Why You Shouldn’t Use a Website Builder

There are many, many platforms out there that allow you to build a website using a simple drag and drop interface. Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly are just a few to name. If you are a Facebook or Twitter user chances are that you have seen advertisements for these types of platforms.

While these platforms look seamless to use, and can be built practically for free, in a short amount of time, it may look appealing to a business owner, right? Well, any User experience design agency would argue otherwise. Creating a good website takes more effort and time than just throwing a few sections on a page and slabbing content on it. Here’s why web application development agency, Codal, would argue against it:

Terrible SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Website builder platforms do not contain the correct elements to get your website ranking on the top of Google. A large part of on-page SEO, is the code and structure. When you build your website on a platform like SquareSpace, you don’t have any control over the code, which means that the search engine optimization is completely out of your hands.

Without a good SEO, or a solid SEO strategy plan, how will you get users on your website?

Devalues Your Brand

Using a website builder simply devalues your business and brand. Using a standardized template from Weebly or Wix will make you blend in with other similar companies. A customer that is on your website probably will not trust making a purchase, or filling out a form if they can tell that you spent a total of $30 on your website.

Your digital presence is important, having a nice website design creates a feeling of trust for your users. Cheap web design often equals cheap results. While brands are investing big money in UX design services, and IT strategy consulting, you don’t want to fall behind the curve.

Mobile-Friendliness

Don’t expect a fully responsive website if you are utilizing a platform like Wix or Weebly. While it may look decent on mobile, many businesses are seeking out mobile app design companies just to design a mobile version of their website.

Having a mobile-friendly website should be at the top of your priority list. Recently, it was reported that 52% of eCommerce website visits came from a mobile device. That means that you could be losing almost half of your visitors if your website is not mobile responsive.

No Migration Options

Once you build your website on a self-building platform, you’re stuck with it. Migration is simply not possible when you use a website builder. For example, if you used WordPress to initially build your website, and wanted to switch to a different platform, it can easily be done by any WP design & development company.

If you’re still thinking that a website builder is a good option, you should probably chat with someone who is in the industry, like Codal (Chicago web development agency) who can help you understand the difference.

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Website Builder

Minimalism in Mobile App Design: Part 1

As a mobile app development company, we always have to stay on top of industry trends, and consider what users and consumers actually want while they are using their mobile applications on their smartphone.

In a recent survey that we conducted (part of our ux services), we found that users want minimalism. They want a simple, easy-to-use interface that doesn’t include anything besides what it needs to. Of course the design always needs to be usable, but being consistent and clear is sometimes just as important.

Below are a few simple ways that you can design your mobile application taking a minimalistic approach.

Typography

I great rule of thumb when designing a mobile application, is to stick with one font. Using different fonts can make the application’s interface look confusing and sloppy. Just from a quick glance at the two screens below, it is obvious that the screen to the right looks cleaner and more usable.

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Instead of playing around with the different fonts, play with the weight of the font. This can add more detail to the design, while not completely ruining it. The size of the font can also be changed to make certain text appear more important (or less) than other content.

Apple and Google both do this on their platforms, which also means it is a proven method that works, and all mobile app design companies should follow.

Whitespace

Many people assume that too much whitespace is a bad thing; it get’s criticized quite often. However, what people don’t understand is that whitespace is actually a powerful tool that can control what a user looks at on a website or app.

It can bring focus to a certain element on a screen, and can even organize a screen into different sections or elements. If you need to empasize something on a screen, you can use whitespace to do so.

Using whitespace also means you can take a minimal approach to the design on your app; and it is not a bad strategy.

Conclusion

When seeking out UI design services, you should keep some of these factors in mind while going through the UX design agency’s portfolio.

The fonts should stay consistent throughout the entire interface of an application, while you should utilize more white space than you may think. In part 2 of this article, we will explore different factors of minimalism in mobile app design.

Minimalism in Mobile App Design: Part 1

Introducing Innovation Days to Your Project

The mobile app development agency that I work for, Codal, recently introduced a new project exercise called iDays (or Innovation Days).

An Innovation Day is an extremely collaboaration ideation session that takes place in the discovery phase of a project. However, it is different than just any brainstorming session mostly because of who is involved. Typically, we will involve our ux ui research team, chicago app developers, visual designers, and even the clients.

The ideas that come from these Innovation Days are diverse in a sense, the approaches that a developer, versus the end user or the designer may take could all be different. However, it’s good to receive perspectives of all parties in order to come up with the best, most usable ideas.

How do you run an iDay?

Once the team that is participating has been assembles, it’s time to collect your materials. You’ll need post it’s (as a UX design company, we go through tons of post it’s per week), questions, prompts, and a timer.

The prompts are usually kept general and open ended. An example prompt could be “what do you think about the menu?”

On the other hand, some prompts can be much more detailed. When an iDay is conducted after a research phase, questions will be much more specific. For example, in a dating app project at Codal, research found that user’s may sometimes feel unsafe while using any type of dating app. A great prompt after this research could be “how can we make the user feel safe while using the app?”

Once a prompt is posed, everyone has “X” amount of seconds to write down as many ideas as they can on post it notes. Once the timer is up, each iDay participant goes around and discusses their ideas. Typically these ideas spark a meaningful conversation about their ideas and solutions.

The leader of the iDay then takes the post it note and places it in a category on the whiteboard. Once everyone has shared their ideas,another prompt is given, and the cycle starts again.

Once an iDay is completed, the room is completely filled with sticky notes.

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It is then the UX designers job to break down the data that was received from the iDay. Both qualitative and quantitative data are usually collected.

Introducing iDays into our Software Development Lifecycle has allowed Codal to come up with very scalable and innovative solutions.

Introducing Innovation Days to Your Project

Ways to Improve Traffic To Your Website Through Marketing Efforts

Having a strong digital presence across industries is becoming more and more important to the success strategy of a business. Engaging with a web development agency on ways to not only establish a digital presence, but to to make that digital presence current is the first step in achieving an optimal digital marketing strategy.

Below outlines some of the major components that contribute to an effective digital strategy. Incorporating all these elements in a digital plan of action is the most dynamic way to build your brand and increase traffic in the digital sphere.

It Starts With The Website

Although a fairly obvious statement, but to have a digital presence, on the most basic level you need a website. Regardless if you are selling products and fall under the category of “e-commerce” or just simply want to have a presence with a marketing website, being visible, findable and usable is key.

In the initial stages of developing your website, it is almost mandatory to hire a UX design agency so that your website is built for the specific user.

From color scheme, layout, features, and consumer pathway, user experience research services have the tools and testing capabilities you need to design the best experience for your target audience.

Display Ads

In almost all digital marketing plans is the inclusion of display ads. Although the movement of display ads is to be more relevant and targeted to the consumer, enter programmatic advertising.

Programmatic advertising to the process of ad buying that uses software and data to purchase ad space. This allows advertisers to be both dynamic and interactive in the ads that are created and served to the user.

Since ads can now be interactive, but the goal of getting the user to click through to a redirected page is still the same, the ads in and of itself need to be usable. This leads to the importance of using a UX design company for the creation of ads, not just design the website.

Search: Paid and Organic

Implementing a strong search strategy is becoming a top priority for many companies. As users are looking towards search engines to answer, offer suggestions, and provide endless amount of information, making sure your organization’s offerings is included is critical.

Having the combination of both paid and organic search greatly improves visibility and findability of your website. To organically rank, a robust and time intensive strategy needs to be implemented, one that can grow and continue; as investing in organic is investing in the long term.

Contrarily, paid search is for that immediate quick result, but one that requires payment for each click. Depending on budget, resources and timeframe will be the determining factors on how to tackle the search beast. Although since search is rather a difficult endeavor, enlisting IT strategy consulting may be necessary.

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs

Providing valuable and thought provoking content is super influential in establishing credibility and actively engaging the user beyond looking at the products or services that are offered.

Especially in an industry where decisions are more thought out and less immediate, for example being mobile app development company, continually providing why your company is superior will increase conversions on the site.

More importantly, continually updating the blog on a regular basis, posting the articles on social or an email campaign will give the users new material and another reason to visit the site on an ongoing basis.

Conclusion

Having a strong digital presence is essential to sustain a competitive advantage. Although since digital covers an array of practices, honing in on the important strategies is key for improving traffic to the website and ultimate long term digital sustainability.

Looking for more insight on UX design services? Are you wanting to develop an app and you need to know the cost of developing an app is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us on go@codal.com! We’d love to hear from you.

Ways to Improve Traffic To Your Website Through Marketing Efforts

Applying Psychology Principles to Improve Your UX

Psychology is one of the main disciples outside of technology that the user experience field heavily relies upon. A UX design company needs skills being the technical and the creative design, but to also have a deep understanding of the user.

Utilizing psychology principles is a key component in order to optimally design for the user. Regardless if the project is web application development or requires the services of a mobile application development agency the same psychology concepts can be applied.

Below outlines the best psychology insights that a user experience research services are implementing in their designs and process of UX.

The Primacy Effect

The primacy effect is the psychology understanding associated with memory that an individual has a greater ability to recall items in the beginning of a list.

Knowing this common technique, UX design services design a page in a way that the most important items are in the beginning and end. For instance, placing a call to action immediately in this spot is one way to help boost conversions.

Overall, it is important to first captivate the user in the beginning, not only to encourage them to keep looking, but also to engrave the image or messaging in their memory.

The Recency Effect

Likewise to the primacy effect, the recency effect is one that a user would be more likely to recall the item that is last or most recent.

The ending of a page should leave a lasting impression or an action by the user. It is up to the UX design firm to creatively design a page in a way that the end action of the user is one that gets them to accomplish a specific task, rather than just bouncing from the page.

Repetition is Key

Repetition is one of the well known psychology concepts that really resonate in a digital sphere. The text on the page that is most often repeated is usually the information that the user will most likely remember.

In understanding this concept, UX services need to ensure that the most important information is the one that is repeated. For example, as an e-commerce store, repeating the concepts of the sale that is underway will help in encouraging a purchase behavior.

FOMO

A new phenomenon that has emerged, especially since the popularity of social media, is FOMO, which stands for fear of missing out.

People have a uncomfortable and negative association when they are told they are missing out, either from an experience or product. Inserting that sense of urgency in certain offerings will capitalize on this general user fear, in a way that will encourage and persuade action.

It’s Free

In marketing, one of the words that tends to instantly create a reaction in a consumer is the word “free.” It is not a new concept that people in general get excited about getting anything for free.

These offers that revolve around the “try before you buy” is one that not only instills trust with the consumer, but also adds a boost to the UX of the site or application.

Conclusion

UX research services with a clear understanding and expertise in the psychology field is critical to capitalize on the human tendencies; an understanding that will result in an overall better user experience.

Looking for more insight on UX design services? Are you wanting to develop an app and you need to know the cost of building an app is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us on go@codal.com! We’d love to hear from you.

Applying Psychology Principles to Improve Your UX

Designing A Competitive Website: Tips to Get You There

In the process of designing a website, there is a lot of things to consider. One of the first steps is choosing the right UX design company that can make your digital vision into a reality.

Once that decision is made, having a clear vision on how the website will look, function, and feel is the next step of the process, one of which that will assisted by the UX design agency that you previously have chosen. Utilizing an agency of this expertise is important because of the UX research services they can provide in the beginning stages of the website design process.

Depending on the industry the website falls under, the variability will slightly impact the design. But overall, the best practices for designing a website are fairly universal and can be applied regardless of the particular industry.

#1 Keep It Simple

Simplicity is key for any site, especially since users are wanting and expecting to find the information they are looking for rather immediately. As a website, you want to make sure you are making the call to action, whether that is purchasing a product or filling out a contact form, is clearly indicated to the user.

In keeping it simple, it is also important to remove all forms of clutter on the pages. As a user explores your website, everything should be obvious and natural, where they don’t have to make a substantial effort in order to understand the function or where information is located. UX services are critical in this step for they undergo extensive usability testing in which ensure the best user experience.

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#2 Make it Picturesque

Captivating the user with visuals is proven strategy to engage and encourage further exploration. A site that is either boring or too heavy with text content will inherently discourage the user.

Visuals are a great way to break up text and be the focal point for the website. Additionally, they are commonly the point of the website that sticks with the user. For instance a blog article that includes images has 94% more views than one that omits visuals. User experience design services have tremendous amount of data that support the use of striking visuals and proper usability make a positive impact on the overall website.

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# 3 Have A Responsive Web Design

As mobile continues to grow astronomically, design a website that is responsive on a mobile device is absolutely necessary. In some instances it is even necessary to seek out a mobile app development agency to build an application in the most intuitive manner for a mobile device.

Regardless, ensuring your presence on mobile is up to par with the user expectations is step one in creating a responsive web design. The right mobile app app design and development group has the right expertise to derive from the website functions and designs a supreme mobile experience.

Conclusion

Having the proper web design stems from having the right partner, such as Codal who is a web development agency Chicago, and the right vision to of the website. A vision is one that entails a clear goal for the purpose of the website, a goal that is almost always supported by simplicity, visuals, and a responsive web design.

Looking for more insight on UX design services? Are you wanting to develop an app and you need to know the cost of making an app is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

Designing A Competitive Website: Tips to Get You There

Mobile Engagement Needs To Be Implemented In Your Marketing Plan

When putting together a marketing plan, one of the key factors to ensure is following trends and not being outdated in whatever creative, media, or overall strategy you are pursuing.

In 2017, one of the biggest trends in terms of media is mobile. It is not just the point that everyone has a mobile device, but more importantly everyone is looking at their mobile device. As a result, mobile app development agencies are staying ahead of the curve in a way to design and develop to meet the user’s expectations.

Additionally, there are a lot of different avenues one can take in the umbrella of a mobile strategy. Whether that is using an app development agency to create a branded app, using display ads mobile ads, or sending push notifications, being on a mobile device is going to grab the attention you as a marketer is seeking.

Go Where Your Audience Is

Since majority of individuals own and use a smartphone device, it is a safe assumption to make that your particular target audience also owns that device. But like I mentioned previously, it is not just about owning it but using it.

For example, 80% of smartphone owners look at their phone when they first wake up. Once you know when to reach your audience, communicating with them in an effective and seamless manner is critical, that is where UX services can help.

Another key metric to take note of is in sending emails, of which a growing percentage are opening on a mobile device. For instance, a recent statistic found that 15-70% open on mobile device.

Tracking and Personalization

One of the key driving factors of why mobile is so great to use for a marketer is the tracking and personalization one can derive from it.

Firstly, since a mobile device is connected to an abundance of different platforms and information, such as social media, geolocation, shopping behavior, and other information a user may have disclosed in public that as a marketer can utilize.

With such a diverse and extensive amount of research, UX research services can have a great understanding of who the user is, in a way to design a website, app, ad, or content that

Through such data and the expertise of UX design agency, a marketer can design including the individual to both target and reach the audience in the most personal and effective way.

A New Strategy: Integrating AI

The most emerging trend within mobile that is truly revolutionizing the mobile’s effectiveness is through AI or artificial intelligence.

AI algorithms are added to mobile apps in a way that provides a deeper connection with the user. For example, they can essentially act as a personal assistant in which helps with shopping or be a constant reminder about sales ending or products left in a shopping bag.

Conclusion

Mobile engagement can give you the ability to capture your audience, track their behavior, personalize the marketing message, and implement AI in ways marketers have never had in previous years.

As a marketing agency, you have the ability to use tactics that have been honed over years by UX companies, development agencies, and experts of all kinds to digital advertising.

Looking for more insight on UX design services? Are you wanting to develop an app and you need to know the cost of developing an app is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us on go@codal.com! We’d love to hear from you.

Mobile Engagement Needs To Be Implemented In Your Marketing Plan