1. Explore websites you love (or hate). It’s always insightful to check out websites and take notes on what works and what doesn’t. See what you can learn from other ideas that may help to best represent your brand. Remember, it’s ok to borrow ideas, just don’t rip a site’s code line for line.
Some examples of engaging web design that are worth a look: Slack, Calm, and Oculus. Slack has a informative website with great personalization, Calm created a simple, beautiful app web site, and Oculus is a solid example of tile-based design.
2. Build your website for mobile first. It’s always, always easier to scale your mobile website up for desktop, rather than scale down for mobile. How can you design your site in the simplest way possible, while still communicating the information you want? This is where you should begin your thought process.
After that, make sure you have a sitemap that makes it easy to measure traffic flow and identify potential areas for improvement. Being able to make data-based improvements in a timely fashion is key. A good website is equal parts good design and vigorous A/B testing.
3. Measure twice, cut once. Another common mistake I see in web design is forgetting to determine success metrics. You may build a beautiful interactive page for your company, with no way to determine if your content is helping you convert on your success metrics.
Start with determining what your page need to be successful at. Is it leadgen? Converting sales? Providing product information? Whatever it is, ensure you can measure every step in the flow that gets a customer from A to B. That way you can make smart decisions on future iterations with your success metrics in mind.
4. Identify your audience(s). Whether it be a customer, journalist, or interested investor, the last thing you want is for a user to close your website because they can’t find what they need. Recognize the type of customer that will be visiting your site and make sure you answer the important questions they’d ask if you were having a face to face conversation about your product. Once you determine what questions a potential customer might have about your product, you can figure out what needs to be on the webpage and what doesn’t.
Kiip has two main customers that would visit our site, developers looking for our SDK to monetize an app and brands looking for media space to market their product. That said, three things are of vital importance:
- What our rewards product looks like on mobile
- The value benefits to using Kiip
- How to start a partnership with us
Our website is not successful if one of these pieces is missing. These aspects are different depending on the customer type. For instance, brands want to see exactly what their media placement looks like whereas developers are more interested with how easy it is to integrate our tech.
5. Remember, humans are looking at your website. When you see an opportunity to have a causal tone or to add a touch of wit, take it. One of my favorite things to see in a website or web app are personalized micro-interactions. For instance, when waiting for a form to send or a report to load, there’s a little message like, “Chugga, chugga. Chugga, chugga…” I love to see little personalizations like these. Feel free to use my train one, if you’d like.
6. Continuously maintain and develop your website. Your website is vital to your business, it informs your customers who your are and what you do. A strong website is important for those seeking out your product and also provides legitimacy to your company. Nothing raises customer suspicion like a broken or out-of-date website when they decide to Google you.
Also, remember to take time every now and then to hash out a few ideas to develop your website into a stronger tool for your audience or customers. Should you embed an easily downloadable press kit on your Contact Us page? Is there a better check-out system you can implement? Does it make sense for your social media feeds to display on the homepage? These are all things to think about.
For instance, www.kiip.me/demo is something our team created recently to better show off our reward unit. It’s much easier for us to give a customer a mobile-ready URL linking to a product demo than to try to explain it in writing or by speaking on the phone.