Establishing a personal connection between your business and the customers you serve is one of the most critical elements of a successful marketing strategy. From tailored social media posts to targeted ad campaigns, companies will pour swathes of resources and countless hours into pursuing a personal connection with consumers. Chasing that magic spark transforms them from company to companion in the eyes of the market. So why, if that human connection is so important, do many businesses abandon it when building their websites? Why, when they’ve almost gotten a customer to the finish line, do they greet them with generic home pages devoid of character and life? The answer lies not in the intentional design choices they made but rather the ones they didn’t. In a digital-first world and with the growth of online interactions, it is critical that digital marketers do not lose focus on the human behind the screen.
The Devil is in the Details
Certain aspects of every site (like copy and primary visuals) are often prioritized and will receive the care and attention they need to ensure user engagement. Many businesses, however, fail to consider more minute aspects of the user experience while building their websites. Elements like tab icons, custom cursors, and footer designs contribute to the feelings a potential customer will be left with after that crucial first impression on the home page. These subtle finishing touches are the lifeblood of humanized websites. While they may not be the main attraction, they play a significant role in setting your site apart from the pack and giving your brand its own distinct flair. Here are a few digital touchpoints you may have neglected, along with some inspiration from brands that are making the most of them.
Favicons; Small Pixels, Major Impacts
Favicons (a shortening of favorite icons) might only be a few pixels big, but they can significantly impact how potential customers are directed to your site. A favicon is a graphic element displayed in various places, including Google search results, autocomplete search suggestions, browser histories, and browser tabs. While they may be small, favicons play a significant role in how users recognize your brand and interact with your website. The average person has between 10 and 20 tabs open simultaneously while using the internet. A memorable favicon can help potential customers recognize and return to your site in a crowd of tabs.
Consistent aesthetics and responsive designs can help your favicons catch consumer attention and increase brand recognition. Google’s multi-color G is a classic example of the favicon and has seen its design applied to other products in the Google suite to maintain consistency and recognizability across websites. Trello’s dynamic tab icons change color and design to match users’ activity, drawing attention back to itself and giving users the sense that the site recognizes their presence.
Designing Footers That Use Your Head
Although they may come last on the page, the design of your footer shouldn’t be an afterthought. Often overlooked, the footer of your home page plays a critical role in the user journey, serving as the gateway to the other sections of your website. When a user isn’t sure where to navigate, the footer is a reliable option to find what they’re looking for. As a crux of the customer experience, the footer of your home page provides a great opportunity to incorporate design elements that support your overall brand messaging and drive a deeper understanding of your company’s vision.
Wild Souls, a Greek company dedicated to storing exotic nuts, features a rotating banner in their footer containing phrases and imagery that elaborate on the social causes they stand for. Bold expressions like “F**K PLASTIC” reinforce the anti-establishment and eco-friendly aesthetic of the Wild Souls brand.
Mafanfa, a website for buying hand-crafted Latin American goods, houses its footer’s website navigation links within various geometric shapes that spring to life when hovered over. The oblong shapes and dynamic movement give visitors a sense that the entire page is as customer-designed as the hand-woven clothing it sells.
Blue Stag is a UK-based creative agency that builds its mission on pushing boundaries and creating progress, a sentiment that comes through in their animated footer. Within it, a sky blue stag prances through a wavering mountainscape, a stark figure advancing through a changing landscape just like the company it’s named after.
Creating Custom Cursors That Click With Users
The cursor is the middleman between a user and your website. It’s a critical component of website navigation that will be within a user’s frame of focus the entire time they’re on your site. So why do so many companies neglect this constant source of consumer attention by settling with a generic white arrow? Custom cursors allow companies to provide visitors with a unique experience from the second they click into the site.
The digital agency Cuberto gives a masterclass in iterating on existing designs with their custom cursor that builds on the default design. A roving trail of dots hangs close to the familiar arrow and enlarges whenever it passes over important sections or key brand elements, a unique fusion of a design we’re familiar with and one that we’re not. Not only does this dynamic cursor intrigue visitors, but it allows Cuberto to more easily control the user journey through their homepage, drawing user attention to elements of the site they want to ensure that they see. Custom cursors can come in all different shapes and sizes, from brand icons to even animated designs. With so much opportunity, it’s a wonder why this UX trend is still such a rarity across website designs. A custom cursor is an unexpected detail that is likely to surprise and delight a website user and surely create a memorable browsing experience.
Making the most out of every element in your website design can seem like a daunting task. That’s where Bluetext can support. Contact us to learn more today.