Software reviews

Is it time to move your graphic design work to the cloud?

For years we’ve been stuck using Adobe software. It’s expensive, it’s clunky, it has more features than most people need. It’s not web-friendly as the files it outputs are too large even for email. It’s also not cloud based so it ties you to a machine or requires you to carry around said machine. Adobe is, however, the design standard and has been for 30 years or so. But if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s clear it doesn’t fit everybody’s needs. Back in the day we used to use a tool called Macromedia Fireworks to do quick and easy web-ready graphics. Adobe bought it and killed it unfortunately. When I transitioned into consumer research and took a break from digital marketing about 8 years ago, I quite Adobe. During that time, I first used Sketch, then transitioned entirely to Gravit for graphic design.

My tool of choice for many years has been Gravit (now Called Corel Vector). Corel Vector is very easy to use, easy to make web-friendly files, etc. It excels as a graphic design tool so you may want to use something else for photo editing. It is currently $99 per year but there is a new subscriber discount and a 15-day trial.

Even if your someone who uses Adobe for everything, you may want to incorporate Corel Vector into your work flow for efficiency. Literally everything is fewer clicks than it is in Adobe Illustrator. It could save you a lot of time.

I made a few videos to help students learn how to do graphic design, and how to use the tools so I thought I’d share them here:

Flyer design with Gravit (Dr. Charlton)
Website mockup with Gravit (Dr. Charlton)

Featured image at top is by Steve Johnson.

Software reviews

You want a Wix website for your doctor’s office or small business

I started building websites from scratch in 2007, using Dreamweaver to visualize the code I was creating. In 2010 I made the switch to WordPress to benefit from its content management features. More recently, in 2021 I started to really favor Wix‘s platform. What do I like about Wix (vs. WordPress):

  1. Modern design. It’s easier to make full-width layouts giving it a much more modern design. There are workarounds to do this for WordPress as well but generally speaking WordPress tries to push you into a narrow, centered column design.
  2. Less coding is required. Anyone can make a Wix website without coding. It’s super easy to use. To be honest, you do have to get used to the glitchy interface. At first you may end up with strange gaps in your page or overlapping content but once you get used to it those things are easily resolved.
  3. Drag and drop. You can basically rearrange your website layout however you want.
  4. Stock photos. Not only does Wix have a great library of free stock photos but it allows you to access $3 photos from Shutterstock which is one of the most complete stock photo libraries in the world.
  5. Marketing features. I really like the built-in marketing features including the full-featured CRM (customer relations management tool), SEO (search engine optimization).

Don’t get me wrong–I still love WordPress. This site is a WordPress site. But at the end of the day, it’s just not going to be as flexible or modern as a Wix site without a whole lot of work.