When a prospective client first approaches Off The Peg Design to discuss their web design or promotional needs little do they know the journey they will go on and where it will take them.
It is often the case that a prospective client will think that they are handing off the web design or marketing duties to a designer or marketer and then that’s the end of it. Nothing more to do! Awesome!
The reality is a little different than that. The most successful web site developments are a harmonious meeting of minds between the web studio and the business owners looking for a new web site development or complete redesign of their existing site.
The designers need to get a proper sense of what is important to the business owners and particularly their customers. In this way, a new site design can be appropriately focused on what is important to site visitors so the site design sets the right tone and doesn’t miss the mark entirely.
Communicate Is Key.
Open communication between web design client and web studio is vital. In short order, the web studio needs to understand what the business does, why it’s important or how it differentiates itself from the competition. What makes the company tick and what attracts new customers to the business? How can this be transferred to the web in a way that is just as convincing?
By knowing what questions to ask clients, a web studio can ensure that they have enough information to create some design mock-ups that will appeal immediately to the business owners and their customers.
Style and Culture Conveyed
A business will have a style and culture all its own which often needs to be conveyed on the web as well as in their office. As more business is conducted virtually while never even stepping foot inside the head office, it is a good idea to infuse a web site with a sense of people who work in the business. If there is a sense of fun or playfulness, this should be thrown into the mix to show that the staff are real people too. In a world of automated telephone systems where getting to speak to a real human can be a challenge, the personal touch matters more than ever.
Design In Sharp Focus
Client consultations will include thoughts on the overall objective of the web site. Will there be landing pages to help convert visitors into email subscribers or product buyers? Will there be a regular weekly blog with industry-relevant content?
Web site imagery can be designed to capture the right mood. Web sites are not all the same. Some are serious business services web sites while others are about creative teams who are capable of commissioned professional-quality work while maintaining a sense of what makes life enjoyable. This can actually be the exact same business just presented in two different ways!
It’s up to the collaboration between client and designer to create the right mood with the home page design and pushing deeper from there to inner pages with more detailed product or service information. The more that a client “gets down” with the true collaboration that’s involved with a well executed new web site development, the better the results will be for all people involved.
The Customer Is King
An old cliché for sure, but still true if you want to retain the customer base. With clear goals about how customers see your business and what they expect from it, the more tightly a site can be designed to meet those broad expectations.
For customers who expect communication from the business, a business blog is ideal to increase business conversation without seeming overly promotional. This could be linked and promoted from the home page to ensure visitors don’t miss it.
A regular newsletter is also an excellent way to collect visitor information from folks who may not already be paying customers. New visitors can become subscribers receiving relevant industry news, insightful articles that help them in their profession, along with notifications about new product or service offerings from the company. A win-win for all involved.
With customers who care about what market segment they are in, it can be useful to divide up a web site into silos with private individuals in one area, SMEs in a second area and corporate enterprises in a third. In this way, each silo may act as its own home page with more relevant links to products, services and industry news that more closely matches those client needs.
Tying It All Together
Ultimately, a web design development is successful when it meets the needs of the visitors and the owners are happy with the site. If the bounce rate falls following a redesign (the percentage of visitors who leave after seeing the page they entered a site on) then the site is doing better than before. If engagement is up and visitors stay for several minutes per visit instead of averaging 20 seconds per visit, then the content is well presented too.
There are plenty of useful metrics available from Google Analytics and other traffic tracking web apps that can provide confirmation that visitors are liking the site changes. These traffic analytical web apps can track the number of unique visitors per month, bounce rate, time on the site, most common page to enter the site, and much more information besides. It helps to take things out of the abstract and deliver raw data that is already analysed for you. If you’re not already using analytics, make sure it is added to your next site development.