With recent legislation introduced for accessibility for public sector websites, it is no surprise that this continues to be a hot topic for building websites. If you are in the process of having a new site built then this should be considered as a priority, but there are also a number of things that can be done to improve accessibility on existing sites. And they will rank higher in Google too, so it’s a win-win.
Elements that improve accessibility include:
There are also tools out there that provide some accessibility assistance e.g. Reachdeck (formerly Browsealoud provided by Texthelp). ReachDeck provides speech, reading and translation support tools which can help make information on websites easier and more accessible. We have implemented this for a number of our clients’ websites, see an example at Camden and Islington NHS trust website (it places an orange icon at the top of the page).
That websites need to look as good and work equally well on smaller screens like mobiles shouldn’t be anything new, but if you are still not paying the same attention to mobiles as bigger screens, then this really is the time to make that happen. Over 53% of global website traffic is now generated on mobile devices.
This means: think simple and intuitive layouts with mobile users in mind. Think big clear buttons that are thumb-friendly etc.
This will finally get the attention it deserves in 2022. Unsurprisingly, multiple surveys have shown that the longer web pages take to load, the higher the bounce rate. One recent survey found that 2.3 seconds was the “sweet spot” where people felt satisfied with the load time.
A recent change in the Google algorithm (related blog post) also places fast load time high in the ranking factors for a site, so ensuring that a website gets high scores in Google Lighthouse will be more important than ever before.
Over 53% of global website traffic is now generated on mobile devices."
For businesses, investing in chatbots is one of the best ways to cut costs.
The confidence in chatbots have risen in the last few years. Around the planet, approximately 2.5 billion people have a messaging app installed on their mobile device. This is anticipated to rise to 3 billion by 2022 (Statista).
Customer surveys back this up, too. 90% of those customers asked said that they’d rather receive a text-based message from a business than a phone call (Business Trends). This trend is particularly strong amongst younger generations.
A single chatbot can do the work of several humans. It can also help you with a specific task; whether it’s to convert a visitor to a customer or to help with providing the information they specifically need.
Chatbots help customers get from point A to point B as quickly and smoothly as possible without them feeling left behind or lost.
Think of a chatbot like little guides helping consumers find their way in and out of your website information. Chatbots are in essence website assistants.
This makes a chatbot worth considering in your 2022 website design plans.
Interactive website elements have become increasingly popular, and this trend will only continue to be at the heart of responsive web designs in 2022. Surveys have shown that consumers spend more time on websites that utilize responsive and interactive features.
We have created a great example of user-centric storytelling for Bishop Fleming; have a look at the example here, Corporate Social Responsibility Hub.
One web design trend that's currently growing in popularity is ScrollyTelling, also known as "narrative visualisation". With this kind of design, as you scroll and read a long-form article, you get fun little visual treats, from elegantly typeset columns to quirky inset images to subtle animations and more.
It's kind of like reading a printed magazine (in terms of beautiful and inspiring art direction), but with the interactivity of the web and the eye-catching nature of moving images.
Surveys have shown that consumers spend more time on websites that utilize responsive and interactive features."
Lazy loading and infinite scroll are not brand-new technologies but they go hand in hand with point number 3 of faster load times. The top social networks have been using this for years, especially when it comes to infinite scroll. If you have a page with lots of content on it, consider using lazy loading, which means that the content will only load when someone wants to look at it i.e. scrolls down to see more content. This works very well on news/insights or blogs pages, see this example from Bishop Fleming Insights page.
If you can help make the lives of your visitors easier and provide what they need then this will definitely make your site a winner. Things like calculators, interactive data, graphs – anything that makes the life of the user easier. Generally, people respond better to data visualisation, than big tables of data. Think about what information and content you might already have and how it could be designed to provide a service or help to your visitor. We created an interactive guide for Contraception Choices for people to find the right contraceptive method for them.
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