by Ben Acheson
Your website is looking a little dated, and you just got off the phone with your web designer. You’re still not sure exactly what changes to make and you don’t want to just throw money at your website. That never works. What you need are design elements that will pay off.
Here are five that you might not have thought of yet:
Designing For Mobile.
According to Pew Research, almost 2/3rds of cell phone owners use their phone to go online, and about 1 in 5 of those users do most of their browsing online using their phone. And, it’s not just Pew saying this. Research by IDC (International Data Corporation) confirms this. The trend is unmistakable.
As mobiles become smarter and better, and as tablets crowd out the laptop market, more and more users will access the Internet on mobile devices. Yikes. You don’t even have a mobile design? You had better get on that.
Using Responsive Designs.
A responsive design is one that responds to the device accessing your website. In other words, if the user is accessing your site on his iPad, it will look just as visually stunning as it does when he accesses it on his laptop.
Your website’s navigation shouldn’t “break” when he tries to read your site on an iPhone, for example. Users expect to be able to navigate your site without a lot of hassle. Mobile sites should be optimised for how users experience the site. In other words, make extensive use of large buttons for fingers with text that’s readable but not overbearing.
For the “desktop experience,” focus on designing the site in such a way so as to direct the user to the most important aspect or content on the site. Make your contact information easy to see. Make navigation menus intuitive. Use breadcrumbs. Pull the most important information on your site forward to the homepage.
Design For Fingers.
Mobile sites need to be designed for fat fingers. Lots of people have them, and they get frustrated very easily when they cannot access your site because they’re constantly “clicking” two or three buttons at once. According to companies like Digivate, this one design element alone could make the difference between being profitable in 2014 and just breaking even. That’s how serious it is.
Use Parallax Scrolling.
Parallax isn’t just for looks. It also helps visualise what your company is about. It’s not a new design technique, but it is trendy now. The parallax design gives your website the illusion of depth and movement. Users scroll down the page and, instead of actually moving, your site appears to “transform” right in front of them. Still not convinced it’s necessary? Check this out. How about now?
Design For Pinterest.
As an e-commerce store, what’s your most valuable commodity? It’s the images of your product, right? You can’t easily show your product because you’re not a retail store. Here’s where a Pinterest layout comes in. traditional text-based layouts are OK for blogs, but they don’t do anything to sell your products.
A masonry or tile-based layout, on the other hand, looks beautiful. If you combine this with succinct and snappy copywriting, the sales are in the bag – err, in the shopping cart.
Ben Acheson is an expert digital marketer with more than 15 years’ experience in the industry. His focus is on delivering ROI, growth and measurable results and he aims to build highly effective relationships, in order to better understand and meet clients’ needs.