There are a lot of resources out on the web that make the business of building websites easy for just about anyone. At first, it may seem completely out of your skill set to make a website that looks good and is –most importantly—functional, but with these helpful tips even the most basic online user can create a good-looking website for professional networking or a personal portfolio.
Before you start building a new website, there are some key questions you need to answer first:
After deciding on the type of website you want and the theme you find most interesting, it’s important to remember that although WordPress makes it easy to build a fully functional, beautiful website…it’s going to take some work.
When installing your theme, it probably won’t look anything like the demo you previewed—but don’t panic yet. Read carefully through the instructions of your theme and download all of the necessary plugins to make the structure look exactly like how you want it. It’s important to start off with all of the right tools rather than trying to fix a website that is missing a critical plugin, widget, or other installation.
There are 3 plugins that I recommend ANY user should download. It’ll make life easier and requires absolutely no programming knowledge to make a website look like any professional website you’ve ever come across.
The internet offers many resources out there for people who are just starting to build their own websites. However, I felt it was important to share some of my website hacks (more specifically for WordPress) as I use these tools for my own personal website in addition FLIRT’s blog site. Even if you have no prior knowledge to websites or content management systems, WordPress offers you tools that both professional businesses such as FLIRT and myself as an intern, use on the daily to make our websites look good and function perfectly. You don’t have to be a professional to make your website LOOK professional.
Design aesthetics are an enormous aspect of event marketing since the visual component is often the first thing people encounter. Not only does design attract people toward a particular event or idea, it also brands a company and shapes their entire public image. Most realize that design can either make or break an event’s success, but good design can take the experience to the next level. What if designs went past the typical visual element and begin to incorporate all 5 senses of the human experience? Imagine walking into an event and facing a company’s marketing design that targeted your 5 senses: a nice relaxing aroma, sensations from different textures, radiant visuals displayed everywhere, some whimsical music that gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day, and even perhaps offering something that you could taste.
To achieve the ultimate experience, multi-sensory design suggests hitting all those 5 senses in order to achieve a much more memorable experience. Now, this is definitely a challenge, but even if a designer could go beyond the visuals and try to connect with their audience at a much more sophisticated level by using at least 2 or 3 of the senses, it’s likely that the experience would be more effective overall.
In early 2013, designer Jinsop Lee discussed this multi-sensory design theory and how it might affect the future of design in all kinds of industries. He asked a critical question: Why would design for all 5 senses be useful in event marketing and what’s the point of it? The obvious answer to those questions would be the increase of engagement from the audience that promotes critical thinking and a more meaningful type of interaction between business and consumer. Since FLIRT is in the business of attraction, we aim to attract people to our client’s events for a rewarding and comprehensive experience. If we were to utilize Lee’s multi-sensory design theory, the events that FLIRT produce may be pushed to the next level.
Since technology is expanding and opening new doors for marketing tactics, perhaps designers will also follow that same path and begin to create much more complex designs that will captivate their audiences to a whole other level. During the production of an event or corporate meeting, it might be valuable to consider designing toward more than 2-3 of our human senses in order to create a more engaging and memorable experience for attendees. Since FLIRT is always striving to produce the ultimate experience for clients, we can try to be more intentional with certain decisions that could really hit those 5 senses. It seems like multi-sensory design could be the future of event marketing as the need to create meaningful experiences go beyond “making things look pretty” and toward the goal of intellectually and emotionally simulating their audiences across all platforms.
(Image via angel.co)
Whether you’re at the office or lounging around at home, having your meals delivered straight to your doorstep is a blissful experience, especially if you’re a foodie like us at FLIRT. Besides the occasional lunch, every week we partake in Fro-yo Friday, where we have Pinkberry delivered to our office. It’s a fun and an absolutely delicious way to end our week.
Just like being at home for the holidays, our FLIRT family enjoys sitting down to have a meal with one another. It gives us time to catch up on each others lives, find out what’s going on around the office, and to take a short break from our busy work schedules. Food helps build our sense of community at FLIRT, and over the years it has become a part of our company culture. On Wednesday’s we have a creative inspiration lunch where food is ordered for everyone and the entire office gathers to share what’s currently inspiring them in their lives. When we have clients come to our office, we like to get lunch from one of our local restaurant like Giordano’s or Potbelly. Food creates a piece of the social atmosphere we have at FLIRT. As an intern, I often find myself as the person picking up these lunches which is why I decided to do a little research on some apps that will deliver all this food straight to our doorstep.
For a lot of places, food delivery has always been a part of their business, but today we live in a world where people want things fast, efficient and high quality. Food delivery apps have taken ordering-in to a whole other level. Now with just a few taps on our phone, we can have our meal delivered straight to us in minutes. These five food apps are a perfect way to eat out when leaving your location doesn’t seem feasible.
EAT24 is part of the Yelp family. Since Yelp is a platform dealing all with customer reviews and recommendations, a food service is a fantastic addition to their business. EAT24 is linked with over 25,000 restaurants in 1,500+ cities. Offices and individuals can order food from a number of their favorite restaurants and have it sent directly to them. Other perks about EAT24 include 24 hour 365 Day customer service lines, no service charge, pre-ordering and re-ordering.
Sprig provides a different model to ordering in. They have chefs who prepare a new menu daily in their headquarters, food made with fresh ingredients, and a delivery service that quickly delivers it right to your door. In comparison to a lot of other delivery apps, especially those with food made in-house, they have a much cleaner and leaner menu with nutrition facts provided for each meal. Perks about Sprig are its daily menu change, healthier options, as well as quick delivery times.
Turns out Uber can be used for more than just a ride home. UberEATS sends drivers out to pick up food from their lists of restaurants around the city and have them delivered to your convenience. In addition to ordering from its pre-approved restaurants, you can use the instant delivery feature. With this feature, you can order a signature dish from the Instant Delivery menu and you’ll be eating in as little as 10 minutes. Perks for this app include, speedy delivery, tip included, as well as food delivered in temperature controlled bags to prevent food getting cold.
This app would most likely get me the most in trouble. While it delivers food from numerous delicious restaurants around Chicago and other cities, it also delivers anything from coffee, to flowers, to clothes and other general store goods. In other cities drivers for Postmates are on bikes, but in Chicago they use cars due to weather and distances. Either way, this concept is amazing. They do have service and delivery charges for this app, as well as up to an hour long wait for deliveries, but their selection for products is much broader.
Like some of the previous apps, Door Dash is also partnered with tons of restaurants around the city. One thing I found specifically useful about this app is the ways it’s set up. The food and restaurants are set up into different food categories making it extremely easy to figure out what you want to order. They are also organized by restaurant rating, speed, and price. Another bonus to this app is that you can schedule a delivery time and date up to 4 days ahead of time. With an average delivery time under 45 minutes, lots of choices, and the option to customize orders, Door Dash is a great app to utilize.
So be lazy once and a while, stay in, and treat yourself to a delicious meal delivered straight to your door with one of these awesome delivery apps!
The industry of design is increasingly competitive and complex, especially since the tools for design have dramatically changed due to the technological innovations of the past decade. With so many online resources and programs, the world of design allows for more and more people to explore their creative side in an expansive digital platform.
As young designers and graphic interns at FLIRT, Perry and I are quickly realizing there are certain elements to design that remain unique to the individual, cultivating signature styles and preferred creative processes. We interviewed each other about our own design workflows and about the many different types of design that influence us every day we’re in the office! It turns out while we have our differences in our preferred mediums, we have a lot of similarities in our creative process and what trends we like in design.
What is your preferred medium or program to use and why?
Mae: I’m definitely not a traditional graphic designer in the sense that I had no formal classes or anything. I’ve been using Photoshop for many years now and feel comfortable making things work through that.
Perry: My favorite program to work in is Illustrator because its vector based and more forgiving than Photoshop. I don’t really have a favorite medium since most of my work is digital.
What is your creative process when approaching a new project?
Mae: It really depends on how expansive the project is…but I usually draw some quick sketches of what I’m thinking about and play around in Photoshop until something ‘clicks’ for me.
Perry: My process is about the same. I start of sketching my initial ideas on paper. Then I pick which program I’ll start in depending on if the project is image based, type based, or a mixture of both.
Where do you get inspiration to create or design things?
Mae: The Internet! I browse Pinterest, design threads on Reddit, and other design work that has to do with the same subject of the project I’m working on. If I see one element of design from multiple sources that I like, I try to work that into what I’m designing in a new way.
Perry: I go to designspiration.net and search for work using keywords or color schemes. Most of the work is really well designed so I can pull certain elements out and use them in my own work. Sometimes I also get inspiration from music. It’s a little hard to explain but I try to emulate the mood of a song visually.
Lastly, what’s your favorite type of design?
Mae: I come from a photography background, so using a lot of photo visuals is really interesting to me. Minimalistic design along with great photography is my favorite combination.
Perry: I’m also really into minimalism. I just think there’s so much beauty in creating balance only using a few elements. I think my favorite section of design is logos because logos may seem like a small part of a brand but they hold so much weight.
We found that even with our different backgrounds in design we still begin our creative process by sketching and quickly getting ideas out. Our inspiration was also similar in the sense that we both use the internet and social media instead of physical things when we need extra help to form ideas, which may be because we are both young designers.
Now that you know more about us as interns feel free to learn more about FLIRT Communications and our family by clicking the link below!
As an intern, I am constantly trying to learn new ways to be productive in the office and in the professional world, and the bottom line is that the days go by far too quickly to not use your time as productively as possible. At FLIRT, we do everything in our power to use our time as productively and efficiently as we can.
Everyone at FLIRT has their own style of productivity. To gain an insight into what works for the people in our office, I asked Brianna Smitko (Digital Engagement Specialist) Jamie Proctor (Executive Assistant) and Mae Quach (Graphic Design Intern) how they make the most of their workday. Here’s what they had to say: