Appropriate web design defines a business success

Friday, January 9, 2009
Doing business online has been one of the defining factors to succeed in the market for entrepreneurs. Undeniably, internet is a very good venue to catch a wider scope of audience or customers providing a 24/7 limitless transactions. With this, several company owners have seen the importance of their websites to effectively attract the customers’ attention and get their full satisfaction out of the services being provided by them. A lot of websites have their distinct style, themes and designs to attract their customers, aiding them with the very convenient process during transactions. Other companies have been even considering spending enough budget for hiring a web designer to design their website, this is to ensure the quality and advantageous features for their website. Well, it is a fact that a good website reflects to the good services and products delivered by the company.

In traditional business, business owners make sure of the convenience and comfort of their customers through providing a very good and expedient shopping place to them like ensuring their stores are clean, well-organized and that their employees are customer-friendly. And so, in a website, these things are well-considered too by the business owners. Customer-friendliness for example, can be ensured by providing attractive and agreeable web styles and themes. Actually there are lots to be considered in building a very good website. These are the following:

1) Planning

It is important to plan for your website to build. Plan what are to be included in the website, its design, content, goal etc. The following can be considered in planning:

a) Website’s theme

It is necessary to decide what would be the subject of your website, if it is about automobiles, then the theme should match the said subject. Website’s theme includes the color, language, structure of the content that would suitably match the subject of your business.

b) Website’s purpose

The goal of the website must be considered so that, in designing the website, the business’ goals will guide what should be included in the website, like for example, if the website’s purpose is to sell the products then the website should detail the necessary information about the subject you are selling.

c) The Target Customer

This is important since there are different categories the customers fall into. For example, if the target customers are kids, then the website should be child-friendly, and it does not display adult matters that are prohibited for children. Another example is if the website’s target customers are male, then feminine colors, styles and themes should be avoided.

d) Choosing the business partners

It is important to choose you business associates in setting up a website. One of these associates is the person who will take care of your merchant account which is needed for the transaction that involves cash. Suppliers too are important to supply the business stocks for products.

2) Designing the web site

After the planning phase, designing comes into the scene. This is the vital part of setting up a website since this would be the interface that connects a business to the customer. When a customer gets a wrong impression on the page, it would automatically be a loss to a company and a gain to the nearest competitor. With this, I have researched several tips and important factors to be considered in designing the website, these are the following:

a) Privacy Policy

The customer does not know anything about the “in’s” and “out’s” of the operation he is being involved and so protecting his privacy is very important to consider this is to ensure that he can trust the website he is visiting. The more he realizes that he is being protected, the longer he would stay a regular customer he is. Importantly, the website that contains this policy should tell the customer what data has been collected and tracked by business owners from them. Additionally, he must also be informed that the information is shared with other and with whom and the customer has also the right to choose what to do or not, who will be shared with the information or not, or in other words, he can opt out. To let the customers be assured that your privacy policy is validated, a “seal of approval” must be displayed on the web site. This can be done through applying with an organization that validates privacy policies. Good examples of these organizations are TRUSTe, Better Business Bureau’s BBBOnLine Privacy or TrustSG.

b) Information Security

During the buying phase, the customer has to enter information about his identity such as name, age, place, etc. With this, the website should let the customers feel that sense of trust by informing them that the website contains sufficient information security to secure the data being collected from them and that, information leaks are not possible. This process should include creating a page that details the information security policies that has been imposed by the company. The policies should contain how the information is being collected while it being sent from the server, during transmission and after the information reached the recipient. Such details should be always available to the customers for assurance and to let them see a glimpse on how the information flows throughout the whole operation.

c) Features, Design and Styles

The very first thing that flashes to the eyes of the customer is how the website looks like. This is the most important to consider by the entrepreneurs in attracting the customers. But mostly, the common mistake committed by these business owners is having the website looks cluttered and shabby, lots of links, big images, disordered structure and so on and so forth. The following tips are the common dos and don’ts in website designing.

(1) Keep the website simple and direct to the point

Having lots and unnecessary contents to be included in the website are such big annoyance and distractions for customers. Simplicity is the key to attract customers, the contents should be direct to the point, and they must feel like they are little bit closer to buying the products with just few readings and clicks. Additionally, the image captions and explanations must be kept simple and brief.

(2) Easy Navigation

Navigations throughout the web page must be kept simple and convenient for users too. Links and images should be hassle-free, easy, clear and sufficient. Implicit processes and delaying barriers during the operation or transactions should be avoided. Most common mistakes of business owners are having inactive links or wrong redirections. Naming of links is also important to lead the customers where the links go. Another also is to set up a pattern to be noticed by the customers so he would know what’s next to do.

(3) Simple Language

Undeniably, the most common language being used in e-commerce is English, the universal language. But even if in speaking English, there are still differences in using this and so, it is important to use the regular and common language. Avoiding jargon words is one significant thing. One good example is that in United States, diapers is their usual term but in other English-speaking countries, they prefer to call it nappies. It must be remembered that misunderstandings in language used between business owners and customers should be avoided.

(4) Compatibilities

Some websites perfectly displayed in particular web browser, this is an important factor to contemplate. Some run in Firefox, some suit for Internet Explorer. Compatibilities in browsers and platforms are should be planned well. The web designer should consider the fact that the web site should run appropriately and flawless in any platforms or web browsers the customer is using.

(5) Images, Videos, Sounds

It is nice to have images to display to the customers so that they will have a glance on what the product looks like. Videos too are helpful to let customers know the step-by-step process he should do and sounds are interesting for customers to have previews on what the soundtrack sounds like. These are just some of the advantageous things in attracting customers more. But the very significant factor to think about before adding these things to the website is the loading time for each. The web designer should make sure that the images, videos and sounds are easy and fast downloading. Taking much time from this bores the customers. Most significantly, the home page should quickly load so the customers would not end up looking for another website instead.

(6) Innovations and Trends

It is considerable to go with the current trend in designing a website. For example, do not use frames if it is outdated or not necessary for websites these days. Like in fashion, dresses that do not go along with the current trend are not desirable and so this applies in websites. Eventually, a traditional look for website bores and turns off the customer.

(7) No Software

It is not sensible to ask the customers to install a software first before doing transactions with the business owners. This would take so much time and effort from customers which are not persuadable. They will just find another more convenient online shop than yours.

(8 ) Avoiding Common Web Designing Mistakes

The following are the common mistakes committed by a website designer in designing a web site for a business which eventually disgusts or bores the customers:

- Colorful Background
- No Spaces between Paragraphs
- Disordered Navigation Menu
- Inconsistent Page Design
- Wrong font Sizes
- Distracting Frames
- Misplaced Order Buttons

d) Products

Details about the product should be clear, brief and direct to the point. Extra and unnecessary information are quite annoying to the customers. Importantly, proper and accurate descriptions should be included in the product displayed. Images or videos about the product will be much helpful for the customers to take a glimpse and have an idea on how the product looks like or how it performs. Furthermore, do not display products if they are not really available or you are our out of stock for particular product. Lastly, measurements should be considered. This refers to the standard currency you are using. It is important to take into account that similar to language, there are differences in the measurements. US dollars are mostly being accepted in online shops. So with this, currency converters should be made available to the customers so that they could easily convert their current currency to whatever being accepted by the online shop.

e) Shipping and Billing

It is advisable and suitable to create a page that entails the whole shipping policy for the product. As a matter of fact, this policy should be read by the customers first before they order the product. This can be done by explaining in the page the shipping options and when it has to be delivered. Providing a complete and detailed shipping and delivery fees should be displayed and explained well.

On the other hand, it is important to let the customers know the billing descriptions like when the said payment will be deducted to your payment card. Every billing transactions should reflect to the billing statement of the customer to ensure that the customers will know what have been the reasons behind the necessary deductions.

f) Customer Service

Providing the customer a very convenient link or page to assist him on his problems, queries and questions about the services and product is very significant factor to consider. Indeed, a good customer service will keep regular customers for patronizing the products and services being offered. “Contact Us” links are desirable containing the whole contact information where a customer could contact you. This requires however, a very knowledgeable and enough staff to attend on these concerns to ensure that questions and queries are answered or satisfied right away. Maybe, to get more in touched with the customers is to provide them a toll-free telephone customer service agent to talk with to provide a more comfortable and customer-friendly approach.

To conclude, a website should be simple, clear, to the point and well, nice to look at. It must be secured, transparent, organized and trusted. The website’s purpose must be clear and should go align with the company’s goals. It should satisfy the needs of the customers as well as providing them the very convenient way to buy what they want. Finally, it should be remembered that the website represents the company’s worth and quality.


References:

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Dos-and-Donts-of-Successful-Ecommerce-Website-Design&id=1767478
http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles/ecommerce-site-s1p1.htm
http://www.quality-web-solutions.com/blog/e-commerce-website-design/
http://www.myownbusiness.org/business_newsletter/2005/spring/
http://www.articlesbase.com/ecommerce-articles/tips-for-building-an-ecommerce-website-516431.html

http://www.freemarketingzone.com/website-design/
http://ecommerce.suite101.com/article.cfm/tips_for_small_businesses
http://www.infocreek.com/webdesign/helpful-tips-for-ecommerce-and-website-design.html

4 comments:

  • marco

    building a website for a certain company is really helping for its sales and effectivity towards the public..


    marcospot.blogspot.com

    estudyantenghectic.blogspot.com

  • snage

    yes, i think that there are alot of things to consider when developing a website, so better look out for helpful advices.
    uie, pls visit my blog and take the pre-survey on blog platforms. thnx in advance.

  • rejserenity

    hehehe.^^ proper web design really makes the website's aura professional

  • Post a Comment