web-design-expert-tips

 

Nearly every business on the plant either has or plans to have a website. Your online presence is often the first thing people see of your brand. You can make a positive impression or one you’d rather not make. Fortunately, designing a professional website only requires a bit of knowledge about how sites are put together and what consumers respond best to.

 

What Makes a Good Professional Website?


Around 1.8 billion websites exist in the world, some active and some not. Understanding the elements to put together a functioning website is a good place to start. Most people start by looking at sites designed by others to get an idea of what’s on trend and how to capture your audience’s attention.

 

To design a professional website, take a few specific steps most designers follow. We’ve come up with what we think are the key indicators to a top quality website and shared a few examples of some stellar designs you can study and learn from.

 

1. Check for Functionality


It might seem like common sense but it’s vital to test your website and make sure everything works as expected. Do all links go where they should? If you click on a call to action (CTA) button or fill in and send a form, does the result equal the action?

 

weltio

Source: https://weltio.com

 

Weltio limits the number of elements on each page, which makes checking for functionality easier. If your site is minimalist, you should still check that everything aligns correctly, all links work and your CTA button performs.

 

2. Know Your Audience


You’ve likely heard this advice about marketing and sales. You also should understand who your website is for. Know your customers and their preferences so you can choose the right color combinations to tap into their emotions.

 

What are their biggest fears and problems? If you can solve their pain points on your website, you’ve taken great strides toward developing a loyal customer. Create buyer personas to represent your audience segments and design to them.

 

3. Use Beautiful Images


Your site’s visuals can make or break the customer experience. Big hero photographs can set the tone and help highlight your product. If you offer any type of product pages, offering various angles so users can see just what they’re getting is beneficial.

 

The human brain processes images much faster and more efficiently than it does text alone. Use pictures to highlight your main points and to drive facts home for the viewer.

 

mondo contract flooring

Source: https://mondocontractflooring.com

 

Mondo Contract Flooring utilizes photographs that show their premium rubber flooring from the exact right vantage point. Note how the majority of the image is of the floor and the other elements fade into the background. By going with a grayscale image, they keep the site minimalist looking and have plenty of negative space to add headlines and CTA buttons.

 

4. Stick with Traditional Features


It might be tempting to come up with a unique type of navigation bar. However, straying too far outside the norm creates confusion for some users. Rather than reinventing the will, go with what users expect. When you meet expectations, you can put the focus on what you sell.

 

For example, the navigation bar should almost always be near the top of the page. The CTA should be easy to find and contrast nicely with the other elements. Step back and consider if anything is confusing or needs refined to better meet user intent.

 

5. Check for Mobile Responsiveness


eMarketer recently reported mobile usage is up yet again. In 2021, it rose at a fast-paced 17.7%, and 4.6% in 2022. If your site isn’t ready for all those smartphone browsers, now is the time to get it there.

 

Ideally, your website works exactly the same on mobile as it does on a desktop computer. Images, functions and forms should adapt for a smaller screen. If you can automate any forms, so things get filled in based on what the user has already input, you can make the accessibility much better for the mobile version of your site.

 

6. Stick with Traditional Features


It might be tempting to come up with a unique type of navigation bar. However, straying too far outside the norm creates confusion for some users. Rather than reinventing the will, go with what users expect. When you meet expectations, you can put the focus on what you sell.

 

For example, the navigation bar should almost always be near the top of the page. The CTA should be easy to find and contrast nicely with the other elements. Step back and consider if anything is confusing or needs refined to better meet user intent.

 

7. Check for Mobile Responsiveness


eMarketer recently reported mobile usage is up yet again. In 2021, it rose at a fast-paced 17.7%, and 4.6% in 2022. If your site isn’t ready for all those smartphone browsers, now is the time to get it there.

 

Ideally, your website works exactly the same on mobile as it does on a desktop computer. Images, functions and forms should adapt for a smaller screen. If you can automate any forms, so things get filled in based on what the user has already input, you can make the accessibility much better for the mobile version of your site.

 

mancini and co

Source: https://webgi-jewelry.vercel.app

 

We really love the soft dusty rose background for the Mancini & Co. website. The design is minimalistic, so users can quickly find the CTA and scroll through the jewelry. Note how the mobile version pulls up a similar look and layout. You’ll easily recognize the brand no matter which version you own.

 

One thing we would do differently is to not blur out the images quite as much on the mobile version. This is an example of a fun design feature not translating as well on a smaller screen. The site still functions well and has an excellent design, but would be vastly improved with clearer images of the rings.

 

8. Add Content


If you want people to come to your site and stay there, you must add quality content. Think about what pain points your customers have. Answer them in articles, videos, and infographics. Once you draw people to your pages, you need something to keep them there. A nice blend of topics is one of the best ways to keep them engaged.

 

9. Embrace Color


Even when trends point to monochromatic color palettes, or your business hues are pale, don’t be afraid to use pops of color to grab user attention. You can add color to your CTA buttons, as accents to point users in the direction you wish to go or within your images.

 

cricut

Source: https://cricut.com

 

Cricket’s color choice is fairly monochromatic and neutral. Even the machine is a soft shade. However, they add in some attention-grabbing pops of red, yellow and purple with the display of paper flowers made from the machine.

 

10. Try, Test and Try Again


The best way to create a professional website users respond to is by trying different things and seeing what works best with your audience. Conduct split testing when you try a new design. See what is most effective with your audience. Over time, you’ll create a site your customers flock to and are proud to tell others to visit.

 

Author

Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

letterhead-redesign

Letterhead Design To Choose From To Revamp Your Branding


There was a time when a letterhead design meant a simple drawing of a tree at the top of the page, with the name and address underneath. These days, things have changed quite dramatically! You need not worry about what to use or where to get it from anymore. There are numerous places online that offer you downloadable templates which can be customized according to your requirements. In this article, we will go through some of these options.

 

Creative Letterhead Design For New Doors


Using an attractive letterhead design is certainly going to make your business look more professional in front of your clients and prospects, but it also opens up a whole new range of opportunities for you by giving you the means to communicate in a more personalized way. For instance, bulk mail will be perceived as a cold and impersonal form of communication in most cases. This is not the case when you send out personalized letters including your letterhead design them to your clients and prospects.

 

Venngage

Letterhead Design Samples From Companies


There are several companies online offering various customization services, but be aware that most of them charge for each word used in your design, meaning they can become very expensive if you require a longer version of the text on the letterhead specially crafted for your use. However, there is an option: You can custom design your own letterhead.

 

Get The Look You Want From Professional Letterhead Design


When you decide to create your own letterhead, even then there are many options available to you. You can choose the layout of the page, colors, and fonts used for the text, whether it should be printed on one or both sides, etc. However, this is where creativity comes in. Unlike most websites offering customizable templates available online, you cannot download a ready-made version here. You will have to provide them with all of the details required for designing a template. For instance, you will need to know how many recipients your bulk mail is going to address and also add customizations if any specific font styles or logos are required.

 

Your Own Letterhead Design Ideas


Once you provide all the required information, your designer will create it for you. You can then download and print out as many as you want as per your requirements. However, you should be aware that not all design software is compatible with letterheads or envelopes so it is recommended that you check this first before proceeding further. There are also several other things to consider such as: How long do I have access to the design after paying? What other services and products might they offer and do they suit my business needs? Reply to them promptly and keep a tab on correspondence with them so that if there’s any delay in processing your order, you would know why right away.

 

Venngage

Business Letterhead Design and envelopes


Apart from choosing a design to go on your letterhead, you also need to decide whether it should be made using paper or a card depending on the purpose for which it will be used. The kind of paper you choose will depend on where you are going to distribute your bulk mail. If they are likely to come in contact with water, it is advisable not to use paper as this can leave stains. Instead, you should consider using cards or envelopes.

 

Premium quality letterheads


A professional touch never goes amiss in business dealings. Even if your clients are initially too busy to take note of small details like the one above, there is always that time when they are impressed by something you do and will remember it all the more. Investing in high-quality bulk mailing letterheads is one such way of impressing your clients and also differentiating your business reports from others. They are not just about getting noticed but will last much longer than cheaper ones making them a good investment as well.

 

Professional Design


Businesses of all sizes need to look professional at all times. You may be required to submit business documents or send out emails including your letterhead design to clients and prospects. It is important that you take pride in presenting your brand name through your correspondence with them using this medium. Free downloadable templates are an excellent way of doing just that without having to spend a lot of money on them. Besides, if you find yourself liking the design, you can even consider purchasing the rights to use it! Venngage offers various letterhead design templates that can help you revamp your branding. Don’t forget to check it out!

 

Conclusion


There are so many great letterhead designs to choose from when you’re looking to revamp your branding. It can be tough to decide which one is right for your business, but with some careful consideration, you’ll be able to find the perfect design for you. Keep in mind the type of impression you want to make with your customers and colleagues, and select a design that reflects your company’s personality. You’ll be glad you made the switch!

 

landing page design tips

 

Your landing page should speak to your target audience. When someone arrives on your website, do they know the purpose and what action to take next? You likely have a goal for your business, such as converting them into a customer. But, do you pay attention to what the customer needs?

 

Hubspot found companies using a strong middle-of-the-funnel approach increased their conversions between four to 10 times. Knowing where users are in the buyer’s journey and focusing on their needs results in more success.

 

If you want to make your landing pages more customer-focused, here are some things you can do today!

 

1. Have a Single Offer


One mistake many businesses make is cramming all their offers into one page. It’s much better to have multiple landing pages than to confuse the visitor. Hone in the goal of each page and get rid of anything not moving the user toward the objective.

 

lyft

 

Lyft is a ride sharing service that caters to both riders and drivers. They feature two separate landing pages, depending on the reason you’re visiting their site. If you want to sign up to drive for them, they have a page with a clear focus on working for the company.

 

They talk about the company, the benefits of driving for them over competitors and answer frequent questions potential contractors have.

 

2. Tweak Your Subheaders


You likely spent a lot of time with your headline. After all, it’s what people searching for a phrase see in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and what catches their eye when they land on your page. However, your subheaders can have a secondary impact that drives users toward converting into leads.

 

3. Know Your UVP


What is the unique value proposition (UVP) for your page? You must understand not only what your UVP is but how it benefits your customer. They don’t care if you have the highest revenue in your industry, but they do care if you offer the best prices or some other perk that matters to them.

 

zen payments

 

Zen Payments shares their UVP of how they are the go-to provider for high risk merchant accounts. By explaining they are experts in the industry, they highlight many benefits without coming right out and listing them above the fold. As the user scrolls down, they can see the specific situations that apply.

 

4. Revamp Your Headline


Is your headline catchy enough? It should immediately grab and engage your user. If it doesn’t use action verbs, it’s time to rethink what it says.

 

Pay attention to how many people click on your title from SERPs. If you aren’t getting much traffic from Google and Bing, then it may be time to rethink the phrasing.

 

Try to work a keyword phrase into your titles, as well. People will better understand what the page is about and whether it applies to them. You don’t just want a ton of traffic, you want highly targeted leads who convert into customers.

 

5. Move Your CTA


Your call to action (CTA) can make or break your landing page. You can make it more customer-focused by thinking about where to place the button. If the user has to hunt for it, then it isn’t going to be as effective. Consider moving it to above the fold or having more than one.

 

nauto

 

Nauto offers fleet safety equipment and consultations. Their landing page features an offer for a free ebook on how to improve stability of your work vehicles. The CTA reads “Get the ebook” and is placed above the fold.

 

6. Know Pain Points


What are your customers’ pain points? What is the problem driving them to seek your brand as a solution in the first place? When you understand the issues they face, you can show how you solve things.

 

Take the pain points and make them the benefits of doing business with your brand. List out the key features of your product and service as they apply to the customer’s needs.

 

7. Use Video


Video offers high quality images and a way to engage site visitors. People can rapidly absorb a video where they might not have time to dig into endless strings of words.

 

Adding video to the header of your landing page allows you to say a lot without any words at all. Think about what you wish to show your users and share that in your footage.

 

airbnb

 

Airbnb has a landing page for people thinking about offering short-term rentals to travelers. They add a video to the right side of the hero section featuring different hosts in different areas of the world opening their homes to travelers.

 

8. Establish Trustworthiness


People have no reason to trust you when they land on your page. Unless they have an established relationship with your brand, they don’t know if you’ll stand behind your word. Adding trust factors helps show you stand behind your products.

 

Add customer reviews, testimonials and make your return/exchange policies clear. Include contact information, so users know they can get in touch if they have a problem they need to resolve.

 

Ask for Feedback


Ask your regular customers if they’ll send you feedback on your landing page. What elements work for them and what don’t? Ask them which features they care most about and which points made them choose to buy from you versus a competitor.

 

You can try to see your landing page through the customers’ eyes, but you will still have your own prejudices in favor of your company. Getting outside feedback is vital to running a truly customer-centric site.

 

Author

Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

 

 

Mobile responsive website development, wireframe design preview

 

What is a persona web design? When you create your site for buyers, you hone in on the key characteristics of a particular segment of your audience. Every business reaches people with a specific set of demographics and psychographics. Knowing who yours serves best allows you to meet their needs.

 

According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are approximately 31.7 million small businesses in America. The country boasts an additional 20,139 large enterprises. No matter your industry, you’re up against some stiff competition online, both from local and international sectors.

 

One way to stand out from the crowd is via your website’s approach. People respond to pages personalized to their needs. Create a persona-driven web design by following these steps.

 

1. Speak to Their Preferences


Once you understand who your buyers are, it’s much easier to meet their needs directly. The entire customer experience on your website improves as you use the colors, images and language your customers prefer.

 

Run every element of your design through the filter of what your personas might think. For example, if most of your customers are working women, the color brown might be a turnoff. Studies show most women prefer blue but brown ranks low.

 

gillette venus

 

Gillette Venus uses some soft blues with brighter pops of color. Notice how the gold is a deep hue to avoid the use of brown on the page. When you first land on the site, a pink strip appears across the top, offering a discount code. Everything about the page’s color scheme considers the typical person who buys these razors and targets their preferences.

 

2. Rank the Importance


Almost all businesses have more than one customer demographic. You likely have several personas representing different segments of your audience. However, one faction usually buys more than all the others. Rank your personas, paying the most attention to the one bringing in the most revenue over time.

 

You may find some personas only buy once and don’t return, while others purchase repeatedly. Figure out who represents your bread and butter and put the emphasis on the persona.

 

3. Create Separate Landing Pages


Each persona has unique needs. While your homepage can focus more on your primary audience, you should also offer options for the other personas. Each landing page should have language, images and calls to action geared to the group you most want to reach.

 

fidelity life

Fidelity Life separates personas by their current situations, such as single, partnered, with kids or partnered with kids. The four categories represent their four buyer personas. When the user clicks on one of the options, they arrive on a landing page geared for their needs. They ask for additional information along the way to further personalize the experience.

 

4. Offer Escape Routes


People potentially land on your website from any page. While you might address the needs of all your personas on your home page, what happens if a user lands on a page not pertaining to them? You must offer an easy escape route that takes them back to the home page or a place specific to their needs.

 

5. Identify Needs


Your buyer personas each face unique pain points. How can you solve the problem they have? Once you identify their needs, it’s much easier to separate the solutions into pages on your website.

 

While it’s wise to separate your landing pages into solutions, you also must keep in mind some buyers may need more than one solution. Persona A may have some of the needs of Persona B and vice versa.

 

cit bank

 

CIT Bank does an excellent job of meeting the needs of their customers by offering tabs for the different solutions, with the categories of bank, borrow, learn and resources. If Persona A needs a new money market account, they know to click on the “Bank.” On the other hand, if a business owner isn’t quite sure what their needs might be, they can click on “Learn.”

 

Offering a clear path to different solutions meets the needs of all personas. The website avoids a situation where the person lands on a page unrelated to their expectations and bounces away.

 

6. Categorize Content


You likely developed an extensive repository of resources for site visitors. You may host all of this content in one location, such as a blog or library. However, you should recategorize it to better meet the needs of each of your buyer personas.

 

You should personalize content to each segment. Separate topics into sections and create a page targeted at the buyer persona most interested in the piece. Use categories and tags to separate blog content. Name your ebooks according to the need met by the material.

 

7. Customize Your CTAs


You’ve already developed separate landing pages for each of your buyer personas. Now, spend time tweaking the language of your calls to action (CTAs) to target each segment of your audience. Would your persona respond positively to the word “free?”

 

Do some surveys and A/B testing to see what combination of phrases works best with your audience. With a little effort, you’ll improve your conversion rate and your customer experience (CX).

 

Focus on the User


A user-centered approach takes into account the needs and preferences of your customers. The better developed your personas, the more you can customize your site and create an outstanding CX. The best way to stand out from your competitors is by personalizing your website and solving client pain points.

 

Author

Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

 

 

 

 

web design

 

If you’re looking to step into the world of online retail, you should know that setting up an eCommerce website is the first step you need to take. But not just any website. It should be secure, and its design should be mobile-friendly and SEO-friendly. Who wouldn’t want to shop from a secure online store that’s easy to navigate from the phone, tab, or computer?

 

If you want this for your online business, you can hire a website design in Miami to help you start. Or you can try doing it on your own and allow this blog to guide you on how to create an online eCommerce website with full security.

 

Starting an Online Storewith Full Security

 

Decide on a Domain Name and Secure It

 

The right domain name can add credibility to your online business. If you already have a brand, you can use it as your domain name. If you don’t, come up with something that best represents your brand that your customers can easily remember. For example, Digital Resource is a digital marketing agency that caters to businesses of all sizes. Their domain name is www.yourdigitalresource.com. It’s easy to remember, and it best represents what they are about, which is your resource for everything digital.

 

Make your domain name short and memorable because it could make the difference between establishing an outstanding Web presence and getting misplaced in cyberspace.

 

Here are some tips in helping you come up with the best domain name:

 

  • Keep it short
  • Use keywords in your domain name
  • Make sure it’s easy to spell and pronounce
  • Avoid using hyphens and doubled letters
  • Always go for .com

 

After deciding on a domain name, make sure to buy it from hosting companies or domain registrars. Doing this will help make sure no one else gets to use your domain name except you.

 

Set Your Website in a Secure eCommerce Platform

 

The eCommerce industry is one of the main targets for cybercriminals. You’ll want to hire a web developer for this part. Many people have suffered from identity theft, phishing, and account theft because of poor website security. If any of these happened during a transaction at your online store, it could badly affect your business. There’s a big chance that you will lose customers, which can result in less revenue. That’s why it’s essential to know the risks and take the necessary steps to protect your online store and its customers. Here are tips on how to safeguard your online store:

 

  • Choose an eCommerce platform that has thorough security measures and upholds PCI compliance.
  • Use SSL to secure online transactions on your website
  • Use two-factor authentication to secure your online store from hacking attempts
  • Use a VPN service to protect confidential data
  • Encourage your customers to use complex passwords

 

Find a Web Developer and a Web Designer

 

Unless you know how to code, it’s best to hire a web developer. Doing so will allow you to launch your site in no time. A web developer specializes in telling a website on how to function.  Aside from a web developer, you should also hire a web designer. A web designer will ensure that your website design in Miami is user-friendly, SEO-friendly, and attractive to your visitors.

 

Get an Internet Merchant Account

 

You need to get an internet merchant account to be able to take money online. This bank account is different from regular merchant accounts because you can’t access the funds collected until the bank clears them.

 

Use a Payment Service Provider

 

Once you’ve secured an IMA for your online store, it’s time to decide which payment service provider you’re going to use. PSPs allows merchants to accept credit and debit card payments from customers. They facilitate the transfer of money from a customer’s account to the merchant’s account.  Make sure that your payment options are user-friendly. Ease of purchase can help boost customer experience.

 

Don’t Forget Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

 

It would be best to make sure that your online store has strong terms and conditions to protect your business and its customers.

 

Essential aspects you need to consider are the following:

 

  • Privacy policy
  • Accessibility
  • Acceptable use policy
  • Cookies policy
  • Terms and conditions

 

It’s best to seek legal advice from a law firm experienced in data protection and compliance. Make it a point to prioritize data protection and ensure that everyone in your team is aware of their obligations as the business expands.

 

Disclose to your visitors how the business is using their data. It would be best if you told them how you’re going to store the data, who can access them, and whom data will be shared.

 

Develop An Online Marketing Strategy

 

Once your website is up and running, it’s now time to create a powerful online marketing strategy to drive traffic to your site. There are many ways to this. Here are the different digital marketing strategies you should try:

  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • CRM
  • Influencer marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing

 

Should You Hire Someone for Website Design in Miami?

 

From a brand-friendly and responsive design to everything that goes into development, you may be interested in hiring a professional for website design in Miami.  The best way to start this search is to write down what’s most important to you when thinking about your website. From there, get to the internet and find a digital marketing agency or website designer and developer who can turn your vision into a reality.

web design project

 

What is the intangible element that makes one website stand out over another? We often know good design when we see it, but defining what makes it excellent is harder. If you want to create a captivating web design project, there are some key factors you should consider.

 

According to Internet Live Stats, there are approximately 1.82 billion websites in the world. Of course, the number changes frequently, and not all sites are active at all times. The bottom line is you’re competing against a lot of other things clamoring for people’s attention.

 

How do you grab attention and keep it? What takes your site past professional to engaging? We’re going to look at nine key components and some examples of how others create amazing designs.

 

1. Provide Excellent Content


People need a reason to visit your site. They have the option to spend their time on a social media page, texting friends, streaming movies or visiting millions of other websites. You have to give them incentive to come to yours.

 

Top quality and frequently updated content keeps your followers engaged. You’ll also attract new visitors as they see you have an answer to their question or when their family and friends share a link to your content.

 

blik

 

Blik is an online art supply store. Its blog shares information on the latest sales and offers inspiration for artists of all levels. You’ll find ideas for decorating your home or current trends and styles.

 

2. Speed up Load Times


When designing a beautiful-looking site, you might not think about the usability as much as the aesthetics. However, studies prove that the longer your website takes to load, the more people bounce away.

 

When you must choose between style and function, go with the option that reduces page loading times. Invest in a better hosting service, use caching and compress photos to make them load more quickly.

 

3. Use Amazing Photos


It might be tempting to use stock photos. After all, they are typically shot by professionals. However, although the quality is high, the relevance is low. You also risk a competitor using the same images as you.

 

Instead, use your own photographs. If necessary, hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your products, office space and other pertinent details. Think about what best represents your brand and how you can incorporate unique images into your design.

 

You can always overlay a visual with a color to tie into your palette or fade it out to use as part of your background.

 

alpha genesis

 

It isn’t surprising that Alpha Genesis Design Build highlights its design capability with beautiful photos of spaces it has designed. No other architect and design firm will have the same look on their website.

 

4. Engage the User


Don’t just approach your design from the look of the page. Instead, consider the usability of your site. Those who will interact with your online presence must understand the steps to move smoothly through your website.

 

The words you use, the interactivity of various elements, and even arrows and other accents guide the person through the buyer’s journey.

 

5. Grab Their Attention


You need to hook the visitor from the minute they land on your page. The best way to do so is with an amazing headline that summarizes the benefit of your product or service.

 

You could also use a video to grab attention. Think about the pain point driving people to your site and how you can solve their problem. Once you know the answer, you’ll have the words or images to make them sit up and take notice.

 

hi skin

 

Hi, Skin is a series of studios with professional estheticians. It grabs user interest in two ways. First, it has a video loop in the landing page’s background showing people of different ages and races with gorgeous skin. Second, it features a headline that reads, “Customized Skincare for All.”

 

6. Choose an Easy Name


When you first start on a web design project, you may have to secure a domain name. This isn’t an easy task. There are millions of websites, after all, and most simple names already have an owner.

 

You must come up with something simple for users to remember so they can easily find you again, but it should define your brand. Brandstorm and look outside the typical dot com options if needed.

 

7. Write Scannable Pages


People are crazy busy. Between work, raising a family and keeping a household, time to read things in-depth is at a minimum. Make your pages as skimmable as possible. Use headings, subheadings and bullet points to break things up.

 

What are the main ideas and how can the person easily get the main gist in a few glances?

 

choice properties

 

Choice Properties uses headings to highlight the main benefits of doing business with it. Users can scroll quickly down the page and get the general idea of what the company offers. You’ll see subheadings such as “Our Properties,” “Sustainability” and “Choice Cares.”

 

Each section has a CTA button if the user wants to learn more about that specific point. You’ll also see images relating to the topic at hand.

 

8. Know Customer Pain Points


Make sure you dig deep into who your customers are. Create buyer personas so you fully understand the problems they face. Once you see what the pain points are, it’s much easier to highlight how you can fix them.

 

Make a list with two columns. On the left, put the heading of “Pain Points,” and on the right, put “Benefits.” Try to match the user pain points with the advantages of choosing your brand.

 

9. Focus on Your CTAs


Your landing pages should have a goal. Whatever your objective, a call to action (CTA) should lead users forward through the sales funnel.

 

It can take time and practice to find the perfect design for your CTAs. Think about what colors work best, the wording, and even if you want to use first or second person. Try out different methods and conduct A/B tests to see what your target audience responds best to.

 

Pay Attention to Excellent Designs


If you want your web design projects to stand the test of time, pay attention to the websites you use most frequently. What do you love and hate about them? How can you incorporate the positive elements in your next creation?

 

Author

Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

Building-Responsive-Email-Designs

 

As mobile devices are getting more and more popular with each passing day, it has become incumbent upon the marketer to build responsive email designs to cater to the mobile users. Designing responsive emails has become a must if you want to create a pleasant experience for the subscribers. An email newsletter can render well in the inbox on the desktop, but if not coded properly, it can lead to small fonts, narrow columns, and broken layout in mobile devices.

 

That said, let us first understand the difference between scalable, fluid, and responsive email designs.

 

Scalable Email Design


Scalable email design usually includes a single column layout scalable for all devices, large, attention-grabbing text, and clear, clickable call-to-action buttons.

 

Fluid Email Design


Percentage-based sizing is used to build fluid email designs. Such designs automatically adjust the table width and image size according to the screen of the device. This format is suitable for brands who are amenable to extra whitespace around the email copy.

 

Responsive Email Design


Responsive email designs allow the marketers to send email templates that adjust according to the size of the screen they are viewed on.

 

Of all these formats, responsive email design is generally recommended as these emails ensure correct rendering irrespective of the device.

 

Advantages of Responsive Email Designs


With responsive emails, you have the privilege to perform the actions as enlisted below:

 

  1. Change hierarchy and navigation
  2. Enlarge fonts
  3. Modify the color combination
  4. Change the layout
  5. Scale images
  6. Add padding
  7. Change or hide content

 

Responsive emails have a better-structured template that lets you save time in designing it. You only need to edit few lines of code rather than designing new tables and layout every time.

 

How to design a responsive email?


 

1. Focus on short subject lines and smart preheaders

 

Responsive email is not just limited to the email copy. Your subject line and preheaders should be drafted in such a way that the mobile users can easily comprehend the email message.

 

2. Have a single column layout

 

Using a single column layout makes it more convenient to read the content because of less shifting and moving.

 

3. Maintain the right font size

 

13- or 14-pt is the optimum font size for the body text while 20-pt should be used for the titles. Doing so will ensure better readability on the small screen. Add line breaks at every 60 characters in your plain text emails so that it becomes more legible.

 

4. Follow a visual hierarchy

 

Place the most important information at the top followed by the moderately important part and the important part. By following this practice, your readers will be able to read the most important content without having to scroll. An effective practice is to place all the important content in an “F-shaped” pattern. Readers are likely to read the headline first and then the text placed at the side and lastly the middle portion of the copy.

 

Take a look at the example below:

 

 

5. Use hyperlinks appropriately

 

It is advisable to refrain from using hyperlinks and particularly having a couple of hyperlinks together. Have you ever attempted to tap on one link and ended up selecting another one that was just adjacent to it? Annoying, isn’t it? To make sure that your subscribers do not have to face this, use a large and easily tappable button of 44x44px as recommended by Apple.

 

6. Include smaller and responsive images

 

Smaller and responsive images help to ensure that it does not hamper the loading speed of the email. Size the images correctly so that there is no squishing or stretching.

 

Also, do not forget to add suitable Alt-text to cater to the subscribers who have images turned off in their email clients. Such emails are accessible to all the subscribers including the ‘specially abled’ who are taking help of screen readers or other assistants to view your email.

 

If your subscribers are mostly using Apple devices, it is advisable to use retina images. It will help you create highly visual as well as light-weight emails.

 

7. Have ample white space in the email

 

Mobile screens are smaller in size which makes it imperative to avoid clutter and have enough white space in the email. This will impart a neater look to the email and the subscriber will be able to grasp the message.

 

8. Test your email ALWAYS

 

Litmus and Email on Acid are two most popular email testing tools that let you know how the email will appear in your subscriber’s inbox. It is an easy and quick method to avoid any rendering issues on mobile devices.

 

9. Coding a Responsive Email (with Media Queries)

 

The foundation of responsive email lies on media queries. Media queries are fundamentally a stylesheet placed within a stylesheet.

 

To create such emails, the media query’s styles should be nested in the <style> tag.

 

<style type=”text/css”>

.standardCSS{

color:# f5afad

font-size:12px;

}

 

@media only screen and (max-width:600px){

.mediaQueryCSS{

color:#f1c319;

font-size:24px;

}

}

</style>

 

@media only screen and (max-width:480px){

 

The opening is @media at-rule, followed by a keyword. Here, ‘only’ works as the keyword which limits the display of the media query styles to the specified media type. Next, the media type is set. Generally, ‘screen’ and ‘print’ are used as media types. They provide various style rules for displays and printers respectively. Media type is followed by another keyword ‘and’. It ends with the ‘media feature’.

 

Several media features are available, but the most important ones are max-width and max-device-width.

 

The feature max-width measures the space available in the browser, while the feature max-device-width considers the screen size of the device.

 

Inline Styles and Media Queries


As media query styles are not default styles and work on a trigger, it is not recommended to inline it. Therefore, you should inline the normal CSS and the media query CSS should override the styles on being triggered.

 

As inline styles possess the maximum specificity in the cascade, you should mark each media query style rule with !important declaration.

 

<style type=”text/css”>

.standardCSS{

color:#f5afad;

font-size:20px;

}

 

@media only screen and (max-width:600px){

.mediaQueryCSS{

color:#f1c319 !important;

font-size:24px !important;

}

}

</style>

 

Media query styles can be left in the <head> of your email because email clients supporting media queries do not strip out the <head> or <style> portion.

 

Coding a Responsive Email Without Media Queries


Some of the new email apps mushrooming in the digital marketplace do not support media queries. Moreover, the screen sizes of devices are different for mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other digital devices. A responsive email created by stacking <td> might not work in certain email clients on iOS or some of the native email apps on older Android versions. All these challenges made it incumbent upon the email developers to create a responsive email without any media queries.

 

The two frameworks that can help you in building beautiful responsive emails are Zurb and MJML. While HTML codes are lengthy and time-consuming, these frameworks make the task of coding responsive emails faster and easier.

 

Advanced Tricks to Create Responsive Emails


  • It is a great idea to use innovative pixel art and highlight the alt tags. However, scale the pixel art for smaller devices.

Here’s an example of Lego.

 

 

  • To create an attractive information hierarchy, you can use accordions and stack up content-heavy emails. It will not only make your emails interactive but also enhance the subscriber engagement. The highlight of this element is that you can track which section garners the maximum subscriber attention.
  • Refrain from adding full-blown navigation bard in the email. Instead, you can add menus in the email and make the navigation more intuitive.
  • Stick to web-safe fonts like Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Georgia. If you are using attractive typography, do not forget to add an appropriate fallback that matches the custom fonts.
  • Design your emails using one or two colors. Cleaner email designs always have fewer colors. After all, monochrome emails can look attractive too.

 

Wrapping Up


Taking a “mobile first” approach is of paramount importance as most of your subscribers are opening the emails on their mobile devices. A bonus tip is to have a checklist to offer a flawless experience to every subscriber irrespective of the device they use.

 

The tips shared here will surely help you in designing responsive emails that will be compatible with every device and look good on all screens.

 

Do you have any other tips to share? We would love to hear from you.

 

Author Bio:

 

Chintan is Head of Operations at InboxArmy LLC. He has been into email marketing domain from last 7 years. Chintan is connected to InboxArmy, a professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing advanced email marketing services from email production to deployment. Chintan’s success track record covers building email programs at competitive email marketing pricing and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts. For more information please visit https://www.inboxarmy.com.

Keep Website Visitors

 

Just as it’s important to focus your efforts on the things that make good web design better – informative content, high-quality photos, and an easy-to-use interface, it’s also important to think about the things your website visitors don’t want to see. If your bounce rate seems higher than it should be, but you can’t figure out why, there’s a good possibility that your website contains one or more of the five faux pas below.

 

#1 – Bad Overall Design


Once upon a time, getting to the first page of Google search results was as simple as inserting a few keywords into your website content. These days, though, things are far more complex. In fact, Google will rank your website based on its overall design – and so will your visitors. There are several things that might add to a bad design, and they include:

 

  • Lack of responsiveness – This occurs when your website isn’t as visually appealing or doesn’t work as fluidly on different types of screens.
  • Poor color selection – If you choose colors that are too bright, or if you put too many contrasting colors in the same place, this may aggravate visitors and cause them to bounce.
  • Bold, loud patterns – Though patterns are fine for backgrounds, it’s important to choose patterns that don’t overwhelm the visitors.
  • Poorly sized elements – Having a header that is too big, text that is too small or doesn’t wrap around images properly, and similar issues will cause frustration, too.
  • Bad fonts – Your font needs to fit your overall web design. If it’s too big or bold, it will likely annoy visitors, and if it’s too light or thin, they will struggle to read it.

 

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your website content’s quality while forgetting about its overall design. The biggest goal here is to make sure that it welcomes visitors without overwhelming them.

 

#2 – Bad or Misleading Navigation


In today’s world of fast internet and instant digital gratification, ensuring that your website operates the way it should is crucial. If a visitor can’t get to the information he or she needs within three clicks, it could be a deal-breaker. After all, why should visitors search endlessly for information on your website when they can easily find it from one of your competitors?

 

To combat this, make sure your website is easy to navigate and that users can get virtually anywhere in three clicks or less. Make sure photos and banners do not mislead your visitors, and clearly label your buttons with instructions like “Click Here” or “Buy Now”. Finally, be sure that your main navigation links are tucked neatly inside a menu rather than scattered across the website.

 

#3 – Poorly Structured Content


Content is still king when it comes to creating an excellent website that visitors will love. Unfortunately, many people continue to make simple mistakes that are causing their visitors to bounce and affecting their overall rankings. In order to ensure that your content is structured as optimally as possible, make sure that you avoid the following:

 

  • Too much content – Review your site’s existing content and remove any information that does not serve a direct purpose. It is better to have shorter, more informative content than to have a lot of content that doesn’t really serve a purpose.
  • Failing to introduce the website – When someone first lands on your site, they will want some sort of reassurance that they will find exactly what they searched for. Be sure that you include some sort of introduction for each piece of content that succinctly explains what visitors will find on that page.
  • Showing old content before new content – Dynamic content is your best friend (and Google eats it up) so be sure that you’re showing visitors your newest content at all times.
  • Straying from the point – Finally, if you include irrelevant information just to get some keywords in, you’ll end up confusing visitors. Avoid “fluff” at all costs and make sure that the information on the page all serves the same purpose.
  • Failing to include localized content – The focus on local content is huge, and Google has adjusted its algorithms to suit this. People want what they want, and they often want it now, so make sure that you’ve optimized for local keywords if this applies to you.

 

Statistics show that companies can lose up to 60% of their sales when visitors struggle to find what they were originally looking for. Keeping your content properly structured will help you avoid this.

 

#4 – Too Many Effects


When people visit your site, they want to be in control of their experience, so if you’ve considered the idea of videos set to auto-play or background music to help set a tone, you may want to think again. People find it aggravating when they are searching for information only to be interrupted by a video or background music they don’t like. If you’re going to use videos, allow the visitor to decide whether they want to watch it – don’t force it on them.

 

Photos are a great alternative to videos in many cases, and they load far faster, which improves your site’s response time – especially on mobile devices. If your site’s visuals are well-designed and appropriately placed (and sized!) they can go a long way toward giving your visitors a pleasant, memorable experience without the need for background music or videos set to auto-play.

 

#5 – Overwhelming Ads


Getting a small business off the ground can be tough, and online ads are indeed a phenomenal way to help you generate a little extra income to keep things moving forward. Though there’s nothing inherently wrong with having an ad on your site here and there, there is a limit. Everyone finds ads annoying to a degree, but if they are intrusive and interfere with your visitors’ experiences on your site, your bounce rate will undoubtedly skyrocket.

 

To combat this, make certain that your visitor does not see an ad before anything else on your site. Avoid pop-up ads where possible, and if you choose to use them, make sure they are easy enough for your visitors to close. Finally, if you have an entire sidebar filled with advertisements, there’s a pop-up on every single page, or there’s more than one pop up on any given page, there are far too many ads on your site and your visitors are almost certainly frustrated.

 

Focusing on good web design is crucial, and part of that involves truly critiquing your site to discover what might be putting users off. By going over your site carefully and keeping these five common mistakes in mind, you can discover what’s been increasing your bounce rate, resolve it, and start climbing the rankings once again.

Important Design Features

 

There are a plethora of web design features to choose from these days. One trend comes on the scene, and before you can get used to that one, there is something to take its place. Figuring out which elements to include and which to ignore can pose a real challenge for some businesses and the designers who create their websites.

 

People judge whether or not a website seems credible based on a number of facts, but 75 percent of website’s overall design falls on aesthetics. You need to carefully consider each aspect of your overall design and how each feature works together as a whole if you want visitors to see you as trustworthy.

 

Even though there are dozens of possible features you could add to your site, we’ve narrowed the list down to five that we feel are musts for any type of website.

 

1. Large Typography


When it comes to typography, you have a lot of choices to make. How big should it be? How will it translate on smaller screens? Your typography choice also has a personality and lends an overall identity to your site. It should be immediately recognizable as your brand, but at the same time the font needs to look good both on PCs and on mobile devices.

 

Adding larger typography for headers or as part of your logo is one way to give the site visitor an immediate feel for what you are about. With that in mind, try to use something not too far out of the norm. Stick with more traditional fonts or at least fonts that have traditional elements to them. It’s probably best to avoid, for example, a font that puts a heart over every “i” on the page.

 

the next rembrandt

 

Take a look at the typography on The Next Rembrandt. The bold font with serifs gives the site a look of yesteryear, which ties into the theme of an artist from the Baroque period in Europe. At the same time, the font is fairly simple and should be easy to read on any size device. Notice how the bigger typography draws the eye to the title.

 

2. Navigation


Your navigation is one of the most important elements of your website and you need to carefully consider how and where you place navigation on your page. Most visitors will look for your navigation to orient themselves with your website. Make sure you place it near the top of the page and keep it there throughout your site, so it is easy to find and navigate to various areas.

 

You also need to ensure your site is friendly for mobile users as they navigate to various areas. About 67 percent of mobile users state they are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site. You can easily achieve this with text links and hamburger menus.

 

3. Background


Remember when sites used tiled backgrounds and you could clearly see where the edges of the image were? That wasn’t a good look at the time and one we are far from these days. You’re more likely to see a beautiful photograph, a faded video or some type of custom texture in the background.

 

The key to creating a background design your site visitors will enjoy is to come up with something that reflects the overall tone of your website without distracting from your message. You don’t want a background that is too busy or too bland. The best choice is somewhere in the middle.

 

custom shingles

 

Custom Shingles manufactures cedar and hardwood roofing, so it makes sense that their background has a texture that makes you think of natural materials. Note how the color blends nicely with the blue tinted, wooden heading, enhancing the other elements on the page but not overwhelming.

 

4. Videos


More than half of marketers cite video as the type of content with the best return on investment (ROI). This is likely because people are more likely to engage with and share video than other types of content. Utilizing video on your website is a smart idea.

 

As Internet speeds increase and video is more easily streamed in a variety of locations, expect the trend toward videos to continue. You can either include a video that the user can begin to play if and when they are ready, or you can include a video background that begins to play when the user lands on your page. Each method has advantages and drawbacks — survey your target audience and decide what works best for your site.

 

5. Use of Negative Space


As a web designer, you need to carefully consider the use of both positive and negative space on your page. There needs to be a nice balance between the two. Don’t be afraid to edge your positive elements into your negative space in order to draw the reader’s attention either.

 

polish culture

 

Multimedia Guides to Polish Culture features an interesting design and use of white space. The image on the right crosses the border between the negative and positive space. This draws attention to the hands. Note how the man’s arm and hand are extended to the heading so that the site visitor’s eye is drawn to the title.

 

Most Important Design Features


The most important design features for your site will vary depending on your industry and your target audience. Knowing which ones stand out and stand the test of time is a good place to start. However, don’t limit yourself to only the five examples listed above. There are many different design features available to use in your designs.

 

Author

Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

Design Your Website

 

Gone are the days when businesses used a landing page as a placeholder just for their company’s address and phone number. Today’s websites need a friendly user experience, fast load time, blog, social sharing ability and, perhaps most importantly, quality design.

 

Although your company doesn’t require award-winning design to stand-out, it does need to be attractive to an audience to keep them engaged. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean the design needs to be complex. According to a study done by Adobe, 41 percent of respondents say they prefer a website that’s plain and simple.

 

Here are five optimal steps to create a winning online presence.

 

Design with the user in mind


Today’s website design focuses on the user experience. This may sound intuitive, but many companies struggle to understand the user intent and how to simplify that process.

 

Start with a solid design and navigation hierarchy that makes it easy for your customer to find what they’re looking for. For example, Apple Rubber’s site is simple and to the point, and their material selection section is an intuitive process where customers can quickly pinpoint the information they need.

 

Strive for readability


Before you design a single pixel of your website, think about what you want your audience to do. If they’re simply looking at your photography business portfolio, then loading them with gorgeous visuals makes sense. But chances are you need your readers to consume information, from your blog to your call to action (CTA). That’s why it’s crucial for your blog to be highly readable. Readers are likely to need a large text font, oversized headers, bullet point lists and tables that clearly define the information you want to convey.

 

Keep it simple


Readability and simplicity are key for building a successful website. Focusing too much on long, complex text and visuals can ultimately backfire and drive your audience away. In fact, according to Adobe, 41 percent of people will stop viewing a website if the content is too long or takes too long to load.

 

Look to Quid’s website for inspiration. They focus on functional minimalism with only the essential elements on a page to start exploring. With fast load time and readability, this business website delivers on what consumers are looking for in their online experience.

 

Include a call to action


Don’t assume your customers will know what you want them to do when they land on your site. They may just want to look around, consume content and go. Or they may need you to tell them exactly how to use their site and get the most value.

 

This is where a rock-solid call CTA comes in. For instance, you can add an opt-in box for customers to signup for future discounts or a free video series that helps them resolve a problem. Evernote, for example, prompts consumers to signup for their service for free to get started using their tool quickly.

 

Focusing on readability, load time and simplicity on your website all point back to the same thing: the customer experience. Get this step right and you’ll keep your customers coming back for more to a site they trust and see as a credible resource to resolve their needs.

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