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Web Design Perth

It’s kind of strange to realize it, but online shopping still doesn’t seem to feel as accessible as real-world shopping, especially when a friendly ecommerce checkout page is conspicuously lacking or inadequate. There’s the obvious barriers that are unavoidable: customers can’t touch, run, or try on a product virtually; slinging your personal details about online always carries a small risk, and so on.

The thing you have to remember about your target market is that they want to feel comfortable with the experience. You should have everything be visible and easy to manage. Don’t throw a bunch of confusing popups in the customer’s face or make them wonder how to go through the steps correctly.

1. Show what currency you take up front. Whatever credit cards, PayPal, or Bitcoins you accept, have all the little icons there together so the customer knows ahead of time that their money’s good here.

2. Make your instructions clear. And being “clear” doesn’t always mean going along with whatever the interface gurus dictate as the fashion this week. Simple steps, simple instructions, and tooltips along with each field the customer has to enter. Keep things minimal – trying to sell more things to the user while they’re trying to buy something already is just obnoxious. In terms of simplicity, a friendly ecommerce checkout page should look as close to the Google search home page as practical.

3. Breadcrumbs. Show the steps in a timeline somewhere at the top of the page. Then have the page track which step they’re at and show it visibly. Keep in mind that the real world has distractions – phones ring, text messages come in, and the user might get distracted in mid-process and then forget where they were.

4. Focus on security. Have everything verified, have a secure log-in page, and be up-front about what security measures your site uses. Use a third-party verification service to help in this regard. Remember, all it takes is one complaint about a stolen credit card number and your site’s reputation is toast.

5. Support more than one browser. Users of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox now outnumber Internet Explorer users. Mac users also have Safari, and then there’s mobile browsers, tablets, iPads, and all manner of gizmos to think about. If you make your site comply with W3C standards as much as possible, you’ll ensure that everybody has an equal opportunity to do business with you and will also be many steps ahead in having a friendly ecommerce checkout page.

6. Make the process simple and unobtrusive. If you must require the user to register, make it as simple as possible. When designing a friendly ecommerce checkout page, avoid making customers feel like they have to give you their life history just to buy something.

7. Close with a ‘thank you’ page and a confirming email that their order is shipping. Don’t just suddenly go mute as soon as you have their money.

 

Web Design Perth

Ecommerce entrepreneurs have this great resource, the Internet and social media marketing, native to their business, and then 95% of them fail to harness its full potential. You have to face the facts: If you do business online, then you are a marketer first and foremost, regardless if you’re selling hand-crocheted rugby jerseys or splash-guards for dog-bathers. Marketing online is a full-time job all by itself. Here’s some fresh inspiration when you get burnt out on it:

1. Link fluidly between social media accounts. Your Twitter should mention your business web address, and either your company’s Facebook or Google+ page. Your Tumblr blog should link to your Pinterest blog. Your website should have links out to all of the above for the best social media marketing strategy.

2. Sponsor a simple contest involving social media. For instance, drawing your logo or company mascot on DeviantArt, composing the funniest meme image related to your business to post on Tumblr, or run an online scavenger hunt. Simple little exercises with a free product as a prize (and why not your company Tshirt?) will be fun and get customers involved, at the same time, easy social media marketing and getting some publicity for your business.

3. Think visual! Images and video are creaming plain text as a social media marketing and general marketing method. A cat photo with a funny caption will garner thousands of visits, while your thoughtful, in-depth article goes unread. And videos on YouTube are hotter than dynamite, if you haven’t heard. Even if you don’t have much to show, posting a video or getting one produced for you will get you masses of attention you didn’t know was out there.

4. Let your customer base interview you. A lot of marketers have found success posting what is called an “AMA” on social news sites like Digg and Reddit. “AMA” stands for “ask me anything” and can be a nice little Q-and-A session with your audience, always revolving around your related product. Even politicians campaigning do this now. Along with getting your audience to know more about your field, if you’re observant, you’ll learn something from the questions people ask as well.

5. Post early and post often. Studies show that the peak times to post are during office hours on workdays and in the evening hours on weekends. This generally applies whether it’s tweets, blog posts, social media posts, or email newsletters. But the time varies depending on your format and chosen social media marketing demographic.

Web Design Perth

“Responsive” is the new word going around the web design campfire. It was first coined by the web design blog “A List Apart” and has become the term being batted around the meeting table every Monday morning.

OK, but what does responsive web design mean? For a web design to be responsive, that means that it must respond to how it is viewed. In other words, it should serve different content or styling depending on if a visitor is using a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a full-screen desktop to view it. And these days, you have to throw in people browsing on anything from a gaming console to an Arduino-powered wristwatch.

A side-order of other buzzwords: “Multi-device layout patterns” – the template for a responsive website. “Dynamic CSS” – Cascading Style Sheets that warp to fit whatever screensize you view it on. “Viewport” – the screen space you have available. And you’re likely to see “responsive web design” abbreviated as “RWD.”

Really, we’ve been over this before. When CSS2 came out, designers were talking up “fluid” and “liquid” layouts, and this is almost exactly the same thing. Instead of hard-coding your website’s width to a specified range, have it flex and flow into whatever container its poured into. To test your page’s layout, get on a full-screen computer (laptop or desktop PC) and view your site in full-screen. Then grab the lower-right corner and scale the web browser to different sizes. If you have the amazing rubber-stretchy website, then you’re already there. If your page clusters together in a mess of overlapping image blocks and becomes impossible to read, then you have work to do with your responsive web design.

Another method for testing your responsive web design is to use various online phone emulators. You should be able to find a few through some scientific Googling. View your page in different phone browsers. Be sure to check that you can still navigate easily – if the link to your ecommerce shopping cart app is impossible to see, that might be what’s hurting your sales!

If you have to fix something, you might need to get a design firm and tell them what the problem is. Be sure to specify which device broke your website. You might also think of reducing clutter. Leave out some of the superfluous graphics, for instance, or stick with plain text menus in your responsive web design instead of the fancy Flash menu.

Web Design Perth

The year is 2013, the competition is tough, the number of web design competitors is high, and you only have 3-10 seconds to make the most recent visitor to stay on your website. If they stay, chances are that they can be converted, and to make them stay, web design plays a critical role.

Don’t get us wrong, we still believe that content is king. However, the web design can highlight and present the content effectively and efficiently, or it can overpower it thus reducing the effectiveness and clarity of the message. When it comes to conversions, web design and the UI play an equally important role along with the content of the website.

Persuasion vs. Clarity

Persuasive web designs, and web designs with clarity, are often considered as two opposite ends of the spectrum. When one thinks of persuasive web design; flash animations, bright eye catching colours, banners, and similar features come to mind. The main aim of a persuasive web design is to capture the user’s attention within the first few seconds of their arrivals.

However, persuasive designs may not always equal conversions. Once the users stay, they start to browse and try to find what they are looking for, and if they can’t find what they are looking for, they move onto another website.

That’s where clarity comes in. If your UI is easy to use, if your text consists of headings and subheadings that deliver the message, and if every page has a clear call to action, your conversion rate will rise. You either go for a persuasive design or a design with clarity, but we recommend you shoot for the stars and try to get the best of both worlds by combining design elements of persuasion and clarity.

How to Improve Clarity

Clarity does not exclusively mean large images and fonts, it means the average user should be able to understand who you are and what you do within the first glance. If you are selling pet products, your headline should clearly say so. The users should be able to identify the call to action, and should be able to find the buttons you want them to click.

They should not have to look too hard for the ‘place your order’, ‘contact us’, ‘buy’ and similar buttons, or they will simply move on to other websites. The hyperlinks should be prominently displayed, and the banners and flash animations should not take their attention away from the text you want them to read or from the images you want them to see.

Web Design Perth

Alright, let’s get this HTML5 tutorials guff sorted out. If you website slingers haven’t gotten your mitts dirty on the new generation of browser code, here’s some video tutorials we dug up that are sure to teach a new trick or two:

Web Design Perth

Oh, is it the end of 2012 already? Here we go, then. The Top 5 Website UX Trends of 2012, which promises to be the least surprising list you’ll see all year. Because we’ve been seeing these five aspects for a few years now. Single-page sites are back after a long disco-like hiatus, and typography never went away. If anything, maybe we’re seeing the end of web design evolution. This is actually a good thing; we don’t have to change everything every year just because we can, and it would be nice to make a website that doesn’t have the shelf life of a banana for a change.

Web Design Perth

We had to wrinkle our nose at this post on 6 famous web design atrocities. It may be more about which re-designs caused the most backlash – draw your own conclusions – but the overall sites seem to be doing fine regardless.

  • Gawker – Wait, what changed? We barely noticed.
  • TechCrunch – Look, any guru worshiped by his own personal cult can’t be said to fail at anything.
  • StumbleUpon – Guilty as charged, but Stumble has been concentrated on shooting themselves in the foot since they grew beyond being a Firefox plugin. Whatever they do to their site doesn’t matter now.
  • Netflix – Again, people still flock there.
  • YouTube – Ditto. And again, we barely detect any change since Google bought it.
  • Target – Hey, they’re a brick-and-mortar store. Do they even care about web traffic?

Still, it’s a good guide to what your user base might backlash about. Our take-away: Prioritize function over style.

Web Design Perth

Parallax
prognosis: Rapidly fading fad

While Web Design Ledger gives us beautiful examples of site layouts that incorporate parallax scrolling in their new styles in web design, we’re going out on a limb to suggest that it might not be here to stay. While it’s a very hip style, it’s fraught with compatibility issues for mobile devices and old browsers – and it takes a real rockstar designer to pull off, a huge investment in effort for a very small return. Artists have one more toy for their portfolios.

Microsoft Metro inspired minimalism
prognosis: Squares are popular again

Big deal, squares and plain colors. We’ve been fighting to get away from this for a decade and now we’re back to it. Techihawk has some nice gallery examples, but we’ve seen this play out before: Minimalist movements quickly become “maximalist” trends, as more stuff gets crammed into the interface until it looks just as crowded as any page ever done by somebody who’s never used the word “minimalism”. So what’s the difference?

The Pinterest brick wall
prognosis: Hot, hot hot and here to stay.

It took a site like Pinterest to wake everyone up to the possibilities of CSS-column-based layout. It’s only 10 years late, but what the ducks, we’re glad it made it anyway. The mavens of Mashable can’t stop raving about it. For any visually- oriented layout, from images to video to catalogs, it’s a perfect win.

Sticky headers and footers
prognosis: Only tolerable in small doses

When you browse the gallery at Web Design Ledger’s post on fixed-position elements, bear in mind that these are the sites which do it right. Many, many sites do it wrong, adding toolbar-like clutter to the top and bottom of the viewer’s window until it’s like browsing the web through a letterbox slit.

And our obligatory award for “overuse of trendy design” goes to Fundatia Comunitara, with parallax scrolling, chunky blocks of tomato-soup colors, and a fixed header that devours the top 25% of the viewing area. Granted, the drawings do make it artistic, but scroll continuously and see if you don’t get seasick after awhile.

Web Design Perth

The other day we were buzzing around some office cubicles and caught somebody dropping the phrase “web 2.0″ into the conversation. They were doing it in an ironic, sarcastic way, referencing how HTML5 is supposed to change everything now too. This gave us pause. For the first time, “Web 2.0″ is finally starting to sound like an outdated term, almost as antiquated as phrases like “Information Superhighway”. There’s a number of sites out there who agree:

Effdot spares no words in wishing that “Web 2.0″ died the death of a thousand cuts.

This hilarious YouTube parody shows various reactions to the concept. Ironically, YouTube, in it’s birth, was the premiere site that everybody pointed to as “an example of Web 2.0″.

We just can’t wait until the same thing happens to “cloud computing”.

Web Design Perth

It’s hard to think of any technology sphere that won’t feel an impact from this, so web design customers may as well know. This Computer World article makes no bones about declaring that Microsoft will no longer be focusing on Windows on the desktop. The declaration comes from Gartner analysts, who cite that the technology paradigm is shifting rapidly away from desktop computing altogether.

Instead, they’re looking to more of the mobile and pad market, with WinRT and Metro. They’ve also already made a jump to this with their design decisions on Windows 8, such as killing the ‘start’ button. Not since the shift from DOS to Windows has Microsoft undergone such a massive user-interface overhaul.

What does this mean for website owners? It means that now more than ever, you cannot count on the standard platform of Internet Explorer running on Windows desktops. The desktop market, already fragmented the past few years, is going to experience a huge fragmentation as a plethora of devices are used to navigate the web.

Some of the people we have worked with

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