Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 4 - Digital design : more than just beauty

Hey web surfers this week our topic is digital design.

What is digital design you say? 


"Digital design, a term used to describe a wide variety of computer related skills, includes work in fields such as web design,

  digital imaging and 3D modeling. 

The term can further be expanded to any digitally created 

visual media."



However one particular area I want to share with you is webpage design,  and the change from desktop to mobile webpage design.


A recent article in the Business insider discusses the evolution of webpage design and the need to simplify and not overfill webpages with text, media and ads.


Originally webpage viewing was limited to 

"slow modems, tiny monitors, and a limited colour palett", on desktop computers.


In the  turn of the century,  a market was created for mobile online services.

Early on mobiles/cellphones and PDA devices could not properly view webpages that were designed for desktop viewing, certainly for a number of years fine tuning was needed for webpages to fit the borders of handheld devices.


This void was somewhat filled with the introduction of tablet computers,  the apple ipad being one of the leading pioneers.


webpage viewing majority is moving to mobile viewing, so to make the most of these booming trends the focus needs to move away from the desktop and on to developing webpages well suited to mobile devices.


A quote from Owen Thomas, writer for the business insider, "those who designed tablet experiences from scratch were amply rewarded; we now regularly hear about online retailers who do 40 or 50 per cent of their sales on mobile, most of that from tablets".


Q1.  A customer centric Web site design is so important, yet so difficult to accomplish?

In order to create a customer centric website it would first be a good idea to ask customers, and yes I mean market research.

What is Customer centric website design? Well it involves making a website that meets the needs and wants of a brand's customers and prospects.



By proactively considering customer preferences and behaviour, you will be making more effective decisions on the content, product offerings, design, and transaction processes on your site.



Therefore a customer centric website must be designed to help customers with their problems, and should resolve issues that customers face when viewing the website.


When this is done well... sales and success will follow.

We must consider that websites fall into two categories, 

for profit and non for profit.

A succesful charity website makes the financial transaction 

of donating easy by offering several different 

financial institutions e.g. Visa, Paypal, Mastercard 

and the ability to share pages across social networks e.g. Facebook,Twitter and Friendster.



A good example of a succesful charity website is


Go fund me makes raising funds easy, anyone can create a page to raise funds from anything to personal fundraisers to a charity association fundraiser.

Why is it  so difficult to succesfully create a customer centric website? 

One of the reasons is because creating  a transaction process for a product or service is a fairly complicated thing to express effectively.



Q2. Define the term ‘presence’ describe why firms that do business on the Web should be more concerned about presence than firms that operate in the physical world.

 " Presence " is the appearance of a person or organization on the World Wide Web, the state of its virtual existence.

There are so many more facets to organizations that do business online.

Firstly it is important to show customers full specifications on products with several photos to show its ability and design.


BenQ created a pamphlet to show the full specifications of its top end projector, so you can know what it is capable of doing.



But seeing is also believing.
For a potential customer seeing this photo makes the projector more desirable in their mind because the picture makes them imagine what they could do with a BenQ projector, you could attach your computer, DVD player or a WiiU.

Customers also want to compare products, and find similar items based on price and capability.



The information age we live in means it is harder to make a connection with customers.

A person shopping for a small car could compare and analyze all new small cars on the market,
without ever visiting a car yard to be hustled by a car salesman.


Ford Australia try to avoid this fact in their television ads, by showing 'personal testimonies' of Ford customers.



People have more common sense then to walk up to a dealership and say "I want that blue one" and also believe that they are getting the best deal on the best finance available to them.



Most people have a budget and actually do research on competing car models, finance and take other cars for test drives before finally buying a car!



Ford in their 2013-2014 television ads are asking the audience to be naive, gullible and impulsive just like the people in their ads.

Ford refuse reality and substitute reality for some make believe fantasy where customers do not compare their cars to the competition.


Online stores like itunes or show you related items after you have made a purchase, with a tailored statement that says something like this... "people that purchased this item, also bought these", showing a list of products that will catch your attention due to their related use or genre.

If you bought a ipad mini on Kogan or were just viewing the ipad mini, an ad bar below shows ipad mini covers, stands, and protective screen covers.

More importantly you have to show customers that they can trust you, that your business is legitimate and capable of delivering the goods, in a timely manner.

There is very little tangibility to show this compared to a physical store, which is why big companies spend millions on their online presence, not only to be noticed but respected.

Q3. A website that doesn't suck and why, list its features

Luckily I'm not wasting your time with an example of a website that sucks, no I will show you a website that I love and that is so widely respected that it has to get your attention.

Yes I am referring to the itunes store, its pure and simple.

The only difficult part is creating your account, but once you've started searching for products and purchased a few, the itunes store will remember your previous transactions and show you this statement "people that purchased this item, also bought these".

You don't have to go searching high and low for new music in the genre you love, it comes to you!

Or if you are simply clueless where to start you can search music by genre and know that there are bound to be songs that you will love at the top of the selling list.


This website is beautiful not just because of its artistic features.


Notice that the helpful functions like play and search are spaced well apart at the top of each corner. 

Search results are shown in a simple manner, and you can have a preview listen to any song before buying it.

The colour scheme and spacing is well done, the background is a white and gray leaving the *colour all to the album covers, making the products 'STAND OUT' therefore easier to see.

(*If your wondering I didn't spell it as 'color' because I am an Australian, which is also why we pronounce it differently to Americans.)


You can also use your 'F' keys to control the music on the itunes store press 'F7' to play or pause, 'F6' and 'F8' to rewind or fast forward.

Thanks for looking next week - week 5 we will be looking at business models, with particular focus on issues with advertising models.

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