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The design world fluctuates back and forth, swerving between love and hate for different design trends. Sometimes we see a wide range of approaches, and sometimes designers all hop on the same idea.

This month, the web is dominated by animation. Designers are cramming in motion in unexpected ways. And it’s fun to explore. Here are 20 of the best new sites on the web this month. Enjoy!

Bannach

Bannach is a German furniture brand. Its products are colorful and geometric, so it makes sense that when you scroll down to the collection, the thumbnails begin as pixel blocks and animate into product photography.

Fornasetti Profumi

Fornasetti Profumi takes a different approach to motion. It uses video to emphasize stillness to promote the calming qualities of its candle products.

The Other Side of Truth

The Other Side of Truth is a superb exercise in utilizing the web for a cause. It presents facts on the Russia-Ukraine war, but the standout feature is the toggle switch that, instead of light mode-dark mode, toggles facts and Russian state propaganda.

Glasfurd & Walker

Glasfurd & Walker is a portfolio site for a design agency. So far, so standard. However, it sets itself apart because it’s slightly bigger than the browser and swerves left and right with your mouse movement.

Sirup 5th Anniversary

Sirup is a Japanese singer-songwriter, and to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his first hit single, his record company has put together this awesome maximalist micro-site that uses type, motion, and art direction to capture his style.

Fitzjohn’s

Fitzjohn’s is a slick site for a new apartment complex in the Hampstead area of London. It uses a refreshing modern color palette and calming animation to take the edge off the frankly ludicrous price tag.

Persepolis Reimagined

Persepolis Reimagined is an awe-inspiring WebGL tour through one of the most important cities in ancient Iran. Make sure you tour it on a large screen. It’s hard not to be wide-eyed with wonder.

JaM Cellars

JaM Cellars is a Californian wine brand that’s pitching to bachelorette parties. With names like Butter, and Sugar, it’s not the most sophisticated tipple, but yellow, we love a yellow site.

Danielle Levitt

This portfolio site for film director and photographer Danielle Levitt features samples of her best work scrolling past the viewport. There’s a clever switch of thumbnail and background color when you scroll down to the contact details.

Propel

From total color energy to Apple-levels of minimalism: Propel is a slick, animate-on-scroll site for a marine motor brand selling an outboard and inboard motor. The animated masks on the images are a nice subtle touch.

Standards

Standards is a site for a SaaS that helps organizations create, maintain, and share brand guidelines. It uses subtle animation, video of its UI, and compelling copy to sell its approach.

Chris Carruthers

The portfolio site for Chris Carruthers is deliberately self-indulgent with scrolling text, clipped images, and scroll-jacking, but it’s also delightful to peruse.

Theodore Ellison Designs

We don’t often see colored glass in real life, but the play of light on stained glass is beautiful. This site for Theodore Ellison Designs uses video to bring the effect to the web.

Owomaniya!

The Owomaniya report for 2022 uncovers the state of gender diversity in the Indian entertainment industry. Presented in the style of infographics, the information is brought to life by animation.

Meetings

Meetings is a French events company. Its site uses an animated collage approach to showcase its services, and animated text to pull you into its content.

Blakeney

Blakeney invests in African companies on behalf of institutional investors. Its site is typical of the financial industry, but it uses animation to lift it to a higher level of interest.

Becklyn

Becklyn is a digital design agency. Its portfolio site uses animated text, expanding image masks, and video to guide us through its site and app design approach.

Cabi

Cabi is a brand of Japanese condiments with a typically Japanese feeling site. Bright colors, a slowly scrolling slideshow of dishes, and editorial to pack shot hover effects are a great introduction to the brand.

Slantis

Slantis provides building information modeling to architecture and infrastructure providers. Its site uses animation to showcase the types of content it produces for clients.

July Fund

July Fund is a venture capital project. It takes an entirely different approach than its competitors by adopting a chaotic but enjoyable card-based design.

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User Experience is a crucial consideration for any web developer or designer; the only way to ensure that you’re delivering a successful website is to ensure that the end-user or customer will feel comfortable using it. 

A strong user experience increases your client’s chances of successful audience engagement and conversions.

What you might not realize, however, is that the strategies you use to enhance UX as a web developer or designer can also influence how the search engines respond to a website. 

Though many designers assume that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the work of a copywriter or content producer, there are design elements to consider too. 

After all, the definition of optimization is “the action of making the best version of a resource.”

So, how are UX and SEO connected?

Adding UX to a Successful SEO Strategy

SEO used to be easy. To stand out on the search results, you just needed to stuff a page full of as many keywords and phrases as possible. Now, it’s a little more complicated. 

Leaders in search engine development, like Google and Bing, know that they need to offer their customers excellent experiences to keep them. In this new experience-focused landscape, SEO and UX share common goals. 

Search engines don’t just want to provide customers with any answers to their questions. Instead, Google and its competitors are using everything from artificial intelligence to machine learning algorithms to ensure that search results are accurate, relevant, and engaging. 

In the same way, user experience is about providing users with easy access to the information and resources they want. 

Now that SEO is a multi-disciplined approach, UX is just one of the essential tools that makes it possible for developers to optimize their websites properly. 

Where UX Developers Influence SEO 

There are plenty of connections between UX and site indexability

We all know that since 2018, site speed has become a crucial ranking factor for companies in search of better search results. As a developer, it’s up to you to ensure that there aren’t too many elements weighing a website down that would prevent it from delivering fast results. 

Bounce rate is another critical factor in search engine ranking algorithms. When customers click on a website, Google wants to see that they get the answers they want. If your navigation is difficult to understand, or the correct information isn’t easy to see on a page, end-users will just hit the back button. 

Let’s take a closer look at how developers can influence SEO with their UX strategies. 

1. Site Navigation and Ease of Use

It’s no secret that today’s digital consumers crave easy-to-use sites.

A complex website with pages ranking for different terms might seem like an excellent idea for SEO. However, from a UX perspective, the easier it is to navigate your website, the more your end-users will benefit. 

According to a study from Ahrefs, well-optimized pages that rank for several keywords can be more beneficial than dozens of pages ranking for similar terms. At the same time, if the search engines have difficulty crawling all your pages due to a poor site navigation strategy, then some pages won’t get indexed. 

So, how do you improve navigation and SEO at once? Follow the proper structure for your site first, categories and subcategories on the retail page help customers find exactly what they need. A solid internal linking structure allows the crawlers to examine your website and index each essential page individually.

Keep navigation simple when designing a website for both UX and SEO potential. 

2. User-Friendly Page Layouts

There are countless cases where poor layout design and formatting disrupts SEO potential. For example, cluttering a page with too much information makes it tougher to read and index. At the same time, if your pages aren’t attractive and easy to navigate, customers are more likely to hit the back button. 

If customers come to a website and immediately leave it again, this tells the search engines that they’re not finding what they need on those pages. That means Google will bump you to a lower position on the SERPs. 

So, how do you make your layouts more UX and SEO-friendly?

  • Get your category pages right: Say you’re creating a blog page for your client. They want to list all of their blogs on one main page while linking to separate locations for each article. A design that puts a large chunk of content from each blog on the main page can be problematic for UX and SEO. It means your customers have to scroll further to find what they need. At the same time, the search engines never know which words to rank that main page for. On the other hand, listing blogs on smaller cards, as Fabrik does in this example, makes sorting through content easier. 
  • Leverage headers and tags: Your customers and the search engines habitually “scan” your pages. When trying to improve UX and SEO simultaneously, you must ensure that it’s easy to find crucial information quickly. Header 1 or H1 tags can help by showing your audience your website’s critical sections. Title tags also give search engines more information on the term you want to rank for. Organizing your content into a structure that draws the eye down the page also means your customers are more likely to stay on your website for longer. That shows the search engines that you have quality, relevant content. 
  • Make the most of images and videos: Visual media isn’t just an excellent way to engage your audience. With videos and pictures, you can convey more vital information in a quick and convenient format. This leads to greater satisfaction from your audience from a UX perspective. However, visual content is also great for SEO. You can optimize every image with alt text and meta descriptions. That means you have a higher chance of ranking both in the main search results and the image searches on Google. 

3. Using Search Data to Inform Site Architecture

Today, SEO is less about building hundreds of landing pages for individual queries. Now, it’s more important to take a simple, de-cluttered approach with your website. SEO can determine what kind of architecture you need to create for a successful website. 

For instance, say you wanted to rank for eCommerce SEO. There are tons of related words that connect to that primary search term. Rather than making dozens of different pages that try to rank for distinct phrases, you can cover a lot of other ideas at once with a larger, more detailed piece of content. 

If a topic is too big to cover everything on a single page, then you might decide to create something called “pillar” content out of your main terms. This involves using one main page where you discuss all of the topics you will cover. Then, you design several smaller sub-pages that link back to that central pillar. 

Once again, this helps the search engines to navigate your website and index your pages while assisting the customers in finding the correct information. At the same time, you combine more pages on a website and remove anything that might be detracting from your site’s authority or not offering enough value. 

4. Improving Website SERP Listings

It’s easy to forget as a developer that a customer’s first experience with a website won’t always happen on that site’s homepage. Usually, when your customers are looking for solutions to a problem, they’ll find your website on the search engine results instead. 

This means that you need to ensure that you make the right impression here:

There are a few ways that developers can ensure the search engine listings they create for their clients are up to scratch. For instance, a reasonable title tag for each page that includes appropriate keywords is excellent for SEO and UX. A title tag lets your customers know they’re in the right place and helps them find the information they need. 

Remember, around eight out of ten users on search engines say that they’ll click a title if it’s compelling. 

Another component you have control over as a developer or designer is the “rich snippet.” Rich snippets are the informative chunks of content that Google adds to a search listing to help it stand out. You can use rich snippet plugins on a website to tell Google what kind of extra information you want to include on a page. 

For instance, you might want a company’s ratings to show up on your search results, so customers can see how trustworthy they are:

5. Local Business Rankings

When you’re creating a website for a company, it’s easy to forget about local rankings. We see the digital world as a way of reaching countless people worldwide. Local orders are easier to overlook when you have a global scope to work with. 

However, as a developer, you can boost a company’s chances of attracting the right local audience and boosting its credibility. For instance, you can start by ensuring that the correct directory information appears on your client’s website and social media profiles.

Another option is to create dedicated location pages for each area the company serves. This will make it easier for clients to find the contact details they need for their specific location. 

At the same time, pages that have been carefully optimized to rank for specific locations will earn more attention, specifically from search engines. The more of the search engine landscape your client can cover, the more chances they have to attract new customers and leads. 

Combing SEO and UX

In a world where experience is crucial for every business, it’s no wonder that UX and SEO are blending more closely together. There are a lot of areas where SEO and UX work in harmony together if you know where to find them. Improving your client’s SEO ranking with UX doesn’t just mean ensuring that their pages load quickly anymore. 

Simple strategies, like making sure a call-to-action button is clickable on a mobile page, can simultaneously boost a website’s UX potential and SEO performance. At the same time, adding images and alt text to a website provides search engines with more information while adding context to your content. 

The key to success is understanding how SEO and UX work together. If you look at SEO and UX as part of the same comprehensive strategy to give end-users a better online experience, achieving the right design goals is much easier. 

Of course, just like any strategy, it’s also worth making sure that you take the time to track the results of your UX and SEO campaigns. Examine which systems help you, and examine customers from an SEO perspective with design and development strategies.

 

Features image by gstudioimagen on Freepik

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Apple has released an OS update. Packaged in with it is the latest version of Safari, 16.

Expected to be released ahead of next month’s macOS 13, Safari 16 is packed with updates, making it one of the most capable browsers available.

For web designers, the significance is the forward momentum in web technologies that enable freer design work and fewer hacks to achieve complex layouts. Little by little, CSS recommendations are being implemented to the point that using JavaScript for layout is rapidly becoming as unnecessary as it is disliked.

Some of this was announced in June in the Safari 16 beta. But a lot has been added in the last couple of months. So here’s what’s new in Safari 16 today.

CSS Container Queries

The most exciting addition to Safari 16 is CSS Container Queries.

It is hard to understate how in-demand this feature has been; if you imagine an edit button on Twitter that gifted you crypto every time you corrected a typo, you’d be getting close to how popular this feature is.

Until now, media queries have detected the whole viewport. And so, if you have an element like a card, for example, that needs to change at smaller viewports, you need to calculate the available space and adapt the element’s design accordingly. Unfortunately, this frequently gets out of sync with edge cases causing more than a few headaches for front-end developers.

Media queries are severely restrictive to modern layout methods like Grid that wrap elements automatically because there is no way to detect how the elements are laid out.

Container Queries solve this by allowing you to define styles based on the size of the actual containing element; if a div is 300px wide, the contents can have one design, and if it’s 400px wide, they can have a different design—all without caring what size the whole viewport is.

This is dangerously close to OOP (Object Orientated Programming) principles and almost elevates CSS to an actual programming language. (All we need is conditional logic, and we’re there.)

The latest versions of Chrome, Edge, and now Safari (including mobile) support CSS Grid. Even discounting the rapid decline of Twitter, this is way more exciting than any edit button.

CSS Subgrid

Speaking of Grid, if you’ve built a site with it (and if you haven’t, where have you been?), you’ll know that matching elements in complex HTML structures often results in nesting grids. Matching those grids requires careful management, CSS variables, or both. With CSS Subgrid, grids can inherit grid definitions from a grid defined higher up the hierarchy.

CSS Subgrid has been supported by Firefox for a while but is not yet part of Chrome or Edge. Until there’s wider support, it’s not a practical solution, and using a fallback negates any benefit of using Subgrid. However, its introduction in Safari will surely herald rapid adoption by Google and Microsoft and moves the web forward considerably.

CSS Subgrid is likely to be a practical solution within 18 months.

AVIF Support

AVIF is an exceptionally compact image format that beats even WebP in many instances. It even allows for sequences, creating what is essentially an animated GIF but smaller, and for bitmaps.

AVIF is already supported by Chrome, with partial support in Firefox. Safari now joins them.

AVIF support is one of the more valuable additions to Safari 16 because you’re probably already serving different images inside a picture element. If so, your Safari 16 users will begin receiving a smaller payload automatically, speeding up your site and boosting UX and SEO.

Enhanced Animation

Safari 16 introduces some significant improvements in animation, but the one that catches the eye is that you can now animate CSS Grid.

Yes, let that sink in. Combine Container Queries and animation. The possibilities for hover states on elements are tantalizing.

Safari 16 also supports CSS Offset Path — known initially as CSS Motion Path — which allows you to animate elements along any defined path. This enables the kind of animated effect that previously needed JavaScript (or Flash!) to accomplish.

Chrome, Edge, and Firefox all support CSS Offset Path; the addition of Safari means it’s now a practical solution that can be deployed in the wild.

Web Inspector Extensions

Announced as part of the beta release, Web Inspector Extensions allow web developers to create extensions for Safari, just as they would for Chrome.

Web Inspector Extensions — or Safari Extensions as they’re destined to be known — can be built in HTML, CSS, and JS, so the learning curve is shallow. It’s a good route into app development for web designers.

Because the underlying technology is the same as other browser extensions, anyone who has made a Chrome, Edge, or Firefox extension will be able to port it to Safari 16+ relatively easily. As a result, there should be a rapid expansion of the available extensions.

Improved Accessibility

Accessibility is key to an effective and inclusive web. Be like Bosch: everybody counts, or nobody counts.

When testing a design for accessibility, emulators don’t cut it. In my experience, Safari has some of the most reliable accessibility settings, especially when it comes to Media Queries like prefers-reduced-movement.

Further gains in this field mean that Safari continues to be an essential tool for QA tests.

Reduced Resets

Finally, I want to throw up my hands to celebrate the reduced number of non-standard CSS appearance settings.

For years we’ve been prefacing our style sheets with elaborate resets like Normalize, designed to undo all the assumptions browser developers make about design and the UI preferences of their engineers.

Safari 16 has reportedly “Removed most non-standard CSS appearance values.” How effective this is and how much we can rely on it given the other browsers on the market remains to be seen. However, like many of Safari 16’s changes, it’s a step towards a browser that’s on the developers’ side instead of an obstacle to overcome.

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Technology is constantly evolving, and that too at a rapid pace. The need for better Internet speed, improved connectivity, and easier accessibility has been the driving force behind the constant technological advancements.

5G or fifth-generation wireless cellular network is the most recent technology built to deliver high-speed performance. The technology is expected to significantly improve network connectivity. It is also believed that the introduction of 5G will make it easier and more convenient to connect devices to obtain and share information due to its unified connectivity fabric.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

The JavaScript language has a long history. There are a lot of developers out there who are still learning the basics. But, if you’re trying to learn the language and make your first steps into it, you need to know what mistakes new developers make.

You have already researched JavaScript development tutorials, and you know that it’s one of the most popular languages in the world. You’ve started to use it for your website or app, but there’s still something that feels wrong with it, isn’t it??

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Modals, a nifty little feature that allows you to display different messages at the top of your website, have been touted as extremely useful. Some even claim that they are helpful enough to completely replace the banner ads we all hate so much. But are modals in web design a UX disaster?

If you are unfamiliar with the term, a modal is a dialogue window appearing when a visitor clicks on a hyperlink or hover image.

Suppose you want to collect on-site subscribers or you want visitors to sign up for a freebie. In that case, you can use modals.

However, many web designers – and some website visitors – are against using modals in web design. The main argument is that it affects the user experience. But are modals in web design a UX disaster? Read on to find out.

What Do Modals Do?

Modals often appear as pop-up windows on a web page, requesting a visitor to take action. Most times, they appear following a click on a page element.

Also known as lightboxes, modals isolate the page’s main content. The user will have to complete the action requested by the modal or close it before reassessing the page.

Web designers use modals to capture a visitor’s attention. Since other page contents are inaccessible, a visitor must interact with the modal.

Cons Of Modals In UX

While there are different cons of modals in UX, they all sum up to one con – interruption. When modals appear, they interrupt whatever the user is doing.

Unlike regular pop-ups, users cannot simply ignore the modal and continue browsing. As a result, modals demand immediate attention. 

A user may be interested and decide to interact with the modal. However, if the modal’s content differs from the page’s, the user could forget what they were doing after interacting with the modal.

Furthermore, sometimes modals require action related to information on the page. For example, suppose the user wants to review the information before taking action. In that case, they’ll have to close the modal since the main page is inaccessible.

Statistics show that up to 82% of users dislike pop-ups. Most website visitors aren’t knowledgeable about the technicalities of web design. As a result, they won’t be able to differentiate between regular pop-ups and modals.

After all, modals are a type of pop-up. Some users may consider modals worse since they darken the page’s primary content, making it inaccessible.

Furthermore, people want to visit a website and get what they want immediately. Hence, time is significant. Therefore, modals that require actions that take time can make a website lose visitors.

With all of these cons, you can understand why many web designers say modals are a UX disaster in web design.

Can Modals Be Useful in UX?

In some situations, modals are helpful, and they can improve UX. Many web designers swear on the usefulness of modals, and it’s not difficult to understand why.

Firstly, modals can help simplify a website’s content. For example, a user can immediately exit the page if your website is relatively complex, with lots of content and elements.

You can use a modal to explain the content on the page so that the user doesn’t get confused. Perhaps the modal can display when the user clicks on the back button. The modal can highlight the most critical content on the page and tell the user what to do next.

Secondly, modals are invaluable if you must capture your user’s attention. For example, perhaps you want to display a warning or pass any crucial information that users must know before they continue browsing.

As mentioned before, a user can easily ignore a pop-up, especially if it opens in a new window. However, with modals, the user must at least view the content before they proceed.

Thirdly, a modal can make a web page easier to navigate. It sounds ironic considering the cons, but it’s true if properly implemented. Rather than packing different elements on a web page, you can set some to display as modals.

For example, you can have a page with just text to improve readability. Then, users can click to view visual elements like images and videos as modals.

How To Use Modals the Right Way

Using modals correctly is key to ensuring they don’t negatively affect UX. Here are some ideal situations when you can use modals:

1. Display Warnings

Using modals to give users crucial warnings is ideal, especially if their subsequent actions have serious consequences.

For example, most websites display modals when users click the delete button. Deletion is always critical because, in most cases, it’s irreversible.

A practical example would be an eCommerce website where a user opts to delete items from their cart. You can use a modal to ask the user to confirm before deleting.

2. Input or Collect Information

Modals are effective in prompting users to input information. Sometimes, users must enter specific details before they continue browsing.

A practical example would be a review site where a user wants to submit a review. Before submitting the review, you can use a modal to request the user’s name and other necessary information.

3. Simplify Navigation

As mentioned before, modals can simplify a complex website. In addition, it will help a user navigate better, which is a UX boost.

A practical example would be a news site with many stories and updates. You can use a modal to highlight the day’s trending news stories so that users can visit the web pages with one click.

Conclusion: Are Modals a Disaster in UX?

In conclusion, modals affect a site’s user experience since visitors must interact with them. However, it doesn’t always have to be a negative effect.

Modals become a UX disaster in web design when wrongly used. However, if you follow good practices, modals can improve your website’s user experience.

Generally, only use modals when necessary and in a way that won’t frustrate the users.

 

Featured image by Freepik.

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Typefaces give expression to text, communicating personality in a way that no other design element can. And so, we put together this collection of the best new fonts we’ve seen on the web each month.

This month’s collection of fresh new fonts includes some typefaces that push boundaries in subtle but irresistible ways, a few retro fonts that evoke specific eras, and some exceptionally well-drawn examples of classic themes.

Gazzetta

Gazzetta is a condensed typeface with soft curves and sharp joins that gives it plenty of personality at display sizes while still being highly practical.

Bacalar

Bacalar is an intriguing variable font inspired by the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. The bold, simple shapes are contrasted by extreme tapers that create dynamic shapes.

Monden

Monden is a high-contrast serif with an interesting slant applied to the lowercase h, m, and n. This “kick” adds a modern richness to blocks of text.

Flecha

Flecha is a sharp typeface with precise, simplified shapes that make it ideal for digital use. There is a range of styles and weights that provide flexibility.

Wonder Varelia

Countless calligraphic script fonts are available, but few are executed with the same elegance as Wonder Varelia. It works best as concise display text.

Okkult

Okkult is inspired by 70s horror films. It’s a great alternative choice for Halloween, Stranger Things-style retro designs, and hard-rock bands.

Southern Beach

Southern Beach is a classy script typeface that feels carefree and optimistic. It would work well as the logotype for a hotel, a travel company, or a restaurant.

Connection

Connection is a beautifully drawn typeface that makes unexpected decisions to create interest in what is otherwise a traditional design.

Lokeya

Lokeya is a playful sans-serif with a distinctly modern-French style. It includes several stylistic alternatives to enliven word shapes and is excellent for brand work.

Grtsk

Grtsk is an exceptionally flexible set of fonts with two writing systems, six widths, and seven weights that are also available as one highly-practical variable font.

Beast Head

Beast Head is an expressive brush script packed with energy. It’s a great branding option for gyms, workout clothing, energy drinks, and music events.

Happy Monday

Happy Monday is a retro script font that evokes the late-60s and early-70s. It’s a laid-back option for T-shirts, branding, and editorial work.

TT Espina

TT Espina is a serif face with extreme contrasts and particularly large serifs. The bold weight swells unevenly on the counters, creating a unique aesthetic.

Spookyman

Horrifyingly, Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’re looking for a spooky font for seasonal promotions, look no further than Spookyman.

Quebra

Quebra is a useful sans-serif for projects that need a range of widths. At small sizes, it feels corporate and reserved; at larger sizes, more human details begin to emerge.

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The purpose of a website is to reach new customers and keep current ones engaged. Therefore, customer-first should be at the top of your list for design features. After all, without your clients, your business won’t grow or succeed.

Customer-first has been a buzzword for a few years now. In a nutshell, it’s easy to imagine what customer-first design means. The needs of consumers come before anything else. However, the concept isn’t quite as simple in practice. A lot of nuances enter the equation.

Just what does it mean to have a customer-first web design? What are the must-haves to reach users on their level and keep their attention for the long haul?

Embracing quality customer experiences has driven loyalty for as long as anyone can remember. However, we now live in a time of uncertainty, and when people leave companies on a dime if they’re dissatisfied with any aspect. So you must hit the high notes on every song – your website is your purest online persona and must engage users and keep them entertained.

Whether you embrace causes that matter to your customers and share information on them or tweak your design to meet accessibility guidelines, many factors come into play with a customer-centric design.

In a recent report, researchers found that about 88% of company leaders feel customer engagement impacts revenue. You can’t control every variable, but you can ensure your website hits all the strong points for a customer-first web design that grabs them and keeps them on your page.

Here are our favorite tips to create a customer-first approach. You may already be doing some of these things. Pick and choose what makes the most sense for your business model. Even small changes can have a big impact.

1. Know Your Customers

Before creating a website centered around your customers’ needs, you must know who they are. What are the demographics of your typical clients? Survey them and find out what their needs and expectations are. How can you best help them?

You may also want to survey them about your website. What’s missing that might help them? Is there anything they love? What do they hate? The more you know, the better your design can match their expectations. Create buyer personas based on their preferences.

At the same time, buyers will sometimes say one thing but actually feel another way. No one is quite sure why people do this when being surveyed. One way around that issue is to do some A/B testing to see how they actually feel about various changes. Do they respond the way you thought? What other adjustments need to be made?

2. Find the Right Color Palette

Different industries trend toward various hues. For example, businesses in the banking industry trend toward blues and occasionally reds. Blue elicits trust from users and has a calming effect. On the other hand, the fashion industry might tap into brighter shades, such as lime green. Think about what colors people expect in your industry, and then find your color palette.

Each hue has its emotional impact. For example, red is a color of power and can elicit excitement in the viewer. Choose your shades accordingly to get the most emotional punch possible.

3. Accept Feedback

One of the best ways to improve your site over time to match the needs and preferences of your audience is by allowing feedback. Add reviews, place a feedback form in your footer, and even send out requests for feedback to your mailing list.

It’s also a good idea to find a mentor who has been successful at running a business. Ask them to look at your site and give you advice. You might also enlist the help of a marketing professional.

4. Stick With the Familiar

Have you heard of Jakob’s Law? The rule of thumb states that people prefer common design patterns they’re most familiar with. So when they see a pattern they know, such as a navigation bar layout, it boosts their mood and improves their memory of the site.

When making edits, don’t make significant changes. Instead, implement minor adjustments over time to give your followers a chance to acclimate to the shift.

5. Cut the Clutter

If you want users to feel wowed by your page and engage, you have to limit their choices. Add in too many options, and they may not know where to go first.

Start by choosing an objective for the page. Cut anything that doesn’t point the user toward the goal. Ideally, you’d have a little info, an image, and a call to action (CTA) button. However, this may vary, depending on where your buyer is in the sales funnel and how much information they need to decide to go from browser to customer.

6. Choose Mobile Friendliness

Recent reports indicate about 90% of people use mobile devices to go online at times. With phones gaining greater capabilities and 5G bringing faster speeds to communities, expect people to use their mobile devices even more frequently for internet browsing.

Making sure your site translates well on smaller screens makes sense for your company and for your customers. Be sure to test everything. Click through all links. Fill in forms. Ensure images and text auto-adjust to the correct size, so people don’t have to scroll endlessly.

7. Make Multiple Landing Pages

Like most businesses, you probably have several buyer personas as you segment your audience. Don’t just create a single home page and expect it to fulfill the purpose of every reader. Instead, create unique pages for each persona to best meet their needs.

Make sure each landing page speaks in the natural language patterns of your specific audience. Think about the unique needs of each group. How do their pain points differ? How can you best meet their needs?

8. Keep Important Info Above the Fold

People are busy. They work, have families, and might visit your site on the 15-minute break they get in the afternoon. Most consumers want the information they need to decide and don’t want to dilly-dally around with other things.

Place the essential headlines and info they need above the fold, so they see it first. Make it as readable as possible by using headings and subheadings. Add in a few bullet points. People also absorb information easier in video format, so add a video highlighting your product’s or service’s main benefits.

You should also place a CTA button above the fold if it makes sense for your overall design. Keep in mind people may have visited and already read some of the information. Some users return just to sign up and want to find the CTA quickly.

Step Into Your Customers’ Shoes

Look at your site through the eyes of your audience. What works well? What needs to be adjusted? Over time, you’ll develop a customer-first web design that speaks to those most likely to buy from you. Then, keep making changes and tweaking your site until it hits the perfect balance for your customers.

 

Featured image via Freepik.

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