Digital Agency Blog: Spoken by Speak Creative - Design

As we Speak

Insight from Digital Strategists

Category: Design

How to Choose and Optimize Images for Your Website

You don't have to be a web designer or developer to know that, when used well, imagery has a powerful effect on the way a website makes people feel. When you only have a matter of seconds to make a strong first impression and connect with your audiences online, it's vital that every decision is backed by strategy, and the imagery you choose to tell your story is no exception. We know that people's eyes are drawn to visuals on a page before they read words, and that image and video leave a mor... Read More
Stephen Smith Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Web Design Terms Every Marketer Should Know

A well-designed, strategic website is one of the most important pieces of a solid digital marketing strategy. This means that if you’re in marketing, especially if you’re on a small team, chances are at some point you’ll participate in a web design project to some extent, whether you’re creating a new site from the ground up, embarking on a full redesign, or implementing smaller, incremental changes.  Most likely, you’ll partner with an outside web design t... Read More
Digital Marketing Team Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Web Design Case Study: Helping New Ballet Ensemble Reach New Heights

New Ballet Ensemble & School (NBE) needed a new website that would not only showcase the talent and arts excellence they foster, but also provide a digital space for parents, students, and alumni.  With 20+ years under our belt creating exceptional online experiences for nonprofits and arts organizations in Memphis (our Headquarters!) and beyond, Speak was the perfect partner to build New Ballet a stunning, conversion-driven site. We set out to create a website that would ... Read More
Digital Marketing Team Wednesday, December 7, 2022

UX Writing and Microcopy: Writing for Web Design (With Examples)

We’re huge fans of scroll-stopping design around here. (In fact, it’s kind of our thing.) But we also believe great websites that get results require the right mix of conversion-focused design and compelling UX writing.  In this blog, we’re talking all about UX writing and microcopy – what it is, why it’s fundamental when building your website, and how to create engaging copy for the web that moves your audiences to action.  What is UX Writing?  ... Read More
Claire Grace Wednesday, November 23, 2022

How Does Web Design Impact Your Overall Marketing Strategy?

If you’re in the boat of thinking of your marketing strategy and your website as two separate things, think again.  In fact, your web presence should be the very first place to begin when developing a strong marketing plan. Your website has the potential to be your best sales asset, and works at the front lines of communicating your story to key audiences and solidifying your brand voice and personality.  For organizations who aim to captivate their audience from the fi... Read More
Claire Grace Wednesday, November 16, 2022

4 Ways to Harness the Power of Video for Your Next Website Design… And Why It’s a Must

Among an ever-increasing number of marketing tools, channels, and platforms, video has risen in the ranks and become a vital piece of many organizations’ marketing strategies.   In fact, if you’ve held off from investing in video as part of your marketing efforts, you’re likely missing out on a number of conversions and major ROI. It’s long been said that, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but with new research, we can actually quantify... Read More
Claire Grace Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Speak's Top 5 Picks for Nonprofit Web Designs That Drive Traffic, Donations, and Better Engagement

Having an effective and compelling website is a vital first step in any nonprofit’s marketing strategy. However, this can feel like a tall order for many nonprofits who must leverage their complex needs within a framework that relies on a tight budget often driven by grants and external funding.  Speak has been working with nonprofit organizations across the nation for more than twenty years, so we’re more than a little familiar with the many moving parts that go into t... Read More
Digital Marketing Team Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Why You Should Consider Dark Mode for Your Next Web Design Project

Who turned off the lights? I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but our screens have been looking darker lately. Dark mode (also called black mode, dark theme, night mode, or lights-out mode) is an increasingly popular stylistic theme for websites and apps, and it's the reason why you may have noticed black backgrounds popping up everywhere. As dark mode design continues to grow in popularity (especially following the implementation of optional dark mode for Apple iOS, Facebook, ... Read More
Claire Grace Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Content-First vs Design-First Approach

There are typically two design strategies that are considered when going through a website redesign. A design-first approach prioritizes the creative elements that are desired over the assets that will live on the site. Meanwhile, a content-first approach takes the assets you plan to have and builds the design around them. Both methods can lead to a polished website when it’s all said and done, but is there an approach that is more efficient? Speak has utilized both strategies during r... Read More
Adam Kalwas Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Web Design 101: Types of Movement

When starting a new website project, one of the most common design requests I hear is, “We want our website to have a lot of movement.” Movement is attention-grabbing and adds a certain level of sophistication to a site, so it makes sense that it is desired by organizations that are going through a website redesign. However, there is a level of complexity to this request. There are several different types of movement, and not all are appropriate for every site.  As a desig... Read More
Corinne Mizzell Wednesday, May 18, 2022

10 Canva Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

Canva might be one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. I mean it. If you’ve never used it, it’s a free online graphic design program that allows you to create excellent content with minimal design know-how. Custom designs from a professionally priced design program will always give you the ability to create things you couldn’t otherwise. Our designers have spent so much time training to become experts! However, having a designer that is Adobe-savvy isn’t f... Read More
Madelyn Bomar Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Seeking Inspiration

Steve Jobs famously said, "Picasso had a saying — 'good artists copy; great artists steal' — and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." For the record, we’re against stealing but there is no denying that inspiration is everywhere. What I take from Picasso’s quote is the notion that no idea is truly original and it’s how you use the work you are inspired by and make it your own that counts. From our designers to content crea... Read More
Jessica Freeman Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Several People Are Typing: Women In Design

Through a Slack discussion with a few of Speak's female designers, we explored their experience in the industry, designers they look up to, and advice they've been given along the way.    here's Today's starting line up:  Jessica: Hi ladies, thanks for joining our discussion on women in design. I’m excited about this conversation and opportunity to understand your perspective a bit more. Let’s dive in. I’d love to start by taki... Read More
Jessica Freeman Monday, December 7, 2020

Understanding Web Design: Moodboard 101

If you’ve ever started a home improvement project and looked at magazines or Pinterest for inspiration, then the concept of a moodboard is more familiar to you than you may realize. A moodboard is a collection of inspiration and custom design elements that designers present to clients in order to give them an idea of the design direction for their web design project. It’s definitely more complex than just an inspiration board, but it’s a great jumping off point for designer... Read More
Whitney Hochstein Thursday, November 5, 2020

Several People Are Typing: Web Design Trends

It's hard to believe that we're halfway through 2020. Through a Slack discussion with a few of Speak's designers, we explored how the current web design trends are playing out, how to know if a trend is right for your organization, and what to expect from web design in the years to come.  Here's today's starting lineup:  Jessica: Hi all, thanks for joining to discuss design trends. Crazy that we are basically halfway through 2020 already. ... Read More
Jessica Freeman Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Wordpress is great, but it’s not free

Around Speak, we love Wordpress, and we build a lot of websites on Wordpress, but there’s a misconception that we hear from time to time: Wordpress is great because it’s free.  The truth: Wordpress is great, but unless you want a nightmare on your hands, it’s not free. Here are some recommendations that will make your Wordpress-backed website the incredible experience it should be for you and your patrons. Quality setup with respected plugins When building your Word... Read More
Matt Roberts Friday, May 22, 2020

Start Getting Emotional: Designing Experiences For People to Fall in Love With

“Good design is good business." Tom Watson, IBM Think about something you love; something that keeps you coming back for more. Maybe something you own that you would buy time and time again. Whether it’s your favorite clothing line in your closet, the favorite car in your garage or even the type of phone in your pocket - chances are the reasons you chose to bring these objects into your life isn’t because they are simply a superior product to others.  The ... Read More
Speak Designer Monday, March 9, 2020

Web Designs Trends to Follow in 2018

When is the last time you redesigned your website? This is a question that we often ask, but sometimes we can make pretty viable guesses based on trends your website holds. For instance, sites that are responsive but not exactly mobile-friendly are likely at least 1-2 years old. Seeing a website that isn’t mobile responsive at all immediately tells us that the site is more than three years old. Additionally, sites that use a completely separate mobile version were likely created more t... Read More
Kindra Svendsen Monday, March 5, 2018

Why a New Website Deserves Professional Photos

One of the best things you can do for your new website design is to get professional photos taken. Sure, there are plenty of stock photo options out there, and you might even have some of your own photos in a file somewhere. Instead of the using stock photos or cell phone photos, we recommend using professional photos. Reasons Against a Stock Approach While stock photography has grown in quality and relevance and dropped in price, many people can recognize a stock image. That means it&rsq... Read More
Digital Marketing Team Thursday, February 8, 2018

Creative Works Conference 2017: What We Took Away

Our creative team just returned from the Creative Works Conference here in Memphis and we wanted to share some insights from the conference. This blog differs from our other expositions. Here you’ll find some inspiration as a creator. You’ll also find encouragement to break free of the mold. We hope you join us in challenging our routines and beliefs of what creating is like and how we create. Get Up Off the Floor “You can’t just lay on the floor.” - Andy M... Read More
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Seeing a Project Through: How to Effectively Manage a Website Design

Recently I celebrated my 5th Speakiversary, a term you’re probably familiar with if you follow us on any of our social accounts. I have worked at Speak for 5 years, and in those years I have learned plenty about managing a web project. While I have gained terrific insight on what you should do in a project, I feel like the more valuable knowledge is knowing what not to do. Every new opportunity you have to improve on or serve your clients better is a step in the right direction. My bi... Read More
Meagan Walley Friday, September 8, 2017

4 Major Uses for Video in Web Design [2017]

YouTube is still the second largest search engine. And it’s the third most visited site after Google and Facebook. While we’re mentioning Facebook…what do you see more of in your feed now? Videos? Companies and organizations have used video marketing for several decades, but we’re seeing more because it’s cheaper to produce, quicker to share, and easier to measure. However, it’s easy to point and say “maybe we need a video,” yet on the ... Read More
Digital Marketing Team Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our Top Takeaways from Creative Works 2016

  Last week, three of us from the Creative team had the opportunity to attend the Creative Works Conference here in Memphis to get inspired and tap into the creative process of other pros. We heard from and interacted with creatives from Facebook, Nike Jordan shoes, Reach Records, Kid President, and more who are making waves with their brands.  We were reminded why we create and how to create even on days when the creative tank doesn't quite feel full. We were moti... Read More
Friday, October 14, 2016

Designing in the Browser: How It's Challenging and Rewarding

Recently, the creative team here at Speak made the transition to designing in-browser. That means we are, for the most part, abandoning desktop design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch. We've thrown off the shackles of flat concepts and moved to interactive prototyping. While I can't say the transition has been entirely painless, I can definitely say it's been rewarding as well as liberating. Here is an overview of my journey with designing in-browser. Benefits of D... Read More
Digital Marketing Team Monday, May 2, 2016

Web Usability: It's Time to Start Taking Simple Seriously

Can you remember the last time you bought something? What about the last time you found what you were looking for online? Let’s dive even further. How about the last time you stumbled on a website and felt confident about what you were doing? Mike Moran recently wrote about creating web experiences that people fall in love with and one of the fundamental ways to assist in that is to make your site extremely easy to use. What’s the difference between usability and user experience... Read More
Digital Marketing Team Thursday, March 24, 2016