Thinking of a new website? or Have you ever felt that your existing website is a boring monotonous one lost in the sea of thousands of similar looking websites? Here is how you can make things a little interesting and the turn the tide in your favour.
Make sure your new website incorporates the following list of key things that make you stand out from your competitors.
Websites are modern day business cards. It’s the face of your business in the online world.
1. Design elements (UX/UI) -The God particles of web design
User Interface (UI) is a medium through which users interact with your website and vice versa. Conventionally, it means action buttons, text, visuals or any tool that triggers interaction. A good UI should be transparent and trouble-free for users to grasp the functionality of that interface or else, why it is there for.
Your website UI should match-up with swiftly altering trends in the industry, if your web-designer suggests using 3D buttons and icons (skeuomorphism) on your website, take your money and run in the opposite direction because 3D elements are a thing of the pre-Jurassic era. Flat UI remains as the most prevalent and widely used one in the industry. Nowadays even flat icons are becoming out fashioned; Material design is a good example of how flat UI is evolving. It uses shadow effects and the concepts of movement and depth, in order to create designs that appear more realistic to the user.
User Experience (UX) is pretty much everything that affects the user’s interaction with your website. UX maintains the flow and engages the customer throughout their journey on your website.
For example, Animation and transition effects that are displayed when you interact with UI element are a part of UX design. These micro interactions give websites a speck of life, making devices more human-like when used by a customer.UX is more about what the user feels while interacting with your website. A good UX must have the power to influence the mood or behaviour, once the person on boards your website.
2. The magic of white spaces
White space or negative space is any type of blank space in the page. An example of great usage of white space that we are all familiar with is Google. Their homepage is filled with white space so we can focus on what is important the search box. White spaces don’t necessarily mean to be white; the blank space may be filled with any colour as long as it is free of any elements like text or images.
White spaces provide clean and clutter-free feel. They are proven to generate elevated focus on the content — emphasising on what matters the most — by reducing the reading speed. White spaces on a page can sometimes be twice as important as the space occupied by graphic elements.
3. Making it social
If you are having an idea, a spark or planning to start a business in 2017, you have the hard way of beating the competitors who are already out there. But it’s not impossible. Your website has to be productive from day 1. It has to be unique and much more than a yet another typical website in order to drive traffic and to build an emotional connection with the audience. Remember, the audience are not interested in listening to your lectures or centuries old sales pitch anymore, make your website interactive, make it educational or entertaining, and give something for your audience to make them feel happy or enlightened or experience a little fun while visiting your website. These simple interactions are more valuable to organically growing a business and widening your audience circle.
If you are in any sort of business that can make use of the internet, you must have a native app for your business in this mobile-first world. Having an app enables you to use mobile push notifications, which will put you way ahead of a chunk load of emails in your customer’s inbox. Analyse your need for a community forum where you and your audience can actively engage, discuss recent trends, product pros and cons, upcoming events and updates. By this way, you are more connected to your audience than ever before in the history of marketing and sales. Conversations are quick and straight out of your audience’s mouth without any outsider bias; this will also greatly reduce your complete dependency on third-party tools (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc) for your business data analysis and promotions.
4. Responsive web design
A responsive website automatically changes to fit the device you’re reading it on. In general, it helps to provide an optimized content layout for desktops, tablets and mobile phones. In some cases, we also need to change the content preferences according to the device.
For example, If you own a website for your travel agency, your desktop version can show-case the fleet of buses you own and services you offer on its first page but for a user browsing it from a mobile device, he most probably would have landed there to book a ticket, so your first page content on mobile should essentially be a ticket booking page with options to choose from i.e., travel dates and destination. The same will be applicable for a restaurant business or any other business where booking or shopping is involved.
5. SEO optimization
Search engine optimisation is a huge topic which demands a separate blog post. We have included this here in-order to stress the importance of doing it. Even some highly artistic web developers with outstanding design skills tend to forget this essential part while developing a website. All websites, irrespective of whether it is beautifully designed or not, are bot-scanned in-order to rank websites in the search engine results.
These bots don’t have any specific preferences for an amazing UI or UX, all they look for is relevant, authentic content for the keyword/query used while searching. So, never forget to feed these content-hungry bots with keyword optimised title tags, alt tags, headers and the content itself. Remember, content is the king when it comes to SEO, never overdo keywords, these bots are clever enough detect fishy content and block you from the search results.
6. A page with life- The About Us section
This is a page where you can let your users know, the actual you is not the static web page they are staring at, but a human life form or a team working with passion and dedication to achieve something great.
This is the page to show the world you do care about what you do and take pride in doing that. You can tell about your brand legacy, inspiring founder stories, share your reputation and show your wonderful team to the world. Write something that will stick to the memory of the user the very moment they read it. Give it a personal touch of your company/organisation.
7. Well devised call to action
Call to action can be a contact page, chat plug-in, subscribe button, or whatever you want your audience to accomplish on your website. Nowadays our eyes are trained to ignore these CTAs so effortlessly. One recent research revealed that 80% of the pop-screens are closed before even reading the full content on them, so conventional CTAs are not going to work out for all.
It can even be as simple as a social media share button but nobody will click on it until it is devised clever enough to gain the interest and attention of the audience. For instance, you may look at this blog post on branding where we have used a CTA at the end for our readers to visit one of our branding projects, which is highly relevant to the topic. You have to give something valuable or relevant for your customers for them to carry out an action. This concept of mutual benefit is what makes CTAs successful.