Digital tablet with blank screen in coffee shop cafe

Everyone knows what bad design looks like. I know what you’re thinking: If everyone knows what bad design looks like, then why do people still think animated flaming skulls on websites are a good idea? […]

The world we know today is one of digital dominance, and the average amount of time spent online increases every year. People have become more interested in online shopping because they think they can get better deals online and won’t have to shop in crowded malls or stores.  According to nchannel.com, 64% of people think customer experience is more important than price and 65% of people have cut ties over a single poor experience.

Numerous factors are taken into account when discussing customer experience and the most important factor of customer experience is website design. Your website’s design determines how a customer feels and interacts with your brand.

So how do you know if your business has poor website design? Here are the top 4 warning signs that your web design needs improvement:

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At some point in your online life you’ve probably visited a website where a form popped up asking you to fill out some basic information: name, email, phone number, etc. Maybe you’ve never filled one out, or maybe you’ve filled them all out (which is why you spend the first 15 minutes of your day deleting promotional emails from your inbox). Either way, you understand the concept.

These forms, a.k.a. lead forms, are actually a tool that website owners use to get more information about their current customers or new customers. They also allow website owners to stay in contact with customers, keep them informed, or provide them with certain benefits. […]

In most of the website usability studies that I’ve read, poor legibility is by far the most frequent complaint encountered. It’s generally a sin of comission on the part of web designers, because web-safe typography by default is designed to be both legible and flexible.

A website gets into trouble when its design diverges from online typographic standards. Often, the issue begins with a site owner — or the site owner’s print marketing designer — who wants the fonts and styles on a website to mirror those the business uses elsewhere. While it may sound like a good theory from a branding perspective, it’s often a train wreck for usability. […]

Search for the term “bounce rate” on the Internet, and you can find any number of very technical explanations. Some of them even include a nifty mathematical formula or two. But as a business owner, here’s all you should really care about: Bounce rate is basically a measure of the percentage of visitors to your website who take one quick look and run away screaming. […]

I will freely admit my bias towards icons upfront, I believe that just about every design can benefit from their use. What exactly is an icon you might ask? For design purposes, icons are simplistic representations of a concept. Take something big and grand, like the Earth, and reduce it down to a it’s most basic but identifiable depiction. […]

Every website communicates information to users through text. Headlines grab our attention while cluing us into what the following paragraph is about. Supporting text tells us a story about a good or service being offered, and why we can’t live without it. Given the weighty job that text performs on a website, it makes sense to take care in sculpting its appearance. The following is a quick walkthrough of the different tweaks that web designers (and do-it-yourself website updaters) can use to add readability and impact to website text. […]

One of the most important parts of creating a website is designing it to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. With the billions of websites on the internet, users have plenty of choices when it comes to online shopping, entertainment, or anything else they are looking for. If they don’t like something about your website, they can easily find an alternative with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Here are a few tips on what you should avoid on your website, so your visitors don’t look elsewhere: […]

Mar 30, 2010

Web Safe Fonts

Not every font that is installed on your computer can be used on your website, because not everyone that views your website has the same fonts installed on their computer as you. In an effort to keep websites looking similar between different browsers and operating systems, web designers can choose from certain fonts that are “web safe” and reliable. […]

If you’re new to the web and you’re undertaking the development of your first website, you’ve probably been hearing the term “browser” a lot lately. And most likely you’re confused.

Browsers are one of the most important parts of a user’s web experience; which browser you are using can have a very large effect on how the websites you visit look and behave.  So clearly, understanding how browsers work will be important for you so you can understand fully how your customers will experience your new website once it is complete.

Below I present an introduction to browsers, with the purpose of helping a business person better understand what their designers and programmers are talking about when they start mentioning things like browsers, browser compatibility and cross-browser testing. […]

Back in the infancy of the world wide web, frames were a pretty useful tool.  They allowed a designer to have multiple panels on a page with one or more displaying consistent content (like a menu).  With the advent of the modern web programming languages such as Active Server Pages (ASP), PHP & ASP.Net, frames are now really nothing more than a relic of the past. In fact, they can actually be harmful to your site’s performance in the search engines and your customer’s user experience. […]

Empty plastic bags roll through a cracked and patched pavement parking lot. Shopping carts are scattered about… some maneuvering themselves unmanned through the rows of unpopulated parking spaces of the Electronics-O-Rama. The store signage is in disarray, and the glass of the storefront is fogged and dirty. The color scheme of the decrepit building is like that of a circus tent, plastered with fliers and promotional signs made with poster-board and Sharpies. However, on the inside of this dilapidated place of business is the brightest team of individuals ever to be in customer service, and their product is one in a million. No one comes close in either quality or customer satisfaction, but few customers have even thought twice about giving them the chance to prove themselves.

Electronics-O-Rama suffers from poor perceived credibility. The surface of their business, the “visual handshake,” is lacking a quality that the competition offers, though the competition can’t offer the same quality product or service.

Just how important is perceived credibility? Many small retail establishments have faded over the years to flashier, bigger, chain retailers providing the same products with worse customer service, or in some cases worse products (and customer service). What makes Best Buy more credible than Joe’s TV’s? The answer…

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