Small Business Web Design 2013 Part 2: Shrunken Heads

In Part 1, we discussed how the growth of tablet usage is going to effect small business web design in 2013. In the next few parts, we will take a look at the innovative new USAToday.com design which launched a couple of months ago.

What does USAToday’s design have to do with small business web design, you ask? A couple of points on that and then we’ll jump into an analysis of the new design.

  1. Much of web design already owes its heritage and terminology to the newspaper industry.  In web design, we often talk about what is going to show up “above the fold”.  That means what content is going to show up without the user having to scroll down.  Newspapers used “above the fold” to describe the top half of the front page of the paper because newspapers sat in display stands folded in half.  You had better get good content “above the fold”.  Same thing holds true in web design.  First impressions are crucial.
  2. USAToday turned the news design industry on its head in the 80s and they continue to lead the way today.  Big bold color on the front page, daring use of white space in the page content, and have you ever heard of an infographic?  USAToday pioneered the infographic which has carried over particularly well on the web.

Yes, there are some differences in objectives with news sites and small business websites, but there are significant shifts coming in web design and USAToday is leading the way.

Shrunken Heads

Shrunken Heads

Small is the new big. Well, when it comes to the header, we see a trend towards reduction. Look at the headers for these three news orgs.  We’ll talk logos later in the series, but you can see very quickly that USAToday is trying to get everything else out of the way and get you to the content (what you came to the site for) quicker.  They had to make some reductions in menu choices up top to pull it off.  Check out the number of menu items on the three sites . . . (more…)

Small Business Web Design 2013 Part 1: Tablet-Centric

This blog series will look at some trends in devices, design, usage, and social media activity and how those trends affect small business web design.

John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine, had some good things to say last Friday in his post 5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2013.  We find #5 particularly interesting . . .

5. Tablet optimization becomes the mobile standard. 

We’ve all been rushing around the last few years talking about optimizing everything for the mobile device. The other day I witnessed three different women fish tablets from their purses while they were shopping.

The new generation of mini tablets are going to impact responsive design and what we’ve been calling mobile devices. Tablets and mini tablets will see a tremendous jump in server logs and become the de facto design standard for mobile content. That doesn’t mean mobile phone size browsers aren’t important, it means there will eventually need to be a divide in how we address tablets vs. phones.

Our recent study of web usage in the region showed that mobile web browsing has doubled in the past year.  When we look at analytics for our clients, we are indeed seeing a jump in tablet usage.

So what does that mean for small business web design?  We’re already designing websites that are mobile-responsive, but there is a big difference between viewing a site on a smart-phone and a tablet.  We have to start considering a third usability layer with it’s own nuances. (more…)

TriCities Mobile Web Usage Doubles in 12 Months

According to web analytics data from a broad range of our local TriCities clients, mobile web usage nearly doubled in the past 12 months from 8% to 15%.

TriCities Mobile Web Usage 2012

As an Inbound Marketing and web design firm serving Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol, TN, we compile web stats for small business websites in the area and tracked the percentage increase in mobile usage from October 2011 through September 2012.  The types of businesses in the study included industrial, professional services, financial planning, retail, and tourism. (more…)

Consumer Trends, Mobile, Web Marketing, Website Design