Web Design & Online Marketing News Recap: May 2, 2014

It’s May, which means summer is rapidly approaching … and everyone’s thinking about it. If you’re planning to offer major Memorial Day sales or promote hot new items for the summertime, it’s good to plan in advance for your web design and marketing needs. Remember, it’s always helpful to think like one of your customers: anticipate their needs and wants and avoid anything that they’d find really off-putting, like a checkout process with tons of unnecessary steps. Today, we have a recap of some articles that will help you to develop strong user empathy. Check them out!

11 Rules for Better Writing, or How Not to Use a Thesaurus (Tim Skillern, Treehouse Blog)

Have you ever struggled to meet a content deadline or a minimum word requirement? Did you find it frustrating, trying, annoying, maddening, and exasperating? (Just a joke there—we’ve all known since sixth grade English class that this trick doesn’t fool anyone who’s paying attention!) Even if you have an excellent content development strategy, writer’s block can hit from time to time, especially if you don’t feel that writing is your forte. We really like this piece on 11 Rules for Better Writing by Tim Skillern of Treehouse Blog. He gives the same common-sense advice for creating great written content that we do: don’t take five sentences to say what you could in one or two; stay true to your natural voice (within reason, of course!); and put yourself in the reader’s shoes. It’s not always a cinch coming up with brilliant original material on demand, but you can do it—it just takes practice. Review these 11 smart tips and see how you can apply them to improve your writing.

Stop Wasting Users’ Time (Paul Boag, Smashing Magazine)

As an ecommerce business proprietor, one of yours most important jobs—like that of a bricks-and-mortar shop owner—is to keep customers satisfied. In person, it’s pretty easy to figure out what keeps your shoppers happy: well-organized merchandise displays, short waits in line, and an easy purchasing process. When you’re talking about an online shopping experience, however, the game changes. In his article for Smashing Magazine, Paul Boag explains how you can Stop Wasting Users’ Time, with great tips like making sure your site loads quickly and avoiding annoying and unnecessary requirements like creating an overly complicated password. Even if you’re catering to a very specific niche, the competition is always out there—so don’t drive shoppers away from your site by ignoring the user experience. Make sure your web design team does the same important thing your content developers do: put themselves in the users’ place. Would you come away from a transaction on your current site feeling pleased and relaxed? If not, it’s time to implement some positive changes that benefit the user.

Are you thinking more like one of your shoppers now? Good—now ask yourself how you can apply what you’re feeling to your design and marketing strategies. And have a great weekend!

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  • By Dennis Consorte
  • Published on May 2nd, 2014