Responsive Design

Mobilegeddon or Mobile-Opportunity?

On April 21st, only a little over two weeks from today, the Internet will change yet again, forcing business owners' to jump through ever-more complicated hoops. Google has announced it's going to push websites to the bottom of mobile searches if the site is not mobile-friendly/responsive. It doesn't matter what you've done for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or SMM (Social Media Marketing) up to this point if your website is not mobile-friendly.

The downside is that, if you don't have a mobile-responsive site, you have to spend more money on marketing to even compete. You have to start yet another project not directly related to your everyday business operations; it will be time-consuming, inconvenient, and potentially expensive.

There are, however, more pros than cons if you're willing to do the work to update your website. Did you know that 25% of all online traffic is through mobile devices? That's up from 14% only a year ago. The trend is only going to continue on its upward trajectory. Obviously, you want to be in on that action.

Here's the thing: with or without Google's algorithm change, people who are viewing your website from their smartphone or tablet will not stay there long if it isn't responsive. No one wants to pinch-in on a tiny screen or try to poke tiny links and buttons when they know there's another service out there whose website is optimized for any and every device. People have a short attention span these days; they want instantaneous results and easy navigation. The harder they have to work, the faster they're moving on. Google's update is exactly the incentive you need to make a necessary change.

Something else to consider: you may actually be hearing this news ahead of many of your competitors whose websites are also not mobile-friendly. If you act quickly, you will enjoy the automatic boost in search results while other non-mobile-friendly sites sink to the bottom and lose visibility. This is a great time to surge ahead if you're proactive.

You may be wondering if your website is mobile-friendly. Google has a handy guide to help you find out: check it out.

That guide may change after April 21st. Google may even make further changes. Clear Space Media makes a point to stay up on all of it. If you have any questions not covered here, please email us or give us a call and we'll help you navigate the updates as they come.

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Look at this change, not as a tedious transition, but as an opportunity for your business to take another step towards success and maintaining its edge in an ever-innovating culture. It's really an exciting time to be an entrepreneur.

5 Key Principles for a Company's Website Redesign

Credit: Jerry Jao, Entrepreneur.com A company website is the face of a business and one of its main sales tool, so it needs to be built with the aim of converting visitors into customers.

The primary goal of a site is to educate the audience on what the company does, why it provides the best solution for people's needs and prompt users to take action (subscribe, contact the corporation or purchase) as quickly as possible.

Even when a company has the best product or service in its industry, if its website is not communicating messages quickly, concisely and effectively, this can result in valuable customers being lost to competitors.

1. Use bite-size pieces.

In this age of information overload (a 2008 estimate found a U.S. individual consumed more than 100,000 words a day on average), users browsing websites want to quickly determine if a given site is relevant to them. Don't present massive amounts of text about what a company does. No one has the patience for this anymore.

When it comes to successful website design, the"Keep It Simple, Stupid," or KISS principle, formulated by engineer Kelly Johnson, is apt. A site's home page and its main navigational pages need to be as clean and to the point as possible and designed in a visually appealing way -- no flashing and blinking, busy content.

Providing less clutter with more white space and clear snippets of relevant information is now a common best practice. Longer text for educational purposes can go in product descriptions, definitions, blogs and guides.

Present the content on the main pages in bite-size pieces of copy and put images in a page-scrolling format. The font should be large enough for easy reading and the text kept short and punchy. Each block of information needs to lead on from the previous part to create a story.

One Percent for the Planet’s website displays its content in a visual and fun way, with lots of space around content.

2. Cater to all styles of learning.

Many researchers have found variation in the way people learn:  For example, Walter Barbe, Raymond Swassing and Michael Milone found 30 percent of individuals learn visually, 25 percent by hearing and 5 percent through kinesthetic means (or touching).

When browsing a website, some people gravitate toward reading text while others opt for images. Some prefer watching a video and still others like to read blog posts. By presenting information in different formats (text, video or still images), people of all learning styles can be addressed and potential valuable customers won't be ignored.

Design each page as a combination of text, icons and images. That way viewers can go straight to their preferred content type to absorb a message. Repeat concepts by presenting a diagram, say, and displaying statistics as a combination of text and imagery.

3. It’s not all about you!

A lot of company websites make the mistake of just talking about the product or service features. The text might say, "We do this and that" or "We are the best at this and that."

Meanwhile the viewer is thinking, "What about me? How are you fulfilling my needs?" Smart marketers know how to highlight product or service benefits in a way that results in an emotional response.

For Retention Science's site, I tried to take this a step further by communicating the company's purpose or cause, drawing inspiration from Simon Sinek’s TED Talk "How great leaders inspire action."

4. Many roads lead to Rome.

Getting customers to take action is a prime objective of a company website. This might entail encouraging someone to subscribe to the email list (to receive marketing materials prompting a purchase) or enticing a customer to sign up for a demonstration. Providing throughout the site multiple buttons, links and ways for people to take action increases the chances of that happening.

5. Provide a guided experience.

Once visitors arrive on a site, they are trying to determine what the company is all about and if it's relevant to them. If they chose to stay on the site, they need to decide where to go next.

Given the fact that users usually leave a website in less than 30 seconds, provide a clear pathway. Steer them first toward becoming educated about the company's benefits, then point them toward taking action. This can be done by organizing the order of items on the navigational bar, adding buttons that lead to the next relevant page and strategically placing directional arrows. Plus the site can include pop-up forms to capture email addresses.

Why There is Emphasis on the Importance of Good Website Design

importancewebdesign4341Credit: Rean John Uehara, TwelveSkip.com Look around you. What makes you look at something for a long time?

Is it the colorful graphics? Or the cute and trendy fonts? How about the engaging patterns? Or the kind of style? What's with the importance of good website design?

The world of web design is highly competitive. You have to make sure your website stands out.

It is literally a “jungle” out there. You need a good website design to have an effective web marketing.

After browsing reddit.com, I was amazed. It is astonishing that with the introduction of the latest in design tools, the design of reddit still looks far behind. It looks outdated.

The site should have infused some design tools to this website and make it more fascinating and trendy to viewers. I ask myself: “How does this website attract audiences?” The website generates a lot of valuable information; there is no question that it is knowledge-generating.

Many browsers are now adopting the newest standards. The demand for animated and responsive icons and fonts are at its peak. These are vital elements if you want a unique website. An appealing impact can give you a lot of advantages and boost your market profitability.

The Benefits of a Good Website

  • Gives spark and edge from other websites
  • Increases profitability
  • Broadens target market scope
  • Increases viewers and followers
  • Increases website popularity and branding
  • Fastest way to sell goods and products
  • Attracts more clients
  • Successful websites are based on how they market their websites beautifully. They have a certain design aesthetic.

Effects of a Good Website Design on Mobile

  • Alluring and good websites are convenient, simple and effective to reach out to customers who are more mobile than ever.
  • It is logical that everyone has mobile handsets. Pages, blogs, contact forms, and email forms are all now can be accessed on mobile.
  • Responsive web design makes it easier to engage with the customer who is very proactive and doesn’t have time navigating some website on a desktop.
  • It takes just seconds to grab a customer or viewer’s attention to spend time with your website through mobile phones.
  • A well-designed site is the one that shows professionalism. This gives you credibility and trust.
  • Having a trustworthy website means more clients and visitors which projects “branding”. More viewers, more revenue.

Remember, your design is a piece of a bigger picture. Having a wrong message leads to a wrong target market. The essence? Profit loss. That is how crucial having a beautiful website can be.

Some problems in website [design can result in rejection].


 

Website Design Problems

webdesignproblems31. Inappropriate name for the website. Not naming your website correctly can lead to confusion among your viewers. Their perception may be different [than] what you want them to have.

2. Cluttered and irritating layout. Disorganized layout and distracting graphics can affect your viewer’s mood. Upon looking at your website, the only thing a viewer [can] do is: To stay or to stop.

3. Lack of navigation aids. Without navigational tools, browsing can be difficult. If your website is not user-friendly, most, probably half, of your viewers will get pissed and leave your website. It is important to consider your viewer’s browsing method. Studying these would help a lot.

4. Incorrect use color. Colors set the mood of every beautiful website. If your website uses correct color palette, more viewers will be attracted to it. Colors magnetize viewers to get hooked on your website and let them stay more. Proper color combinations help a lot.

5. Pop up advertisements. Advertisements can be annoying for a viewer. It is irritating to be [concentrating on] reading something from a specific website and, suddenly, something pops out of nowhere. It distracts your viewers.

6. Small text fonts. Reading is not pleasurable if you have a hard time looking at the words which are too small. So make sure proper font sizes and styles [are used].

7. Too much text. A website which has a lot of content can be tiresome for the eyes. It is an overdose of words! Having too [many] paragraphs and long intros can affect [the attention span of your viewer].


 

What do we really look for in a website?

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint Exupéry

For web designers, interface designs are given more attention. We are now inside a dynamic and interactive world of communication.

Motion is now utilized to make a simple, flat design interface into a more interactive one.

Moreover, using creative program software like Macaw and Adobe Muse are great help for a website to be truly engaging.

For a website to be responsive, adding animation and images can be very catchy. Research has shown that if there is a delay greater than one second, it may interrupt the user’s train of thought and lead to a poor user experience.

Your website should be engaging enough for viewers [to be hooked and] stay for a longer time.

Tips for Responsive Website:

tipsforresponsive341. Colorful Templates. A colorful template gives viewers an tantalizing effect. The more you stare, the more you want it.

2. Simple Layout. Simplicity is elegance. No matter how simple your design is, mixing with creative patterns like a paisley design, for example, can be appealing to your viewers. It can soothe their minds. As a result, viewers can focus more and spend more time on your website.

3. Clear Image Resolutions. Images with crisp and high resolution are more appealing to visitors of your website. Content paired with images convey an effective message delivery.

4. Interactive Interface. Websites with interactive interfaces are more efficient and highly helpful for visitors. They would tend to enjoy and explore your website more.

5. Mobile Accessibility. More and more people now are engaging [with] mobile phones and tablets. Mobile browsing is now the name of the game. Having a website accessible through smartphones would be [a] great help for consumers and visitors.

6. Content Power. A website that educates and informs is more preferred by visitors and viewers. Non-informative and non-interactive websites can be very boring. Few visitors will come [back] to check your website. [This could] lead to the “death” of your website. Make sure they get more than enough information on your website.

7. Pick the Right Website Host. Having a good and dynamic host is very important. Traffic and interruptions are the causes of information flow backlog. Messages are delayed and that leads to loss of a client or a viewer. Getting the best website hosting is a must.


 

Factors in Web Design

According to an article from Forbes.com, [three factors are important in web design].

  • Simplicity
  • Storytelling
  • Responsive design

Simplicity comes in different forms. Having simple lines and outline give a classy and edgy look to your site. Storytelling is recreating the scene making the images and pictures come to life. Responsive design is the process of creating websites that provide maximum viewing experience, such as easy reading and navigation. Manipulating the web could be a different matter. Inconsistent window widths, screen resolutions, and typography - among others - are but a few of the things we can’t hold on to when we negotiate and publish our work.

Some examples of beautiful responsive websites:


 

To Cap

Website creation can be rigorous. It is like designing a house. Everything involves a lot of processes and phases. Creative decisions include colors combination, layout, interfaces and other attributes, considering the way users and viewers would move through it. The overall aesthetic of a website has one goal: It should look good but should also have content. A great website design will manifest trust and lead viewers to take a move.