There is no doubt that a strong, positive online presence is a must for a successful business. Social media is important but means nothing if it does not drive consumers to the company’s website. Likewise, good web design must hold a user’s attention in such a way as to translate into revenue. Changes in technology and consumer need have altered our standards for what makes a profitable web design.
According to seal manufacturer Apple Rubber, moving to a responsive design gives more accessibility for desktop and mobile users. Responsive web design is more than a catch phrase. It is a website’s ability to change based on the user’s needs and the device on which it is viewed. The evolved form of responsiveness is adaptive design, where the site predicts user behavior and changes in response. Whether responding or adapting, a successful website must be equipped to perform equally well on a desktop, smartphone or tablet. If any of these formats falter, it can mean the loss of a sale or potential customer.
Most web searches are not mandatory. Seldom do we search for life-saving medication or wilderness rescue equipment online. Internet purchasing is usually a passing motivation that researchers call situational involvement. We browse and like but if the purchase is not made at that time then we move on and forget about the product. A well-designed website will integrate social media and interactive coupons to change involvement from situational to intrinsic. The Starbucks website is linked to the purchasing card which gives consumers free coffee for its use. By pairing the card and the site, Starbucks has made its website something necessary to the coffee drinker.
As computers come with more and more graphic power, the user is expecting to be engaged with high quality 2- and 3-D visuals. BMW is using fully responsive, high-definition graphics to add to the dimensionality that a user experiences. Even in 2-D, the vector format gives depth to the images. This increased visual impact makes the user want to stay on the site longer and it cements the image into the user’s long-term memory.
According to Forbes, oil engineering firm Oceaneering was the most trusted company of 2014. You may not be able to see it on first look, but Oceaneering’s website is a direct reflection of its trustworthy status. Research shows that website users find web design simplicity, without popups or flash, to instill a sense of trust in the brand. Oceaneering’s website has that in spades. It is stark with high quality images rotating on a white background. All of the information that a consumer needs is available but there is no distraction of popups that pander to the email marketer.
If the web designer does not have the user in mind, there is little hope for the success of the site. Use Amazon as a model. The site’s responsiveness revolves around the consumer’s experience. They recommend products based on past purchases and help the consumer find new items by a powerful drill-down search system. The site even allows a customer to easily find out how to do things like return items or complain — actions that are not in the best interest of the company. This is what has earned Amazon a rank of best customer service for several years running.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:
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15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
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5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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