Is There Life On Mars

Congratulations to Lalo Schifrin, (an awesome client of ours) who’s Mission Impossible master piece was used to wake up Curiosity on Mars.  Pretty trippy.

Business Insider: “I never imagined that when I wrote ‘Mission: Impossible’ it would one day be used to wake up a robot on Mars. That just goes to show that ANYTHING is possible. I am very thrilled and honored and I think it’s out of this world!” – Lalo Schifrin
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Web Site Design with Conversion Rates in Mind

First of all, what is conversion?  A website’s conversion rate is the number of visitors versus the number of sales or inquiries the site receives each month.  There are many simple tips and tricks to implement that will help streamline a site and aide clientele in finding the product or service they seek.Here are a few elements to consider when designing a new site:

User Experience
The key to user experience is trying to not only visualize the website through the end user’s eyes, but also interpret what the customer is looking for. Having a good grasp of the industry and making sure the most sought after products and information are easily accessible will be vital.  Using things such as mock-ups and wire-frames in the first stages of the design process can help organize the overall appearance.

Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools will help pinpoint the most visited pages onsite, allowing the most sought after information or product on the website to be prominently showcased.

Heatmap and Eye Tracking Software
Utilizing heat mapping and eye tracking software can help target problem areas.  This software allows an understanding of what users do on the site. It offers a digital visualization of where visitors click and what portions of the site they interact with, information which can then be used to make changes that increase conversion.

The K.I.S.S. Principle
By following the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle your site really will be “made for loving you”.  Bogging the homepage down with too much information, widgets, images, music and animated objects can detract from how users interact with a site and cause confusion about where the pertinent information can be found. Keep it relevant, keep it simple and keep the design clean.

Content is one of the most important factors when building a website.  Font choice and size, terminology, and action words are all very important. When using action words such as “click here” be sure to keep them un-cluttered and clearly visible.

In the world of SEO “content is king” but be sure to use proper formatting when building a website. Small paragraphs with headings and bulleted lists can go a long way in keeping content organized and easy to scan for popular information.

Contact Information
Make it easy for the client to make contact with the company. Most sites have a “Contact Us” page but is this enough? Consider putting important information such as a phone number in either the header or the footer.  Burying contact information can often lead to a frustrated user experience resulting in a loss of sales. Neglecting to include contact information on a website is just as foolish as not including it on a business card.

There are many studies about the psychology of color, and when it comes to brand identity color is crucial. If the company logo or brand has definite colors, by all means use them! If they are bright colors, use them sparingly or as accents.  Using hot pink as a background color on a site might indeed fit with the company branding scheme, but remember not everyone has the same monitor settings. Although it may look like just the right shade of hot pink, a client could find it distracting, blinding or it could make the text difficult to read.  When designing, the use of white generally indicates simplicity and is very eye catching. Whereas colors like red are used as an attention grabber and better for “calls to action”.

Fine tuning a website for higher conversions can be a time consuming process, full of revisions and testing.  Keep the end goal in mind, have patience and it will pay off!

Browser Compatibility

It may seem obvious enough, but you need to make sure your website is compatible on “every” browser.  This means your website looks and functions the way it’s supposed to, the way you intended.  I put “” around the word, every, because we only test a few generations back.  We go as far back as IE7.  Any browser further than that would not be able to run most scripts written in 2012.Statistically, there are main 2 browsers; Firefox and IE.  Everyone has their opinions, but Firefox is certainly the preferred browser for heavy web users.  But of course if your website is not resolving in Chrome, then it doesn’t matter about opinions.  You need your site working.  That’s a fact, not an opinion.

Of course, the most blatant example in 2012 is the whole Flash / iworld issue.  As most know by now, some more painfully than others, Flash does not work in the iworld.  So if you’re looking to build or rebuild your site, stay away from Flash (unless you’re building a gaming site).  A lot can be accomplished these days without using Flash.  HTML5 as the obvious example.

So before you get started, or sign on the dotted line, make sure that when finished and uploaded, your site will be working across board.

Nothing stings more than getting a call from a client or partner letting you know that the “contact form” on your site is not coming up… 10 minutes after the site went live.