If you are in the process of setting up a new business, you’ll want to create an engaging and professional website to show off your best side.
But how can you ensure your new digital product does not fall short of your customers’ expectations and that you don’t end up wasting thousands of pounds in the process? And how can you guarantee that the online experiences of your customers will not hold your business back but rather encourage them to visit your website more frequently?
Here are 5 things you need to consider when designing the website of your new business:
Define your website’s purpose
Your new website can lead to business growth – so long as your choice of design is made with its users in mind. Clearly outline and understand why your website exists, what it offers and how it can benefit its target audience. Ask yourself what you want your website to help you achieve; is it to capture data, generate leads or gain online sales? This knowledge will determine the content, tone and layout of the whole site.
Know your website’s audience
Knowing your end users can be the make or break of your website’s success. To create a truly effective, customer centric digital experience, you need to speak with your target customers to gain evidence-based insight relating to their goals, needs, wants, attitudes and frustrations. You can then create a digital solution that meets their actual needs – not just the ones you think or assume they have.
Apply User Experience best practice
Once you understand your users’ goals and the tasks they need to undertake to achieve these goals, your website should be designed to make these tasks as easy as possible. Understanding who your users are will allow you to develop a relevant content strategy and map effective online journeys that meet their expectations. If budgets are tight, as a minimum you should adopt UX best practice. If you have a larger budget, there are definite benefits in hiring a UX expert who understands the intricacies of the various elements that will affect the user experience in your industry.
Design mobile first
It’s vital when designing your site to consider its mobile version first. Having a desktop version thats responsive to mobile screen size isn’t good enough anymore. With increased usage of mobile apps, users expect the same smooth, intuitive experience when they access websites on their mobile. Taking advantage of smartphone features such as touchscreen input, providing relevant input masks (such as numerical keypad) and using the camera function and geolocation can improve the user experience on a mobile device.
Ignoring the importance of designing specifically for mobile will affect your business performance. 50% of users abandon mobile transactions because of a poor experience while 61% say if they can’t find what they are looking for immediately on a mobile site they will quickly move to another site, and 40% will visit a competitor site according to Google.
Combine this consumer demand with the fact that mobile-first indexing by Google is due to be introduced in 2018 and it means businesses literally can’t afford to ignore the need to provide a superior mobile user experience.
Take the GDD approach
Consider the ideal scenario where your business website’s design evolves according to customer needs and expectations and how well these are served. This is actually possible with Growth Driven Design (GDD), an approach that rapidly creates a launchpad website and then responds to the ever expanding needs of users by regularly applying improvements to your website based on this insight. This methodology avoids the need to invest in recreating a new website every few years because it is out-of-date; instead, your web presence will be more effective as the site will constantly be updated and based on research rather than guesswork.
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