Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Key to Designing a Great Landing Page

By: Linda Ortiz, Chief Creative Officer of DWG

A well-designed landing page engages and informs while making a good first impression. It is a chance to show potential customers what a company stands for and why they should become affiliated. The following steps will help you design the perfect landing page.

Compelling Headline The first thing a visitor will see when they visit a landing page is the headline. It should draw the user in and compel them to read more. The message should be clear and concise. Though a headline may only consist of a few words, it is the most important element of the page. The headline may make the difference between gaining a customer and driving one away. Take some time writing a few headlines and see how your colleagues respond to them. Choose wisely. Immaculate Grammar So often website designers pay close attention to the look and functionality of the website but not to the copy. The copy on a landing page must be well written and grammar impeccable. It?s a good idea to hire a professional copywriter and have various members of the team proof the page before it goes live. Poor grammar and spelling errors do not elicit trust. Show the user your attention to detail. Building Trust A strategically designed landing page will include trust building components like testimonials, reviews, press mentions, guarantee seals, and 3rd party trust and security certification (Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, etc.). These trust builders may make the difference between a visitor signing up on a landing page, or simply reading and leaving. Trust

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= conversions. Use a Strong Call-to-Action Essential to the efficacy of the landing page is a clear call to action. Once the visitor has read the headline, there should be a crystal clear next step. A large button or pop-up works well.Shopify screen shot Buttons and Offers Above the Fold Don?t make the visitor scroll to see the important information. Make sure your offer and call to action is above the fold. Place buttons right in the center of the page where the eye can see them. For buttons use bright colors and readable fonts. See how my design for Compass Moda, a new image recognition style app, has a clear button asking the user to try it. Test Test Test Compass Moda screenshot A landing page can be optimized for conversions over time. You can try out different call to action approaches, different copy, and switch images. See how changing these elements increase or decrease your conversion rate. This is a good time to hone in on what works so you can use this knowledge in your website design. Use Images and Videos That Relate to Copy Incorporating motivational speeches, videos of user testimonials, and product images into a landing page can encourage viewers to become customers/followers. Avoid Links Do not use unnecessary links on a landing page. You do not want anything to distract or draw the users away. Keep them focused on your offer. Groupon screenshot What Colors Are Good for Different Sites? Studies have proven that the use of color in a website influences the users in a number of ways. Selecting the right colors for the intended outcome is the key. Study the following information and choose the colors that best encourage the action you want the visitor to take. colors screenshot Conclusion If you are designing a landing page or a website homepage, you will be most successful if you follow the guidelines above. It is entirely possible to produce a visually stunning design that strategically accomplishes the marketing goals of the company. Good luck with your next design!  

Website Design in the Age of Mobile Devices

By: Behnam Ataee of Dream Warrior Group Responsive web design with server-side components, RESS or commonly known responsive design has been around for some years now. From its birth in the mid 2000’s to its first coming out party in 2010, we have watched its development with enthusiasm and some justifiable anxiety. As time allowed, we have attempted to the best of our ability to implement parts of it that we found accessible and financially viable for our customers. tablet-314153 Our first client request for a fully responsive design was in 2011. This client was a hip commerce site owner, and had just read about responsive design. Our client was very eager to implement it. After lengthy discussions and data wrangling, we convinced her that the commerce portion of her site did not need to be fully responsive. We created a separate design for phones, one for iPads, and cleaned up her desktop design. The process was illuminating and provided us with some ground rules and guidelines. Those guidelines have come in handy over the last few years. Every web designer has heard the siren song of Graceful Degradation or Progressive Enhancement. Graceful Degradation starts with your site as it is displayed on the desktop, and then attempts to morph it down to the tablet and phone browsing experience. With progressive enhancement, you put your best foot forward on the mobile platform, providing the users with minimal screen real estate, processing power and third party plug-ins. This produces an amazing experience that both looks great and functions perfectly, and subsequently proceeds to expand that in to a design for Tablet and Desktop. Although this is true, based on our experience with in-house, and contract designers, the Progressive Enhancement concept is not truly understood by the majority. Most designers are very happy to provide an AMAZING USER EXPERIENCE, but somehow loses track of the AMAZING FUNCTIONALITY part of the equation. After several stumbles, we decided to rename it and re-order the process to avoid the pitfalls. Function first Given that we have documented and know what the customer wants, the first order of business is to decide what functions are usable and required on what device. In many situations we find that there are specific functions per device that have no place on another platform. In many cases, especially pure commerce play, the phones require higher degree of functionality than the desktop version of the same site. In other cases, such as performing arts, the needs are very specific to the audience we are reaching. The most important part of the function first approach is that the team designing your site goes through your analytics and comparable data for your industry with a fine tooth comb and finds the exact behavioral pattern of your audience. In our case, we have done so many Performing Arts websites, that I could readily recite the usage habit of those audiences. As with a recent case, we are doing an informational design site for a major resort with minor commerce elements. We spent the better part of two weeks looking through all available data to profile the typical user of the site for all devices and proceeded to design from that point forward. The average cost of accommodations for these resorts, ranges from $1,200 to $7,000 per night. We found that majority of users had multiple pads,

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phones, and desktop devices. Their primary media of purchase was their pads, while they tended to share information about the experience via their phones. The role of desktop is mostly for research and pre-sale viewing, and very likely — although we only had anecdotal evidence — someone other than the primary purchaser is handling the research. As you can imagine, this information dictates three separate approaches to the site function depending on the device, while retaining the design compatibility across all platforms. Any attempt to exclusively use either method would fail the User in some level, thus function has to inform all design flow.