You don’t have to be a Sydney web designer to get a kick out of great design. A lot of people think of the web like it’s a giant party. There are so many things and people crammed into the room, the music is pumping and the games and conversation are flowing. There might be a tiny bit of flirtation from across the room. You can see the signals from other people as they try to catch the eye of a friend or interesting person. The blank looks for the people that are slightly bored by the current topic are echoing around the walls.
And you- well, you might be worried about the reduction of the nibbles as they pass around from person to person. Or perhaps you’re wondering about the safety of your drink in the laundry tub. Your stomach may need to grumble as you wait for the BBQ or main food event. The toilet may seem like something you know you’ll need soon and you don’t know if a pre-emptive trip is smarter than waiting in a cue later on.
The internet is like a giant party. There are people coming and going. People are picking up and dropping off things all over the place and leaving things behind and abandoning them in shopping carts and user experiences all over the place. They are worried about what might get in their way of a good time and equally bored by pop ups and things blocking them to get to the main event.
So here is the official Sydney web designer (aka Webcoda) guide to making your online party the talk of the season.
Always start with a kick arse guest list
A lot of websites, online projects and marketing campaigns get it totally wrong by assuming that being there for everyone is the main game. It’s always much better to think long and hard about who you want to invite.
Bring the wrong person to your product and you’ll disappoint them. Or risk changing the way the happy customer interacts. You can see this all the time when online forums and community managers aim for mass over engagement. You can also see it reflected in high abandonment rates and customers signing up for a trial but not converting to a product.
As a Sydney web designer, we’ve meditated on this over many a cocktail. How you make a great online guest list is through:
Getting to know the customers you have
Segmenting them into the sort of personality they have and understanding their traits
Building personas that attract the core values shared by those customers
Looking for ways to invite more of the same sort of customer to the party via marketing channels that appeal to them
This comes through defining your audience and thinking of ways to increase that reach.
Think like the people you are inviting
Knowing your party goers is paramount to success. It about developing a combination of elements that welcome your guests and make them feel safe and secure. What your party goers really want is to feel listened to and to have their idea of a great party reflected back to them.
This is exactly the same sort of thinking you need to include with a web design or an app. Many a Sydney web designer and development agency starts from the restrictions given by the technology. But in the first instance, you have to train yourself to think bigger.
For example, at a party, you might:
Identify places that will get a lot of use during the party such as the kitchen, bathroom and backyard
Move the furniture from where you usually place it to something that makes it easier for your guests to get to where they need
Stock up on items you don’t often use such as ice or the second fridge for cooling drinks, extra loo paper, ash trays for the smokers, extra bins for recyclables and disposable plates
Have signage on the door and/or gate so people know not to let the cat or dog out
Play music that can please all the audience as much as possible
Consider the lighting- so making sure that dark stairs or well lit so people don’t fall but gentle lighting like candles are used inside so people can feel cosy and welcome
The same is true of your web development or app building projects. You need to consider not only times when your website is giving a general level of information but also during peak times. It might be able developing avenues that make it easier for your customers to find things during a sale or emergency than it is at other times. You could be building pathways to meet the needs of infrequent high traffic events.
Make the experience matter
What defines a special experience or party in your eyes? Humans love circus and ceremony. We love putting in the extra effort. We’re also quite ritualised about it.
What defines a birthday? Well, cake and extra decorations, a special song and bringing everyone together to give gifts and cards.
Weddings come with a ceremony, special buildings, a specific dress, other people dressing in a similar manner, a song plus a dance. Then there is the cake and gifts and decorations like confetti, car signage and so on.
A baby shower is different in that while it may have the cake and extra decorations and the gift giving, it also has things like a games and a different style of activity. The focus will be less on alcohol and more on children.
The baseline is similar, but the subtle differences are equally important.
The same can be said for any project a Sydney web designer or developer tackles. We like to know what to expect to some degree. There has t be a backbone of structure. We like it to be told differently without monkeying too much with the mechanics. That is what defines good story telling.
That’s why websites have menus and we expect shopping carts to operate in a fairly similar routine. Customers expect to be able to find a menu they can use or to go to the back of a website to find a way to contact you if they need help.
They like things like Frequently Asked Questions as it normalises their struggle with understanding the product or online property.
We want to know there is news or a blog so we can dig deeper. Checking out if we have the right company happens with the ABOUT. If we sign up to a newsletter, we expect to get a newsletter.
So maybe you are using the exact same format as your competitors, but what is it about their experience of that format that stands out?
Keep the party alive
Maintaining a connection with our friends isn’t about throwing one great party and then never seeing them again. Our friendships require maintenance to remain. They need care and attention to continue to grow and flourish. That might not mean throwing a party every week. But it does mean taking time to keep connected through coffees, Facebook messages and other social events.
It’s about staying connected.
The same is true of your online experience with customers. They may have arrived at the website for a party one time, but that doesn’t mean the game is over. In fact, it’s after that kick arse party that you should really up your ante.
You can keep the party vibe happening with your customers by:
Ensuring you capture any purchase via an email sign up
Leverage that sign up with regular monthly emails
Spend time reminding your customers you exist on social media
Invite your customers to enjoy smaller versions of the joy of being your customer via the blog
Watching your analytics to make sure your web pages are working the way they should
Running your website health check ever 6 to 12 months to spot issues
Experimenting with online advertising and remarketing
Always looking for ways to recapture that connected party vibe
The bottom line from this little Sydney web designer and co:
It doesn’t matter if you want to be known for the sophisticated, high end customer experience or you are the always on, always fun vibe. You need to spend time defining your customers, developing an experience that talks to them, putting it out into the market and maintaining that relationship once it starts.
Looking to overhaul your approach to digital marketing and your online presence? Get in touch with Webcoda now. We’re the party planners of the digital world!
Image by Jens Johnson