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  • August, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    When people who aren t professional web designers put a site together the focus is far too often on the visual aesthetics rather than the underlying functionality of the site For this reason you can often end up with a site that looks nice enough but is actually unusable for great numbers of people The thing to remember is that all people are different Just because you can use the website or your designer or your friends can find their way around it not everyone will be able to Simply looking at your bounce rate in your web stats will indicate whether or not people are finding it easy to navigate your website It s all about the user experience and you need to put far far more effort into this aspect of your website than most others Here are some ways not to make your website accessible 1 Confusing or dysfunctional navigation It s important that your site follows a hierarchical navigation structure divided into logical sections which can be easily navigated by users It s all about limiting the number of things the user has to do including mouse clicks If a user can t find what they re looking for in under a minute they re likely to disappear off elsewhere Orphan pages masses of white space and a lack of search functionality will all turn off huge swathes of visitors who ll probably never come back 2 Setting links to open in a new window The common view is that opening an external link in a new window will ensure that users stay on your site at least in one browser tab This is actually counterintuitive If the user wants to leave the site by clicking an external link let them It s all about enabling the user to find the information they want If they don t find it on the external link they ll probably hit the Back button anyway You should never assume that your website s so great that you shouldn t let people away from it 3 Clutter There s a fine line between limiting white space and user clicks and over cluttering a web page to the point where the user is overwhelmed and can t find anything anyway White space is a good thing in moderation and should be embraced It creates order in your page the contrast which allows your important content to actually be seen You know the old saying about not being able to see the wood for the trees That applies here 4 Use infinite scrolling sparingly Infinite scrolling is a great way of putting all your content in one place without having to worry about loading times and clutter After all the extra scrolled content will only load if the user explicitly scrolls down and loads it Brilliant right Not exactly First time users won t always know about infinite scrolling and key content certainly shouldn t be placed below the fold in this sense Crowding the top half of your site though isn t great either and can put first time users off remember that bounce rate For users on slower connections too infinite scrolling is not much fun Use it sparingly 5 No on site support You should never assume that users know how to navigate your website or any website for that matter Make sure you include a help desk system tech support or even just a simple set of FAQs These should address problems the user may encounter on the website and should be advertised prominently especially if you re using some form of groundbreaking design which could confuse some users Even just knowing the help and support is there if they need it can be enough to encourage some users to explore more fully rather than panicking 6 Trying to move towards click free design This is an interesting trend but not one which is without its problems to say the least Having a website respond every time you move or stop moving your mouse can be incredibly frustrating especially if you re just there to read an article or find some information Most users don t mind having to click after all they re used to it to confirm where they want to go It s far less frustrating than being taken somewhere they don t want to go and haven t clicked on anyway As you can see usability can be a minefield Embracing new technologies is an exciting way of beefing up your website and keeping one step ahead of the game but the end user should always be the one you try to please Not everyone will be amazed by new technologies In fact most will just be confused Keeping things simple is usually the best way to approach usability Very few people surf the web to look at cool designs or funky new web technologies most just want to find the information they re looking for and quickly Give them what they want If you want to ensure your website is fully accessible from a usability point of view why not give us a call We can analyse your current design and let you know where you might be able to make some improvements increasing your ROI and reducing your bounce rate at the same time No Comments Read More Tweet Mobile Search Overtakes Desktop Search This was posted by Adam Lewis on August 10th 2015 It s been mooted for some time that mobile search would soon overtake desktop search but it has recently been confirmed that in many markets there are more Google searches being carried out on mobile devices than on desktop computers or laptops This might sound like just an interesting snippet of information at best but the truth is that it has huge implications on anyone who runs a business or anyone who has a website If more Google searches are being carried out on mobiles than on computers

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/08/ (2016-02-13)
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  • July, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    and focused largely on local search with Google then providing more relevant and useful search results based on a local perspective Geographical locations and distances were all taken into consideration and results were skewed to give greater relevance to local businesses and websites All of these Google updates affect the way in which your website ranks when people search for products or services online Understanding the aims of Google and their reasons for implementing these algorithm updates is key to enabling you to make the most of them and to tailor your website and online marketing strategy to fit As has always been the case trying to game Google never works Google is always one step ahead and you ll only ever be one algorithm change away from being kicked out altogether Keeping on top of the game with quality content giving users what they really want and ensuring that your website is a great resource on the internet will ensure that you always rank well in Google s eyes If you d like to make the most of the online marketplace and increase your online visibility and conversions we can help you We re a specialist design company who can create your website to fit around not only current design trends but also web usability standards and search engine optimisation practices which will make sure that your website looks great performs brilliantly and brings you new business To speak to us about how we might be able to help you call us today and we d be delighted to talk through the options with you No Comments Read More Tweet Mobile Web Usage Quick Stats This was posted by Adam Lewis on July 13th 2015 Mobile web usage is growing all the time and it s often difficult to comprehend its importance Here are some quick stats on mobile web and how it could affect your website 47 of mobile web users explore other companies if they can t call you directly from your mobile website at the touch of a button 35 of the above feel disappointed in your company 47 feel frustrated or annoyed 61 of customers want to speak to you on the phone before they buy 65 of customers who start browsing your site on their phone browse again on their desktop or laptop computer afterwards Putting the call to action above the fold on mobile sites can improve call conversion rates by 200 Making your phone number clickable on smartphones will increase call conversion rates hugely It s tempting for us to think that people want to browse online purely to avoid speaking to people and want to browse in private The truth is far from that The stats above show the importance of linking your website to your phone lines Why s that Because smartphone browsers are already on their phones Someone browsing on a desktop computer has to go and get their phone key in your number and call you On a smartphone they just need to tap the clickable link to your phone number and it ll automatically call you Yet again it s ease of use and taking out the intermediate steps which boosts conversion rates and brings you new business People want a simple life They want what they want and they want it now If you make life easier from them it s ultimately you who will profit If your site doesn t have a mobile optimised version you re likely to be missing out on an enormous amount of potential business If you d like to see what we could do to boost your conversion rates and help your business profit from the mobile internet contact us today No Comments Read More Tweet 10 Surefire Ways to Put Web Visitors Off This was posted by Adam Lewis on July 6th 2015 If you re using your website as the online shopfront for your business the last thing you want to be doing is putting people off It s the equivalent of your high street shopfront having a smashed window cobwebs all over it and letters missing from your name sign It s not a good look and people are likely to go to your much smarter competitor next door Keeping users on a website might sound fairly easy and straightforward especially using the analogy above but the online world is very very different from the offline one particularly when it comes to attention spans and what people find appealing and off putting That s why so many website owners get it so so wrong Here are 10 surefire ways to make sure your potential customers disappear as quickly as possible and head straight for your competitor s website 1 An outdated design Just because you think it looks great that doesn t mean anyone else does Design trends move incredibly quickly online and having an outdated website design tends to send signals to potential customers that your company isn t all that bothered about its image or keeping ahead of trends 2 Badly organised content which is difficult to read It s tempting to think that potential customers want to know everything about your company They don t They don t want the history of how Arthur Tipplethwaite founded the company in 1862 from his father s old apple cart They want to know how you can help them What do you offer What sets you apart What makes you exciting Keep it simple Most people just want a price timeline and to be sold an ideal 3 Use of Flash Java Microsoft Silverlight As a general rule keep plugins to a minimum And by a minimum we mean aim for zero There s practically no one who has every plugin installed on their machine and if they do they re going to give up on their computer s loading time long before they ever get anywhere near the internet never mind your website Don t put

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/07/ (2016-02-13)
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  • June, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    latest web design trends doesn t need to be difficult though Here we ll let you know 5 of the biggest new developments and can even help you integrate them into your website 1 Infographics preferably interactive ones Infographics have been big ever since their introduction They re a great innovative way of displaying otherwise lengthy and confusing information at a quick glance If your infographics are interactive you re one step ahead of the game as these are becoming very hot right now 2 Ghost buttons and line iconography Apple has been at the forefront of technological innovation for a while now but it continues to set trends in all sorts of areas Web design is no different Ghost buttons transparent buttons with a thin outline and line iconography simple line drawn icons are two design trends which began with Apple and have since become the in thing in terms of website design 3 Less imagery including background header images It seems background header images are gradually dying out They re certainly a rare breed and the web as a whole is getting less image driven and more minimalistic getting the important information across without cluttering the page with unnecessary visual detail Clean typography and minimalist sparing images will be the future of the web and that s certainly where the trend is moving at the moment 4 The growth of material design Again this can be seen by many as a rise of the minimalist approach It generally encompasses a flat design but with some shaded gradients and even small amounts of animation to give some life and even a 3D element to the website itself This is another style of design which seems to have been influenced by Apple as it s the design trend which appeared to begin with their mobile platform iOS 5 Microinteractions The web has moved beyond buttons and direct interactions and on to microinteractions such as hovering over a button to produce a different type of behaviour to clicking on it or moving your mouse in a certain way to produce an action This is making the web more interactive as a result and increasing the function of websites in a way which hasn t been seen before The fact is that even small business websites can take advantage and are taking advantage of these new trends and showing their customers that they re up to date responsive and keen to allow their customers to enjoy the benefits of the newest web technologies If you re interested in speaking with us about getting your website up to date give us a call and we ll see what we can do No Comments Read More Tweet Happy Birthday uk Domains This was posted by Adam Lewis on June 16th 2015 It is now one year since uk domain names were first made publicly available In that time an enormous number of domains have been registered and used and if you haven t yet

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/06/ (2016-02-13)
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  • May, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    if a potential customer can t find what they want on your website quickly and easily they ll disappear off to a competitor s website There s no loyalty on the web and people purely want the quickest and easiest option so you ll need to make sure that s you If you want to speak to us about making your website more usable and accessible why not give us a call We ll be happy to help in any way we can No Comments Read More Tweet Another Google Update on the Way This was posted by Adam Lewis on May 21st 2015 Just weeks after the long anticipated Google Mobile update there s another algorithm change on the way This one codenamed Phantom is one which will again affect all websites which haven t kept up to date with the latest web standards It seems that a lot of websites are already being affected with low quality thin content websites such as HubPages eHow WikiHow and Answers com are seeing their Google rankings affected quite badly It seems that Google is cracking down on how to websites and repositories which it deems don t have high quality unique content It s always been the case that website owners have been advised to ensure they have high quality content on their websites in order to ensure they re not falling foul of Google algorithms but this now seems to be more important than ever The old propensity to use scraped and thin content thankfully seems to be dying out with Google instead focusing on rewarding websites which have unique and genuinely valuable content For most website owners there ll be nothing to worry about As long as you re keeping your website organic and holistic you ll always keep ahead of the game It s only when you try to game Google that you re going to lose out sooner or later so working with a website design company who stick to ethical site building and content generation is the only way to keep well away from being affected by unexpected Google updates If you re worried about how the new Google update could potentially affect your website or business give us a call and we ll be happy to have a chat and see how we can help No Comments Read More Tweet 5 Dying Website Trends This was posted by Adam Lewis on May 18th 2015 Would you believe that we re already almost halfway through 2015 It doesn t seem like two weeks ago we were singing Auld Lang Syne but the fact is that many of us are already preparing for Christmas especially if you run a small business Time is moving quickly and trends online tend to move even quicker which is why we ve taken the time to let you know about 5 website trends which are dying out very quickly indeed 1 Designing for desktops and laptops It used to be the

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/05/ (2016-02-13)
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  • April, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    social media widgets to make sure your content is shareable check for broken links and ensure that everything on your website is functioning as it should be If you have a lot of broken links or functions on your website which don t operate properly you might also be getting penalised in Google as a result Losing your search rankings through neglecting your website is likely to be disastrous and is best avoided to say the least 3 Tune up your content Is the content on your website relevant and up to date Content can always be improved and ensuring it s regularly updated and changed will keep Google interested and give you a rankings boost as you re showing that your website is always relevant and current Make the most of this it s one of the easiest ways to add to your SEO efforts 4 Consider a makeover All websites need redesigning to fit in with current and changing expectations For example websites which aren t mobile responsive will suffer in Google rankings starting on 21st April 2015 so ensuring your design is modern and responsive will become absolutely vital Don t lose out consider giving your website a makeover The results will be worth far more than the initial outlay No Comments Read More Tweet One Week Left to Ensure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly This was posted by Adam Lewis on April 13th 2015 As already mentioned a couple of times on this blog Google has pre announced a major update in the way it ranks websites The update is due to hit next week 21st April and will give huge ranking advantages to sites which are mobile friendly and accessible across all devices Mobile internet usage has grown enormously over the past couple of years with people browsing on iPhones Android handsets tablets and miniature computers Even watches can now browse the internet so ensuring that your website is viewable across all these devices is vital Although it used to be the case that a site owner only really needed to worry about different screen resolutions and sizes of computer monitor the focus is now on accessibility across devices Google has a number of mobil guidelines in place and has publicised the update well ensuring that website owners are able to take advantage of the shift in the algorithm and make the most of the benefits which can be had by making their sites mobile friendly With such huge numbers of people browsing for products and services using their mobile phones and tablets this is an enormous chunk of business you could take advantage of which might otherwise go to your competitors It stands to reason that Google s main business aim is to make search easier for its users and with a large number of people searching using a mobile device it s in their best interests as well as yours that they re sent to a website which they can actually view on

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/04/ (2016-02-13)
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  • March, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    on its way a great many of us will be looking forward to tucking into chocolate Easter eggs and putting on a few pounds in the process The internet is no different with plenty of websites opting to hide some fun Easter eggs on their pages and hopefully making a few pounds for themselves too An online Easter egg is a hidden feature or nice little touch which has been added for fun It ll need some finding but it s usually pretty open and can provide plenty of fun and enjoyment when you find it Here are some of our favourites IMDB This one goes up to 11 As fans of the film This is Spinal Tap will know 11 is better than 10 That s why the IMDB ratings for the film are between 1 and 11 as opposed to between 1 and 10 WordPress No one reads the Terms of Service right WordPress like most people know that no one ever reads the Terms of Service That s why they ve included a nice little treat for those who do In case you re wondering it s Term 16 Disclaimer of Warranties Google Going one better As always Google has to do things bigger and better There are a number of Easter eggs on Google Try searching for Answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything The loneliest number anagram or tilt for just a few of the fun tricks Facebook Making it more bearable If like many you struggle to enjoy the plethora of cat pictures baby updates and photos of people s dinners try going to your Facebook account settings and changing your language to Upside Down Pirate or Leet Speak Google Images Break it out Yes it s Google again but this one is different Go to Google Images and search for Atari Breakout The result is a nice little browser version of the 70s computer game which ll keep you occupied for hours No Comments Read More Tweet New Google Update It s Time to Get Mobile This was posted by Adam Lewis on March 16th 2015 We ve been talking about this for ages but the fact is that more and more people around the world are using mobile devices to search for products and services As a result your website needs to be mobile friendly in order to display properly on those devices With news of a new Google update to be rolled out next month though if your website isn t mobile friendly it might not even appear at all From 21st April Google will be favouring websites which are optimised for mobile users throwing old and outdated websites further down the search listings In essence if you don t have a mobile optimised website you ll be losing a lot more potential business If your website isn t mobile friendly you ll already be losing business but this effect will be exacerbated come April 21st If

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/03/ (2016-02-13)
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  • February, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    website on its own will do very little it s SEO search engine optimisation which will get the new customers in and ensure people see your website when they re looking for new products or services If your website isn t there your competitors sites will be so take the time to invest in a decent SEO company who ll bring you the extra business your website deserves 2 Updates are a website s best friend A software update to a website is like a huge sparkling diamond to a woman Keeping your back end software up to date is vital to ensuring your website stays fit and healthy and secure from outside attacks Plus you ll often find some new features and applications which will help you to spice up your relationship with your website 3 Keep the content flowing One of the best things you can do to keep your website healthy is to keep the content updated and added regularly This ties in to the first point letting Google know that your website is updated on a regular basis and that the content to be found on it is fresh and up to date at all times It ll also ensure your visitors and potential customers are kept happy too 4 Treat it to a makeover Of course the biggest change you can make to your website is to give it a complete makeover with a new design and layout This can have positive effects on SEO as well as keeping your site new and up to date enticing visitors to use your company due to its cutting edge and innovative look rather than going to one of your competitors instead 5 Keep up the effort all year round Just like the human Valentine s Day the computer one should be no different it s not just for one day but the whole year that you should keep sharing the love Don t just wait for a once a year update or makeover keep the love flowing throughout the year is essential to keeping your website happy forever No Comments Read More Tweet How an SSL Certificate Can Help Your Website s SEO This was posted by Adam Lewis on February 6th 2015 SEO search engine optimisation is the practice of optimising a website with the intention of it performing better in Google and receiving a higher volume of business through internet searches There are a number of different ranking factors which Google takes into account when returning search results from inbound link volume and quality to the regularity of updated content In the new online marketplace however the signals for what makes a good website are changing As any internet user will be aware online security is a hot topic and the importance of staying safe online is growing every day It s fair to say that a website which keeps its users data secure and ensures a safe browsing experience is all in all a

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/02/ (2016-02-13)
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  • January, 2015 | web design northampton - in.house.media news blog
    profits than it ll cost you in the first place No Comments Read More Tweet Click or Scroll Usability Standards are Changing This was posted by Adam Lewis on January 25th 2015 In the world of web usability the focus always used to be on minimising clicks by organising content into a logical sequential order which would allow users to click through to find the information they need quickly and easily Having information and content below the fold that is stuff that you d need to scroll down to see or find was seen as sacrilege Recent studies show that might have changed though A study by Chartbeat found that more than two thirds of attention spent on web pages is spent below the fold This result was in contrast to many other studies so HugeInc com set up a study of their own in which they tested four versions of a design one of a control image with no visual cues for scrolling one with a scroll arrow cue one with a shorter image meaning users had to scroll to see it all and one with an animated image showing a moving element which would lead users to scroll down The results were that almost every single participant scrolled no matter whether or not they were enticed to do so In the version with no scroll arrow or incentive 91 of respondents still scrolled scrolled immediately and reached the bottom of the page That s only 1 fewer than the number of people who scrolled immediately and reached the bottom when an arrow invited them to do so which is the same as the number for the short image and significantly more than the animated image which had the worst results The simple conclusion is that people will almost always scroll no matter what This is very encouraging for designers as it means that should the results prove true across the board worrying about information falling below the fold is something that doesn t need to cross a designer s mind too much allowing the focus to be put on making the information and content as relevant and useful as possible knowing that almost all visitors will scroll down to find it and read it anyway It s worth pointing out that opinions on the matter are still divided but the results certainly make for very interesting reading all the same No Comments Read More Tweet The Importance of Upwardly Responsive Web Design This was posted by Adam Lewis on January 22nd 2015 We ve mentioned a number of times on this blog the importance of responsive web design for smaller devices such as mobiles and tablets but responsive web design is also important for larger devices Upwardly responsive web design is particularly important when optimising your website s layout for people using much larger screens often with very high resolutions People using the latest iMacs for example and there s a lot of them will have a large

    Original URL path: https://www.ihm.co.uk/blog/2015/01/ (2016-02-13)
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