Eye Catching Animation Increases User Experience

Eye Catching Animation

Eye-catching, subtlety animated icons improve the user experience and can increase click through and conversion rates. All clients are looking for ROI on their websites, designers & developers have many tools available to achieve this, including a graphically enticing and engaging content.

There is a whole methodology around designing a user experience…

Peter Morville created a useful illustration to visualise some of the aspects of the User Experience

User Experience

We may all rank these factors in differing orders of importance, but they are all important to the User Experience. Animated icons make the page graphically more usable, desirable, valuable and accessible.

These animated icons or logos can be created by a designer or purchased online.

An example of eye-catching animation on a home page was recently used by leading UK web design company Sleeky on a site developed for Norvic Aero Engines.

Specialising in aircraft engine overhauls and ‘Ready to Go Engines’ Norvic’s site is clean and simple. Midway down the home page, two animated icons increase User Experience and add to the attractive design of the site.

Using custom icons for navigation

Using custom icons on your site is a great way to customise your navigation bar and attract the attention of visitors on your site. Custom icons are effective because they appeal to the visual part of our brain. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, which means incorporating these features on your site means it’s more likely that your content will be memorable to visitors.

Liquidators and Insolvency practitioners, Connect Insolvency, needed an informative website that would also be visually appealing. Check it out here: By using five coloured icons to represent each of the services, it draws attention to the main information points of the website as well as giving the homepage some life. Icons can be used to break content on your page up and make it more readable as well as being more aesthetically pleasing to the human eye. When it comes to designing icons, there are a number of styles and shapes that can be used to create unique images.

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 11.45.15.png

As you can see, hexagons are the choice of shape here. Using this shape compliments the branding of the site and the company’s cubic logo. Geometric shapes, as custom icons, also sit well on a responsive website that is being viewed on a mobile device or tablet.

4 Ways to Promote Your Business Online

Mini Bees Photography Website Homepage

The digital world has opened up many doors for businesses wanting to promote their products and services. Creating a positive impact online can be done in a number of ways. Here are 4 ways to think about:

  1. Create a Website: Use a website to showcase your business and everything it offers. Having a platform that is unique to your brand is an essential in the world of promotion. Potential customers may create their first impressions of your brand from your website, which means putting some thought into the design and content of your site. Photography business, Mini Bees Photography‘s website is an example of this. One click onto the site’s homepage and you are immediately met with a large high res photograph taken from one of the photoshoots. The photo changes from one to the next, instantly portraying the work of the photographer.
  2. Social Media: Social media platforms have been around for a while now, but the way in which brands are using them is something that is still relatively new. With 3.03 billion active social media users (that’s a lot of potential customers!), it’s vital that your business has a presence on at least one social media platform. Social media pages are now more than simply having a profile. With the shop section on Facebook, businesses can now directly sell to their consumers. Twitter allows businesses and consumers to have instant conversations and get real-time information.
  3. Blog: A blog is a great way to show your consumers what your business is up to and to post any updates. Blogs can also be used to share information that you may think that your consumers could be interested in knowing, such as links to articles, events or any knowledge or expertise. Blogging can give your brand a voice and portray your brand’s values and passions through the content that is posted. This in turn can help to personalise your brand and increase the chances of customers who can relate to your business.
  4. SEO: With the amount of websites that now circulate the Internet and new ones going up everyday, getting your business discovered has become just as important as it’s content. Search engine rankings should be considered by businesses who want their websites to be found by potential customers. Both off-site and on-site SEO strategies can be put into place to maximise the chances of your website moving up the search rankings on Google. For example, targeting your desired audience by incorporating keywords, into your website, that they are likely to search.

The benefits of e-commerce

Great British Barber website homepage

Defined as “the buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers through an electronic medium”, e-commerce sites have created opportunities for brands that want to sell exclusively online, as well as helping existing ones to connect with other businesses and customers.

According to research, global online retail sales are growing and are estimated to reach 8.8% of total retail spending in 2018.

There are many benefits to using e-commerce for your business:

1. Sell to anyone and at anytime.
The accessibility of the Internet means that your brand has the potential to reach an audience on a global scale. It also means that consumers can buy from your brand whatever time suits them best, whether this is first thing in the morning or late at night.

2. Search for products instantly.
Products can be grouped into specific categeories and there is the option to filter these categories by customers who are looking for a particular product. This is ideal for those who do not have time to go physically shopping in traditional stores.

3. Online offers, discount codes.
Using an e-commerce store means that brands can advertise online offers which can be used when shopping online. Brands can also partner with companies such as Unidays or Groupon to promote their sites and offer discount codes to their customers.

Great British Barber is an example of one business that we have helped to create an e-commerce site. We integrated the plugin WooCommerce into their WordPress design in order to make selling easy. Customers can navigate around the product descriptions and add them to their basket with a simple click of a button.

5 Ways to Declutter your Homepage

Troo Cost

First impressions are key, especially when it comes to the homepage of your website. It’s estimated that judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics.

A cluttered homepage can be hard to read and can mean it may be the only page that users are visiting before clicking off.

Is your bounce rate alarmingly high? Are you wanting to freshen up your homepage? Sometimes all you need is a good clear out.

Here are 5 ways in which you can declutter your homepage…

Visuals

Visuals are essential to include on your homepage, whether this be a logo, a background or custom icons, they are great for giving first-time visitors an instantaneous feeling of who you are and what you are providing.

84% of all marketing communications are predicted to be visual by 2018.

More and more, we are seeing brands using images and videos to promote their products or services in order to provide potential customers with a new, visual way of experiencing their brand.

Research has suggested that “colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%”.

Think about replacing text/headings with visuals to immediately grab user attention and direct them to certain parts of your website. It will also help to differentiate sections as well as breaking up some of the text on your homepage.

Take a look at of one of our clients TrooCost to see this in action and how custom icons are utilised throughout their homepage.

Scrolling

Scrolling down a homepage is an quick and easy way of seeing who you are as a company, what you do and what services you provide.

By splitting your page into sections, users can scroll from the top to the bottom without having to click around your website to find this key information.

However, remember to try to keep this scrolling down to a minimum so that the user does not lose interest and therefore miss out on important details.

Scrolling is not only beneficial for users accessing your website from a computer or laptop, but will mean it is easily accessible from a portable device, eg. mobile.

Use your phone to open this link to TrooCost to see a clear example of a responsive website design that uses scrolling in an effective and sleek manner.

Logo & Branding

The homepage is the first touchpoint on a brand’s website where users will first see the brand’s logo and form impressions of who the brand are.

This means that it is essential that the position of the logo is thought about and placed in a location on the homepage where it is eye-catching to the user.

Traditionally, the logo is said to be aligned in the left-hand corner as this is the native area to which, those who read from left to right, divert their eyes when first clicking on a website.

Wherever you decide to position your logo, left side, right side or centre, try to limit the amount of information that surrounds it in order to decrease the chances of the logo looking messy and cluttered. Having a logo in it’s own section of the page will give it a more minimal and modern aesthetic.

Hero

A hero image is beneficial for grabbing the attention of the user and highlighting the main focal point of your brand.

Hero images can be anything from a high-resolution image, animation, video coupled with text.

Take a look at the use of a hero image being used on TrooCost. The purple background and the bold title accentuates the interactive button which instantly takes users to a short sign up form where they can enquire into the business. Potential customers therefore do not need to waste time searching through the site to find out what the business offers or how to get involved as it is immediately there as soon as they click on the site.

Navigation

Users of a website want to be able to navigate around a site easily and therefore featuring a distinct menu on your homepage is key.

Navigation menus are typically placed vertically along the top of the homepage so that users can clearly see the different sections of the website.

These menus generally include About pages and Contact pages alongside any services/products the brand offers.

It is important to take into consideration SEO when writing headings for the navigation as you want to make sure that you are using keywords that are concise and to the point to optimise search engine results.

Another factor to note is not to overload on sections and try to reduce them to a few so as to decrease the chances of a user clicking off your homepage without looking through any other of its content.

The difference between website design and building

When it comes to creating a responsive, functional, and aesthetically pleasing website, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

As part of the development process, web designers and developers utilise a wide range of tools and programs in order to create the layout, visual, and coding elements of the website. However, there is much more to website design than how your website looks visually.

Web developers also spend an awful lot of time programming and building your website in order to optimise the functionality of your site using advanced software and components.

Having recently designed and developed J3 Building Solutions website from scratch, we had to follow a number of design disciplines and guidelines in order to create a website that not only looked great but also performed to optimum standard.

What is website design?

Website design refers to the processes involved in designing the visual aspects of your website, integrating graphical images onto each page, and finely tuning the layout of your website so that it is easy to navigate.

After learning more about your business and how you want to be seen in the digital world, your website designer will user a number of programmes to create the framework for how your website will look and feel based on your brand objectives and identity.

Using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Draw, your website designer will add images and other visual aspects based on your brief.

What is website development?

A great way to understand web development is to look at the process as a way of making your website do things!

With this in mind, websites that usually require a lot of website development work tend to be those that provide ecommerce capabilities such as online payments, shopping carts, or online forums.

A professional website developer will help you to build your website from scratch, whilst taking care of any coding and other unseen aspects of your website that enhance its functionality.

This is known as the back end of your website and website developers concentrate all of their efforts on getting everything in place to ensure that your website functions efficiently and quickly.

Your website developer will also oversee every stage of the production process, from development in the early stages through to the full construction of the project, ensuring that every part of your website works to optimum capacity

Concentrating on areas such as reducing loading times and ensuring that your website is easy to navigate, a website developer is responsible for coding server side applications, creating complex ecommerce transactions, handling databases and optimising SEO.

Before choosing a website developer to complete your project, you should set up a meeting with the company to run through your objectives. This will allow you to determine whether or not you are compatible or not. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask for recent examples of their work – this can be a great way of getting an idea of their work.

Why you should use custom icons

Thanks to significant advances in technology, there are now more opportunities than ever before to incorporate effective imagery and custom icons on your website.

Perfect for adding a new and exciting dimension to your site and breaking up text heavy content, custom icons are a critical and important component of the design process. And the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to experimenting with custom icon design elements.

But one of the main advantages of custom icons is that they allow you to add a personal and practical touch to your website.

Providing a quick and effective visual reference for a wide range of different concepts, these innovative icons and illustrations are perfect for optimising navigation, clarity and engagement.

Giving your product and service menus a user friendly dimension, custom icons can also be designed and developed in line with your brand identity.

Here’s our guide to some of the reasons you should use custom web icons to enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your website.

Memorability

Research has indicated that the human brain is far more responsive to visual elements than text.

Visual elements also tend to be far more memorable and effective than text heavy content, especially when it comes to telling your customers what they need to know.

Your website designer will know exactly how to create high impact icons that not only reflect your brand personality, but also portray the product or service you are offering in the best possible light.

We have recently worked alongside The National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre in order to create a number of custom icons for their website. The main aim of this project was to create icons that reflected customer and clinical information, in a way that was easy to understand and digest. You can check out our work here!

The icons were also less intimidating than the abbreviations of medicinal terms.

Effective visual communication

Custom icons are also a great way of integrating a language that is universally understood. This means that every visitor to your website, regardless of their native tongue, will be able to understand the product or service you are offering.

Bespoke

One of the main advantages of custom icons is that they can be designed and developed to fit in with your brand identity.

Your website designer will work alongside you at every stage of the production process in order to ensure that your custom icons are not complement the existing design of your website, but that they also universally compatible based on the product or service you are selling.

It’s also vital that they match your branding, and depending on the nature of your business, increase desire for your product or service.

Of course, before you choose your website designer, you should do your research. Designing certain elements of your website can be a long process, so it’s vital that you and the company you choose are compatible.

Browse different sites to get a feel for the type of work they produce, and don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials.

Five innovative ways to use video on your website

It’s safe to say that video is taking over the Internet. And, with one minute of video reportedly being worth 1.8 million words, it’s easy to see why.

But have you considered using video content on your website?

Video content can be incredibly effective when used on websites. It’s engaging, interesting, and user-friendly.

In fact, reports suggest that 4 times as many customers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. Whilst website visitors who view video content stay on the site for an average of two minutes longer compared to those who don’t view videos at all. And, the longer a potential customer stays on your website, the more likely you are to convert them into a paying customer.

Here are five innovative ways to incorporate video content into your website…

Background Videos

One of the most exciting ways to use video content on your website is to integrate it into the design. One website recently designed for Forklift Solutions, for example, integrated a background video into the home page. Positioned right at the top of the site, the video instantly grabs the audience’s attention and illustrates exactly what the company is all about.

A similar approach has been taken with sites for Drone Services and Prestwick Care and we’re pretty impressed with the results!

Short Explanation Video

A short, engaging explanation video will help your audience to get a better understanding of your business and what you have to offer them. This video should cover the basics about your company, including what products or services you specialise in. Placing this 60 – 90 second video on the homepage of your site will make a great initial impact.

Product Demonstrations

A product or service demonstration video will allow you to effectively demonstrate what your products or services are, how they work, and why your audience should invest in them.

Testimonials & Case Studies

Many websites feature written case studies and testimonials from existing clients or customers. In fact, customer testimonials (89%) and case studies (88%), are the most effective content marketing tactics.

But having customers rave about your product, service, or brand on video helps your company portray its credibility in an even more persuasive, engaging, and impactful way.

Positioning video testimonials throughout your website near the content they relate to will help you to reach out to the right target audience and built stronger connections. At the same time, longer video case studies will allow you to go into more detail about the customer experience.

About Us

A video on the About Us page will give your brand a human face and allow you to engage with your audience in a more direct way. Ensure that your company stands out from the crowd, whilst showing potential customers why working with you is the right choice.