Have You Heard Of Sustainable Web Design?

Have You Heard Of Sustainable Web Design?

There is a new concept that’s gaining traction in the software and web design world: sustainable web or software design. This might sound like an odd concept initially, given that these are in a digital environment, but there are good reasons to focus on the sustainability of your website design.

Wired recently explored the concept with Dutch programmer Danny Van Kooten, who is the author of a popular WordPress plug-in that is used by approximately two million websites around the world.

Van Kooten has already given up meat and flying in a bid to lead a more sustainable life, and then he hit on the idea of making his code more sustainable.

Every time someone visits a website with his plug-in on it, it has to send part of the plug-in’s code to the visitor’s browser. This is where the sustainability of the code comes in. Sending code uses energy and therefore, if you can reduce the amount of code you need to send, you are therefore reducing energy use.

When van Kooten realised this, he set about slimming down the code for his plug-in. It now sends 20KB less data each time, which sounds like a small amount, but when you scale it up across the websites that use his plug-in, it suddenly has a much greater impact.

The news provider revealed that, according to van Kooten’s calculations, this change has cut the world’s CO2 output by 59,000 kilograms, which is the equivalent of flying from Amsterdam to New York and back 85 times.

It also pointed out that making small changes to our digital habits could really add up if everyone gets on board.

For example, if everyone in the UK sent one fewer ‘thank you’ email each day, it would reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 16 tons a year.

But there are other benefits to taking a sustainable approach to web design, as Tim Frick, founder of green web consultancy Mightybytes, told the publication.

He explained that reducing code also reduces page load time and we all know that consumers are typically very impatient when it comes to using online services and sites. Ad code is one particular culprit, Mr Frick noted.

He cited the example of the USA Today homepage, which cut 90 per cent of its data size after the EU introduced rules requiring US companies to remove some of the tracking code from their sites. This resulted in the homepage of that particular site loading 15 times faster too.

Whether you’re overhauling your existing website or starting from scratch to produce an online platform for a new business, these are certainly all points worth considering.

As Business 2 Community recently pointed out, it’s also essential that you consider user experience when you’re designing a website. This not only involves analysing the layout and making sure that the navigation is clear, but also considering the likes of page load times.

The news provider noted that you typically only have two seconds to get someone’s attention, so you need to ensure that your homepage has clear calls to action and isn’t overly cluttered or confusing for visitors.

Get in touch with us today for help with your web design in Surrey.

How To Show Your Business Is Trustworthy Online

How To Show Your Business Is Trustworthy Online

We all know that the internet has made it possible to buy from, well pretty much anywhere. But when we’re browsing online there are certain red flags that will put us off a particular business and there are likely to be other cues that show us a company is trustworthy if they’re new to us.

An article for News Anyway explained some of the top features that consumers look for to help them decide how trustworthy your business is.

An added bonus of working to make sure that your business not only is, but also looks, trustworthy is that many of the steps suggested by the news provider are likely to improve your Google search engine ranking.

Getting your web design right is at the top of the list. The majority of consumers form an opinion about your website – and therefore your business – in less than a second. That means your first impression needs to be on point.

In addition to having a professional design, work with web designers in Kingston to make sure that your site is as easy to navigate and accessible as possible.

On a more practical level, you need to have an SSL certificate for your website. This encrypts your users’ information, thereby protecting them from hackers while they’re using your site. Google has even made SSL certificates one of its top ranking factors, which means if you don’t have one you’ll be losing out to businesses that do.

If you’re not sure how your website performs in terms of its security, you could run one of a number of software testing tools to determine how secure your site is and what gaps you might need to fill. Business Matters Magazine recently shared a few of the most popular.

Running a test like this might show you why it’s so important to work with web developers, who will consider security while creating your site.

The Importance Of User Experience In Web Design?

The Importance Of User Experience In Web Design?

If your business has a physical store, shop, or any kind of customer-facing operation, you’ll be aware of maintaining a positive relationship with every customer that comes through your front door. It’s no different with your virtual shop and customer interaction.

If you want your website to be successful, you must incorporate User Experience principles and the latest website design trends into your site’s design. Check out the following insightful information to find out why.

 

Why is User Experience important?

User Experience is an essential part of any successful website’s design, but UX was a vital part of the professional design process long before the internet. Essentially, UX is about creating a positive relationship between a potential consumer and the product.

 

Why is User Experience so important in web design?

Quite simply, incorporating good UX design on a website makes users stay on that site and perform calls-to-action.

The website visitor is provided with a clean and smooth flow through the pages of the site or through a specific process, such as completing a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

 

How to Incorporate UX Design Principles into Your Website

By identifying the various elements that make up good UX in webs design, you can understand the importance of User Experience and tailor your website accordingly. Make sure your site incorporates the following UX methods.

 

Your Website Must Be:

  • Useful – Users must be able to find everything they need on your website if you want them to convert into customers.
  • Usable – Your site must be easy to navigate.
  • Findable – If people can’t find it, your site will be useless. Make sure you incorporate Search Engine Optimisation tools into your website’s content.
  • Accessible – You need to ensure your site functions just as well on mobile devices as it does on PCs and laptops. And it should be accessible for people with disabilities.
  • Attractive – A simple and clean design with high-resolution images and appropriate and clear content will engage users more. And the more aesthetically pleasing your website is, the more likely users will spend time on it and perform calls-to-action.

If you’re looking for experienced web design and photography in Surrey, get in touch today!

Logo Design Trends To Watch

Logo Design Trends To Watch

Whether you’re launching a new business or are planning to rebrand your existing company, one aspect of graphic design is essential: your logo.

There are always trends in logo design and 2020 is no different, as Bill Gardner recently pointed out in an article for The Fast Company. He picked out some of the top trends that he’s noticed in logo design in recent months, predicting which ones will continue to be used by brands as we move through the rest of 2020.

Mr Gardner suggested that there are two trends that have taken cues from the 1970s – the emergence of “big fat fonts” and “ultra-minimalist vector images”. He said that the former is likely a response to the “minimalist, sans serif aesthetic we’ve gotten used to the last five or six years”.

The ultra-minimalist images, meanwhile, are likely to have originated from a “desire to return to clarity and simplicity”.

He also highlighted the growing use of small animated movements in certain logos, such as the wink of an eye, which he described as “subtle and clever”.

Another trend that he expects to increase in the coming years is the use of the likes of flowers and leaves to indicate natural or organic products.

Of course, following the trends isn’t the only factor you need to consider when you’re designing a new logo. You need it to be representative of your business and what you provide so that it can give your business the longevity it needs.

Working with web designers in Kingston can help you to find the right logo fit for your business and ensure that you don’t just make do with a design that won’t stand the test of time.

An article for Business2Community recently highlighted the benefits of working with a professional graphic designer, rather than trying to muddle through on your own. It pointed out that using a graphic designer can help you to develop a strong visual brand identity, not to mention saving you time and money in the long run.

Web Design Mistakes To Avoid

Web Design Mistakes To Avoid

We all know that websites are more important than ever when it comes to building a business’ reputation and reaching customers not just in the UK but all over the world. As consumers spend more and more time online, they’re becoming more discerning and it’s therefore essential that your web design meets or exceeds expectations.

There are still plenty of common mistakes being made in the world of web design, many of which could be easily avoided by working with experienced web designers in Surrey, for example.

An article for Business2Community recently highlighted a few of the top pitfalls you should avoid when you’re designing your website, or updating an existing site. It explained that certain design decisions can damage your site’s performance.

At the top of the list is making sure that your landing pages are clean, inviting and not too cluttered. This will often be the first impression a consumer gets of your brand and you want it to be a good one.

Consider how you can streamline the experience for the visitor and help them to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and easily. A top tip from the publication is to use a traffic heatmap to see which sections of your site people are actually using.

In doing so, you may discover there are certain links on your homepage that are seldom clicked, in which case you could tidy them up.

Think very carefully before introducing pop-ups and other methods of forced engagement to your site. If you ask people to commit to your brand too quickly, you will more than likely turn them off.

Don’t allow pages sharing information to be hidden by pop-ups asking people to subscribe to emails, for example. Instead, wait until someone has committed to your product or service before you ask them to sign up. They are much more likely to do so once they’ve chosen your brand.

It’s also advisable to set videos as ‘click-to-play’ rather than having them automatically playing as soon as the site loads. Think about the pop-ups and other forced engagement that you’ve encountered on other sites and how it made you feel. If you found it frustrating, chances are your visitors will feel the same way if they encounter it on your site.

The key is finding a way to encourage consumers to engage with your brand without these requests getting in the way of their browsing experience.

These concepts all tie in with how you can use your web design to improve the user experience at your business. We recently explored some of the ways in which good web design can enhance a user’s experience and consequently increase the chances of them spending money with your business.

One of the keys is keeping the loading time of your website to a minimum, as people expect websites to load quickly. Keeping your design clean and minimal will help with this, but your designer should also make sure that any images are sized appropriately and that page elements are compressed where appropriate.

Computer Access Explains Education Gap Growth

Computer Access Explains Education Gap Growth

The internet has been essential for personal and professional lives for years, but never more so than now when staff have to work remotely, families are separated from one another and children are having to be home schooled.

As a result, students now have to access educational resources from the internet, which can be difficult for those who do not have multiple forms of technology.

According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), this is affecting those who come from disadvantaged households, resulting in the educational gap between the richest and poorest families widening.

It reported that those from better-off homes are spending 30 per cent more time a day on educational activities compared with those from the poorest fifth. Consequently, they would have completed a week and a half of full-time school more by June 1st, with this increasing to three weeks by the end of the summer term.

Senior research economist at IFS and an author of the report Alison Andrew noted that those in lower-income households are less likely to have a computer or tablet they can use for school. This is especially the case if there are several children in the house who all need access to one.

She added: “The state schools that lower-income children attend are also less likely to provide online classes and other interactive activities than the state schools that higher-income children attend.”

IFS revealed technology is a challenge for 14 per cent of those who are less well-off, as they do not have a tablet or computer to do their school work. In addition to this, 64 per cent of parents in the richest fifth of families stated their child’s school has been providing interactive lessons, such as video or texting. However, this falls to less than half (47 per cent) for those in the poorest fifth of families.

These figures demonstrate how important the internet has become, particularly during the pandemic. Indeed, ISP Review recently revealed traffic passing over the London Internet Exchange (LINX) surged from 3.86 Terabits per second (Tbps) to 4.17 Tbps between March 16th and 23rd.

To take advantage of this growing traffic, contact web designers in Kingston today.