Contact forms – don’t neglect yours!

This was posted on July 18th, 2016

contact-forms

 

When you’re setting up a website for your business, there’s a huge amount to keep in mind. We all spend days agonising over the appearance of our sites. The colours have to be just right, reflecting the tone of your company. The layout has to be carefully thought out, ensuring the site is easily navigable. The rise of high speed broadband has seen the increase of all sorts of extra whizzes and bangs, from video backgrounds to robotic assistants and animated components. Without a doubt, there’s a massive number of questions we all have to ask ourselves, to make sure our sites are a positive reflection of what we do, and to encourage our customers to fill their trolleys.

However, there is one part of many business’s websites which is regularly lacking attention and care. The contact form on your website is one of the most important pages in your arsenal when it comes to targeting customers and turning intrigue into closed sales, and yet it is one of the components which is most commonly neglected. This could be for many reasons – a lot of people are so distracted by pimping up the rest of the site and making sure it looks flashy and tempting, they forget about the importance of the contact form, which is, after all, often the last page potential customers see and thus vital for forming those closing impressions. Perhaps we’re so used to seeing uninspiring contact forms, we forget how much better they could potentially be. Perhaps, because of the nature of the form and its purpose, we assume that anyone clicking on that page are already interested enough not to warrant extra effort.

We shouldn’t underestimate how important and how useful a well designed, carefully constructed contact form can be. As I just mentioned – they can create a lasting final impression, and this can be equally powerful as a first impression. Furthermore, contact forms are vital for the success of your business. They allow visitors a quick and simple method for expressing interest and getting in touch with you, and this is most likely to be the first contact you’ll have with your customers directly. They may be enquiring about your products and services, which you can easily turn into sales, and they may also be contacting you directly to make suggestions or ask questions which could lead to the improvement of your business and customer relations. As such, they are hugely important, and should be treated and designed with this importance in mind.

So, let’s take a look at why this part of your website is so vital for the growth of your business, and a few ideas of how to improve them to make the most of your contact with your customers. After all, who doesn’t like receiving fan-mail?

What does a good contact form do?

Contact forms are not just for potential customers. They are the primary way all types of people are going to get in touch with. Existing customers may want to send you words of praise or constructive criticism, jobseekers may want to enquire about getting involved with your business, and other companies might be interested in working alongside you. A good contact form keeps things simple and direct, and handily directs all these type of people to the same inbox. For almost any business, they’re the best communication tool you have. Here’s why:

  1. They’re dead quick and simple. Customers don’t want to have to search your site for an email address, copy and paste it into their email server, or go through any extra effort to get in touch. Competition online is ferocious, and this has led to the attention span and patience levels of the general public shrinking rapidly. A contact form can be filled quickly, and with a click of the mouse, customer’s messages can be with you in an instant.
  2. They help you know your customer base. This is really very important for your business. A good contact form should allow you to know where your customers are coming from, what type of people your business is attracting online, and what the denizens of the internet are looking for. From this, you can streamline your business to attract more of the same, and develop useful ‘frequently asked questions’ sections of your site. Good contact forms on new-style websites also tell you how your enquirers found your site – through social media, google, etc – something which is becoming increasingly important in the world of online marketing.
  3. Contact forms positively invite enquiries and suggestions. Not all of your customers are going to be instantly converted to your products or services, no matter how wonderful they may be. A contact form gives them the freedom to quickly ask questions or seek advice, thus allowing you as a business person the opportunity to dispel any fears or hesitations, or offer your own suggestions.
  4. They help generate leads. What business doesn’t want to close more deals? When people log onto your website, you don’t have a clue who they are, you don’t even know they’re looking at your information. Contact forms convert the anonymous into the known, and when somebody enters their personal details into the form, they are demonstrating a level of trust that you – as a salesperson – can build upon to form a relationship with them.

With all this in mind, don’t you want to include your own contact form, or take another look at your contact form, and ensure it’s doing its job properly?

Make sure your contact form follows these basic guidelines:

  1. It must follow the design of your site. You don’t want your form to look as though it has been tacked on at the end, as an afterthought. Make sure the design components of your site are carried through into the contact form, whether this means sticking to a colour scheme, keeping the same fonts and headings, or including some related images.
  1. Make sure it contains all the relevant components. You’ll need a space for their name and email address, and plenty of space for questions and comments. Lots of good sites nowadays are coming up with creative ways of making this seem like a less intrusive process. For example, instead of putting just ‘NAME’ next to the text box… why not try something friendlier, like ‘My name is…’?
  1. Put in a confirmation message. This is reassuring for the customer, they want to know that their message is getting through. So after they’ve clicked ‘send’, make sure they see a quick message telling them their message has been sent, and an approximate guess as to how long it will take for you to get back to them. This will leave your customers feeling comforted, and these sort of impressions really count.
No Comments » - Read More

Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Online Shop

This was posted on July 11th, 2016

improve-shop

 

 

My, how the world has changed. Many of us still remember the scepticism and snide jokes that were bandied about when online shopping first became available, with many claiming it would never catch on. They said the same about mobile phones. They said the same about jazz and rock n roll. They probably said the same about the television, soap and the wheel, too. The fact of the matter is that more and more of us are relying on online shopping for an ever-increasing percentage of our purchases. Groceries, clothes, children’s toys, wine… you name it, there’s an online shop providing it.

While this has had an adverse effect on the high street – we’ve seen the slow but inevitable death of bookstores, record shops and travel agents, to name but a few – this has surely been an overall positive trend. For the first time ever, the normal consumer no longer has to rely on what is locally available, and has more choice than ever before. Global competition for more or less every product and service has made companies lower their prices and make their services far more efficient and customer-friendly than ever before, and we’re all enjoying the benefits this has brought.

If you’re the owner of a business or the manager of a website which deals with online shopping, and you aren’t feeling the same benefits other similar businesses are enjoying, there could be a number of reasons for this. To be a player in the world of online shopping, it is of vital importance to keep up to date with new trends and the latest fashions for online shops. It is all too easy, in this fast paced, competitive market, to fall by the wayside. To be even a year out of date is drastic and potentially fatal nowadays, so take into account these five simple steps to ensure you’re doing all you can to bring success to your business. As is always the case in these matters, it’s often the little things that make all the difference. Even by updating your product photos (make them sharper and more professional looking) will massively improve the image of the company your customers receive.

  1. Offer the extras

It’s all too easy to offer the bare minimum nowadays. Because of the competitive nature of online shopping, somebody is always waiting to undercut your prices and offer something which you are not. Customers are not as loyal as they once were, and your competitors are nothing more than a mouse click away. As such, small extras such as free shipping (which everybody everywhere appreciates enormously), loyalty rewards for return customers, and free advice and consultations can make a world of difference, and will bring customers back to your site time and time again.

  1. Keep your customers up to date

This one should go without saying, really, but so many people fail to take this simple and effective step. It takes little more than a monthly newsletter to maintain interest in your products and services. Most website providers and site building companies now offer incredibly cheap and easy solutions to communicating directly with your customer base. Spend a little time every couple of weeks writing attractive, tempting newsletters, informing your clients of progress in your company, offers and discounts, or new ideas, and directly invite your existing and potential clients to click on your links and see for themselves what they’re missing. People appreciate the personal touch, and it is a great, warm way to invite people back who’ve visited in the past.

  1. Encourage reviews and feedback

This one can’t really be overstated. You’re proud of your company, and you know you’re products and services are great. But in this age of youtube comments, tripadvisor star ratings and ebay reviews, consumers expect and demand to know the deal from existing customers, not from the boss. Open up a feedback page on your site, or regularly publish positive reviews and thoughts from your happy customers. You can then highlight what people love about what you do, and this will encourage new customers to see how you can make them happy, too. You can never please absolutely everyone, but the consumer knows that a majority of positive reviews is more likely to sway their decision than anything else.

  1. Make sure your website is looking good

First impressions make a huge difference, in life and in business. Websites that look old fashioned, uncared for or badly designed have a massive impact on how long a customer stays on the site and browses your products. A bad looking website raises a lot of reasonable questions in the head of the consumer. Questions like: if they can’t manage a modern website, how well are they going to manage my money? It isn’t unfair to assume that because a website looks shoddily put together, your services and products would be the same. Would you buy your dinner in a dirty restaurant, even if the chef tells you the kitchen is clean? Of course not.

  1. Clearly state your returns and refund policies

At the beginning of this article, I said that online shopping was originally met with some hostility and scepticism. For many people, this feeling remained. There is always an element of risk with online shopping, as after all, you haven’t had the chance to see the product in situ, haven’t been able to touch it, see it from all sides, or try it on. There is an increased likelihood, therefore, that it may need to be returned at some point. For customers with this worry in mind, they need to be clearly reassured that should they be unhappy with their purchase, the returns policy is simple, straightforward, trustworthy, and written on your site in plain black and white. The chances are, they’ll be delighted with their purchase, but this little extra bit of security is likely to give them that final push in the right direction.

No Comments » - Read More

Video Backgrounds – Not Just A Fad

This was posted on July 4th, 2016

video-background

 

One of the reasons we, as a civilisation, are so obsessed with and enthralled by technology is due to the fact that it is always moving. Twenty years ago, nobody would have imagined that in the pockets of almost the entire population would sit a small device, connecting us to all the information in the world, every film ever made, every song ever recorded, every book ever written. The pace at which technology is moving forwards is as exciting as it is fascinating, and every year, new advances are made which change the game for the year to come.

High speed internet changed what websites were able to do, more or less overnight. Suddenly, we could expand the size of our websites. We could add more information than ever before, make fast and effective links to other related sites. We could push our message across with every colour in the rainbow, and additional extras like sound and music began to be bolted on to words and pictures, creating a more immersive, personalised and interesting browsing experience.

Moving into the future

The newest widespread step in website design has been the addition of video and animation – not just as a insert or a link, but as a fundamental part of the image of a site. More and more companies and website owners are beginning to implement video backgrounds to their websites, creating something truly effective and involving where before there might have been just a static, blank canvas on which to post information.

This has been carried out with great effect, particularly in the creative industry. Successful examples include:

  1. The websites of various bands. These have had moving images of atmospheric scenes floating across the screen on their sites backgrounds, adding the drama and linking images with sounds taken from forthcoming records and tours, etc.
  1. Promotional websites for movies. These have added an extra layer of intrigue to their teasing, by running slow-motion clips of key scenes behind cast lists and reviews. It’s a brilliantly subtle way of ramping up the ‘image’ of a film, and demonstrating cinematographic skills and heightened dramatism.
  1. Industry giants such as Spotify. Many large music websites have used video backgrounds highly effectively, creating a sense of calm and a positive vibe for everyone who browses their site.

How to make the most of video backgrounds

The thing that seems to work best, when it comes to video backgrounds, is subtlety. Video backgrounds seem to be at their most effective when they are not blasting you with information or distraction, but are instead heightening the atmosphere and ambience of the browsing experience. Think peaceful woodland scenes, leaves blowing in the wind and lovers strolling hand in hand in the distance – this has a subtle, psychological effect, which can encourage casual browsers to spend more time on the site, and feel comfortable doing so.

As websites have become more sophisticated, web users have become more discerning and perhaps more influenced by the appearance of the site – nowadays, the difference between an attractive, modern site with video backgrounds, and more old fashioned, clunky, static site is enormous. As such, increasing the impact of your site in those crucial first few seconds that somebody clicks on your link has never been more important.

Video backgrounds are also a great way of increasing the effectiveness of your brand. Once upon a time, branding meant little more than sticking to company colours and placing a big company logo on the corner of the screen. Today, branding is all about identity and association with specific lifestyle choices. Bringing video backgrounds and well-chosen music onto your site is an easy and highly effective way of reaching out to your customers and letting them know what you’re really about.

Imagine you’re inviting a date over for dinner. You want to make a powerful first impression, and give your prospective partner a taste of what to expect for the future. Are you going to leave your home exactly as it normally is, or are you going to pull out a few stops, change the lighting, put on some mood music and wear your most expensive perfume? In a similar way, video backgrounds are seductive, they’re dynamic, they’re another tool to demonstrate that you care about your company’s image and you’re willing to go the extra mile to make the customer’s visit to your virtual home and a pleasant and memorable one.

No need to cast doubt

There is always going to be a certain amount of scepticism when it comes to things like video background. After all, the internet is full of fads and passing trends – things which catch on for a short while, then go the way of the virtual dinosaur. However, because of the way the internet’s usability, speed and general performance is going (up and up and up, it seems) we can expect video backgrounds and more dynamic visual appearances to become the norm, relatively quickly. Unlike other fads, video backgrounds seem to have a genuine positive effect, as long as they have a level of subtlety which does not interrupt or disturb the overall browsing experience, and as long as the video itself is well chosen to fit the brand as a whole. As such, this is a bandwagon it really could be time to jump onto.

Furthermore, you don’t need to be a film maker or creative artist to make video backgrounds work for you. Thankfully, stock video can be purchased and used in much the same way as stock photography. As such, there is a staggering wealth of video out there to browse through and choose from, so you needn’t sweat about creating or finding one with any difficulty.

No Comments » - Read More

The Vital Importance of a Good Website

This was posted on June 27th, 2016

good-website

 

First impressions count for a lot in life. When you’re going for a job interview, you make an effort to look sharp, put on your best suit and comb your hair. We agonise over what perfume to apply when heading out for a first date, and we are taught to smile openly and make eye contact when meeting a client we haven’t met before. This all happens for simple, scientific reasons – our evolutionary biology has an ingrained ‘stay or go’ mentality, and this has led us to making snap decisions within seconds of meeting somebody. It may not be nice or fair to judge so many books by their covers… but we all do it, all the time.

The exact same principle can be, and should be, applied to websites. When a potential customer or client opens your website, they too are going to judge it initially by appearances. As the world gets faster, business becomes more competitive, and now that every company has a site of their own (which probably processes the vast majority of their custom), it has never been more important to have a snappy, good-looking, modern and impressive website.

We’ve all been there – we click on a google link to a site we feel will suit our needs, and we’re immediately faced with gaudy colours, inappropriate fonts, poor formatting or confusing banners and subheading that look as though they belong in the 1990s… and what do we do? We immediately click the ‘back’ button, and choose the next google listing that suits our requirements.

 

Common and deadly errors

  1. Keeping up with the Joneses

Probably the biggest error a company can make nowadays, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, is to have a website that seems to belong in the distant past. This is more common that you’d think, and usually comes about due to the owner of the website simply not giving enough thought to what consumers expect, or what impression their website makes on potential customers.

Perhaps the manager rarely visits their own website, and has other priorities. Perhaps they aren’t aware that their site – and therefore, their brand – is outdated and clunky. Perhaps they don’t care, or don’t feel they should care.

  1. Don’t underestimate the importance of your website

A website is just a tool, just one aspect of a business, isn’t it?

No, it isn’t. Nowadays, a website is your ‘front-of-house’ staff. It’s your virtual reception. It’s the place your potential clients will go to not only to get information about your services and products, but also the ‘feel’ of a company. An outdated website can make a company look out of touch and out of step with the modern business world. It could even look shifty and untrustworthy to those who need to feel safe, should they be making financial transactions through the site. In short, it could be disastrous.

  1. Keep your customers in the know

Other common (and easily fixable) mistakes also include having few or no updates on the website. Let’s say you have a blog, and when the site was launched, you diligently updated your information and the comings and goings of the company on a regular basis. Over time, you became more relaxed on this front, and the next thing you know, you haven’t posted anything for a year or two. A customer might see this, and (reasonably) presume you’ve gone out of business. Bang. Another paying client goes elsewhere.

  1. Take Pride

On top of this, a good website, carefully constructed with the customer in mind and which creates a positive image and brand, is a reflection of the care and pride the manager has in their company. If you were invited to someone’s house for dinner, and when you turned up you found that their home was dusty and old, things hadn’t been cleaned or spruced up for years, you’d come to two conclusions: Firstly, that the owner takes no pride in their home, and so cannot expect anyone else to, either, and secondly: I’ll stop at a takeaway on my way home, thanks very much.

Websites operate in much the same way. You want to exude pride and care through the image you set of your company. The easiest way to do that? Get somebody to help you bring your website bang up to date.

 

New World, New Expectations

The simple fact is that there is more competition than ever before. Companies providing services of all sorts are no longer relying on local customer bases, the old women down the road, or the regular customer who pops in for a chat on their way home from work. Today, companies based in rural England are as much in competition with similar business in London, as they are in Delhi or San Francisco. The internet has connected the world – a great thing for consumers, but a wake up call for the complacent and those slow to catch up. Constructing a decent, approachable and stylish website has never been easier, and there’s no longer any excuse to be left behind.

No Comments » - Read More

Are you 5 times more likely to lose customers?

This was posted on June 17th, 2016

mobile-update

According to Google themselves, people are five times more likely to leave a web site that isn’t mobile-friendly. Hence why last month, Google has been making yet more updates to how it views and lists web sites in its search results. So what do you need to do?

Google’s official statement highlights that its latest update is aimed primarily at non-mobile-friendly web sites, which means there are likely to be more significant penalties for sites that do not offer a good mobile experience to people who visit them.

This could be good news though. If your competitors’ web sites aren’t mobile friendly and yours is, then your site could show at the top of the mobile search results, which means you’ll receive many more visitors.

Some key facts
The update only applied to searches on mobile devices, so desktop and tablet searches were unaffected.

However, in 2015, over three quarters of adults in Great Britain used the internet every day, and a similar proportion (74%) accessed the internet “on the go” (away from home or work).

In April last year Google made an update that became a ranking factor in mobile searches alone. So if Google were to choose between two pages of similar relevance and quality, it will choose to display the mobile-friendly page in mobile search results.

What do you need to do to make your website mobile-friendly?

Responsive Design
You need what is called a ‘Responsive’ web site. This is a flexible design that automatically adapts to the size of a user’s screen. It means that a page will display properly whether your visitors access that it via a desktop browser or a mobile browser.

Avoid unplayable content
Ensure that all content works on Mobile platforms. When users visit a page on your site with content that is not supported on a mobile they will see an error. For example a video that requires Flash, will not work on mobile.

Slow mobile pages
Don’t lose visitors because your site is taking too long to load. According to Google, nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.

Optimise for touch
Pay extra attention to navigation on small screens. Instead of showing the desktop site’s navigation, have a clear ‘thumb-friendly’ menu and buttons.

Remove unnecessary design elements and content
Space is at a premium, so take a good look at all the elements and content on your page. Are all of them necessary to send your message across? If the answer is no, then remove them altogether.

Remember, it’s not just all about Google. When people visit your web site you want them to have a good experience so they contact, or buy from you.

If you want to find out how mobile friendly your web site is and what you need to do to contact in.house.media.

Visit www.ihm.co.uk/getmobile or call 01604 790 007.

No Comments » - Read More

Prove the naysayers wrong with the secret weapon for gaining new customers

This was posted on June 1st, 2016

 

naysayers

 

Social media was once solely a vehicle used by millennials to connect with friends and share amusing videos of cats. Now, it is a marketing powerhouse, fuelled by the fact that 57% of consumers say they think more highly of a business after seeing positive comments online.

 

On social media, word travels at light speed. People may be discussing your business on Twitter, right now. Equally, they may be wondering why you don’t respond to tweets when they experience a problem with your product, or why there is no ‘Like’ button on your website linking to a Facebook profile.

 

If you are still reluctant to devote a significant portion of your marketing effort and budget to social media, we’ve got 6 reasons you should do just that.

 

Here’s why social media ‘just works’ for business.

 

  1. Develop a public persona for your business

Social media presents a unique opportunity to develop an engaging and approachable public persona for your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a B2C or B2B industry – you can give your company a voice people will warm to and interact with.

 

  1. Improve customer service

Social media’s greatest asset is that it functions in real-time. From a business perspective, it gives instant feedback from customers and an insight into the way they view your company. It doesn’t always make pleasant reading, but you’ve never had a better chance to monitor and react to murmurings about your business (good or bad!).

 

  1. Build relationships, generate leads

Don’t listen to the naysayers who’ll tell you that social media can’t generate leads – it absolutely can. It just takes time. The more time you invest in your followers on social media, the more you’ll build those relationships and turn observers into prospects.

 

  1. Increase brand awareness

Just like email marketing, social media is a very affordable way to increase awareness of your brand. You just need a computer, internet connection and a little bit of inspiration. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are just some of the platforms on which you can make a real name for your business.

 

  1. Amplify your website content

If you’re blogging regularly – fantastic, but posting a blog containing a few keywords and expecting Google to start sending new visitors your way will leave you somewhat disappointed. You need to amplify your content and get it in front of people and social media is a brilliant delivery mechanism for your hard work.

 

  1. Reach a new audience

There are now over 2.2 billion social network users worldwide. Get your strategy right, and there is a simply colossal audience waiting to engage with you.

 

Summary

Social media marketing is about one thing: establishing your business as a thought leader within its chosen industry. Get it right, and you’ll draw people in and build a layer of trust which will, eventually, convince them that your products and services are worth spending money on.

 

You may have already dipped your toes into social media marketing, but struggle to find the time and expertise to make the most of it. Fret not! Fill out the form below and we’ll provide a completely free social media audit and tell you what you’re doing right and the areas in which you could improve.

 

 

No Comments » - Read More

What you need to know for mobile website success

This was posted on May 23rd, 2016

mobile-web-sucess

 

The times, they are a-changing. The days of having a simple, straightforward website is long gone, it seems. Increasingly, companies are having to keep up with the trends and changes being rolled out on the internet in order to maximise their viewability and usability. Google are at the forefront of most of these changes, and have been for as long as they’ve dominated the world of online searches. In April 2015, they set about boosting their mobile-friendly algorithms for web searches and website viewing, and have a second key update planned for May 2016, with the aim of encouraging business to make their websites as mobile-friendly as possible.

What does this mean? Well, if you haven’t checked to see if your company’s website is mobile friendly – that is, easily viewable and browsable on a mobile device, phone or tablet, you need to get your act together quickly and start making some changes. If you are unsure as to whether or not your site passes Google’s latest criteria for mobile-friendliness, then check out their Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool and find out for yourself today. The success of your business may well depend on it.

 

Why is it so vital to have a mobile-friendly website?

If you think this isn’t very important, then think again. Google have begun transforming the way their search engine (now the most widely used website on the entirety of the internet) works. As such, if an individual is searching for two similar businesses, and one of those businesses has a mobile-friendly website and the other does not, then the mobile-friendly site will have a considerably higher ranking. Appearing as close to the top of a google search page as possible is a key factor for any business – this sort of visibility is something people pay good money for – and if you are missing out due to these new changes, well, you’ll have to get your act together quickly.

The simple fact driving all this is that the way people search for information is something which is constantly evolving. Since the advent of smart phones and tablets a few short years ago, fewer and fewer people are using laptop or desktop computers to browse the internet, and for many people, the majority of web browsing is happening on the go. This can be seen on any bus or train in the country, and in cafes, airports and on the high street – people are glued to their mobile devices, either to kill time on social media, catch up with the latest news, or to gain specific information.

If your business does not yet have a mobile friendly site, the chances are, your ability to reach out to your target audience, customers or clients is being reduced. Think of how advertising messages spread; they can be passed by word of mouth, from one person to another. They can be picked up through traditional advertising methods, such as billboards or flyers. Perhaps they’ve come directly from your shop, headquarters, or from a representative of your company. If your customer wishes to find out more information quickly, or follow up on something they’ve seen or heard, the likelihood is they’ll whip out their smart phone, and quickly google what they need to know.

 

Get yourself to the top of the search page

Now, if you’re not up-to-date with a good, mobile-friendly website, you not only aren’t going to be near the top of any search results, but also you’re going to be frustrating your potential clients with a badly-loading, badly-fitting website, which isn’t going to fit properly on their mobile device. You’ll be putting people off before they even have an opportunity to see what you offer.

Making your website mobile-friendly isn’t necessarily a difficult process. If you approach it from the perspective of a customer or browser, then you’re going to know what is going to work, and what isn’t. Most web design professionals nowadays would advise you to go for what is called ‘responsive’ design – essentially, a website which automatically adapts itself to fit onto the screen of the device it is being viewed on.

This will ensure nothing is cut off, everything is in proportion, and your clients and customers can see what they need to know, and press and click happily as they navigate your site on their mobile. There are other options available, but seeing as google prefers responsive design, it would seem nonsensical not to follow this lead.

 

Get ahead of your competitors with a mobile-friendly website

The most important step to take when making your website mobile friendly, either by yourself or with the help of one of many available tools and templates, is to test, then test, and test some more. There are many, many things which can potentially go a little wrong, and while these may not seem significant to you, again, you have to approach it from the perspective of a customer.

The internet has made business monstrously competitive – a small fault or non-running page or video on a mobile site could prompt the viewer to simply click their ‘back’ button, and try a different, competing site. As such, it’s of vital importance you’re viewing your mobile-friendly site on as many devices as possible, and clearing up any faults or niggles that arise along the way.

So, if you’ve been putting off building a mobile friendly website for some time, you no longer have any excuse. Your competitors have mobile-friendly sites, google is essentially demanding that all listed business have one, and your customer base is expecting to be able to find the information they need, whenever they need it, be that at home or on the go. Mobile devices are the present and the future, and now is the time to get cracking, and give your business a chance to enter the latest age of mobile internet technology.

No Comments » - Read More

Our Predictions for the Biggest Web Design Trends in 2016

This was posted on December 15th, 2015

2016-trends

 

 

Well, 2016 is almost upon us. Yet again, the year has flown by and we’re looking forward to what the biggest web design trends will be in the coming year. It’s been a busy year in the design world, with a number of new trends coming in but we’re already preparing ourselves for what’s still to come.

So, with no further ado, here are our predictions for the biggest web design trends in 2016.

Custom illustrations and design
Up until now, imagery on the web has been largely focused on reused or derivative imagery, but there’s been a definite change in the tide recently. More and more, the focus is moving towards having custom illustrations or vector designs created. In fact, there’s a booming trade in new web illustrators creating a whole new sub-industry which looks set to become even bigger and more vital to web designers in the coming year.

Micro experiences
These have really come into their own in 2015 and look set to grow even more in 2016. Micro experiences are events which happen on the page without you having to leave or go anywhere. Even something as seemingly innocuous as adding a product to your Amazon basket could count as a micro event, as it allows you to trigger off an action without leaving the page. In the new web 3.0 in which everything must be instantaneous and done with the minimum of effort, micro experiences look set for growth.

Typography
Fonts and typefaces are big business, and more and more research goes into it all the time. The fonts you use on your website can massively influence a visitor’s likelihood of getting in touch or buying your products or services. Custom typography is also big business, and as more and more users move towards mobile and retina screen displays, your choice of crisp, easy-to-read typography is going to become more and more important.

Animations and cinemagraphs
Animations on websites are becoming big business again, and this time we’re not talking about animated GIFs. This time we’re talking about moving infographics and interactive animations which enhance the user experience rather than just simply showing off the fact that we’ve got an animation package on our computer. After all, everything we do in web design should be focused towards enhancing the user experience.

Semi-flat design
Whereas the design trend of the past couple of years has been towards skeuomorphism — something which was pioneered by Apple in earlier versions of iOS and MacOS — the trends are following Apple yet again, but this time it’s semi-flat design. It’s more or less what the name suggests: simple flat design with minimal shading or detail, keeping things simple and effective.

The continuing evolution of responsive design
This is something which is set to continue in much the same vein, mainly because responsive design isn’t something which will ever be fully achieved due to its very nature. Instead, websites will become ever more adaptive to the growing range and variety of devices on which we view websites, again helping to boost the user experience for everyone.

So, there you have it — our predictions for 2016 in a nutshell. We’ll be back in the New Year with a more in-depth look at these elements and how you can incorporate them in your website.

No Comments » - Read More
Page 3 of 5112345...102030...Last »

Click to Contact Us today or call on 01604 790007 during office hours