Web design that works

For any business
nowadays a web site is a must. The Internet has become the place where people
browse for entertainment, find out information and socialise. That means a huge
amount of potential customers out there but it also means a myriad of sites that
are the competition. So how do you get people to come to your web site, stay to
look and come back?

 

It basically comes
down to how your web site is designed.

 

Web designers
Netclues have designed numerous web sites worldwide and here in Cayman and
talking to Jay Mehta, online marketing and sales manager gives an insight into
the way people use the internet; how it has evolved and changed; and how this
in turn has affected web design and the knock on effect of how people do
business.

Mehta says “Google
and face book have changed the way we do everything.” Face book because it
allows people to recommend sites to each other and Google because of its vast
search engine. He also says that content has become king and people want more
information, news letters, photos, videos and so on.

 

What you really need

For a small business
getting a website up and running may seem slightly daunting but that is where
designers like Mehta come in because they have the experience and expertise to
know what works and what does not and how complex your system actually needs to
be.

The first basic thing
you will be asked by a web designer says Mehta is “What

 kind of business is it? If say its something
like clothes you might just need a basic website where you show what you offer.
Next one up would have links with social media sites such as Facebook so that
there is two way communication and people can share it.” Social media has
become very important as it is a word of mouth type recommendation.

Another more
sophisticated system would be providing a newsletter to detail new products or
news about the company. This is done through sending emails to what ideally
would be a constantly expanding group of customers. If you are selling products
then you will also need the ability to sell online and the security set ups
that go with it. Mehta says they also get a lot of requests for video and photo
libraries which adds yet another dimension to a website.

 

Simple or complex

Systems can be

simple or complex
depending on what the business needs or the budget available. A basic website
costs around $1000, while a more complex site with more systems attached can
cost around $15,000.

Most businesses
nowadays opt for content management systems because they incorporate most of
the features needed. Netclues has designed its own a state of the art
PowerPanel that can be customised and managed to suit individual businesses
with features such as newsletters,photo and video libraries built in.

Mehta gives an
example, “For instance if you are a coffee shop and you want to send out daily
menus at 9am to people on your list then the system can be set up to
automatically do this. Once it’s added no-one has to go in and manually do it
again until it needs to be changed .”

Yet another example
he gives is of a bank which had three different versions of a website for three
different countries. This obviously creates confusion and does not send out the
message of it being one brand.

Mehta says “what it
needed was a worldwide site with one domain. Then you navigate to the other
sites and they have the same people, same theme.”

 

Text and visuals

How you set up your
text also has to be considered depending on what type of company you are. Mehta
points out

that “a financial
institution needs information; that means text, then how  many pieces of text,

 then you have to consider how many lines in
each text.”

The first information
people will be looking for on a real estate site on the other hand, is how to
find residential or commercial properties

 and then you want to be able to view the
properties – so the two different businesses require two very different
approaches.

How text is laid out
and what type of text is used are just the bare outlines. How your website
becomes a workable and attractive reality is down to the designer’s magic
touch.

Mehta says they also
get people who come to them for solutions for a website that is just not
working for them.”Sometimes we get people who come in and say ‘my website looks
pretty but it does not come up on search engines and I am not getting many
hits. Why?’ This is down to how different servers scan information. Netclues
systems on the other hand are set up to be search engine friendly – they are
scanned quickly and the site comes up quickly.”

Their websites also
have what is called a Google analytics service which gives statistics of how
many people visit a site and how long they stay, as well as more information
which gives useful feedback on how effective a website is.

Mehta says that their
role is to use their expertise and experience to advise a client on what the
best options would be for them considering the purpose of their business and
then, along with the client’s input, to come up with a website with a design
which is functional but also draws in the public.

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