When you’re starting a new business, one of the things you want to get right from the outset is your brand. As with all areas of marketing, there are trends that it’s worth keeping an eye on.
A recent article for Entrepreneur highlighted some of the top trends that start-ups should watch while developing their brand with the help of web designers in Surrey.
Illustration is at the top of the list, with the news provider pointing out that a growing number of businesses are using art as a way to engage with their audience. It’s about making a brand more personable and easier to connect with, the article explained.
The influence of millennials is another thing that no business should ignore. From a branding perspective, this means making sure that you’re measuring up to their moral standards and communicating that effectively.
According to the news provider, those in the millennial generation are much more politically aware than their parents, as well as being increasingly swayed by issues such as sustainability and discrimination.
The article summarised that “brands are putting effort into connecting with audiences in a meaningful way”, so this is where it’s best to focus your efforts.
Writing for Forbes recently, Pia Silva explained that many businesses get confused about what constitutes branding as opposed to marketing, but stressed that you should never look at either of these in a vacuum because they both feed into one another.
It’s essential to get your branding right and establish a solid foundation on which you can build your marketing efforts, she elaborated.
Since the launch of new political party The Independent Group earlier today, critics have been out in full force about the fraction team of former Labour MPs. However, perhaps more should have been said about its inability to use professional IT experts, such as web designers in Kingston, as its brand new website crashed just minutes after launching.
A few disgruntled politicians have left the Labour Party to create the newly formed Independent Group, a press conference revealed today (February 19th).
The former Labour MPs took this opportunity to announce the group’s new website, which was meant to show the public its political message, particularly its resentment over the poor handling of Brexit by the government.
However, no-one was able to see what the seven MPs – who include Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna – believe, as the site crashed almost instantly after going online.
Those who wanted to look at the webpage simply got 503 errors and a random website code, or experienced the site repeatedly failing on them.
The statement the public were meant to read on the site said: “Our primary duty as Members of Parliament is to put the best interests of our constituents and our country first.”
It went on to say: “Yet like so many others, we believe that none of today’s political parties are fit to provide the leadership and direction needed by our country.”
The fraction group, instead, believes in policies that are “evidence-based, not led by ideology”.
Repairs have been since made to the website, but it is so simple in its design that some experts have criticised it before it has had a chance to take off. According to PR Week, media pros have even gone so far as to say “the website looks like a GCSE project”.
If you’re planning to hire website designers in Surrey to revamp your online presence you need to make sure that not only do you brief them to create a site that represents your business, but that you’re also directing your efforts at the most important places on your site.
Crowd Learning Hub recently shared a number of website statistics that could help you better understand what you need to focus on when designing a website.
For instance, research by Blue Corona found that 38 per cent of people will stop engaging with a website if its content or layout is unattractive.
The same firm also found that almost half (48 per cent) of people believe that a website’s design is the most important factor in determining a business’s credibility. If that’s not an incentive to get professional help to revamp your website, we’re not sure what is.
But it’s not just the design itself you need to think about, it’s also how this will work on different devices. A survey by infront webworks found that 72 per cent of people want websites to be mobile friendly.
What’s more, comScore data shows that almost two out of every three minutes spent online now comes from mobile devices. Responsive websites are, therefore, an important area for businesses to get right.
Make sure you also consider some of the big web design trends for the year too. We recently highlighted some of the top things to watch, including the rise of interactive user experience, and the increasing use of customised graphics by businesses of all sizes.
Businesses will be making sure their web designers in Kingston create their website to be easily accessible and understood by as many people as possible, including those with visual impairments.
This is after it was revealed that American superstar Beyonce is facing legal action, as her official website does not accommodate those who have problems with their vision.
A class action lawsuit states the website violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (1990), as it does not allow equal access to its content.
Dan Shaked, attorney for plaintiff Mary Conner, was reported by the Guardian as saying: “There are many important pictures on beyonce.com that lack a text equivalent.”
Therefore, many people “are unable to determine what is on the website, browse the website or investigate and / or make purchases”.
To enable those who are visually impaired to have access to the entire website, photos have to be coded with alt-text so that this can be spoken by screen-readers, enabling website visitors to understand what the images are about.
In addition to this, Mr Shaked’s complaint states there is a lack of accessible drop-down menus and navigation links. He also claims it is hard to use the website without the use of a mouse, which is difficult for those with poor vision.
While there may be many businesses that do not have these features, the pressure is on the 37-year-old to have a website that is accessible for all, as she has more than 122 million followers on Instagram – nearly double the population of the UK!
If you’ve got a small business you can’t afford to neglect your website. In this day and age you aren’t going to get anywhere if you don’t have an online presence. To truly thrive, your website needs to be well thought out, beautifully designed and give customers exactly what they’re looking for.
However, there are many mistakes that small businesses make with their web design, most of which could be easily avoided. Business2community recently shared some advice on how to avoid the most common pitfalls when it comes to designing a website for a small business.
One of the website’s top tips is to hire a professional web designer to work on your project. However, it stressed that this doesn’t mean you have to go and hire a huge design agency with international clients.
Instead, focus on finding web designers in Kingston, or wherever you’re based, who have experience of working with small businesses and who you feel happy to work with.
One area that often requires work is the content featured on a business’ website. The news provider points out that you need to be ruthless with your copy and only include the information people need to understand your business, as well as avoiding a crowded design with too many elements.
In fact, leaving plenty of white space in a website’s design was actually one of the top ten web design trends identified for 2019 in a recent article for The Next Web.
Using more white space than is necessary also makes it become a “focal point or a more noticeable part of the design aesthetic”, the news provider commented.
Content isn’t something you should write once and forget about. It needs to be constantly updated to ensure it continues to reflect your products or services effectively, and is relevant to your customers.
Regularly updating your content has the additional bonus of improving your performance in search engines too.
When you start working with a web designer, make sure you give them clear guidance about your target audience. Resist the temptation to target everyone. “Try figuring out who your most frequent users are and focus on creating the best possible experience for them. Pleasing the masses simply means you will end up not pleasing anyone,” the news provider noted.
Failing to address UX problems with your website follows on from this. According to Business2Community, many small business owners get caught up in trying to understand the difference between UX and UI.
What’s important, however, is that your site gives the user the best possible experience, regardless of the device they’re viewing it on.
That means you need to consider making it responsive so that it can scale properly on mobiles and tablets, as well as laptops and desktops. Given that more than 50 per cent of people now look at websites on their smartphones rather than PCs, it’s vital to get this right.
Take the time to test every element of your website on multiple devices. Make sure that anyone who visits your website will be able to achieve what they’ve set out do to, whether that’s checking your opening hours, making a purchase or signing up for updates.
The start of a new year is a great time to revamp your website, so why not take a look at our pick of the top web design trends that will be huge for 2019?
– Interactive user experience
Next year will all be about encouraging user experience with your website. There is a growing trend towards interactive websites, and according to recent Forrester Research, having a strong user interface could even boost web conversions by 200 per cent.
What’s more, conversion rates could multiply by 400 per cent, which means more sales, bookings, shares, or phone calls for your business.
Traditionally, websites do not like lots of white space or a lack of colour. However, 2019 will be all about the stripped back look, attracting those who do not like to be distracted by too much graphic.
Instead, designers will be clever and creative with monochrome, enhancing the visuals on the page with just one shade and making them stand out even more.
– Customised graphics
While the use of image libraries, such as Shutterstock, supports thousands of businesses across the globe, the trend will move towards having customised graphics.
This will allow companies to link their visuals with their branding and character. It also helps the images become synonymous with the brand, so it is more easily recognisable by potential customers or clients, strengthening the impression it leaves on website users.
For help updating your website for 2019, get in touch with web designers in Kingston today.