Friday, July 28, 2006

Basic design for your online presence

Whether you're using a blog or a web site to increase your visibility, you should avoid the ugly web site problem. Your web presence should be part of your personal marketing plan, and bad design isn't what you want to be know for. You can have a web site that looks reasonable even if you don't know anything about design. Just get good advice from someone who knows, and learn from the example of good sites.

If you want an instructor to lead you through the basics, try BusinessWeek's free online course , Graphic Design for Non-Designers (via David Armano). The course runs through August 16, so don't wait.

I like to have a book when I'm learning a new topic, especially when it's computer-related. Robin Williams has the franchise in accessible books for non-designers, from The Mac is Not a Typewriter to The Non-Designer's Design Book and The Non-Designer's Web Book. If you're still using two hyphens when the situation calls for an em dash (have you noticed that Microsoft Word changes that automatically now?), find one of Robin's books for a quick skills upgrade. Her friendly approach to design topics is perfect for non-designers who want to get it right.

If you really don't have time or the inclination to learn this stuff, you can always spend some money and get professional help. Send me a note, and I'll refer you to some people I know.

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