UX Mastery: Much More Than Just Design Thinking

These days everyone with a website knows about UX design, but not everyone knows how to implement it successfully. Mostly, people believe that UX design is akin to design thinking. And then there are those who believe that the latest innovations combined with optimization will always deliver the outcomes they want.

Truth is to understand how to successfully implement UX design; you need to understand how it is different from design thinking. Here are four things you need to know to master UX design.

UX design is not the same as design thinking.

While it is true that design thinking plays a key role in UX design, by no means is UX design defined by design thinking. UX design goes beyond design thinking to include business strategy, brand, and the way the website makes the user feel. The goal, of course, is to make the user happy.

UX design is owned by the design team

Everyone involved in creating a website “owns” the responsibility for UX design ― writers, videographers, web producers, project managers, etc. Website designers need to work together to deliver an easy user experience.

The latest is always the greatest

The best websites don’t use the latest, “greatest” tools just because the tools exist. The best websites use tools that truly enhance the user experience. Sometimes new innovations make websites less user-friendly because they complicate navigation, interrupt information gathering, and/or simply make the website less than effective.

UX design will always work the first time

Just because you have everyone on board, combined content and design perfectly, and created a website that is easy to use, it doesn’t mean it will resonate with your audience. Creating an optimized website might take time; tweaking and committing to studying and understanding what your users want and expect from your site.

Related: 6 Golden Rules to Boost Your Website User’s Experience

 UX Mastery: Much More Than Just Design Thinking

About Sangeeta Kumar

Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.Google +

Adwords User? How PPC Audit Makes Your Account Efficient

Pay-Per-Click advertising is still relevant as ever, especially when more people do their shopping online. In order to reach that ever expanding audience, you need to have a strong PPC strategy, and one of the most robust tools available is Google AdWords.

But sometimes you may need to go through your account and perform a PPC audit. Fortunately there are methods of obtaining the most efficient audits. You can check to see you’re actually hitting the goals and benchmarks you want to achieve with your AdWords while not over spending.

Wait after big changes.
Recently implemented a big budget and keyword bid adjustments? Noticed a typo in one of your ads? Then you should hold off on a PPC audit and wait at least a full 24 to 72 hours before performing the audit. That way your data won’t be skewed and you’ll only have accurate information to rely on.

Use the audit to find negative keywords.
To improve your ads and make sure you’re only reaching your target audience; use the audit to see what negative keywords can be added to your list. Negative keywords are keywords you don’t wish to rank with and essentially want to be “blocked out” from your campaigns. This can greatly help with your Quality Score as well as with hitting that top page spot faster.

Audit to manage your spending in manageable chunks.
Instead of trying to do budgeting all at once and bear with the headaches, you can use an auditing tool to make budgeting and spend management much easier by managing in smaller chunks. You can get an in-depth review of overall spend that you won’t find with the tracking found in Adwords.

Finding new keywords for future campaigns.
Also with the audit, you might find new keywords that you haven’t thought of before and could use in a future campaign. The audit can already pay for itself by providing all sorts of information you can immediately use for your AdWords management.

 Adwords User? How PPC Audit Makes Your Account Efficient

About Ajay Prasad

Ajay Prasad is the Founder and President of GMR Web Team, a leading Internet strategy, marketing and development firm. Ajay guides small and medium size businesses in designing their online strategy, marketing and development campaigns for maximum impact. Ajay focuses on a client's products and services and their target market’s needs to achieve the best possible results. Google +

Choosing WordPress.com or WordPress.org? The Pros and Cons

Promoting your business consists of many different variables, some easy and others more time-consuming. Your business website should be one of the easier components, but that will depend upon where you set up your site. The go-to places that top the list are WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

While the names are similar, there are some distinctions that could make a difference to you in your quest for a successful website. Here are some pros and cons of each site to help you decide which platform better suits your needs.

WordPress.com

Pros

  • The basic option is free.
  • Easy to set up with provided wizards.
  • Doesn’t require much of a learning curve.

Cons

  • Extras are expensive.
  • Limited design choices.
  • Strict advertising restrictions.

WordPress.org

Pros

  • Unlimited design options.
  • Control is entirely yours in regard to add-ons and advertising.
  • Easy updating once it is set up.

Cons

  • Initial cost can be difficult.
  • Learning curve is required.
  • You need to find hosting.

Who’s the Winner? You Decide

What you decide upon will depend on what your business is and what you are setting the website up to accomplish. If you plan on doing a lot of advertising, you will want to go with WordPress.org, but if you don’t have the time or wish to learn the basics of hosting your own site, WordPress.com will suit your needs fine.

If your only wish is for presence on the internet, WordPress.com is the better option – but if you want to interact regularly with potential customers, WordPress.org will give you the tools to do so.

Before you decide, take the time to review exactly what you want to accomplish with a website. Once you determine how the website will fit into your overall marketing plan, you will have a better understanding of which platform to use. Each choice has its own set of pros and cons. It’s important to carefully measure each to determine whether it’s the appropriate choice for you.

Related: 6 Golden Rules to Boost Your Website User’s Experience

 Choosing WordPress.com or WordPress.org? The Pros and Cons

About Sangeeta Kumar

Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.Google +

6 Golden Rules to Boost Your Website User’s Experience

Website design is an important part of your online marketing strategy and should be tailored for the best conversions. Online visitors have a very short attention span and it’s the work of the designer to capture their attention and strategically lead them towards the conversion path. Below are 6 rules designers should follow to improve website user experience and ensure the best conversion rate:

  1. Avoid using too many links
    Avoid placing too many links on a page because excessive links can be distracting, which can confuse users when deciding on their next step. Your call-to-action (CTA) messages should be clear and relevant to the information visitors are looking for.
  2. Improve design with heatmaps
    Use heatmaps to understand how visitors consume information on your site. Heatmaps can also help identify bottlenecks by showing areas with a high bounce rate or that are avoided on the website.
  3. Use images strategically
    Incorporate images to set a mood for visitors and recall that emotion through relevant call to action buttons. Call to action messages should be displayed in conspicuous and consistent color on the website to stand out and be easily identifiable.
  4. Balanced use of menus
    Use sticky or positioned menus to provide users with an overview of what they may be interested in. However, don’t forget why visitors are on the page in the first place. Based on various actions, design the menus to automatically display or withdraw. For instance, the menus can be designed to disappear after having been displayed for a particular time without the visitor taking action.
  5. Ensure responsive design
    Design your website to be accessible on multiple devices. Test the site on smartphones and tablets to ensure the design functions correctly. Use well-optimized images that will load fast on mobile devices.
  6. Keep it clean
    Keep your design clean to make visitors feel secure while browsing your website. Use colors consistently and keep your menus relevant. Present information logically on your website and avoid having too many links, products or options, which will only confuse visitors and make the fall off the path to conversion.

Related: Web 2015: Design Trends That Would Rule Viewer’s Heart

 6 Golden Rules to Boost Your Website User’s Experience

About Ajay Prasad

Ajay Prasad is the Founder and President of GMR Web Team, a leading Internet strategy, marketing and development firm. Ajay guides small and medium size businesses in designing their online strategy, marketing and development campaigns for maximum impact. Ajay focuses on a client's products and services and their target market’s needs to achieve the best possible results. Google +

Web 2015: Design Trends That Would Rule Viewer’s Heart

Staying up to date on internet trends is important for web designers, especially when clients want to convey a cutting edge image. Some of the web design trends for 2015 are a continuation of developing trends from the previous year. Here are the most important current trends.

Responsive Web Design

This cross-platform design technique for desktop and mobile websites is still a time saver that eliminates the need for two separate websites. It’s the most efficient solution for writing cross-platform web code. Professional web design firms are expected to know responsive web design. Responsive web design is based on flexible layouts that work for various operating systems and browsers. The concept is partly powered by media queries, which are filters applied to CSS style that affect display type. The responsive experience includes rules for how content is displayed on specific devices.

Visual Imagery

Visual treatment is now becoming an important factor in web design. Part of the reason visuals are becoming more important is because people are deciding what they click online based on visuals, which ultimately helps speed up decision making of users. Colorful imagery needs to be incorporated in your articles and content in order to be shared on social media. One of the top web design trends of this area includes businesses continuing to use videos on their websites. YouTube videos are no longer just considered a recreational activity for teens. Videos that demonstrate products and answer questions can be made at a low cost. Videos can also be used for customer testimonials.

Font Experimentation

Content developers will be exploring new fonts and learning how to better present font faces, sizes and colors. Fonts can be used to express emotion and tone. For example, when a font is used in an artistic way, it can give your website an appealing identity. Free new fonts are constantly popping up online, as seeing there is no shortage. One of the consistent web design trends year after year is the continued appreciation of modern serifs, which actually dates back to the late 18th century; these fonts stand out as large header type.

Related: Why Good Web Designers Harbor a Love for Fonts

Scrolling Instead of Clicking

Mobile devices are becoming tools that are more for scrolling than clicking to get to a website. Responsive web design is essential for scroll-based animation. Scrolling provides divided sections of content that a user needs, whereas clicking involves presenting menus of links to different pages. Mobile users prefer scrolling, as it has become second nature.

Ghost Buttons

Call to action statements can be used with ghost buttons, which are transparencies over photos. Ghost buttons have a thin border with a basic shape and appear to be bigger than regular web buttons. The internal area includes plain text over a hollow background; the effect is attractive and becoming widely used by developers. Ghost buttons are best utilized with applications designed with a minimalist interface or websites with large-scale photo backgrounds.

Flat Icons

Considered to be a clean and minimalistic web development, flat design is easy to maintain and a preferred choice among developers. Flat icons usually include simple images such as standard type elements or icons that can be designed with basic shapes. Flat icons are plentiful online because they are easy to make and can be customized to provide a unique look to web pages.

One Page and Slide-out Navigation

Better browsing is achieved from fixed navigation using responsive web design, which eliminates the need to scroll up. Slide-out navigation with toggle buttons is becoming popular because it allows developers to implement permanent navigation in apps without using up too much screen space. A slide-out navigation panel can be designed using HTML 5 and CSS3. There are many pre-built solutions for developers to choose from.

Here are some reminders using Slide-out Navigation:

  • Built with a simple unordered list in HTML
  • The sliding effect in created with JQwery
  • In CSS margin and padding are set to zero
  • Margin-left is assigned a negative value
  • The function that makes elements slide out is defined in JavaScript

Parallax Scrolling

Designed to stand out, Parallax effects is one of the most eye catching web design trends because it provides users with enhanced 3D views. Using HTML 5 and CSS3, visual effects can be designed to make it appear a as though the background moves at a slower rate than a foreground. A 3D effect is created as you scroll down the page, and when used sparingly it can create a subtle effect that conveys depth.

Related: 6 Tips to Keep the Website Redesign Budget Under Control

 Web 2015: Design Trends That Would Rule Viewer’s Heart

About Sangeeta Kumar

Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.Google +