In any well-established industry, it is the forward thinkers who will incite change, create growth, and foster evolution in the field. Growth and evolution can help ensure the endurance of your brand. Longevity results from offering services that continually satisfy customer demand, and it is even more impactful when those services also improve society as a whole. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday features an architecture and urban design firm that puts sustainability and innovation above all else: MADC.xyz
MADC.xyz is the online home of Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho (MADC) & Partners, an international architecture firm established in Madrid, Spain. With over twenty years of experience in both public and private buildings, MADC.xyz is cognizant of the need to view each project through a lens of sustainability. According to their website, they believe that decreased impact to natural resources equals longevity and allows for the coexistence of the biosphere and urban development. MADC.xyz claims to operate under a succinct philosophy: “Design without sustainability is no longer design.” Following this belief, their view of architecture becomes a balancing act in considering people, public space, neighborhood, and the city, as well as the climate, geography, and the environment.
The firm states that they operate under the idea that “Designing is caring for the world. No excuses.” This idea was initiated by founder Miguel Ángel, a lecturer, researcher, writer, and architecture critic with a Ph.D. in Architectural Design. He also sits as Chairman of the Architecture and Sustainability Association (ASA). This care for the world extends to the firm’s online presence. MADC.xyz’s website was designed and developed as a low carbon website by Hyper Studio, a digital creative studio in Spain. According to a post on MADC.xyz, the Internet uses three times more energy than the world’s wind and solar power sources are able to provide. The manufacturing and maintenance of renewable power plants also requires energy. This implies that if data traffic keeps growing, so will the use of fossil fuels.
To design MADC.xyz with the intent of low environmental impact, they employed three energy-reducing efforts. First, they chose ProfesionalHosting, a hosting company whose policy is focused on green energy at all levels. ProfesionalHosting’s Green Hosting page states that “Our offices in Almería [have] self-produced electricity by means of solar panels and we carefully choose out Data Centers ensuring their energy comes from renewable sources.”
Visuals are an important part of MADC’s work, but they also take up quite a bit of bandwidth, and the website would not be the same without them. To solve this, they apply an image compression technique called “dithering,” allowing them to make images ten times less resource-intensive, yet still be displayed quite large. Instead of using full color, high-resolution images which impact size, they converted all images to black and white. Clicking the HD button on each image enables visitors to access the full-color high-resolution version of each image, and adds a fun interactive feature.
The second energy-reducing design tactic is that MADC.xyz does not load a custom typeface. They explain that all resources, including typefaces and logos, create an additional request to the server, requiring storage space and energy use. Visitors will see the default typefaces of their browser, a sans serif and a serif font. In place of a high concept logo, MADC.xyz’s identity consists of “MADC” with the strikethrough effect in the blank spaces between the initials.
Miguel Ángel explains, “Of course I think having a short website name helps our low-carbon website footprint mission: LESS IS MORE. We use a similar approach for the logo. Instead of a designed logotype, which would require the production and distribution of custom typefaces and imagery, MADC’s new identity consists of a single typographic effect: to use the strikethrough style in the blank spaces between letters to create a chain (the chain is the symbol about how we connect things like design-environment-people-architecture-city-food-public space-water-landscape-etc), that’s why the logo is like that (–m–a-d—c-)…it’s not an image but some connections with letters, that reduce KB and MB and GB at the end.”
The third energy-reducing design tactic is use of color. Some devices may consume more energy displaying a page with a white background versus a black one. However, accessibility can be affected by one version or another, so MADC.xyz provides both options. The default display depends on the time of the day. While visiting the website during the day, viewers will see it in white with black text. This scheme is inverted at night. They’ve also placed a toggle in the upper-right corner of the screen, another interactive feature, so that every visitor can choose between these two modes.
MADC.xyz‘s commitment to the world is echoed in their design work. Potential clients can check out an assortment of sustainable designs on their projects page, like the construction of 30 rooms intended for temporary housing for underserved families of newborns admitted to the ICU at Madrid’s Hospitals. Created in partnership with the Avintia Foundation, the rooms are designed with what they call a green infrastructure, a natural system that resets temperature fluctuations, recovers and purifies rainwater, generates oxygen, and regulates humidity. Each of the 30 rooms also has its own “energetic backpack” for production of electric power using high-performance technologies and renewable sources.
With such forward-thinking designs, it’s no surprise that their News page is filled with the many awards and recognitions MADC.xyz has earned from national and international contests in architecture and urban planning. Most recently, they took first prize in a 2020 ideas competition organized by the Insurance Compensation Consortium with the aim of executing a full renovation of a 68,000 square foot office building located at Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid.
In March 2019 they won the competition for the creation of a new Public Library in Villaverde, Madrid with their “Thousand Suns Library” design. MADC.xyz designed the library in two overlapped architecture sheds, the Cultural Shed and the Social Shed, both intended as an open infrastructure with autonomous access. The design generates new public spaces that utilize natural sunlight to create both a warm space during the winter and a cool shaded area during the summer.
MADC.xyz has developed a system of operating that seems to yield longevity. They show compassion for the environment and the overall impact their output will have on the neighborhood, the city, and beyond. The firm is branded with Miguel Ángel’s initials, short and memorable, which were available in the .xyz domain ending. The distinctiveness and minimalism of the .xyz domain aligns with the firm’s very ethos. And, when said out loud, MADC.xyz has a poetic ring to it that makes it fun to say. To read more about their services and see more examples of their design work and achievements, you can visit MADC.xyz on Instagram and Twitter.
Your personal website is a place where you can share your education and career experiences as well as the missions that are important to you, especially if you wish to impart helpful guidance and lessons learned from your experiences. There are no limits to what you can share, in fact you can create an online hub for each subject that you’d like to share with your audience. In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, you’ll meet an accomplished product designer, app developer, and Effective Altruism advocate who does an extraordinary job sharing the EA philosophy as well as his varied professional experiences online: BrianTan.xyz
BrianTan.xyz is the carefully curated personal website of Brian Tan, an accomplished designer currently working full time with Effective Altruism Philippines, the local chapter of the EA organization he co-founded in 2018. Considered a philosophy, a movement, and a community, Effective Altruism is a response to an obstacle that many people face when trying to figure out the most impactful way to do some good. It’s the obstacle of wanting to help, but not knowing the best way how. In some instances, money and efforts are just not as impactful as intended. Effective altruism uses evidence and reasoning to determine how to help others as much as possible. There are over 170 different chapters of EA in over 40 countries. Brian created his chapter of the global EA movement because he wanted to bring together the local community of Filipinos interested in EA.
Brian and his EA chapter are currently working to spread the philosophies of EA and tackle COVID-19 issues with their ideas. In 2020 Brian gave an introduction to Effective Altruism and its benefits in addressing the pandemic during a virtual event organized by his EA chapter. He shares this talk in an article on his blog. He explains the attributes of Effective Altruists, including the willingness to solve global problems that are big in scale, neglected, and solvable. This includes global catastrophic and existential risks, which are things that could cause humanity to go extinct, thus ending the possibility of future generations to enjoy life. And, as with all other aspects of BrianTan.xyz, he doesn’t just tell – he also shares examples of how effective altruists are doing work in these neglected problem areas.
Brian’s experiences in the tech industry show off his impressive design skill set. On his website, Brian shares many projects from school and various employment experiences in a section labeled My Portfolio. One such experience, the co-creation and launch of the Hangtime app (a platform that helps students compare schedules with friends), served him well for a future project. Two years later, he joined a startup called HeronChat to work part-time as their lead UI/UX Designer, and made significant contributions to the design of their job placement app.
Brian is a very accomplished and globally conscious member of the .xyz community. He serves as a resource to those visiting his website. He shares not only his experiences and samples of his design work, but also the valuable lessons he has learned along the way. BrianTan.xyz serves to educate and inspire, and includes many opportunities to connect with Brian to learn more. You may also visit him on Facebook and LinkedIn.
In this XYZ Quarterly we’ll cover seven helpful tips that you can use to develop a customer-inspired brand and recap XYZ’s Q1 2021 activity.
Evolving your brand to fit the needs of your audience is vital to its longevity. The world is ever-changing, and often unpredictable. From economic stumbling blocks and new health regulations, to environmental dangers, social upheaval, and demographic challenges, the needs of your customer are changing. A customer-focused brand is one that always identifies growing trends and serves their audience in the best and most current way. Being flexible and nimble when necessary can help your brand to achieve true staying power.
In today’s digital world, a thoughtful and purposeful online presence is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve. A website with a memorable domain enables you to promote your brand and your evolution of services. It can reach new audiences all over the world and you can showcase your brands exactly how you want to.
That’s the reason this year’s XYZ Quarterly theme is Staying Ahead of the Curve with .XYZ. Each quarter we will provide you with tips on how to develop and redirect your brand to stay two steps ahead. To begin, this quarter we’ll be showing you how to stay ahead of the curve by being customer-focused. We’ll offer you seven helpful tips that you can use to develop a customer-inspired brand, as well as seven .xyz websites that serve as prime examples of these tips.
Read on for Part 1: “Seven key ways to stay ahead of the curve by building a customer-focused brand” or jump down to Part 2: “XYZ’s Q1 2021 Recap.”
Brands that can recognize a universal need and create a digital solution for the greater good can transform their industries. Among the many benefits of digital solutions (efficiency, flexibility, cost savings) one stands out the strongest: improved customer experience. Digital solutions have increased availability to countless new audiences, and have helped many brands embark on new journeys. The customer experience, specifically customer convenience, is at the forefront of these solutions and new ways of business. “It’s never been easier to” is a common expression you’ll hear when anyone describes the new innovations or offerings of a brand that has gone digital. Consider the moment in time when streaming services began evolving the video rental format that had been operating the same way for years. It became easier and easier to access any movie at any time, without the burden or inconvenience of a trip to the video store.
Moxie.xyz is an example of a brand that created a cutting-edge digital solution for the fitness community. They work to connect health and fitness professionals to those wanting to workout from home, on their own time and at an affordable cost. Moxie.xyz recognized that fitness instructors needed assistance taking their services to the digital landscape in order to continue thriving. They created a digital platform of fitness classes filtered by type, preferred instructor, duration, required equipment, and more, all at reasonable costs. Interested parties have the opportunity to become an instructor for Moxie.xyz via a link on the site. The website has made many considerations for the fitness instructor community and has set them up to be leaders in the growing trend of at-home, streaming workouts.
By researching trends, honing in on opportunities for digital solutions as they arrive, and taking action quickly, your digital solution helps you to meet the needs of modern customers. It could even become the new baseline in your industry.
It may be necessary for your brand to pivot in order to better serve your audience. Making a pivot can help you to improve your results and make the best use of your efforts. Pivots can be made in many different ways, small and large. Consider narrowing your efforts to offer one fully enhanced service that is above and beyond the best in the field. Redirect your marketing to cater to a new audience or demographic that could benefit from your services. Consider surveying your audiences to discover gaps between your offerings and their expectations. You can make your efforts widely known with updates to your website.
HelloWorldRobotics.xyz is an example of a brand that pivoted to serve the market better. With a fleet of skillfully developed autonomous delivery robots fully designed, they recognized a greater need for their technology at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. They realized they could provide a way to help reduce imprudent physical contact. The company launched Project Care, a focused effort to provide contactless delivery of essentials and sanitizing services using the technology they had just developed. Their delivery robots can be dispatched to hospitals, quarantine zones, shopping malls, and gated communities; practically everywhere a person in need could be. HelloWorldRobotics.xyz made use of their existing technology to better serve the needs of their customers.
Adjusting your lens to see the greater needs your products or services could address can help them gain traction and put you ahead of your competition.
In today’s digital world, a strong website user experience can give your brand a competitive edge in attracting and retaining your audience. Designing a website that effectively communicates the value you bring to your audience will help you to generate brand advocacy and customer retention. Becoming hyper-focused on the needs of your customers is one of the keys to creating the most engaging user experience possible. Utilize varying types of media to communicate how your brand serves them, including images, videos, and gifs. Create opportunities to be interactive with your website visitors by sharing their user submissions and hosting topical quizzes or trivia. Be creative and consider surprising your audience with something new or unexpected.
Find inspiration from Foodism.xyz, one of the first-ever social media platforms centered on food. Their mission is to gather all food enthusiasts under a single digital roof, and they do so by creatively engaging them in all things food related. What began as an online presence for their print magazine evolved into a full-fledged platform with a pretty remarkable user experience. Foodism.xyz gives members reasons to log in at least once a day, including the promise of a user-submitted recipe of the day. Not only are viewers excited for a new recipe, but they’re eager to see if perhaps their submission was chosen. Members can also read user-submitted blog posts, mixed in with posts directly from the Foodism staff, covering everything from “desserts of India” to “why it’s time to change up your cooking oil.” Foodism.xyz has created an online atmosphere where viewers can spend considerable time. They make regular use of user participation to collaborate with and build their growing community of brand advocates, strengthening their position as a leading food-based social media platform.
Utilizing engagement and creativity to understand the interests of your customers can help you design an appealing user experience on your website and set you on a course of long-lasting favorability.
Taking the time to identify areas within your company that could be more effective or efficient can help you to develop solutions to improve what you have to offer. This can help you to keep up with the needs of your audience and ensure the longevity of your brand. Larger companies may not need to make a full pivot to keep up with their audience’s needs; they just need innovative solutions to fulfill new requirements. See if you can find ways to improve your customer experience. Streamlining warehouse functions can decrease the time it takes to send out shipments. Adding a chat service to your website can cut down on customer service phone call hold times for your customers. Optimizing the images on your website can decrease its load time and help your customers save a minute or two when online shopping. Improving your operations with your customer in mind can help you continue to serve the growing needs of your customer.
Byld.xyz specializes in providing solutions for this kind of strategic internal optimization. Their website states that “61% of CEOs expect a startup competitor to disrupt their industry at any moment” so they help big companies create innovation internally to keep up with the growing needs of their customers. Byld.xyz determines a solution through three main growth phases: Insights, Labs, and Startups. The Insights phase focuses on identifying trends and detecting opportunities. Based on learnings from the Insights phase, possible solutions and minimum viable products (MVPs) are created during the Labs phase. Finally, these MVPs are put to the test during the Startup phase. Once an MVP is considered ready to become a startup solution, Byld.xyz assigns internal teams to take care of essential functions like marketing and sales, operations, product, and IT.
You can take inspiration from Byld.xyz’s startup process to help improve your own operations. New internal processes can help your brand stay relevant and in demand.
Technology has freed brands and professionals from many location constraints. Email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and messaging platforms make it possible to connect with and serve customers all over the world. Associates are working remotely, enabling them to move freely about the world and still get the job done. While businesses are utilizing digital solutions and operating remotely, they can also rethink how they conduct business. You and your customers can become fully acquainted digitally, with no need to have them travel any distance to meet with you. This helps you to expand your customer base and own your niche. A well-designed website has become an essential way to inform your audience of how your brand operates, your mission, and examples of past projects.
Take note of Wave.xyz, a creative agency that offers complete promotional and branding services to their clients. Their website clearly communicates that they handle everything from the development of a complete strategy, material creation, and campaign management. Wave.xyz sets themselves apart from other creative agencies by choosing to be “nomadic.” Their employees go to their client and work from the front line. Visitors to the About Our Collective tab will find a quote from Jason Syptak, Wave.xyz‘s founder, which identifies the forward thought used in their operations. “We set up shop, work and deliver at the point of impact, or Impact Point as we call it.” Their goal is to immerse their team in the environment and create the most meaningful final product. They don’t have a headquarters because Wave.xyz was born with the idea of traveling to their clients, demonstrating a unique dedication to their audience. Wave.xyz uses their website to inform potential clients about their methods to illuminate the fact that geographic location does not limit their ability to do business.
Eliminating limitations and boundaries created by distance is easier than ever. Being flexible and showing willingness to serve a global audience can position you as an industry leader.
Analyzing your niche’s marketplace may lead you to create a completely new product or service. World events, newly developed technologies, and changing attitudes are all opportunities to create brand-new services, projects, or communities. An evolving marketplace continually provides new opportunities to work towards improvements, and increase efficiency and convenience. Many brands find a problem or pain point and solve it in a new way. Being innovative can assist your continued relevance and position you ahead of the curve.
Learn from KetoChow.xyz, who addressed an obstacle in the trending ketogenic diet lifestyle. KetoChow.xyz recognized the growing desire for a healthy and convenient meal-replacement option to serve the ketogenic community. There are ample protein shakes and meal-replacement shakes on the market, but KetoChow.xyz wasn’t seeing any that met the trifecta of requirements to make them perfectly ketogenic: high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrates. Founder Chris Bair has been following the ketogenic diet since 2014. As a customer himself, it was easy to center the customer in his strategy. He took something that worked for him in his journey and developed it to make it available for the mass market. KetoChow.xyz created a shake mix of their own. Customers can add water and heavy whipping cream or avocado oil to create a convenient ketogenic meal replacement. KetoChow.xyz created an innovative solution for the ketogenic community, positioning themselves at the forefront of ketogenic meal-replacements.
Creating a brand new product or service that fills a gap in the marketplace can create incredible value for your audience and establish you as a forward-thinking brand.
Expanding your services can help you to provide more value to your audience. You can develop a second leg of your main service to combine two services in one offering that hasn’t been done before. Increasing your services can increase the size of your brand and demonstrate your awareness of the growing needs of your customers. Once you have developed your unique combination, you can add new pages to your website and/or launch a sister site to work in conjunction with each other. Many companies have fully reinvented themselves to take advantage of digital opportunities — online stores and applications can put all of your existing services at a customer’s fingertips, at any time of the day.
Learn from Spot.xyz, a startup that’s working on a workplace solution that aims to bring the spirit and utility of being in the same physical office to a digital experience. Their platform is combining features of a communication platform with that of shared workspaces. Spot.xyz includes virtual shared spaces and office services complete with chat rooms organized by topic, as well as private groups and direct messaging. They are positioning themselves as the virtual hub for your organization, and they are bringing together a channel-based messaging platform, a secure document sharing system, and an office simulation experience. Spot.xyz’s strategy of combining the many needs of the modern office in a single platform could place them ahead of competitors that only offer a piece of what they do.
Offering multiple products or services that customers need can help you to create a unique solution that positions you at the forefront of your industry.
Brands that stay ahead of the curve stay focused on their customers. Keep an eye on growing trends and the changing needs of your audience. Strive to offer them the best experience possible by adapting to new situations and perspectives when necessary. That could mean layering and increasing your services, developing smaller innovative solutions to improve what you currently provide, or making a drastic change that better utilizes your resources. Every improvement can be promoted with a website that is as adaptable and flexible as your business.
Following the examples of the seven .xyz websites above can help to keep the customer at the center of every decision and help to ensure the longevity of your brand.
2021 is well under way. For XYZ, Q1 was filled with innovation, accomplishment, and anticipation. Here’s how we made a big entrance into the new year.
In our continued effort to help the next generation of internet users make their mark online, we changed the face of the beauty industry online forever. We proudly introduced the first-ever domain names made for the beauty industry: .Beauty, .Hair, .Skin, and .Makeup! These exciting domains allow beauty brands, professionals, and influencers to acquire affordable, memorable URLs that match their brand name, first and last name, social handle, or creative idea. We also introduced .Quest, the domain made for gurus, experts, and authorities in any field. .Quest is the perfect domain for internet users to show their website is the destination their audience is seeking. These new domains are affordable, unrestricted, and available to anyone looking for a head-turning brand presence.
Flawless beauty brands are getting online with .Beauty, .Hair, .Skin, and .Makeup domain names. Many smart brands and visionaries have already taken advantage of these exciting domain opportunities and exceeded our expectations. A .Beauty, .Hair, .Skin, or .Makeup domain can enable beauty brands, professionals, and fans to launch affordable, memorable URLs that match their brand name, first and last name, social handle, or creative idea. Some noteworthy early adopters have already realized the value of these extensions. To name just a few, we’ve noted registrations such as www.MaxFactor.beauty, www.Barbers.hair, www.Freckles.skin, and www.Glossier.makeup!
We also launched .Quest, the domain intended for gurus, experts, and authorities in any field. .Quest is the perfect domain for internet users to mark their website as the destination their audience is seeking. Some of today’s gurus are already on board, including Twitch co-founder Justin Kan who launched www.Justin.quest as the dedicated home for his podcast The Quest. New apparel brand www.GoldenAge.quest is paying homage to famous expeditions with their Explorer Series t-shirts. Each t-shirt design charts a different well-known voyage from history.
At the onset of March, eight of our domains joined .xyz in achieving MIIT accreditation in China. We’re thrilled to say that any owner of a .Rent, .College, .Monster, .Baby, .Security, .Protection, .Storage, or .Theatre domain in China can publish their site live to a global audience. Meanwhile, .xyz continues to enjoy its position as one of the most popular domains in China, having maintained MIIT accreditation since 2016. With adopters ranging from startups, individuals, and organizations, we’ve seen so many launch creative websites on their .xyz domains. Be sure to check out our blog to learn first hand from .xyz adopters and discover their inspiring websites for yourself.
We’ve been busy preparing for the relaunch of our latest domain acquisitions. We’re excited to continue to serve the real estate and transportation industries with .Homes, .Autos, .Motorcycles, .Boats, and .Yachts domain names. They make it easy for brokers, dealers, and service-providers to create memorable domains that match what their audiences are searching for. Starting in June, we plan to make these unrestricted domains even more affordable. Stay tuned for more information!
XYZ supported five student-focused hackathons in the first quarter of 2021. Participants at Hack BI 2021, UPES-CSI, UofT Hacks, SacHacks, Makeathon 3077 received .xyz domains to help them launch their ideas and projects online. Located throughout the United States, Canada, and India, the hackathons all celebrated technology with workshops and mentors that helped participants learn and grow. XYZ is proud to help participants share their ideas and solutions with a global audience via their new .xyz domains.
We also supported entrepreneurs and small businesses by partnering with business education platform StartUpStarter in March. Free .xyz domains were provided as part of their No Code Week, a 9-day event where leading companies in the no code space taught participants how to build apps, a website, and even entire businesses.
Your personal website gives you the perfect space to share your career accomplishments and personal interests with audiences around the world. It’s where you have complete design control to show off anything you’re proud of. Whether you want to display your previous work experiences, photos of your pets, or tales from the job, your website is where you can share what you want, when you want. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday features a website that shares the personal interests of a healthcare professional: McCluskey.xyz.
McCluskey.xyz is the website of recent Colorado transplant Zach McCluskey. A few months after settling into his new life, Zach began blogging on McCluskey.xyz about his life in Colorado, and his passion for his hobbies: running, music, and healthcare. “I created McCluskey.xyz after moving across the country to Colorado as a way to continue to share my multifaceted life with family and friends, as well as followers,” Zach explains. “The posts are a great creative outlet for me, and the website has become a place where I can go long-form with my stories and thoughts–something that isn’t easy on social media.”
Zach grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His family lived in a house in the woods, which helped create his strong love of the outdoors. He began running cross country in junior high, and hasn’t stopped. While in college, Zach began focusing on writing songs and playing shows with his band, and also remains a central interest in his life. Once Zach realized his career aspirations were in the healthcare field, he began an accelerated nursing program, which ultimately led to an exciting nursing opportunity in Colorado Springs. As an added benefit, Zach is thoroughly enjoying the abundance of scenic running trails in Colorado.
On his homepage you’ll notice his creative use of a logo that incorporates the “Y” of his last name into the .xyz domain, helping viewers to remember his URL. But that’s not the only synergistic aspect that attracted him to this XYZ Registry domain ending. “I chose to build my personal website on .xyz because I wanted to have a concise domain name with some personality. Plus, it didn’t hurt that there was a Z in it. You know, for Zach.”
Zach uses his blog to share powerful stories regarding his healthcare journey, his love of running, and his passion for making music. He started writing about healthcare when he moved to Colorado to begin his nursing career, when his first position was on a Surgical/Trauma Step-Down Unit. He writes that after caring for the trauma population, and the extensive studying to obtain his national trauma certification, trauma had evolved from a curiosity to a passion. He shares insights on a memoir he read, titled “Trauma Junkie,” about a California flight nurse in the Bay Area, where he was inspired by stories of life-saving attempts. He also shares stories of his various, impressive certifications and insightful experiences resulting from the pandemic.
For inspiration to pull your running shoes out of the closet, read Zach’s thoughtful posts about running, including stories about finding great trails, tips for new runners, and stories of first experiences with the trails of Colorado. A post from the end of last year details an awesome virtual running challenge that Zach accepted in lieu of the interrupted Chicago Half Marathon he was originally signed up for. The virtual challenge called for running the distance of Chicago’s elevated train lines over the course of eight weeks, which amounted to 131 miles. Exceeding that goal, Zach ran an impressive 283 miles and lived to write about it as well as share a few scenic photos from the trails.
Zach’s music blog posts range from stories of musical inspiration, newfound musicians that have sparked his interest, and posts about making his own music. One such example is a post titled “One More Kiss,” where Zach shares a newly recorded version of a holiday song he wrote in 2010. He is not alone in publishing music on a .xyz name – joining many melodious .xyz end users who are making contributions to music.
Zach uses his website to illustrate his personal brand online by showing his passion for his career and his favorite hobbies. He welcomes his friends, family, and anyone intrigued to learn more to reach out. Zach writes “I will continue to share more about my experiences in healthcare here on my blog, including education and certifications, interesting articles/books related to medical and nursing subjects, and new developments in health care.” You can reach him on Facebook, or his similarly named Instagram @McCluskey.xyz and Twitter @mccluskey_xyz.
If your work is whimsical and adorable, but you want potential customers to know that you mean business, it’s important to organize your personal site in a sophisticated manner. Take, for instance, a plush toy designer and illustrator who wants her work to be enjoyed for how sweet it is, but also wants to illustrate her interest in taking on exciting new projects. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday features a personal website that is as savvy as it is sweet: LindaDesign.xyz
LindaDesign.xyz is the online portfolio of Linda Raymond. Linda’s from San Gabriel, California, and studied toy design at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She graduated in 2017 and began working at MJ Holding Company, the largest North American distributor of trading cards, trading card supplies, collectibles, toys, and hot trend items. There, Linda worked on the toy design team with a focus on plush and novelty toys, a couple of her passions (in addition to cats). Currently a product designer with Good Smile Connect, Linda is able to explore another of her biggest interests. As you’ll read on her homepage in a succinct blurb, Linda has a passion for Japanese culture. Good Smile Connect (GSC) is a Japanese manufacturer of hobby products such as the Nendoroid and Figma product line. In other words, it’s a great match.
While a student at Otis College of Art and Design, Linda and her classmates were encouraged to make websites for their online portfolio. Linda took inspiration from her friends in the same college class. The exact domain she wanted was available from .xyz. “I then just tried to make a site that had a color scheme that complimented my mascot character, the wolfbee, and tried to make things organized and neat.”
The first things you’ll notice on LindaDesign.xyz are a title bar featuring Wolfbee, the aforementioned mascot, and Linda’s name with the titles “Toy Designer” and “Illustrator” just underneath. Then you’ll notice her menu offerings and a precious caricature of Linda in her own style. Next, a small blurb telling viewers of Linda’s love for plush, toy development, Japanese culture, and her interest in new project ideas. The colors she has chosen perfectly compliment her mascot. The menu bar features three succinct main tabs, perfectly organizing her site without any unnecessary links that might distract an end user and cause them to trail off towards another website.
The first tab, Portfolio, allows you to choose from her portfolio offerings in a convenient pulldown menu, or you can click to visit the portfolio landing page. Here is where users can get a true feel for the variety of skill and professionalism in Linda’s repertoire. Her projects range from plush and novelty toy designs for MJ Holding Studios and Wicked Cool Toys, a collection of her Inktober artwork, and the full design components of a game that encourages children to practice tidiness entitled Stuffy Squirrel, complete with a plush cast of characters. In a category of miscellaneous types of work titled “Non-projects and others,” viewers get a glimpse of even more of Linda’s range, including an array of extremely impressive sketch work and professional packaging projects as well as delightful craft projects, including plush versions of My Little Pony.
Selecting About takes you to a page featuring a full size image of Wolfbee, as well as the introductory blurb also featured on her homepage. Below that are links to download .pdf versions of her resume and portfolio. At the very bottom of this and every page on the website is a smaller version of Wolfbee with a welcome to “Contact Me!” accompanied by Linda’s phone number and email address.
This invitation to reach out is reiterated on her Contact page, which has that same information but also includes an HTML form to send Linda an email directly from her website. This design technique saves the user the added step of leaving the website in order to make contact, risking distraction and a possible missed opportunity.
Linda’s seamless navigation, proper organization of her ample portfolio, and easy methods of contact paint a clear picture of a true professional. She looks forward to updating her website to include more of her recent work, and is excited to display more of her experience creating 3D models using Blender, a 3D computer graphics software toolset. If you’d like to reach out to Linda, you can email her directly from LindaDesign.xyz and you can also find her on Instagram.