The Akron, Ohio, city is a magnet for web designers and engineers.
While the site is popular among many, it has drawn attention from some competitors who want to grab its market share.
A new web design firm, Akron Web Design, is attempting to make a dent in the competition by bringing a distinctive design aesthetic to the site.
The firm is making the rounds on social media with the hashtag #AkronWDP.
“We’ve been making a lot of noise on social and online about what we are doing, but we want to share with you a little bit of what we’re working on,” says co-founder and chief executive officer David Smith.
The website has been redesigned to be more appealing to people of all ages, Smith says.
The new design includes a more rounded style with a rounded edge to the top of the site, a bold font and a bold color palette.
Akron Web Designs also uses an approach to color to create the website’s visual appeal, as opposed to a dark and black look.
Smith says he’s used the same approach to the website since the beginning, but now he has to learn how to use the new tools in order to make the site work.
“I had no clue how to do this before,” he says.
“The goal is to have a clear visual identity, a cohesive identity.
If you don’t have that you can’t make this work.”
The Akron Web design team has created several different themes for the site including a light, black and white palette.
The colors are chosen to be bright, bold and clear.
“It’s an exciting time in the web design industry because of the amount of content on the web,” Smith says, adding that the website is currently up and running.
The Akron site is part of the web’s increasing reliance on mobile devices.
The number of people who are on mobile phones has more than doubled in the past five years, according to research by Forrester.
“Mobile apps have become so dominant in the landscape, the web is really a big part of that,” says Daniela Baca, senior analyst at Forresters mobile app analytics firm.
“If we are ever going to be mobile-first again, then we need to make sure we have a lot more design that is geared toward that,” she says.
In addition to Akron, other companies using the Akron Web site include: St. Cloud State University, a small private college in St. Paul, Minnesota, which uses the site for its student newspaper; and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a public university located in Urbansa, Illinois.
Akron also hosts a Web development conference, a Web design design class and a web design course, which also serves as a way to build connections with students and other professionals, Smith said.
“A lot of us have been working with a lot people who have a passion for web design and who want the best of Akron,” he said.
Smith adds that the Akron design team also works on the site to help develop a portfolio of other sites, such as a video site.
“This is a way for us to showcase our work and give people a sense of what kind of work we do,” he adds.
Akron’s web design is a product of the city’s unique design and architecture, which has attracted more than 5,000 designers, including some who have worked at the U.S. government.
Smith notes that the site has been in operation for about four years.
Akron has also attracted more attention from other industries such as software, finance and real estate.
“Akron is a great example of what happens when you build a business that is innovative,” says David Fennell, president of the Akron Chamber of Commerce.
“There is a lot that can be done to help people make their communities more attractive.”