Imagine you’ve just launched your latest advertising campaign. After months of conception, perfecting your ad creative, crafting a compelling message, and putting together a thought-through media placement and budget, you’re confident this campaign will convert. But after a couple of weeks of monitoring, your KPIs aren’t meeting expectations. Or at least the ones that matter to your business’s bottom line. Investing more media dollars, refining the target audience, and maybe adding some new placements, is yielding more impressions and clicks, but no conversions. It seems users are interested in your offer, but not willing to take the next step. So where is the disconnect? It may be time for a more critical eye to review your landing page and engage some experts with conversion rate optimization services. 

Digital marketing campaigns have a wide range of key performance indicators (KPIs) that define what is considered a “conversion”. Therefore, the first step to any successful advertising campaign is to determine a single goal. The two most common campaign goals are brand awareness and lead generation. Both are equally important, however have key differences in both tactics and intended results. 

Lead generation is the process of capturing critical information from potential customers, usually by means of a contact form, to move them into a marketing funnel for retargeting or sales outreach. Lead generation is used to build lists of people who have expressed some sort of interest in your product or services, and provides an opportunity to engage them with the next steps. Brand awareness, on the other hand, is more geared toward making an initial introduction of your brand to a potential customer and educating them on products and services that they may not yet be familiar with. If you imagine it like a cocktail party, brand awareness is the “nice to meet you” handshake, while lead generation is going in for the friendly hug with an acquaintance. 

Establishing these goals is a necessary step to any campaign, even required by many platforms in the initial setup. Regardless, if your campaign entails a landing page outside of the advertising platform (ex. social media feed, or Google search), it’s critical to consider what you intend the user to do after seeing or engaging with your ad. That’s where landing page conversion optimization comes into play. The content hierarchy and UX of your landing page is just as important as the ad headline or creative, especially if your goal is down-funnel lead generation.

Bluetext offers a range of conversion rate optimization services and conducts regular and thorough performance analyses of landing pages to improve the effectiveness of any digital marketing campaign. Below are a few best practices to follow as you continue to monitor and optimize your landing page performance.

Optimizing Form Strategy

The primary means of generating sales leads and obtaining information from a user is through contact forms, which may be offering a demo from your sales team, a consultation, a free trial, or an exchange for a downloadable asset. Now more than ever, users are hesitant to give up their information, so you must exchange something of value to them. To entice a user to willingly give up their contact information, you have to balance the level of effort with value. To minimize any friction, your landing page should make your form as simple as possible. That’s why so many businesses embrace the trend of first viewport form placement, which means either all or part of your form is visible upon the initial page load. It requires no scrolling or page engagement to find and complete the form. 

Another popular tactic to increase the likelihood of form completion is minimizing the number of fields and making your form seem as quick and efficient as possible. This means reevaluating what information is critical versus what is nice to have for your sales team. Optimizing your landing page contact forms is another highly effective tactic to improve conversion rates.

Improved Information Hierarchy

The most common pitfall marketers tend to make with campaign landing pages is overestimating the user’s attention span. In the eyes of a sales or product team, all information is good information; everything they have to say is interesting and relevant to a potential customer. And yes, providing full information is crucial to closing a sale, but those nuggets of information have a time and a place. In the initial stages of a prospective customer’s evaluation, it is critical to focus their attention on the most pertinent information that would persuade them to complete the desired action (usually a form completion). 

Rithum, a leading e-commerce platform, engaged with Bluetext’s digital orchestration & conversion rate optimization services. Since then, thorough A/B testing and landing page variations have been implemented to continually optimize the page towards the key KPI: high-value form fills. Let’s investigate the landing optimization process and key insights:

Initially, a series of landing pages were launched with corresponding PPC campaigns to create brand awareness around a newly formed company. Following a merger of two industry leaders, ChannelAdvisor and CommerceHub, Bluetext & Rithum collaborated on a brand announcement landing page. This featured a brand video as the highest priority on the page, followed by key benefits, value to core audiences (retailers & brands), and promotion of their full platform’s e-commerce ecosystem. It was a long, yet important story to tell so the landing page was geared towards upper funnel awareness.

 

In the months that followed, lead generation became the goal, as that initial introduction was made and now it was time to convert users into prospects. The PPC campaign remained focused on brand terms, but the landing page needed to be optimized to the why rather than the how. To minimize distractions, the page was simplified to prioritize the Request Demo form in the first viewport, with supporting copy that emphasized the short amount of time a sales consult would take out of a user’s day (who doesn’t have 15 minutes?) and the top five pain points that Rithum solves for customers. Much of the previously displayed information was also distilled down to two of the most important points: the benefits of the platform & wide breadth of international marketplaces customers obtain access to. The page is now short and sweet, without any distractions and off-page CTAs. As for the previous page context? Still important, but can be delivered in the sales consultation or on the main website pages. 

If your landing pages could benefit from conversion rate optimization, consider these best practices:

  1. Prioritize lead generation opportunities (for example, demo request forms) at the top of the page, ideally within the first viewport
  2. Eliminate any CTAs that may drive a user off the landing page
  3. Distill critical information to only 2-3 components
  4. Position the key value drivers or proof points that would capture a user’s attention next to contact forms or within the first viewport
  5. Hide the main website menu to eliminate chances of leaving the page
  6. Incorporate compelling copy that will hook the end users to convert – “Have 15 minutes?” is a clever hook because it sets an expectation for the call and leaves little room for the excuse of too little time. 

If your landing pages need some love, or perhaps just a third-party eye with conversion rate optimization (CRO) expertise, contact Bluetext to learn about our campaign services.

Could the dark mode interface eclipse their light mode counterparts? Dark mode has seen a continued rise in popularity over the past few years following the 2019 release of Apple’s dark mode option alongside the iOS 13 update. Sometimes referred to as “Night Mode”, “Shadow Mode” or “Dark View”, this dark mode is a design term used to describe a low-light user interface that uses a dark color as the primary background color, reversing the default light-on-dark design that designers have used for decades.

 

In response to increased user screen time across devices, this darker UI design trend has garnered immense popularity. Big-name brands like Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Apple were all early movers in adopting dark mode interfaces and have influenced many others to follow in their footsteps. That being said, operating systems, browsers, and apps are not the only places dark mode is continuing to grow in its popularity — more and more website developers and designers are hopping on the dark mode train, opting for UX/UI designs that are dark as night with reasons why that are clear as day.

A “Site” for Sore Eyes, in More Ways Than One

It’s no secret that the aesthetics of a dark mode design can elicit powerful feelings and emotions from visitors. A dark color theme often conveys sophistication, edge, and modern elegance to users. Black is an especially dominant color, often used to create maximum color contrast when paired with whites or vibrant tones. Dark hues are often associated with style and power, which can add striking visual appeal and depth when used strategically as a website’s background. Dark mode is especially useful for image and video-heavy sites. The dark contrasts bright colors, making them look more compelling and instantly captures the audience’s attention. The more visually appealing users find your site, the more likely they are to engage with your content and remain on-page.

More than a Pretty (Inter)face

Aside from just looking easy on the eyes, dark mode can actually be easier on the eyes. Some studies show that dark mode can help reduce the sensation of discomfort that is sometimes felt by staring at websites with light backgrounds. It is especially preferable in low-light conditions where looking at bright white screens for long periods of time on any device can result in eye strain and fatigue. Reducing the pain associated with light-on-dark interfaces by switching to a dark-on-light display can help encourage users to stay on your site for longer.

 

If you’re a Spotify user, your eyes (and ears) have been benefiting from dark mode features for years.

 

Dark Mode Can Save Brain and Battery Power

UX research shows that dark backgrounds enhance page contrast, making visuals pop and easier for the users to focus on. If your site is imagery-heavy or puts an emphasis on visual or graphic content, dark mode will allow users to be more engaged and get through your site quicker and easier, retaining more content faster and leaving with a stronger impression of what you have to offer.

Dark mode can also save device battery life. Studies show a dark theme can reduce battery usage significantly, especially for users viewing your site on a mobile device. White pixels are more power-hungry than dark pixels, which allow devices to use less energy. In an era when users are glued to their screens, anything that can save device battery power is a win — and your website could be one of those things.

So Now You’re Interested in Dark Mode, but Don’t Know Where to Start?

Good thing Bluetext has got you covered. As a leading digital marketing agency in DC that specializes in website design and making powerful sites for clients all over the world, we’d like to offer up a few pieces of advice to consider when thinking about creating or adding dark mode to your site:

  1. Determine if dark mode is really right for your website content–and where. Dark mode is great for enhancing emotional branding, showcasing photos and graphics, and emphasizing visual content, but not so great for displaying big chunks of text. Light text on dark backgrounds can cause readability issues in practice, so portions of your website that are or will be pretty text-heavy, dark mode may not be the best choice to display your content. Consider reserving dark mode for a homepage, or flashy campaign landing page, but maybe not your product details.
  2. Make sure your brand colors can actually work well with a light-on-dark design (see tip #3). If not, but you’re still set on pursuing dark mode, consider going through a rebrand before implementing dark mode.
  3. Verify your light-on-dark color scheme meets accessibility color contrast standards.
  4. Dark backgrounds de-accentuate empty space, so limit the number of elements (lots of icons, buttons, and small images) used together within viewports to avoid looking cluttered.
  5. Make sure your design will work in both low-light and high-light environments.
  6. Use illumination over shadows to communicate depth.
  7. Avoid highly saturated colors.
  8. Leave room for a regular/light option and give users the ability to toggle back and forth as they desire.
  9. Work with an agency like Bluetext to ensure your dark mode website is sleek, powerful, on-brand, and communicates a strong and engaging message to your audience.

Learn more about dark mode and how Bluetext can help you take your website to the next level. Contact us today.

“Out with the old and in with the new” is our motto heading into 2024. Based on our UX and website design experience, we foresee static websites on a one-way train out. This trend has been long and coming, and it’s about time to improve your website user experience by incorporating more interactive design and animation to improve brand equity.

What is Interactive Content?

Interactive content can be seen as two-way content. Traditional written and video content is static, meaning website users passively consume information. Simple and straightforward, but limited. With static content, people can only engage with content by clicking, hovering, and answering questions. 

Interactive content serves users relevant information in a process. One that can be made fun and engaging, without bordering on burdensome. You’ve already come across this type of content format on different websites. Some examples include calculators, quizzes, surveys and polls, interactive infographics, and interactive timelines.

Interactive Content Gives Value to Users in an Engaging Way

Interactive content makes your content easier to digest by taking difficult information and providing it in bite-sized pieces. It transforms their experience from boring to interesting.

When you leverage interactive content, you can personalize information for your users by incorporating quizzes or calculators and providing them with content that’s relevant to them. 

When National Business Capital turned to Bluetext, they sought an interactive calculator that would provide users a quick snapshot of their monthly payment if they chose National as their lending broker. The user simply needs to enter their loan amount, term length, and interest rate and the calculator provides an immediate estimate of their monthly payment. If they click “Apply Now”, that user’s information is captured and reduces the length of the application form, ultimately improving their experience.

Redefining Interactive with Animated Infographics

If you are looking for ways to improve the visuals on your website but can’t necessarily build out a fully interactive webpage, then you should consider animated infographics in your 2024 website redesign.

What exactly is an animated infographic? An animated infographic is a way of visualizing information using a combination of imagery, illustrations, charts, graphs, text, and other elements that are animated, to add movement. 

When infographics first gained serious traction online, they started as static illustrations. They would often take the form of extremely long images you’d need to scroll through, but they had a certain charm to them. Shapes, colors, illustrations, and an easy-to-follow structure are big reasons why static infographics work. All that scrolling and slow uncovering of new information was exactly what made the experience enjoyable. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. But here’s the catch, not everyone has time or attention for this long and leisurely road trip. Static-form infographics certainly have their strengths, but digital marketers must be wary of attention spans and the volume of information packed into one design.

An animated infographic will have a much better chance of being noticed, opened, and looked at. With today’s “snackable” content on social media, we need to improve the way users can digest this still somewhat “lengthy” content, and animation is a great way to do just that.

When Rithum™ turned to Bluetext to help bring their offering to life, Bluetext designed and developed a 3-D animated infographic that provided a memorable visual experience for the user, easily establishing and providing them with the information they need to understand the Rithum Network and Platform.

Interactive and Animated Content Will Make Your Brand Memorable

Remember, adding more colors to visuals increases readers’ attention span and recall by 82 percent. So, incorporating animated infographics into your existing content marketing strategy can yield great returns.

Ready to design and develop your next interactive or animated content? Contact Bluetext today.

In the ever-evolving landscape of website development, choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for your company is a critical decision. Webflow has gained popularity as a robust and visually-driven CMS, providing a unique approach to web design and development since its inception in 2013. 

 

What is Webflow?

When it comes to web design, tools that empower creativity and streamline the development process are highly sought after. One such tool that provides a range of capabilities is Webflow—a cloud-based, ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) design tool that runs in a web browser. According to builtwith.com, there are currently over 368,000 websites built on Webflow. If you’re new to the realm of website creation or curious about exploring innovative solutions, let’s break down the pros and cons of this particular CMS option. 

 

Pros:

  1. Intuitive Interfaces

One of Webflow’s standout features is its user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface. This allows designers to create visually appealing websites without delving deep into complex code. The intuitive design empowers individuals with varying levels of technical expertise to bring their creative ideas to fruition, and they’re also able to collaborate simultaneously. 

 

2. All-In-One Hosting Solution

Webflow offers hosting services as part of its package, eliminating the need for third-party hosting solutions. This integrated approach simplifies the deployment process and ensures a high-level of security with Webflow’s free SSL certificate. 

3. Optimized SEO

Webflow provides a range of features and tools that can positively impact SEO. It generates clean and semantic HTML, ensuring that search engines can easily crawl and index the content of your website. There are also the impacts of having fast loading speeds, control over meta tags, 301 redirects, alt text, etc. 

4. Improved Site Speed

Webflow’s hosting infrastructure is designed for speed. There are multiple factors contributing to improved site speed through Webflow, such as the minification of CSS and JavaScript, browser caching preloading, automatic lazy loading of images, and much more. 

5. Unique Animation Capabilities

From simple transitions to complex animations, Webflow empowers designers to bring websites to life without relying on external tools or complex code.  

 

Cons:

  1. Restriction on eCommerce

While the platform does provide e-commerce capabilities, it may not be as feature-rich or as customizable as some dedicated e-commerce platforms. Users may find limitations in terms of advanced e-commerce functionalities, complex product management, or intricate sales processes. Additionally, the available payment gateways might not be as extensive as those offered by specialized e-commerce solutions such as Shopify. 

2. Cost Considerations 

Webflow’s pricing may be a concern for smaller businesses or individuals on a tight budget. While it offers various plans to cater to different needs, the cost can add up, particularly for those requiring advanced features or increased customization. It may also be challenging to choose a pricing plan that best suits your business and needs. 

3. Limited Plugins Available 

Unlike some other Content Management Systems that may offer extensive libraries of plugins and extensions, Webflow’s plugin options are more constrained. On the other hand, however, there are quite a few WordPress plugins that Webflow actually accounts for, such as Forms, Askimet, Yoast SEO, Elementor, and more. 

 

Webflow is more than just a website builder; it’s a platform that unleashes creativity, simplifies development, and provides a holistic solution for bringing digital ideas to life. Whether you’re a designer aiming for visual excellence, a developer seeking efficient workflows, or a business looking for a robust online presence, Webflow offers a versatile and powerful toolkit for achieving your goals. However, when it comes to choosing a CMS, it’s important to consider Webflow’s pros and cons based on your project’s specific requirements—it may not be the perfect fit for every project. By weighing these factors, you can determine whether Webflow aligns with your goals or not. 

 

If you’re still not sure what CMS may be right for you, contact us. Bluetext’s experience and expertise with WordPress, Drupal, and Webflow can help you build an effective online presence no matter what CMS you choose. 

 

Pagination – a seemingly simple yet immensely impactful element of web design and content organization. One that can transform an overwhelming scroll into a series of inviting steps, prompting exploration and easing the burden of information overload. In this post, we’ll uncover the essential role pagination plays in enhancing user experience and strategies to create a seamless, page-turning digital journey for all who venture online.

PAGINATION IMPORTANCE

Pagination is a user-friendly approach for the display and management of large volumes of information on a website. In contrast to infinite scrolling- or, a continuous flow of content that automatically loads as the user scrolls down the page- pagination involves creating a system of numbered links or buttons that allow users to navigate through different pages or sections of content and data. This is a critical tactic in website design as it significantly enhances usability. 

When used strategically, pagination can positively impact user experience in the following ways:

  • Easier access to relevant content. While infinite scrolling can provide an immersive experience, it can be difficult for users to locate specific information or access footer navigation. Pagination enables users to quickly locate the content they’re interested in and can significantly reduce the length of a page, making it easier for users to reach the footer.
  • Maintains a balance between aesthetics and function. Cluttered interfaces with endless scrolling can lead to a clunky user experience. Pagination offers a clean and structured layout, preserving the overall coherence and readability of the website’s design. Not only does this enhance the visual appeal of the website, but allows users to enjoy a more intuitive browsing experience.
  • Simplifies content consumption. Without pagination, websites featuring extensive articles, product listings, or search results could become overwhelming and tedious to navigate. By breaking down content into smaller, manageable chunks across multiple pages, users can easily digest information without a sense of frustration.
  • Responsive Design: Pagination can also contribute to a more responsive design, especially on mobile devices. Large volumes of content on a single page can be challenging to render properly on small screens, while pagination allows for a more adaptable and user-friendly presentation.
  • Faster Load Times: With infinite scrolling on a long page, you’re constantly loading more and more content into memory. This hurts page performance since the browser has much more work to do to load the page. By spreading content across multiple pages or views, pagination reduces the amount of data that has to render and transmit on initial page load. This leads to a faster and smoother browsing experience for users, including those who may have slower internet connections or limited bandwidth.

In addition to positively impacting user experience, pagination also plays a crucial role in improving web accessibility by making it easier for users of all abilities to access and interact with the content effectively. Here are a few of the ways pagination helps ensure that content remains digestible and navigable for those with disabilities or impairments:

  • Reduced Cognitive Load: Individuals with cognitive disabilities can often find it challenging to process large amounts of information presented on a single page. Pagination breaks down content into smaller, more manageable segments, reducing cognitive overload and making it easier for these users to understand and engage with the material.
  • Improved Screen Reader Experience: Screen readers- tools used by people with visual impairments- navigate web pages by reading out the content in a linear fashion. With pagination, the content is presented in a structured manner, allowing screen readers to provide better context and enable users to explore the information more efficiently.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Some users rely solely on keyboard navigation due to motor impairments or other reasons. Pagination provides clear landmarks and links, enabling these users to move through the content with precision. It prevents the need to scroll through an overwhelming amount of data, making navigation smoother.
  • Predictable Interaction: Consistent and predictable user interactions are vital for accessibility. Pagination offers a standard way for users to move between pages, ensuring that individuals who rely on assistive technologies can anticipate and understand how to navigate the website’s content.

To sum it up, pagination prevents information overload, allows for ease of use, and improves navigation, all of which collectively contribute to a more user-friendly, inclusive, and satisfying experience on a website.

PAGINATION TYPES AND USES

In web design, different types of pagination styles can be employed to enhance user experience and navigation. Each style offers a unique way of presenting content across multiple views. Let’s break down some of the most common pagination styles and when they should be used:

  • Numeric Pagination: This is a classic pagination style that involves displaying a series of numbered links that correspond to different pages of content. Numeric pagination is suitable for websites with a substantial amount of content, such as articles, blog posts, or search results. It provides users with a clear overview of the available pages and allows them to jump to specific sections directly.

Check out our SonicWall work here

  • Prev/Next Pagination: Prev/Next pagination employs “Previous” and “Next” links to navigate between pages sequentially. This style is suitable for content that follows a linear progression, such as articles or blog posts. It’s a simple and intuitive approach that is especially useful when users prefer to read content in a specific order. See this approach in action on the Bluetext blog — and read some more UX tips and tricks while you’re at it!
  • Alphabetical Pagination: Alphabetical pagination categorizes content based on alphabetic characters, allowing users to jump to sections of content starting with a particular letter. Alphabetical pagination helps organize a large amount of data in an easily accessible manner and is most often used for directories, glossaries, or indexes.

Explore more of our TS Imagine work here

  • Date-Based Pagination: Date-based pagination organizes content by date, often seen in archives, news websites, or event listings. Users can navigate through different periods of time to find relevant information. This style helps users discover content based on chronological relevance.
  • “Load More” Button: Instead of traditional pagination links, the “Load More” button dynamically loads additional content as the user progresses down the page. This approach is a strong alternative to infinite scrolling, allowing for the same seamless feel and browsing experience while minimizing page reloads and giving users control over when to retrieve new content. “Load More” is commonly used for social media feeds, image galleries, and continuous content streams, as well as robust listings like Google search results. 

Google search listings recently upgraded from a simple, numeric pagination to a dynamic scroll and load more experience.

When choosing a pagination style, it’s important to consider the type of content you’re presenting, user preferences, and the platform’s goals. The chosen style should align with the overall user experience strategy, offering convenience, clear navigation, and a seamless interaction that caters to the specific needs of your audience and the nature of the content being displayed.

Ready to pump up your pagination or revamp your website with the help of a leading digital design agency and UX experts? Get in touch with Bluetext today and let us transform your digital brand experience, one page at a time.

7 Key Considerations for Optimal User Experience Design

When it comes to architecting and designing a new website, we hear people drop the “UX” buzzword all the time. Oftentimes what they mean is, “the experience users will have on my site,” rather than the true definition of user experience design (UX), which is to design for the user. It’s easy to get distracted by ego. We want our websites to be unique and visually interesting, but sometimes it’s at the expense of the user. True UX means always prioritizing the user’s needs above all other considerations, even if you have to make sacrifices.

The easiest way to design for the user’s experience is to remember that people use websites to find information. They are not looking to be impressed by some fancy animation or navigation they’ve never seen before. That’s why UX really begins before the design phase, in information architecture planning.

1. Sitemap UX

Once you have your website personas, you can define what type of content those personas are looking for and how they are most likely to find it. There are typically three ways to structure your site map: by category, by task, and by audience. Sometimes a site map will provide two options, but all three is rare and may actually hurt more than it helps. Make sure your navigation is structured how your users would look for information, not how you structure your company.

Site map pro tips:

  •       Within your menu, try to limit any single level of navigation to no more than 7 items, as that is the average recall limit of our short-term memory.
  •       Use terminology in your menu people understand. For example, an internally named product like ‘Awesomeness5X” may not mean anything to someone looking for a blender with 5 speeds.
  •       Use a different structure in your actual site map page than your menu. If a user ends up there, it’s likely because they couldn’t find what they were looking for in the way you presented it in your menu.

2. Content Strategy UX

Once you have your sitemap, it’s time for your on-page content strategy. Again, in thinking about our users it’s important to remember a few things. First, people read much less on a computer screen than they do on paper. Conciseness is key. If you can, put your “bottom line up front” and then expand on details. People will keep reading if they know they’re on the right page, but may bounce if they can’t quickly find the information they’re looking for. Second, make your page as easily scannable as possible by using headings and lists. Brains love lists!

Content pro tips:

  • If your page becomes very long with more than three headings, it likely means you need to add detail pages.
  • Keep things elementary. You may want to impress your users with big words, but the average user has a basic or low level of literacy.

3. Global Elements UX

As you start to move into design, remember that most people use the internet all the time, and we’ve learned to look for common visual cues on websites. Part of UX design is including visual cues to help the user navigate and use your site. For example, many people will arrive on your site on a page other than the home page through Search. If they do, they need to orient themselves. A great way to provide this orientation is through breadcrumbs and meta titles. When it comes to icons, always include a label. Do not assume users know what your icon means. Lastly, underline your links and change the color once they’ve been clicked to help the user understand where they can go and where they’ve been.

4. Imagery and Videos UX

Media is great. It can bring a lot of life to a website. However, media should never distract from the content and should always provide value. Adding a large grid of images to a page at the expense of important content is distracting and images that are not relevant or feel inauthentic, do not provide value. If adding videos, allow the user to interact with video settings and do not have them autoplay.

5. Search UX

Even with the best architecture, users will still search, sometimes even as their preferred method of navigating. Try to mimic the Search engine results pages we’ve all become familiar with. This means including the page title, a description, and the URL in the form of a breadcrumb in each result.

Search pro tips:

  • Make the entire listing result clickable, no just the title or URL link.
  • Keep the search field on the results page with the query still in the field for easy editing.

6. Mobile UX

Mobile usage increases every day. It’s imperative that everything you make available to a desktop user is available to a mobile user, meaning you don’t forego content or key functionality. Make sure anything clickable is at least 40x40px so fingers don’t make mistakes or struggle. Lastly, consider site speed. Most mobile connections are much slower than our home Internet, so make sure your users can load your page at a reasonable speed. See our site speed blog for more information on site speed optimization.

7. Accessibility UX

Lastly, consider all users. Your design and website functionality should ensure that users with any sort of barrier can interact with your site, including those with physical disabilities. Common UX issues related to accessibility revolve around color contrast, keyboard navigation, and screen reader capabilities.  By following WCAG guidelines, you can ensure that users can experience your site as intended.

Accessibility pro tip:

This blog is in no way comprehensive, but it touches on common parts of the web design process in which the user is easily forgotten. Remember that the user is why the website exists, so always ask yourself, “is this choice helping my user?” Data can also be very helpful if trying to assess your UX. Where does your analytics show users dropping off? What do screen recordings of real sessions show? 

If you need any help along the way or want to learn more about UX Design, contact us at Bluetext to guide you through a strategic website project with UX best practices in mind.

The competitive landscape for capturing visitor attention through digital experiences is crowded and overwhelming to say the least. Not only do you need to grab visitors’ attention, but also present thoughtful UX design that guides them to a desired action and outcome. So how do you accomplish this when it seems like everyone else wants the same thing? 

Creative differentiation is a key first step in grabbing the attention of your audience and unique interactivity throughout the user journey can be the extra step that keeps visitors present and engaged in your site content. At the end of the day, a website is a tool for presenting information – so why not do it in the most unique and engaging way that you can? This is where 3D interactive design comes in. With the limitless content possibilities available to us all, thoughtful and creative 3D design with helpful elements of interactivity can elevate your website’s content and UX to a memorable and effective experience resulting in conversions and lead generation. 

Check out Bluetext’s work for Aeyon’s go-to-market campaign leveraging custom 3d animation throughout the page scroll experience!

Immersive design is a balance – it should have the coveted wow factor but also should achieve practical benchmarks like accessibility, effective communication of information, and an intuitive user journey. The implementation of 3D interactive design should follow best practices to ensure that site visitors are delighted and not overwhelmed by the UX – more is not always more. For example, the use of complex 3D layering and visual effects on every component of your homepage would create a visual overkill and also harm the practicality of the page when it comes to loading times, page speed, and site performance metrics. On the other hand, having an eye-catching 3D hero with engaging hover states is enough to entice the visitor to continue on the site where they can find other elegant 3D applications of the visual brand. 

There is a multitude of 3D design styles that can be applied to a brand through web design, each with its own capacity to tell the brand story. Layering and masking can create depth in design while allowing the intermixing of imagery and brand shapes.

The use of illustration can also be used in 3D design to emphasize the real objects seen in brand imagery, it can also be used in a brand that wants to convey simplicity while avoiding the use of generic stock images. 

Typography can even be brought to life with 3D shadowing and interactive states!

In addition to the possibilities for 3D design elements, there is endless opportunity to create unique interactivity within those elements. Things like hover states, scroll transitions, the reveal of content on hover, interactive graphics and more can elevate an already elegant 3D design application. It is crucial to remember, though, that each of these elements should be chosen carefully to reflect the ultimate goal of the page whether that is a form completion, subscription sign-up, resource download, or simply continued site engagement.  

Want to learn more about how 3D interactive design can elevate your brand? Contact Bluetext to learn about our 3D design services!

A company website is an opportunity for a user to interact with the company’s brand, and the first impression that the site creates can make the difference between a user being an explorer or a deserter. An explorer is an intrigued, curious customer, digging through the site searching for relevant information, taking note of all the content they pass along the way. A deserter, on the other hand, is a bored user that is either underwhelmed with their user experience or overwhelmed by the copy and content to sort through, leading them to leave the page and making them less likely to return. 

The ideal user experience on a website should keep users engaged and interacting with the site, begging even the most uninterested users to become avid explorers. Immersive scrolling is a recent trend in UX design that can stimulate this interactiveness by drawing users in and keeping them engrossed in the site content while directing them through information in a narrative format. Immersive scroll experiences use imagery, videos, graphics, or even sound design to pull users into the content and weave them through the information in a more dynamic way. 

A site built with immersive scroll functionality should have unique elements that the user can click, drag, or zoom into. For example, read our blog on Designing Truly Immersive Websites

In it, we explore the 2℃ Earth page example, which has an impressive number of unique immersive scroll elements, highlighted below: 

1. Click to EnterAfter landing on the site, the page initially loads a plain black screen, with a scrolling message encouraging the user to click anywhere on the page in order to unlock further content. This functionality creates a sense of intrigue and discovery, like unwrapping a present. Rather than overwhelming the user with content upon landing, the sleek, simple screen engages users with the invitation to search for more and gives them simple, clear directions on how to find it. 

2. Click & Drag Imagery Filters – Upon entering the site, the interactivity continues. In the hero image, the site has a click & drag functionality where users can apply a thermal imagery filter overtop of the image they’re seeing. This interactivity is novel, so it insights a feeling of awe in users, but it also is relevant to the messaging the site is trying to portray. Explained by the directions on the page, the imagery represents the past and future of a natural landscape – a before and after of the effects of global warming. This is a prime example of how the functionality on the site can be informative and impactful, in addition to being entertaining.

3. Imagery Takes a Front Seat – On traditional sites imagery typically acts as supporting content for the copy. On a site with an immersive experience, however, the visual elements of the site are in the front seat; for example, you can see how the 2℃ Earth page displays large imagery (often expanding outside of a single viewport), and adds interesting micro animations or text overlays to keep the users focused on the images, front, and center. Where a traditional site would keep images static, 2℃ Earth instead has imagery expanding on scroll. This is a good alternative to video content, adding a splash of movement to the otherwise static image.

4. Variation in Content Layout – Throughout the page, the content alternates from full-width imagery to 50-50 imagery with text, to right-aligned imagery, to full-screen stylized text, etc. When viewing the page for the first time, the user cannot anticipate where to look next, so each new viewport is an exciting, surprising layout. Alternating the content and imagery placement, keeps the user on the edge of their seat, forcing them to reconsider and analyze the content on each new viewport, looking for nuggets of information or ways to interact with the page. 

Here at Bluetext, we work to create website designs that are visually appealing, interactive, and intuitive. For example, see below for a breakdown of some of the immersive design elements we brought to the homepage of the Asimily website: 

1. The logo moves into the navigation bar on scroll. 

When first landing on the page, the Asimily logo appears full-width, almost filling the entire screen. This emphasis on the logo aids in brand awareness for users who have never visited the site before. However, as a user scrolls down, the logo shifts up to its spot in the navigation bar, where it remains on the page as a more of a background element, but still within sight. 

2. Scroll function allows shifting through tabs.

Rather than using a typical tabbed module (where a user must click different tab headings to navigate information), instead, we designed this unique component to shift to the next tab when the user scrolls down the page. This ensures that the user sees all of the information added to the page. A typical tabbed module, without this unique scroll immersion, would leave much information hidden, and unlikely to be explored by the user. 

3. Highlighting snackable video content. 

You’ll notice as you scroll through the page that there are many short snippets of videos included throughout the design. These shorter videos add visual intrigue and informational insights to the page content, while not expecting the user to sit through a full minute-long video all in one go. 

 

Other examples of immersive scroll interactiveness from the creative minds at Bluetext can be seen in these elements of this campaign landing page we designed for Sectigo. 


1. Circular scroll transition

To really capture the feeling of openness for this campaign, we designed a circular transition on this page, where the viewport is taken over by a white circle that envelops the background as the user scrolls down. The novelty of this action takes users by surprise and adds excitement to the meaning behind the openness theme. 

2. Horizontal line animation

As the user continues to scroll down the page, the green lines from the Sectigo brand cut across the screen horizontally. These lines then break open to reveal the next content, which leads perfectly into the message of how Sectigo’s platform interoperability breaks down barriers. 

3. Small text animation

Animation was applied to the “That Breaks” text on this page to visually convey the meaning behind the words on the screen, rather than just feeding static copy to the users. These sorts of targeted animations/movements keep user attention trained to very specific areas on the page, which helps hold their attention while they scroll through the content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immersive scroll elements can be incorporated into an otherwise traditional site layout, but for the most impactful experience, the immersive experience should be considered from the beginning to the end of the user journey on the page. The following questions are especially relevant when deciding whether or not site content would be well-suited to an immersive experience: 

  • Is there a single key theme that this page can take users through, in a linear fashion? The immersive experience is bringing the user along throughout a story, which requires a clear direction and a logical, ordered approach to how information is presented. 
  • Are there exciting, high-quality visuals to accompany this story? Whether it’s imagery, illustrations, graphics, or video content, the immersive site more heavily relies on keeping the user visually engaged, so that they don’t lose interest or direction when navigating through numerous components of the page. 
  • What unique interactions could be designed for the user to play with the content in front of them? In the immersive scroll experience, users are not just viewers of the site, but participants in it. This type of UX design can have a largely gamified feeling, designed to have users navigate from point A to point B of their own accord, with a feeling of delight and wonder as they discover content in ways they didn’t expect it. 

If you’re considering implementing an immersive scroll experience for your website, or you simply want to improve your website design and interactivity, contact Bluetext to learn about our UX design & development services.

We already feel like we’ve cracked the code for designing and developing responsive websites, but how do we adapt to ever-changing hardware and thus, screen sizes? How do we address the design for touch-screen flip phones? How about new designs from Apple or Samsung that shake things up in the display department? This year alone we have seen new formats bringing back the 2000s nostalgia of phones that flip, fold, and more.

In this blog post, we explore the top 4 ways to ensure your website is ready for new breakpoints as handheld devices, laptops, desktop computers, and televisions continue to evolve.

Ensure your design is leveraging the specs of the latest hardware so that you’re not launching with an already out-of-date design

When you’re planning for a new website, make sure your website design agency knows the latest hardware specifications for the most frequently used devices. They should keep an eye out for the pixel height and width of the top five most widely used screens and ensure their design can adhere to these standards. This should be considered for mobile, tablet, and desktop sizes, otherwise, your designs may be considered out-of-date before they even get into development. Be diligent in checking your website’s Google Analytics to see an up-to-date breakdown of device types & even models being used by your current website visitors. 

Additionally, as many still working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some people have adopted larger monitors for their at-home workstations. Some of these monitors will display websites at much larger sizes than intended, so we need to consider what the maximum size will look like as well so they do not look distorted or have any unintended bugs.

Establish breakpoints for the design before getting into development

Now that your website design team has established the most commonly used browser sizes for mobile, tablet, and desktop and designed the display for each, it is time to think about when the design needs to transition between each layout. How should the vertical display of the tablet differ from the horizontal? How should a small desktop browser size look in comparison to a larger desktop screen? These are all questions to consider before getting into development.

Your website design agency should ensure there are no gaps between breakpoints, meaning that there should not be a 10-pixel difference between designs so that the development team knows when to trigger the next display. Establishing the pixel breakpoints will keep the website responsive across all displays and will ensure there are minimal opportunities for a display mishap.

Get down to the nitty gritty in your code

When development gets underway, make sure you are using the best practices for writing responsive code. You can even start by developing the mobile display first, working your way up from mobile to tablet, and then eventually desktop and larger.

Consider leveraging viewport specifications directly in your code by using the initial-scale definition within your meta tag to ensure you are setting the stage for the rest of the code to come. From there, you will be able to use percentage values to set font sizing, image scaling, etc. to make sure your website is scaling up and down appropriately. You can also set the max-width for images and different sections within the page to ensure they do not scale too large on certain displays.

Be sure to test your website design before going live

No website is perfect overnight. Make sure your website design agency is fully equipped to perform quality assurance testing by leveraging the latest devices. Don’t have the actual device? That shouldn’t be an issue. One cloud-based testing tool that provides users with all of the latest hardware to test is BrowserStack. BrowserStack is a testing platform that provides developers with the ability to test their websites and mobile applications across on-demand browsers, operating systems, and real mobile devices. By testing the website across various devices, you can discover new breakpoints that may cause display issues for your users, giving you time to remedy them before making the website public.

While it is hard to forecast what the next device is going to look like, we can prepare websites for the changing hardware landscape by designing and developing responsive websites. Taking the time to find the right website design agency will ultimately save you time and money in the long run as technology constantly evolves.

Looking for your next website design agency? Contact us today.

Sales strategies are constantly evolving, but transitions are rarely seamless and each comes with a distinct set of challenges. One digital marketplace trend many B2B companies are experimenting with is expediting the sales process to enable direct e-commerce features. Perhaps new products or promotions are being debuted, or a-la-carte features are newly available for specific use cases. All may have high growth potential, but for a company that has been built and scaled within the B2B sphere, it can be difficult to bridge the e-commerce gap and offer the B2C experience consumers have grown to need. Let’s break down 3 essential steps to bridging the e-commerce gap for B2B success. 

Optimize UX Design

When website users are accustomed to the latest and greatest UX experiences in their personal lives, there will be a natural expectation for these features in their professional settings. Not only do users expect a streamlined design, but they also demand speed and ease. Think about your last Amazon purchase or Uber Eats order. Forgot to grab milk at the grocery store? No problem, millions have gotten into the habit of turning to AmazonFresh. Within a matter of seconds, you were likely able to find the desired product, add it to the cart, check out and viola your milk can be at your door within an hour. B2C experiences have never been faster. 

Now while your customers will not be expecting a one-hour delivery window, they will be accustomed to that ease of browsing, comparison, and checkout process. It is critical for any B2B company entering the e-commerce space to centralize product and pricing information. Important information for each product offered should be clearly presented, along with transparent pricing information. Interactive pricing tables are a great way to enable a self-service UX and efficient feature evaluation. Even if your business isn’t offering an e-commerce channel, interactive pricing sliders such as the ones used by Apprsl are positive ways to exemplify transparency and autonomous browsing. 

The UX is arguably the most important piece of a B2B e-commerce strategy in optimizing e-commerce features. Your website user experience determines how users navigate the sales funnel, from start to finish. Brands should follow established best practices like making calls-to-action stand out, ensuring important elements are easily identifiable using color or size, and making the navigation experience just as intuitive on tablet and mobile as it is on a desktop. But a lesser acknowledged aspect of UX design is the ability for the user to manage all order fulfillment scenarios in a single viewport. Complex scenarios like sourcing, consignment, and delivery should be easily accessible in one place online to improve the sales experience from start to finish.

Contact 

Speaking of self-service, contact information is absolutely critical. A B2B e-commerce optimization strategy must also include making it easy for prospects and customers to contact you. This is particularly true for new customers, as while you may be offering direct purchases on your platform, some may prefer to discuss their particular needs over the phone or chat.

Beyond generic contact forms, brands should seriously consider customer self-service tools, like chatbots, that can provide fast and efficient support while providing increased flexibility for the customer. A chatbot, as long as it is non-invasive and provides relevancy, is a great way for brands to efficiently complete simple communication tasks, gather information, and answer commonly asked questions. There has been an evolution toward self-service in B2B industries—for good reason. It enables customers to research and purchase on their own terms while reducing overhead costs for the company. Read more about why chatbots are becoming critical to businesses of B2B, B2C, and everything in between. 

Make Relevant Recommendations

Finally, providing recommended product information and resources is the icing-on-top feature that will go a long way in improving the customer user experience. Many businesses put all the focus on the early stages of the sales funnel and neglect the follow-through. When users become so accustomed to the “Recommend For You” or personalized content across digital touchpoints, it can leave them unsatisfied and wanting more. The power of the right product recommendation and personalization overall should not be understated. Accenture found that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations. Following up on an e-commerce purchase with a recommendation for supplementary solutions or relevant product resources is an easy way to keep a personal touch on the impersonal individual checkout experience.

With so many recent technologies coming to market, B2B brands can leverage AI-driven product recommendation engines that improve the customer experience by serving up personalized, relevant content that buyers might not have discovered otherwise. Read more on why Bluetext recommends the benefits of website personalization for increased conversion rates, customer acquisition, and brand perception.

A shift into e-commerce channels may seem like a big lift for your business’ website. However, with the right strategies and keen focus on the three areas above, it can be achievable and sustainable for your business to boost conversions and sales. Bluetext has helped many clients implement e-commerce channels within their website’s UX strategy, such as SixFifty’s document marketplace and Centre Law’s course catalog. Contact us to learn more about the untapped potential of bridging B2C e-commerce features into the B2B world.