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5 Web Design Mistakes You Need To Ditch Before 2015

web designCompanies all over the world need to update their sites regularly to reflect the latest trends in web design. It is a habit borne out of necessity as businesses need great web designs to be compelling enough to drive conversion rates upwards. As 2014 comes nears its close, it is again time to look at prevailing trends in web design and to forecast what will work in the coming year.

Birmingham web designers digitalcherry.co.uk warns industry professionals to scrap these 5 web design mistakes:

1. Bad Accessibility – Always keep in mind that great browsing experience makes web visitors more likely to land you conversions. In order to avoid turning pages into a cluttered mess, you can make use of sliders. It is a great way to showcase content, photos, and videos.

2. Boring Fonts – Don’t bore your viewers with commonplace fonts. Use of unique, creative fonts instead. This is an intangible that great designers need to make use of. Your website should reflect your company’s personality to have a distinctive edge.

3. Meaningless Graphics – It again boils down to visual pollution. Simplicity works. They make web browsing much more pleasant an experience. In order to avoid being stale, you can make use of other tricks, such as parallax scrolling, to add pizzazz to your site. It adds great personality to pages, so long as you do not overdo it.

4. Gradients and shadows – Flat designs are the new trend that is dominating websites. This trend should continue well into 2015. For this reason, do away with gradients, reflections, drop shadows, and bevelled edges.

5. Navigation bars – Most users find navigation bars cluttering to web pages. They simply take up too much space. When you need them, make use of slide-out menus instead. Simplicity is more attractive to users; slide-out menus make it possible to have better all-around site navigation.

Web design is all about embracing change and letting them take your site to a whole new level. Keep this in mind and do yourself a favour; do away with these web outdated web designs before the year ends.

October 24, 2014 at 2:50 amInfo Tech

Redefining Your Outdoor Space with Aluminium Shutters

aluminium shuttersEnhancing the outdoor area should be part of your home maintenance and improvement plan. Your windows might call for some repair or replacement works and your outdoor furniture might need repainting. Installing aluminium shutters is a good way to give your home exterior a great makeover.

You always want your house to look great, so you look for decorating ideas. You ask your friends and colleagues for suggestions and you browse the Internet for additional information. Have you thought about having stylish shutters installed in your property? These valuable insights from boardwalk.com.au will help you decide:

Making a Statement

Your home is an extension of your personality. It tells a lot about your taste and style preferences. Make the right impression by creating a well-designed outdoor space. Shutters can work well with other features, furnishings and decors. With a little help from an expert installer, you can make your property the centre of attraction in your neighbourhood.

Serving the Purpose

Shutters are popular because these are stylish, durable, and versatile. These serve many purposes, including enhancing the property’s appeal, improving privacy and letting in natural light. The benefits you can get depend on the type of shutter you use. An authorised dealer and installer can help you choose the right shutters for your home.

Creating Design Opportunities

Installing aluminium shutters opens doors to new design opportunities. These products are available in different types and materials to suit your specific home improvement needs. You may use fixed, hinged, sliding or bi-fold shutters, depending on your home’s existing design and decor. Today’s shutters come in a variety of colours and finishes, but you can still incorporate your creative ideas to improve their appearance.

There is always a solution to your home improvement needs. Manufactures and suppliers offer modern and innovative exterior shutters that are sure to fit your lifestyle. Start looking for the right provider today so you can install and enjoy your new shutters in no time.

October 23, 2014 at 1:52 amDirect Service

Is Your Child Snoring? Knowing the Hidden Dangers and What To Do About It

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” ― Anthony Burgess

Some parents find it a delight to watch their children eat ice cream, play with fluffy toys or draw shapes on a paper. That is not the case, however, when it comes to snoring. It’s no secret that some kids snore on occasion. Most parents find that cute or funny, but habitual snoring may lead to diseases and dental problems.

Research shows that 8 to 12 per cent of children snore in Australia. Some parents are not aware that snoring can happen to anyone – old or young. This serious condition can significantly affect your child’s cardiovascular health, cognitive development and growth.

sleepingRead on to know the effects of snoring in kids and what you can do about it.

Open Bite

Your kids will snore, of course, when they have a cold or blocked nose. Snoring, however, can be a serious problem when they are constantly having jaw pain or headaches due to teeth grinding. It can be due to a small jaw or a small airway. It’s best to seek help immediately to determine if your child needs dental assistance. Full braces attached to teeth, for instance, is a treatment to give a normal bite for children. Dental expert Sparkle Dental Joondalup explains that braces do not just correct an existing problem, but also help prevent a more serious one in the future.

Poor School Performance

Loud and nightly snoring can affect a child’s behaviour and learning. Your child may find it difficult to focus in the classroom or finish homework at home. Kids who constantly snore struggle to breathe at night and have restless sleep, which is why they feel tired and exhausted when they wake up in the morning. One of the best ways to stop snoring is lifestyle change. A dentist or doctor may recommend changing sleeping position or losing weight.

Frequent Bedwetting

Sleep apnoea in kids causes an increase in nighttime urine production, which may result in chronic bedwetting. A study explains that a child’s kidney keeps making urine during sleep due to the so-called antidiuretic hormone. It’s better to inform your child’s doctor immediately if you are worried about bedwetting and its effects.

For many parents, snoring can be a part of daily life. This is the reason it’s easy to overlook a loved one’s habit, even if it’s already a problem. Keep in mind that if left untreated, snoring can lead to more serious health problems. Let your child see a dentist or a paediatrician to seek treatment.

October 22, 2014 at 1:33 amHealth & Lifestyle

Pixie is Sexy: What to Keep in Mind Before Cutting Your Tresse Really Short

cutting hairA woman who wants to have her hair cut is about to change her life, they say. But, what if she’s going to cut it really short?

Many girls have long shunned the idea of sporting pixie hairstyles until the likes of Anne Hathaway, Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence start to pull off this look. Getting that kind of hair style offers many benefits, though. Foremost, it takes much weight off of your shoulder (literally speaking), and it will make hair care easier; you won’t have to worry about taming your tresses during the hot summers. There are some things, however, that you need to consider before telling your hairstylist to go in an Edward Scissorhands mode.

Your Face’s Shape

Trusted salons, such as CirclesofSubiaco.com.au, explain that hairstyles can enhance certain facial features. Realising this, it will pay off to know which facial shapes pixie cuts work the best. Stylists say that faces with sharp edges, such as those that take the shape of a diamond or a square, can benefit from a short bob. It will also allow you to cover the sharp edges with the help of proper styling and texturing. Those with oval faces can highlight their cheekbones through this cut.

Styling It

Pixie cuts may be easy to maintain, but styling them can be a test. This haircut requires more time when it comes to sculpting and styling. Otherwise, your hair will fall flat and appear uninteresting. It has to appear textured and quite thick to give it some volume. It may make you use styling products you’ve never used before, such as wax or gel.

The Art of Make-Up

As mentioned, haircuts can emphasise certain facial features. This fact is more apparent with a pixie haircut. Knowing that your face will constantly become the centre of attraction, you should’ve already invested in skills that will allow you to conceal acne or make the most appealing parts of your face more prominent.

Sporting a pixie cut is one good way to rehab locks that have been damaged because of ironing and wrong hair products. But, you need to contemplate over your decision to have your hair cut this way—remember, you’re about to change your life.

October 21, 2014 at 8:12 amHealth & Lifestyle

Finding a Good Place to Eat when You’re on Vacation

restaurantVacations serve as your reward for working hard. Travelling to a different place lets you take in a different culture. Planning these trips is essential.

When you’re on vacation, the first thing that would probably come to your mind is “where to eat?” Ourhotels.com.au/theroyal recommends trying out restaurants in Nundah. Here are some tips you could use when looking for a great place to eat:

1. Ask for recommendations

Before you ask a local, try consulting with your friends and relatives. Ask them about their experience. They can even recommend some of the best recipes in town.

2. Do your own research

Use the modern resources available. There are many travel websites you can visit. Browse their website and be familiar with their specialties. Check the prices so you can set your budget accordingly. Social media sites provide the easiest ways to find a good place to eat. Consider checking the reviews. As much as possible, go for 4-star ratings and above.

3. Walk around

The best way to find a good place to eat is to walk around and check each restaurant or diner you pass by. Of course, cleanliness is one of the things you have to consider. A well-designed restaurant is a huge factor.

4. Go mobile

The best thing about technology is it makes lives much easier. There are phone apps you can use to help you find a good restaurant. In just a few seconds, it can direct you to some of the best places to eat.

5. Check local newspapers

Another reliable source you can use is the local newspaper. Just don’t limit yourself to the major paper. Weeklies and free newspapers can help. These papers can even provide tips on dining.

6. Be specific

Try to be specific when looking for a place to eat. Knowing what you want can make things easier for you. Keep in mind that each restaurant is different. They have their own specialties. Look for local restaurants offering a variety of dishes to be on the safe side.

Finding a place to eat should be fun and easy. Just be patient and enjoy your time. For sure, you will discover something special.

October 20, 2014 at 2:12 amDirect Service

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Getting a Towbar

Towbars are one of the most useful things you can add to a vehicle. They transform an ordinary car into a bike carrying, boat hauling, and caravan pulling machine – perfect for the family that loves having fun in the Australian outdoors. If this is your first time getting a towbar, however, make sure you know what you’re getting into by asking the following questions.

1. How much weight can it handle? – Different towbars can handle different weights, and it is important to consider this. If you’re only interested in hauling around bikes and a light trailer, then the typical towbars should be more than enough. However, campers, jet skis, and other heavy cargo will require something much stronger. Make sure you know the maximum weight it can handle.

towbar2. Does it fit my vehicle? – The typical one-size-fits-all towbars you can find in some stores are generally a poor choice. If it’s not specifically made for your type of vehicle, there’s a chance that you will run into problems later on – usually when you’re on the road, towing a very large and heavy camper behind you. When it comes to towbars, Perth drivers say that a custom one is worth the extra cost and effort.

3. Do I know the proper maintenance checks? – If you don’t, then make sure to ask the merchant. Making sure that you check the towbar’s condition before attaching something to it is crucial. While the specifics can differ depending on the type of towbar, you will usually only need to check whether the screws and bolts are secure.

4. Does it have a warranty? – While towbars are very durable and reliable, a warranty will help in case you ever need repairs. The cost of a quality towbar is fairly steep, and you don’t want to pay more than you actually have to. Plus, it is a good sign if a vendor is confident enough to offer a lifetime warranty on their products.

5. Can I actually drive with something in tow? – Once you have a towbar, it’s important that you take the time to get used to towing something first. Turning and backing with a trailer in tow is very different from regular driving, so you will need to practice before going on that holiday.

Other than that, fitting a towbar is a fairly straightforward and easy process. The most important rules are to invest in quality and always keep safety in mind.

October 18, 2014 at 2:48 amDirect Service

3 Valuable Insights on Film Sound from Industry Greats

film makingWhen it comes to filmmaking, most people focus on the narrative and visual elements of the craft. This behaviour is perfectly understandable, as the story, framing, depth of field, and colour correction are all important. The problem, however, is that video and narrative make up just two-thirds of it.If you want to make your film compelling, you should focus on the other half as well, which is sound.

You might be curious as to how you can do that, so let the industry pros tell you how. Here are some insights from today’s leading sound gurus, as taken from their talk at the Sundance Film Festival 2013:

Get Good Sounds on Set

Post-production can only go so far in helping you weave a coherent story line paired with good audio. The best practice, as it has always been, is to record all good sounds on set, regardless of the location. As much as possible, capture the best sounds while shooting all your scenes. In the words of sound designer Randy Thom (How to Train Your Dragon, Flight, Cast Away), “There’s usually a lot more drama to be had in real-world sounds than there is in highly processed ones.”

Layer Sonic Elements

Your film would be more compelling if you know how to layer your royalty-free music with sound effects and dialogue. This is where you need to learn to balance audio levels, so that you can integrate all these audio tracks perfectly into the film.

Nevertheless, never go overboard on this one. According to Skywalker Sound Executive-in-Charge Phil Benson (Contact, Forrest Gump, Punch-Drunk Love), incorporating too many sonic elements is overkill, as the “audience wouldn’t know what to focus on.”

Tell Stories through Audio

When you want to stay within your budget, tell your story through audio. According to MotionElements, the perfect mix of narration, royalty-free music tracks, and B-roll can easily cut down on production costs without sacrificing your story. The experts agree with this advice, too. To paraphrase the words of sound designer Will Files (Cloverfield, Bee Movie, Thor: The Dark World), this style sells the main premise of your film to the audience without showing too much of it, thus keeping their attention and focusing on the rest of the flick.

Improve your film’s overall impact by working on the sound of your project. Heed advice from the experts and you’ll end up with a film that’s visually spectacular and aurally superb.

October 16, 2014 at 12:25 amDirect Service

Easy Ways to Find a Good Plumbing Service

There is nothing more annoying than dealing with broken pipes or leaking faucets. This can bring a lot of damage to your home, and can greatly affect your utility bills. While some DIY project may work temporarily, it is always better to find good plumber repair services in San Diego.

Before you try to look for the plumber repair San Diego households trust, make sure to follow these tips:

Business permits and licenses

Make sure your service providers present complete legal documents like business permits and licenses. They should also have full insurance that covers your property.

plumbingReferences and testimonials

The easiest way to find a good plumber is to search online. Consider reading reviews about their services. Get at least two or more references. Talk to their previous clients and get to know more about their experiences.

Experience and credibility

As much as possible, go for tenured service providers. Once you have found a prospect, ask how long they have been in the business.

Budget and expenses

Always ask for an initial quotation before hiring their services. A reputable plumbing company should provide a detailed quotation. This should include the materials they need to use, labor, and other fees. They should also give you a timeline to avoid delays. Once you get a quote from them, compare it the prices they offer from other companies and choose the best deal that suits your budget.

Warranties

Inquire about their warranty policies. Discuss this with them and consider having a written copy to avoid discrepancies.

Fixed prices and other perks

It is always better to get a fixed rate from your service provider. Hidden charges in the future can become major issues. This is why you need to get a quotation in advance so you can set your budget.

Finding a good plumber is not that difficult as long as you know what you’re doing. Always go for trustworthy service providers.

October 14, 2014 at 6:04 amDirect Service

Expat in the East: Adapting to the Hong Kong Culture

Despite Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan environment, expats may still have a hard time making the transition. While some aspects of communication are easy since the majority of the populace speaks English, the culture still acts as a barrier for the expats.

Every day, expats encounter things that are new to them, some of which may even astound them. But, if you set your mind right and broaden your understanding, you will soon find yourself falling in love with the country. Below are some things you should keep in mind to make your transition a lot more fun and easier.

Hong KongLearning More About the Language

Just because many can speak English doesn’t mean that it’s okay not to learn the local language. You’re in their territory, and it’s basically your job to adjust, not theirs. Learning the local language is particularly useful if you’re visiting the night market or places frequented by typical Hong Kongers. Find a school where you can learn basic Mandarin or Cantonese.

Finding Your Home

Real estate services providers, such as Spacious.Hk, say that finding the perfect home won’t be difficult, as there are a number of apartment and condominium complexes, especially in the business district. What expats should prepare for are the size and price of the living space. The sizes are usually small due to population density, while prices can be high due to the scarcity of residential lands.

Savouring the Food

If you want to know more about the country’s rich history and culture, go on a gastronomic adventure. Testing the waters means eating out at quick service restaurants or frequenting the diners within your apartment complex. But, if you want to take your adventure to another level, visit night markets or some hole-in-the wall restaurants, as these places serve authentic HK cuisine. Among the food you should indulge in are rickshaw noodles, egg waffles and snake soup.

Adapting to Hong Kong’s culture is not an easy feat. There are still other barriers you need to overcome to appreciate the unique beauty of the country. If you’re in shock, don’t force it. Give it time, and you will eventually find solace.

October 13, 2014 at 4:53 amStraight Market

Online Shopping: Developing an Effective E-commerce Site

e-commerce siteE-commerce is one of the fastest growing ventures in the retail industry. Thanks to the Internet, more people are shopping even without being physically there. Entrepreneurs see this as a good opportunity, so they make their products available online for people around the world.

Developing an e-commerce site is different from running a typical business site, though. It needs to be straightforward for consumers to find what they’re looking for immediately. If you have no idea where to start, reading this guide might help:

Make It Direct

E-commerce sites need to be straight to the point. Potential customers should find what they’re looking for immediately upon visiting. Above the fold of your home and landing pages, there should be a display of the most appropriate products without making the area overcrowded. Online marketing experts like skyrushmarketing.com and web designers recommend observing how successful brands like Amazon and eBay designed their site, for instance.

Make It User-Friendly

Not everybody has access to high-speed Internet connection. Make sure that everything you put into your site loads in less than three seconds. About 40% of users reported that they would leave any site that takes too long to load. The site should have the right design to keep it running smoothly whether on desktop or mobile.

Make It Responsive

According to an infographic shared by Media Bistro, an increasing number of US Internet users are buying products through mobile devices. These include those who use their smartphones (52.3 million) and tablets (71.1 million). AmeriCommerce says mobile use might account for at least 26% of the total e-commerce retail sales in the US by 2017.

By using responsive design, your e-commerce site becomes accessible to anybody regardless of the device. People can buy products at their fingertips, making it easier for consumers on the go.

Take your business to the next level. If you’re selling a wide selection of products online, why go for a standard site if you can develop something specifically for e-commerce.

October 10, 2014 at 7:10 amStraight Market