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When deploying any application that holds customer or user data, both data compliance and data privacy are important areas to consider. Yet these two areas of data management are sometimes misunderstood. This article will shed some light on the differences between data compliance and data privacy.

What Is Data Compliance?

Data compliance refers to the requirement to meet certain legal obligations around the collecting, processing, and storing of data.

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Personalized marketing is when you attune your marketing efforts based on customer data. This data can be anything from the first and last name to purchase intent, concerns, and history.

Personalized marketing has revolutionized the way businesses market their product and service to their audience. It brings value to people’s lives, spiking the sales graph for brands and businesses. So it’s a win-win situation for both the company and the consumer.

Even big companies do this for their campaigns. They do so because it gives them great results and ROI for their marketing initiatives. If these multinational businesses do this, it’s a good idea to incorporate this strategy and learn from a top resource on digital marketing.

This article aims to explain every nook and cranny of personalized marketing. By the end of this 5-minute read, you will know the impact of personalized marketing on our lives. And how you can integrate this into your marketing strategy to benefit your business.

What Is Personalized Marketing?

Have you ever encountered a business that knows what you’re going through? Or did you see an ad online that you closely relate to? Chances are, you were one of the target markets of those marketing materials. And if you could associate yourself with the ad, their marketing strategy worked.

That is what personalized marketing does to your audience, market, or particular demographic. This style of advertising leverages personalization in your marketing materials. The details of your marketing content are tailored to a specific audience and address the issues or real-time problems of a particular segment in your market.

Personalized marketing has become popular because more people demand it from businesses. Once the people have experienced what it felt like, they want to feel more of it.

To objectively see the demand for personalization, here are some statistics to back it up.

Accenture reported that 91% of consumers are likelier to shop with businesses that offer them relevant content. This shows that the right product recommendations can increase the chances of shopping with you.

Salesforce mentioned that 66% of consumers expect companies to understand their individual needs. This statement proves that a generalized way of marketing isn’t as effective as before. The consumer mindset has already developed, and they demand more personalization from businesses.

A striking piece of data from Statista showed that 90% of consumers in the US find the idea of personalization appealing. If that figure is accurate, almost all businesses should start incorporating this into their strategies. There’s no reason for them not to try this out.

Given the high positive demand for personalized marketing, it’s no secret why more and more businesses are doing this. However, not every company out there is doing this right. A wrong way of doing this can bring a loss of clients and a negative ROI.

To help you go on the right track of using personalization in your marketing, read up on the next section of this article.

Know These 6 Tips To Correctly Do Personalized Marketing

You’d agree that knowing your customer’s first and last name is essential. But with the dynamically changing strategies, personalized marketing is going beyond that. It’s actually about understanding what your targeted consumers need, merging with a way to convey the message that your business is the solution.

To help you achieve this, take note of the things below:

1. Leverage Your Customer Data

The foundation of personalized marketing is laid on customer data. The best marketing professionals and strategists emphasize gathering relevant data if you want to scale. Excellent digital marketing courses will teach you that customer data will help you build a solid foundation for your content and campaigns.

Consumer behavior has always been the most important detail for target marketing. With every click, it has become easier to gather data about individual customers, their interests, hobbies, purchase history, buying behavior, and more.

You’ll be able to get this information if you’ve practiced data management and collecting customer data throughout the years of your operation. However, it’s not too late to begin if you haven’t started with this yet. There is a lot of marketing automation software that aids marketing teams in doing this. For example, many businesses use lead scoring software to gain insight into their clients’ needs and categorize them appropriately.

For your personalization efforts, you can use questionnaires, surveys, and feedback forms to capture personal data on the internet. A customer will happily fill out a survey form if a reward in return entices him. This reward can be in any form– a voucher, a first buy discount, free shipping, or more.

This initiative will help you get more data in a shorter time frame.

2. Understand Your Customer’s Needs

Hoarding data will be a complete waste of marketing efforts, capital, and efficiency if you do not extract consumer behavior from it. When you have access to a rich set of data, you have the privilege to understand your customers’ trending needs deeply. After gaining insights from the data, create a marketing strategy based on those findings to target your audience.

Doing this doesn’t just apply to B2C; it also works for B2B companies, which is why the demand for custom software development, tailored services, personalized packages, and B2B data providers have been on the rise in these recent years.

It is a two-way road. While you are on the lookout for your target market, at the same time, the customers expect businesses to know what they need. The market you’re currently serving expects you to know what products or services are fit for them.

So this is where it gets crucial: you have to dig deeper into your niche and find the specs of your audience’s needs. Having a general idea about the needs of your target audience and personalized marketing usually don’t go harmoniously.

Planning a better-personalized marketing strategy will not be a piece of cake but will be much more rewarding for every aspect of your business. May it be sales, return on investments, customer relationships, or personalized marketing campaigns.

3. Personalize Every Stage Of The Customer Journey

The first rule of business is convincing the customer that you are their best friend. Now that you know what they want, you pledge to provide them with whatever best you can. Limiting personalization to marketing is not the solution. You have to be vigilant in meeting these individual requirements at every stage. And remember that consistency is the name of the game. That is how you bring your business into the running.

You can integrate CRM automation, email marketing tools and deploy other content marketing strategies to help make this process a lot simpler. Personalized live chat and chatbots, such as those offered by ThriveDesk, allow businesses to personalize their offerings and build their brand reputation.

As a customer, my requirement would be reading content, browsing, and experiencing products that would hit home. A personalized experience is what every consumer demands. And this is what makes them want to go back and do business with you again.

By creating helpful and relevant content, recommending the right products to them, and giving out convenient payment options, you are setting your business apart from the rest. Doing this allows you to have personalized every touchpoint that your customers do with your business.

4. Present In An Engaging Way

Consider customer engagement as absolutely necessary. Having the best data set and knowing what your customers want is not enough. In the competitive space of business and marketing, everyone is trying to get the attention of one another. And this is what you are supposed to do. This helps in building consumer-brand relations.

When a consumer engages, meaningful things happen. Engaging content pushes the consumer through the funnel and hence promotes conversions. Your content should be creative and eye-catching.

Engaging content blended with personalization boosts the brand experience. Increased loyalty, trust-building, and improved customer experience enhance the conversion and sales speed.

A great way to use personalization in an engaging manner that most businesses overlook would be through exit-intent popups.

5. Be Where Your Customers Are

This is an element that some businesses miss out on. They have created excellent social media marketing content but only distributed it on the wrong channel. For personalized marketing to be effective, it needs to be seen by people.

Are you questioning your marketing techniques because all you see is stagnancy? You have set up an engaging online store on Shopify or Wix, collected all the relevant data, your content is engaging enough, and your marketing strategy is top-notch. But you are still unable to reach your clientele.

You start wondering what you are missing out on. Your content and your strategies will not be prolific if you are on the wrong channel. Remember: the message of your content has to reach the right people for it to be effective.

Should you be on social media? If so, which one? Do you get more traction with email campaigns? Or do you have more engagements on forums?

Find out where your market is, then spend your focus there. Now the next step is how to know where they spend most of their time?

This is where we go back in the loop. And hence we again emphasize that data collection is the foundation of any great marketing strategy.

6. Improve Marketing Content

Don’t rest on your laurels when you’ve gotten everything down to a tee and have attained your desired marketing analytics behind your personalized marketing content. Always think of ways how you can improve.

Evolving at every step will keep you in the running. Don’t be misguided into thinking that your work is done if you feel like you have reached the pinnacle. Keep looking for ways to get better. Set bigger goals and status for your business.

Always go back to the drawing board and brainstorm with your team on how you can change and strive with the dynamically changing world and mindsets. In the end, all you want is to build better relationships with your customers, new and existing.

For enhanced productivity, your marketing team should always look for new strategies. This is how fresh and great marketing ideas are made.

See How You Can Benefit From Personalized Marketing

Irrelevant information can waste energy and time for both customers and the business. Personalized marketing hits the bull’s eye 99% of the time. It brings immeasurable value to the company as well as the customer.

Here are some of the top benefits of personalized marketing:

1. Better Engagement

The first target personalized marketing aims at is grabbing an individual’s attention. And this results in better engagement eventually. If you are presenting your customer with something that wows them, needless to say, it will grab their attention.

This will help bridge the gap between your customer and your brand. Identifying customers’ needs and then giving them what they want will help improve customer interaction with your brand.

It can even be enough for them to follow your call to action. The next thing you know, they will be checking your website, signing up for a list, or even purchasing a product right then and there.

2. Higher Conversions

Are you there for your customer at the right time and place? One-on-one marketing provides easy solutions to customers because you hit them with just what they are looking for at the right time.

When potential customers realize that you understand what they’re going through and provide the solution, most won’t hesitate to try your business out.

Personalization isn’t just focused on content. It can also be integrated into your processes. This results in aiding the increase of higher conversion rates.

3. Improved Customer Experience

Offering personalization will significantly improve the user experience. Once you provide the products, services, and content that meet their needs, their opinion of your business automatically improves.

Considering the statistics about personalized experiences, it is evident that consumers demand personalization strategies from companies. And if you offer such an experience, you increase the chance of making them do more business with you. Personalization helps businesses in reducing cart abandonment rates, better customer journey, increased customer satisfaction, and many more.

4. Customer Retention

Retaining persisting customers is equally important to your business as bringing new ones. Most businesses face low customer retention. It’s also a factor that some companies overlook. You must understand that it’s not all about converting prospects into paying customers. Your focus should also be on retaining those customers to make them loyal advocates of your brand.

One of the major benefits of consistent personalization is an improved customer retention rate. Consumers tend to stay with a business that understands their needs and provides solutions to their problems.

Once you can transfer a customer to a loyal advocate, you can also receive a ton of benefits. These are people that are going to defend your brand from critics. These are the same people who will give you free marketing via word of mouth and positive reviews.

5. Better Customer Relationships

Personalized experience leads to customer retention, eventually building better relationships with your nurtured customers. These entities are connected in a loop.

Customer relationships are an aspect of business that significantly helps with scalability and higher revenue. So connecting with your customers and building a relationship with them is as important as the product you are selling. This is why strengthening customer relationships should be a top priority for businesses.

Personalization makes you an expert on your target market trends. You get to know your audience deeper, which helps you build a foundation for creating a great customer relationship. And this requires marketing and customer experience teams to work together in a symphony.

For this, you can use team collaboration software which aids in the optimization of content and your approach toward the market. You’ll have a better strategy in getting their attention, providing what they want, and recommending things they’ll be interested in.

All of these things help in building customer rapport. When a customer feels that you treat them as more than just a paying customer, their customer loyalty goes to your business.

Best Examples Personalization Marketing

To inspire you to integrate this marketing strategy into your operations, below are different personalization marketing campaigns done exceptionally by various businesses. Grab inspiration, ideas, and motivation from these examples.

1. Coca-Cola

We all know the most basic form of personalization is addressing your customers’ names, but Coca-Cola took this simple idea into a massive global campaign. Their “Share a Coke” campaign started in 2011, wherein they printed different popular names on their Coke bottles and cans.

It seemed like a regular campaign at first, but it started getting traction as more customers wanted to get the name of their family, friends, and themselves. Coca-Cola said the campaign’s purpose was “to create a more personal relationship with consumers and inspire shared moments of happiness.”

The soft drinks giant used personalization and tied such a strategy with its mission: to bring memories and happiness to its consumers. You, too, can do the same – combine your mission and personalization strategy to create a unique campaign.

2. Spotify

Spotify leverages user data in its marketing strategy. They have several campaigns that make users want to use their application more often because it gives out a more tailored experience.

Other than their year-end campaign( #spotifywrapped), where they show the most played songs and podcasts their users listen to (which was a viral hit), they now also have an #OnlyYou campaign that shows your unique listening taste partnered with a musical astrology reading.

3. Nike

Nike has consistently been recognized for authentic, personalized, and heartfelt ad campaigns. This personalization always makes them capture an audience who can relate and those who start connecting to the brand. So Nike isn’t new to personalization. Their aim is robust community engagement.

Their highly inspirational campaigns with real-life heroes induce inspiration in their audience. Nike is great at converting people because of its excellent storytelling ability while adding personalization to the mix.

Nike’s just launched a new app that offers personalized content and rewards for committed fans. They tackle challenges and issues head-on, but they always make their marketing messages relatable to their audience. That is why they “just do it.”

Conclusion

Personalized marketing is the secret sauce to thriving businesses in the world today. However, incorporating this marketing strategy and finding success is not as simple as you might think. You will face challenges, but with enough perseverance and brainstorming, you can surpass them and successfully create a great campaign.

Remember, this marketing approach can be a hit or a miss. The first step to making it a success is relevant data collection followed by judicious implementation. This isn’t an overnight activity that you can do. It requires months of diligence in the right direction with the proper guidance. And you can gain valuable insights into this guidance via the content marketing strategies outlined in this article. But remember, once you start rolling, there is no looking back.

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The post The Complete Guide To Personalized Marketing first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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Ten years ago, people began talking about the “Independent Web.” Although we don’t commonly use the term anymore, that doesn’t mean that it’s not still as vital a topic of discussion today as it was a decade ago.

Today, I want to look at where the term came from, what it refers to today, and why it’s something that all of us in business, marketing, and web design should be thinking about.

What Is The Independent Web?

The Independent Web is a term that was coined back in 2010 by John Battelle.

In “Identity and The Independent Web,” Battelle broaches the subject of internet users losing control of their data, privacy, and decision-making to the likes of social media and search engines.

“When we’re ‘on’ Facebook, Google, or Twitter, we’re plugged into an infrastructure that locks onto us, serving us content and commerce in an automated but increasingly sophisticated fashion. Sure, we navigate around, in control of our experience, but the fact is, the choices provided to us as we navigate are increasingly driven by algorithms modeled on the service’s understanding of our identity.”

That’s the Dependent Web.

This is how Battelle explains the Independent Web:

“There is another part of the web, one where I can stroll a bit more at my own pace, and discover new territory, rather than have territory matched to a presumed identity. And that is the land of the Independent Web.”

In 2010, this referred to websites, search engines, and apps where users and their activity were not tracked. But a lot has changed since then, and many websites that were once safe to peruse without interference or manipulation are no longer.

What Happens When the Dependent Web Takes Over?

Nothing good.

I take that back. It’s not fair to make a blanket statement about Dependent Web platforms and sites. Users can certainly benefit from sharing some of their data with them.

Take Facebook, for instance. Since its creation, it’s enabled people to connect with long-lost friends, stay in touch with distant relatives, enable freelance professionals like ourselves to find like-minded communities, etc.

The same goes for websites and apps that track and use visitor data. Consumers are more than willing to share relevant data with companies so long as they benefit from the resulting personalized experiences.

But the Dependent Web also has a darker side. There are many ways that the Dependent Web costs consumers and businesses control over important things like:

Behavior

If you’ve seen The Social Dilemma, then you know that platforms like Facebook and Google profit from selling their users to advertisers.

That’s right. They’re not just selling user data. They’re selling users themselves. If the algorithms can change the way users behave, these platforms and their advertisers get to cash in big time.

Many websites and apps are also guilty of using manipulation to force users to behave how they want them to.

Personal Data

This one is well-known thanks to the GDPR in the EU and the CCPA in California. Despite these initiatives to protect user data and privacy, the exploitation of personal data on the web remains a huge public concern in recent years.

Content and Branding

This isn’t relevant to websites so much as it is to social media platforms and Google.

Dependent Web platforms ultimately dictate who sees your content and when. And while they’re more than happy to benefit from the traffic and engagement this content brings to their platforms, they’re just as happy to censor or pull down content as they please, just as Skillshare did in 2019 when it deleted half of its courses without telling its course creators.

What’s more, while social media and search engines have become the place to market our businesses, some of our branding gets lost when entering such oversaturated environments.

Income

When algorithms get updated, many businesses often feel the negative effects almost immediately.

For example, Facebook updated its algorithm in 2018 to prioritize “meaningful content.” This pushed out organic business content and pulled regular user content to the top of the heap.

This, in turn, forced businesses to have to pay-to-play if they wanted to use Facebook as a viable marketing platform.

Access

The Dependent Web doesn’t just impact individuals’ experiences. It can have far-reaching effects when one company provides a critical service to a large portion of the population.

We saw this happen in November when AWS went down.

It wasn’t just Amazon’s servers that went down, though. It took out apps and sites like:

  • 1Password
  • Adobe Spark
  • Capital Gazette
  • Coinbase
  • Glassdoor
  • Roku
  • The Washington Post

And there’s absolutely nothing that these businesses or their users could do but sit around and wait… because Amazon hosts a substantial portion of the web.

Innovation

When consumers and businesses become dependent on platforms that predominantly control the way we live and work, it’s difficult for us to stand up for the little guys trying to carve out innovative pathways.

And that’s exactly what we see happen time and time again with Big Tech’s buy-and-kill tactics.

As a result, we really lose the option to choose what we use to improve our lives and our businesses. And innovative thinkers lose the ability to bring much-needed changes to the world because Big Tech wants to own the vast majority of data and users.

How Can We Take Back Control From The Dependent Web?

Many things are happening right now that are trying to push consumers and businesses towards a more Independent Web:

Consumer Privacy Protection: GDPR and CCPA empower consumers to control where their data goes and what it’s used for.

Big Tech Regulations: The Senate held tech regulation hearings with Facebook’s and Twitters’s CEOs.

Public Awareness Initiatives: Films like The Social Dilemma bring greater awareness to what’s happening on social media.

Ad Blocker Adoption: Adblocker usage is at an all-time high.

Private Search Engine Usage: Although Google dominates search engine market share, people are starting to use private search engines like Duck Duck Go.

Private Browsing Growth: Over 60% of the global population is aware of what private browsing is (i.e., incognito mode), and roughly 35% use it when surfing the web.

Self-hosted and Open Source CMS Popularity: The IndieWeb community encourages people to move away from Dependent platforms and build their own websites and communities. This is something that Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, talked about back in 2012.

“The Internet needs a strong, independent platform for those of us who don’t want to be at the mercy of someone else’s domain. I like to think that if we didn’t create WordPress something else that looks a lot like it would exist. I think Open Source is kind of like our Bill of Rights. It’s our Constitution. If we’re not true to that, nothing else matters.”

As web designers, this is something that should really speak to you, especially if you’ve ever met a lead or client who didn’t understand why they needed a website when they could just advertise on Facebook or Instagram.

A Decentralized Web: Perhaps the most promising of all these initiatives are Solid and Inrupt, which were launched in 2018 by the creator of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee.

As Berners-Lee explained on the Inrupt blog in 2020:

”The Web was always meant to be a platform for creativity, collaboration, and free invention — but that’s not what we are seeing today. Today, business transformation is hampered by different parts of one’s life being managed by different silos, each of which looks after one vertical slice of life, but where the users and teams can’t get the insight from connecting that data. Meanwhile, that data is exploited by the silo in question, leading to increasing, very reasonable, public skepticism about how personal data is being misused. That in turn has led to increasingly complex data regulations.”

This is something we should all keep a close eye on. Consumers and businesses alike are becoming wary of the Dependent Web.

Who better than the creator of the web to lead us towards the Independent Web where we can protect our data and better control our experience?

 

Featured Image via Pexels.

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The post What Is The Independent Web And Does It Matter In 2021? first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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Artificial Intelligence is a growing industry powered by advancements from large tech companies, new startups, and university research teams alike. While AI technology is advancing at a good pace, the regulations and failsafes around machine learning security are an entirely different story.

Failure to protect your ML models from cyber attacks such as data poisoning can be extremely costly. Chatbot vulnerabilities can even result in the theft of private user data. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of machine learning cyber security. Furthermore, we’ll explain how Scanta, an ML security company, protects Chatbots through their Virtual Assistant Shield. 

Source de l’article sur DZONE

In AWS, we have several ways to deploy Django (and not Django applications) with Docker. We can use ECS or EKS clusters. If we don’t have one ECS or Kubernetes cluster up and running, maybe it can be complex. Today, I want to show how deploy a Django application in production mode within a EC2 host. Let’s start.

The idea is create one EC2 instance (one simple Amazon Linux AMI AWS-supported image). This host doesn’t initially have Docker installed. We need to install it. When we launch one instance, when we’re configuring the instance, we can specify user data to configure an instance or run a configuration script during launch.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

If we don’t question this kind of design homogenization, do we put ourselves at risk of perpetuating the same mistakes in the years to come? Or is it even a mistake to begin with?

Today, I’m going to look at four things that are likely causing this, and what you can do to break the mold.

1. Education

We used to have a design school in every city in the world, each with its own design style or, at the very least, the encouragement of its designers to be creative and come up with something new.

These days, though, traditional design education isn’t as popular as it once was. According to Design Census 2019, only about a third of working designers have a formal education and degree:

The rest have been trained through a variety of means:

  • Online learning (17%)
  • Self taught (12%)
  • Workshops (10%)
  • Mentorship (6%)
  • Certificate programs (4%)

Cost and convenience are definitely two factors influencing this shift towards online learning methods. And with a wealth of resources online to teach them how to design and code, why not go that route? Plus, designers have to keep learning new things in order to remain competitive, so it’s not as though a degree is the be-all and end-all of their design training.

Plus, there isn’t as much demand for it from employers. Unless you plan on working for one of the top global marketing agencies, many hiring companies just want to see proof in the form of a portfolio and maybe have you do a test job.

Now, I’m not saying that online courses and other informal design education don’t foster creativity. However, in order to make them cost-efficient and quick to get through, they have to focus on teaching essential best practices, which means less room for experimentation. Perhaps more importantly, their curriculums are guided by fewer voices. So, this could likely be one of the culprits.

2. Design Blogs and Vlogs

You have to wonder if all the design blogs out there (yes, like Webdesigner Depot) impair designers’ ability to break free from the homogeneity of websites.

I think the answer to that is both “yes,” and “no”.

Why, Yes?

What is the purpose of a web design blog? Mainly it’s to educate new and existing designers on best practices, new trends, and web standards.

By their very nature, they really should be teaching web designers the same kinds of things. Let me show you an example.

This is a Google search for “web design trends 2020”:

Most design blogs will publish trends predictions around January 1. And herein lies the problem. The writers/designers can only deviate so far from what we know to be true when writing on the same topic… so these sites end up with similar recommendations.

For instance, the top search results recommended similar things for 2020:

  • Dark mode
  • Hand-drawn illustrations
  • Immersive 3D
  • Glowing colors
  • Minimalist navigation
  • Geometric shapes
  • Inclusivity
  • Accessibility

When web designers receive the same guidance no matter where they turn, it’s only logical that they’d end up creating websites that adhere to those same practices.

Why, No?

Because I write for web design publications, I can tell you that there’s a big difference in the kinds of content some of them publish.

For instance, I find that WebDesigner Depot isn’t interested in rehashing what everyone else is writing about this month. We’re given topics that challenge us to think outside the box and present readers with meaningful insights and recommendations.

So, I think that finding design blogs that push the boundaries and don’t just want to recap what everyone else is saying is really important. That’s how web designers are going to master the basic skills they need to succeed while getting inspired to try new things.

3. Designs Tools and Frameworks

This is another one that’s not as cut and dried. I think it depends on the tools used and the intent to use them.

Where Issues Start to Arise

There are certain site builder solutions that you’re going to be hard-pressed to create something innovative with. The same goes with using templates from sources like Dribbble. It’s just the nature of the beast.

If your goal is to create a cheap website very quickly for a client, then you’re probably going to use a cheap builder to do so. With ready-made templates and a lot of the work already done for you, you can create something that looks good with little effort.

When you’re limited by time and cost, of course you’re going to rely on shortcuts like cheap site builders or boring (but professional) design templates.

How to be More Careful

You can run into these kinds of issues with more flexible content management systems like WordPress or frameworks like Bootstrap, too.

Whenever you rely heavily on ready-made templates, pre-defined styles, or pre-built components, you run the risk of someone else’s work informing your own.

The solution is simple: Use demos, templates, UI kits, and so on as a base. Let them lay down the foundation that you work from.

But if you want your website to look different from the sea of lookalikes, you’re going to have to spend much more time developing a unique visual style that’s equally as effective in its mission. Which also means moving beyond clients that have small budgets or low expectations.

4. User Data

Data gathering is an important part of the job you do as a web designer.

You research the target user (or the existing user, when applicable). You look at industry trends as well as the competition to formulate an idea of what you need to build and how you’re going to do it. And you also use resources like Nielsen Norman Group and Think with Google that put out definitive research on what users want.

Even with the most niche of audiences, consumers’ wants and needs are all basically the same. So, obviously, you have to design experiences that align with them. If you deviate too much from what they expect from your site or brand, you run the risk of creating too much friction.

Is This a Bad Thing?

It’s not in terms of usability. If we build simple, predictable and user-friendly interfaces based on data that successfully drive visitors to convert, that’s great. So long as the content remains strong and the UI attractive, there’s nothing wrong with that approach.

But…

This is the same issue presented by templates and site builders. If you do exactly what’s needed and not much more, your site is going to look and act just like everyone else’s. Which comes at the cost of your brand reputation.

Just look at Google’s Material Design. This design system may have made it easier for web and app designers to create new solutions that were user-friendly and responsive, but there was just too much spelled out. And this led to a slew of Material Design lookalikes everywhere you turned.

This is the whole reason why companies take the time to craft a unique selling proposition. Without a USP, brands become interchangeable in the eyes of consumers.

So, again, my suggestion here is to use data to formulate a strategy for building your website. But don’t forget to spend time adding a unique style, and voice of the brand to the site.

Wrap-Up

It seems like, despite all that we’ve learned to do, websites are becoming less and less diverse in terms of design. And I think a lot of that is due to the fact that it’s much easier to design websites today than it was ten, or even five years ago.

Modern-day education, resources, tools, and consumer data take a lot of the questions and the work out of building websites. Which is good… but only to a point.

Unless you’re building websites for clients who have absolutely no budget, you can’t afford to skimp on the creativity and personalization that will set their website apart. Yes, you need to adhere to tried-and-true practices and standards, but beyond that, you should be experimenting.

 

Featured image uses photo by Kari Shea.

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