Top 5 Changes in Web Design

Few web design firms can tout close to 30 years of experience; but we’re close! With 28 years and counting, we’ve seen a thing or two…or 3 or 4, or more. In 1990s, websites were generally text-heavy and image-lite. Hours were spent writing and coding lines and lines of text that would be viewed only on a desktop computer. 

Today, it’s about “mobile first” design and “relevant” copy with keywords that rank high with search engines, e.g., Google. Websites today must be intuitive for users to quickly find what they came to learn or purchase. It’s always been about the user experience, and especially now when sites are reached on small mobile devices.

We believe there are five powerful areas that cannot be ignored—categories where mistakes are often made.

  1. NAVIGATION
    Confusing navigation. When site hierarchy is out of sync, today’s users have little patience to poke around your site. Navigation must be intuitive, never difficult for prospects to learn, engage, and convert to prospects and customers.
  2. VISUAL DESIGN
    Not designing for mobile first. Images, videos, or buttons that take longer than two seconds to load, a typeface out of sync with your brand, poor use of white space, and misusing the psychology of color needed to strengthen your brand.
  3. CONTENT
    Weak calls to action that don’t guide the user to know where to go or what to do next, overlooking the use of grids, guidelines, and columns, and not providing monthly content updates to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  4. TEMPLATES & RESELLERS
    Be aware of the limitations and hidden terms often associated with DIY website builders and domain sellers before you sign up with them. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Sometimes it’s the right choice, but do your homework or call us for a fair and balanced assessment.
  5. STOCK PHOTOS
    The human brain processes images 60x faster than words, so we use images to get attention before delivering powerful messaging. We’ve been known to meet clients in the middle of nowhere to take digital shots of their company trucks or chase the sun and shadows at parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces to create interesting About Us portraits. There’s nothing worse than using a stock photo that a competitor also uses!

Your website is a reflection of your business and your brand. Your visitors should make an immediate connection between your purpose, personality, logo, print material, social media, and marketing collateral. The French writer, poet, journalist and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery wisely said: “It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Scamovirus, the new 2020 threat

If you are now working from home on a computer, you’ve noticed that never before have we witnessed so much malware, phishing and ransomware scams and other deceptive email practices than during this COVID-19 “stay at home” period. The bad actors with way too much time on their hands see a goldmine of opportunity as employees work from home, outside the corporate firewalls.  

We hope this will help you recognize and avoid being victimized by these scams.

Phishing

  • How: From an email or text message, you are tricked into providing personal information like: name, address, phone, email, social security number, account numbers and passwords. 
  • Why: They are trying to gain access to your bank account, credit card account, an online payment website you use, like Amazon.
  • How to Recognize: They usually look like the company you know or trust: same logo, colors, type font, even the same mottos or taglines. There’s usually an effort to scare you. They may say they noticed suspicious activity in your account, or you have a problem with your payment information, or you need to confirm some personal information for your own safety. Sometimes they even say you’re entitled to a refund or offer a freebie gift. Lately, they may suggest you need to provide personal information to become eligible for another government handout.

If read carefully, you may recognize bad grammar, typos, or unnatural arrangement of words and phrases that suggest a non-English speaking writer.

The better scammers are difficult to identify, like this refund notice from Amazon (compliments of GoPTG). If you’d recently purchased from Amazon, the notice looks flawless — so you click. However, if you had not made a recent purchase, alarm bells go off! So you click the link to quickly update both your address and your password. Bingo! A spammer’s double header.

Conscientious companies require home-based employees to log in for work-related activity, so it is usually our personal activity that serves as the playground for bad actors in cyberspace.

If you receive an email that looks “fishy”, right click on the “From” email address. If it doesn’t match, you will know immediately that the email is fake. You can learn more about these nefarious practices on the FTC Consumer Information website and scams specific to COVID-19 here.

Stay safe and remember, we’re all in this together.