Miles Burke

Thoughts on startups, small business, marketing & more.

Category: Design (Page 1 of 2)

New design for the blog

Scribbled wireframe for new blog design

After three years of writing here, I finally found time to upgrade from a very ancient version of WordPress, to the most current version, and to get a couple of the talented design team at Bam Creative (Thanks Daniel and Graeme!) to take my wireframes into what you see here. I hope that you like the result!

(If you read my posts, via RSS, I would encourage you to take a look!)

I’ve removed some elements, added new bits in, and generally did a ‘tidy up’ at the same time. If the new design is missing something you were fond of, or gives you motivation to comment about it – positive or negative, I’d encourage you to do that, below…

Image: Scribbled wireframe for new blog design.

So good you could steal it

screen grab of bam5 creative website

It seems that the current Bam Creative website is so good, you could steal it. I’m not sure how you could ethically justify stealing it, but you could. This seems to be the trend anyway, looking at my blog post from less than a month ago about two others doing the same.

In yet another case of content theft, this time, they stole our business name (and added a digit in there, for good luck) as well as the text from most of their pages (including my favourite line, ‘Part of the Westway Nominees group of companies, Bam Creative specialises in websites…’) and a few of our graphics.

Then, they arranged them on some very nasty looking template design, and thought they would never be noticed. Amazing!

Our images and text have been promptly removed from – but I’m still not convinced of the name.

Image: Screen grab of Bam5 Creative website.

Lazy Designers Part 2

Another copy of Bam website

Once again, only sixteen months after the last case, we’re faced with another website looking very familiar to our own.

This time, however, it only took 32 minutes from the legal letter being received, for the offending website to revert to a Coming Soon screen. Perhaps they heard about our last case, and how it ended up settling out of court?

Maybe the designer hadn’t read my previous post about the Basics of Copyright, however that’s no excuse. In this case it’s just laziness and a lack of ethics.

I’m being gentle here. I think it’s more a case of theft of our hard work and efforts and dilution of what makes our website different (especially since a competitor web company pointed it out to us). I’m being so gentle, that I’m not even linking to the offending website yet, and I am reasonably sure the grabs above aren’t enough to give it away.

So, why be gentle at all? Well, the fact is the client may have made the reasonable assumption that they had engaged a professional web company. By outing the website in question, all I am doing is pointing the finger at the client and not their supplier(s).

It doesn’t help that their web company has let their hosting lapse, so I can’t link to them. However, I will await feedback from the client, and will let you know in due course.

A spokesperson for the web company are saying that they were just ‘handed a design’, so where does the fault lie? Certainly not the client, it’s not their responsibility to visit every page on the internet to ensure it doesn’t match anyone else’s, however things certainly become less obvious when we look at the web company.

The supplier to the client, in this case a web company, has a duty of care that they’ve made sure all their designers, contractor or not, have a reasonable understanding of what design theft is and isn’t, and that they ensure they only employ designers with a reasonable professional understanding.

So, what could a client do? I’d suggest asking that all contracts state that the suppliers have taken all reasonable precaution to ensure that all imagery, photography and design elements are properly licensed. They could ask to see these licenses (a big ask), or indeed ask if the web company has professional indemnity insurance, and if so, does it cover copyright infringements.

Meg over at Blogpond has a great post about Blogging and Plagiarism, which is also worth a read.

I’ll let you know the outcomes of this case over the coming weeks.

Image: Screengrabs from Bam Creative website and similar designed site.

Jewellery and MOO

Captain Oh Captain Moo Cards

As many of you may know, my wife Meredith, is not only a prolific blogger and fantastic mother, she also designs jewellery and sells it both in Perth galleries as well as online via Etsy.

Recently, she started going under the moniker of her new label, Captain Oh Captain, and combined her fascination in old sea tales of yesteryear and her joy of creating necklaces and other jewellery.

So this post is a thinly disguised excuse to promote her great work, and link to her site as well as throw a big mention to MOO and their great MOO Minicards (as shown above).

Embrace great design – go forth and buy some great Australian jewellery and then some nifty Moo Minicards!

Image: MOO Minicards for Captain Oh Captain.

50 Sites for inspiration

Motel, Swan View, WA

If you are like most designers, sometimes it seems just hard to get started every day, chock full of fresh design ideas, without falling into a designer rut of producing the same look over and over.

We’re lucky as web designers, that there are a stack of resources at hand, on the web, that can help us overcome these moments. Here’s fifty websites that I know of.

My top five most visited:

More gallery style sites to point your eyes towards (in no particular order):

…and some designer magazines:

Then there’s a few design ‘portals’:

And finally, some design forums to finish off the list:

Now, if you spend 15 minutes every morning visiting just some random offerings from the list above, I guarantee you’ll refresh your inspiration. Good luck and great designing!

Image: Motel, Swan View, WA.

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