In today’s digital age, a website is your business’ window to the world, irrespective of whether you are a brick and mortar establishment or an online entity. Similarly, the need for a dedicated website is not just limited to startups but is equally vital for established business. Even if your business is doing exceptionally well, investing in a well-designed and responsive website can help you reach out to a wider cross-section of the audience and increase your sales manifold.
Here is rundown on how custom website development services can turn the tide for your business:
Website Development and Its Advantages
Custom web development is one of the finest things you can do to guarantee the success of your business. In addition to improving your visibility, customized website development can help your business in the following ways:
- Customized website development boosts your credibility and adds a certain brand authority to your business.
- A professional-looking website can bring you big gains without an astronomical investment, thus, offering a higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional means of advertising.
- It does not matter whether you are a newbie or a seasoned market player, there is bound to be competition in your realm of trade. A dedicated website can assist you in leveling playing field and even beating your competitors.
- It boosts your advertising and marketing endeavors across different channels. Your social media marketing and email marketing campaigns are likely to resonate better with your audience if these lead them to a website.
- Custom designed websites are cross-browser well-matched.
- Custom developed websites also costs nearly same as of any template based solution. They may have little higher cost but offer numerous benefits and total control on each part and role of the website.
Specialized, clean, and well-organized online presence is essential for preserving your brand reputation. General designs can create a negative impression of the product or service quality, the reason being customers see you as no dissimilar from thousand other companies. The website represents your business in terms of superiority, quality, and individuality, so you need to have one developed skillfully.
Importance of Multiple-Channel Presence
At a time when smartphones and handheld gadgets rule the roost, the number of people accessing websites through a desktop computer is fast dwindling. Almost everyone likes to browse the internet on the go. Therefore, a website with a responsive design – that ensures your website is displayed correctly and uniformly across platforms, devices and screen sizes – is essential to stay relevant in the dynamic online landscape.
As per statistics, whopping 67 percent users are more likely to use an enlisted service or buy products on a website with a clean, responsive design. In contrast, 61 percent users are likely to exit a website with an unfriendly layout and design. The bottom line is – a potential user may bounce back from your website and move to that of your competitors if you don’t cater to a multiple-channel presence.
How Digital Marketing Can Help
Building a website from scratch is no big deal, given the user-friendly content management systems like WordPress. Even so, if you really want to make an impact with your web presence, it is advisable to use professional custom website development services because you don’t just need to build a carefully-strategized site but also work toward improving your search engine rankings to attract massive traffic. People will know that you exist, only when your website is visible in search engine results. A smart digital marketing campaign can help in bolstering your web presence to clock-in tangible gains.
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We’ve all had a thousand stories to tell about our clients, haven’t we? From the “oh-so-understanding” perfect clients to the most adamant perfectionists, each client gives us a unique experience to talk about or even learn from, sometimes. Now, how often do we think about the client’s perspective of things; like, what kind of stories would they have to share about us – the designers, or maybe are already discussing now?
Yes, they do that too. This is the part where you can probably think of the times you’ve lost your temper trying to convince the client about something, or the times you’ve messed up things, just because you needed an extended deadline to finish something perfectly.
Its OK. We’ve all been there. Just like clients, designers too have their own unique characteristics and ways of dealing with things.
However, there are some who may be too eager to finish the project, have a million doubts at every stage of the project, and some may know just what clicks, hey, perfectionists exist among designers too. From a client’s point of view, some of these kinds of designers are ones that they should probably keep away from.
So, this is for the clients. Here we list 5 types of designers who can do no good for you or your project. Make sure you steer clear of these people and as for the designers, make sure you don’t fall into any of these categories.
- The “Mr. Know-it-all” frauds – These kinds of designers are the ones that think that they know everything about everything. They will probably portray themselves as experts in their field and get you to believe that they are the most experienced designers (which they could be, in terms of years of experience alone) and how they are the best for the job. But later on, you will probably realize that your project looks like the latest collection of the free design templates available online and that there is absolutely nothing worth the money you just paid them. They probably think of themselves to be right all the time and others wrong, so they tend to avoid anyone else’s ideas. What’s more, they might just disappear with the money, once the project is delivered to you, and never be heard of again. Try telling him an opinion of yours. If he smilingly rejects it or turns it around to make it his own, then this is probably it.
- The “perfectionists” – These are the ones that spend hours at length trying to perfect a tiny little aspect of the project and finally end up not being able to deliver the project on time. They might have the most organized way of doing things and often cannot stand the thought of something being out of place. Even though the project might be the epitome of perfect, you probably won’t get it when you want it. Also, they might tend to ignore a lot of instructions because it’s just not their way of doing things and they might not even pay attention to any other ideas because they are just not perfect. Maybe you can try giving him a trial work for which you have a proper deadline and also have a clear idea of the time needed to complete and see if he can do it with full perfection. If he can, then you can go ahead and hire him, but if not don’t hire even if his so far is perfect.
- The “multi-taskers” – These kinds of designers often take up a number of projects to work on simultaneously and have no priorities set. They will probably also have a couple of ongoing freelance and personal projects too at the same time. As a result, they have absolutely no track of time and hence no track of due dates. The quality of their work on all of these projects also gets affected because they are focusing on numerous projects at the same time. In the end, you will probably be left with a completely off the schedule and substandard quality product, plus a whole lot of wasted time, effort, and money. Try getting a clear picture of the kind of work he already has on his plate before you hire a designer.
- The “clever foxes” – These are the ones that keep you updated on the advances of the project and keep telling you their bright ideas, which you probably might have nodded along with, because you thought your designer is the best. By the end, you will probably find yourself nodding yes to including something that they made you believe, the project cannot do without and end up spending twice the cost that you had planned and taking twice as much time as what you had initially planned for your project. If you hear a “Your project is almost done, but…..” then you probably have chosen the wrong designer.
- The “copy machines” – These kinds of designers often search the web for inspiration and new ideas, and finally end up literally stealing the design styles that they’ve browsed through. You don’t want your project website looking just like another one, do you? You certainly don’t want to be accused of copying the design of another website, right? Then you should probably stay away from these unoriginal copiers. They often have a history of similar looking websites and designs to their credit, so if you do your research before signing up with a designer, you can probably spot this one out pretty easily.
There are many other kinds of designers out there who have their own unique traits, like for example, ones who finish off projects ahead of the deadline, but with substandard quality, ones who are the opposite, that is extremely lazy and keep putting off deadlines and ones who like to work alone. The truth is that all kinds of designers have their negatives and positives. The real challenge is to find the one that is best for your project and how will you get there? Research, research and more research.
What other kinds of designers have you come across in your professional life that you think you should avoid? Share with us in the comments below.
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Several statistics prove that almost 75% of website users judge the efficiency and credibility of a company by its website design. That pretty much shows how important it is for a company to have a well-designed website. They are undoubtedly one of the main factors in improving business. However, it is also one of the most overlooked aspects of a business. Managers and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), often do not spend much time on their company’s website. Even though they realize how important it is for their business, all they do is simply hand over the job to the designers and forget about it.
What people seldom notice is that there are a lot of misconceptions around how websites are built these days. Some of these can even cost the company their relation with designers when the final design is a mess and doesn’t attract people. In turn, the company might just lose its prospective clients.
Here are 5 of the most common misconceptions that companies should probably watch out while designing their website. And if you are a designer, these points will definitely teach you what not to do while working on your new project.
- ‘Fancy is better’ – Most often client companies feel that their newly designed website is not good enough, or not worth their money when their designers submit a minimalistic design. The truth is that minimalism is actually the “in thing”. White spaces in websites are often considered to be the signs of a poorly designed website, but the fact is that users find such websites more appealing and beautiful. It is as a matter of fact, quite OK to have white spaces in a website as long as everything necessary has been included. Instead of including extravagant icons and elements, designers need to focus more on making websites simple and perceptive. Moreover, simple designs contribute to a lesser load time, which adds to the effectiveness, as most people tend to leave a web page if it does not load in 4 to 5 seconds.
- ‘What the client likes is what the users will like’ – Most website designers, finalize on the design by taking into consideration the client’s preferences. However, what they like might not always seem appealing to the actual website users. Again, if the company finds a particular design not good enough, then the website as a whole is said to be of bad quality. This too is not good practice, because of the same reason – what the company likes might not be what the users like, and vice versa. Companies need to hire designers that do thorough market research and trust them in providing effective designs.
- ‘Content just needs to have the keywords and can be recycled easily’ – The content of a website is supposed to have the right keywords. True. But these keywords shouldn’t be stuffed into the content for the sake of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The content should be relevant, reliable, engaging and original. It should also contain the keywords. Also, most designers think it is ok to use already existing content, from the same website. That again is something that affects the credibility of a business. Whether it is from the same company’s website or from some other website, recycled content makes the users bored and also affects the search engine ranking.
- ‘Mobile websites are not necessary’ – A lot of designers focus only on, or more on the desktop version of a website. This practice is no longer a wise move, especially today, when the world seems to be under the reign of smartphones. People need to focus on building mobile responsive websites instead, and make it possible for the users to access the site from anywhere in the world, regardless of the device. Several surveys show that over half of the website users are less likely to become customers of a company that doesn’t have a mobile site or if they have a poorly designed mobile site.
- Bigger logos are better’ – Logos are meant to add brand value and help customers identify unique brands. They are not meant to fill web pages. Adding huge logos to a website, in the hope of being able to grab attention, is a big mistake. It is important to properly design the size of the various elements in a web page in order to make it appealing to users. Having the essential elements in a bigger font and the rest in a slightly smaller font is probably a good way to go.
A good website design is one that will not only be useful and attractive for the users but also conforms to SEO specifications. It will have relevant and original content and shall appear seamless on any mobile device. Companies need to hire designers who know all these and are well aware of the future trends in website design as well.
What other strange website design misconceptions have caught hold of your associates? Let us know in the comments below.
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When Google announced its plan to start exploring the design field, the effort was very much appreciated and anticipated. Without a doubt, Google’s ‘Material design’ concept released in June 25, 2014 at the Google I/O conference is winning hearts. Material Design unifies Google’s expansive product range across various platforms and devices, under a consistent rich set of digital design styles and principles. These principles are backed with well-planned, solid guidelines that emphasize factors like, color, depth, weight, usability etc.
Is Flat design already on its way to become a passing fad?
When Google first released Jelly Bean, “flatness” was the trend- it said to get rid of whatever possible to make things plain, straight and flat. The design was simple and easy to use with more focus on functionalities, usability, speed of loading and actual working of the interface, compared to the skeuomorphic method which focused mainly on the looks of the interface.
As the name implies, it depicts something that is lying flat on a single surface without any 3-dimensional element in it to render a real world look, or an ability to interact. It was like a black board wiped clean.It removed all appearance styling stuff like gradients, texture, drop shadows and any decoration that imparted a 3 dimensional look for the design, and focused mainly on the interaction of simple icons, candid color schemes and typography. And for the same reason the design was found to be limiting in many cases, constraining us to simple shapes, colors, and icons. Its ubiquity made the sites look so generic, featureless and sometimes like a mid-2010 style if left without timely redesign. Another major drawback was that flat design failed to represent certain sites and apps systematically, which left users like you and me lost and strayed off the flow. It was short of complex visual cues which could actually guide confused users through the process. If you noticed, it was even difficult to distinguish between clickable buttons and static vector graphics because of the unavailability of raised edges and drop shadows. Flat made things extremely flat, that it became too much radical in getting away with all skeuomorphs, even those which were helpful to users. Overuse of the flat design concept began to give sites a monotonous look.
Material design, on the other hand, is an evolution of flat design and is multidimensional, taking the 3rd Z axis (apart from the x and y axis) into consideration. Material design makes use of a bit of skeuomorphism and has an element of physics in it. It is based on physical/material objects taking into consideration its depth, edges, shadows, surfaces etc. This allows a more engaging user experience, perfect usability and is like the marriage of real and digital worlds.
Why/Where should you choose Material over Flat?
- When flat design was perfect for simple designs like logos or graphic design, the complex representations like website design called for a more interactive user experience, something more than what flat offered. Material design thus came in as a reactive response to flat design practices.
- It also helped lessen Android’s design inconsistencies, unappealing themes, lack of proper documentations and overuse of Hamburger menu.
- Though both looks almost similar to a novice, an important difference is that Material Design makes the hierarchy clear with proper use of shadows and lights, which flat did not. For instance, we can clearly understand the position of an object (if it is below or above) simply by the way its shadow has been projected.
- The 3-dimensional arrangement gives a real look and makes it easy to interact with.
- As it has built-in animations, there is no overhead of handling animations manually.
- The extensive use of animations really helps understanding the hierarchy, make things vibrant.
- Material design, sure gives some guidelines, which have been quite a debate point. Some thinks that it’s a limitation to apply your creativity. But in this world with all kind of applications- good, bad, and the ugly, these well-defined principles gives a standardization for designing the apps, it is no more wild guesses anymore.
- Whatever device you design, there are possessing standards available in the design language for every detail.
- Animations are useful to extrapolate to other parts of the design.
- It helped unify how things looked in different android devices. Material design has been a great relief to developers, who struggled to make an app look similar on multiple devices.
Limitations of Material Design
The immense positive responses for material design have virtually erased the negative aspects of it. That doesn’t mean material design come without its limitations. There are a few things that might not please everyone, some are of the opinion that:
- Being so clearly marked the guidelines, they can’t use creativity so much.
- Animations clearly consume more battery.
- The animations and complex graphics can result in slow loading, compared to flat websites that are too fast and easy to use.
- Drop shadow, transform/translate transitions, color fill, can make things jerky and slow. Not all users have extremely fast devices like Google’s designers.
- Overuse of images, colors and animations can be visually distracting.
Both have so much in similar and there is no solid reasoning to choose one over the other. It all comes down to a matter of preference on the designer’s part to choose between a fancy website with colors and animations, and website that is too simple and easy to use. That being said, top designers from leading firms like IDEO, Obvious Corp., Khosla Ventures, Human and more, think that the Material Design is very cool, and most of the popular apps are already embracing the new design language fervently.
Material Design: A passing trend or here to stay?
Material Design has certain elements of fundamental design practices that are strong to stand the test of time, which is why I believe Material design is not just a trend, or being eye-candy. In earlier cases, the success of iOS and crack of Android was based on the UI and UX. But Google has finally come up with a design language that is a perfect response to popular design trends by Microsoft and Apple. It really seems practical from its current popularity and vast adoption, and also has immense adapting capability. Two years down the lane, it might not look the same, but you see, the concept promises a long reign.