Accelerator Academy – Helping the future of Tech in the UK

April 18, 2012 by

The Accelerator Academy provides intensive training, mentoring and access to capital for high growth tech start-ups.

The Academy works with emerging entrepreneurs to help them to achieve high growth, through intensive training, mentoring from successfully exited tech entrepreneurs and providing them with access to seed capital.

Delivered over 12 weeks, the part-time (Monday evenings) programme improves the market traction and investor readiness of 25 of London’s most ambitious start-ups, helping them to succeed and achieve higher growth. Applications are open for one more week at www.AcceleratorAcademy.com

.Net Magazine: Should we design in the browser from the start?

April 2, 2012 by

Rob Walker – xcitedigital.com

.Net Article Should we design in the browser from the start

It very much relies on your working style, and perhaps more importantly the available time and standards for the final product. Designing in the browser can lead to messy code – as with all prototyping, the idea should be to get something indicative of the final functionality only available as quickly as possible. However, reaching something in an approved ‘complete’ state sometimes makes it very difficult to go back and reconstruct it properly, especially if time is tight. Coding properly in the first place is potentially more time consuming when multiple changes are necessary, since refactoring/removal of superfluous elements properly after every change required obviously takes longer than just doing it the once.

From a more design perspective, changes and variations in imagery necessitate the use of Photoshop or similar anyway. Designing in Photoshop initially means that if images do need to be changed, design adjustments can be made to the general layout or size of adjacent elements and so on more easily without having to two and fro between applications to ensure they interrelate correctly. 

Again, while it very much depends on resources and specific requirements project (and even the type of client), my personal inclination would be to divorce the design and build elements of the process.

Rob is managing director at Xcite Digital

Job Satisfaction

March 26, 2012 by

@boagworld …We need to realign our thinking. Job satisfaction should come from producing design the client loves, not design we (or our peers) love.

With this in mind: How important is it to you to keep your clients happy?

Its more important to keep our employees happy, because the happier they are the happier our clients will be.

Being ‘Right’ about a design comes from many factors such as realising the client objectives, i.e. does the design reflect the brand values, are the key messages clear, as opposed to creating ‘Pretty pictures’ which the client may like to dislike.
Producing work that is ‘Right’ and does a great job of achieving the clients objectives is really all its about. To bring this back to the point, if the employee (which is what we are talking about due to job satisfaction) is happy with what they produce and they are proud of it, then this is exactly what they should be focusing on.
Producing design work to keep clients happy is sometimes completed at the detriment of the key objectives, but ….clients are always right arnt they?
To bring another point in to this question, i actually think the tweet related to something Eric Reis mentioned in a talk recently about employees producing work to impress their boss in-order to achieve promotion or a salary increase which is huge culture problem. Employees should work because they are happy and proud of what they do, rather than work to get paid. Everyone has to be paid of course, but internal reward should be the drive to personal success, rather than trying to impress your boss. Why are we on this earth after all.
A good reference is ‘Delivering Happiness, Zappos.com’ by Tony hsieh
Robert Walker
http://www.xcitedigital.com

.net Magazine Awards

August 20, 2010 by

Its that time again – The .net Magazine Awards are here, the Oscars of the internet! From the site:

The .net Awards celebrate the best in web design and development, and are brought to you by the world’s best-selling magazine for web builders – .net. The 16 categories for 2010 range from Design Agency of the Year and Mobile Site of the Year through to Community site of the year, and once you’ve voted you can use our Twitter widget – over there on the left – to tell your friends about the Awards! This year we have a fantastic group of judges including the likes of Jeffrey ZeldmanPaul BoagAndy BuddChristian HeilmannJon HicksAndy ClarkeHannah Donovan and Ryan Carson!

There are two other judges that made the cut for this years awards…

Thats right, not one, but two of our team members are Judges for this years awards!

The whole of the Xcite Digital offices have cast their vote in the awards, and Rob and Keith will be two of 100 judges finalising the decision of the top of each category by October 20th.

Have you voted yet? If not, visit the site to cast your vote now!

Digital media – Who are you talking to and what are you saying?

June 3, 2010 by

When putting articles, comments or status updates online do you think about who are you talking to? Do most of us even think about what we are saying?

If you’re like us at xcite you’ve got the usual social elements online like Facebook and Twitter and a few others. There’s your LinkedIn profile and you’ve got a blog, oh and you’ve just signed up with delicious and it’s started pushing your latest bookmarks to Twitter and Facebook. Hang on a minute. Take a step back. This has started getting confusing and who’s reading it anyway?

To illustrate the potential mess an online presence might we mapped out some elements commonly linked through signing up to various websites. Before you know it you have a tangled web of mixed messages being pushed out, possibly confusing readers and even worse pushing them away from you.

Developing a digital strategy means untangling this web of linked applications and services. Bringing in tools to manage any of these elements at this stage would be chaos.  All of these crossing lines need some strategy behind them and that’s where business goals are important.

It’s time to find out who your audience are. Work out what value they can get from you and supply that value. If there are multiple audiences then tailor your strategy but try and remain focused on each area individually. Then work out the methods and tools to use in order to get where you want to be.

We need to start at the beginning. We need to think about what we are saying and to who. Get in touch if you want to talk about your online voice and what we can do to ensure it’s targeted, useful and meets the goals of your business.

About the Author

This article was originally written by Rob Walker, director of Xcite Dgitial

About Xcite Digital

Xcite Digital is a full service digital media agency, providing expert strategic consultancy, campaign planning and management for the recruitment, property, e-commerce and electronics markets.   Xcite Digital’s services provide an online marketing programme that builds brands, generates new media opportunities and improves lead generation. Its digital marketing team provides expertise in pay per click campaigns, organic SEO, social media, usability and design.

www.xcitedigital.com

Is Internet Explorer still the most widely used browser?

May 19, 2010 by

It’s an interesting question but no surprise to read from a survey of designers and web developers that few use any form of Internet Explorer for their day to day web use. Only 2% of the group used IE as their day to day web browser.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ex Yahoo Product Manager Joins Xcite Digital As Project Manager

November 14, 2009 by

Date: 4 November 2009: Xcite Digital, the digital marketing specialist, has appointed Garry Webb, formerly product manager at Yahoo, as project manager for the company’s digital marketing and e-commerce campaigns.

Webb is a digital marketing and sales specialist, having managed Yahoo’s portfolio of search and shopping products in the UK, including the European video platform and Media distribution CMS. Prior to Yahoo Webb worked in online technical roles for many years and has a strong focus on usability and processes.

He will now drive Xcite digital’s campaigns for its clients in the recruitment, property and e-commerce sectors, focusing on developing digital marketing projects (pay per click and organic SEO) as well as ecommerce system design.

Xcite Digital’s managing director Rob Walker said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have Garry on board. His experience and skills are ideal for taking Xcite Digital’s client services to the next level and his arrival is testament to the reputation of the company as one of the fastest growing digital marketing and design companies.”

Webb commented: “Xcite Digital has a talented team and a very impressive client portfolio. The company is expanding at a tremendous rate and I’m genuinely excited about its future. This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forwarded to using my skills to help develop new and existing client projects.”

About Xcite Digital

Xcite Digital is a full service digital media agency, providing expert strategic consultancy, campaign planning and management for the recruitment, property, e-commerce and electronics markets.   Xcite Digital’s services provide an online marketing programme that builds brands, generates new media opportunities and improves lead generation. Its digital marketing team provides expertise in pay per click campaigns, organic SEO, social media, usability and design.

www.xcitedigital.com

A speech on Marketing

May 4, 2009 by

My second speech

John Lake Thank You! The reason we go the extra mile for our clients.

May 4, 2009 by

Dear Rob

I wanted to write and personally thank you for all your assistance this week when my website here at John Lake Estate Agents failed.

I certainly appreciated your honesty, efficiency and most of all your professionalism in dealing with the issues surrounding the failure.  At all times you kept me in touch and explained in a simple logical way the problems we were faced with.

Bearing in mind you are not officially taking over my account until the end of May and that the responsibility for the failure of the website was not for you to resolve, I felt you went beyond your call of duty when I called you at 5.30 on Monday evening and told you how much the website not functioning was damaging the business.  It was 11.00pm that evening when you emailed me to say that the site was up and running.

Sometimes in life, Rob, you meet people who make a difference and on this occasion you certainly did!

I would like you to know that I would not hesitate to recommend your company and I feel totally confident that I am in safe hands with Xcite Digital.

Thank you once again, Rob.

Yours sincerely

Eve Lake

John Lake Estate Agents

Career Boosting Sites

April 16, 2009 by

Every company attempts to expand their client base, but not everybody succeeds. There are several web sites already out there which can help spread the word about you and your company. They are all easy to use and can bring great success.

WordPress

WordPress is one of, if not the best free blogging tool available on the web. You can completely customize and embed it in your site with ease. Blogs are great for getting awareness of your company. It is recommended you update the blog regularly, atleast a few times a month to keep customer interest. You can almost blog about anything from politics to pictures of your new pet cat!

Check out Our Blog, or shoot over to the Official WordPress Web site now!

Linked In

This web site can be used to link you, your friends and colleagues. It is simple to setup and once your in you can add all your friends. After you’ve registered and are settled in it is a good idea to get onto the Q&A forum. here you will be able to ask business questions and help answer other peoples queries. This should build up good client interest.

Visit our Linked In page here.

Twitter

Twitter has become very popular in the past 6 months. With Twitter you can let the world know exactly what you are up to. It only takes a minute or 2 to setup. All your colleagues, friends and clients will then be able to follow you and find out exactly what you doing in your spare time. Remember to keep your name short and sweet, the easier it is to remember the easier it will be to spread your name. Try to tweet a couple of times a day and post casual and serious tweets to keep people interested.

Follow us on Twitter now! our username is Xcitedigital

Upcoming

Upcoming is a social network calendar to let you know what is going on in and around your area. You are also able to add your friends, then you can see what events they are attending. This web site is free to use and is so simple!

Networking – the secret of survival in a downturn – Business Link

April 10, 2009 by

We are going to take a look at strategic partnership working and how it can boost your prospects throughout the downturn

Networking can mean a lot these days.  It used to mean gentlemen’s clubs, corporate hospitality and golf. Now it encompasses everything from social media, to speed networking to business breakfasts, referral networks or supportive networks like FSB, and business partnerships.  

Rather than burying your head in the sand, talking through problems will help and networking with other small businesses could offer new, mutually beneficial opportunities:

Online networking is key
Social business networks using their online contacts to increase sales could become ‘recession proof’ so says the founder of a leading online business network* who advises that maintaining a low cost base that is entirely customer focused is the only way to survive the forthcoming recession and that “Collaborative Virtual Teams” will enable businesses to continue to grow despite reports of a slowing economy.

Withstand recession through collaborative growth
Here are top tips to use social networks to get more business from clients existing and new:

  • If you have a great client, nurture and expand by providing additional services and consulting through the Collaborative Teams in your network. “In the current economic climate it is far easier to do that than try to find new clients.”
  • Ensure that you are communicating your business expertise in as focused a way as possible.
  • The more niche a business skill is, the more identifiable and attractive it is.
  • Manage your brand on Google and ensure you are Search Engine Optimised. A good Business Social Network should be ‘open’ to Google
  • Explore technology options that will enable you to work collaboratively with others in virtual information systems. “Cloud computing” is the new buzzword and its all about sharing information on the internet , saving cost on servers and local IT support.    (Beware of data protection issues however).

Now’s the time to make good news announcements  
Local and regional media are keen to find stories that buck the “doom and gloom” trend.  Recently the editor of the Oxford Times, Andrew Smith said,  “Now, more than ever, is the time to get your good news out. The regional media will always look favourably on upbeat ideas that have plenty of interest for their audiences.”

Local focus
In the recession, small businesses, local business support groups are teaming up to help each other tackle problems.  City, town and even village networks are being forged to strengthen local trading and stimulate customer loyalty. 

Existing partnership organisations are finding they are being called upon to take a co-ordination role in local support initiatives.  Find out more about these organisations in your area and see how you could be involved:  

Education Business Partnerships (EBPs)
EBP’s help businesses forge links with schools and colleges – building community support for the business, strengthening reputation and staff morale in difficult times.  Kevin Taylor, President, Chartered Institute of Public Relations says,   “Working with the local community – being seen to be supportive of local projects, schools and services, strengthens an organisation’s links with the people and places close to its operation.  It is usually good for staff morale, and for an overall sense of belonging, achievement and contribution – all soft issues, but important ones you can grow and nurture during tough economic times.” Find your nearest EBP at the National Business Education partnerships network website www.nebpn.org – Opens in a new window

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
Lack of capital availability may be hampering your attempts to get an innovative project off the ground. Teaming up with a University can access the “sweat equity” of research staff and the latest technology.  The benefits are mutual for business, academics and university graduates.  Find out more about the KTP Programme at www.ktponline.org.uk – Opens in a new window

Industrial Symbiosis
The National Industrial Symbiosis Programme believes its “waste not,  want not” philosophy can help UK businesses survive through using each others’ waste.   Business of all kinds get involved in the world-leading project. Find out more about NISP in the South East of England   www.nisp.org.uk
– Opens in a new window

 *Source: Ecademy founder,   Penny Power

Understanding Corporate Twitter

February 23, 2009 by

What’s This All About?

I think most people understand what blogging is all about, and the fact that services like Twitter are called “microblogging” is probably a disservice. Blogging is rather static; microblogging is like a continuous, never-ending conversation — 140 characters at a time.

My initial reaction made me think of “collective brain hum” — it’s a very noisy and confusing environment at the outset — but, given some patience, patterns emerge, and it becomes approachable, understandable and leverageable.

Sure, a lot of what you see on Twitter appears as mindless chatter, but — make no mistake — that’s the same sort of chit-chat you see when people are getting to know each other, staying in touch, and forming social relationships that matter.

So, From A Corporate Perspective, What Is Twitter Good For?

First, the obvious answer is “getting news out about your company”. However, there’s more to it than that. I found plenty of corporate Twitter accounts out there, spewing out the predictable press releases.

My impression? Spewing out press releases via a corporate Twitter account is exactly as effective as doing the same from a blog — that is to say that neither are particularly effective, and both are mildly offensive to my sensibilities.

However, those same press releases and other propaganda are far more effective when brought to others’ attentions from well-known members of the Twitter community — just like it works in the blogging world.

This is corporate brand marketing in an entirely new dimension. Many thousands of people are continually forming impressions around you and your company, and it’s done in an entirely unstructured and organic manner. For traditional marketeers, this is head-spinning stuff.

As an example, if someone is frustrated with our company or our products, we’re (collectively) right there in real time and listening sympathetically if nothing else.

And it’s 24×7 — right now, it’s 7AM on a Saturday, and — yes — the twitterati are out and about.

Third, there’s the infinite network of experts always available. Post a tweet with a question or opinion, and — before you know it — people are coming out of the woodwork with either a response, or the name of someone else who can probably help. And this happens in minutes, not hours or days.

If you’ve never seen or used Twitter, simply go to http://search.twitter.com (or http://www.monitter.com) and type in your favorite search term. Maybe a name or two. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Simply put, I now believe you can’t ignore Twitter as part of your overall corporate social media strategy. Just like you can’t ignore Google.

More Context

Originally, I had high hopes for Yammer, which is like Twitter but restricted to people with the same (presumably corporate) email domain address. There’s a bit of activity there, but it pales besides the Twitter flood. More going on outside your company than inside your company — no surprise there.

And then there’s “following”.

On Twitter, people follow other people. Recommendations are made between friends on who should be followed, and who should be unfollowed.

Regarding the long-standing complaint that social media behavior can appear as just goofing off — well, Twitter is addictive and ripe for abuse. Indeed, the “tweeps” (Twitter users) tell me that they’ve all had to learn how to tame this particular beast.

Add us!

Add Xcite Digital on Twitter now and you will never miss what’s going on around the company.

http://twitter.com/Xcitedigital

Business and Online Consumers

February 18, 2009 by

Though 63% of consumers and small business owners turn to the internet first for information about local companies and 82% use search engines to do so, only 44% of small businesses have a website and half spend less than 10% of their marketing budget online, according to research from Nielsen.

The research, which was undertaken to learn how internet users find local businesses from which to purchase products or services, finds an accelerating trend toward online media for local search. At the same time, it uncovers a significant disconnect between the way small business owners act as consumers vs. the way they market their businesses online. Webvisible calls this disparity “the great divide.”

Tools for Finding Local Business

The survey found that search engines, by a large margin, are the most popular source for finding local information.

The list of top sources for local information:

  • 82% use search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN).
  • 57% use Yellow Pages directories.
  • 53% use local newspapers.
  • 49% use Internet Yellow Pages (such as yellowpages.com or superpages.com)
  • 49% use TV.
  • 38% use direct mail.
  • 32% White Pages directories

Of those surveyed, 50% said search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN) were the first place they looked when seeking a local business, while 24% chose the Yellow Pages directories.

Overall Satisfaction with Search High

An overwhelming majority of searchers (92%) say they are happy with the results they get when using search engines, despite the fact that 39% report frequently not being able to locate a particular known business. Webvisible said this means that while searchers don’t always find the specific business (no online advertising/no website, etc.), they may choose to contact a similar business with a stronger online presence.

Future Trends Show Accelerating Use of Electronic Media

Webvisible found that, in terms of overall media usage when looking for local products or services, this trend toward electronic media is accelerating. Online search and e-mail newsletters are the only forms of traditional media that are growing among consumers who wish to locate local products or services.

Compared with two years ago, respondents report they use search engines and email newsletters more, while they use newspapers, magazines, direct mail and radio less:

webvisible-nielsen-small-business-ways-find-information-november-2008.jpg

Small Business Web Presence is Low

Despite the growing use of online media for local searches, small businesses owners – when compared with the general population – are slightly behind the curve in terms of online media usage. Some 41% report turning to online search engines first, and 31% turn to Yellow pages directories first. Moreover, small businesses are also behind the curve in terms of their web presence. Only 44% of small businesses have a website.

This disparity, according to Webvisible, clearly illustrates the reasons why consumers have difficulty finding small business information. Many consumers report that they have struggled to recall the name of a business in their area or wish to quickly check the website for store hours, directions or a phone number, Webvisible said. However, when using a search engine to find a business they know exists, only 19% of survey respondents report never or rarely encountering trouble locating that business online and 39% say they routinely have difficulty.

Small Businesses Not Satisfied with Web Presence

Though less than half of small businesses do have a website, the ones that do are not necessarily seeking to get traffic to it, and are not happy overall with their online marketing. Among those small businesses that have a website:

  • 51% believe both the quality and ability of their site to acquire new customers is only “fair” or “poor.”
  • 30% of business owners feel that they typically do a better job of marketing than a close competitor.
  • 78% believe they advertise in the same places as their competitors.
  • Only 7% of small business owners say their primary marketing goal is to get more visitors to their website.
  • 61% spend less than three hours a week marketing their website.
  • 99% of small business owners are directly involved in the marketing.
  • 65% believe it is very important to know where their customers come from.
  • Only 9% are satisfied with their online marketing efforts.
  • 78% of small business owners dedicate 10% or less of their budget to marketing. Of those, half spend less than 10% of their marketing budget on internet advertising, while 30% do no Internet advertising.

Narrowing the Divide – Small Businesses Making Gains in Internet Marketing

Though small businesses are behind the curve in terms of online media, the situation is improving, the survey found. As consumers continue to seek the businesses that they want to purchase from, they are forcing classic forms of push marketing to gradually fade. As the consumer audience moves to the web and search engines in particular, local businesses are making moves in their online marketing efforts. A look at the last two years shows that local businesses are closing the gap and beginning to advertise where consumers are looking, though the divide remains significant:

  • Search engines are now the #1 resource for small business owners looking for local products or services.
  • 69% of small business owners use search engines to find local businesses more often than they did two years ago. And 84% know what a “sponsored link” advertisement is.
  • Over the past two years, 43% of small businesses say they have increased use of search engines in their marketing efforts. In contrast, use of traditional small business advertising mediums is on the decline:
    •  23% say they use the Yellow pages less
    • 42% say they use the local newspaper less
  • New advertising mediums such as video, SMS, e-mail, and mobile devices are showing steep increases over two years ago among small groups of early adopters.

These are all issues that can be resolved through a comprehensive marketing campaign that drives in new traffic. It will be the most cost effective marketing you can achieve and Xcite Digital thrive on providing successful marketing campaigns.

Please contact us for more advice.

Many Thanks,

Rob Walker. Managing Director.

12 Ideas for Blog Posts

February 10, 2009 by

To be successful in blogging you need to do many things. If you are struggling check out some of the blogging tips below.

  1. Respond to something elsewhere on the web: the best way to start blogging: simply link to something elsewhere that you feel is interesting, or (better) that you disagree with. If you make a constructive response to what someone else has posted, for example, you can start a useful inter-blog dialogue. You might add links to evidence that challenges what the original post says, for example. In its most simple form, when you simply post useful links, this is called ‘link journalism’.
  2. Suggest an idea: for a story or for a way of doing things. Invite reaction and suggestions – and don’t expect people to come to you: approach people you might otherwise be shy of asking, and invite them to respond on the comments. Ideas can travel very far, so can be very effective in attracting readers.
  3. Interview someone: a straightforward and easy way to create a post. An email interview can work well, but if you can put an audio or video recording on the site that often adds value. If you are interviewing a busy person it helps if you limit your questions or, if you’re asking for their advice, specifically ask for their ‘3 tips on…‘ or ‘5 things I know about…’. You can even turn this into a series of interviews with the same theme.
  4. Blog an event: attend a relevant event – a conference, meeting, public talk, demonstration, or even just a conversation – and write about it. If you have access to the internet during the event you can even ‘live blog’ it by starting a post as soon as you have something to report and adding updates or new posts as the event progresses. Ambitious bloggers can use live blogging tool CoveritLive.
  5. Ask a question: this typically only works once you’ve established a readership and generated goodwill by contributing yourself on your blog and in comments on other blogs, or if it’s for a worthy cause. But it can be very effective in generating useful information. Taken further, you can use free online polling tools such as PollDaddy and SurveyMonkey to conduct a larger survey.
  6. Pick a fight: many bloggers attempt to generate traffic by loudly criticising another (popular) blogger in the hope that they’ll respond and generate traffic from their readers. This sort of tactic is often referred to as ‘link-baiting’ – in other words, if the criticised blogger responds (takes the bait) it generally means links to your blog. If you are to criticise another blogger, then, it is worth considering if it will be seen as ‘link-bait’ or a constructive and valuable debate. Done well, a genuine argument between two bloggers can generate insight and bring factions to compromise. You can also pick a fight with a company or brand, and mount a campaign to instigate change.
  7. Reflect on something: it might be something that happened to you this week, a decision or choice that you made a lead for a story, or anything else. Why did it happen? What are the implications? What did you learn? Keep it open so others can contribute their experiences or insights.
  8. Do something visual: take photographs and/or video footage as you travel along a particular route. Explain them, ask questions, and include relevant links. Or draw sketches and photograph them.
  9. Review something: try to make it useful – include links to further information, quote from (and link to) other reviewers.
  10. Make a list: Lists are enormously popular on the web, such as frequently topping websites ‘most shared’ lists. It may be anything from ‘5 ways to tie a knot’ to ‘The 100 best albums by women’. A good tip for your first post is to make a list of the top 10 blogs in your subject area – a useful task for yourself while also making them aware of your existence.
  11. Write a how-to – in his book Click, Bill Tanker notes how one of the most popular types of search query is ‘How do I..?’ or ‘Why do..?’ These tutorials also frequently top websites ‘most-shared’ lists and can be enormously useful in generating goodwill in your sphere – not to mention attracting comments that then add to and improve your knowledge of the subject.
  12. Let someone else post: if you find someone with particular expertise or experience, invite them to write a ‘guest post’ on a particular subject. Even if they already have their own blog, they will probably appreciate the opportunity to reach a new audience, or to write in a different context, and again it will improve your own knowledge.

Struggle with creativity? Some tips..

February 6, 2009 by

So you’re struggling with a mind block and can’t turn your ideas into design! Here are a few quick and easy tips on how you can broaden your mind – without too much hassle.

The first is the obvious one that I’m sure you have all heard about, so let’s get it out of the way! Go old fashioned and grab a piece of paper and a pencil. You will be amazed at what you and your mind can create by just scribbling around for a few minutes.

If you’re still struggling with a creativity block then there are many other things you could do.

The first of which is jogging – Go for a quick run, but try not to think about design when you’re out, when you get back and scribble down some designs you will be ecstatic with what your mind is throwing onto the paper. And if you didn’t want to go for a run a short walk should do the trick!

Talk to your friends and colleagues. If you talk through what you are trying to produce and show what you have done they will be able to hand useful tips and possibly do the hard work for you.

Make sure you keep a broad mind. Once you have seen one idea you like try to break past it. Keep doodling fresh ideas even if you think you have found the design you want, this is the only way you will find something even better!

The last few tips are to read a book – look through your favourite magazines or even just have a look at other popular designs on the internet. Note down what you like what you don’t like and push on from there.

If you still struggle after this stage, it may be hard but you just must keep working. Put the phone on silent, sign out of messenger and get stuck in to your design. If this still doesn’t work then it is best to just take a long break, make a brew, flick on the TV and just chill. But remember it is very rare that ideas will just pop into your head, so don’t get too stressed out.

Why not have a look at some of our designs to get your mind flowing – http://www.xcitedigital.com/projects.php