The Lowdown

Website Design In 2018

Website design is one of the fastest evolving forms of communication. The last 5 years have seen rapidly changing attitudes towards what is considered good web design. And that is largely thanks to mobile phones and tablets.

If you think about traditional forms of communication, they haven’t changed anywhere near as much as their digital counterparts.

Good Website Design Should Not Be Complicated

User experience is a crucial aspect of designing a new website. But equally important is accessibility and site speed.

Responsive design has evolved into designing mobile-first, meaning faster, easier to use websites.

The ability to access the web whilst on the move means making sure a website works, even when the internet connection is at its poorest.

Web Design Can Be Beautiful

It might appear that web development is formulaic, and yes there are set rules to follow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative.

Remember, a website is your digital shop front. This might be your first, and only, opportunity to catch the attention of a potential customer.

We’ve seen some excellent websites popping up this year, and many of the best all have similar design aspects. Here’s our look at what goes in to designing a great website in 2018.

Moving Image Is Everything

It is widely considered that video is a far better way of engaging with your audience. Whilst sites still require written content, a video can convey a message much quicker.

By showcasing a video on your homepage, similar to Harper Adams Student Union, you stand a better chance of engaging with your audience from the very beginning.

However, if video isn’t your thing, or you simply don’t have the budget for it, you might want to consider alternative options. Perhaps a cinemagraph? Or a gif?

When done well, these small visual additions to your site can mean the difference between a boring page, or a highly engaging one.

K.I.S.S.

Long gone are the days of cramming as much information as possible onto a webpage. In fact, data suggests that less is more.

Simple, easy to use menus are the way forward. Take the Building Design Group site for example. The homepage layout is vibrant with lots of images. We have then stripped the menu down to focus on the main aspects of the site.

By designing with user intent in mind, you can optimise your content to suit your audience. Great design will guide a customer to the right areas of your website without them having to struggle finding it.

Making sure you understand your target audience is essential. Once you have that figured out, you can start to design the content around their needs. Which leads us nicely on to…

…Data Lead Design

Websites should be in a constant state of evolution. The best way to inform any updates is by using quality data.

Google Analytics is useful to an extent, but it is limiting in what it can tell you about how a user interacts with your content.

However, heatmapping is a handy way to see how people use your site. You might think that a page looks great, but if no one uses it the way you’d expect, then you should look at improving it?

Heat maps will allow you to assess your current design and the data they provide will allow you to make informed decisions about any updates.

Streamlining The Customer Journey

If the primary aspect of your website is e-commerce, it is vital that you optimise the user journey. Once you have developed an effective and easy purchasing process, you can add design features that will enhance the experience.

We are particularly proud of the b.fresh site. The checkout process is complex, but it has been designed in a user friendly way to ensure the smoothest possible customer journey.

Is Your Website Performing As Well As It Could Be?

If you are looking to maximise your website investment, we’d love to hear from you. From creating a bespoke website design to designing and building a site that works for you and your business. Contact us now to find out how we can help.

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The Future Of Mobile Optimisation

Mobile optimisation is not limited to having a responsive website. There is more to it than that. With the number of mobile searches far exceeding desktop, it’s was only a matter of time before Google stepped in.

Google’s Shift To Mobile-First Indexing

SEO is a crucial part of a marketing strategy. It has always been that having a website that is mobile friendly is very important.

As customer behaviour has changed, so has the way the search engine will index your website. In the past, Google would look at the aspects of your desktop site and then rank you based on relevance to a user’s search term. Now, they will instead be indexing your site, mobile-first.

Why Is Mobile-First Indexing Important?

It is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you don’t have a responsive website, you should look at getting one sorted as soon as possible to avoid any major disruption.

Secondly, if you do have a responsive website, there are a few other key areas you need to consider. Mobile-first indexing comes with its own set of SEO rules that you should ideally start to adhere to.

3 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mobile Optimisation

1. Speed is a big factor when optimising your mobile site.

Take a look at your websites overall speed. This will give you an idea of which areas you should focus on. Usually, it will be the images on your pages that cause the biggest problem. It will be important for you to look at compressing them. However, they still need to work well on a desktop, so don’t overdo it with the resizing.

2. You should consider optimising the content you publish on your website. As attention spans are shorter on mobile devices, consider the micro-moments on your website and how you aim to engage users.

If you know that certain areas of your site see more mobile traffic than others, think about the structure of your content. Heat Mapping could help with this. Something that we consider to be a necessity when designing a website and refining the customer journey.

Ultimately, try to ensure that you are delivering the best mobile experience possible. Any streamlining will be positive, both on Google, and for your customers.

3. Make sure you analyse the mobile data alongside your other metrics. This will help you to paint a picture of how users interact with your site. For example, you’ll be able to see variations in keyword data to assess whether you need to amend your targeted keywords for mobile users.

You may even want to start considering how important voice search is to your business. This is becoming important as we continue to see the rise of smart speakers and voice assistants. Many of which are linked to our mobile devices.

If you are considering a new website and ongoing mobile optimisation, contact our team of web developers and designers who will be happy to assist you with your project!

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