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Visualscope LLC
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Getting to Know the Customer is the Key to Effective Web Design

For the amateur website designer, creating the perfect site seems very simple. Quite often when business owners decide to design their own websites, they tend to produce pretty copy based on their personal preferences and fail to consider what the customer needs. In other words, they choose imagery, wording, logo designs, and color palettes based on what makes them feel good.

But professional designers will quickly tell you that this is not the most effective way of attracting a customer to your site. In fact, it could be the one thing that turns many of them away and could damage your business. Instead, they recommend that before you start creating the design for the site that you spend some time getting to know your target audience.

This information will be key in determining the type of content you’ll add to your site. With the right content, you can not only attract the right people to your site but you can keep them there until they respond to your call to action. If you do your homework well, designing your website won’t feel like a guessing game or finding the right pieces of a puzzle to put together. It will be very easy to determine what should be included in the design and what should be avoided.

Online Marketing Strategies Must Meet a Customer’s Need to be Effective

As an online marketer, your goal will be to attract business to your company’s website. This can be done in a wide variety of ways but the goals will remain the same. This will require you to focus on addressing the needs of the potential customer.

Online marketers are often sending out emails, blogs, and web content among other things. These types of content can come in a variety of forms and include all sorts of information but they should be developed with one single thought in mind. In order to be the most effective, they should each be designed to address a problem or a series of problems for the potential customer.

Great marketing tools keep the customer in mind every step of the way. They need to be aware of how to make online shopping a favored method of meeting their needs than any other method. So, if the customer is busy, your online marketing strategies need to design the message in a way that saves them time. If they’re looking for a bargain, your online strategies must show them how they can save money with each purchase.

Any online marketing strategy that meets the customers needs has a much better chance of bringing customers back than any advertisement or technique that speaks only of the product or service.

The Difference Between a Web Designer and a Web Developer

If you’re new to creating a website on the world-wide-web then you’re probably confused with the difference between website design and website development. For the novice, it is difficult to distinguish between the two but for the professional the distinction must be very clear.

What is Web Design?

Web design is the act of creating the aesthetics of a particular website. A web designer builds a specific look and feel of a website and gives it a particular image. You can liken the work of a web designer to someone who works on the body of an automobile. The work is all done to create an exterior look to a particular site. Web design work usually includes creating a logo, graphics, and any other visual elements of a website.

What is Web Development?

The developer of a website on the other hand is the one who would be working on the engine of a particular site. They are responsible for the inner workings and the elements that help the site to function properly. Developers focus their attention on specific working features of a site like the shopping cart, registration, and certain automated features that will enhance the usability of the site.

One of the first things you’ll need to know when working on a website is which role you’ll be taking in building the site and how it will work in enhancing the functionality of it.

Tools Found on a Web Developer’s Tool Belt

As with any professional in any career, website developers need to have their own arsenal of tools to help them to complete their jobs. Some of these tools are obvious but others may not be so easily understood to the average layman that is unfamiliar with the role of the developer in building a website. At the very least web developers need to have the following:

Computer: Best bet is to get a Unix or a Linux computer system, which will make your work a lot easier.

Google: This tool may sound a little strange but website developers will have to remember quite a few codes and computer languages, which will send them certain messages (errors mostly) from time to time. If memory fails you when you have an information overload, Google is a great tool to have to look up those messages to decide what to do. We live in a world where information flows at the speed of light so no one can know everything about anything. Use Google to fill in the blanks when needed.

Other tools that can come in handy is a Text Editor, which is where you’ll be writing your code, a Command Line Interface, which is the window in your operating system, and a Stack Overflow, which is an online community where you can ask and answer questions that may have other developers stumped.

Why Using Social Media Can be an Effective Online Marketing Tool

Online marketers know how to reach people and utilize the most effective strategies to do so. Many have discovered that implementing many advertising and marketing programs can be quite expensive, but there is always an effective way to save money in the process.

One of the most effective approaches to online marketing is surprisingly one of the least expensive; that of using a social media site to deliver their messages. When you think about it, social media is pretty much the modern day equivalent of talking to the neighbor over the backyard fence, with the exception that there are a lot more people on the other side of the fence to hear the message.

By utilizing social media tools, you’re getting the word out about your business through the old-fashioned word of mouth technique. If one customer has had a positive and rewarding experience with your company, the odds are quite high that they will share that experience with those who are closest to you.

On the other hand, if your customers have a negative experience, there will be a lot more people hearing about that too. This shows that your online marketing strategies need to also include your businesses’ customer service strategies to make sure you maximize the potential for your customers so they all have a pleasant experience when shopping online with you.

Things You Must Know Before Designing a Website

Whether you’re designing your own website or you’ve hired a professional, there is a lot to learn about website design. You need to be concerned with how the web pages are laid out, the colors you choose, even the fonts and images you select to give you a better chance at success.

Even with all those factors in mind, there is one thing that is probably the most important of all. You need to make sure that your web pages are easy to read for every visitor that comes to your site. Your landing page is pretty much like the open doors of your store. If it is difficult to find, or to get to, many people will eventually lose interest and turn their attention to other locations.

There are many ways you can ensure that your website design is easy to read. You can improve its readability with an easy to follow layout by ensuring that the text is large enough for visitors to read, and using the proper headings and tags to make them stand out from the other text on the page. And while there may be many pretty font sizes, using too many of them can confuse the reader and distract them from your message. Remember that simplicity is the key to success.

Skills Effective Web Developers Need to Have

Unlike web designers, web programmers approach their work on a website from an entirely different angle. While the web designer is looking at the aesthetics of a site; its colors, fonts, and imagery, the developer must focus more on the experience a visitor will have to a particular website.

Functionality

As a developer, the primary focus of a site should be its functionality. They will be concerned with the ‘how’ of everything on the site. This means that they will be expected to test and retest every function needed on the site. So, for example, the shopping cart; if the site is a retail Ecommerce site, then the focus will be to direct the visitors attention to the products offered on each page.

If the tendency is to over indulge in advanced designs and features, it can be very distracting and even confusing for the visitor. It will be the developer’s responsibility to create a design that will incorporate the data provided by the site’s owner along with the images and logo so that they ‘work’ together in a way that will be easy to follow for the visitor.

So, as a developer, it may be necessary to put on the designer hat from time to time but as a designer, it is not a requirement to know the unique coding that a developer needs to know.

Effective Use of Color in Website Design

The importance of a good web design cannot be understated. While to the layperson it may appear to just be a page containing information about your business, to the designer it is the difference between a successful business and one that will be struggling to get by.

With all that is involved in creating a well laid out page design there is one feature that is often overlooked by amateur designers and that is getting the right color choices. As a designer, it is your job to use color effectively.

Design experts recommend that your page should consist of a mostly neutral color palette if you want to create an elegant, clean, and a more modern and sophisticated appeal. They also suggest that brighter and more vibrant colors should be used sparingly throughout to highlight headlines and graphic images, for example. These will help to direct the reader to the more essential content.

By using your color scheme effectively you can create an image that will appeal to your target audience and direct their attention to key elements in your sight without their even being aware of it. And as long as the colors remain consistent with your other marketing tools, you’ll find that it could be one of the most effective tools you can use in your website design.
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