Few topics have as much written about them online as web design itself, so for this article I want to narrow the focus slightly and give some top tips for designing websites specifically aimed at UK markets.DesignThe UK is renowned worldwide for its design – so what makes it so unique? Aesthetics are always highly subjective, but in my view it’s a combination of Europe’s funky designs and bright colours, with a little pinch of good old-fashioned British reserve thrown in for good measure.Looking at American websites, navy blues and burgundy reds reminiscent of the stars and stripes are very popular, as are browns harking back to the woodsy days of the founding fathers.
In UK designs, the colour palette tends to be a little brighter, while the designs tend to be a little simpler and sleeker.Marketing CopyBritish audiences don’t tend to appreciate overt marketing messages. You’re likely to win us over with something more abstract, comedic, or self-deprecating.For example, the slogan for a popular small car in the UK is “This is now”. The same car on the company’s American website is marketed with the slogan “It’s a pretty big deal”.Both boast the car’s technology and economy, but the first slogan is definitely more subtle.E-CommerceThere’s not space here to list everything to think about when setting up a UK e-commerce website, but here are a few of the most important.The choice of available payment gateways is different in the UK: while PayPal is popular on both sides of the pond, there are several very popular gateways in the USA that aren’t available in the UK and vice versa.It’s important to check which regulations will apply to UK consumers, with the distance selling regulations being of particular importance for e-commerce websites. The Business Link website is a good source of information about which regulations may apply.VAT accounting may also apply if your turnover reaches a certain threshold, and this can get very complex so it’s worth checking with a professional accountant.
Meanwhile certain Briticisms such as “trolley” or “postage” might make your UK-based shopper feel a teensy bit more at home than “cart” or “shipping”, as will a.uk domain name.Search Engine OptimisationIt’s important for search engines to recognise that your website is UK based. Again using a.uk domain as your main address is recommended unless you’re a multi-national, and choose a web host whose servers are based in the UK too.ConclusionWhether you’re a UK company planning a new website design with a UK focus, or perhaps an overseas outfit beginning to target UK customers, I hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful.
If you’ve ever thought that you need to join the information superhighway, and get yourself a website, you may be forgiven for thinking that there are more companies/individuals per square mile than there are PC’s in homes and businesses around the UK!The problem is how to decide which company you can work with, which one is telling the truth about their skills, their business premises, their staffing levels and their business acumen, as well as having a strong portfolio of clients to back this up.There are two key factors to consider:1. Working relationship – If your web designer was a full time member of staff, what you would want is a relationship based upon trust, commitment, enthusiasm and honesty. This is no different when choosing your website partners.
2. Results – You need to ensure that your website builder can deliver proven results – no matter what the benchmark is for those results. Equally ensure that they have delivered results for other companies.The important thing is your chosen partner can talk in your language, and that they do not lose you in web jargon. Also, they should be good listeners, and understand your aims and your goals for your website. However, you should be confident that they have the know-how to deliver what you require and can adapt to new ideas and latest methods for building perfect websites.If you already have a website, and you are looking for a refreshing new look, or you simply want to add pages to an existing site, then you may wish to take in the following pointers:Find a company who has a solid understanding of how to get your website working for you in the search engine listings – a vital skill which will help you achieve results and revenue from your website. Your website may not have the correct data (coding) behind it for this to be achieved. It may not be accessible and it may have errors in it that you cannot see.The beauty of the internet is you can find information to aide you in how to build a perfect site which is ready for a search engine to find it, naturally:W3C – The World Wide Web Consortium have a website standards checker ( http://validator.w3.org ).
WAVE – Website Accessibility Evaluation tool used to aid you in building a site which meets accessibility standards ( http://wave.webaim.org ).A website can raise your profile and will allow viewers an insight in to you, your business, or even your life. Good research will, hopefully, ensure you have the right partner to help you.Little or no research will cost you dearly:Search engines will fail to index your site, which in turn means that viewers won’t be able to find your site. Once there, users will leave after waiting for your site images to load or trying to read indiscernible text.Don’t get caught out. Heed these points and you should be on the right path to internet success!