Digital Design Q & A With Shaun

By Shaun Culbertson | April 21, 2017

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I’m Shaun, Digital Design Director here at designRoom. I recently took time to answer some of the most popular questions clients ask me. I decided to collect them and share them here,  in hopes they can also help you.

Q: I’ve been told that my site needs to be more responsive and the resolution should be increased. Is this true and how to do I go about it?

A: That depends on your audience and what devices they use to consume your digital content. The short answer is probably, “Yes”. But there are methodical steps you can take in order to do it right the first time. Since you’re asking me this question you probably have a website that has been live for a year or more, and the developer probably installed some type of analytics program. Most common is Google Analytics. The analytics should show us a few common trends. For example, what devices people are viewing your site through, browsers and dimensions, and the demographics of your website’s visitors. These trends are key to determining digital design according to device and user. If we find out that 80% of your customers view your website on a desktop computer using Firefox, I’d say responsive and mobile are not priorities. But if trends show visitors are equally distributed, then a site designed to be fully responsive to all devices and sizes would be ideal.

Q: Our unsubscribe rate is high on our monthly email newsletter. Is this a bad thing? What can we do to attract more engagement?

A: Yes and no to the unsubscribe rate. It ultimately depends on how your mailing list grew. It could be a problem if you’re not engaging your audience through the content your distributing. It’s either not what they expect or want or they don’t find it useful. It’s not a problem if the unsubscribe is more about filtering out bad emails and unqualified prospects than bad content. Time will tell, as you should see a more level click-through rate for you to analyze. Pay attention to why people are unsubscribing. It could be organic, or it might be a content issue. You can use your email marketing platform’s default questions or ask your own.

Q: Why are my website’s images blurry on some devices but not others? Is there a way to fix this?

A: I’d have to take a look at your images to know exactly why. Generally, there are three reasons for inconsistent image resolution:

1) The images the designer uploaded were fuzzy from the start, or “low-res”.

2) Your CMS could be enlarging them by default in the code. This stretches the pixels and makes they look blurry. There are usually settings in a CMS that say, display images at 100%, or use actual aspect ratio. Use these. But it depends on the CMS.

3) You don’t have retina version images for retina screen devices. For example, iPhones, iPads, and Apple computers all have retina screens which display at 144dpi as opposed to 72dpi screens.

Q: Our marketing budget is low this year, but I know there are things we should do to improve our website. Since we can’t redesign the entire site, what are some others things we can do to improve it?

A: Depending on your goals, there are a bunch of things you can do, especially if you can invest a little time. If you want to increase engagement, you invest a little in creating thoughtful and fresh content. The key is to dig into your analytics and determine where your visitors come from, where they go, and where they spend their time. For example, create a news and blog section. This will get you and your team in the habit of creating, finding, and posting content. Ideally, if you have a good idea what kind of content your visitors want it’s more likely to be shared. It will also be beneficial content to use when you are ready to re-design. If you want to think long-term, it’s likely you’ll need more than just a website redesign. You’ll need a re-brand too. Most of our clients look at their site and think its ugly and want it to look and function better. They don’t consider the root problem: your logo and identity probably needs to be re-designed first. This sets the foundation for a great website design. Think of your brand as a house: a strong frame; a solid foundation; advanced and reliable infrastructure. The decorating -website design, social and email design – comes after. You will save time and money in the long term if you think brand first.

Q: How can I get more engagement out of my landing pages?

A: Great question! Depending on where your audience is coming from – a display ad, email, or social media banner – it’s good to have a complete landing page strategy, including tracing and fulfillment, prior to development. Remember, video on a landing page increases the opportunity for clicks by 80%. Thats a huge benefit and almost a guarantee your brand will be engaged. Also, clear messaging and a strong call-to-action are key. Don’t let people think about why they are there. They will jump ship fast. Finally, make your contact button easy to see. Offer phone numbers, email, and a data capture form. All will increase your engagement.

If you have any digital design questions, email me at: shaun@designroom.com

I’ll be sure to incorporate your questions into my next Q&A blog post.

Best,

Shaun

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Author

Shaun Culbertson

Shaun is our Digital Design Director. He directs the design and development of all our digital work and positions the creative in all digital channels. Shaun offers our clients more than fifteen years of digital experience. Extremely detail-oriented and design-focused, Shaun always looks to take the design to the next level. Before arriving at dR, Shaun worked as Senior Art Director at Adcom and Art Director at Rosetta. He has worked on several Fortune 500 brands, including Sherwin-Williams, Marriott International, and Rigid Tools. Outside of work, Shaun is an avid backpacker, dog lover, and yogi.

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