As the adage goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. This saying holds especially true when it comes to workflow in building a website. Even though there are multiple paths to the same end, though, you can make the flow a lot smoother by using a few important guides. Whether you write code or design websites, there are always ways to streamline your processes, enabling you to work faster and better.
The following are some workflow optimization techniques to consider:
Start With a Wireframe – Every web project should begin with a wireframe, also known as a screen blueprint or page schematic. A wireframe is a visual guide representing the website’s skeletal framework. It enables you to arrange elements that are needed to create an idea or to inform a business objective. Using a wireframe will allow developers to flesh out their ideas for the layout style, content, and organization of elements on a page, including logo, navigation bar, and CTA buttons. A wireframe starts with a rough layout with minimal details that can be added to over time.
Plan Copy and Behaviors – After preparing your basic wireframe, the next step is to fill in the details. You can place simple web copy and widgets into your wireframe based on what you believe your users will want to see on your website. Only add content that will be of value to your consumers-not just words to fill the empty spaces. There are different styles of content writing, but make sure the style fits your users. Consider using large headings and page copy, such as bulleted lists, so your website is engaging and easy-to-follow.
Use Front-end Frameworks – You can save time in building a new website if you use front-end frameworks. Front-end frameworks streamline development and separate complex functions to enable you to use less code when building your site.
Test and Debug – While browsing quirks are less common today, they still exist. Because of this, testing is essential to development. In addition to browser bugs, there are often problems with the way that browsers render margins, box sizes, patterns, and other properties. The best practice is to check your work in all browsers. Since this can be tedious, consider shortcutting the process by using browser-testing tools such as BrowserStack, Browser Shots, and Browserling.
Rather than getting mired in a confusing and messy website construction process, make a smart plan. It can help save you headaches as you build a visually appealing, easy-to-navigate site that will resonate with your users.
Keeping users on your website is the key to conversion. It normally takes visitors just a fraction of a second to form an opinion about your company. Your site’s design is a critical part of that first impression and can heavily influence a customer’s ultimate decision to stay or move on.
As you design a new site or review your current one, avoid these mistakes that can drive customers away instead of encouraging them to stay on your page:
Sliders – You want your target audience to focus on your main value proposition. Users come to your page looking for pertinent information and want to find it quickly. Sliders often serve as hindrances and distractions because few viewers have the patience to sit idly by and view rotating images instead of getting to the main point. Sliders also slow down your website’s loading time—particularly when they are viewed on mobile devices.
Snarky Pop-ups – Pop-ups are acceptable as long as they do not subvert your marketing efforts. Good pop-ups allow users to opt out. When pop-ups become aggressive and make users feel bad for not taking certain actions, they tend to work against the website. Some pop-ups contain snarky remarks such as, “No thanks, I don’t mind missing out on the offer.” Comments like this foster a negative feeling among users.
Auto-play videos – Give your viewers an option to watch your video, but don’t force the issue. Users do not want to be surprised by a video that automatically plays once they open your page. They may be turned off by the noise and unsolicited video.
Separate mobile sites – Google gives better rankings to responsive websites, which can be viewed both on mobile devices and on desktops. Google could penalize you for duplicate content, however, if you make a mobile-only version of a website and another for desktops. Users expect the same functionality no matter how they are viewing your site.
Skeuomorphism – This is a functional design technique in which a design object mimics its real world counterpart. For example, a trash icon becomes a receptacle for old files. Skeuomorphism served a strong purpose years ago when people were still adjusting to the digital era, but today it can be considered insulting to those who are already steeped in all things tech.
Always put yourself in the shoes of the website visitor when you are designing your website. Some trends are worth incorporating, but avoid those that cut undercut the function of your site.
The Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League, has proven to be a brilliant outlet for creative marketers. With millions of people willing to sacrifice through rain or shine to get to or see the game, the Super Bowl is an opportunity for creative marketers to leave their mark in advertising history.
They say, to be able to succeed in business you must be willing to take risks. With the hefty price tag of a Super Bowl ad, could a commercial during the big game be your high-risk, high-reward opportunity?
In 2014, a 30-second ad cost a mind-blowing $4 million for every run. This year, it’s expected to increase up to $4.5 million a slot and I’m sure 2016 will be even more. The price may sound unjustifiable, especially for small business owners. Even for popular brands and services, unleashing $4 million or more seems like a hard sell.
The truth is, ads during the Super Bowl aren’t just ordinary commercials. Traditional commercials during traditional shows may reach a few hundred thousand viewers. Commercials during the Super Bowl may reach hundreds of millions of viewers in one single airing. Here are some additional advantages to Super Bowl commercial time slots.