The future of web design
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There's no doubt it's a tremendously exciting time to be involved with web design here in Bristol – scarcely a day goes by without news of a new programming technique, cool widget, or useful web marketing tool.
So how will this impact on your website? I’m going to look at 3 key factors in this article.
1. Multiple Channels
The humble website used to be sufficient. Then along came social media, smartphones, the mobile web and internet-enabled TVs. Increasingly small businesses need to consider if and how they will compete across the following channels:
- Conventional websites
- Websites designed for mobile and TV
- Mobile apps
They will also need to consider how their customers will use each of the above channels – the needs of a customer may be very different between the desk and the sofa.
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, is the business of tweaking your site so that it appears higher in Google search results pages.
I still meet small business owners who are under the impression that setting a few keywords will help their SEO efforts – but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. SEO has evolved into a broad range of processes and tools that require serious effort to get right.
Recent changes to Google’s algorithms have seen links from social media such as Facebook and Twitter help to boost the authority of your site.
SEO isn’t necessarily that complicated, but I’ve come to the conclusion that e-commerce sites in particular will in all likelihood fail to succeed without an SEO campaign, or someone in the business that devotes all or most of their time to web marketing.
3. Website Design
Websites will need to display to mobile and tablet users. This may involve:
- An ‘adaptive’ website design, that flows to a different shape depending on the screen size
- Multiple website designs for each different device
With the Apple iPad 3, and the forthcoming Microsoft Windows 8 which will also support tablets, the case for considering mobile users has never been stronger.
Certain design elements such as rollover effects or dropdown menus must be reworked for a touch interface, since these elements won’t work with finger-based operation.
While it's certainly an exciting time for the web, small businesses face a rather bewildering range of options to market their business online. Why not contact us if you have any questions.