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App design combines the user interface (UI) And user experience (UX) into a seamless balance of functionality and style. In terms of designing an app, the term user interface tends to speak more about the overall design in terms of style (such as colours, fonts and general look and feel), whilst the term user experience focuses more on the overall useability and functionality of the app.
The user interface tends to deal more so with the overall style of the app (including colours, fonts and general look and feel) experience focuses on the actual functionality and useability.
Creating an app with both beauty and functionality and marries the UI with the UX ideally is the essence of good app design. It’s almost impossible to build a perfect app without continual cycles of reiteration and revamping, which is why many apps are constantly updating to suit the needs and wants of their clients. As your customers/users grow, you’ll want your app to follow suit.
A good user experience, for example, may differ based on the targeted demographic of the app. But, even then, the target audience may not necessarily engage with the UX as planned, or the UX may engage better with a different audience.
Fundamental principles to consider when designing an app’s UX include:
- Is it useful? Will your app enable someone to achieve their goal in a logical, cohesive way?
- Do your customers find it easy to operate the app? How useable is the app? Is it user-friendly?
- Desirability – will the user base find this interesting? Will it elevate the user’s experience above and beyond the expected norm?
- Is it easy to navigate and intuitive to do so?
- Accessibility – are there restrictions to certain users that may affect how they interact with the app, roadblocks to certain features that can’t be circumnavigated, or increased challenges or difficulty in discerning information?
- How credible your app’s information is to your clients. Is it fact-checked or inconsistent? Can they trust the information that you provide them?
- Will the user find the value of your app within it? A lack of value will likely incite no return on investment with users, which you don’t want to happen.
A good user experience, paired with a well-designed interface, can aid in the app’s reception by your customer base and promote further communication.
There is software available for you to trial app designs with, but if you don’t necessarily have the skillset or time to play around and create your own, speaking with a designer/developer could be a path you may want to take if you have the money to do so.
Regardless of whether your email campaigns are being delivered to your customer’s inbox, it will be for minimal effect if the copy within does not engage with your customer.
With marketing through email campaigns an engagement-driven system, you’ll want to ensure that you generate the leads you need and that your clients engage with the copy and open those emails to find out more about what you have written.
There are five simple principles that you need to bear in mind when creating copy for email campaigns.
Know Your Audience
Who are you writing to? You need to know who the product is being sold so as to tailor your message to suit. Don’t try to appeal to everyone with a single email campaign, as the messaging won’t be as effective. You’ll also potentially lose out on reaching the right audience. Consider:
- Segmenting your email lists to support your campaign goals (e.g. demographics, products purchased previously, etc.)
- Forming in your mind an Ideal Customer Avatar as the representative of the person that the copy’s message must reach and be targeted towards
- If you were selling tools to tradespeople, you wouldn’t be writing a message aimed at a retail cashier; you would be looking to sell to tradespeople who need tools or are looking for an upgrade.
Know What The Goal Is
You need to make sure that they know what the next step after reading the email is, and the best way to do so is to have a goal in mind to work towards. Are you trying to get signups on a new product, or looking for people to trial your new demo? If you know how you want your readers to proceed and can direct them where you want them to go, your email copy will naturally become more focused and clear.
Keep It Simple
It can be very easy to get lost in technical jargon in copy, and it can be very disruptive and jarring to your readers when it arises. Try writing your copy as though you are speaking to your friends – keep it conversational and simplify the language you use to ensure that you can keep your audience interested.
Get A Second Opinion
Even though your copy may be understandable to you, you’re also the one with the most knowledge about it. Get someone else to review after editing the content and ensure the message has the maximum clarity of information available. The second pair of eyes may also catch any other mistakes you might have missed before sending it out.
Test Different Versions
You can use A/B testing of your email campaigns to see which ones generate the most clickthroughs and what does not. Use this information to tailor your copy further and keep the key messaging that is working.
With countless emails flooding your customer’s inboxes daily, it can seem like an insurmountable task just to get them to open yours. Unless your email marketing is being handled smartly and creatively, it could go unnoticed and unread.
Email marketing is the act of sending promotional materials through email, where reaching your customers via their inbox can be employed as an effective digital marketing strategy. Often, this is done via email newsletter campaigns, that promote the products or services that you aim to provide your potential client.
Keep your audience engaged, build strong customer relationships and expand your reach with a good campaign. By crafting messages that have an impact and email marketing campaigns that your customers want to read, you’ll increase sales and your brand’s promotion in no time flat.
Here are some of the benefits to email marketing campaigns:
- Direct access to customers to reach out to them personally
- Fantastic ROI (return on investment) with regards to roughly 17.5% click throughs resulting in a purchase
- Segmentation allows emails to be split according to demographic targets or where the customers are in their journey on the site.
- Emails can be a more personal style of promotion, if you have access to the customer’s personal information.
There are a few steps to take into account when developing and setting up the email marketing campaign.
- Develop an email list, be it through a signup form and popup form or other alternative.
- Segment the list into your marketing goals, ie. demographics, new subscribers
- Design the email to be eye catching, with:
- An enticing subject line
- A personalised greeting
- Brief but helpful description
- Compelling calls to action (CTA)
- Employ split-testing (or A/B testing) to test out what features are impacting reception, clickthroughs, etc.
- Review the results once you have completed the testing, and see what needs to be improved for next time.
A well-designed and structured email campaign can be an effective weapon to equip for your online marketing. Use these tactics to develop your own approach to email marketing that suits your needs.
Online portfolios are a simple way of creating a digital presentation of skills or examples of projects that can be displayed by a professional. They’re an easy way to demonstrate (particularly in more creative/visual based fields) the skills and knowledge that an individual possesses in a more tangible way than dot points on a resume might convey. It’s also an effective and simple method to add additional content and promotable material into a website, without detracting from the site’s key messaging.
A good online portfolio is more than a showcase of past work. It is an experience that will stay with visitors to the website as a result of the impression it has left on them. Much like how websites should be engaging and dynamic with their design, a portfolio should demonstrate your capabilities and skills in its presentation and content.
Elements of a portfolio that should be considered in the design process include:
- A portfolio should not have to be started from scratch every time. Build a portfolio that is accessible for updates and revisions, durable, designed for the long term and only needs to be updated with fresh content and styles to reflect creative development.
- Content for the portfolio should be visually appealing and well written – ensure that copy written for the portfolio keeps in mind the message that is aiming to be delivered by the portfolio’s owner.
- Always ensure that it is obvious whose portfolio is being displayed – a name and specialty on the homepage of the portfolio is a simple way to address this.
- All copy must be free of mistakes, grammatical errors and spell-checked. It’s layout and formatting should also be consistent.
- Acknowledge the contributions of people involved in the projects beyond the owner – it shows great team spirit and explains better the part that the owner of the portfolio did play.
- Confirm that the portfolio is mobile-interface friendly, as many people may view it via their mobile phones and should not have their user experience negatively affected.
A well crafted portfolio can have additional benefits to a website beyond simply displaying abilities or skills. Filling in the metadata of any images and pages, choosing a good domain name for hosting and making sure to use strategic keywords for Google to associate with the site can be simple ways to improve a design portfolio’s ranking on Google search results.
Online portfolios can be an effective way to present yourself to the digital market. Consider employing this strategic marketing tool to utilise your website to its fullest potential.
As a business owner, it’s important to understand how your customer base is interfacing with your business’ online presence, and if there are any glaring user-unfriendly issues that could impact their experience. It may even drive them towards competitors of your business who understand the value of a well-designed website.
Here are three design principles for your website to implement to ensure your customers are satisfied with their online experience.
A responsive design or mobile-friendly website is mandatory for any business’ website. Since many customers may interact with your website while on the go and via their phone, ensuring that your site renders appropriately on mobile devices will boost that interaction. A non-responsive website has less engagement, poor conversion and a lower ranking in the search results – mobile-friendly websites boost your SEO.
Ensuring that the user experience is optimised for their engagement can be the difference between a successful website and a poorly-performing site. For this, a user-friendly layout, an obvious site structure that does not require additional instructions and a clear path for information to flow through are critical components. The other design choices can come late.
Call To Action
A call to action is a must-have for websites – it’s a way to prompt your customer to take the next step. It’s also an easy way to guide conversion and ensure that your customers are interacting with the elements of a page that could assist.
A tool that many businesses, organisations and individuals use when setting up their website is search engine optimisation (or SEO). This tool ensures that the website’s visibility on initial searches for something that their product or service matches is much higher than others. To do this, SEO’s often use keywords that allow search engines to rank the page according to how relevant they are.
What many businesses would benefit from, is an SEO strategy. This is a process of organising a website’s content by topic to improve its chances of appearing in search results, which results in an opportunity to increase traffic flow onto the website organically.
There are three types of SEO that can be focused on to improve the effectiveness of a website.
- On-page SEO – content that is actually on site pages, and optimising it to boost the website’s ranking for certain keywords.
- Off-page SEO – focuses on links directed to the website from a different site on the web. This helps to build trust with search engine algorithms.
- Technical SEO – the website’s code, the technical set up of the website.
Here are a few easy ways to strategise the content of a website for SEO:
- Make a list of topics that the content should address
- research 10 words and terms associated with the product or service of the website, and come up with variations that make sense for the business
- Make a list of long-tail keywords (search phrases with longer word counts) that apply to the content of your website.
- Build pages for each topic, ie. business products, offerings. This makes it easier for customers to find the site in search engines, no matter what key words they use.
- Set up a blog, and write blog posts. Linking back to the website with each post will tell Google that there’s a relationship between the content of both and specific keywords.
- Create a consistent blogging schedule (at least once a week).
- Create a link-building plan – link-building is the primary objective of off-page SEO, which is the process of attracting inbound links to your website from other sources on the internet.
- Compress media files before uploading them to your site – page speed is a crucial ranking factor for SEO, and media files can slow down pages extremely quickly.
- Stay up to date on SEO news and best practices
- Measure and track your content’s success with analytics tools, to make sure your strategy is working.
Always remember when developing an SEO strategy that the business’ needs should be the primary focus – whether it’s for increasing customers or better marketing for instance, the need should always drive the strategy.
These are features you should make sure you have on your website:
- Your contact information should be easily accessible. Potential customers should know how to get in touch with you if they want your products or services.
- Try to have a blog on your website that you update with articles about your business area. This is great for SEO, producing shareable content that gets your name out there, and a way to demonstrate your knowledge to potential customers.
- Having testimonials and case studies on your website will make it easier to increase your credibility and demonstrate customer satisfaction. Case studies will also make it easier for customers to understand how you may be useful for them.
- SEO content throughout the website will bring more customers to you. Make sure you integrate SEO strategising for titles, descriptions and any other content.
- The live chat function makes asking questions much easier for potential customers. Live chat functions are easy to install and people regularly use them when making online purchases.
- An effective search function on the website can save the customer’s time. Research has found that use of the search function correlates with a website visitor’s conversion rate.
Webinars are online conferences that have become much easier to host with technological advances. They are also cheaper and, if used correctly, can be beneficial for your business.
Build brand authority and trust
Giving potential and current customers the opportunity to speak directly to you allows for transparency which can improve trust. During the seminar you can demonstrate your products and discuss your services and explain why they are better than competitors. Your customer interactions during these seminars will allow customers to ask questions to which you can provide insightful information and show your commitment to the business.
Improve search engine rankings
Hosting webinars boosts your search engine rankings. Improving your rankings on a search engine can benefit your business as the higher you are ranked the more trusted you are perceived. Not to mention, you are seen by more people and this increases the likelihood of gaining customers.
Generate more leads
Webinars can help you get into direct contact with potential customers. Asking those who join your webinar to leave behind their email addresses if they want to work with you is a chance to form a community.
Launch new products
Thanks to the development in technology, webinars can be highly interactive. You can host Q&A sessions and conduct demonstrations of new products to familiarise people with them before they launch.
Although other social media platforms can be more casual, having a strong LinkedIn presence can be helpful to form partnerships and onboard skilled team members. The steps to building an engaging and professional LinkedIn page for your business is straightforward but will require you to put time aside for it.
- Profile image and banner: Your logo should always be the profile image. You can play around with the image of your banner depending on your brand identity – it can be sleek and stylish or actionable and engaging. Make sure that both of these fit the sizing requirements listed in LinkedIn
- About us: The About us section should not be too long or difficult to read. Keep it engaging, snappy and accessible. It should tell the reader who you are as a brand, where you are based, what you offer, what your values are, what your brand voice is, how people should contact you. Don’t forget to maintain professionalism as LinkedIn is a professional space.
- Fill out the key fields: Connect links to your social media/website, add your address, details of your industry, company size. Filling out all of these will help LinkedIn show your page in response to relevant searches and make you more discoverable.
- Create showcase pages: Your main page will give people an overview of the business, but if you have multiple services, then creating showcase pages will help zoom in on day-to-day activities of each service. This will help people engage with the aspect of your business that is most relevant to them.
Each person uses the internet in a different way. Whether they regularly access the internet for their job or only go on it to watch movies and shows, users have found a way to utilise the internet for their convenience.
One particular convenience that has come from the internet is being able to research a product or services and purchase them online. A snapshot of July 2020 of internet users between the age of 16-64 showed that:
- 81% of users searched online for a product or service that they wanted to purchase
- 90% visited an online store
- 74% purchased a product online
This data shows that the internet has become an important part of purchasing products and services. This also extends to users reading information about what the product/service is, what’s involved and reviews other people have provided.
Taking this into consideration, businesses should be putting in the time and effort to make their internet platforms (website or otherwise) user friendly. Customers should be able to access the information they require easily, otherwise, they will be driven towards a product/service whose information is more readily available.
Set up a website for your business if one does not already exist, and regularly update it with relevant information so that your customers have all the information they need. The more customers have to look for information, the more likely they are to opt for another product/service.