THE DISCIPLINE OF DESIGN FOR B2B WEBSITES

Website design starts with understanding the customer journey and defining the navigation of the site. Some agencies separate navigation as CX functionality, but we like to work across creative and development disciplines to ensure everyone is on the same page. Designers then work on the UI, incorporating design and brand identity into new page layouts, including creating distinctive dynamic states. On completion of the build phase, our designers then finesse each page of the website.

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CONSIDERATIONS FOR DESIGN WHEN PLANNING A NEW WEBSITE OR REFRESH

Which CMS?

Evaluating and choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) to match your needs is an exercise that cannot be avoided. Overcomplicate and you end up with expensive and bloated CMS. Undersesrtimate, and you get minimal control and functionality.

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We have an internal 'web designer' and various skill sets, but I am not sure they will bring me something new?

Many organisations have bought specialist skills like design and development in-house to support the marketing function over the past ten years.

Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

And that’s the crux of the issue for many businesses and their departments, not just marketing. So the question to ask is to what degree is your current website design because of your own team’s involvement? It’s not about them not being good enough or capable, far from it. Instead, it’s to do with perspective and possibly feeling stuck, maybe as a result of revisiting the same issues, time after time.

New thinking is necessary to give new direction. That’s what an agency like Ratio provides. With our external perspective, we ask the questions that unlock current thinking and help create that new approach for your website and brand.

UX, UI, Wireframing, Journeying, CTAs - what's it all mean?

If you are new to managing a new web build, these are some terms you need to familiarise yourself with as they will be popping up calls and meetings during the project development.

User Experience (UX) Think of this as how a user interacts with and experiences a product or service. It’s used a lot for websites as you need the user experience to be clear, straightforward to use, i.e. can a user navigate your site to find the information they need and not get lost, distracted or frustrated etc.

User Interface (UI) This is how the user interfaces with the technology. What are the design features that make it easy, efficient and enjoyable to interact with the website? UI design trends and fashions frequently change and evolve from paralax pages, flat design, carousels, image areas with dark overlays to contain copy, interactive CTA buttons, etc. Some companies choose to go off-piste and go bespoke to create something an entirely different UI and UX. Unless you are prepared to invest a fortune to user test thoroughly, then it’s likely you will miss the mark. Users like familiarity. They like to know how to view a website, not figure it out. They are typically time and attention poor. Make it easy.

Wirefaming This is the process of mapping out and prioritising website content and page structure. It’s also the stage to agree on navigation structure. For B2B websites, this is not a monumental task. However, consumer brands, especially those with eCommerce platforms, tend to have more complex challenges. The UX and UI implications are far-reaching, requiring more precise organisation and granular on-page navigation. 

Journeying This is really the appreciation of the CX and how users navigate content on the website. We tend to blend this with wireframing and CX work to show how pages are linked, content promoted, and CTAs activated.

Call-to-Action (CTA) What do you want the user to do, and how do you flag that they need to take action? For example, do you want to make users aware that you are running a webinar and to sign-up? Where is the CTA located? Is it obvious? Is it compelling? Where do users go for more information, and how do they sign up?

How many call-to-actions can you have on a page or a section of a page? Sometimes we want our visitors to do lots of things, and we use the home page as a directional tool, a pathway to deeper content on the site. The problem is that if you throw all ten tennis balls at a person, they will only catch one. Same with CTAs. It takes confidence to edit, but consider just throwing the ball you want them to catch. You can deliver the rest later.

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