Designing Effective Online Content how to craft useful visual and online messages

Strategic Design

  • Visual components make communication much more effective
  • Less is more when it comes to design, you want to make your message easy to understand
  • "Graphic design uses typography, visual art, page layout, paper, [or] computer software, symbols and images, to enhance the overall message" (Marsh, Guth, Short 34)

Principles of Design

Credit: http://www.howdesign.com/how-magazine/how-march-2013/understanding-design-strategy/
  • Balance (symmetrical/ asssymetrical)
  • Movement
  • Symmetry
  • Emphasis
  • Contrast
  • Proportion
  • Space
  • Unity
  • Color (hues, value, intensity)
How does design play into the success of a brands online and social media presence? Which brands stand out to you?

Website: Purpose, Audience and Media

“Websites are a primary means of disturbing information quickly to a diverse audience. They can inform, market goods and services, share opinions and entertain" (Marsh, Guth, Short 82)

Format and Design

  • Create a strong home page
  • Use large font sizes and attention grabbing headlines
  • Keep line length short
  • Have a simple and concise layout
  • Utilize white space
  • Make navigation easy
  • Use multimedia such as videos and photos, but only if it enhances your message!
  • Provide search tools and a printable link
  • Have social media sharing opporunities
  • Make a mobile-friendly version of your website


Do you think it is more important for a company to focus more on its mobile version or its web version of its website? Does it vary depending on the company?

Visual Social Media and Your Brand


Pinterest allows people to create online collections of items they want and ideas that inspire them.

Cheyenne's Pinterest Profile

Why Pinterest?

  • It reminds people of locker style displays that represents their individual tastes
  • Aspiration and Acquisition
  • Consumers are 79% more likely to buy from Pinterest than Facebook
  • Pinterest produces 4 times the revenue per click of twitter

Get clicks

  • "Eye candy"
  • Brands can create virtual storefronts with prices and links
  • Create context and stories that help the consumers relate to the products and see them in real life - authenticity is key
  • Create communities
Why do you think Pinterest is not effective now, as compared to when this book was written? Do you still use it?


Instagram was created as a visual centric social media to post original photos and content

Jabs - "set the tone, tell your story, reinforce your brand, and build impressions"

  • Hastags
  • Explore page

Right hooks - Instagram has developed to include lots of hooks and it is easy to sell products

  • Influencers and native content
  • Ease of shopping from posts and stories
credit: @express

Express's Instagram Account

As these other networks have waned, what do you think has made Instagram so successful?


Provides a visual space for photographers, musicians and graphic designers. Is it a blog, a social media platform or both?

Tumblr as a branding platform

  • Gives content creators complete artistic control - theme, font, placement, colors
  • Make people stop and look at your brand
  • GIFS - Graphics Interchange Format - unique elements of surprise and wonder
Credit: https://giphy.com/gifs/school-college-tired-tijcyI9dhWTy8
Which of these platforms do you think is most effective for a clothing brand? A person? A sports team?

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