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A quick guide to achieving your website's full potential

"Is my website working to its full potential?” This question can be tough to answer because it depends on what you consider the ‘full potential’ to be and how your website is aligned to your company’s strategy. Research by the University of Stanford shows that 75% of users judge the credibility of a company based on the professional look and design of their website. So how do you know your website needs a redesign? There are some tell-tale signs that make you understand if it’s time to refresh your website. Here are our 4 signs that tell you your website needs a redesign.

1) Your company grows and the website is not aligned with your strategy

Depending on the industry and company, sales, finance, customer support, product development and digital marketing form all part of the strategy. For most companies digital marketing has the potential to become…

7 success factors for managing charity websites

Balancing the interests of diverse audiences of a charity site is a real challenge, magnified by the diverse communications needs of different teams within a charity. Given these diverse needs, it's no surprise that many charity websites struggle to communicate effectively and encourage interaction with different audiences. I have seen some truly compelling charity websites which we feature in the new Smart Insights guide to website best practice for Not-for-Profits and charities, but there are many more that don't, some with lack of focus shown by a confusing carousel or slider on the home page. In this post, I take a look at some of the common challenges that charities need to recognise before embarking on redesigns to improve effectiveness.

Management barriers for effective charity websites

Some of the key barriers to success that I have seen when working in NfP organisations are: 1. Lack of clear aims. Gaining a…

Tools and techniques to support site migration

We are currently living in an era of Digital Darwinism , a time where evolving technologies - from mobile, real-time, to social media and the Internet of Things - are disrupting traditional business models and markets. In order to adapt effectively many larger businesses are creating digital transformation programmes to ensure that businesses look beyond the here and now and focus on how disruptive technologies are affecting customer behaviour and the impact this has on their business in the future.

The continuous evolution of the website to support digital transformation

For most, a company’s website is at the centre of their digital ecosystem, and with the explosive growth in mobile and tablet usage , the form and nature of the website is changing to keep pace with the changes in…

When businesses use eye tracking data to help them design their website they could be missing vital information about their web visitors

Eye tracking studies are undoubtedly useful. Let’s get that fact out-of-the-way first. These specialist studies show exactly where people look on web pages and as a result web designers can ensure that specific elements are positioned for maximum visibility. But are these studies as valuable as they might seem? In this article I shall explain why eye tracking studies have limitations which companies should consider when they are building their websites. What you’ll discover in this article is: How eye tracking works What eye tracking tells you What eye tracking does not tell you The major flaw with eye tracking Filling in the gaps of eye tracking The place of eye tracking in marketing

How eye tracking works

Eye tracking can be performed in various ways, but generally small cameras track the movement of the pupils as…

Examples and the Pros and Cons of Parallax Web Design

We are all more aware than ever that web design styles are shifting  towards user experience as opposed user tasks and usability. Users demand to be engaged, entertained, educated and enticed into absorbing content online. Parallax web design, used in the right context, has the ability to deliver a really strong connection to an online brand experience, based on the interactivity of the website, the journey and the focus, realism and context given to the content or product. Often, examples of Parallax web design focus on product examples, such as Google's Nexus 7 page, but I hope to show in this post that there are opportunities for other types of organisations such as B2B businesses or charities to use Parallax design for deeper engagement. The examples show that Parallax design can offer a more interactive version of infographics, better suited to…

A checklist of issues to consider in a responsive website redesign project

If there’s one thing that every Web and Digital marketing manager has had on their agenda in recent times it’s responsive design! Responsive Web Design has become the defacto standard of web sites in a very short space of time. But is it a silver bullet? Is it a magic cure for many digital illnesses our sites (and visitors!) have been suffering from? It certainly gives many challenges, and in this post I'll share 9 key issues that site managers need to talk through with their designers. When I first started looking at the concept of responsive websites back in 2010 - I fell in love. This seemed like a proper working implementation of the “fluid websites” that were largely a dream back in the days when we were moving from table based layouts to CSS based ones. Over the past…

6 actions you can take to keep your website relaunch project "on track"

Every marketer or business will at some stage create a website, or relaunch their website. Whether it is a small site, or an "all singing all dancing site", in my experience as a marketing manager, they all take up more time and resources than you though they would. Having worked on a number of websites for a range of companies in various sectors, I have been there and "have the T-shirt". I have also seen peers in similar stressful situations that have the marketing team working all hours to complete the website as they look on at their ever-growing lists of other marketing tasks. To help avoid some of this stress I have distilled this experience into the new Smart Insights website relaunch project planning template. In this timeline, Dave Chaffey and I have set out all the…
I think the way in which site design style evolves on the web is fascinating . Any site visitor can tell within a second or two when a site appears dated, and if it is, then it's immediately damaging to the brand. Getting the relationship off on the wrong foot. Whether a site design is effective naturally depends on the ability of the designers at a web design agency to select a modern design style with  interactive design elements. That's why all marketers need to keep in touch with rationale behind the latest design styles and why I was keen to talk to a Twitter contact, Jim Callender of Callender Creates, a web design agency whose client portfolio showcases current design styles well. As a freelancer, Jim has worked on many high profile site such as the Times Online redesign, eBay, Royal Mail, Travelbag, Expedia, Halifax and Audi. Awarded 'Digital Freelancer of the…

5 tips to help create the perfect web design brief

Writing the perfect brief may not be a wholly realistic goal, but you can go a long way to ensuring the success of your new (or refreshed) website by aiming for just this. The aim is to create a brief that is as comprehensive and informative as possible to elicit accurate estimates / proposals and ultimately a brilliant website. There will probably still be a couple of questions coming back from who ever you've sent the brief to – but the first step in creating a great website (one that meets its objectives) is writing a comprehensive, actionable brief.  This post explains best practices around creating a website design brief to support a new site redesign brief template I have developed for Smart Insights. …