With a New Year beginning, it’s a great time to take stock of your business’ website. Is it doing all it can to convert your browsers into buyers – and boost sales?
Michael Guarienti, Lead Web Designer for Mavidea, kept track of website development trends. His goal was to bring his clients new technologies that:
– Help attract new customers and keep existing ones
– Make things easy for both their business and their customers
– Are budget-friendly and cost effective
- Help drive sales
If you have a small to medium business and want the biggest website impact for your 2017 dollar, here are the top improvements to consider.
1. Mobile first design – Make shopping easy for customers on the move
From the customer’s business standpoint, a website experience should be as clear and cohesive as possible — no matter what device they’re using. That’s where mobile-first design comes in. What you don’t want is to build a site that looks great on a desktop computer – but doesn’t look good on a smart phone.
We also want web design to look and respond to the different ways customers work and shop on different devices. For example, if your dishwasher breaks and you’re looking up companies that repair dishwashers where you live, your expectation will be different if you’re looking to make a quick call on your smart phone as opposed to looking for detailed information on your desktop.
Also, we don’t have as much screen “real estate” on mobile devices, so the design tends to be simpler. We don’t want customers to have to scroll for days to find what they’re looking for.
Whatever action you want your customer to take, it’s important that it shows up at the top of a mobile screen. In older websites not designed for mobile, critical contact information often sinks to the bottom when viewed on a phone or tablet. If you don’t make it easy to take action, you might just miss the sale.
2. Micro-interactions – Little changes can make a BIG difference
Little details that clarify site navigation might not mean a lot by themselves, but together they create a smooth, interactive, engaging user experience. Micro-interactions are unobtrusive ways to give users greater control over their experience. Small animations can highlight actions you don’t want visitors to miss.
And status indicators can help visitors understand where they are within a process, such as ordering. Small functional interactions like these can help decrease bounce rates, and amp engagement. When you move away from a boring website to an active one, visitors are more likely to stay longer – and buy.
3. Daringly define your difference
In today’s tough markets, different can be good. Different shows your customers you connect with their lifestyle and goals. Dynamic colors, attractive gradients, and clean design contribute to a positive customer experience and productive interactions. Lead customers to action with strategic use of color. An example: This site we built for The PIT Strength and Conditioning. Notice the spot of red color at the top right? Labeled, “Free Demo”, it clearly calls visitors to take an action that is a primary goal for this website. With so much at stake, why be blah? Spice it up a little bit. Great design and a dash of fun combat short attention spans and drive interaction.
4. Get things moving with video
If there’s one thing that we saw really take off in 2016, it was online video. These days, video looks and functions great. And there are so many ways to use it. You can integrate an eye-catching background video like the one on Mavidea’s site. You can leverage YouTube for video social sharing. Today, we can do more creative things with video than we ever could before. Once, placing video on a website next to text or photos was difficult. Now, it’s a technique that can really drive interest in your content. Video used to be a headache. You needed a good camera and phones weren’t good for viewing video yet. But now, you can shoot video on your phone and upload it instantly to Dropbox.
Mavidea is really encouraging their clients to do that because it can add so much value to their websites – and their online customer relationships. Feel free to be casual. Catch and present great moments as they happen. In your business, you’re the expert. Let video show what you know.
5. A future beyond the “hamburger”
In the sites Mavidea builds, they’re moving toward ever more refined navigation – and away from the typical “hamburger” menu. They’ve always been kind of against it because it hides useful navigation elements.
These days, we have more effective strategies to get customers moving toward productive interactions. Their goal is to create sites that are functional and that perform optimally for small business.
Which web strategy is best for you in 2017?
This article was written by Michael Guarienti, Graphic Designer/Web Designer.