Where brand messaging and web design intersect, successful websites result. This is the lens through which discussions of web best practices and trends are best viewed. Best practices, like trends, are constantly evolving measures, but where trends are a measure of popularity, best practices are about quality standards. Here, I offer a mix of universal best practices, and with the ruthless speed-of-change in mind, a few that reflect the current era of web design.
Most of us have heard of mobile first design, which I’ll touch upon later, but surprisingly little attention is paid to “Customer-First Design,” a new term for a universal idea. As websites have become second nature, you as a business person, are familiar with and attuned to what you like or don’t like in a website. But are you as attuned to what your customer would like to see or learn when visiting your site? That’s Customer-First. It may seem obvious, but if you’re like most people, it’s hard not to default to your own preferences, versus channeling the prospect or customer visiting your site for the first time.
I’ve seen and hopefully helped many clients experience a mind shift during a website design process by compartmentalizing what they like and putting themselves in the shoes of their customers, whose needs, expectations and taste may not be aligned with their own. In helping our clients take a Customer-First Design approach, we prompt with questions like:
- What is the value you provide your customers?
- What is the experience you need your visitors to have on your website?
- What do you want your viewers to do on your website? Read an article? Register for a demo? Call you?
- What tools can we employ that your audience will find most useful? Testimonials? Video testimonials? Infographics? Demos? Solutions focus?
- How visually oriented is your audience? How much would they be willing to read?
When you take a moment to inhabit the world of your customer, good web design results.