Get in touch with us today! Call us toll-free at 1.866.854.4111 or email us at sales@remwebsolutions.com
Web Design Development Kitchener Waterloo Guelph Cambridge E-commerce




Blog

We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!




This is a headshot of Sean Sanderson.

for me I think of a design trend as a movement that has gained enough usage that it starts to become recognizable and used. A trend can start slow before gaining momentum or can be influenced and fueled by new technology.

 

For myself as a designer I make it priority to keep current. For me trends are meant to keep me inspired and thinking in contemporary way. I don’t choose to completely ignore them but being aware of what they are is very important. I find myself longing to experiment with a new design and try a new trend even if it’s just for a personal project.

 

I believe we are currently in an interesting time with web design. We’ve seen many new web design styles push the boundaries of what we expect the modern web to be. As well as significant advancements in technology that is allowing users to not only ‘surf’ the website but leave with a feeling of an exciting experience. Accessibility is certainly not new but has been making a statement to ensure a more consistent and accessible environment for everybody who uses the web.

 

With so many developments, it’s important to slow it down and take a look at what trends have the ability to stay and what new things we can expect to see in 2019.

Below are 5 of the more notable styles that we can expect to wedge themselves into web design for 2019, and beyond.   

 

Flat Design

 

Starting as a trend, flat design grew to become a standard. Preferred by many users from a user experience perspective flat design is a minimalist approach that features the use of wide open white space, colors, and uncomplicated illustrations. Pairing clean fonts and minimal content seems to work very well with flat design.

 

Minimalism

 

Web design is always moving in a “less is more” mentality. The most time-honored web design trend, minimalism has always been my favorite style as hard as it can be to pull off properly. With fewer components on a website, the less the user has to process. Clients are more and more opting towards a simpler layout with greater amounts of white space. Using white space to separate the different sections on your pages helps improve readability and makes it easier for users to digest important information.

 

Animated GIFS

 

Can you remember a time when the dancing Ooga Chaka baby was a thing? Animated GIFs can definitely capture the limited attention span of most users. They are great at conveying ideas while being intriguing and captivating. Animated icons are becoming more and more popular and the use of animation/movement isn’t something that will be die off as long the rise of UX is still a thing.

 

Organic Shapes

 

Traditionally set up in grids, some websites have moved away from the cookie cutter horizontal and vertical dividers and designers are turning towards natural shapes and smooth lines. Geometric shapes can give the feeling of accessibility and comfort. Organic shapes are irregular, uneven and imperfect. They can provide emphasis to make content stand out and give a personal touch.

 

Website Accessibility

 

Last but not least, accessibility. This is not a trend, its and evolution and progress of the web that can’t be ignored in 2019. Designing ( and building ) websites for people with disabilities and ensuring they can use them easily shouldn’t be something web designers and developers simply choose to do anymore. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are quickly becoming more enforced and it’s going to be increasingly important to make sure your website is up to par.

 

Everything or ( most things ) have been done in design at one point before. A lot of the new trends are merely recycled ideas from earlier movements in design. That being said they can be revisited and reinvented. From the look and feel, websites will move toward the clean style of flat and minimalistic design. From a UX side of things companies will need to focus on making their sites engaging and accessible.

 

Ooga Chaka!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Matt Stern.

While thinking about my blog, one topic keeps coming to mind. Coaching youth sports. I have

always been very involved in coaching, as my son has played soccer, basketball and baseball.

However, coaching youth is something I have been a part of, for a long time, prior to having

children. I am often asked the question, why I chose to coach different sports. There are

several reasons why I enjoy coaching, some more obvious than others.

 

Firstly, I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in my son's activities. Coaching is like

teaching. Life lessons are always being taught. Learning how to win, how to lose, and how to

be a team player. We learn how to work together for the purpose of one goal. Sometimes I

coach for the love of the game, and the chance to share that love and appreciation with others.

 

An unexpected outcome is sometimes learning ourselves, as coaches. Coaching requires

adaptation, as it's very fluid and always changing. This may require communicating with players

and/or parents, or making adjustments to the way we play as a team, or with other coaches.

Communication is ongoing, whether with participants or parents. Learning to be a more effective

communicator may result. Finally, coaching encourages us to find lifelong friendships, between

teammates and coaches, which can only be seen as positive.

 

As you can see, there are various reasons to coach youth in sports. Learning life lessons,

teaching life lessons, finding lasting friendships but perhaps most importantly, we having the

opportunity to make a difference in our children's lives.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Sean Legge.

At Work

Role at REM:  

Junior Web Developer

 

Education:  

Web Design and Application Development - Fanshawe College

 

Work Experience:  

Mostly from my time in school.

 

Something That Makes Me Smile at Work:  

When I solve a difficult problem.

 

 

Favourite

Web site: 

https://www.reddit.com/

 

Books:  

The Illiad, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Poetic Edda, Spice and Wolf.

 

Food:  

Mince and Tatties

 

TV Show:  

Departures

 

Musical Artists:

Eluvetie, Korpiklaani, Protest The Hero

 

Time of Day:  

7:00 PM

 

Season:  

Fall

 

Places in the World:  

Jyväskylä, Finland

 

Recreational Activities/Hobbies:

Kendo, Reading, Writing

 

Sport:

Hockey

 

App:  

Audible

 

Least Favourite

Food:  

Cilantro


Activity: 

Running

 

Time of Day: 

7:00 AM


Season: 

Summer


Place:

The Hospital

 

More Info

Best Thing Someone Said to You: 

“You know too many random facts.”

 

Life Motto: 

Never stop learning. 

 

My Hero: 

My Dad

 

One of the Things I Find Fascinating:  

History

 

Most People Don’t Know This About Me:  

I played in a metal band for a couple years.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Rob Matlow.

Thank you for supporting REM in the past year!

 

We want you to have some fun.  Play our surprise game and we will donate to Sick Kids.

 

Click here to play our custom built game.  Thank you to all the REM staff for their hard work building the game in time for the holiday season.  For each person that plays, REM will donate $1 to Sick Kids Foundation.

 

Most importantly, we wish you a Fantastic Holiday Season and a Bright & Energetic New Year!

 

 

As a friendly note: We will be closed on December 24, 25, 26 and January 1 to allow our team a chance to spend time with their team.  We look forward to working with you in 2019.

 

Sincerely,

REM Web Solutions

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Christine Votruba.

October Quarterly 2018 group photo

 

For our October quarterly, we had fun, excitement and took our chances betting on live horse races in Flamboro Downs. REM commemorated the event by taking a group photo with Race #3’s winner: Domitian Hall.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

 

This year we wanted to do something extra special by bringing holiday joy to children in need. We need your help: REM's goal is to donate $1000 worth of toys to the Toys for Tots Charity.

 

Every team member has designed a digital pixel stocking themed for the Holidays, and had a blast doing it! You will have the chance to take a look, cast a vote, and if you would like you can leave a comment here on the blog about what you thought.

 

Check out the stockings

 

We need you to vote on our pixel stocking artwork.

 

Please vote on your favourite stocking here. An REM team member will win with the most votes, getting some bragging rights for the New Year. More importantly, for every vote we receive, REM will donate $2 worth of toys to Toys for Tots. Voting ends on December 14th at 5pm EST. Don't forget to share this with your friends to help us reach the goal!

 

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

It's that time again, as the staff at REM prepare for another epic Thanksgiving weekend. We shall return on Tuesday October 10th with increased waist size and many leftovers from the festivities.

 

If you need to reach out to us over the weekend, send an email to Support and we will reach out to you on Tuesday to follow up!

 

Have a great weekend.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

How to Increase Your Productivity By Scheduling Your Day to Reduce Task Switching

 

 

Some days it can feel like everything is conspiring to interrupt your workday, and this really rings true when you work in a small business. There are so many disparate tasks, and so many things that don't have a clear procedure or a dedicated troubleshooter that it can feel like you're getting nowhere with your workload, despite all the effort you're putting in. There is actually a culprit behind this phenomenon, and that is "task switching".

 

What's the harm in task switching?

 

Task switching is when you interrupt one task to do another, and it seems like a regular part of work. You might be working on a report when you suddenly get an email or a call. This interrupts your current stream of thought, might make you minimize your spreadsheet so you can open an attachment or go to your calendar, and then even if you resolve the interruption quickly, it makes you take a bit of time to get your thoughts back on track. These rapid-fire interruptions throughout the business day are constantly being studied, and it turns out that shifting focus from one task to another causes a drag on people's overall productivity. This is due to both the physical transition time - and more importantly - the loss in focus; that lost focus can take over twenty minutes to fully recapture when people have to switch between projects, and escalates a worker's overall stress level.

 

In some roles it is much more challenging to avoid these interruptions than others. If you are a cook for example, you may have very little choice but to stop partway through making a salad to take a roast out of the oven, or flip the bacon on the flat top stove. It would be ideal in this situation to have a person designated to cover each station (salads, flat top, oven etc.), but in a small business this is often an unrealistic expectation due to labour cost. If you are in a job like this one which requires constant multi-tasking, having memory prompts positioned around your workspace may help. To return to the cook example, it would be helpful if above the salad which he was originally making, he had an order slip which listed all the toppings for the salad. This way when he returns, he can quickly check which ones he has already added against the list without having to commit these details to memory.

 

 

How can scheduling your workday reduce interruptions and increase your productivity?

 

You need to bunch together your tasks. Tasks that require the same modes of thinking, such as responding to emails and voicemails, doing expense reports, and verifying documents that have built up in your daily queue, and scheduling a block of time each day is much more efficient than responding to each individual prompt as they reach you throughout the day. So minimize your inbox and only go through it in the morning and around four o'clock in the afternoon. Schedule a time to go through your Salesforce queue, and, if you have weekly meetings, schedule them for the same day if you can. That last tip sounds particularly stressful, especially if you have to prepare for each one, but bunching them together lets you stay in 'meeting mode' without having to change your thought process.

 

Days in a small business can be hectic, and any scheduling that you can do to organize your day will make everything seem more manageable. Here at REM Web Solutions, we need to optimize our time. There is quite a diverse workload spread over a small number of individuals, as this is a small business. We have had to hone our time management skills and tailor them to our roles here. It takes time and experience to understand and know what tasks to place at what point in the day and in what order.

 

By properly scheduling your workday and sticking to your plan even in the face of stress or the tempation to read that email that has just come in, you will end up getting far more accomplished in your day and will be able to give each task 100% of your efforts and attention. For more small business tips and how to optimize your website, check out our blog twice weekly.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Stay Ahead of Hackers - Why you Should Use an Up-To-Date Browser

 

 

Most organizations critically rely on their daily ability to use some form of technology, whether through applications, email or web browsing.  Those using technology have probably already noticed in recent years there are more and more hacking attacks that cause major disruptions to businesses.  There are a multitude of ways in which hackers can get access to a computer system and one of those ways is through a user's web browser.  If your employees are still using older browsers, then your organization is vulnerable for exploitation.  Listed below are some major browsers and how they stack up with regard to security.

 

Internet Explorer

 

With every passing month, Internet Explorer becomes more and more vulnerable for exploitation.  Although Microsoft does continue to update it with some security fixes, they have moved on to their Windows 10 OS and their newer Edge browser that takes greater advantage of some of the newer security techniques offered by machine learning and cloud-based intelligence.  

 

 

Microsoft Edge

 

Microsoft has recently announced some exciting new security features in their Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 enterprise users.  Within their Windows Defender Security Center is a new tool called "Application Guard".  This tool takes advantage of container sandboxing techniques that will prevent exploitation within their Edge browser.  By using virtual machine technology, the Edge browser cuts off rogue applications or web sites from going beyond the browser to hack into areas such as memory, local storage, other applications or even further into a corporate network.

 

 

Anyone who is using Internet Explorer and older versions of the Windows operating system, should give serious consideration to upgrading to Windows 10 and its default browser, Edge.

 

Google Chrome 

 

Chrome is a very popular browser, used by almost 2/3 of all internet users.  Considered the safest browser on the market, Google aims to keep that top position by providing the most frequent security updates of all the browsers.  Like Microsoft's Edge browser, Chrome uses virtualization techniques to create a quarantined space between a user's device and the internet.  One of the downsides to Google's Chrome browser is the lack of user privacy. Google essentially tracks, stores and analyzes every keystroke made through their Chrome browser.

 

 

Every organization needs to weigh the pros and cons of the various browsers, their need for privacy vs. security, and decide which browser is best for them.  Ideally, companies should never lag behind by using older versions of browsers, leaving their vital data open to hacking attempts. If you have questions about browser use or internet security, let us know and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Have a Great Long Weekend!

 

 

REM wishes everyone a happy long weekend, we hope you all get a chance to relax a bit and enjoy some time off!

 

We will be closed Monday, August 7th for the holiday and will reopen on Tuesday August 8th at regular hours. Please send any inquiries in the meantime to support@remwebsolutions.com and we will answer them in a timely manner upon our return!

 

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Contributors

Blog Contributor Portrait
Sean Sanderson
63
July 23, 2019
Show Sean's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Matt Stern
4
July 16, 2019
Show Matt's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Brad Anderson
117
July 12, 2019
Show Brad's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Sean Legge
1
June 28, 2019
Show Sean's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Sean McParland
17
June 28, 2019
Show Sean's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Rob Matlow
84
April 17, 2019
Show Rob's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Christine Votruba
24
January 18, 2019
Show Christine's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Todd Hannigan
47
November 13, 2018
Show Todd's Posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Ryan Covert
47
August 4, 2016
Show Ryan's Posts