Website Design & Development is the first and initial tool for your digital marketing activities. Firstly you must have a website for your business.
Consumer behavior changes over time to adapt to modern technology, and consumer behavior has changed to adapt to the digital age. For an example—the Yellow Pages. The telephone was a disruptive new technology in the late 1800s and changed the way consumers did business. As more and more households began to use the telephone directory to find local products and services, business owners realized advertising in it was a smart bet. By the 1930s, advertising in the Yellow Pages was standard operating procedure for most businesses. It made perfect sense—the majority of households used the directory on a daily basis.
Then came the world wide web (www) and a new disruption to the commercial status quo: the digital transformation. As more and more consumers realized they could find what they needed online faster and more effectively than a phone book, behavior shifted away from using the printed directory. By 2011, 70 percent of all consumers rarely or never used printed phone directories. Also in 2011, more than 59 percent of consumers were already going online to find local businesses.
Fast-forward to 2019, and the number of consumers that go online to find a local business has jumped to 97 percent. If you want them to choose your company, you need to be found online—meaning you need a website.
Key Components of Effective Website Design
With careful consideration of all facets of your digital marketing plan, a solid, well-executed web design serves as the heart of your marketing efforts and has the power to help achieve your organizational goals.
Let’s look at all the various marketing components that good web design can help with:
User Interface (UI)
A user interface is the bridge between a user and a piece of software; it is the element of technology that allows normal people to easily engage with an otherwise complex platform.
Historically, the first user interface for a computer wasn’t powered by a point-and-click mouse; PCs largely used text-based interfaces, forcing the user to type a string of code into a connected keyboard just to complete even the most menial of commands.
Decades after the first computer was created, the mouse simplified this process by eliminating the vast majority of code that was required to operate them; inevitably, the mouse also made personal computers much more accessible to average people (and empowered developers to create software for these normal people). Even today, with the advent of smart phones and tablets, user interfaces have been adapted again to encompass multi-touch displays that allow for swipe gestures to be used to navigate websites and apps.
In short, UI governs the way any piece of software looks, feels and moves. This includes all icons, buttons, boxes, graphics, animations, tables and more.
User Experience (UX)
A user experience is nearly self-explanatory: it is the experience a user receives as a result of software’s visual structure and technical refinement. Essentially, UX combines both elements of website creation (design and development) into one neat, cohesive package.
On a human level, the user experience is a culmination of how a website’s functional elements (including UI) make a user feel. When taking user experience into account throughout the website creation process, a designer/developer must ask him-/herself the following questions:
– Is the interface clean or cluttered?
– Is the software easy to user or is it complex?
– Can users quickly and effortlessly find what they are looking for?
– Does the software elicit emotion: happiness, sadness, anger, etc.?
– Can anything be done to make the user experience better?
A Clean UI + an Optimized UX = Butter
When the web was young, user interfaces were barren by design. In the early 90’s, developers didn’t have the technology required to make a great UI and UX together. Instead, websites focused mostly on what the website could do and not so much on how it looked while doing it.
In the modern days of technology, where developers have access to refined coding languages, substantial bandwidth and endless processing power to push graphics, our web capabilities have changed. We now have the power to build beautiful webscapes that also move with buttery-smooth fluidity. As a result, frontend design and backend optimization can be leveraged to make exceptional user experiences possible.
The Effects of UI/UX on Engagement and Conversions
Speaking to achievements in modern technology, fast network speeds and capable devices have taught consumers to expect nothing less than superior performance from the websites they visit.
In fact, did you know that nearly 50 percent of web surfers will only wait two seconds or less for a webpage to load before texting out and moving on to the next brand’s website?
second delay in webpage response time can cost a company 7 percent of its annual conversions (i.e. sales). These numbers don’t even take into account how many users “bounce” due to website glitches, crashes and errors!
Speed and visuals are vital for today’s websites to master, because these qualities are innately important to users. A failure for any brand to meet these needs creates an opportunity for its customers to find what they’re looking for elsewhere, ultimately crippling the brand’s revenue stream.
How Your Brand Can Ride UI/UX to Success.
Every brand that wants to succeed needs a functioning website, but even this isn’t necessarily enough. Your site must also be optimized for the modern web surfer; quite simply, pages have to load fast and look good while doing it. Once this is achieved, the advantages partake in the rolling snowball effect…
A better user experience leads to more viewers who stay on your brand’s website for longer periods of time. The more customers who click through the various pages on your brand’s site are more likely to learn about your company. A customer who is informed about your brand’s products, services and mission are more likely to invest in what you have to offer. A first-time investment leads to the probability of future investments in your brand. A future customer investment leads to lasting sustainability. Without an intuitively built website, none of this is possible.
First impressions count — how does your website stack up? The look and feel of your website should be consistent with all other marketing materials including whitepapers, product sheets, etc. Is your branding communicating the right message about your business?
See other important activities for Digital Marketing:
- Content Writing & Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Group & Posting
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- E-mail Marketing
- SMS Marketing
- E-Commerce Marketing
- Customer Data Management