a reasonable amount of traffic and generating sales, they should leave it alone. The reality is that sometimes the traffic slowly decreases, and the owner doesn’t know it. It’s also likely that an older website isn’t attracting new, potential customers, which means the business is relying on a current customer base that could already be in a dwindling phase.

Here are some unmistakable signs that your website is in need of a facelift.

It’s Not Performing Well on Mobile Devices

Most of your customers use mobile devices when using the internet. If your website doesn’t load quickly and smoothly onto the mobile device, the visitor will back scroll and visit the competition’s mobile-friendly website.

Content Updates are Getting Increasingly Difficult

While websites have evolved a great deal, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that content is king. You need fresh and interesting content to hold your customer’s attention and to make sure your website enjoys a high search engine rating.

The problem is that as your website gets older, content becomes harder to update. A very simple web design project will equip your website with the new or updated tools needed to quickly load fresh content onto your website.

Your SEO Could be Better

Have you checked your search engine ranking recently? Is your website still appearing on the first page for all of your keywords? If it’s not, there’s a chance that the problem isn’t your content. It could actually be that your website simply isn’t equipped with the newest things the web crawlers look for when ranking a website. A quick and easy web redesign project will help restore your site to its previous high rankings.

You’re Not Keeping Up With the Competition

Take a look at a few of your direct competitors’ websites. How does yours match up? While you don’t want your website to be a carbon copy of theirs, you also don’t want your website to feel like a vintage example of how things were once done.

Have you decided it’s time to revamp your website? Contact us and learn how easy and effective upgrading can be!

Start-Ups and Web Design

It’s no secret that a good website is one of the most important marketing tools a business has at its disposal. It’s even more important that start-ups have an outstanding website.

  • Start-ups in a variety of industries rely on their websites to:
  • Start establishing a brand message
  • Provide detailed information about your business, your goal, and how investors can get involved
  • Share your start-up’s story
  • Help create target-driven traffic
  • The website is a relatively low-cost form of marketing

Considering the overall impact your website has on the current and future success of your website, you can’t afford to be casual with your web design. Several things need to be incorporated into your website to ensure maximum impact.

Intuitive Navigation

Not everyone who visits your start-up’s website will be after the same information. Investors are looking for different things than the members of your target market. Intuitive navigation ensures that every visitor can quickly and easily access the information they’re looking for and not have to shift through a bunch of content they’re not interested in.

The Design Must be Mobile Friendly

Each year, the general population is relying more on their mobile devices, particularly smartphones. Your website must load quickly and accurately on phones, which means it has to be mobile-friendly. Designing a mobile-friendly website means using a navigation system that’s easy to read and utilize despite the smaller screen, making sure the pages load quickly and formatting the content so that the viewer can simply scroll down and not make much effort to read the pertinent content.

Strong Brand Identity

One of the hardest things many start-ups struggle with is creating a website that generates a strong brand identity. A website that reflects brand identity is even more important for start-ups than established businesses because the brand identity is most likely the only thing the members of your target market will notice.

Your start-up website needs to;

  • Reflect your industry
  • Create a visceral reaction in visitors
  • Be consistent across different platforms
  • Be instantly recognizable
  • Be reflected on every single webpage

Strong Call-To-Action

Your website needs to feature a strong call to action that inspires visitors to perform the desired action. Exactly what this action does depends on your short-term goals. Some start-ups want visitors to sign up for a mailing list, others invite people to jump into a sales funnel, others want a specific piece of content to be looked at, while other start-ups seek investment inquiries.

The Website must be Visually Appealing

The website’s design has to be subtle, consistent, and visually appealing. It also has to make an outstanding first impression. If the website is cluttered, has cumbersome blocks of text, or is just badly laid out, your visitors will move onto a different website without reading a single line of your posted content.

Contact us today and learn how we’ll help you create a website that will turn your start-up into an industry superstar.


2022’s Hot Web Design Trends

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Staying on top of the latest trends is the best way to make sure your business website never looks outdated or becomes boring. Now that 2022 has finally arrived, it’s time to look at the hottest upcoming web design trends and figure out if they’re something you should incorporate into your website.

Big Bold Colors

Expect 2022 to be a bright year. If there’s a way to incorporate bright colors into your brand, you should seriously consider going for it. The current consumer wants to feel good about themselves and by extension, good about your business, and bright colors that trigger a sense of cheer is the simplest way to do that.

While incorporating bright colors into your website is a great idea, don’t go overboard. Think bright but minimalistic. You don’t want so much color it hurts visitors’ eyes or creates a sense of pandemonium.

Progressive Lead Generation

Lead generation has always been important. That’s not expected to change in 2022. Tweak your web design so that you’re able to gather information from your clients in a way that’s subtle, private, and discrete. One of the simplest ways to do this is is creating a website that leads them from one page to another and slowly asks a series of questions as they go. An example of this is creating one page that maybe asks for a name and general location. Followed by another page that explores why they visited your page, followed by the lead funnel page that requests an email address in exchange for your free product.

Keep your lead generation forms, clean, unobtrusive, and simple.

Don’t Discount Loading Speed

Don’t let 2022 be the year that you slack off when it comes to your website’s loading speed. The average consumer is more impatient than ever before. They’re not going to wait for more than a few seconds to load your page. If they don’t get near-instant access to the information they seek, they will move on.

Sit down with your web designer and discuss different ways the current loading speed of your website can be improved. It’s especially important that all your leading landing pages fully open almost as soon as the link is clicked.

Not sure that your website is ready for 2022? Contact us. We’ll look at your site and discuss different ideas that will make it more appealing to your target market.

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand Message with MHD Group Web Design

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand Message with MHD Group Web Design

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Your website should be a natural extension of your brand message. If you currently feel that there is some discord between your brand message and your current web design, it’s time to revamp your website.

You’ll be amazed by how much a well-designed website helps strengthen your brand message.

Better Brand Identity

Your website is the place prospective customers will turn to when they want to learn more about your brand identity. Every single piece of content you include in your web design should connect strongly to identity.

It doesn’t matter if you’re revamping your entire website or have simply decided to tweak the design, before going live with the newly redesigned website, look at every single aspect of the website and make sure it helps uphold your brand identity and sends a positive message to consumers.

Add Emotional Elements

Every single business should strike an emotional chord with its target market. A good web design allows you to showcase this emotional aspect of your business and will use it to strengthen your brand message.

Sit down with your web designer and let them know if you want your brand message to be tranquil, happy, fun, compassionate, or something else. They will choose fonts, images, layouts, and even colors that will help trigger an instantaneous emotional connection between yourself and prospective customers.

Creates a Solid Sense of Value

When you meet with your web design team, you’ll likely hear the words, value proposition tossed around. In this case, value isn’t necessarily the financial value of your website, though a good value proposition will lead to a nice increase in sales.

When your website is fully designed, the value proposition will appear as a short statement in an area where visitors’ eyes will naturally be drawn to as soon as your website loads. The idea of the value proposition is that it provides your visitors with an instant understanding of what they will get from visiting the website. Reading the value proposition will make your visitors feel good about the website and help them develop a solid understanding of your brand message.

Stand Out From the Crowd

The best thing about a good web design is that not only will it enhance your brand message, it will also show how your business differs from the competition. Aspects of web design that help hone your brand message and stand out from the crowd include the use of color, tone, the type of content you incorporate into your web design, and more.

Want to make sure your web design aligns with your brand message? Contact the MHD Group and learn exactly what tricks we have up our sleeve that will enhance your brand message.

The Importance of White Space in Web Design

The Importance of White Space in Web Design


Many people are surprised when they see the mockup for a web design and instead of blocks of text and images all crammed together, there is a great deal of blank space. It’s not uncommon for them to assume that the blank space means the website developers didn’t know how to compile enough information to fill the space.

Web designers refer to these gaps as white space and, in many ways, they represent important website real estate. The way the white space is used is one of the first things visitors use to determine if they want to explore your website or if they click past it.

The truth is that blank space is a crucial part of web design. While you don’t want several inches of space between blocks of content, your website should have generous gaps between paragraphs and a nice border that separates images from the text.

The most important thing white space does is improve the readability of your website. Pages become more readable when there is a small amount of space between the paragraphs. That’s one of the reasons so many book publishers now print books with larger text and more white space because those are the types of books readers are likely to purchase. The increased number of sales generated from the white space more than justifies the increased printing and shipping costs.

Webpage visitors who encounter a massive block of text that has little to no white space will quickly become overwhelmed and close the website. When that same block of text is broken into many paragraphs and a little white space is inserted between those paragraphs, the visitor will read all the content and then either explore your website or enter your sales funnel.

The rule of thumb for adding additional white space to your website is to limit sentences to under 21 words and make sure the average paragraph is only about three sentences long. Using bulletin points is another great way to generate more white space.

The correct use of white space does more than simply make your website more readable and therefore more visitor-friendly. A knowledgeable web design team knows how to use white space to attract attention to a block of extra important content and to subtly guide your visitors to the products and services you most want them to notice.

Making a Strong First Impression with Your Web Design

Making a Strong First Impression with Your Web Design

You could have the best content in the world, but that won’t do you much good if you’re website doesn’t first make an outstanding first impression. What you have to remember is that your visitors will only spend a few seconds looking over your website. If they don’t instantly like what they see, they’ll move on to your competition. This doesn’t give them enough time to do more than skim a few headings.

While it only takes a second or two for your website to make a first impression, making sure that the first impression is a positive one takes time, planning, and effort.
Several different variables come into play.

Loading Speed

The loading speed of your website is crucial for making a good first impression. The average consumer is growing steadily less patient with slow-loading web pages. While you can’t do anything to influence the speed of the internet connection they are using, you can make sure that your webpage will load as quickly as possible.

The best way to increase your website’s loading speed is using fast-loading plug-ins, moving large images lower on your page, and taking advantage of tools that assess the average loading speed of your page.

White Space is Your Friend

Did you know that white space actually encourages your customers to stick around and read the content you’ve worked so hard to develop?

The last thing your visitors want to do is shift through long paragraphs of dense content. Break up your content and create inviting white space by using headers and subheaders and creating short paragraphs that aren’t more than three or four sentences long. When it comes to blocks of text, less is more.

Contrasting Colors

Contrasting colors make your website inviting and easier to read, however, you don’t want to go too crazy either. Stick to a few basic colors and work out how to use those colors for bullet points, headers, and banners so they draw your visitor’s eyes to your website’s key points.

Sharp Images

Images and videos help your website make a great first impression, but only if those images and videos are high quality and work to enhances your content. The way your images are laid out is also crucial. When done correctly, they should draw the eye to a key piece of content.

These are just a few components that a webpage needs so that it can make a strong first impression.

Contact us to learn how we can help you create an outstanding website that turns first impressions into long-term visitors.

Principles Of Effective Web Design | Modesto Web Design & Development

Principles Of Effective Web Design | Modesto Web Design & Development

modesto web design

In order to use the principles properly, we first need to understand how users interact with websites, how they think, and what are the basic patterns of users’ behavior.

How Do Users Think?

Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at.

Most users search for something interesting (or useful) and clickable; as soon as some promising candidates are found, users, click. If the new page doesn’t meet users’ expectations, the Back button is clicked and the search process is continued.

Users appreciate quality and credibility. If a page provides users with high-quality content, they are willing to compromise the content with advertisements and the design of the site. This is the reason why not-that-well-designed websites with high-quality content gain a lot of traffic over years. Content is more important than the design which supports it.

Users don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a web page, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page.

Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. Very simple principle: If a website isn’t able to meet users’ expectations, then the designer failed to get his job done properly and the company loses money. The higher is the cognitive load and the less intuitive is the navigation, the more willing are users to leave the website and search for alternatives.

Users don’t make optimal choices. Users don’t search for the quickest way to find the information they’re looking for. Neither do they scan webpage in a linear fashion, going sequentially from one site section to another one? Instead, users are satisfice; they choose the first reasonable option. As soon as they find a link that seems like it might lead to the goal, there is a very good chance that it will be immediately clicked. Optimizing is hard, and it takes a long time. Satisficing is more efficient.

Users follow their intuition. In most cases, users muddle through instead of reading the information a designer has provided. According to Steve Krug, the basic reason for that is that users don’t care. “If we find something that works, we stick to it. It doesn’t matter to us if we understand how things work, as long as we can use them. If your audience is going to act like you’re designing billboards, then design great billboards.”

Users want to have control. Users want to be able to control their browser and rely on consistent data presentation throughout the site. E.g. they don’t want new windows popping up unexpectedly and they want to be able to get back with a “Back”-button to the site they’ve been before: therefore it’s a good practice to never open links in new browser windows.

Your website is the front door to your business. MHD Group has provided results-driven website design solutions for hundreds of businesses. The website design must be planned, defined, and executed as a priority in your marketing strategy.

MHD Group provides results driven solutions that elevate brand awareness above the competition, motivate buyers and ensure customer loyalty by effectively integrating branding strategy, graphic and web design, marketing, digital media and public relations.