You’ve probably noticed that this blog post looks a little different than usual. For the next few months, all of our blog posts will live here on our CooperKatz News & Views page through Medium. This change is just the first of many because we are proudly redoing our website.
As the Senior Graphic Designer here, I couldn’t be happier to make this announcement on behalf of CooperKatz. There have been a lot of changes to the web in the last 10 years and staying visually relevant is just as important as staying fresh on content. A website is often someone’s first introduction to your company, and those initial impressions matter. You wouldn’t meet someone for the first time in yesterday’s sweats and an old t-shirt, right? Same goes for your website.
To help us through this project, we’ve hired NYC-based web design company Verbal+Visual. We asked Anshey Bhatia, founder and CEO of V+V, to talk with us about how to make the most of the web. Below, Anshey shares his insights and tips about how companies can stay relevant and up-to-date in this rapidly changing space.
What do you think are the most overlooked components of web design?
First and foremost is design consistency, which is important because it builds trust in your brand. People tend to go crazy using different fonts, colors and image styles, but we recommend to our clients that they keep a steady look throughout. Having an established style-guide (and sticking to it) can help with this.
The second is user flow and analytics. How does somebody flow from one page to the next within your site? In the past, the homepage was the main entry point but now there are many ways people can gain access. For example, they might click on a link that brings them directly to your blog page, or search for your contact information in Google which lands them on your contact page. No matter how someone gets to your site, it should be easy for them to navigate elsewhere and find out more about your company.
The third is content, which a lot of people don’t pay attention to until the last minute. We advise clients to invest some of their budget into great content if they don’t have it. It doesn’t matter how good your website looks if you don’t have compelling material and if the user can’t flow through it.
The web is constantly evolving, and site design has to be able to keep up with it. Do you have any tips for keeping a website relevant even after a few years have passed?
A lot of companies build their website and think it’s done but it’s actually the opposite…you now have this living, breathing organism that needs to be fed and taken care of. Most people don’t have that in their mindset or their budget when they start this kind of project. Making sure that you have the right technology on the back end will help with updates, and investing in a progressive design that’s visually just ahead of the curve will ensure that you don’t have to do a major overhaul for a while. As a web design company, we never actually change the design of our site — we just improve upon it every six months (which is probably overkill, but we’re held to a higher standard!). We reevaluate how everything is working and make small changes that reflect the evolution of our business. For everyone else, we recommend committing to regular maintenance on your site — doing small updates every year and a half or so. Give your website love! Don’t neglect it.
What is the biggest challenge as a web design company in this world where things are constantly evolving?
There’s no biggest challenge in all honesty…it’s more about staying on top of the industry. Our company culture is one where we constantly read the latest blog posts, immerse ourselves in what’s award-winning design and learn about trends. Establishing those values of sharing knowledge and learning from the top down keeps us all ahead of the curve.
Just for fun and inspiration, what are some of the coolest websites you’ve seen?
I can give you 365! We look at the Site of the Day on awwwards.com every day. Each featured site brings something unique and inspirational to the table.
Anything else you want to add to people in our industry?
Invest in putting out great content frequently, and make sure it’s based around your specialization (even if you have more than one focus). For example, if you specialize in an industry like finance where there are a lot of regulations, talking about those regulations will get you ranked very highly. Acknowledging the special needs of each industry you touch leads to more exposure among others in that sector. So when it comes to content, be relevant, be timely, and be very specialized.
Follow CooperKatz on social media for PR / marketing insights and client & company news.