Category Archives: Commentary


How the Internet can help communities


Online communities are all very well. But the real need in society is to build and sustain our actual, physical communities.

It’s up to us ‘people’ to build community.

Community doesn’t happen by accident. Nor does it happen by government decree.

Community, by definition, is developed by groups of people.

Recently a musician friend was telling me how much he wanted to stop the smartphone revolution. Because it was stopping people communicating face-to-face.

Communication has long been known to involve much more than the words themselves. It is about body-language, tone of voice, pitch, intensity and emotion.


The words have famously been researched to only make up 7% of the communication.

So reducing communication to only online means losing touch with all the human ‘soft’ elements that come with interaction.

So learning how the Internet can help communities is fundamental.

Communities can use online services to support themselves. For instance mailing lists, SMS lists and social media pages are great tools to support the community. Keeping everyone in the loop.

Using a mix of elements is the day-to-day reality for most of us.

So we might check our email or Facebook for information and notifications. We might listen to the local radio. There may be a poster in the newsagent when we go for milk. Or a friend might tell us what’s happening, how is so-and-so and any latest gossip.

So here lies a challenge to us in the Internet industry … how to make the Internet serve our communities? How can the Internet be used to stop our society from fragmentation and isolation?

Maybe the time is right for some useful community based apps? And how about a free smartphone for all. This would certainly even the field although many elderly people simple can’t use a smartphone …



Top 50 Design Blogs

Top 50 design blogs

Top 50 Design Blogs

Tusler Design are among the top 50 design blogs in the UK.

It’s nice to be noticed.

The listing is by Gabriel Price and is posted on ‘RebatesZone’ at

Will have a look at the other 49 above Tusler Design and see what they’re up to.

Hopefully there will be some gems to add to the Design Directory.

If you know of a good website or resource please drop a line to

Also if you know of a site that’s not in the top 50 design blogs in the UK but should be …

Thanks for reading the Tusler Design blog.


Choice inspirational quotes.


The photograph above is a painting of a teasel by Kasturi Tusler.

Because inspiration feeds creativity here are a small collection of quotes that we find inspiring.

Thoughts and sayings we like to ponder upon – and laugh about – from time to time.

“Keep it simple sweetie!”

“Less is more.”
Anon – but so true

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
Albert Einstein

“Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.”
Sri Krishna – Bhagavad-gita

“Together everyone achieves more.”

“Get out into nature. Get immersed in her beauty and her abundance. The creative mind seems to thrive on getting surcharged by being out in the fresh air.”
Allotment wisdom

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“You get what you concentrate on; your mental images bring about their own fulfillment. The illusion holds power over you when you are not able to remember that you are a powerful spirit that has taken on the physical experience for the purpose of learning.”

“Everything can be taken from a man but the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor Frankl

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
Carl Jung

“Always look on the bright side of life.”
Eric Idle

“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [out-caste].”
Sri Krishna – Bhagavad-gita

Why Wales

Lots of our clients ask us. “Why Wales?”

Why did we chose to come to base our web design company in Wales. A long way from the big cities and the big money.

The short answer is because of the quality of life, the surroundings, nature, beaches, rivers and forests; and of course the people. It’s from where we draw a lot of our inspiration.

Photo of the river at Newcastle Emlyn.

Why Wales – here’s one reason… photo of the river at Newcastle Emlyn on a late summer afternoon.

West Wales is famously beautiful.

There is lots of space in Wales as it is mostly rural and has low population levels. Only about 2.8 million people in Wales altogether and its the same size as Israel (co-incidentally).

Pembrokeshire is known by some folk as ‘Little England’. It has some of the best coastline in the world and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is listed number three in the best walks in the world by the ramblers.

Ceredigion is the remote ancient kingdom of King Ceredig and overlooks almost all of Cardigan Bay to the west.

Carmarthenshire is often called the ‘heart-of-Wales’ and is still one of the most Welsh of all counties.

The lovely people in Wales.

Country life goes on at a different pace to city life. There is more time because there are fewer people. So there’s never a rush and almost never a queue. Of course you can find yourself stuck behind a tractor or lorry but the roads are excellent and most drivers pull in to let cars past.

People in Wales are mostly friendly and generally good natured. We find they usually have time for a chat and laugh. Of course there’s the odd exception but you get that wherever you are.

The Welsh language.

Our experience of the Welsh language is that most people are happily bi-lingual or mainly English speaking. There are one or two who prefer to only speak the ancient Welsh language of ‘Cymraeg’ exclusively.

Everyone we’ve worked with has awareness of the two languages and it is never an issue. If required translation services are available at reasonable costs. There is no known automated translator for the Welsh language so we hire real translators as needed.

‘Why Wales’ find out more.

Find out more about why we choose to base our web design company in west Wales.

working together for shared aims in a purpose economy

Purpose economy

The ‘purpose economy’ is people and businesses working together to achieve common goals beyond simply making profits. Only heard about this recently but it is obvious isn’t it?

working together for shared aims in a purpose economy

working together for shared aims in a purpose economy

The Internet brought with it the ‘knowledge economy’. And now through mass use of communication tools like Twitter and Facebook over 1 billion people have internet access worldwide.

So knowledge has led to people recognising the inner need and the communal need for purpose in life.

Having a purpose is a powerful stabilising force in our lives.

A life without purpose is a bit like wandering round not knowing where you’re going or why. A friend recently described himself as a ‘busy fool’. The world is full of them it seems.

At Tusler Design we always strive to offer the highest quality, useful and conscious solutions we can for our clients. There is no need to compromise because often the ideal solution is also the most cost-effective.

West Wales (where we are based) is a bit of a hotbed of ‘purpose economy businesses’ because there are so many small companies here. The primary industries are agriculture and tourism so everyone is challenged to offer the best quality and best service they can. Because these are the things that bring customers back to buy again.

So you get all varieties of agricultural business and all sorts of small cottages, holiday lets, themed sites and the rest. Which makes for an interesting and enlivening combination.

Are you part of the purpose economy or just in business to make money?


Teifi Estuary

Cardigan Bay is showing the way

Teifi Estuary

Looking along Teifi Estuary with Cardigan Island in the background

New hub of coolness

For centuries west Wales has been a place of artists, musicians, monks and poets. This is because of its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful countryside, big sky and fresh, energising air.

And now the Cardigan Bay area is becoming a hub of cool, creative people involved in dynamic communities, successful businesses and exciting enterprises.

Cool companies located here in Cardigan Bay

Cardigan Bay Company
Designers and producers of a range of products representing Cardigan Bay and reflecting the traditions of the area.

Custom House Cardigan
A traditional shop and gallery in one of Cardigan’s oldest buildings – the Custom House.
Features many local artists, craftspeople and makers.

Arts, crafts and crochet for communities – v cool and popular in the Cardigan, Emlyn area. Includes courses at the National Woolen Museum.

Do Lectures
Inspiring talks from people who are changing the world. Do Lectures are based in Cardigan.

Ethical Wares
Very cool footwear, clothing, accessories and treats for vegans and vegetarians.

Family friendly, eco-camping in west Wales. Fforest is based in the Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cilgarran.

Hiut Denim
Top-end designer jeans made in Cardigan.

Super-cool clothing company based in Cardigan.

Melin Tregwynt
Unique designs for blankets and textiles based in St Davids.

Way-past-cool clothing and gift shop in Cardigan High Street.

Swallow Boats
Swallow Boats design and build classic style day boats and yachts that have traditional lines but thoroughly modern performance.|

SCL Internet Services
Business and enterprise hosting, domain management, programming and design based in Cardigan.

Just a selection of the many groovy things in the area. If you think we’ve missed you out then email and we’ll have a look.

wordpress logo

CMS like WordPress is best value

It might sound like a bold statement but using a content management system to run your business website is actually about the best value you can get.

Many clients (and clients of our friends who are web designers) say that the cost of updating, adding and improving their websites went down when they switched to using a CMS like WordPress.

The simple explanation for this is that once you’ve understood how to use WordPress’s publishing tools you no longer need to pay for all your changes and updates.

WordPress is very easy to grasp

Within one hour most clients are comfortable creating and editing new pages and new posts, adding links and images or whatever they need quickly and without needing to attend a long-winded training course.

Even use your smartphone to update

You can use your smart phone or tablet to add pages and posts. Upload images straight from your device, tag and publish them to your blog or news pages.

wordpress logo

WordPress is a very easy to learn and use tool for your content management system.

Hi-end web publishing for us all

We all benefit from access to high-quality web publishing tools nowadays without finding enormous budgets to run it all as in the past.

The Internet and accessible technology has given us the opportunity to present ourselves as we like to be seen.

So, if you have a mission to accomplish, a purpose, aim, target, goals, intention, idea, message or whatever; the Internet is the place to present it.

Use Facebook and Twitter to deepen connections with audiences

Inter-linking your website with your Facebook and Twitter pages gives your visitors and customers a ‘seamless’ experience and connection with you. So your dialogue can continue with your online followers and friends all the time – even when you’re asleep in bed.

Tusler Design can help you with your CMS

Tusler Design create websites using WordPress (and other systems) regularly and can help you set it all up and configure it correctly. Tusler Design also give you training and support in using WordPress and getting the most out of your system.

And use Google Analytics to see what is working

Tusler Design can help you use and understand Google’s great analytics system to improve your website’s performance and conversion rates.

Why not see for yourself?

Please ask about WordPress via the contact page.

And, if you already have a WordPress site and would just like some help, then please also ask via the contact page.

signs are useful to help guide your visitors

Websites as communication tools

Each website has a voice.

And the visitors listen to the voice. They do this by reading, or hearing, your text. They are influenced in this hearing, by the colour scheme, layout, type-set, and graphics of your website.

So use your unique voice

At all times keep in mind the idea of who you are talking to when writing your content. Imagine you are speaking to just one person; the reader.

Images are a powerful means of communicating

Your choice of images tell a story because, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So, ask yourself, ‘What are you trying to say with these thousand-word images?’

signs are useful to help guide your visitors

Signs are useful to help guide your visitors but there is more to finding your voice and communicating effectively

Email enables direct communication and interaction without having to use the telephone or meet in person. You still have to remember your voice in your email communication.

And of course video telephony is available via Skype and other similar systems. These are an effective means of communication. Often Tusler-Design will communicate with clients over Skype. One advantage being it is instant and thus avoids long distance travel to attend meetings and briefings.

Social networks, (i.e. Facebook) are a great place to promote your messages and to interact with your ‘community’ as there is a balanced audience of male and female users. Twitter is mostly male (though not entirely) and has a different feel and emphasis to Facebook.

And lastly, it’s a personal thing

Your visitors will almost always be alone with you. Websites communicate with individuals and though you might have many visitors, few of them will be with someone else when they’re on your site.

So, why not make the most of the opportunity given us through technology and use the Internet to speak and communicate to your audience and the world at large?

Beautiful smile

Images, Pics and Graphics

A picture is worth a thousand words

Smiling Face - worth a thousand words

A picture is worth a thousand words.

So which pictures work best on the Internet?

Often we can see that the use of face pictures is most powerful, especially if the person in the image is smiling. As human beings we are attracted and interested in other faces.

If a face is not appropriate then the image should show the subject in its best light. This is not to dupe or confuse the viewer but to give them the best and most interesting aspect to look at.

When buying online purchasers often like to see several views of an item before they click ‘buy now’. It is useful to give an overall image showing the entire item and then include detail shots showing clearly what is special about a product.

We tend to make buying decisions on irrational feelings which are then rationalised by the mind. Consequently we want to make our images as attractive and intuitively engaging as we can, so that visitors love what they see before they have any conscious thoughts of buying or owning the item.

Landscape v Portrait

Some years ago we learned that in general images in landscape aspect work better than those in portrait. It is difficult to know exactly why this is but if you look around the Internet you will see that most websites use the landscape aspect for almost every shot. Also we now have widescreen TV which is of course in landscape aspect.

Landscape v Portrait

Landscape v Portrait

Perhaps it is because our eyes are next to each other rather than one above the other? Whatever the reason, most of us enjoy landscape images and they seem to give the best experience to the viewer.

In printed media it has been known for some time that viewers of pages in magazines and newspapers scan the page in a Z shape. From left to right along the top, then down to the bottom left and across again from left to right. So you often see a graphical ‘tripping point’ in the bottom right corner of the page. This is intended to stop the eye from simply going on to the next page.

On web pages it is not so clear how the eye moves but there has been much research to suggest that users tend to scan a web page looking for something that engages their eye. This can be a word, phrase, link or graphic.

Often the top of the page is the most significant because if the visitor is engaged at the top of the page they have no need to scroll looking for what they want.

On larger web sites where information is in hundreds or thousands of pages or in a database then the ‘search’ function becomes very important and many users will go straight to the search box without even looking through the contents list or navigation. In this instance images need to underpin the messages and credibility of the site without detracting from the ease of use and quick access to the right information.

Like so much of life, business is not an exact science and communication is very personal and individualised.

In working for an artists collective a few years ago I realised that there is value in treating every piece of content, be it text or image, as if it were a person in its own right. With individual strengths and positive aspects to try and accentuate on the web site. After all the web is two dimensional and basically flat.

So the challenge is to bring some depth and quality to all the images used. And keep always trying to improve of course.

Bridging the digital divide

Meditation via the Internet

Meditation via the Internet - this is a 'heart meditation' graphic

Smart phones and tablets are seen as the new solution to bridging the ‘digital divide’.

Up to now there has been a rather large portion of the population who are not interested in the Internet.

The challenge for marketeers has been how to create products that connect these people with the Internet and the various services on offer.

Once the relationship is established with the new ‘consumer’ of data and services, Internet companies can claim another name, another email address, another potential revenue source, and keep it on file for later use.

Email addresses are considered assets of a business as they have intrinsic value. The value being that there is a person connected to the email address who may well have money to spend.

There are many legitimate and worthy business and organisations using the Internet in a positive and constructive manner.

The opportunity and ability to access the Internet need not necessarily be a bad thing. However, it is a well known fact that ‘you cannot please all the people all the time’ and no matter how many of us take to the Internet there will remain those who are otherwise inclined.

This is surely a good thing, or as humanity we might face the prospect of becoming homogenised, all plugged into our laptops or tablets or smart phones, compulsively checking our social networks for tid-bits of gossip.

Perhaps the Internet can become a powerful tool for assisting us in the very personal process of self-realisation?