ashley rocha creative director


Perfect Recipe for a Drool-Worthy Website

MAy 10, 2017

I’m no Julia Child, but I’m someone who has a massive appreciation for good food. I’m constantly thinking about my next meal and constantly building websites, so it’s no surprise I approach these two practices the same way. Building an irresistible website is just like crafting the perfect sandwich.

1. The Bread / The Platform

First and foremost, you need to make sure your tools are on point. You can’t build a good sandwich on soggy bread. Sandwich or site, the platform is the foundation to your success.

Artisanal / Hand-Coded: Impressive. I bet it’s a good site. I bet it also took 6+ months to make. It’s like kneading and baking your own bread—ain’t nobody got time for that.

Basic Bread / Templated Website Builder: The equivalent to government-issued white bread. Generic, tasteless and has no nutritional value. Fine if that’s all you’ve got, you just need to feed yourself and don't care about the uniqueness of the site.

Bread from Scratch / Classic CMS: It’s a tasty classic, but there’s nothing innovative or interesting about this choice. While it’s solid and unique to your vision, it’s clunky and hard to update. Also, this recipe has a billion steps and takes forever.

The New Artisanal / Modern Web Design Platform: The bread is well-made and sure to impress. But unlike the old artisanal, it’s so much faster and easier to make. Multi-grained and multi-featured. This bread always leads to a uniquely delicious sandwich.

An end-to-end web design platform like Brandcast is suited to today’s designer and improves everything that’s built on it.

2. The Standard Fixings / Website Basics

In the hands of a master, even the most basic sandwich becomes a masterpiece. So when it comes to your website, get the basics down and you’ll already be ahead of the competition. A couple tips:

Provide easy-to-maneuver navigation. You need to give your viewer an ever-constant ability to find what they’re looking for even when they find themselves deep in a blog post. Sticky nav is super popular these days because it’s the perfect match for the equally popular long-scroll.

Brandcast allows you to make your nav sticky with a single, code-free click.

Make it truly responsive. Today, it’s a mandatory that your website looks good on any device it might be viewed on: phone, tablet or desktop. In a recent study, 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business*. If your visitors don’t have a consistent experience across all devices, you can kiss them–and their wallets–goodbye.

Lucky for you, Brandcast automatically resizes your designs across all devices like a hot knife through butter.

3. The Greens / The Value

Some snips of spinach, a touch of arugula and a fresh helping of functionality. Your content should enrich the viewer’s life whether it be entertainment, learning or the why-to-buy factor. The value should be immediate and easy to find. Keep the F/Z effect in mind as you lay out your content.

The F / Z Effect: In most cultures, people read left to right and top-down, but on the Internet people tend to scan pages rather than read them. Good web design reflects this by placing important elements, like the logo, call to action or a key image along the axes that the reader is expected to scan. Conventionally, these take either an “F” or a “Z” shape. Always design for extreme scanability and make sure your visually directing the viewer to the value. This may involve strategies like font size, spacing, direction and typeface pairing, as well as the use of color highlights.

Brandcast makes web design as easy and intuitive as your favorite print design tools.

4. The Protein / The Content

Whether it’s savory ham, spicy chicken or crispy tofu, all of my favorite sandwiches have a protein focus. Your site content? You guessed it: it’s your protein.

Content isn’t just a second thought for sites. Increasingly, it’s become the focus. Hearty, filling, tasty content that keeps viewers coming back again and again. Oh, and did I mention that content--like the best sandwich filling--needs to be piping hot and fresh.

With multiple microsites unified across a single platform, live collaboration, and one-click publishing, Brandcast lets you easily manage the daily special.

5. The Egg / Your Brand’s Signature

My signature sandwich move? Putting an egg on it. And just like a sandwich, your design should have a look and feel that’s uniquely you.

A foundation of your site your font choice. But, beware, certain fonts are supported by most browsers while others fonts are not. Thankfully the amount of web-safe options has exploded thanks to the adoption of what is known as @font-face embedding in most modern browsers. Your platform should integrate with font services like Typekit, Hoefler or free services like Google Web Fonts.

Needless to say, Brandcast integrates with all of those services seamlessly and safeguards your signature font move.

6. The Sauce / The Hook

From savory to sweet to brain-blowingly spicy, it’s the sauce that makes the sandwich. For your site, that means liberally drizzling it with your own brand of design sass. Lay on the emotion. Don’t hold back on the energy. This is where you–and only you–make your site sizzle.

Brandcast empowers you to easily make crazy custom animations, sophisticated hover states or glorious background video. It’s really up to you.

Don’t forget the garnish:

Get social: Social can make or break your site. Besides, food tastes better with friends, right? Make sure to exploit all the right opportunities to integrate social into your site.

Be prepared: Nothing ruins a great sandwich like leaving your wallet behind. At Brandcast, we take care of the security. With regular backups across AWS availability zones, lock-strong password protection, and SSL protection, we make sure you can flaunt your site without a fail.

Always improve: Give your customers what they’re searching for. Data-driven SEO means your website looks good and gets results. Delicious.

Okay, everybody. Break for sandwiches.