The website of a business is often the first time a customer makes a real connection with a supplier or service provider. With more and more shoppers abandoning the high street in favour of online shopping for both services and products, websites have grown into the modern equivalent of a shop window. Much like the famous window displays of department stores during the 20th century, a great website should aim to impress and entice customers further into the store, reassuring them of the value of the goods or services on offer. Of course, that’s easy to say, but what does it actually mean in practice? How does the design of your website affect the way customers view and interact with your business in real terms? Below, we’ll take a look at a few examples to provide some context for the importance of modern web design.
Presentation is everything. From junk food to useless gadgets, almost anything can be made to look extremely appealing with the right presentation. Clearly websites also need to function correctly and be easy to use, but in the first instance you need to make a strong visual impact to stop visitors heading elsewhere. A smart, properly presented website suggests investment, which in turn implies success, competency and an attentiveness to the modern market. Great presentation welcomes new visitors by providing information clearly and succinctly, eliminating any source of frustration from the interaction. A clear, modern web design is no longer prohibitively expensive, even for small businesses, the value comes mainly from the eye and experience of the designer. A competent web designer will be able to distill a large amount of information about a business into a short, punchy design efficiently enough that results should be possible on any budget.
Google have recently announced mobile-first indexing. You can read more about this on our blog. This move highlights how important mobile compatible websites have become. More than half of search traffic now comes from devices classed as ‘mobile’, i.e Android devices, iPhones, iPads, Windows phones and the like. If a web design doesn’t look and perform properly on a mobile device it sends out an unwelcome message to new customers. Not only can poor mobile web design make a business look out of date, suggesting that it might have closed, but it can lead to doubts about how reliable the services or goods on offer would be. If a customer’s experience of visiting a website from a mobile device is difficult or unreliable their experience directly affects how the view the business. When working with a skilled web design team mobile compatibility should not be an issue, modern designers incorporate mobile compatibility into the code in the first instance, meaning the website should perform flawlessly and equally no matter what type of device is used.
Portfolios and product information, the evidence
If a business fails to provide helpful examples of their previous work, or detailed information about their products, they’re expecting customers to take a leap of faith. Reviews, unboxing videos, demonstrations of all kinds; examples of products and services in action are everywhere on the internet and have come to be expected by customers. If you web design doesn’t include some sort of evidence of what you do customers are far less likely to trust you enough to make a purchase. You could be providing services far above and beyond that of your competition but if a customer doesn’t personally know you they’re unlikely to act based on faith alone. By incorporating evidence of previous products or work into a web design, customers gain reassurance that the claims made on the site about the business and services offered are real, tried and tested. This evidence could be photographs of a product, customer testimonials, descriptions and photographs of previous work, videos, really anything that provides some kind of demonstration.
CMS support and regular updates
Granted, customers aren’t looking for website related jargon, but CMS support still speaks volumes about your business in the eyes of possible customers. CMS refers to a ‘Content Management System’, what this basically means is a web design that allows a business owner or marketing agency to quickly and easily update the website without the need for vast technical know-how. Whilst customers might not recognise a CMS based website specifically, they will surely notice the benefits a CMS design provides. Regular updates, be they news posts, blog posts, stock information or new product additions, demonstrate to customers that a business is open and active. This in turn builds trust. A web design that doesn’t support regular updates and has few recent posts is likely to be skipped over in favour of one that appears more active.
Sounds a bit exhausting, need some help?
These are just a few of the way that a modern website directly affects a customer’s feelings about a business. We can help develop existing websites or create new ones, so regardless of the current form of your site, we’d be happy to work with you to develop any or all areas you have questions or concerns about. Over the years we’ve worked with a range of businesses and honed our own knowledge and understanding of the habits of modern digital customers. We’re passionate about our work and love creating function modern designs that work as beautifully as they look. If you’d like a bit of help improving your website, or are thinking of building a new one from the ground up, feel free to reach out to us for a no obligation chat. Our team would be delighted to find a solution that works for your business, whatever your budget and requirements.