VISUAL Identity has been developing websites for over ten years writes managing director Jacqui Wilkins and how things have changed. Once upon a time, web design was mainly concerned with a site’s aesthetics rather than customer engagement. Today, however, clients require web designers to have a full range of skills and knowledge.
It was only four years ago that Vi developed its own Flash website. Flash offered the ultimate in typography on the web, the perfect answer to use our corporate fonts without restriction. Then Apple launched the iPad and soon our site lacked accessibility and as a result credibility.
Though Flash still has its place today, its role for building whole sites has diminished, particularly since any site build this way will not function on Apple’s mobile devices. Clients now need to move to more engaging and interactive technologies.
A website is no longer merely an online brochure. Users want to interact with it, to watch video and share their experiences on social media. Designers have had to learn and adapt… quickly. It is not good enough just to display a shop window. Clients need information, data collection and online intelligence.
The last decade has been a defining time for social media. Yet still some clients do not use it in their marketing. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the liken are such powerful tools and when used properly their integration is really important to any website. Every client needs at least a rudimentary understanding of how to incorporate it into their marketing strategies.
There will be 30.9 million smartphone users in the UK in 2013, representing 48.4 per cent of UK residents and 60.4pc of UK mobile phone users. This has affected how visitors view your website. Smart phones allow a website to respond to the screen size and device on which it is viewed. It has transformed the way we approach building websites and there are tools that provide specific styling depending on the size of a viewer’s screen.
Parallax scrolling is the latest design technique that is growing in popularity. The web user wants to be entertained and involved. Visitors are willing to engage with a website if it is inviting to do so. With parallax scrolling, businesses can engage and involve customers directly.
It is clear that all businesses should continue to invest in their websites. Technological changes bring so much opportunity to business that it is difficult to ignore. Businesses are now adopting new technologies quicker than ever.
Marketing is evolving as consumers find new technologies that simplify their lives. The challenge for businesses is to adapt to this change in consumer behaviour, or even predict it.