Going mobile with your website

Do your customers have mobile devices?
If you answered yes, please continue.

An increasingly savvy population is demanding better experiences on their mobile devices. Are you ignoring your customers? You might say, “of course not”. But if you do not have a mobile website, you may very well be ignoring them. According to Eric Anderson from iMedia Connection caring how your customers access your site should be considered above all else. When your customers are mobile and you don’t deliver a stellar mobile experience you are, in effect, ignoring them.

Does your company have a mobile website?
Before answering please read the following:
I’m not talking about a miniature version of your website. You know, that little “shrunk down” version of a website. Have you caught yourself saying “Look at our website on my phone, isn’t it cute?” …not.

Have you heard of the expression “I’m all thumbs today”?
If your website can’t be navigated on a mobile device using just thumbs, then it’s not mobile friendly. Check your site’s thumb-friendliness.

Are you actively creating your mobile brand?
Your brand must tell your story, everywhere through every touchpoint. Consistent branding makes your brand stronger. And yes, your brand must be mobile. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean you can’t think big! You must build a complete mobile experience. Rally the troops and get everyone on board, your customers already are.

When it comes to mobile… Think small. Think smaller.
When it comes to mobile brands… Think big. Think bigger.

In case you need some supporting material to convince your team to get on the mobile bandwagon, here you go:

Top 5 reasons to go mobile with your website:

  1. Google has a separate index for mobile content.
  2. SEO has never been so easy.
  3. Your main website is not good enough for mobile devices.
  4. Design is dramatically different for mobile devices vs. a traditional screen.
  5. Visiting your website should be a positive experience no matter which device your visitor is using. Think Thumbs.
  6. 1/5 of visitors in the United States access the web via a mobile device daily and it’s increasing every year.
  7. Mobile web will be the preference within 5 years.
  8. Mobile web will surpass desktop surfing within 5 years and people are using mobile devices for surfing the web at a much faster clip than the original desktop users. It won’t be long before the majority of your visitors will be mobile.
  9. Shopping on the go.
  10. More people will be purchasing using their mobile device that any other device. In 2009, $1.6 billion was purchased from the web using mobile devices. As comfort levels increase for purchasing via a mobile device, that number will skyrocket.

Need a mobile website designer? Contact Specto Design. We have flat rate fees for a mobile website and can have you up and running in as little as 7 days.


Trust: The role of a good design firm in the web design process

It’s customary for a design firm to present the client with multiple design concepts for a project. For a web design project, the design firm might present 2-3 entirely different directions to the client each communicating the same message yet using different approaches.

What most clients do not realize is that concepts that are presented to them in the first round are a product of a team of designers brainstorming, designing, redesigning, and refining the designs. The process includes the determination of typefaces, colors, layout/grid, whitespace and copy layout. Each element is carefully thought through based on the knowledge of skilled designers who understand that color creates an emotional response, that fonts communicate the personality, and that the grid guides a visitor down a specific path. It’s a balancing act and most of the designs don’t make the cut. As with most good design firms, the final concepts presented to the client are purposefully designed to communicate the client’s message and create a definitive brand for the client.

During the presentation process, there are usually many opinions and emotional responses to colors, imagery, etc. The challenge, in presenting initial concepts to a client, is translating the choices that were made in the designs and why.  A good design firm will have answers and will challenge the client if a design element is questioned. A good design firm will stand their ground when they feel the choices they made will benefit their client. A good design firm will ask the right questions and keep an open mind and work in partnership with the client. A good design firm’s purpose is to the serve the client, not please them. Design is a process but it is a directed process with purposeful decisions.

Once the client has selected a preferred direction, the first round is complete and design development begins. During the design development phase of a website project, more pages are developed and oftentimes more content. It’s not uncommon for minor modifications to occur as the client realizes the possibilities. It’s an eye-opening experience when a client views his/her company from an outside perspective and exciting to say the least. Whether the objective is an increase in revenue, an increase in awareness or an increase in credibility or any combination, when a client trusts in the process and considers the design firm they have chosen as an expert in their field, they will see lasting results.

Now let’s go back to the initial presentation of concepts for a moment. Let’s say the client likes one thing from one design and one thing from another design and yet another thing from the third design. We call this the blender effect — when random elements of each design are selected and effectively tossed into a blender and blended. Some clients think this a natural part of the process but it is not.

The blender effect can be usually avoided by a thorough discovery process. Discovery is a crucial part of any project cycle, especially a new website or rebranding of an existing website and company. When enough time is spent in the discovery process, to understand the client’s goals and objectives, to determine who their customer is and what motivates them, a good design firm will get it right the first time.

Is it important that a client likes the color, or likes the imagery? No, it is not. Is it important that everyone at the company likes the design, not it is not. Design is subjective. It’s natural for people to have strong opinions on colors, fonts, etc., but this is not important. When a client is viewing initial concepts, the relevant questions to address are: Does this communicate our message clearly? Will this motivate our customers/clients to act? Is our brand presented accurately? Clients need to spend time with the concepts, sit with them, have the space to think. As designers, we take time, we design, leave the design, come back to the design, leave it again, come back to it again and again and then we refine. Only then do we present concepts. Concepts that communicate your message effectively and drive your customers to act.

A good design firm understands that design is subjective, intangible and emotional. A good design firm is like a good therapist, through a directed process, they help you discover yourself, and like therapists, they too look forward to that AHA moment.