Starting this September, we're launching a monthly deal for our customers to grab themselves some awesome savings on our top-quality design and PR services. To ket things started, we're giving you the chance to save over $500 on a Startup Pack.
If you've started a new business and you're needing branding and a website, or if you're existing business could do with a refresh, our Ultimate Startup Pack is perfect.
Including a new website, logo, business card and letterhead design, and an hour of digital marketing training, this pack has everything you need to hit the ground running.
For more information, or to grab a startup pack for your business, head to rippledesign.nz/the-deal or get in touch with us.
We're excited to begin working with a new client, PACANZ (The Performing Arts Competition Association of New Zealand) on their new website. Keep an eye out on the Ripple Blog for updates about the new site, which will be up and running to help members in time for the National Young Performer Awards later this year.
If you've been at all engaged with the news recently, or if you've read the numerous privacy agreement updates from your social media channels that you've been receiving, then you've probably heard of the GDPR.
The GDPR refers to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation that has recently come into force and aims to protect the rights of individuals in the EU and enhance data protection. With increased concern from consumers about privacy, the GDPR aims to re-establish trust by giving them more control over the personal information that is held about them.
Key ways that the GDPR aims to do this include giving EU citizens the "right to be forgotten", the right to ask what data is held about them, the right to make changes to any information held about them, and the right to transfer their personal information to another business or organisation. The GDPR also requires that any gathering of data is necessary and in line with the legitimate purpose of the business or organisation that is collecting them.
Consumers must also give consent for data to be collected, and this consent must be "freely given, specific, informed and an unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes which by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to processing".
By "data" the GDPR is referring to any information that could be used to identify an individual. Obviously this would be their name, address, or ID, but may also refer to broader location data, IP addresses, and data collected by cookies.
Is this relevant in NZ?
The simple answer is yes. The GDPR aims to protect EU citizens, but because the internet operates on a global scale, New Zealand websites could be, and are, used to gather data about people all over the world.
What should you check?
To help you get started with reviewing your data and privacy practicies, here are some steps that you can take:
How does the GDPR compare with New Zealand's Privacy Act?
Our Privacy Act 1993 sets out 12 somewhat-flexible Privacy Principles. Whilst there is considerable crossover between these Principles and the Articles in the GDPR, there are some aspects of the GDPR that are not covered in the Privacy Act, and therefore NZ businesses will need to be vigilant.
The International Association of Privacy Professionals (iapp) has created a helpful post that compares the Privacy Act 1993 with the requirements of the GDPR. If you want to see what matches up and what doesn't, you can check it out here.
How are we helping our clients?
Regarding your privacy and data collection practices, we must stress that you are responsible for reviewing the data that your website collects, how you use this data and the information you provide about your practices to consumers. As much as we'd love to help you, we don't have the legal expertise to ensure that your site is GDPR compliant, and if you have concearns you should approac a legal professional with expertise in this area.
As always, we are very happy to work with you, in accordance with your instructions, to make any changes to your site that you may require.
Disclaimer: Whilst this post is intended to provide information about the GDPR, it must not be used as a guide or legal advice about the GDPR or becoming compliant. The purpose of this post is to provide general information and you should seek legal advice if needed.
Stitch-O-Mat is a non-profit community organisation in New Brighton, Christchurch, that's providing people with an opportunity to learn to sew, and to make a difference in their community.
Focusing on a different cause each month, Stitch-O-Mat provides a meaningful, arts-based opporutnitiy for people of all ages. From fairytale-inspired hospital gowns for the Christchurch Hospital Children's ward to eco-friendly bags and plastic-free packaging, the projects at Stitch-O-Mat are well worth checking out.
Stitch-O-Mat is based at Te Kura Tawhito, The Old School, in New Brighton, and anyone can come along to sew for themselves or get involved with a community project. There is no cost to be involved, but a koha/donation helps them to continue doing their great work.
We are very proud to have supported Stitch-O-Mat with a new website to help them reach a wider audience and promote their great work.
To learn more about Stitch-O-Mat, head to stitchomat.co.nz.
When creating this yoga website for our client, Jodie Marlow, we combined clean minimalism with crisp geometry in a layout that flows and draws in the viewer with subtle movements.
High-quality photos taken during one of Jodie's beautiful yoga retreats have been combined with other personalised elements such as Jodie's artist signature and a colour scheme that reflects her home and yoga studio.
When creating any website, we get so much inspiration from listening to our clients talk about their businesses, what they enjoy, and from visiting them at their places. It is our attention to detail and the time taken getting to know our clients that means they end up with a completely individual website that connects with their clients.
This site isn't quite ready to go online yet, but will be up soon. We're now moving on to create a "current classes" page that Jodie can manage herself using our simple website editor, saving her time and money in keeping her site up-to-date.
This week we've been working on a brand new website for Waimumu Arts. We've also helped them with a new logo and branding, and because they're a non-profit, community group, we've donated time to make this happen. It's our way of giving back to communities and people that promote and support creativity in NZ.
If you know of any hard-working community organisations in your area that could do with some design support, put them in touch with us.
This week we've completed an update to the National Media Studies Association website that allows users to complete a form to become members of the Association, and then automatically generates an invoice that is sent to both the Association's Treasurer and the new member and also saved in a Google Drive.
There are no ongoing costs for this service, and it was quick to set up and add to the site.
This is a great example our focus on saving our clients time and money by building smarter websites that work for them.
If you think you could benefit from a smarter website, we'd love to chat with you about how we can help. Contact us to arrange a free consultation.
Before choosing products and services to buy, your customers are going to do their research online. This means your website needs to be the very best that it can be.
Give your website a quick health-check, and make sure you’ve got these five basics right.
1. Clearly state who you are and what you do.
This might sound obvious, but it’s often overlooked.
Once a new visitor clicks through to your website from Google, statistics say they’ll spend less than a minute deciding whether to stay or leave. In those precious seconds, you need to make sure that people can immediately identify whether or not they’ve arrived at the right place.
Make sure that your homepage clearly identifies who you are, and what you can offer.
2. Use high quality photographs (preferably individual to you).
We all know a picture says a thousand words. Well, a bad picture also says a thousand words… but probably not the ones you're aiming for.
A website provides you with the opportunity to build credibility, so make sure your photos contribute positively to this.
If you’re going to take your own photographs, try to avoid using a mobile phone unless this is your only option. Always shoot when there is good natural lighting, avoid using a flash, and think carefully about what you’re including in the shot. Photos that are taken with lots of unnecessary clutter in the background; or from awkward, close-up angles should be avoided.
If you’re having trouble taking your own photos, you can have a look for stock images. There are lots of great sites, such as pexels.com, where you can use to find high-quality stock photographs for free.
Stock photographs can be a great alternative if your own photography skills leave a little to be desired, but they do have the pitfall of being rather generic. Ideally, you want your images to show people makes your business, products and services individual. At the very least, if you are using stock photos, check your competitors websites to make sure that you aren’t using the same photos.
If you want the best of both worlds, invest in professional photography that will both capture what makes you business special and result in high-quality images.
3. Get the spelling and grammar right.
I've already mentioned that your website can build your credibility. Well, trust me, potential customers will be put off if you haven’t taken the time to proofread your text. Visitors want to see that you are professional and and you want to show them that you put the effort in to produce work of a high quality. What’s more, search engines will punish you for spelling and grammatical errors by moving your page further down in their rankings.
If you’re not totally confident in your own proofreading skills, asking someone else to check your text is a simple solution. If they’re checking the text that’s already on your site, this also gives you the opportunity to ask them for all sorts of feedback. Could they find their way around easily? Did they encounter any links that aren’t working?
4. Include a way for visitors to sign up to a mailing list.
The average person visits almost 100 different websites every month. Hopefully yours is one of them.
Once they do find your site, creating a way for visitors who are interested in your products and services to sign up to a mailing list provides a way for you to encourage them to come back, and to keep up-to-date with what you have to offer.
Mail Chimp is a great service that will help you to gather and organise email addresses, and distribute professional and eye-catching email newsletters. It also gives you a range of sign-up options for your website.
When asking visitors to sign up to a mailing list, it's a good idea to tell them how often you’re going to email them. Bombarding people with too many emails will simply result in them unsubscribing from your mailing list. Carefully crated, monthly or quarterly email newsletters are a good way to start.
Finally, don’t forget to include the odd special offer for people who’ve signed up. If they’re showing an interest in your products and services, and have volunteered their contact details to you, a bit of VIP treatment is a great way to show your subscribers that you appreciate them.
5. Create a blog, and some individual content.
I recently read that the average person now spends over 60 hours each month online, and much of this time is spent engaging with social media. Unfortunately, the internet is saturated with shared material. Cut through the competition, and grab your audience’s attention by creating some individual content that says something about what you have to offer.
Not only does a blog allow you to talk about your business, products and services, but it can improve your search engine rankings, making your site more likely to be found in searches.
There are two reasons to blog. Firstly, you are creating additional pages and content, which will make your site more appealing to search engines. Secondly, if you are sharing your blog posts on social media, you are creating links back to your website. The more links to your site, the more likely it is to be found by people and search engines alike.
If you’re not sure what to blog about, stick to what you know. You’ve created your business and your website because you are able to offer expertise in a particular area. Giving people a taster of that expertise is another great way to build your credibility, and generate new customers.
Could your website do with an update? Make sure you get these things right. Ripple Design & PR offers two different services: choose either a professionally designed website, or a D.I.Y Package. Contact Ripple Design & PR and quote the code - 10BASICS - when you make your enquiry, to get a 10% discount off the monthly price of a D.I.Y. Website Package.