Building an online presence in today’s digital economy is a necessity that few businesses can afford to ignore. Having a website is therefore more a necessity than a choice. Your website is your home on the web, where your current and prospective customers would ideally land to find out more about your company and the services you provide.
Prior to the actual website design, it all starts with research. Getting to know our client’s business model and industry is an essential first step. This enables us to gain a clear understanding of the client’s and their customers’ needs. Then we proceed to the planning stage, which includes defining a SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy, an optimised content hierarchy and what type of content and features the final website will include.
Only at this point, we are ready to proceed with your website design, which will be developed having in mind all the information previously gathered and planned. We will define with you the overall look of your website, which will accommodate well-structured and relevant content, and we will deliver a final product that will be optimally coded in order to provide a great online experience your customers will love.
Delivering the right experience to your customers online can be fraught with danger. Over the years we have seen numerous organisations come unstuck as they fail to recognise a simple yet vital truth. They design, build and maintain their responsive websites based on what they want to show their customers. While this may seem an intuitively obvious approach, sadly and all too often this is the road to frustration and failure because the focus is not on the customer perspective. A good strategy and planning can prevent making such mistake.
Effective web design is crafted from the customers perspective and work backwards towards the companies who build them. This approach ensures that the customer experience is paramount because in the final analysis they will decide which websites are successful.
Having this in mind, when building a website we know that a great user experience can be delivered only when we have a deep and clear understanding of the website’s intended users (i.e. the customer targeted audience), their needs and what you have to offer. These can greatly vary depending on the type of website: blog, portfolio, ecommerce websites correspond to different and specific requirements, but there are some best practices all websites should follow in order to deliver a great user experience.
The rise of smartphones from 2007 onwards started something that in the following years resulted in a full-scale mobile revolution in web design, and in 2010 Google officially adopted a ‘mobile-first’ approach. Nowadays most users access the Internet from a mobile device, therefore is it essential that your website can display its content accordingly. This means your website’s interface should be responsive and seamlessly able to adapt to any screen size and browser.
On the image tablet screenshot of an e-commerce website.
At Studio 116 Design we develop fully responsive websites, designed to work on multiple devices and fully compliant with Google’s responsiveness requirements. This means not only your targeted audience will have a better user experience when finding you online, but also your website will be easier to find because it ranks better on search results.
Creating an attractive looking website is one thing, ensuring customers use it on their journey to purchase is quite a different proposition. Calls to Action (CTA) allow your website to become an interactive environment where you start a two-way conversation with your customers by inviting them to undertake specific actions, such as getting in touch for a quote.
Studio 116 Design not only can help you identify the most effective calls to action depending on your business type, its scope and how it can benefit its customers but also strategically place them on your website in order to maximise their effectiveness.
Many businesses today use a mix of digital and traditional sales and communication channels. The digitally savvy customer will often flit between off and online on their journey to purchase. Understanding the role your website plays during the customer journey should play an instrumental role in its website design. Having a clear picture of customer behaviour and expectations needs to inform the planning and implementation stages to ensure the success of the site.
Studying and researching your audience is therefore essential even after your website has been launched: mapping your customers’ journey, considering their experience and their changing expectations over time will help you aligning where they come from and what they want to achieve to your business goals.
At Studio 116 Design we use our expertise to analyse every single step of your customers’ journey to purchase and create solutions to optimise it through your website. We do so by implementing specific paths through the pages of your website, always keeping in mind the goal of maximising the conversion of visitors into customers.
An informational website is the best choice if you want to provide details about your business, but the actual service delivery and transactions take place offline. With an informational website, you take direct control of the way your business is showcased online and have the chance to demonstrate your expertise in your field. When visiting your informational website your audience can learn more about what you have to offer before taking the decision to get in touch with you directly.
Our content management system (CMS) of choice for informational websites is WordPress. Originally conceived as a blogging platform, WordPress has proven to be so versatile and reliable it quickly went beyond its original scope, to the point it now powers 30% of all the websites on the web.
Our digital creative agency chooses to build informational websites with WordPress because it is fully customisable and extendible, both in terms of web design and content management. WordPress offer a virtually endless range of possibilities thanks to its large availability of themes and plugins, which we are also able to develop in-house. Furthermore, all this is available via an intuitive and easy to use interface allowing to manage your website without any HTML and coding knowledge.
An ecommerce website differs from an informational website as it is designed to allow the purchase of goods or services online. With ecommerce you give your customers the chance to buy goods or services straight from your website from the comfort of their home or while they are on the go.
WordPress-based websites can become fully functioning ecommerce platforms thanks to WooCommerce, a dedicated plugin designed for online merchants of all types, from small businesses to large-sized shopping portals. Similarly to WordPress, after its debut, WooCommerce gained huge popularity thanks to its simplicity, reliability and wide choice of themes and extensions.
Unlike WordPress, PrestaShop is a solution developed specifically for ecommerce websites. As a platform exclusively dedicated to the creation of online shops, it offers a comprehensive range of ecommerce management features including product listing, shipping, payments, suppliers and manufacturers.
While our web design agency has been working historically with PrestaShop, we now provide dedicated ecommerce solutions using Thirty Bees. Thirty Bees offers all the best features of PrestaShop plus much more, including higher page loading speed and an even more reliable platform for online merchants.
Alongside informational and ecommerce website design, our web design company develops web applications. This type of websites includes web portals, forums, chats or websites having access-restricted sections available to subscribers only.
Do you need a website? Studio 116 Design can help you to get it right: our digital agency offers website design services to small and medium enterprises with one clear objective in mind – how will this add value to their business. Please get in touch with us to discuss your needs and find out the best solution for you.Contact Us