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Identifying the paths that a consumer will take while navigating on desktops, tablets, and smartphones will help you design a mobile-friendly website. Establish the layout, grid structure, and break-points. It is important to keep a fluid layout rather than relying on three hard breaks because devices are rapidly changing in size and aspect ratio.

 

Grid Layouts

 

Start by creating a base set of grid layouts and standards for titles, subtitles, and navigation and body fonts. This is very important because it helps you create consistency across different layouts, significantly reduces the code complexity, and also has SEO benefits by ensuring the page structure follows SEO best practices from the beginning.

 

Wireframes

 

Use this guide to create interactive and responsive wireframes, giving an idea of how the site will feel and function on each device. Just taking your desktop content and shrinking it down to mobile is not the right approach. Smartphone users are often looking to make a transaction with the shortest amount of time. Tablet users often spend more time on the site than desktop users, so tailoring your content approach per device is critical. After refinement of the user experience, apply the final design to the wireframes to bring the brand to life in the new digital format.

 

QA Testing

 

Build all of the interaction states and tailor those actions per device. Rollovers on desktops must be converted to touching interactions on mobile. Clicking carousels should be swiped-enabled on mobile. Before launch, conduct a QA testing on numerous devices. It's important that you physically test to see how everything feels and reacts on a mobile device. Don't be shy to go back and make changes to create a better experience for your customers. 

 

Make sure that you have an in-depth analytics implementation and watch the user behavior on your website. Take suggestions and keep an open mind and listen to the analytics. For further insight, please contact us.

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Many business owners are tempted to cut costs by handling web design in-house. However, DIY web design is usually not the best option. Your company's website is an important marketing asset, and building it yourself creates opportunities to make mistakes that can hurt your bottom line. One common mistake of DIY websites is designing a site that is not responsive. Here's why responsive web design is important.

 

Faster Speeds and Improved Search Rankings

 

Users expect web pages to load right away, especially on mobile devices. Also, Google considers page loading speeds when ranking results. By ensuring that your website is responsive, you'll deliver a better experience to your customers, and your site will rank higher in search.

 

Lower Bounce Rates

 

Your site's bounce rate is the number of times users view only a single page and then click away. Users are more likely to engage and explore your website if it's mobile-friendly. If your site isn't responsive, users are more likely to become frustrated and bounce. In fact, if your mobile site loads in under five seconds, the average viewing session is 70% longer than for slower sites.  

 

Higher Conversions

 

Even if your visitors do stick around, they don't want to be redirected to a separate, mobile-friendly site to complete a purchase or subscribe to an e-mail list. A responsive design will lower bounce rates and lead to more conversions.

 

Avoid Duplicate Content

 

In the past, it was common for companies to have two versions of their websites: a desktop site and a mobile site. When you create two website versions, Google may view them as two sites that contain the same content, which can adversely affect SEO. A responsive design eliminates this possibility since the same website can be viewed on any device.

 

For assistance with your website design and development, contact us now.

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Every business would love to do a website on their own to cut on overheads and to customize it to their liking. This is not a bad idea if you know how to navigate the murky waters of "look and feel" and the technicalities of, say SEO, CRO and responsiveness, though you know that not everyone is an  expert in every area of human endeavor. Here are five reasons why you should let a professional do your website:

 

There could be pitfalls

 

While DIY templates can be fun and hassle-free to work with, they might lead you into blocks and barriers initially unforeseen. On a bad day for example a client might call you with claims that your site has refused to load on their phones or that they cannot see where to click to submit the form. Such a situation would be difficult to deal with because of your little UX/UI knowledge base.

 

Uniqueness is vital

 

You want to stand out in the crowd. Assuming you intend to get a Webwizard template to do a website to use for your upcoming campaign to launch a new product. You could be in a hurry to catch up with time and might not do the due diligence to pick out a theme you might consider "rarely used" and are likely to come out with just another website.

 

Optimize for Lead Generation

 

Think more on conversion than prettiness. Well, templates are very good and convenient to work with if the designer is a little bit more conversion-minded and is ready to put in the extra hours to tweak it to near-perfection. You don't want to end up with a website that looks beautiful but cannot drive sales for your business.

 

They could encourage slackness

 

The temptation to do it once and get it done with is always lurking somewhere in the shadows. You may not be in a position to tell, for example, why your site is displaying overlapping content and how to correct that error. Working with templates on your own might get you into this trap.

 

Way forward

 

Consulting a Web Developer comes with numerous advantages. They will, in most cases, be available whenever something on your site is not working right. But the most important benefit is their capabilities in tweaking your site to work optimally on every device and capture the attention of visitors. It is only prudent that before getting to do it on your own, you should think through your decision and seek the counsel and guidance of a professional web developer  in order to escape the dangers of template 'Do It Yourself'.

 

Please contact us.

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Billions of people enjoy internet access on a daily basis and many simply take for granted the ability to access it. With a simple touch of a fingertip or a short voice command, most individuals have access to what essentially amounts to a limitless supply of information, products and services from all over the world. It's quite obvious with the phenomenal growth of technologies such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence, etc., that not only is the internet here to stay, it clearly is going to increasingly become a key factor in everyone's daily lifestyle.

 

It Could Happen to Anyone

 

Imagine for a moment, if through some type of accident or illness, a person becomes unable to interact with such an essential part of daily life as the internet. Along with those born with some type of disability, this is what some individuals face on a daily basis.

In some cases, growing voice technologies such as "Hey Siri" or "Ok Google" may be able to vastly improve the quality of life for those dealing with a disability. Still, there is more that companies can (and must) do if they want their web presence to be compliant with laws such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or AODA.

 

Reaching out to More Audiences

 

Companies spend billions trying to reach new audiences in order to market their products and/or services. Countless studies are conducted to learn more about demographics, niche groups, and more. In fact, it can be said that anyone with a web presence, in some way has something to sell. Companies who overlook the fact that disabled individuals also need products, services and information, are only doing themselves a disservice by missing out on a key market.

 

What to Do 

 

Ensuring a company's web presence is within reach of the disabled may mean the use of different methods other than SEO, etc., but in comparison to reaching out to any other target group, it doesn't necessarily take an extraordinarily amount of additional resources to make a website disabled-ready. When companies search for web designers to create and/or maintain their web presence, they simply need to ensure that their choice of designer is aware that their company has 50 or more employees. They then will price and build the site in such as way as to comply with laws such as the AODA.

 

Many companies are already aware of compliance laws with regards to people with disabilities and they already know there are different requirements for different-sized companies. Specifically, those companies with 50 or more employees must make all websites and web content accessible to the disabled by January 1, 2021.   

 

If you would like to know more about AODA and how to ensure your web presence is in compliance, please contact us.

 

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Your website is the digital face of your business -- it tells your story 24/7 -- so good web design is a must. Your website is there when consumers are looking for what you offer and can bring you sales. And your website also tells you a lot about who is visiting your site, which you can discover with analytics.

 

Website analytics are important tools that give you information about how people interact with your site. By looking at website data, you can learn a lot about your site visitors, such as:

 

  • How many visitors come to your website? (How much traffic do you get?)
  • How long do they stay? If visitors leave quickly, perhaps your site didn't have what they were looking for.
  • Where do they live? Are they in a location your business caters to?
  • What kind of device are they using to access your site? If they are using a mobile device, your web design should be optimized for mobile.
  • Which browsers are they using? Your web design should work well on those browsers.
  • Which pages do they visit? What do the most-visited pages tell you about how people find you?
  • Did they come to your site from other sites? If so, which ones? 
  • If they came from a search engine, what phrase did they use to find you?

 

That last detail is the key for you to know whether visitors are finding your site using search terms you want to be known for. For example, if your business offers reupholstery services, you would expect analytics to show that visitors find your site by searching for terms like "furniture reupholstery" or "custom upholstery." Analyzing your website data might show that your visitors use these and other similar phrases to find you. On the other hand, analytics might also show people are finding your site using search terms that don't make much sense for your business, and that they spend only a few seconds on your site before going on to a different site to find what they're looking for.

 

There are many other ways to use website analytics to improve your site, marketing efforts, and the customer experience. Your site should attract your target market and keep them there, with the goal of leading them to a sale or other action you want them to take.

 

We are eager to help you with your website analytics as part of our customized website design services. Please contact us for details.

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If you currently own a business and do not have a website or it isn't up to date, you are missing out on major revenue. With everyone having internet access right in their fingertips, a business can suffer greatly without a website. Beyond social media, your website will be the first point of contact for your business. Continue reading below about the three biggest mistakes businesses make when creating their own website.

 

Looks Great but Functions Badly

 

The allure of a DIY website is that they are usually free and you have total control. However, once you get past the easy to set up aesthetics, the user interface has generally been forgotten. Many sites fail to comply with basic usability principles, as well as lose online sales because users can't find them. Your website can look great all day long, but if it doesn't function properly you will not get the desired results in order to have a successful business. From the latest trends to page speed, hiring a website design expert is key to creating websites that can increase revenue as well as optimize and streamline website sales and traffic.

 

No Mobile Compatibility

 

With so many different types of smartphones available, each with their own resolution and screen size, it's almost impossible for a website to look great on all platforms with a DIY website. Responsive web design is important because your website will most likely be seen on a phone before it will a computer. When designing a website, various screen sizes must be considered. When working with a website designer, screen size is discussed in the initial design process. 

 

Lacking Search Engine Optimization

 

You could have the nicest website in the world, but without search engine optimization, you won't have any traffic driven to your site. When setting up a website, many do not understand or give SEO the time and consideration that it needs. With the internet being an extremely competitive market place, SEO is vital in the survival-ability of your business. 

You have worked hard to build your business, contact us today and let our exceptional leadership team help you create, design and set up a website worthy of your business. 

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Small business owners are typically very busy running their own organization. However, even for busy small business leaders it would be difficult not to notice that voice-activated searching, both on mobile devices as well as "smart" homes devices, is becoming more and more popular. Those businesses who still think a desktop web presence is enough to garner ample interest in their organization need to take a second look at what is happening around them, or they risk getting left behind by emerging technologies.

 

Still not Mobile?

 

Any business in 2019 that does not have a web presence optimized for mobile devices will find themselves among the very few. Lagging behind the vast majority who have caught on that mobile is now the norm, is not a good place for anyone who hopes to succeed above their competitors. If they have not already done so, 2019 is the year for stragglers to commit to optimizing their web presence for mobile.

 

Emerging Technologies

 

Millions of individuals now heavily rely on voice commands to drive their activity on traditional devices such as smart phones and tablets. With voice activation of these devices now also very popular by way of Bluetooth-assisted vehicles, potential customers are changing the way they interact with the companies they want to do business with. One simple walk through a big box electronics store also reveals that smart home devices are becoming increasingly popular and are poised to add an entirely new way in which users surf the web.

 

Voice is the new Mobile 

 

A few years ago mobile web design was a newer concept. Now it is a mainstream concept with voice-activated smart devices coming up from behind -- within a few years, smart home devices may very well take the lead. Businesses who hope to continue to garner attention, must ensure their web presence is optimized for the changing way in which users will interact with the web. Namely, voice searches using natural language rather than cryptic fingertip searches.

 

If you would like to know how voice and mobile concepts are going to change the future of the world wide web, please contact us!

 

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When a new business is in its infant stages, saving money is high on the priority list. It costs money to make money. It's smart to cut some costs, but there is one major area where it isn't: the website. Think about it--the company website reaches the widest audience. It is the first real impression that customers get from a business. Saving money by DIY'ing the website is an enticing idea, but here are some of the biggest mistakes of DIY websites--and why hiring a professional is the best idea!

 

Lacking Continuity/Updates

 

It is so important that the website is regularly updated with the latest information. Business owners can do this themselves, but site updates are easy to put off or forget about entirely. Outdated, incorrect information on a company website is a major turn-off for clients. If inaccurate information or old contact information are listed, then customers are unlikely to return. Hiring a professional web developer to maintain the website removes this responsibility from the business owner entirely; the site is always accurate, all the time.

 

Unprofessional Looking

 

Graphic design is not everybody's strength, and some amateur websites can prove this at a glance. Pages blasted with poorly-chosen colors, fonts, and images can scare off potential customers. To be seen as a professional, legitimate company, let a professional handle the aesthetics. They know how to pair the right aspects together to make a great website.

 

Misspelled Words and Poor Punctuation

 

One typo might be forgiven, but a site riddled with mistakes raises red flags to viewers. These errors might not seem like a big deal, but the competency of the company comes into question. A professional web designer is trained to proofread content over and over again. This way, spelling and punctuation errors are quickly found and fixed.

Of all the new challenges in running a business, let designing the website be the least of them. Hiring a professional to make a company website look great can bring in traffic and generate buzz.

For more information on web design, contact us!

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The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or AODA was passed into law in 2005 and seeks to prevent barriers to resource access for people with disabilities.  While applicable to businesses in Ontario that have one or more employees, requirements and deadlines are specific to a business' size and type.  Generally, AODA is made up of give standards as well as some general requirements.  The five standards are Customer Service, Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation and Design of Public Spaces.  These AODA standards in turn are part of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), which includes the following general requirements: provide training, develop an accessibility policy, create a multi-year accessibility plan updated every five years and consider accessibility in procurement and when utilizing self-service kiosks.  To learn more about AODA, click here

 

Why You Should Care

 

So, you've got a website for your business but why should you care about accessibility?  Because it's the right thing to do and anyway you are legally required to follow the AODA with enforcement fines of up to $100,000 per day.  And this is not to mention that people with disabilities, according to accessontario.com, have approximately $25 billion in spending power across Canada, so it is financially beneficial to decrease barriers to access on your website for people with disabilities.  Why would you want to pass up so many potential customers?

 

The Details

 

Since the beginning of 2014, all organizational websites for companies with 50 or more employees must conform with accessibility requirements under the AODA.  Internet-based mobile apps have requirements under this standard as well.  Areas to consider include social media accessibility, contrast and color schemes, screen reader compatibility, simple and clear writing, form validation and error recovery, alternate text for images and typographical layout.  To learn more about the specific tools and techniques used to increase website accessibility, check out this collection of articles.

 

If you need help designing an accessible website or improving the accessibility of your existing site, contact us.  We'd be happy to help.

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Do you own a mobile website that registers a few or no conversions? The problem could be a design error done by your mobile webmaster.

 

One of the issues that deny websites business is the failure to make them mobile-friendly. Experienced web designers develop mobile-optimized sites that ensure easy access using various devices and management.

 

Apart from enhancing performance, there are several tweaks you can apply on your mobile website to convert visitors to customers. Consider the following tips.

 

1. Work on Site Navigation

 

A website that is hard to navigate can repel your business prospects. Customers will not struggle with traversing the site if they can find other straight forward websites.

 

Design uncluttered pages that display products and their descriptions clearly. Your CTA must also be prominent and straight to the point.

 

2. Avoid Autoplay Media Files

 

Nothing irritates mobile users that pop-up videos and animations which play automatically. They block their view and give them a hard time navigating the website.

 

The next thing you expect from an annoyed visitor is leaving before placing an order. If you have a mobile website, removing such pop-ups can help you attract and maintain an audience.

 

3. Include Different Payment Options

 

As a business owner, you shouldn't limit your customers to specific payment methods. If you don't accept your client's preferred option, you are likely to lose business. Diversify to allow all customers to pay with ease.

 

4. Offer an Express Checkout Method

 

Baymard Institute study showed that 34% of people abandon shopping carts for being asked to create accounts. Another 26% blamed a complicated process.

 

To avoid losing customers like this, let the checkout page have only the necessary fields. Ensure that the total cost is clear and don't demand users to create accounts.

 

Conclusion

 

As internet users keep changing their behaviors, businesses have to keep adjusting. You have to tweak your mobile site for continued lead generation and sales closure.

 

If you are having trouble developing a reliable business website, contact us today for help.

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