10 Website Design Elements to Improve Engagement
Layovers can make even the most hardened travelers crave some kind of entertainment. Yet there is something incredible about airports, imagine what your experience would be like if plane arrivals and departures weren’t coordinated, signs didn’t exist to guide you, or all those jet ways weren’t maintained. It would be a very confusing experience, assuming you could find your way there at all. Website design is very much like developing a blueprint for an airport. Our jobs are to move people (and content) coming in at times from all parts of the world to get them to the specific destination (and information) they came to find.
So how do you custom design a website that’s effective in keeping everyone satisfied? We've come up with 10 ways to boost your visitor’s experiences.
1. Build People Movers on Your Website
Just like airports have to screen, direct, and move people efficiently from one section to another, so should any new website. Don't assume visitors will click on a contact form without giving them a reason. Make sure your design lures visitors through engaging visual cues -- icons, colors and images.
2. Scroll to Help Tell a Story
The use of scrolling pages to help tell a story has been a recent trend in website design. By building a story that someone can scroll through (vertically), it gives you more versatility to showcase pages that are content heavy in a way that is more appealing to a larger swath of visitors.
3. Utilize Contact Us Forms with a Tracking System
Contact forms have changed a lot in the last couple of years. Instead of simply sending an email to a specific email address, now they can seamlessly link to your CRM, sales tools, Gmail or Outlook, or initiate a tracking code to be put in a queue for follow up. A contact can be linked to your website analytics giving you real time intelligence about how they found you. Just getting started and need a simple solution? Try Wufoo.
4. After Google, Focus on LinkedIn
The first thing I do after I Google a company is check them out on LinkedIn. How oftern do you hear that?
LinkedIn has become an incredibly important tool for due diligence on companies and individuals. A custom website design should incorporate LinkedIn sharing for your individual team members or, at the very least, give someone the ability to find your LinkedIn company description online. Too busy? Get a company that specializes in creating and enhancing LinkedIn company profiles to do it for you.
5. Use Pop-up Boxes to Stash SEO Friendly Content
Is a clean design important for you, but you don't want to sacrifice the benefits of having friendly search engine optimized (SEO) content? Use pop-up boxes that can keep your website design looking smart and more importantly functional.
6. Use a Responsive Design for Tablets and Phones
Responsive design has taken the custom website design world by storm. How do you know if a responsive design is important for your organization? As users shift from a work to a home state of mind, they become more dependent on the use of smart phones. Additionally, more and more users access the web through hand-held devices. From bakeries to billion dollar companies, it’s helpful if you can have the same content served for the appropriate-sized device.
7. Hire a Photographer to Interact with the Web Development Team
After developing a powerful brand and theme, a professional photographer can help personalize and differentiate your team from your competition. A creative photographer can go beyond static looking images and capture images that can really connect with an audience. How much does a session cost? Anywhere from $1-5k with makeup and staging. Additionally, this gives you the ability to repurpose images for social media networks, literature, and the website.
Photo by Moshe Zusman
8. Use Client Logos and Don't Ask for Permission
Logo trains (as we refer to them) showcase the companies and brands with whom you have worked. They offer a quick form of validation to visitors who may otherwise be unsure of the size and impact of your services or mission. Be aware, if you intend on asking permission to use a logo, many companies will say no just to avoid having to go through the internal processes to make a decision. Always check with an attorney before making this kind of decision. There, we've said it.
9. Custom Design Your Website with Legos in Mind
Chances are good your company is growing and what you need from your website will evolve as you do. Make sure you have a custom website design that incorporates the latest modular designs that allows system administrators to add content without fear of breaking the design. Modern content management system (CMS) powered websites like Drupal or Wordpress can help you deploy stunning content with the click of a button, without the need of an external system administrator.
10. Get the Attention of a Creative Director and Web Designer
Oftentimes web design companies will assign an administrative lead and a web designer to your project. That may not be enough if your company is looking to refine your brand. Make sure that your proposal includes a creative director who begins the process for the web designer and aligns all elements of your project. If you have a sense of humor you'll enjoy the Career Evolution in Advertising.