2016 Year In Review

design

As we move ever closer towards the festive season and the end of the curious year that is 2016, we take the time to reflect on our accomplishments for the period.

It has been a remarkable year and we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate some of the awesome projects we’ve worked on

CEAC Solutions

We collaborated with CEAC Solutions, one of the region’s top engineering design companies located here in Jamaica to revamp their online presence. Our goal was to create a simple, functional, yet distinguishing website befitting such an exceptional company.

Chillin and Silver Palms

Chillin’ and Silver Palms are both beautiful villas located in Old Fort Bay, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. They have both been longstanding clients of ours, and we were delighted this year to be tasked with revamping their online presence once again. Our mission was to produce attractive sites would effectively capture the unique charm of both these vibrant villa resorts.

Edu-Com

AAMM and UWI Co-operative Credit Unions merged their operations on April 1, 2015 and realized the birth of EduCom Co-operative Credit Union Limited. Our tasks included the design of a clean, professional website for this new entity. As is customary, our design and development teams focused on user-friendliness of design and mobile responsiveness, while also integrating a robust Content Management System.

Jamaica Producers

We were approached to redesign and redevelop the website for Jamaica Producers, a quintessentially Jamaican company. Jamaica Producers is responsible for the production and distribution of many popular Caribbean brands, including: JaBlum, St. Mary’s, Torguga and more. The mobile-responsive site features an intuitive front-end design and an easy-to-use Content Management System.

Heavenly Delight

Heavenly Delight is a growing family-owned bakery based in cool, cool, Mandeville, Jamaica. By offering a wide variety of desserts and pastries, all made from scratch using only the freshest of ingredients, they create a delicious and rewarding experience for their customers. We designed a website that was as fun as the Heavenly Delight team!

Livingston Alexander & Levy

For over a century, Livingston, Alexander & Levy (LIVAL) has delivered legal services to local corporations, multi-nationals, governments, and individuals on a multi-faceted platform of laws and regulations that underpin the Jamaican economy. We are proud to have them as repeat customers. For their new website’s redesign, Jamaica’s oldest law firm opted to feature the landscape of their immediate surroundings; vignettes of Downtown Kingston.

EG Wellness

By now you may be thinking that we are only a Website Development company but be assured, we are not. We were quite thrilled about these product packages we helped the team at EG Wellness develop for their “true” Hairy and Body line of products. true-body-wash

We are very proud of the work we have done and the great people with whom we have collaborated in 2016. We are prouder still of all our clients, who are the corner stone of our success. Thank you for a great year and all the very best to you all!

– Team Chrysalis

 

We’re Hiring! – Graphic Artist

Graphic Artist

Reports To: Managing Director

Requirements:
A strong work ethic is essential for this position. The Graphic Artist will be creating visually stunning designs for Web, Print and Mobile applications, all within a very fast paced environment.

The Graphic Artist must be able to work quickly and accurately, and to do so either independently or in collaboration with other team members. Visual designs created, must clearly and consistently communicate the desired message, while functioning effectively for various applications.

Required experience includes the use of industry-standard graphic design and production software (including but not limited the Adobe Creative Suite).

Preferred experience would include:
a) Experience in, and familiarity with the website development process.
b) The ability to clearly and effectively provide creative input and guidance to clients, either orally or in writing.
c) The ability to meet deadlines and the determination to exceed expectations.

THE COMPANY:
Considered one of the leading Design and Website Development companies in Jamaica, Chrysalis Communications has been delivering the promise of excellence in quality and service for over 14 years. By combining our knowledge of web technology with our passion for traditional design, we help clients discover and develop their true identity online, and in print.

OUR MISSION:
“We provide distinctive quality and creativity, backed by unparalleled customer service and support to clients both locally and internationally. We exhibit irreproachable ethical standards and strive to gain the respect and trust of our valued clients, suppliers, partners and peers in the industry.”

OUR VISION:
“To become the leading provider of cutting-edge creative services in the Caribbean, with an untarnished reputation for outstanding customer service and support.”

WEBSITE:
http://thinkchrysalis.com/

HOW TO APPLY:
Send your CV, Portfolio, and References in confidence to:
jobs@thinkchrysalis.com

 

We’re Hiring! – Website Developer

Website Developer
We are looking for someone with an outstanding personality, and the right attitude, to help us to build amazing responsive websites, for fantastic clients.

This position is responsible for the development of websites from the ground up (from interface design through to development). It is also responsible for executing and/or overseeing ongoing website maintenance.

Required Skills:
• Interface design (UX/UI) utilising the Adobe Suite
• Site development using latest HTML5/CSS3 best practices
• Javascript
• CMS Integration (WordPress preferably. Experience in Joomla and Drupal an asset)
• php/mySQL

Required Attributes:
• Outstanding work ethic
• Excellent written and oral communication skills

To apply:
please send your CV and portfolio to:
jobs@thinkchrysalis.com

 

We’re Hiring! – Accounting Clerk

Accounting-Clerk Accounting Clerk  

Chrysalis Communications seeks a trustworthy individual to provide financial, clerical and administrative services that will ensure the efficient, timely and accurate payment of accounts under his or her control.

Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Maintain up-to-date billing system
  • Generate invoices and statements
  • Follow up on, collect and allocate payments
  • Carry out billing, collection and reporting activities according to specific deadlines
  • Perform account reconciliations
  • Monitor customer account details for non-payments, delayed payments and other irregularities
  • Research and resolve payment discrepancies
  • Generate age analysis
  • Review Accounts Receivables ageing to ensure compliance
  • Maintain accounts receivable customer files and records
  • Follow established procedures for processing receipts, cash etc
  • Process credit card payments
  • Prepare bank deposits
  • Investigate and resolve customer queries
  • Process adjustments
  • Develop a recovery system and initiate collection efforts
  • Communicate with customers via phone, or email
  • Preparation of monthly payroll
  • Timely preparation of GCT and Statutory Returns
Experience with Peachtree/Sage 50c Accounting Software preferred.

 

Interested persons are invited to submit their CV in confidence to jobs@thinkchrysalis.com

NOTE: While we appreciate all applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

 

We’re Hiring! – Associate Website Developer

Facebook-ad---Ass-Web-Dev
Associate Website Developer
The position is responsible for consistently and professionally supporting our website development projects, as well as providing ongoing website maintenance support.

General Responsibilities and Knowledgebase:
– Project Consultation / Needs Assessment
– Interface Design (UI/UX) (Photoshop, Illustrator)
– Photoshop to HTML5 and CSS3
– Content Management System Integration (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.)
– Website Maintenance (Content and/or CMS updates, plugin/module installation/upgrades, etc.)
– General Site Content Population
– Browser Testing (Desktop and Mobile)
– Preparation of Website Documentation

Other Requirements:
• Creative thinking
• Ability to work well in a team, as well as unsupervised
• Consistent production of accurate and high-quality work
• Adherence to tight deadlines
• Confidentiality
• Excellent work ethic
• Outstanding oral and written communication skills

To apply, please send your portfolio and resume in confidence to:
jobs@thinkchrysalis.com

 

Top Web Design Trends Your Customers Need You to Have in 2016

5-Trends-Interactive-Design-2015 We used to think design trends were just aesthetically pleasing. It’s nice to have them but it’s cool if you don’t. You’ll still get by.

That’s no longer the case. While there are still many trends that are solely for viewing purposes, quite a few of the ones we’ve seen in the past couple years have no become mandatory staples of websites.

Not only are your customers actively looking for these when they visit you online, some have even become so important that they can literally hurt your chances of being found if you don’t have them.

So let’s take a look at the top design trends that you’ll need to have in 2016 to stay in the game.

Responsiveness

We’ve been talking about making your site responsive for a few years now, it has gone past trend status and become a mandatory requirement for pretty much every business with a website.

Your customers are moving more and more towards mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, as well as smaller computer screens. Therefore, you need to ensure that they are getting the best viewing experience possible on each of those devices when they visit your site.

You might be thinking that this is not a good enough reason to make this a priority, well how about this? If your site isn’t responsiveness when people are searching online for your services, Google will penalize you and lower your search ranking. And since studies have shown that 51% of mobile local searches result in a store visit, you might want to rethink those priorities.

For this reason, when we redesigned SINGER’s website earlier this year, we gave a website that works just as beautifully on mobile as it does on the web.

Chrysalis-Singer-Blog-Post

Large, Bold Fonts

As we mentioned above, Google has started penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly. Responsiveness is only one factor of mobile-friendliness, and fonts are another. When viewing from a mobile screen, fonts that might seem average on a computer might be rendered quite tiny on a phone. Experts recommend that the font of your paragraph texts are at least size 16.

Along with using large fonts for paragraphs, it’s now perfectly acceptable (and welcomed, even) to use large, bold headings in place of multiple graphics. Your heading is a place to communicate immediately with your audience, so don’t waste on some fancy, complex design elements when you can share your message with your visitors quickly and succinctly.

CB-BadDawg

Casual, Friendly Copy

Out with the boring, corporate-speak and in with the easy-to-read friendly language that makes your reader feel like part of the family. No one wants to read about your paradigm shift and your innovative collaborative visionaries or how you “think outside the box”. In fact, if they fall on this list and appear anywhere on your site, considering nixing them right away.

That’s not to say you should descend into madness and tlk lik a tnager on Twtr. Unless you’re appealing to teenagers then that might actually work in your favor. What we’re saying though, is focus on sharing your message in the clearest form, opt for transparency and straightforwardness instead of replicating a PhD dissertation.

Want some inspiration? Check this out.

High Quality Visuals (Small in Size)

If you’re still using Flash graphics on your website in 2015, don’t carry it over into the next year. It’s hurting way more than it helps. Here’s why.

Flash is heavy and completely unnecessary. Websites with Flash graphics take so long to load that many people simply close the page, never getting to experience your content. And that’s not the worst part. It might take long to load on computers, but it won’t load on mobile devices at all. They don’t support it. So that pretty rotating display you have on your homescreen, yeah, no one’s seeing that. Let it go.

What to do instead? Well you have multiple options. 2015 could have been declared the year of visuals because we had so many of these trends peaking. From large, stock photos and videos available absolutely free in multiple places, you won’t need to spend US$100 or more each year on stock photography. The key is to use these reduce the size of these great quality images before uploading to your site so they take up less space.

GIFs have also made a huge comeback. Back in the nineties, GIFs were tiny, grainy, poor quality looping graphics that we all thought were cool back then but quickly outgrew. You remember the dancing baby, right? Well, modern day GIFs have received a much-needed upgrade and with many social media sites allowing their uploads, they have even become a form of communication. Because some reactions can only be fully understood through Captain Sparrow.

(Hint: to make your page load smoother, embed GIFs directly from giphy.com like we did, instead of uploading them to your site.)

Social Integration

We made sure to tack this one on because it’s one of the simplest things to include on a website but it’s shocking to see how many businesses do it wrong.

If a customer is browsing through your website and wants to get the latest info on promotions or even better, share a testimonial, chances are they will click on your social media links and leave you a message there. But way too often, these links either can’t be found, or don’t actually work.

Additionally, each page on your website should have social sharing buttons so persons who like your content can share it with their friends and colleagues and bring you even more wonderful people.

Sidenote: Our share buttons are below 🙂

There are quite a few other website trends we could get into, but we kept this list simple and practical. So if your website desperately needs a fresh coat of paint for 2016, these are the areas you need to be looking at first. Wish you all the best in 2016!

 

7 Ways to Get Your Website Ready for the Holidays, Part 2

We previously shared Part 1 of the this post with some great tips on how to use your website to capitalize of the biggest shopping period each year.

While those tips are most suited specifically to the holidays, the tips below focus on areas of your site that bring far more benefits than just during the holiday season. They can be done at any time, but are perfect to implement now to prepare for holiday traffic and start the new year off with a bang.

Let’s dig into Part 2!

7 Ways Blog 1

4. Prep your website for the extra traffic

If you’re planning to launch a big holiday promotion or announce some particularly juicy news, there is a chance that your website could crash if too many people try to access it at once.

You need to find out how much bandwidth is provided in your {website hosting} package, and what provisions your host provides for getting your site back up and running as quickly as possible in case of a crash.

If you’re not ready to upgrade your hosting package just yet, one free/low cost alternative is getting a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which helps to distribute the traffic coming to your website to ease the load. You can check out CloudFlare, which offers a free package and is easy to implement with WordPress sites.

5. Ease the minds of your security-conscious customers

With the prevalence of hacking and identity theft, many people are afraid to use their credit cards online. As a result, if you’re not proving that your site is secure, you might be losing out on a sale.

The tech-savvy security-conscious consumer will look for a couple signals to determine whether your website is safe. The first sign is that the URL for checkout pages (at least) start with https:// instead of the standard http://. This means that these pages are SSL-encrypted, which means all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private.

The second signal of security is an SSL-certification symbol in the footer of the website, like we’ve done below with the GeoTrust button on the SINGER website. Clicking on the symbol will take you to a page which states:

“One or more sub-domains within singer.com.jm can use GeoTrust services to protect your credit card and other confidential information. Information exchanged with any address beginning with https is encrypted using SSL before transmission.”

singer

6. Start building that mailing list

When it comes to marketing your products and services in the digital age, your mailing list trumps everything else, even social media.

Why? Because people use email for everything – business, personal, shopping, etc. – and it’s much easier to get their attention in their inbox than it is on a social network, where you’re competing for attention with hundreds of other tweets and posts.

Therefore, companies should be giving high priority to collecting email addresses and building their email marketing database, even if they’re not ready to use it just yet.

So include a prominent opt-in form in your header or footer, and if you have a blog, include it at the end of each post as well. You could also consider pop-up forms, but be careful how you use them.

7. Fix all those issues you’ve been putting off

That one button that doesn’t work, the pages that need a bit of editing, the images that disappear when someone browses your site on mobile…

All those issues that you’ve noticed throughout the year and plan to ‘get around to fixing’ some time, that time is now.

Set apart some time to go through your website and make a list of all the little quirks that bother you. Or better yet, have a few clients, friends or colleagues to do it for you, so you don’t miss anything.

If these are changes you can make on your own, do it. Otherwise, call up your trusty website experts (cough, cough) and have them make the changes so you have a perfectly functioning website come January.

That’s it from us! Do you have any more tips on how businesses can spruce up their website for the holidays? Do you plan to implement any of these on your own site? Tell us in the comments below, or drop us a tweet @thinkchrysalis.

 

7 Ways to Get Your Website Ready for the Holidays, Part 1

The December holiday season is the biggest shopping period of the year, and it’s closely preceded by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, at the end of November, which are the biggest shopping days of the year. Even if persons don’t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, many of them still take advantage of the deals offered around this time of year. So if you’re an online retailer and you’re not taking advantage of this, you could be losing beaucoup bucks!

And these holidays aren’t just for online retailers! Even if you don’t have an ecommerce store (which you totally should have, by the way), you can still spruce up your website and use it to gain some new customers and extra sales this holiday season.

Here are a few ways both online and offline businesses can get their websites ready for the upcoming season.

7 Ways Blog II

1.  Spruce it up!

vlc xmas logoIf you’re thinking that giving your website a festive look for the holiday season is going to take a major overhaul and lots of money, think again. All you really need to change to get your website looking great:
  • A logo and icon to fit the holiday. VLC does this every year with a simple Santa’s hat and some snowflakes.
  • Some color and decorations in your footer (think red and green for Christmas, blue and gold for Hannukah, etc.). Both the header and footer show on almost every page of your site, so change them and it’s like you’re changing every page.
  • A special landing page (that could be made into your homepage). This page would be specially designed with a holiday vibe and provide all the details about any special products, promotions and offers you’re providing. Take the guesswork out of holiday shopping and your visitors will love you for it.

2. Create a special promotion

swh-black-fridayIf there’s ever a time to create a special promotion, it’s in those weeks leading up to the holidays. People plan well in advance to buy on Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the following Monday, dubbed Cyber Monday, but they won’t be buying unless they are getting a deal.

This isn’t limited to the United States either. Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Jamaica, there are quite a few Jamaicans who take advantage of the online deals, and the international couriers have their own specials to facilitate this.

There are no hard and fast rules on what specials to offer, but advertising your deal in advance is the best way to go. This post on the best deals offered by top brands in the US will give you some ideas.

3. Facilitate gift-giving

This is the one time of the year where quite a few of your website visitor might not be your target customers.Instead, they’ll be friends, families and colleagues looking for the perfect gift for someone who is your ideal customer. (Side Note: Be sure to include your business info in the package to spread brand awareness to the gift recipient!)

To make it easy for gift shoppers to find the perfect gift and make sure it arrives in time, here are a few things you can do:
  • Put up a page or blog with gift ideas for your target audience. (Use multiple lists if you have different types of customers, i.e. “Best Gifts for Dad” and “Best Gifts for Mom”
  • Provide all the details and guidelines of holiday shopping in one location. Create an FAQ section or page that details your delivery scheduling, store availability, whether you offer gift wrapping, etc. When it gets closer to crunch time and your buyers need that perfect holiday gift, having a smooth process can land you a gold mine of grateful customers.
  • Don’t forget to highlight your best stuff! Make sure your top selling products and recommended products are the first things visitors see when they come to your page. And if you have something in stock that your competitors don’t, be sure to highlight that too.

Now it’s time to get working on those promotions! Look out for part two soon, with four more things you can do to get your website ready for the holidays.

 

The 3 Cardinal Rules of Food Website Design (ft. Jamaica Food and Drink Festival)

cardinal rules of food websites Having a few food website designs under our belt, we decided to share some key elements that make these sites truly stand out. If you’re thinking about creating a website dedicated to food, be sure to keep these three cardinal rules in mind:

1. A few high-quality food photos

JA-Food-and-Drink-Home-ii We’re not talking about a couple snaps with your point-and-shoot camera here. We’re referring to professionally taken images by a photographer specifically experienced in food photography. Why is that so important, you may ask? Because a lot of expertise goes into food photography. You go through a lot of trouble to make your food look delicious and appetizing so you certainly want that to transfer in your photos. A professional will have the right camera and equipment, and know the right angles and lighting techniques, to take photos you couldn’t possibly capture, even with your iPhone 6S. With such vibrant imagery, you’ll only need a few large, bold photos to make your site really stand out. Pick the best ones and make them the centre of attention. Not sure you should spring for high quality photography right now? If your site is for a restaurant – we highly recommend you get shots of your own food taken professionally. However, if you are a food blogger or you plan to do this long term, you can probably get away initially with using some free stock photos (search “food” for a wide array of options) while learning how to take great food pics on your own and edit them with free online tools like PicMonkey.

2. Bold headlines with unique fonts

Ja Food and Drink Fonts If there is ever a time to use bold, stand-out fonts in web design, it’s with food photography. The perfect food-font pairing goes a long way in communicating the atmosphere of your restaurant, the taste of your cuisine or the theme of your event. On the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival website, you’ll notice that the script font choice on the About Page (pictured above) boldly declares sophistication and class. In the image below, however, the font is very playful and laid back, just like the feeling you get from having a tropical-flavoured This Is Really Great Yogurt. really-great-yogurt And here’s another example from the CB Foods website we did recently, with a bold, grunge font: CB-BadDawg Copy text (descriptions and paragraphs) should ideally be kept formal and simple, for easy reading, but feel free to go a little wild and find the header font that perfectly matches the tone of your brand. You can find great, professional quality display fonts on Creative Market, and some free ones on DaFont.

3. Minimal, yet highly descriptive text

ja food and drink copy On a food website, if your photos are the main course, your headlines would be the glass of wine you pair it with, and your text content would be dessert – short and sweet, just enough to seal the deal and confirm that this was, in fact, a scrumptious meal. See what we did there? Now that your delicious food has captured the attention of your visitor, it’s time to close the sale. Use all the descriptive words you can think of to confirm their thoughts as they stare at your succulent dishes and tantalizing beverages. Trade in “taste a variety of pork dishes” for the more appealing alternative “…savour the likes of crispy pork belly, ribs smothered in a secret sauce, chops grilled to perfection topped off with the perfect sides and desserts with a dangerous porcine twist.” Use as many words as you need to get the point across and give the necessary information, then no more. Let your cuisine say the rest. — As we hinted above, our team at Chrysalis designed the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival website, and, as you can tell, we used these cardinal rules as our guide. If you sell food products, own a restaurant, or have a food-related event coming up, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you create the perfect website and graphics to get your food the attention it deserves.

 

Designspeak: Web Design Terms You Need to Know

designspeak

When you listen to a group of designers having a work conversation, we might as well be speaking a foreign language. What’s this obsession with flat and responsive design? Which is the SVG version of your logo? And why on earth does a website need a wireframe?

In a post last month, we promised to share with you some of the top ‘designspeak’ terms we use and what they mean. Luckily, we found this brilliant infographic from our web design colleagues at red in the UK that does just that.

Take a look and and commit these to memory, so when it’s time to redesign your website, you can fit in with the pros (or at least not be completely lost).

Designspeak: Website Design Terms You Should Know

If you want a more in-depth explanation of these terms, feel free to check out the full list at HubSpot.