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Holiday Shopping Season: Six Simple Design Practices for the Holidays

1. Include Holiday Themes. Give subtle, timely hints throughout customers’ online shopping experience. Capitalize on this time of year’s spirit of giving by adding holiday-themed verbiage to your web site, email newsletters, banner ads, and landing pages.
 
2. Eliminate Clutter. Resist the urge to cram as much info as possible into the available space. It is more than likely that your efforts create information overload and have the opposite effect on what you’re trying to accomplish. Stay away from too many photos, calls to action (CTA), animated GIFs, or an abundance of copy. Keep your text short and to the point and your design clean and simple.
 
3. Leverage Available White Space. When designing a page layout create space between your paragraphs and images so the customer can easily digest the information provided. Think of how the information would look on a mobile device, where less always works better.
 
4. Display Good Photography. A picture is worth a thousand words reigns true when representing your brand. Generic-looking photos need to be replaced with professional photography (yes, hire a pro) Here’s a local Philadelphia photographer we partner with on a regular basis, Brett Thomas (http://www.btphotos.com)or buy some good stock photography form Getty (http://www.gettyimages.com). The goal is to immediately draw customers’ eyes and relay a message that connects with your audience. There’s lots of good stock images out there to dress up your brand for the holidays. Get started today!
5. Use Easy-to-Read Fonts. The old standards: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, and Times are just that… old. Why not liven up all your content with a new set of fonts that can add new life to your site and marketing materials. Take a look at Google fonts (http://www.google.com/fonts), they’re free to use in all your online and marketing materials. The beauty is that you can use Google’s embed code to add to your HTML so that everyone can view these new fonts even if they don’t have it installed on their machine. Use the search feature to find holiday related fonts to create attractive seasonal headlines.
 
6. Make Smart Color Choices. Holidays have their own specific color palettes that may conflict with your brand. Mix in a color scheme that works best with my brand? Use tones consistent with your logo and web site without going too far off-brand. Using Halloween as an example, if you’re using muted blues and reds on your site, tone back the bright orange to mimic the same feel as the rest of your marketing materials. Use the deeper colors to guide customers’ focus on each page and throughout their site experience.

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