Category Archives: Web Marketing

Web Marketing

UX Design Hampshire

UX stands for User Experience, some refer to this as UXD also known as User Experience Design. This process is all about enhancing user satisfaction, be it lowering the bounce rate of a web page or increasing the chance of an online sale through subtle call to actions / offers.

The process of UX design includes reviewing elements of interaction, we’d ask questions such as (1) who is your target audience (2) who is the competition and (3) what is your primary goal for the website / application we develop for you?

Before starting any UX design work we’d need to review and understand above. Some experimentation (visual design work) would follow, these would be concepts only, an idea of how things could look and move forwards. Your feedback on these designs would be taken into consideration, working together (and performing further research) these designs would evolve.

A review of information architecture (the structural design), users / user research, current trends (be it technology or browsing habits) is also advised. A good question to ask is “who is currently doing it well and why?”

In terms of UX this forms part of everything we do as a business, from sales to site development. Reflecting back; some clients had their own UX visions, views, ideas or a direction for us to follow, others simply leave us to it… Sadly “visual candy” is subjective, what works for one individual may not work for another. So with this in mind, a sufficient time allocation (UX development budget) is recommended plus we have to factor in trends. Concept work, competitor analysis and a collaborative approach will work best.

So what should you be looking for in a UX designer? Should you be employing a graphic design agency or a web design agency? Is UX design the same as web design? How much can you learn from the competition? What is a UX deliverable? Who is responsible for usability testing? These are just a few questions that spring to mind what I think “UX designer”.

Personally I would look for the following;

Natural ability

As humans we can learn to do a lot of different things, a simple formula of “time + dedication + hard work”, however natural ability (our genetics) are with us from day one. Before entering this crazy pace world of web dev I studied art at school / college, this evolved into a University degree called “BA Communication Design”. My point is this; an eye for detail and creative flair has been with me since I was little, long before web design. Some folk are natural runners, others great swimmers, my talent has always been art. UX design requires a combination of both technical and creative thinking, I’d suggest you look for someone (or a company) that caters for both. A lot of UX design boils down to common sense and an eye for detail – this is important to remember.


Check out some of my artwork here

Understanding usability

Usability and UX design go hand in hand, an ability to use a system, application or an object correctly without weeks of training is very important (time is money). Personally I think Apple do this so well, you receive a new iPhone, there is no 300 page user manual, simply a card with two or three instructions – boom, job done!

Good usability (and also first impressions) is essential to a positive user experience, but this alone does not guarantee a successful product… Usability testing forms part of this process, we have been involved with many focus groups (MyBirthplace.org and a room full of midwives spring to mind), understanding and working with user feedback is important. When I think of usability and usability testing I think of an object (be it a web page or application) designed with an end-user in mind, however end-users will vary. A good UX designer will want to make an object effective, easy to use (or learn), satisfying and faultless – catering for all (or should I say most) end-users.

As a UX designer, our main goal will be to solve problems, making “the process” as pleasant as possible. UX designers will need to be a jack of all trades or have people around them that bring certain skills to the table. For example; A pretty user interface may look nice (visually pleasing) however if its code base is buggy then application performance (speed and stability) may result in a bad UX. So, it is more than just looking pretty.

Personally I’d suggest you avoid listing out unnecessary product features and think more like Apple, less is more! Simplify your designs and documentation, incorporate your business and its mission statements to build trust. Getting a grasp on the user’s needs and goals is a must, from here we can begin to map out unique selling points or interaction frameworks / wireframes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post on UX design. If you have any questions for Tidy Design then please do not hesitate to contact us, we’d be happy to help.

Mike

What is GDPR?

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is being introduced on 25th May 2018. With the launch of this looming, many people are still confused as what to expect and look out for once these new regulations are in place.

Tidy Data

Here is a brief overview of some of the changes which are coming our way shortly;

Penalties

GDPR brings with it large penalties for not conforming to the new regulations. If you were to have a security breach under the currently existing Data Protection Act your company could be met with a maximum fine of £500,000. Once the new EU GDPR regulations come into effect these fines increase to €20,000,000, or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

GDPR User Rights

With GDPR comes more rights for users. One of these rights being the Right to Access, this gives to user the right to ask whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose. With this right the user will also have to be granted a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format. As an eye opener to exactly what type of information is collected about yourself and how it’s used, it could be a worthwhile exercise to use your right to view this information.

A user can also use their right to be forgotten (also know and Data Erasure), if a user moves forward with this action, then as a business or organisation you would have to cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data.

Remember, to save yourself from any unnecessary headaches, collected data should be adequate, relevant and limited. If the information you need can be achieved by collecting less data, do so.

GDPR Breach Notifications

Currently it can typically take two months to get to the bottom of a security breach, under the new regulations this timeline becomes much stricter. Businesses will now have only 3 days to report any security breach which is likely to pose ‘a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals’. If a security breach has been flagged you would then need to pass on the complete details of which citizens’ data were impacted by the breach.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII data)

GDPR has expanded the definition of PII data to include a much broader range of information. Under the new definition the following data types are now included under the PII data umbrella:

IP addresses
Health data
DNA (genetic data)
Photos
Social media posts
Lifestyle preferences

Explicit Consent Required

Gone are the days of checkboxes which users have to opt out of instead of checking to opt in. Under a sometimes confusing guise where a user gives consent by having a pre-ticked checkbox opt them in many companies have used this tactic to grow their user databases, until now. Under GDPR consent must be gained through a clear ‘positive opt in’ checkbox.

EU or not EU?

These regulations affect the citizens of European countries, a question that’s being asked by many is “does Brexit mean that this isn’t something as a UK business we should worry about?”. The affirmative answer here is “yes!” worry about it. The regulations aren’t set on European companies, but European citizens, as you can’t always guarantee where your users are coming from the best assumption to work under is that every person you deal with is a European citizen. This way you can’t slip under anywhere and you also become more prepared for the future, as these regulations will surely make their way across the world in the upcoming years, be ready, be well prepared.

A Final Note

This is just the tip of a very in-depth and unfortunately vague implementation of new regulations. Be sure to continue your research on this subject matter as any mistake from the 25th of May onwards can be very costly.

If you feel like your website could use a security check or an informed eye to view any data collection points before the 25th of May please contact us. We can arrange a time to check your site and make any amendments needed.

Luke

The importance of Title and Meta tags

HTML documents are not all about text and content. While the bulk of an HTML document will denote the content seen on a webpage and how that content is displayed, some of the most key facets of these documents are not shown to the user in the conventional way – instead, these elements are shown to search engines and browsers.

web-designer-in-portsmouth

Two of the most important of these “hidden” elements are the <title> and <meta> tags. Both serve to improve the general usability of search engines, and attract new traffic by way of advertising a page and its content more accurately.

<title> tags – you guessed it – define the title of a page. This will be used both by the browser (to name the tab and window), and by the search engine (to name the Search Engine Results Page entry for the page). This is your user’s first contact point with your site and should be unique and descriptive to avoid being lost in the crowd.

A great example of a unique title tag could be:

title-tag-html

<meta> tags are a little more complex. They are designed to contain “information about the information” – character encodings, geographic locations, authors and many more fields can be defined with a meta tag. One of the most important pieces of meta information is a “meta description” which should be a short (150-160) character description of the page.

This description will appear as a snippet underneath the page’s title on the Result Page, and serves to bring more traffic to the page from users who will actually benefit from visiting your page.

A typical meta description for the About page defined above might take the following form:

meta-description-tag

Note that if a page lacks a meta description, the search engine will usually take the first content on the page for this field – this is almost never ideal, and can detract from the professional look, feel and usability of the site – usability starts at the Results Page, not at your actual site!

Jonathan

Website Layouts

Website layouts can be one of the easiest but also one of the trickiest components of website design – it may take a few minutes to map out a website structure and design, it could take a few hours…

website-layouts

Each web design project is unique; this calls for a unique solution and approach to our clients requirements. Ok, there are several website layout guidelines we can all follow to create user-friendly layouts, these include; a good use of whitespace, obvious (and easy to follow) call to actions, consistent font styles, alignments, positioning and device compatibility…

If you would like to find out more then please do not hesitate to contact us, our office in Old Portsmouth is open weekdays, 9am to 5pm :)

Networking in London

Later today Tidy Design will be heading to London. One of our clients “Eleven Magazine” is hosting an event in association with The Architectural Review, showcasing the work from a recent competition they organised…

tidy-business-card

We can expect lots of networking in Covent Garden this evening, luckily we have our new business cards – thank you for the invite guys!

Good First Impressions

When marketing a site online you need to remember the importance of a good first impression. Most landing pages will consist of a pretty photo, heading, sub-heading, the must-know information about a service or product followed by the nice-to-know stuff…

wire-frame-web-page

The target audience of your landing page is the first thing you will need to identify and understand; this will determine how copy is displayed. Should you compress data (keep it simple) or be really informative.

Whilst on the topic of copy, try to avoid multiple CTA’s (Call To Actions) on a page. If time/energy is focused on one goal you are more likely to convert. What goal is most important to you – Are you looking for online enquires, sales, customer data, new members, increased brand awareness etc…

A good first impression is very important, below is a page we recently created for a client and his PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign. It takes into account the points mentioned above, offering basic information on a service they offer with a clear call to action.

iso-certification-consultancy

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, the team at Tidy Design would be delighted to discuss and assist in any brand development work you may have. Thank you for reading.

Mapping out a website

There are many ways to start developing a new website; you could start writing the code, create a couple of mock-ups in Photoshop, map out page layouts on a whiteboard or in a notepad…

mapping-out-a-website

Information architecture (IA) is an important part of web design however it can often get overlooked. This could be the result of a small development budget or an “ASAP” deadline. How developers allocate their time will certainly impact the overall cost and ETA of a project.

A lot of thought/planning should go into a new website, be it a single page site or full-blown web application – Structural design and information is very important. If you require assistance mapping out a website then please visit our Web Design Process page. Good luck and thanks for visiting…

User Experience (UX)

User experience (often referred to as UX) is how a person feels when using a system, app or website. When creating an application it is important to consider, study and evaluate how the end-user feels. Google has some cool tools for this, one example being ‘Page Speed Insights’…

User-Experience-Portsmouth

Obviously the more advanced a system or complex a website the more time is required to map out pages, content, functionality and the user experience (UX). End-users are accessing your data in an increasing number of ways: smart phones, tablets, a vast landscape of browsers with different capabilities and connection speeds. To tick all these boxes takes time and money. UX is an investment…

In-Page Analytics

Just a quick post to say In-Page Analytics is very very cool – It gives us the ability to see where people click within a web page (or web app) and follow navigation paths through a site – I really need to start using this visual map more often, it is a great way to analyse data, behaviour and assess website usage….

In-Page Analytics

When was the last time you used In-Page Analytics to better a site design, reduce a bounce rate or improve usability??

What is my call-to-action?

Some website tasks are more important than others; a good web designer will try to understand the intentions of a site, identifying which tasks take priority and why…

What is my call-to-action?

Twitter.com – These guys have a simple CTA (Call To Action)

Ok, the overall goal of any website is to deliver the best possible user experience. So remember; make your site easy to navigate and include call-to-action buttons / banners that help you obtain the desired end result – be it sales, bookings, new membership or general enquiries made through a contact form.

Choosing your words, slogan or a call-to-action tagline is also very important. Think about your website users, what would they suggest if you asked them what a banner or button should say. Also, ask yourself where on a web page would your call-to-action sit best, the positioning of your call-to-action is as important as its text.

Converting new website visitors into new enquiries, new sales or new members is big business. We all want a site that will work for us and not against us. So, asking the question; “What is my call-to-action?” is pretty important. Remember that websites, technology, businesses and customers will naturally evolve over time; it is therefore a good idea to re-visit this question, update and try out new call-to-actions…

I hope you found this an interesting read? Please do add your comments and feedback below – Thank you for visiting the Tidy Blog!