We all want a website that will captivate, enlighten and hold the attention of its users. For it to render perfectly across the growing number of devices and screen sizes and to deliver engaging content in a blink of an eye (or more to the point, a swipe of a finger or a click of a mouse). Well, the good news is, we all can!
New methods of evaluating customer experience, alongside the continued and rapid growth in technology, means today’s designers have both the tools and the knowledge needed to take the next steps forward in web design.
The bad news is, it’s not going to be as easy as it first might seem.
Services like Wix and Squarespace have convinced your average Joe that they’re the next big thing in web design. Providing simple functionality to drag, drop and crop content into pre-defined templates, building your very own web page(s) in a matter of moments, with many of the off-the-shelf solutions costing next to nothing.
Whilst these resources are great at providing website templates and basic customisation, designing a successful interface is significantly more complex. With a recent surge of web pages (an increase of 700 million between 2016 and 2017), standing out in the ‘crowd’ has never been so difficult. Competition for the online visitor is higher than ever before, and everybody is looking for that secret formula to successful website design.
Hey you! Yes you… I’m glad I still have your attention.
In a world where information is just a click away and news comes in single sentences, our attention span has never been so limited.
Our falling concentration means web designers have to accommodate our wandering minds, so websites are no longer the static networks we once knew them as. They now boast moving images, interactive elements and on-screen animations which are embedded to enhance the user experience directing them to the critical parts of information.
UI animations, which were once clunky and distracting, have been developed and evolved in ways which have transformed a website’s experience.New animation frameworks, such as Google’s Material Design, mean modern day animations are sleek, easy-on-the-eye and don’t share the invasive nature of their predecessors.
AI, which despite being on the block for a while, is now being integrated into website design too. Providing features, such as voice control for users, means it offers something far more alluring than your typical search bar. Making search times faster and more interesting keeps users engaged and ultimately spending more time on your website.
AI can also introduce features such as intelligent chatbots to modern-day websites. Another step forward in the interaction available to visitors on sites, they provide relevant, real-time conversation to help aid and support users.
With the market forecast set to hit $3,172 million by 2021 (up from $703 million in 2016) integrating chatbots on your page could be something to seriously consider, or you might fall out of ‘site’!
Another modern trend in website design is the shift companies are making from HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). Both found at the start of your search bar, they play an integral role in how your data is shared on the internet.
HTTP is fast, reliable and smooth, however, if you’re using it, your data simply isn’t secure.
HTTPS, on the other hand, helps keep your information safe. It encrypts data, meaning no one can track your site activity. It also prevents your data from being corrupted or modified in any way, whilst proving to your website visitors that they’re interacting with the website they intended to.
Big players, such as Google and Firefox, have recently made the decision to mark HTTP sites as ‘Not Secure’, with their number one priority of keeping their customers safe online. With the majority of the industry following suit, today’s web designers must also learn to prioritise their customers’ data.
Here at Cloud Ten we take customer data very seriously and are running a campaign to provide a secure hosting package for all of our clients, that haven’t yet made the switch to the secured confines of HTTPS. The package will both provide them with super-fast and reliable hosting, whilst ensuring their websites are always HTTPS compliant.
We also utilise data to improve our websites UX. Through software, such as LogRocket and Google Analytics, we are able to collect data which informs us of how our customers’ websites are being used by their own audiences.
“Google Analytics can show us how each page is performing, but using tools like Logrocket gives us a unique insight into exactly what the user is engaging with on each page and how they’re interacting with the website, in ways that Google Analytics cannot.’ Danny Hearnah, from Cloud Ten
By using Logrocket we are able to determine exactly where users are getting frustrated in their online journey, and we look to improve these issues on the fly.
A web design project goes way beyond the standard ‘Go-Live’ day, very few offer aftercare support as we do, and commit to making any amendments necessary if our customers’ sites aren’t being used as they or we intend them to be.
Forget about the tortoise and the hare because speed is of the utmost importance here.
How many times have you found yourself frantically hitting the ‘refresh’ button within seconds of opening a web page that won’t load, only to give up and exit?
“2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.” Maile Ohye, Google
Customers don’t want to be waiting around; therefore digital and creative agencies must optimise their data to improve the efficiency of processing and shortening load times.
At Cloud Ten, we understand speed is an important element towards a successful website. We monitor everything, applying aggressive caching, and deploying the latest server-side technology to ensure fast load times for our clients’ sites.
We also use tools such as BrowserStack to ensure our sites are responsive across browsers and devices.
“Making websites work correctly on mobile devices is imperative in this generation, that’s why we produce mobile layouts at the very first design stage. Mobile first, always.”- Cameron Bix, Cloud Ten
Successful modern web design is all about retaining a user’s attention. Designers and developers should take advantage of technologies progression and data gathering abilities, by using them to benefit themselves and their customers. Keep it quick, responsive, and for heaven’s sake, make sure it works on mobile!
Want to know more about what we can do for you? Then get in touch using the contact info here.