The world of technology evolves at a rapid pace. Here at A•VIBE, we adhere to 10 principals to consistently ensure the success of our projects.
1. Know Your Audience
Create User Journeys to cater to your audience
The first, and most important aspect of web development is knowing who will be using your site or application. Utilizing user surveys to determine what content your users want and how they want to access it is priceless when crafting a digital experience. A survey can inform design and usability decisions that make for a exceptional user experience. The data collected from surveys allows designers and developers to lead users on a journey through the site, making it easy to access desired information from intuitive areas of the site. That saying, “The customer is always right” still holds true in ecommerce and is crucial to successful web development. Before redesigning your website, consider your audience and what kind of interaction and experience you want them to have with your website.
2. Mobile Friendly Display and Interaction
Can you touch it?
It’s no secret that mobile devices are typically no more than 5 feet away from us at any given time. Children and seniors alike spend lots of time on their mobile devices to read an article or play the latest game. It is important that your website or application is designed and developed to be accessed on a variety of different devices and screen sizes. Having a responsive, or mobile friendly site, not only allows for greater web exposure, but responsive sites inherently give your site a boost on Google’s search rankings. A•VIBE designs and develops all projects to be responsive; if your site isn’t mobile friendly contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss a redesign or a responsive retro-fit.
3. Optimize for Performance
Minifying scripts and optimizing images for faster load time
A study from Google says that 40% of consumers will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. If your site isn’t optimized to load quickly it deters your users from going to your site and can greatly reduce your conversion rate. Our Website Optimization blog talks about how you can test your website’s performance and recommends enhancements to ensure that your site is optimized for the best user experience. Small optimizations like minifying scripts and image optimization can go a long way in increasing your website’s load time.
4. Trusted Design
Would you buy from your company?
What factors do you consider when choosing to purchase something? For many, "trust" is a huge factor when determining who and where they will spend their money. Having a solid website builds trust with users, it acts as a virtual storefront of your business; people judge businesses by the way their site looks, so it is important that your site looks modern to promote this trust. The customer experience comes into play here, knowing your audience and being able to “speak” to them on the web as you would in real life – capturing the same tone and experience. Wherever possible it is best practice to use custom photography over stock photography to relay your company culture to prospective or current customers. Warm, custom imagery allows users to connect with your company when it isn’t possible to connect in person.
5. Organic Search Engine Optimization
Are they finding you?
Content writing is often looked at as cumbersome, when in fact it is the driving force behind a greater presence on the web. Google looks at URLs, headers, meta tags, and keywords to determine what your site is about. If your site isn’t communicating who, what, and where clearly then Google won’t find you and neither will prospective customers. When writing content, it is important to think about keywords that will be commonly searched for by your audience. Organic search engine optimization requires great content and meta tags which naturally integrate keywords. Wherever possible it is great to identify any niche terms that you can disperse throughout the content to help you stand out against the competition.
6. Images vs. Text vs. Animation
How do you engage your audience?
Some people are visual and some prefer content and data; the tough part is finding the right balance to make the content enticing to different types of users, with different types of preferences for content delivery. Younger generations tend to be drawn by animation and imagery and often prefer to scan text; while older generations may prefer to read content in a longer format without scanning. Regardless, every person enjoys and appreciates little delights that validate the user experience; this could be subtle hover states that transition as you hover over a submit button or parallax scrolling where users rely less on clicking and navigation to move through the site. By engaging your audience with custom photography and subtle animation they remember your business and you entice them to learn more about your products and services.
7. Helpful Iconography
Make it easy for users to find desired content
Using iconography, which are descriptive images to support a website’s taxonomy is a quick and efficient way for users to access information by topic or content type. When iconography is done right it is intuitive, saves time, and can prevent user frustration. Iconography is best used with text-based content and should represent the content by representing functionality or information to users. The use of iconography is a helpful aid for people who often scan text, it offers a visual cue describing the content topic, or content type with an added interest by utilizing design. ScienceFriday does a great job using iconography to distinguish different content types.
8. Tell the Story
Utilize video, text and imagery to spread your message
Everyone likes a good story, people remember stories. A great way to spread your company message is by telling a story on your site. Storytelling is most effective when it integrates different forms of content to lead users on a journey through your site. A video is the warmest and quickest channel of content delivery, it can tell a story within seconds. Video paired with supporting verbiage and graphics will further support your story and engage your users. Using video, imagery, and text to create an interactive journey helps people get a greater understanding of your mission and brand and connects you with your customers.
9. Reality is Good and Bad
Catering user experiences for all human emotions
Have you noticed that Facebook now allows users to “love”, “laugh”, or “cry” on your friend’s posts when before the only option was to “like” a photo? They learned that not every experience is lined in silver. It is important that your website or application caters to a variety of human emotions wherever possible. The big idea is that all user interface design should support the emotion that the user should have when exploring that content. This can be as simple as the background image changing to fit that particular user’s mood or preferences, it can also be a completely different user interface depending on the user’s chosen account settings. Know your audience and evoke the right emotion for your users.
10. Off-The-Shelf vs. Custom Development
What are your needs?
Often, clients will come to us saying that they were told by other firms that their vision wasn’t possible when that isn’t the case. Many firms try to make off-the-shelf solutions work for their clients when in reality a custom website or application is the right choice. In many cases, off-the-shelf solutions are cost saving initially but can quickly accumulate large maintenance expenses because the solution is not flexible enough to adapt and scale with the business. If you are wondering whether a custom or off-the-shelf solution is best for your project Contact Us, we can help you determine what the best option is for your unique business needs.
If you are considering a website redesign or need a new website, make sure that the web firm you select adheres to best practices to ensure a successful and enjoyable process.