New Partner: Pam Weil and Associates

Pam Weil Associates Matt Borghi Lansing Web Design

I’m really excited to announce that I’m going to be working very closely with Pam Weil and Associates, a highly-esteemed East Lansing tech firm led by Pam Weil. I started working with Pam and her team in her recent bid for Ingham County Commissioner and it was an incredibly satisfying experience. Pam has a deep knowledge of tech, business and how all of these things can be brought together with digital strategy.

A Deep Bench

One of the most exciting parts about working with Pam Weil and Associates is the deep bench that she’s developed. With years of experience in the East Lansing community and working at Michigan State University, she has designers, network people, system architects and all kinds of tech specialists she can mobilize in just about any type of engagement.

Mission and Purpose

However, the single greatest thing that Pam Weil understands, within the scope of how she runs her firm, Pam Weil and Associates is the soul of an organization. First and foremost, Pam has a motto that she says often: “The single greatest motivator is progress on meaningful work” and she manages her business and help people with that motto always in mind. Pam truly believes that meaningful work is the most important thing that we can be doing as referenced in another quote, from John Berger, that she shared with me:

“As soon as one is engaged in a productive process,” he wrote in an essay on Leopardi, “total pessimism becomes improbable. This has nothing to do with the dignity of labor or any other such crap; it has to do with the nature of physical and psychic human energy…. Work, because it is productive, produces in man a productive hope.”

Here’s a little more about Pam Weil and Associates from their website:

Pam Weil & Assoc. is led by veteran IT leader, Pam Weil, who holds the highest level of of DR/Disaster Recovery certification, as well as a being ITIL certified professional with extensive experience in ITIL/DevOps. With years of experience leading IT operations, management and digital strategy, Pam has an acute knowledge of how all the pieces of IT and digital services come together and the knowledge to glean insights from where they intersect.

Pam Weil & Assoc. has a strong network and a deep bench of experts in all areas of IT and digital services, because of that network we offer a wide range of services to our clients. We specialize in delivering the service and information you need to measure and improve customer satisfaction, optimize your service delivery metrics, support budget requests and to clearly articulate IT’s value to your organization. Our services will allow you to optimize your technology budget’s impact and give you the information you need for high-quality planning and vendor management.

At Pam Weil & Assoc. we use an agile, continuous integration project management methodology to provide meaningful bi-weekly deliverables, as well as continuous status monitoring. Our use of the industry standard ITIL/ Dev Ops framework means our service deliverables will dovetail with future development and vendor supported service aspects.

Our clients consist of small businesses, non-profits and schools/universities throughout Michigan.

Anyway, I’ll still be here, but the strength and diversity of skillsets that comes with my partnering with Pam Weil and Associates is quite exciting and I look forward to the amazing projects that we’ll be taking on.

Lansing Small Businesses Need a Website

Lansing Small Businesses Need a Website

Lansing small businesses need a website; it’s that simple, but let me explain further…

It’s hard for me imagine a company or organization that doesn’t have a website.

I also never imagined that I would be obeying a stay-at-home order, unable to leave my house during a global pandemic. But that’s exactly what I’m doing.

There’s no question that, at the very least, we’re headed for some rough economic times. As of this writing, March 27, 2020, things are looking kind of grim, but our species is clever and resilient — We’ll get through this.

It is troubling to think about the small businesses in Lansing that don’t have websites, and having been shuddered, have no income coming in. One study found that 40% of small business don’t have websites, and 28% have no plans to create one. I’ll take it a step further and say that probably 65-70% of the small businesses in Lansing don’t have a website. That’s inconceivable to me, but I understand it.

When you’re a small business doing well with great walk-up business, who needs to bother with a website. Perfectly reasonable question; that is, until you get stuck with a stay-at-home order, your business is required to close, through no fault of your own and your walk-up business isn’t even able to leave the house.

Lansing small businesses need a website

Building a website, to most small business owners, seems like an unnecessary hassle. I’ve walked many small business owners through this process. I can make it easy, pain free and inexpensive. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to have a great website.

Lansing small businesses need a website because it can create an extra revenue stream.

A website used to be optional, in 1998, but many kept thinking right on through until the present day, that they were optional. A website is optional if income is optional. For my clients, income isn’t optional; a steady stream of income is critical, the most important thing after great service. Great service and income are hand-in-glove. An upset and financially strapped business owner isn’t going to have great service at the front of their mind.

A small business owner could have made a compelling case for not needing a website, until the stay-at-home order of March 24, 2020. Now, though, everything has changed. Websites, electronic services and email marketing are the basics for doing business in the isolation economy. You’ll note that I didn’t mention social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Why? Because I’m getting increasing feedback that folk are terrified of what they’re reading on these social channels and don’t believe much of it anyway, so they’re staying away for their mental health. This creates an unprecedented opportunity for small businesses to connect one-on-one with their customers through their websites.

I would love to help you get your website and your electronic communications up and running. Please give me a call, 517.230.6422 or contact me through the form below:

UX design puts users first

UX Design Lansing Michigan

UX design puts users first.

User experience can go two ways.

The first way is the one you design.

With the first way you do research, build personas, do user interviews. You’re constantly testing, measuring and making adjustments. With this way, you know your users, your audience, your customers, etc… With this way, they use the design, and they appreciate the work you’re doing for them. They might even be extremely satisfied with your site, app or product and return time and again, with enthusiasm, because they know you care and are trying to make the most of their time.

User experience can go another way.

The second way is the one that has no design.

People need to use your site, app or product, but you do no research and give no consideration to the user; there are no personas, or user interviews. You don’t know your users, you underestimate them and you don’t value their time. You know that they can get the tasks done, because they’ve found workarounds, and for those that can’t, we chalk it up to “user error” and write it off.

Nobody wants to do it the second way, but sadly, this is still how many Lansing and Michigan organizations operate.

User experience has evolved and matured.

Because UX design puts users first, a time is coming when these kinds of organizations will be discarded. They will be moved to the margins, and eventually replaced entirely, by others that are more enthusiastic, more energetic and more service-oriented, in fact it’s already happening.

Which way do you want to take?

If you’re looking for the best way forward to put your users first and to integrate UX design into your organization, please contact me today. You can use the web form below or just give me a call: 517.230.6422 – I look forward to talking with you.

How much does a website cost?

Website Cost Web Design Lansing Michigan Matt Borghi

How much does a website cost?

As a web designer working in Lansing for 20 years, I’ve been asked this question thousands of times. I’ve answered this question thousands of times. The answer isn’t usually very satisfying. It’s kind of like walking up to a comedian and saying: ‘Make me laugh.’ It doesn’t really work like that.

Asking how much a website costs is tricky. Literally, there are thousands of options: Are you looking for a brochure-style website, an eCommerce website, a portfolio website, a web application? (See my post on website types) These options alone, depending on their scope, range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars.

That’s why when I get the question: How much does a website cost?

I immediately begin asking my own questions:

  • Why do you you need a website?
  • What do you want to do with a website?
  • Do you have experience running a website?
  • Do you have content for a website?
  • Can you provide content for a website?

Generally, I don’t need much to get started. Usually, a high level vision or some sketches on a napkin will work. However, I always try to ask as many questions as possible to give my clients a sense of what’s involved.

Additionally, for many, web design is a creative, artistic endeavor meaning that the top priority is that it look good. “Good”, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As a website designer, my goal is to bring together form and function. I want to create something that looks great and works great.

I had planned on doing a post on this, but then I found this excellent article by Mark Brinker: How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website For A Small Business? In this article, Mark Brinker, hits all the points that I’ve wanted to, so I’m going to hit the big ones here. Additionally, Mark does some nice comparisons between a hire a professional and doing it yourself.

Size and Complexity

It all boils down to how much work is involved.

Specifically, the 2 factors determining how much work is involved are the size and complexity of your site.

The two most important aspects to website cost are size and complexity. A good web designer, is going to get into this at the beginning. With a good understanding of size and complexity, you’ll have a strong foundation to work from to determine cost.

Website Design vs. Website Development

These terms are often used synonymously, but they’re two very different things. Website design is like working with an architect to create the blueprint for your house. Website development is like working with a contractor to actually build your house. The 2020 pricing estimates listed above are for website design *as well as* website development (i.e. the complete, all inclusive cost).

Website design and web development are different. These two disciplines often work together, but they require different skills, different tools and, arguably, a different sides of the brain. There is the rare creature that can do both well, but generally speaking, that’s not the case. Great designers are usually not great developers and vice versa.

The Shortcut To Building A Great Website

Hire someone.

Creating a modern, professional website that generates leads and sales for your business is way more difficult and time-consuming than most people realize.

As Mark points out, building a website is more difficult and time-consuming than most people realize. For this reason, when I have a plumbing problem, I call a plumber. When I need electrical work, I call an electrician. In both instances, they can save you time, money and hassle because they’re experienced professionals who want to get the job done cleanly and quickly. Professional web design is no different.

If you’re thinking about creating a website and want to know how much a website costs, let me help you out. I work, individually, with all my clients, to figure out their needs, their goals and how to make it fit their budget. I’d love to learn more about your website needs and I’m happy to go over the cost with you, in person — Get in touch today.

Web Design in Lansing

Greater Lansing Web and UX Design

Matt Borghi Media and Design is a full service digital agency doing web design in Lansing.

My work focuses on web design, UX design and search engine optimization (SEO). However, I also offer a variety of other digital and electronic communications services.

I’ve been doing web design in Lansing for over 20 years. I take a user-centered approach to all of my design work and that has allowed me to help many small businesses and non-profits realize the potential of their websites and their online presence. But what good is a great website if nobody can find it? By applying SEO-Search Engine Optimization best practices, I can help my clients improve their search engine rankings and their online visibility.

I’ve worked my entire career in Michigan’s capital city of Lansing. Because of this I’ve gotten to know the people, local vendors, what works, what doesn’t and how to keep things simple and moving forward.

Keeping a website current, fresh and relevant is my specialty. I have all kinds of tips and tricks for making a great website.

Over the years, I’ve worked on and created many kinds of websites, including:

  • Small Business Websites
  • Non-Profit Websites
  • eCommerce Websites
  • Social Media Websites
  • Event and Event Registration Websites
  • Wedding Websites
  • Memorial Websites
  • Family Reunion Websites

If you’re looking for an honest and reliable web design partner to get your project off the ground, look no further. I love working on new websites, breathing new life into old ones and generally talking to folks about their web needs. Please contact me today about your web design needs.

Besides doing web design in Lansing, I’m very active as a greater Lansing musician and composer. My music has been featured on Music from the Hearts of Space, Echoes with John Diliberto, NPR, PRX, BBC and the CBC and Matt can be found regularly performing around town.