Today, more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush. With the rapid increase in number of smartphones and tablet users, your business must be able to adapt to this growing trend and be flexible to ever-changing technology. If you want to succeed in this highly competitive online market, you need a mobile-friendly website for your business.

What is Responsive Design?

Whatever platform or device is used to view your website, a responsive design ensures that viewing is optimal for the user. It normalizes the look and feel of your website regardless of devices. You know a website has implemented a responsive design when you don’t have to zoom in for small text or struggle with navigation. A responsive design adapts to the user’s screen size, resolution, and then projects an optimal view for any device.

#1 Reach the mobile market

Based on a report by comScore, the number of mobile users has now surpassed the number of desktop users worldwide in 2014. Without a mobile marketing strategy or mobile-friendly site, your business will lose a big slice of this market, which your competitors will happily accommodate.

With responsive design, you are equipped with the right system that provides a satisfactory mobile experience to your users, thus giving you the opportunity to reach and cater to the mobile audience.

#2 Improve user experience

Responsive design allows you to have a consistent user experience. Instead of maintaining and designing a desktop and a mobile site, you will only implement a responsive design for one site that has a unified design approach across all devices. Users will be familiar with your site’s navigation and functionality, and this leads to a positive impact on user experience. With a positive user experience on your website, you can increase conversion rates, sales, and revenue.

#3 Be on the good side of Google

Google favors responsive websites and would display and rank those that are mobile friendly. A non-mobile web design is detected and classified by Google as an issue or error that needs fixing. If you want your website to be on the good side of Google, having a responsive web design is not just an option but must be a standard practice.

#4 Save money and time on mobile development

Responsive web design solves your problem of having a separate desktop site and mobile site. You spend double the money and double the time and effort maintaining two platforms and systems. There is also the possibility that you might provide inconsistent and mismatched information about your company, products and services. There is the risk of uploading the wrong version on one system or updating one version without doing the same for the other.

The implications are clear with two separate systems while the alternative responsive solution sounds simple and efficient. It is easier to manage, cuts costs and time, and reduces the risk of errors.

#5 Avoid duplicate content issue

The risk of duplicity is high for a website that has two desktop and mobile versions. This means you are releasing the same content about your products and services in two different platforms. On the other hand, a responsive web design keeps one platform for your content, helping you avoid the risk of duplicate content issues and penalties by Google.

#6 Centralised analytics and reporting

All of your analysis and reporting is consolidated in Google Analytics whether for mobile, desktop, or even across browsers and operating systems. With a single responsive website, you don’t have to worry about tracking and monitoring the user journeys and redirections between two site versions. This allows a centralised tracking and analytics for easier monitoring and reporting.

#7 Stay ahead of competition

It is still surprising how many businesses have not implemented a responsive design for their websites. Having this understanding of the advantages and benefits of a responsive design is an opportunity to stay ahead of the competition, cater to the mobile consumers and get that big slice of the mobile market. Perhaps, the only important question that a business owner must ask today is “How do I start?”

References:

http://www.thebyte9.com/news/responsive-web-design-what-can-it-do-for-your-business

http://codeboxr.com/blogs/top-5-advantages-of-responsive-web-page-design

For more information on responsive web design, contact us today and get a free consultation.

Before the Internet, starting a business requires a huge investment to set up a store or office, hire working staff, and advertise your product and services. You spend a lot to run daily operations and pay utilities, equipment, manpower, and more.

Nowadays, all it takes is a computer, reliable Internet service provider, and a website or social media account to sell your products or offer your expert services. In this technology-driven online marketplace, even a hobbyist or crafter has the potential to build a business of their own by creating a website as their virtual storefront.

If you’re planning to start an online business, here are some simple web design tips that will help you create a proper and effective website.

1. Make It Responsive

In 2014, there was an estimated 3.6 billion mobile phone users worldwide. Australia alone has 65% of its population using smartphones. A growing number of users are moving away from desktops to mobile devices for their online activities. That is why responsive web design is crucial to any website, big or small.

Whatever device is used to view your website, a responsive web design ensures optimal view and readability. Users on mobile devices won’t have to zoom in on small text to read your content. This offers ease in navigation, browsing, and overall user experience.

Moreover, Google favors websites with a responsive web design. You have a shot at ranking well in search engines if you implement a responsive design.

2. Go for Simple and Minimalist Features

Websites with heavy graphics and animation may slow down page loading. And when your webpages are loading very slowly, expect users to leave your site and look elsewhere. Don’t keep them waiting by choosing a simple, neat, and minimalist web design. This improves readability of information published on your site.

3. Test Image Quality and File Size

If you have images on your website, test for optimal image rendering. The goal is to have a small image file size that loads quickly while image quality or resolution is still optimal. Do not compromise on quality just so your website can load faster. Make sure your supporting visuals have acceptable resolution to project a professional and impressive brand.

4. Develop Good Site Navigation

Web design is not just about aesthetics. Most importantly, it is about function. What many web designers and developers overlook is the user-friendliness of a website. A website with good site navigation act like a helpful tour guide, giving each visitor an easy way to get the information they want. The ease of going from one webpage to another, reading through sections of a page, scrolling down for more info and browsing leisurely are signs of effective information delivery the hopefully leads to a sale or new leads generated.

You must also encourage continuous browsing on your website by adding links to other pages on your website that may offer other more information to a user or serve as call to action. Perhaps at the end of your home page content, you may add a call to action to view products in another page or make an enquiry through the contact page. In this way, you develop good user experience by offering more options to users and assisting them in their customer journey (or navigation of the site) rather than quickly concluding their visit, which may reduce your chances of converting them from user to buyer.

5. Implement Simple Website Optimisation

One of the best things about online marketing is that even startups have the chance to compete with the big brands when they perform good website optimisation. You can start by adding good page titles and descriptions that show on Google search engines.

Websites are never really done. The design may be final and the development platform may already be set up and running but continuous improvements are recommended. Small but regular improvements over time will show more value in the long run than an expensive web design overhaul after the site has not been updated for years. Keep your website updated, find opportunities to explore and areas to improve. This will help you compete with major players in your industry.

Good luck!

Websites are created for the purpose of providing information to visitors. It can either be a venue for sharing experiences through a blog or deliver information about your company, brand, products, and/or services. If your website is built to sell products or offer services, converting visitors to buying customers is an important goal.

But how do you achieve that? What web design elements should be in place to make your site effective in engaging and converting your audience?

An infographic by Wyzowl shows that 20% of people remember what they read while 80% of people remember what they see and do. Visual communication is a powerful tool to build recognition and if done well, it can be effective in sending the right message across your audience.

The Advantages of Flash Animation

If you want to go big on visuals, flash websites have the capacity to create complex interaction and rich user experience. You can utilise interactive features like videos, audio, games, menus, animated banner ads, shopping carts, and feedback forms to make your website interesting and compelling to users. You can add flair to your website and generate a positive impression of your brand.

Another advantage of using flash animation is cross-browser compatibility. Flash is independent of browsers so unlike HTML, you don’t have to worry if your website will be shown differently on another browser.

The Disadvantages of Flash Animation

However, what flash animation does in enhancing user interaction, it lacks in improving your website from being crawled by search engine robots. Your website will be hard to index and won’t be shown in search engine results.

40% of users will abandon your webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Moreover, websites with heavy flash animation have the tendency to slow down and cause visitors to leave. Heavy visuals are almost equivalent to slow loading websites, which can only mean high bounce rates. According to Econsultancy, 40% of users will abandon your webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. With a flash-based website, engaging your users is easy but that is if they haven’t yet abandoned your site during webpage loading.

Conclusion

Generally, we advice limiting flash on your website to avoid the costly disadvantages. If engaging users is a problem, there are other technologies to animation (i.e. JavaScript, jQuery, etc.) and other tactics to explore like conversion rate optimisation.

It is wise to be informed of the benefits and drawbacks of any web design or development tool before you utilise them. This will save you from an expensive initial investment on a website that you will later have to redo, modify or discard altogether because it is not working well to achieve the right goals for your business.

Here at NFT, we have animators who specialize in Flash animation. However, before you consider adding Flash elements to your web pages, we urge you to consider other alternatives. We also wish you to consider the other underlining issues of animation in general.

Contact us today for more information.

References:

http://planmysite.com/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-flash-websites

http://bacsoftwareconsulting.com/blog/index.php/web-development/flash-website-advantages-and-disadvantages/

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/power-of-visual-communication-infographic