Out with the old and in with the new: redesigning a website



Website design does not solely apply to the building of a new one. From time to time, an old website may need to be updated and changed for a number of reasons. Without the constant monitoring and managing of a website, it may likely fall behind. Old features and outdated content are just a few things that may deter visitors from staying on your site. That does not necessarily mean that the entire site needs a facelift. Do that and you may end up losing useful features that are working well.  There are several tips that you can follow to ensure your website is revamped for all the right reasons.


  • Take the time to do some research and set some goals. It is important to evaluate what needs updating and what can stay the same. Often it is the layout that needs updating because new trends are always popping up. This year has been the year of flat and minimal design. If your website is looking dated with dull colours and blocks of text in small typography, it is probably time for a change. Choosing a simple design with bold colours that augment the logo is a good starting point.


  • Base all decisions on some clearly-thought out goals. Ask yourself, why do you want to update your design? To increase search engine optimisation? To boost user engagement and draw new visitors?


  • When altering the appearance of a website, try not to make the changes too drastic because you may end up losing the brand and style of your business. Do integrate flat design where possible because it makes it easier for people to use and navigate. If you are providing information with huge chunks of text, it is a good idea to edit it. Assess whether any of the information can be conveyed through video, audio or imagery. Visual information is becoming increasingly popular because it is easier for people to take in. Make sure you do not cut out pieces that are of value. The key is to be concise.


  • Social media is constantly growing and now it is an integral part of marketing and web development. Before, simply having your article ‘liked’ was enough. Now the aim is to have your content and services shared as much as possible, so as to reach a larger audience. If you haven’t already, integrate all social media at the end of all articles to allow readers to share and like your services across a number of social media platforms. Moreover, social media conveys authenticity to visitors. Displaying one’s twitter feed is an easy way to build trust.


  • The buzzword for web design in 2014 has been RWD – responsive web design. It is essential to design a website so that it is responsive across a number of devices including mobile phones and tablets. This is because an increasing amount of people are accessing the internet via their smart phones and tablets, simply because it is convenient. You may be losing potential customers by not doing so.


By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger



Is content still king with web design?



Although web design is always developing, with several new trends emerging each year, the importance of content has been a consistent theme. The term ‘content is king’ has been floating around for years. The success and longevity of a website is based on the quality and worth of the content. It is therefore not unusual for businesses to spend a lot of time and effort creating a content strategy as this is considered a necessity for propelling an excellent user experience. Lately however, there seems to be very little said about the topic as evidenced by the startling lack of emphasis on the importance of content within the emerging trends in 2014. Some have even gone on to claim that content is no longer as important as it once was. Is content no longer king?


In the past, churning out content was acceptable but things soon changed when people wanted quality. That quality aspect behind content still remains true because the audience want to find what they are looking for in the shortest amount of time. It is crucial to remember that content should bring value. Without great content, there is a lack of information about a business. Without the relevant information, users are unable to find what they are looking for, which in turn, is likely to put them off.


A lot has been said about the appearance of a website with the introduction of flat design and responsive web design. These trends are important today, because users are drawn to clear designs without long blocks of text that can be accurately viewed across a number of platforms. However, these trending designs become futile without the backing of quality and original content. Instead, it is the combination of trends that is more likely to attract people.


Quality content is still crucial because it is the basis of communication between a business and its target audience. Although the design and imagery can convey style and tone, the content remains the basis of information. It is certainly true that the amount of content is being cut down. This is because people are busy and want to gain information as quickly as possible. Moreover, video and imagery can add value to the information and is easier to digest than long chunks of text. Too much content, regardless of its quality, can deter visitors. However, that is not to say that it is any less significant.


The key lies in taking all aspects of a site and augmenting it through the content. Success lies in the connection between content, design, social media and search engine optimisation. Content defines user experience just as much as the appearance and navigability of a site.

The layout and design of a website are becoming increasingly important because flat design is what is drawing customers. However, SEO and customer participation cannot be enhanced without great, quality content.

When designing your site, keep in mind that great content, arguably of less quantity, along with an attractive design is what is going to draw visitors and persuade them to act.


By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger



What does Mobile Responsive Web Design mean for a nomadic nation?



Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus promises to be powerful, with a bigger screen and new Retina HD display. It is of little surprise as smart phones are updated to offer more features and an enhanced display. In 2014 alone, there are approximately 4.55 billion mobile phone users worldwide. It is safe to say that mobile phones have become indispensable and mobile responsive web design has been a popular term in 2014.

What is Mobile Responsive Web Design?


In essence, a website design that is mobile responsive will adapt to the size of the screen of any smart phone or tablet. The quality of any text and imagery will not be compromised due to the automatic adjustment. According to a study by Gartner the number of sales for traditional PCs and laptops has decreased over the years and the sales for mobile devices and tablets has increased. In fact, they predict that by 2017, worldwide PC sales will fall to 271,612 units whereas mobile device sales will rise to 2,128,871 units. It comes as little surprise then, that a mobile responsive web design is considered crucial for the future.

These changes are a result of a growing ‘nomadic nation’ and there are some strong reasons as to why businesses should adopt mobile responsive web design:


1. Social media


Social media integrated with search engine optimisation has boomed over the last few years. Social media has become incredibly important in optimising content and selling products and a lot of time is therefore spent implementing carefully thought out social media strategies. What does this have to do with mobile responsive web design? According to a 2013 mobile survey conducted by Adobe, 71% of people use their mobile phones to access social media.

Social media is becoming a dominant factor in everyday life. Upon waking up, one may check their Twitter feed, whilst on the tube they may browse Facebook and in the evening, take a photo of their meal and post it on Instagram. The majority of people do not have the time to switch on their laptops and browse their social media. Why would they when they can access the platforms through the apps on their phone? People want businesses to display their services and make themselves known in a way that is quick and convenient – via social media on their phones.


2. Find, purchase and use


According to the same Adobe Mobile Use survey, 70% of people used mobile devices to search for information such as the weather, reviews and events. Therefore, a great web design that is mobile responsive will encourage consumers to find, purchase and use the services provided by a business. The mobile platform has become easier and more convenient to use. Mobile commerce is rapidly growing and according to BiznessApps, around 32% of all online purchases were made online in the first half of 2014.

Ironically, it would seem that in using mobile and tablet devices for the faster finding and purchasing of services, people are more likely to put up with media and business advertising. Again referring to the Adobe survey, a staggering 85% of people are willing with view ad-supported content on their mobile devices. Encompassing a mobile responsive web design is more likely to keep customers interested.

With the exciting and innovative release of the iPhone 6 and the growing number of consumers who reach for their mobile phones to purchase services, there is an assumption that PC use is of little importance. Whilst the nation does predominantly reach for their mobile devices to gain information, it is important to remember that designs should be responsive across all platforms including PCs and laptops.

There is no doubt that smart phones and tablets have changed the way in which consumers interact with businesses online. As a nomadic nation we rely upon a great user experience on tablets and phones which illustrates how mobile responsive web design is something of a necessity.




By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger



Revealing the myths: the simple side of web design


Web design is becoming an increasingly important component in the field of marketing and SEO and it would seem that 2014 has been the year to focus on the necessity of getting it right. There are a multitude of articles discussing essential web design and development trends for this year. With so many choices and the pressure to get it right, web design can be very daunting for businesses. Just how does one go about it? How much will it cost? Where do you begin? Which features are really necessary?


Within these discussions on the vital web design trends for marketing and SEO, there seems to buried, a firm assumption that there is no room for mistake or experimentation. There are certain designs that are solid winners in drawing visitors and boosting sales, but within them are certain myths that can be dispelled.


Responsive web design is likely the most popular term associated with web development to have been gracing the internet this year. A growing number of people are depending more on their smart phones for a multitude of things, including social media and the internet. Websites that are not designed to be responsive will not be displayed correctly across different screen types, including mobile devices and tablets. In order to reach a wider audience, websites need to be responsive. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the creation of such a website is pricey and difficult.

The main thing to remember is that responsive web design should cater to multiple platforms and screens including a desktop and laptop. It is not solely for mobile devices. Take the time to figure out what font and what size works best and dedicate some time to experimenting with layout and imagery. In the end, you want to create the best user experience for your target audience.

Investing in a well-designed website doesn’t have to cost an insane amount of money. Understanding your target audience and tailoring the services and products to them is a good starting point. Investment should be focused on the basics. Getting a professional web design company to help you out may be a good idea, particularly if you are new to the game. A website is effectively, the ‘front-of-house’ for a business, and getting it designed to accurately promote a business and attract customers should be the main priority.


Basics such as accurate business information, clear but simple descriptions of services and products, a tidy layout with tangible typography and easy-to-find contact information are fundamental.


There are some additional features that you may want to add to your website in efforts to attract more visitors and create credibility. Including social media information is a great way to convey trustworthiness and twitter feeds are easy to implement. Video and image content is becoming increasingly attractive and popular. According to webmarketinggroup 40% of people will respond better to visual data rather than chunks of plain text.  So therefore lastly, if your services and products can benefit from video demonstrations, try and include them in your web design plan.


By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger



The basic virtues of web design




Creating and maintaining a website is easier said than done. It is important to get it right because it is one of the key ways of delivering brand messages, products and services to the audience. It is also important as a means to keep them coming back. A great web design with all the right features can reach millions of people all around the globe. In order to draw users to your website and convince them to try out your services you need to provide them with an accurate conveyance of what you business is all about. In trying to make a website the best that it can be, sometimes the basics are forgotten.


Knowing the target audience

The basis of a website and web design should be focused on its target audience. Not knowing who your target audience is can result in creating a website that is too broad and is most likely to end up in visitors leaving the site. Thorough target audience research is crucial for a successful web design. The website will have to be designed around the audience so that they are drawn into visiting it. Time should be taken to generate the results, after which the look and functions of the website can be decided.


Contact information and internal linking

A common web design mistake is burying contact information deep within the site and making it difficult for users to find. People who visit the site and take interest in products want to be able to find the contact information easily. Having a clear contact button or displaying the information in the corner or bottom of every web page is an easy way to achieve this. If the information is tucked away and difficult to find, it is highly likely that users will become irritated and leave the site. Giving readers clear calls to action alongside content is an easy way to prompt them to take the next step and get in contact. Using internal linking to achieve this is a great idea as they can be transported to the contact page with one easy click.


Quality content

Content does remain key and the focus should be on the quality because it can be a huge factor in drawing customers. In an environment where time is money and where a lot has to be produced in a small space of time, it can be tempting to take short cuts. Stuffing content with keywords can be tempting especially in an effort to boost SEO. However, compromising the quality of content can result in penalties. A simple way to generate content that will also help build trust is to include testimonials from previous customers.



Offering a good range of features on your website is crucial in delivering value. Make sure not to offer too many features because you may end up losing what your brand is about and confusing users with a cluttered layout. Do include links to your social media. Integrating a Twitter feed in the layout it a great way to show credibility. Advertisements can be extremely off-putting and look unprofessional so it is a good idea to limit them.



The overall look of a website remains important because it may be the deciding factor as to whether a visitor stays on your site. You may have an abundance of information you want to put forward to your audience but try not to have a layout that is untidy or confusing to navigate. A minimal design with a clear presentation of a company’s logo is a firm favourite. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour but use them in blocks and keep them simple.



By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger



Flat design is here to stay but does it aid SEO?


Image source: graphicdesignjunction


The recent introduction of the iOS 8 update has been somewhat controversial, but a lot can be said on the design front. Flat design was first introduced by Apple with iOS 7 and it proved to be popular. The design was aesthetically pleasing and lines were sharp and clear. iOS 8 continues the theme but with an added, clear glass effect.

There has been much talk that flat design is a crucial element in drawing visitors to a site and boosting search engine optimisation. However, the trend isn’t by any means new. It has been around for quite some time (take Windows 8 for example) which begs the question; does it actually aid SEO? One thing does remain true; it is becoming increasingly popular with web designers.

Flat design, also known as minimalist design, can be seen everywhere. Websites are adopting the theme and even mobile interfaces and icon designs on the majority of smart phones are flat. Natwest recently updated their website and opted for a minimalist design and there is a reason for this. The pages seem easier to navigate and less confusing to look at. Flat design can be comprised of a number of themes:


  • A clean and simple layout often with a clear background
  • Modern and simple typography
  • The use of bold or block colours
  • Geometric shapes
  • A sense of space between features


There is no denying that the trend is appealing. For any business to do well, it must have a high percentage of sales and a higher return on investment (ROI). There are many marketing strategies that can be applied but a website generally has to rank highly in order to draw more traffic.

As of late, more and more emphasis has been put on the importance of website design because it is often considered to be a forgotten link. There is some truth in this observation. A website that displays huge chunks of text, in a small font against a busy background is quite truthfully, going to turn visitors away.

The internet is society’s way of gaining information quickly and with less effort. Traditional print materials tend to be read word for word. Newspapers are read to get a full and thorough understanding of worldwide events. Similarly, textbooks are referred to in order to find information in depth. Web pages on the other hand, are skimmed.

According to a couple of articles written by Jakob Nielsen, web users tend to leave a page within 10-20 seconds of visiting it. Moreover, visitors on average, have enough time to read about 28% of the words displayed. In this case, flat design would help to boost SEO because clearer typography with content that is of high quality is more likely to draw visitors.

It is common knowledge that a cluttered layout with too many features will most likely frustrate users who once again, are looking to find what they need in the shortest amount of time. You can expect higher bounce rates with a busy design but does that necessarily mean that the use of shadows and curves is completely dead? It is granted that too much use of overly artistic designs can lead to a busy layout but some use of shadow is unlikely to turn customers away. Flat design can boost SEO but it has to be teamed with a number of other techniques to be fruitful.


  1. On-page techniques have to be worked on with the design. The typography may be simple and appealing but if the content isn’t great and the right keywords are not integrated, the layout goes to waste. The display may be easy to take in but without the correct method of internal linking, visitors may end up signing off.
  2. Off-page techniques are equally important. A minimalist layout can draw visitors but bad links are likely to put them off. Removing the bad links and link building are crucial to draw more users to your aesthetically pleasing website.


An integrated approach will work most effectively. Flat design most definitely creates a sense of trust that a complicated layout cannot provide. That sense of trust can be turned into real confidence through the implementation of on and off-page techniques. An integrated approach shows users that they can trust an organisation. Check out some examples of websites using flat design below:











By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger



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