Make 2014 The Year Of Responsive Design
Cheryl Conner recently posted her thoughts on design in 2014. She promptly cites New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying in a recent interview, “Design does matter. And not necessarily in a way that people realize.”
Turns out Bloomberg was referring to design on citywide scales, but small businesses should take note. According to Randall Smith, founder of Salt Lake City’s Modern 8, “If good design is doing its job, it is managing your perception of an experience in many ways—both obvious and not so obvious. How you feel, and therefore if whether you’re going to engage and buy, is directly influenced by the design of a website, a package or a business card.”
People occasionally try to argue that design no longer matters, and that what you SAY matters most. This can make some sense; SEO is vital to driving visitors to your webpage. It’s part of the way that people find you online. They search for something they need help with, and they find someone like you that can help them. And online sales and leads are vital to a business.
From Content vs. Design to Content & Design
But then there’s Forbes contributor Mike Myatt, who says: “Why present a content vs. design argument? The Holy Grail is found in nesting great content within brilliant design—don’t think ‘either/or,’ think ‘and’.” He adds, “Being found is nice, but it’s the experience and engagement that occurs (or not) that really matters. There are many ways to get eyeballs to your content, but what really matters is what happens when you get there.”
We agree with fellow Forbes contributor, Cheryl Conner when she write, “Here’s how design will matter most in 2014: in the creation of responsive web design—design that adjusts itself gracefully for an optimum experience on desktop, tablet or smartphone OS.” In this day and age, even the “brochure” type of website — a place where your goods/services/plans/offerings, and corresponding prices, are presented — is imperative. Before the Web, people stopped in and you handed them a brochure. Now that information lives online. But whereas before you were entirely in charge of what they received, now you don’t know exactly how someone will find you. Are they on a tablet, a home computer, their smartphone?
Mobile’s No Passing Fad
If you’re thinking, oh, no, not that many people are on mobile devices, think again:
- Ninety one percent of adults keep their smartphones nearby all day.
- Nine out of ten mobile searches lead to action, and more than half lead to sales.
- More than 5 billion people will use mobile phones by 2017, according to Statista.
- There is nearly a 50% chance you are reading this blog post on your mobile device right now.
And yes, what you have to say about your offering is crucial (remember, good design FEELS good for the end user — that means crafting clear, specific MESSAGES that compel without confusing anyone). But remember, visual design matters, too. Good design feels good on ALL devices. It reminds consumers that you’re interested in perfecting all facets of what you’re giving them. So, are you ready for 2014? Does your site bridge excellent content with optimal design? If there’s even a sliver of doubt, we’re here to help.