Website Prototyping Using Wireframes

Wireframing is a clickable HTML website prototype, which is an essential part of the UX process. We use them as a part of the testing process, through this we then get feedback from the client/stakeholder. It is important to understand that there is no design involved at the wireframing stage, it is theoretically thought to be a website skeleton.

The benefits of creating a prototype is to save money and time in the development and design stages. Here at Nvisage we use the prototype tool Axure, our staff members have been on Axure-wireframing courses and are constantly building our knowledge and skill.

Quote by Frank Lloyd Wright: “It’s easier to use an eraser on the drafting board, than a sledgehammer at the construction site”.

Below is an example of the wireframe that Nvisage produced in the early stages of Stonewater‘s new website launched in January 2015:

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 13.30.16

Below is the site designed, developed and now live:

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 13.30.51

Have you got an ageing website and are think its about time too have a fresh, modern, new look? Whether you would like to have a prototype created or would just like a website designed and developed then please give us a call on 0845 094 3331 or email our Commercial Director, Clinton Porter.

WordPress Development Agency Launch Keysource

Great news! We have launched the new WordPress platformed website for Keysource Ltd, we worked closely with the client through a high amount of communication. They now have a professional and sophisticated site.

What this project involved:

  • Graphical design
  • Fresh modern layout
  • New navigation
  • WordPress as an open source Content Management System which allows the client to take control of the content in the site.
  • Responsive design
WordPress Development Agency Launch Keysource 2015

WordPress Development Agency Launch Keysource 2015

Quality Assurance is always essential when checking the process to see whether the website developed met the designs that were created at the start of the project by our Creative Director, Sandra.

If you are looking for a WordPress Development Agency to help you with a new website or need help with an existing website then get in touch and have a chat with our Commercial Director, Clinton Porter. By phone 0845 094 3331 or by email.

User centered design methodology

User centered design

User centered design is a philosophy for website design rather than an absolute process. Graphical design is not independent of the user and an abstract artistic process but one that facilitates a user’s needs.

There are many ways of achieving the goal of a user centric site and we outline here our approach and tools we use.

Specific tools for testing a user focused design

To understand how users engage with your content we need to prototype and test. Recording of the testing is just as important as the testing itself and needs to be empirical i.e. beyond doubt. People are notorious witnesses even of their own behaviour so we need to record and analyse what they are doing. Two key methods are eye tracking and user behaviour heatmaps.

Eye tracking

The example below is of an existing website screen at the start of a usability testing process we recently undertook.

user centred design testingThe first phase in the user centred design exercise with the client was to identify how their target users engaged with their website. We set up a standard test with a varied audience and gave them all the same core tasks from the client. The results are combined above for one of the tasks and illustrates quite clearly how poor the site is at guiding users to the correct locations.

However, eye tracking works best when you can compare it to an alternative. Using our experience of what works well for users we created a slightly modified version which focuses the user’s eyes in a core part of the screen.

screen used for eye trackingBy simply creating a more focused grouping of related tasks and giving a strong visual cue, we are able to increase the usability of the page. This gave us a great comparison for the existing design and an understanding of how the users wanted to have calls to action presented. We repeated the process twice more with different users to refine the process until we came up with an optimal design. One happy user exclaimed “finally, that’s a site for us!”

 

Are Responsive Websites The Way Forward?

It is now said that 4 out of 5 people now shop on their mobile device, which works out at 80% of consumers and is on the increase!

Responsive websites statistic

Responsive websites statistic

On the train, at home, on your lunch break… consumers pick up their mobile/tablet and browse the World Wide Web. 1 in 3 children in the United Kingdom can call a tablet theirs.

A survey carried out by Google gave the statistic of 49% of people said a website did not function well on their mobile, therefore they felt as if the company/business did not care about their experience.

66% of consumers are believed to go through with a transaction on a website that is responsive rather than a non-responsive website.

Have you experienced the feeling of frustration when visiting a non-responsive website? Scrolling from left to right, zooming in/out and images not loading?

If you think your audience visits your site not just on a computer but also on the move, then get in touch and have a chat with our commercial director Clinton Porter.

Responsive websites adjust accordingly to what size screen you are using, making browsing the web a stress-free experience.

How to design websites for multiple screens

The biggest problem for a web designer is how to make their lovely design that looks fabulous on a 22″ desktop monitor look equally as good on a smaller screen laptop, 10.1 tablet in landscape, small tablet in portrait or smartphone.

Card design attempts to reconcile these issues by breaking the website into different components that need to be on a given page instead of having a fixed template or page. Some CMS’s such as WordPress have adapted to this approach quite well with the website being created by frameworks rather than fixed designs. This has been developed to take advantage of the responsive design process and frameworks and to deliver an optimum design experience for each viewing device. The cards allow content to be componentised and arranged depending upon the viewers screen resolution.

Examples of big name users of this approach include Google, Pinterest and Spotify

Cards break the content into different components which can be arranged depending on the users screen resolution. With big names using cards such as: Google, Pinterest and Spotify.

Bespoke WordPress development with database integration

We are happy to announce that we have launched Channel MOR our latest WordPress development website with database integration.

Nvisage were asked by the University of Chichester and their international partners to create a databased website to support the offshore renewable energy industry.

In the production of this WordPress Development a high degree of expertise went into it. Please see below a list of the main key features:

  • Multi-lingual WordPress website with content in French and English
  • Database development on the WP platform using SQL server – 3 databases connected and cross-searchable
  • WordPress members directory
  • WordPress members area.
Channel MOR WordPress development with database integration

Channel MOR:  WordPress development with database integration

We specialise in professional/modern WordPress design and development services for the SME, public and not for profit sectors.

If you are looking to produce a new WordPress website or work on an existing one please give us a call on 0845 094 3331 or email our Head of Digital Strategy Clinton to have a chat and see how we can help make the most of your investment in WordPress.

WordPress Development case study

We have a great example of a complex WordPress development project that is in the final phase prior to going live.

Nvisage were asked by the University of Chichester and their international partners to create a databased website to support the offshore renewable energy industry. The finished product was based upon WordPress as both the content management system and the development framework.

The finished product consists of 4 distinct databases which are fully searchable individually or combined. The results of which can be accessed via a list view or via an integrated Google map interface.

WordPress was chosen because in the hands of an experienced developer it is an exceptional tool for rapid application development. The client’s comments were:

“Looks REALLY REALLY excellent”
“Professional Site”
“It is REALLY REALLY good”

If you have a new or an existing project which is in need of an expert and reliable WordPress development company in London or further afield give Clinton Porter a call for a friendly chat about your project.

Modern WordPress ecommerce site with WooCommerce

 

We have just launched our most recent ecommerce WordPress site with WooCommerce specialising in a natural body ecosystem, based in the USA: Biome Restoration.

Biome Restoration Ltd website launch 2014

Here at Nvisage we specialise in professional WordPress development and design services for the SME, public and not for profit sectors. We can either take an existing brief or work with you to develop a brief and create a bespoke WordPress website; or we can take on an existing website where it is not meeting your needs.

WordPress was an ideal solution for Biome as the majority of the site is essentially an information site with brochure content with an important but small requirement for an ecommerce solution. WooCommerce fitted the bill perfectly to meet all of the client needs and deliver the solution within budget.

If you have a new ecommerce project or a WordPress project that you’d like to add ecommerce to, give us a call or email us for a friendly chat.

Why your website needs to be mobile optimised

Websites need to be optimised (responsive) for smartphones and tablets for two very simple reasons:

  1. The amount of traffic to sites that is now on mobile devices
  2. Google penalises sites which are not responsive

Typically 30% of all page views are now undertaken on mobile devices. This rises to 50% + when pages are viewed from a link within an email such as an email newsletter. Self-evidently if someone cannot access the content on your site effectively on a mobile device they will not spend long trying.

The percentage use of specific devices are fluid and change each quarter so a responsive site is one that is agnostic towards platform and screen size. A well designed responsive site will deliver the best possible experience to the smartphone or tablet it is being viewed upon. 

The first benefit of this approach is that you will retain far more of the visitors that arrive at your site on a mobile device. The second is that you will gain value from Google. Google is now counting aspects of mobile delivery within a website as a part of its ranking algorithm. This is for the very simple reason that Google sees its future and the future of online advertising as mobile. 

A quick way to see the value that Google assigns to a site is to use the Google webmaster tools to view the “page speed insights” tool. When analysing a site to see how fast it is delivered Google displays the results from mobile before desktop. It also provides you with a score and the answer of how to fix the speed issue. 

Google wants your site to be delivered fast to ALL devices.  If you want your site to do well in Google search positions listen to Google…

What next?
Nvisage specialise in optimised websites for mobile and we would be happy to discuss how we can make your mobile visitors and Google happier with a responsive site. Take the first step and call our Digital Marketing Manager, Guillaume on 0845 094 3331.

Google wants you to move to a secure site

Google now actively states that security is a top priority for it: There is a strong move across the major digital platforms to favour or even demand greater security. This is in a large part a response to recent major government access to all digital content but also to the increasing threat of security breaches and hacks.

Google in particular now specifically looks for security on a site in its ranking algorithm and gives extra value to sites using HTTPS encryption by default.

What this means for your site?

Google is telling web owners that they are looking for secure sites “we’re also working to make the Internet safer more broadly. A big part of that is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure..  .. We want to go even further. At Google I/O a few months ago, we called forHTTPS everywhere on the web”.  

Google is now using HTTPS as a ranking factor, i.e. those sites without secure HTTPS will do less well than those with it. Google is being explicit and helpful with this change. It is stating that it is currently giving webmasters a chance to upgrade their security and therefore improve their search rankings. Over time it is likely to increase the value it places on secure HTTPS. So those websites that get in early will not only get a benefit over their competitors now, but will continue to get an increasing benefit as time goes on.

What can you do?

There are a number of things to implement HTTPS. Simply put, you need to purchase and install a secure certificate. This has some knock on effects to search rankings that need to be mitigated such as:

  • Map previous urls to the revised https where necessary using 301 re-directs
  • Update all internal links
  • Ensure your robots.txt allows search engines to crawl your site
  • Monitor traffic to ensure the migration occurs successfully
  • Provide an error page for deleted or merged content
  • Update all URL details with Google

How Nvisage can help

Our Digital Marketing Team headed by Guillaume, Our Digital Marketing Manager specialise in delivering excellent Google rankings through implementing Google’s requirements. We have a thorough understanding of what Google is looking for and can help your site beat your competition.

Call us for a chat on 0845 094 3331 about your site and improving its rankings by improving its security in the way Google is telling us all.