Browsing articles tagged with " User experience"

Does a website redesign bring more traffic (i.e. business)?

Feb 7, 2013   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  No Comments

The short answer to: does redesigning your website help business is – YES!

And we can prove it: look at the Analytics chart below. This is just one recent example. We have many more.

website redesign converts more visitors

Analytics chart showing a tremendous increase in traffic and conversions due to a website redesign.

UPLONE recently redesigned this client website and the returns on investment were immediately very positive! New traffic to the website was up over 300%, less than 30 days after the re-launch (month over month). More importantly, the B2B website’s Bounce Rate was down by 57% and Time on Site was up by another 41% – again, in only 30 days… which means that not only are more folks coming to and visiting the business’ new website design, but it also means that they are staying longer (evidently liking what they see) while looking at more pages – NET-NET converting to more business.

I could go on and on listing the benefits to the investment in a website redesign but instead I’ll leave you with just 3 reasons:

  1. Design – If your site is over two-three years old it is probably looking pretty stale, and so it reflects on you business.
  2. Technology – If your site is over two-three years old it probably has older technology that newer browsers OR MOBILE DEVICES don’t support, like Flash or outdated HTML that can be a security risk.
  3. Search Engine Optimization – If your site is over two-three years old it probably has old optimization techniques that Google and other smart engines are now penalizing in their new algorithms like Panda and Penguin. Your search engine rankings may be dropping as I write, just because of its old, deprecated website content.

Plone CMS web design for global software company

Nov 27, 2012   //   by   //   Portfolio, Thoughts  //  5 Comments

Website redesign, content management system, lead generation for client

CMS website design

Global CMS website design for software client

  • Project: Client asked UPLONE to re develop their website into the award winning Plone CMS architecture and out of an internally grown content management system.
  • Description: “RES Software is the proven leader in dynamic desktop solutions, is helping IT organizations manage increasingly complex and hybridized technology environments with software that makes IT easier and less costly to manage. With technologies that automate, manage and secure corporate IT, RES Software helps IT professionals master the impacts of IT consumerization, changing employee work styles, bring-your-own-device initiatives and cloud technologies. RES Software patented technologies are used by a global customer base, and include superior customer support.” For more information visit www.ressoftware.com
  • Client: RES Software
  • Uses: Website, CMS, lead generation, lead nurturing, marketing automation, blog posts, etc.
  • Specifics:
    • Designed in the Plone content management system, so the client’s global marketing department can take control of updating website content, press releases, case studies, and adding images
    • Multilingual website for an international audience with offices in the Americas, Netherlands, UK, France, Germany, Norway
    • Set up sophisticated workflows and permission based localization
    • Regional sub-sites for German, United Kingdom and French speaking regions
    • Plone website security is second to none! Updates are only occasional, as opposed to other CMS’s that are weekly
    • Extensive site-search feature with advanced and topic drill-down options
    • Searchable partner market place with filters
    • Vertical business solutions gallery with case study examples
    • Integration with SalesForce.com CRM, website lead nurture and tracking software and outbound marketing automation

10 tips for App Store Optimization (ASO)

Nov 17, 2012   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  6 Comments

Here are 10 tips and recommendations to increase your app’s show in iOS and Android App Store search results

APP STORE OPTIMIZATION: These are in your direct control.

  1. The title of the app: much like with SEO, title keywords and phrases are important. It’s not certain whether the location in the title matters, but honest optimization is important, so make the title relative to what the app is about.
  2. App description: much like the title, the description should hold the key words and phrases you want to rank for. This is where I like to ask myself, “what would I type in if I were looking for this app”. Keep the readability natural.
  3. Keywords: my tip here is use this sparingly. Don’t get carried away with amount of words – it’s quality over quantity.

TIPS TO FOCUS ON: There are several factors that are a bit out of your direct control like app downloads, app deletes after downloaded and used, frequency of updates from developer, frequency of usage, etc. The following tips will help control these indirectly.

  1. Make a great app design. If the user experience is on point then your job of getting the app out there will become self-fulfilling. Users that love the app will tell their friends, and all relevant algorithm key performance indicators (KPIs) will click.
  2. Take great screenshots. Great design will grab attention and get users to download the app. Folks don’t want ugly apps on their beautifully designed device.
  3. Make a great app icon: much like #2 above, users do not want unattractive icons on their home screen. They will hide it in a folder or even delete it if it is not designed well.
  4. Pay attention to feedback! Besides the fact that app stores use rating scores in their search algorithms, if there is a problem or bug in the app it needs to get resolved quickly or ratings will enter a slippery slope. Feedback and ratings are FREE user advice, which has high value. Pay attention to feedback and evolve the app continuously.

Pulling it all together: FINAL 3 OPTIMIZATION TIPS.

  1. Give your users out-of-the-box share-ability. Integrate options to email and share via social media cool factors of the app (i.e. Facebook and Twitter).
  2. Give high volume users the opportunity to review the app. The ones who use it the most are going to likely say the best.
  3. Mobile PPC advertising: Promote the app where it lives… on the smart phone. This way, users see the ad, click the ad, then download the app. This can be done via Google, Bing, etc.

Make the user interface and experience the top priority. Sounds simple, but many fail. Easy to use, useful apps will not only survive but will climb to the top of app search rankings.

Bloggers can help also

A great review on a popular blog can up downloads quite dramatically.

A few major mobile review blogs include:

  1. Touch Arcade
  2. AppStorm
  3. Appolicious

 

Can your website design cost you business?

Mar 18, 2012   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  20 Comments

I can’t emphasize enough that the way your website represents your business on the Internet can make or break your business. When a potential customer comes to your website, whether from search engines, whether from an advertisement, or just from stumbling upon your website from another way, it is at times the first impression a customer will get of your business. We all know the saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, right? That is more true than ever for a business’ website.

Here’s an example – I recently was looking for a place to stay in an unfamiliar city in Maryland. The hotel search was for an upcoming trip for a kids travel fast pitch softball tournament. The stay was over a three day weekend and lodging for this tournament was in high demand, so we had to book early if we wanted to stay in close vicinity of the games. So I did a Google search and looked at a few websites online to see what was available, again I have no familiarity with this area, so these websites were going to be EVERY part of our decision and that decision came down to how professional the website looked, the user experience it gave us and any reviews I could find, like via a Google Places business page.

So we did what users typically do, we did the Google search and we looked at the search engine results that came up on the first page and at times the second page, depending on what was on the first. Yes, SEO IS important also! In the end, we looked at about five different sites. One website stood out above the rest. It was a site that looked professional, had a great user experience, and had all the information we needed readily available to make our decision. It was that simple, and this is the hotel we chose. The funny thing is that the traits that I was looking for in the user experience of the business’ website where the same traits I was actually looking for in the room that me and my family were going to be living in for the weekend. Imagine that.

The bottom line is: any business website that looks clean, polished, up to date, professional, well thought out, etc. will not only translate into business, it will likely also take business from its competition. Reaching the goal of more business for your business can be as simple as the right website design.

15 tips for better user interface design and experience

Feb 25, 2012   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  16 Comments

Who cares about UI design? Users do.

In most cases, especially in business, it’s all about the user – the customer. Give them a good experience and chances are they will come back and better yet, tell a friend.

Here are 15 quick tips to up your user’s experience (UX) by offering the best user interface design:

  1. Don’t make the user think too hard – keep it simple!
  2. Make the default interface for the majority of end users and then offer customization options that build on this default, not distract from it.
  3. Keep user options intuitive. This keeps the flow of the experience smooth and again the user doesn’t have to think too hard.
  4. Design is important 😉 but usability Trumps design. Shoot for the best mix of ebb and flow when both are combined.
  5. Just like #4, beware of the desire to polish the UI too much, as it can interfere with native simplicity.
  6. Think ahead and give users options that will make the experience better by being helpful. Like spell check or text auto complete (depending on the app).
  7. Keep in mind the medium or device that the user may access the interface with, like multiple screen resolutions and operating systems.
  8. Is your interface device agnostic? It should be… at least with respect to the majority. Don’t design to the exception.
  9. Keep all interactions within the home application as much as possible. No one likes to be taken away from the initial experience before they get want they came for.
  10.  Think about the performance and speed of the experience. Time is money and any experience that drains a mobile user’s power will be a drain on the overall UI and UX.
  11. Use space effectively. More and more users are accessing ‘the experience’ on mobile screens, so plan for this and use every pixel smartly.
  12. Keep animations to a minimum. Simple.
  13. Don’t use an image that can be arbitrary when text will work fine and be more clear.
  14. Be consistent across platforms. An iPad app should not look and interface differently than the same experience on a laptop for example.
  15. White space/clear space is necessary. If users can’t rest their eyes they will leave and go somewhere they can.

These are just a few of the many, many considerations you will want to think about when designing your next user interface. The best advice I can give is just to stand back and start think of the user experience first, before even picking up the pencil and sketching the first thumbnail mockup.

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