Archive - July, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Creative Web Solutions: Mobile Website and Mobile Tagging

Creative web solutions were utilized for client Mueller® Company of Decatur, IL to help market a water hydrant product at a tradeshow recently. First, a product-specific mobile website incorporating the Mueller identity was created, then Microsoft tagscustom-designed by Mueller were added to posters, flyers and product packaging distributed at the tradeshow. When these Microsoft tags were scanned with a free Microsoft Tag application, interested tradeshow attendees were immediately directed to the mobile website for further product information, including diagrams, marketing materials and video links. This web solution provided an innovative way to engage prospects with their smartphones while delivering additional product information using mobile technology in a cost effective manner for Mueller.

Do you have a marketing need that might benefit from a similar use of mobile tagging technology?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Web Design Links: Stock Photos, HTML5 Markup, Bookmark Tool, Dummy Text

Take a look at these great web design resources the team has discovered this week!

Tom Z: Here’s a resource for finding stock photos

Dan: 7 lovely things about HTML5 Markup

Alexis: fun dummy text generators

Tom M: Instapaper is a nice little site where you can create an account, then basically bookmark items you find online that you want to read later (for those times, you see a good tweet or a link in an email, but you really don’t have time to read it).  With Instapaper, you easily bookmark the item using your browser, then you can pull up the link later in your browser or on your mobile device.  And it not only brings up the text of the page you wanted to read, it also strips a lot of the other junk (ads) from the display.

What useful and fun online tools have you found recently to help with your own work? We’d love to hear about them, so please share.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Meet the Team | Sharon Hewitt


Curious about just who that person is that designs & programs your website? Well, wonder no more! We hope our “Meet the Team” series will help you feel more comfortable and friendly when you walk through the Web Solutions’ doors. We are a fun team with lots of talent and conversation to share… and not just about websites!


Sharon is a designer for our group.  She has also been designated the “Boss’s Proxy”

Fun facts about Sharon:

  • She’s always up for trying a new restaurant, new activity or group event.
  • Her husband, Ron, is a walking encyclopedia of movie trivia.
  • Sharon rhymes with Darren (who also works at LRS Web Solutions)
  • Cassandra is jealous of Sharon’s lamp in her office.
  • Sharon and Eddie both LOVE french vanilla coffee
  • She’s kind of our group cheerleader, always there to make us smile when we want to punch another employee in the face.  umm…  there’s never actually been a punch thrown here, so Sharon’s doing a great job!
  • Sharon has the 2nd most twitter followers in our office.  Tracy has more, but we’re not talking about him, so who cares.  Follow Sharon.


Related Websites:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Links: Google Maps, Web Design Best Practices, Mega Menus

Dan and Eddie we’re messing around with this:

  1. Open Google Maps and click Get Directions
  2. Type Japan as your starting point
  3. Type China as your destination
  4. Read step #42 – the folks at Google are hilarious

If you thought that was fun, try Japan and then USA (#40).

Are you using the +1 button?  Did you know it can be integrated into your site and your visitors can help you improve your relevancy? Find out more about the +1 button  Note: we now have one on our blog, feel free +1 our blog! 

We are getting super excited about the opening of the Legacy Theater, can you tell?

I know we already showed some great uses of jQuery this month, but this photo gallery from RA Sushi is awesome! We also noticed RA is still using Flash on the homepage with graceful degradation for iOS.  What’s graceful degradation you say? Read more about here.

While we’re on the subject, just some web design best practices.

Because many of us here have experience working with computers that somehow qualifies us as Customer Support for all our friends and family.  Alexis has found the solution… LifeHacker’s How To For Beginners.  Priceless!

If you think computer geeks only know computers, you’re wrong!

  • Check out Tracy’s blog post about how a sandwich turned into a pizza.
  • Check out the site Alexis uses to stay on top of her gardening.  Yes, she found it on LifeHacker

Our manager, Jeff Enlow shared an incredible mega menu from  Hover (don’t click) over The Resorts button in the main nav bar, then hover (don’t click) over any of the names of the resorts and watch the photo and description of that resort scroll like the wheel on Wheel of Fortune. Awesomeness!

If you have kids and like taking video of them with your iPhone this app is a must have!


Eddie Ebeling is not the main contributor for the LRS Web Solutions blog. Can you tell? Email Cassandra with feedback!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

OH MY! 404 Errors

A potential client finds a link to a page on your site, but unfortunately it is old, and the page no longer exists. He opens the link to find the dreaded 404 error (page not found). What now? Does he hit the back button, or do you engage the customer with a custom 404 error page, and put him on the path to website nirvana?

Custom 404 error pages are easy to create, and help make your site user friendly. Here are a few ideas:

  • Let the user know why they’ve landed on the error page:
    1. User mistyped url
    2. The page was moved or deleted
    3. The link was broken
  • Create useful links to other areas of your site . . . homepage, contact us, etc.
  • Have a search box available for users to find other content on your site
  • Add a site map
  • Make the 404 page look consistent with the rest of the site
  • Be creative. Let users know there’s a little personality behind your site
  • Use your site analytics to track information about 404 hits. We can help redirect bad links to newer content.
Click on some of our 404 pages below:

Coming in the fall of 2011

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