The Challenge –

If web design companies can manage to wrap great aesthetic design and UCD (user-centric design) together they will create a winning web site. A website is one tool within any company’s arsenal and it is there to increase revenue. Your company relies on the expertise of digital media companies to deliver this. What these digital media companies do could sometimes make or break a business. Why is this? Once marketing has managed to get you a potential customer to the site, the site needs to quickly deliver to that potential customer’s needs. Why should a potential client or customer have to search for the information they need to make a buying decision? THEY SHOULDN’T! If the information they need isn’t clearly available or in a position of authority they will not search for it.

In broad terms, user centred design (UCD) is a design philosophy. A process in which the needs, wants and limitations of the end user of a web site are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. This helps to put customers at the heart of the online experience. It is always the primary consideration and will lead to greater achievement of the site’s objective i.e. sales, lead generation or conveying a company’s service.

During the design process, no agency should say that a very important element cannot go where it needs to be. Especially when this is within the site or page design because it spoils the look. They need to find a solution to get an important element where it needs to be while maintaining the look and feel the designer has created. This is because the design must work around UCD. The goal of the site and the user’s ability to understand the site’s goal or complete the site’s goal easily.

A very clever man and mentor of mine once said: “Design is always the handmaiden and never the mistress.”

Our Thoughts

Usability, utility and purpose are incredibly important when creating a successful design. No matter if that design was for a site to create leads, sell a product or to deliver the user information about the company.  Though we are not totally sold that UCD determines the success or failure of a website. We do appreciate more than ever the fact that professional design does play a very important role in web design. We cannot get away from UCD is king, it always has been and always will be.

Also what we must remember is my ‘ugly’ maybe your ‘beauty’ and vice versa. This is a conundrum that will go on for eternity. We do also find it strange that many of the worlds most used/usable/profitable websites are ugly or lack any aesthetic design for the majority of users, yet they work so well at what they do.

Some good examples here –> https://neilpatel.com/blog/ugly-websites/

‘Usability comes first’ has always been the true rule of web development. This also includes access to the right information at the right time. Design plays no lesser importance in creating great user experience but it must be UCD and then design. Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has become a standard approach for successful and most profit-oriented web design. After all, if someone using the site can’t use a feature, it might as well not exist.

For example, reviews are one example of a very important element that in most industries, B2C and B2B need high on the list of site/ page priority elements. But reviews can sometimes look clumsy within the various page designs if not managed correctly. It has been well known within the digital media industry for many years now that reviews are very important within B2C. In the last few months, reviews within B2B are becoming more and more import. This importance is growing as potential new clients and customers are expecting to see reviews and also other company stats that will boost their confidence. We have always advocated putting reviews in priority positions along with other various stats that offer confidence to the user on B2C web sites but now this is also true of B2B web sites.

Trusted reviews can increase uptake in the B2B market by up to 92% (some of these reviews can also contain some negativity or constructive criticism as this only adds to the browsers emotional investment in the brand being browsed).

Taking note

This is a statistic that digital media companies can no longer ignore. More and more sites are now including reviews on the high to mid portions of their homepages along with other important company data that affect the buying decisions and give the user greater confidence. Reviews are no longer just an afterthought or a filler on the home page or to be locked away in the “Reviews” page. They also need to be on many more pages as noted below. Since lots of buyers find businesses through Google search and land on homepages. This home page strategy can work well regarding conversions and customer confidence. This is not just our view but a number of industry experts.

Other excellent places to include customer testimonials include the following:
  • Landing pages
  • Sales pages
  • Contact pages
  • Underneath blog posts

We have been researching reviews in B2B and came up with a couple of interesting articles.

The importance of reviews in B2B markets

Do Online Reviews Really Matter in B2B?