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Image by: juhansonin
By Josie Alexander
Why is a good web designer worth your time and money? With advancing technology and people who are always on the go (looking up things on their phones) and busy with their lives, the internet is becoming a place that they go to often to browse before shopping.
Now whether or not they actually shop there or go to the store-front to shop depends on what type of product you are selling and how your website is designed.
In With The New
Technology is changing so fast that you’ll need to update your web design as soon as you are done with it. If you’re lucky enough to know something about design and coding, then you know that it can take up a lot of time, at least a good design does. That’s why you hire a web designer.
You are a busy working woman (possibly with a family) and a small business to run. You need to leave certain things to the experts so that you can concentrate on other things. Don’t skimp on a designer either. If you do, I can guarantee that you’ll need to redo your webpage over and over again.
You Get What You Pay For
When you hire a web designer, you should be looking for certain aspects of their work and of them. For example:
- What is their skill level and do they go to regular conventions and conferences to keep up with the fast-moving times? The latest in internet development includes HTML5 which is the fifth revision of regular use HTML code. Most of the changes include semantic revisions for common coding language. Unfortunately, there are still some problems (such as the fact that not all browsers support HTML5, etc.)
How logical are their choices?
Does this designer know what the stats mean on Google Analytics?
What is their conversion rate (converting visitors into customers)? If you have a fantastic conversion rate, it shows that your web design is affective and appealing.
Does their portfolio look confusing or user-friendly?
Sometimes less is more so check to see if their designs are simple enough for a user not to leave your website in frustration. This is called responsive web design. It is a design approach that aims to provide the most optimum viewing experience: easy to read, easy to navigate, etc. An example would be the latest change for Kindle users which allows a “reading view” option on websites that are text heavy (like Wikipedia).
In order to critique their work, you’re going to need to turn to something like Google Analytics, which is a service that checks to see what your visitors are doing on your website. It charts where your users are coming from (in the world and from what source on the internet), how long they stayed on your site, how they were referred there, and what type of visitor they are.
Not to mention, they offer this all in real-time so you can use this information to not only optimize your website but also expand your customer base.
Why do you have more visitors from Iceland? Are your products in use there and why? Should you be offering shipping deals for a limited time only? Or should you be marketing toward a different audience that you didn’t even consider before?
Now, want to take this information one step further?
Heat maps are an amazing and ingenious tool that web-based companies like CrazyEgg and ClickTale use to show you what consumers are doing on your site. A heat map is a visual tool that shows you where your visitors are going on your website. Just like how a regular geographical heat map shows you where the hot spots are, these companies do the same thing with your website.
Spots that are highlighted in red are where your visitors click the most. Spots that are lit up in blue are where they click on less often. You get the gist. Anyway, you can use this information to keep the aspects that your customers are using and change the aspects that they don’t like.
CrazyEgg is amazing because it also shows you that data in more detail. It’s called “confetti”. It shows you exactly where everyone is clicking on your site with colored dots that filter where your visitors are coming from, etc.
They also have a “scrollmap tool” that shows you how far down your visitors are scrolling on your page.
Their “overlay tool” shows you exactly how many clicks various icons and buttons gets.
I can’t stress this enough, don’t skimp (or forget about) mobile web-design. How frustrating is it when you are so excited about a product or a service, so you look up the website on your phone and can’t navigate the page because of how it is laid-out (read: not mobile friendly)? Statistics have shown that mobile internet use has risen 5% in the last year alone. Out of normal phone use, the average person uses their internet browser 20% of the time. Marketing Pilgrim states that:
“Nearly half of American smartphone owners used shopping apps in June 2012.”
In 2015 mobile internet use is expected to exceed desktop internet use. If that isn’t a reason for you to get on the mobile Web-Design bandwagon, I’m not sure what is.
I know, “if the product is good enough, the customer won’t forget about it.” I’m not saying that you don’t have a good product but if you’re brand-new, you don’t want to chance losing potential customers.
Spend the money to get a good designer that knows the current market trends, knows her stuff, does good mobile-based web designs, and can work with your vision. While you may be spending a lot of money now, it will save you a lot of money in the future. Not to mention, time and effort as well.
Great Web Designs
To show you the importance of web design, here are a few websites that prove just how detrimental a good web-designer is. These sites are not only exquisite works of art, but they get the job done.
Alchemy Digital is a company filled with digital and creative strategists. They work hard to help their clientele develop a fantastic digital platform. Their website has bright, bold colors that catch your attention. The typeface is easy to read. The website is easy to navigate and they use their white-space effectively.
Disqus lets their users talk about the latest trends in pop culture and relevant news going on all around them. They can also use the site to discover new trends and meet with new people via discussions.
The homepage is magnificent, inviting, and beautiful (a space-type theme). The icons are interesting and make you want to hover and click on all of them. Once you are further into the site, the pages are easy to read and navigate. It makes exploring the site both fun and easy.
The Expressive Web is a site made by Adobe that showcases the creative, exciting, and new potencials available at your fingertips by using HTML5 and CSS3 (which is the latest development from CSS – Cascading Style Sheets).
Now if this site has piqued your interest, check out this Oli.jp article that talks about the top 12 controversial topics concerning HTML5. Trust me, it’s not all bad and it is the future of web coding.
So browse these websites and note the concepts and ideas that you like so you can bring them to the table when you hire your new web designers.