This project is the first (but not the last) collaboration between ITW and Boston Pizza—Canada’s top casual-dining brand, with more than 370 restaurants from coast-to-coast. After months of planning, hard work and refining, we’re proud to be able to add this website to our portfolio. More importantly, the client is happy with the results, and early traffic statistics are promising.
On the surface there’s not much to distinguish a B2B website from a B2C one. After all, in both cases the goal is to make a positive connection with people searching for a specific product or service. Digging deeper, though, you’ll find that an effective website is one that caters to its target audience. These five elements of successful B2B web design consider the unique needs and challenges of business owners.
Trust is a delicate thing. For businesses operating online, it’s also incredibly valuable. Whether you realize it or not, the decisions you make online—to purchase or pass over a product, to read an entire article or just the first paragraph—are tied to trust. So what differentiates a trustworthy website from an untrustworthy one? A lot, it turns out.
In 2010, after acquiring VeriSign, internet security giant Symantec introduced its now ubiquitous logo with the black checkmark and yellow circle. The total cost of rebranding, logo included: $1.28B. The cost of the Google logo, designed in 1998 using a free graphical editor: $0. And yet, even with the massive difference in cost between them, they can both be considered examples of effective logo design. Money can buy you a slick image, but it isn’t the only ingredient, or even the most important.
Planning ahead in a fast-changing landscape is never easy, especially when that landscape seems strange and distant to you. That’s why business owners and entrepreneurs turn to professionals for help with specialized tasks like web design and digital marketing. Still, if you want to make the most of your online presence and make it last, you’ll benefit from exercising a little foresight. That means aligning your strategies for website design, mobile, SEO and digital marketing – because in today’s landscape, it’s all or nothing.
A web without visuals would be pretty dull, mind-numbing even. Despite the kingly status of ideas expressed through good, old-fashioned words, the scales are tipping in favour of photos, videos, infographics and anything else that will light up the visual-processing centres of the human brain. It’s not just a question of accommodating short attention spans (though that definitely helps) – it’s about creating web content optimized for how we learn. In other words, content that promises greater comprehension, retention and sharing.
When a website has passed its best-before date, there are signs: traffic and conversion rates start to slump, the site itself looks dated compared to the competition, maybe your visitors have even told you outright. So you know you need a new website, and (hopefully) know that it needs to be friendly to multiple devices. The question then becomes: what’s the best way to make everyone happy?
Creating effective web copy is a lot like creating an effective logo: in each case you’ve got to make it memorable but keep it simple. Easier said than done, especially when it comes to the former—considering the demand for fresh content these days it’s no wonder the web is littered with ungrammatical and unmarketable copy. (Incidentally, you could call it memorable, but not for any of the right reasons.) But there’s a better reason to fuss over the finer details: your website’s success depends on it.
Websites, like traditional marketing platforms, are chock full of hints and subtle cues designed to influence visitors—appealing to emotion, awakening the senses, tapping into collective memory. Every stylistic element is, theoretically, chosen for a reason. Good website design is website design with a purpose—not a series of individually striking but incompatible parts. Typography in particular demonstrates the importance of designing with both psychology and clear conversion goals in mind.
Few people would admit to using someone else’s words on their website, especially when that site has been designed for commercial purposes. But the same attitude doesn’t apply to imagery. Today, web and graphic designers regularly use visual assets from outside sources during the creative process, and they do it without losing sleep from ethical dilemmas. The reason is simple: people need visual stimulation and websites need to attract people. And since hiring a professional photographer is out of the question for a lot of companies, finding strong imagery can require a more resourceful approach.