With each new year comes new goals and expectations. One resolution that I would hope all companies, both large and small, would have is to place a strong focus on the value of great design.
Just a few short years ago, great design was for the big companies, the ones who were traded on Wall Street. They spent millions and hired the very best firms for cutting edge creative services and smart design, and we owe a lot to their innovation for setting the standards we now have.
Fast forward to today, 2013, and great design is no longer a luxury for a business; it is a requirement–and an expectation. The way you present your company to your customers is as important as the way you present yourself. You wouldn't wear a wrinkled old suit to meet a prospective customer because you know that first impressions matter. But what about the first impression a potential customer has when they visit your website? Often, they will see this long before they will be able to shake your hand in person. Does your website design and development make your site eye-catching and easy to navigate or is it a wrinkled old suit? Does it provide valuable information that your prospects are searching for?
Great design is not just aesthetics, it is how you interact with your customers. It is the first impression, the handshake, and it matters. Companies like Apple and Google have made the push for good, smart design in their products and their applications, and others have followed suit. We are all users, experiencing design first-hand on a day-to-day basis and bad design is disappearing with each dollar put into the economy by a public who now intrinsically understands that great design is worth it. We are so used to amazing design that we sometimes don’t even notice it, anymore. We do, however, notice when it’s bad and we tune it out immediately. Rejection is just one click away.
So if good design is no longer an option, how do you know what good design is and if your company is utilizing it when targeting your customer base? Odds are if your website is more than a few years old, it is probably out of date and in need of a refresh. Technology changes rapidly and a tsunami of innovative consumer products in the past few years has completely changed the way we interact with the web. More and more people are navigating with a touchscreen and moving away from the mouse and keyboard, thus completely changing the way we approach usability. Software has also evolved so rapidly that a site that worked like a charm in 2010 is now completely unusable on a mobile device.
Here are a few tips to see if you are due for a redesign on your site:
Is your site as useable as your competitors?
Are people visiting your site and staying long enough to actually understand what it is that makes you deserve their business? Great design ensures that your site holds people’s interest.
Can your site function properly on the most recent version of the iPad, iPhone or Android device? (In 2012, 25% of all web traffic came from these devices.) Great design helps bridge the gap between technologies.
Does your site’s design help people find you via search? Great design is the first step to great search engine optimization.
If you think your site could use a little ironing out, talk to us! We have an award-winning team of designers and developers who will build a website for you that is not only well-designed, but optimized for your business and built to last, through whatever changes technology throws at us next.