A nice post

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2012 Trends for Web Design

Mobile and Responsive website design
Some rights reserved by jiraisurfer

Two Words: Mobile and Responsive

Great read about where web design is headed in 2012 over at .Net Magazine. The big ones to focus on here are mobile and responsive though.

Mobile is obvious as more people use their phones to find your business online you need to make sure your website presents itself appropriately. Which ties in with Responsive perfectly.

Don’t think you can make two websites: one for desktop and one for mobile, because you then need to make one for the iPad and now the iPad retina display. Don’t forget about the 14 different mobile phone screen sizes out there and more to come. Instead build one website that responds to the device viewing it so that the text is readable regardless.

Customer First Web Design

Couple of excellent comics showing the disconnect between what website owners think we want versus what we actually want.

This is from the xkcd about university websites:

XKCD's take on university websites and their disconnect with what users want and what they provide.
Virtual Tours are awesome! Not!

Here the Oatmeal explores restaurant websites and what customers want:

The Oatmeal discusses restaurant websites and how disconnected they are from what we want them to be.
Yes I agree this is what I want.

Then they give us an excellent representation of the majority of restaurant websites we come across:

The Oatmeal shows us a typical restaurant website.
PDF menus are the best!

When I talk with clients about their website I have two jobs. In the first job I am building a site that meets their expectations, hopes, and dreams. In the second job I am fighting their expectations and focusing on their hopes and dreams.

What I mean by this is that generally a business owner expects their website process to be like their traditional media process. Pixel perfect branding of their business image. I make it my job to break them from that cycle as much as possible and instead see their website as a door into their company where prospects and customers can start interacting with their business. This means putting the phone number and address at the top of the page so it is immediately visible and available on all devices. This means updating the site with timely information about your business and industry. In the last few years this has also meant thinking mobile first as over 10% of the traffic coming to your site is on a mobile device and those folks are ready to buy.

Dont make the errors pointed out in the comics above. Think customer first with your website and see the revenue grow.

Louis CK and Consistent Content

Louis CK Password Reset Page

Louis CK is one of my favorite comedians at the moment. He is hilarious and takes on some wild subject matters. He is also leading the charge for comedians to produce and distribute their own material online. A few months ago he released an original production on his website for $5 with zero DRM. He took a huge chance going outside of the mainstream model and made some nice cash doing so. He recently released a new production in audio format once again for $5: Word – Live at Carnegie Hall.

Naturally I had to buy the new one and after easily purchasing it on his site via PayPal I was directed to a login page. Having no idea what my password is I clicked on the always faithful Password Reset link and was given this page:
Louis CK Password Reset Page
The copy on this page screams Louis CK all over it. This is attention to detail and creating a consistent feel across the website. Louis was comfortable using this language because if you are offended by this then you really should not be buying his material. As a fan it made me laugh and appreciate supporting Louis that much more.

Wanting to login to the account and get the download I hopped into my email to find this waiting for me:
Louis CK Password Reset Email
Once again he continues the messaging with the copy and with the automated password by adding the ‘moron’ to the start of the password. Of course this could be a major security issue as all the passwords are being reset with ‘moron’ in them. He has added a random string of letters after the ‘.’ so it is a unique password and I would think that its pretty secure.

The point to this post is that you need to pay attention to every detail of your website because its how your customers are spending a considerable if not all of their time communicating with your site. If you are offering legal services I would suggest not being quite as familiar with your language but it should reflect your organization’s purpose.

Most importantly I suggest that you have fun with your marketing and get your customers to enjoy themselves. It will show up when they tell others to buy from you as well.