When designing websites, attempting to innovate can be a true double-edged sword. Done effectively, innovating could lead your website not only to be easy and enjoyable to use, but also to become a big trendsetter among other websites. All of this, in turn, can help to attract more visitors to your website as word of its great design spreads. Done ineffectively, however, innovating can leave your website’s visitors feeling needlessly frustrated. Here are some tips for how to innovate in the right way when you use web design Stafford services courtesy of Rake Mark.
Avoid just using technology for the sake of it
Though it can be easy to be wowed by a recently-introduced technology, you should resist using it for your website if it fails to add any true functional or aesthetic value to it. Innovation does involve taking risks and exploiting promising opportunities, but not using a new technology just because you can.
Keep things simple
As a general rule of thumb, if your website is so innovative in its design that you have to educate your visitors about how to use the website, you have probably innovated a little too much. The problem with making a website design too complex is that it can deter people from staying with your website to see what of substance it offers.
Avoid a tendency to show off
Some website designers can be tempted to add many bells and whistles to a website simply to show off their web design expertise. But what is the point of this if it sees the website sacrificed in both its functionality and appearance? Consider how your website’s design can convenience your website’s visitors, rather than satisfy your ego as a website designer. You can do this with help from Rake Mark’s web design Stafford services
The West Midlands town of Stafford is not generally considered huge, the town’s population numbering a relatively modest 55,700 – according to the 2011 census – and the wider borough estimated in 2011 to have a population of about 130,900. However, the town makes up for its relatively small size with the beauty of its many historical buildings, including the Elizabethan Ancient High House, Stafford Castle and St Chad’s Church. Such buildings can, perhaps surprisingly, hint at the merits of the web design Stafford services provided by Rake Mark.
Beautiful buildings in more ways than one
Of course, though, all of the aforementioned attractions have more than just their beauty to recommend them. The Elizabethan Ancient High House, for example, is a museum with regularly changing exhibitions, while Stafford Castle has a visitor centre with audio-visual displays and hands-on items. St Chad’s Church, meanwhile, hosts “Timewalk”, a computer generated display which relates the journey of history and mystery within the church. Crucially, however, many people would be unlikely to look inside these attractions if it weren’t for their exterior aesthetic appeal. Now, here is where we begin to explain the relevance of all of this for Rake Mark’s web design Stafford services…
Attract more customers for your business with a well-designed website
Your business could offer many amazing things to many people; however, if few people are even tempted to learn about your business to learn about such amazing things, such things could be – at least to some extent – pointless. This begins to explain why your company could benefit hugely from Rake Mark’s web design Stafford services. If your company has a well-designed website courtesy of our web design Stafford services, more people who could benefit from your company are likely to stay with and peruse that website to learn about your company.
Though all businesses are naturally largely concerned with how much money are they earning, small businesses are often especially concerned, as every little source of revenue they have can be highly valuable even just to their survival, let alone their growth. Hence, small businesses naturally tend to appreciate anything that can help them to bring in extra revenue and attract new customers without necessitating any major financial outlay on their part. It is mainly for this reason that small businesses can especially benefit from drawing on web design packages like those available from Rake Mark.
Straightforward but effective
Web design packages can ultimately help small businesses through enabling each of them to set up a website quickly and afford-ably Web design packages can more precisely help small businesses through enabling each of them to set up a website that they can use to raise brand awareness, increase enquiry levels or sell products directly to customers. Furthermore, web design packages can be highly useful to small businesses that are inexperienced in developing websites, as each of the packages usually includes everything that a business lacking great knowledge of advanced website building techniques like graphic design techniques or HTML coding would need to build a website.
Considerable choice in packages
Here at the Stafford-based web design firm, Rake Mark, we offer a great variety of web design packages for use by a great variety of small businesses; many of these web design packages come with templates for web pages that the businesses can adapt to suit their own needs, plus simple graphics elements for navigation and links, among other typical aspects of websites. Small businesses using such web design packages can also easily maintain their websites through using intuitive content management systems
Imagine that you have just discovered an exciting new website that you would like to keep revisiting again and again. However, imagine that, whenever you do revisit, absolutely no part of the website has changed. Then imagine that, after a bit of looking around the website, you find proof that it hasn’t been updated for months. If all of this actually happened, then you would probably be led to think: “Why should I feel bothered about a website if its own web-master doesn’t?” However, this only begins to hint at the importance of updating your own website regularly.
Reasons to keep updating
If you fail to update your website for months or years, then it will likely fail to keep up with a changing market and so increasingly struggle to attract the exact types of visitors that you desire. Furthermore, search engines like Google and Yahoo will give higher rankings, and therefore higher visibility in their search results, to websites that are frequently updated with new content. But how exactly should you frequently update with new content?
Ways to regularly update
Adding and maintaining a blog on your website can be an excellent way of ensuring that the website is regularly updated with new content. Furthermore, a blog can provide regular visitors to your website with the latest information about upcoming news and events related to your website’s subject while also helping your website to amass higher search engine rankings.
However, it is also important to make sure that all the information on the main pages of your website remains relevant and is regularly updated as necessary, or else people may be deterred from even looking at any blog on your website. You should, for example, avoid placing any ‘under construction’ pages on your website.
Many businesses have realised how beneficial their websites can be for helping them to spread the word about the companies and what they have to offer. Indeed, for the average business, setting up a website is probably easier than it ever has been. However, there is one large drawback with the ease with which websites can be built: the great frequency of particular errors in the designs of many websites. Here is a list of just some of the most common errors in website design that any future website designer should avoid making.
Too little originality
Though a company might be tempted to save time in the short term by simply copying the design template of a competing website, in the long term, their website will be more successful with a more unique design that is more representative of the company.
These days, there are so many different possibilities concerning images, graphics and flash videos on websites that it can be tempting to draw on many of them for the same website. However, too many visual bells and whistles like this can cause a website to load slowly, which can lead many people too impatient for the website to load to abandon it for a rival website. Hence, it is better to keep a website’s design more minimalistic.
Too little content
A website shouldn’t just look good; it should also be highly informative. After all, many visitors to a company’s website are there because they want to learn about what the company is and offers. However, such a website should also avoid going too far the other way and providing its visitors with too much content, as many visitors to the website will want to get the information that they seek through simply taking a quick glance
If you tend to regularly familiarise yourself with what is going on in the web design world, then chances are that you are already familiar with responsive web design. Responsive web design is, as its name suggests, a web design that is responsive to the different screen sizes and other factors of different devices through which the website is viewed. However, though the rising use of devices like smartphones and tablet computers for Internet usage might hint at many great benefits of responsive web design, otherwise commonly known as RWD, for many website owners, it should still not necessarily be made a priority for every single website. So, how can you tell if it should be for yours?
Check your website’s statistics
It would be common sense that, if your website is most commonly viewed through devices with smaller screens than desktop and laptop computers, like smartphones and tablet computers, then your website could benefit much more from an RWD than a website that is mainly viewed through more traditional means. You can see profiles of the types of devices that are being used to access your website by looking at relevant statistics generated for your website by highly-esteemed statistics service Google Analytics.
Consider your own expectations
However, one problem with such statistics is that they would only demonstrate how your website has so far been viewed, rather than also how your website is likely to be viewed in the future. Hence, you should think carefully about how your website might be viewed in future by members of your target audience. Are such people likely to, for example, initially view your website through smartphones while on the go before later accessing it through desktop or laptop computers at their homes?
For many website owners, it might seem obvious that they should regularly update their websites with new information – for example, through the regular posting of blog posts – in order to attract and maintain the interest of the websites’ visitors. However, there are many other strong reasons for people to regularly update their websites – and, indeed, many other ways in which they can do the updating. Here is just a list of just some of them…
Improving navigation and usability
Improving a website’s navigation and usability has been demonstrated to help to improve its conversion of visitors into paying customers.
Redesigning your website
This will make your website’s visitors realise that you are pro actively doing something to get their attention. If you seem to care about your website, then it will encourage them to follow suit. Redesigning your website could also help to boost its speed and performance.
Incorporating new technology
Given that the ways in which people view websites are often changing, you need to take account of these changing habits if you don’t want to risk deterring fussy potential visitors to your website. You could, for example, adopt a responsive or adaptive design for your website, which should improve the experiences of viewing and using your website for the increasing number of people who often view and use websites through smartphones, tablet computers and similar devices.
Improving interactivity tools
Adding tools like blogs, social media and forums – in other words, tools that can be used by your website’s visitors to interact with you – to your website will give its visitors good reasons to keep revisiting besides potentially dull graphics and text.
And that’s not all…
Indeed, the possibilities for enhancing your website could be limited largely just by your own imagination.
Long-established UK entertainment store chain HMV recently entered administration following two years of financial struggles and the failure in recent weeks of the group’s major creditors, including banks, landlords, film houses and record labels, to agree revised terms that would keep HMV trading. Many people have already speculated about the reasons for the chain’s fall from grace, but one reason that has been particularly commonly cited is the chain’s failure to embrace the world of online retail quickly enough. Could some important lessons about e-commerce web design be learned from HMV’s failure?
Children of the revolution
Well, basically, yes. Ten to fifteen years ago, many similar retailers, including Amazon, heavily invested in online operations; many of these retailers are today thriving. Though HMV did eventually follow suit, it ultimately proved a case of too little, too late; other online retailers had already established their names. Phillip Beeching, in an article for the Guardian, has suggested that HMV could have very effectively exploited the power of the Internet due to the power of its brand and its heritage in music and unrivalled access to content from film, game and music companies. However, it instead left a gap in the market that online retailers like Play.com exploited.
Lessons to be learnt
So, what are the lessons that retailers can learn from HMV’s failure? Well, firstly, that the convenience of the Internet in helping many people to buy items both flexibly and affordably should not be underestimated; therefore, retailers that currently run only bricks and mortar operations should seriously consider investing in online retail arms, while retailers already based online could benefit hugely, especially in the long term, from endeavouring to further improve their online retail offerings.
In a recent blog post, we pointed out just some examples of the many modern trends in web design and exactly what they could teach us to help us to become better web designers. However, there are so many enlightening such trends that we reckon that it wouldn’t be sufficient to discuss such trends in just one blog post, which is why we are about to discuss many more examples of such trends in another!
One noteworthy modern web design trend is the use of photo backgrounds, which seems to have originated from the online revolution brought about by Facebook, on which everyone’s page appeared (and, of course, still appears) to display a massive array of photographs side-by-side. Many web designers consider photo backgrounds to create strong illustration statements, especially for the purposes of branding.
Web Design changes made easy with Rake Mark’s CMS
Many website owners in the UK and Ireland may feel compelled to alter the designs of their websites to take account of modern trends like those described above. Thankfully for those website owners, they can alter those designs quickly and easily with the help of Staffordshire-based web design services provider Rake Mark. These website owners can peruse our website to learn more about the many ways in which we could assist them.Another modern web design trend concerns the use of more minimalist website designs which contain limited text content compared to many website designs of years past. This trend is likely to have been encouraged by the increasing tendency of many people to view and use websites through mobile devices, as websites with considerable amounts of content are often more difficult to view and use through mobile devices, due largely to their smaller screens and more modest technical specifications compared to larger devices.
Though many previous trends in web design have been of dubious functionality and ultimately short-lived, there remain many current trends in web design that we reckon are not only highly useful for many people who view and use websites but also, as confidently as we can say without any use of a crystal ball, are likely to last as a result. Below are details of just some of those trends and how they could help you to make viewing and using your website more pleasant for many people.
One increasingly popular web design trend is what has been commonly dubbed “responsive web design”. This has largely been developed in response to the increasing variety of devices, including smartphones and tablet computers, on which many people are today viewing websites, and ensures that the same website can alter its appearance to remain easy to view and use regardless of the type of device that is being used to view and use it.
Another popular web design trend is the use of infographics, which use images to communicate a wealth of what could otherwise seem to be highly complex information. The huge rise in popularity of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter during recent years has also lead many web designers to incorporate social media tools into their websites. Such tools can enable many visitors of the websites to ‘like’ and ‘share’ different pages of these websites on their own pages on social media websites.
We reckon that many website owners in the UK and Ireland could benefit hugely from following these trends for their own websites – or, better still, arranging for web design experts from Staffordshire-based web design company Rake Mark to help them to follow these trends for their own websites