Category Archives: Web design


Web design rules

9 Rules I follow when creating successful websites


If you are developing a new website, use these points to ensure you have a great website:

  1. Take the time to understand the business. Every business really is different. I feel it’s really important for me to decode the culture and the persona of a business before working out how we are going to represent it online.
  2. What are the short term and long term goals you want to achieve through the website and in general? Website needs to be aligned to the big picture as it is an integral part of any business.
  3. Next is products or service offerings. How they are offered online can significantly improve the chances of getting conversions.
  4. Understanding your customer is the key. Your website must be customer focused and should be able to connect itself with its audience. It doesn’t matter how good it looks to you or me. It must look good to the target audience. For this, you must take the time to dig deep into the behavioural profile of your customers.
  5. Branding comes at #5 for me. Some agencies put Branding as #1, but I need to have all above points checked-off first. Make sure the brand is represented well on the website. The website should help enhance the values and message of the brand.
  6. Now comes the design and layout. It’s not just the design that matters, it’s the User Interface & Experience that makes all the difference. The better you do at #4, the better you will do in this area. The idea is simple; even the most complex task should feel like a piece of cake to the user. Make your website super user-friendly.
  7. Once the design is done, the next focus should be on development. The small details during development can make a huge difference in the effectiveness and interactivity of the website. Good development also goes a long way in helping the website get higher Search Engine rankings as well longer shelf life.
  8. Next is content. Once all the efforts have gone into making the site, it’s the content that will prompt users to take any action on your website. From the main heading on the home page to the descriptions on the products/services or about page, good copy/content will help you jump through the hoops.
  9. Next is Call to action. Now that you have designed a user-friendly interface, you want users to interact with your website using Enquiry or Quote form or Call now or Add to Cart. Make it easy for customers to do business with you.

After 12 years and hundreds of websites later, I believe these golden rules help our clients attract, retain and convert more quality customers.


Speed Optimisation

Speed kills the bottom line

Yes, speed kills – the difference is that it’s the other way around for the websites. A slow loading website is most likely reducing your conversion rate, hampering your search engine ranking and in essence affecting your business revenue and bottom line. In this article, let’s talk about the need for speed in the digital world.

1. Why is speed important? In today’s fast paced world, people just don’t like waiting for the website to load. This is specially applicable on the mobile devices. When it comes to user experience (UX), speed becomes one of the most important factors. When was the last time you waited patiently for someone else’s website to load? Page load time is one of the major factors in page abandonment. The longer the page time, the higher the bounce rate is likely to be. This will also turn into less average time spent on the website. So with lower speed, comes less customers, less average time spent on site and less conversions. Need I say more?

2. What affect does it have on SEO? Although, speed optimisation is only one of the factors affecting your ranking, I believe it’s an important one. Google, towards the end of last year, started using it’s mobile search engine as the primary index. For mobile devices, speed is very important due to the limitation of mobile network and device processing power. Now, Google’s primary index will most likely dictate the secondary/ desktop search results. This means, speed will become one of the most important ranking factors in the near future (if it’s not already the case).

3. How to optimise your website for speed? This is a topic by itself. I don’t want to get too technical on this. I will give you three tips that you can take to your web developers to help you optimise your website for speed.

  • Use Gzip compression to reduce the size of your webpage elements.
  • Make sure your website images are optimised for web to reduce the size of your webpage.
  • Where possible, use browser cache to carry the load of your webpage. (Please note, this may not suit every website. Discuss the pros and cons with your web developer first.)

In essence, what I am trying to say is; in short term speed may not be the most important factor in search engine ranking, but in long run, it could potentially become one of the most factors. Regardless of this, it can still affect your conversion rate and eventually affect the overall bottom line. The solution is simple. Keep your website light and fast.


simplicity is complex

Is what you see what you get?

Steve Jobs once said; design is not just what it looks like or feels like, it is how it works. Every user is different and so is every website or app. In many cases, the engagement and interactivity boils down to one thing; how user-friendly it looks and feels to your users. User experience (abbreviated as UX) is exactly that; how users feel while using with your digital product. It is why Apple became Apple. Even though they sell devices, the primary reason why people buy their phones, tablets and computers is because of the user experience. I have seen as young as a 1-year-old using an Apple device with ease; it’s amazing.

So, needless to say, user interface (UI) plays an important role in our daily lives. It is not just about making it user friendly, but taking it to the next level. It is about understanding who the users are, what are they looking for, how are they behaving and being able to design your website or applications accordingly. UX is more about intuition and emotional connection with the user. I believe simplicity is the most complex thing to do and clarity is the key to it. Below is a three step process you can follow to better user experience:

1. Identify

Two things you need to identify; who the user is and what device are they on. You may have different groups of users also. What is their demographics. What are their perceptions. Take the time to clearly identify the traits of your users.

2. Understand

Understand what are they looking for, what are their expectations, what are they use to. They will have different expectations on mobile devices and different on a personal computer. A 20-year-old user is likely to behave differently to a 40-year-old user. Take the time to understand their behaviour and what drives them.

3. Empower

Users feel comfortable when they feel they are in control. Empower them with functionalities. Keep the user interface simple and user-friendly. Don’t restrict users for the sake of it. Let the back-end programming do its bit. Guide them towards next actions by providing them visual feedbacks for each interaction. Anticipate their actions and try to make their life easy.

There is a reason, even after so many years, Google’s front page has just one simple search option in the centre of the page. Perception is reality and experience is everything. Keep your interface consistent throughout the website or app. Try to design to serve one primary purpose that the interface will help users achieve.

If you are looking to improve the user experience of your website or application, opt for our free 1-hour consultation to see how you ¬can¬ improve it.





I clicked a page and I bounced it…

Alright, don’t let that song get stuck in your head. Let’s talk about bounce rate this month. Bounce rate is one of the biggest thieves of your online dollars and you may not even know the amount of damage it might be doing to your business. I recently came across a website where the owner is spending thousands of dollars in advertisements and the bounce rate is nearly 80%. Imagine 80% of your hard earn money going in the drain! Can you imagine the cost they must be paying out of their pockets for each online lead? What if you were to half that rate? Wouldn’t that be great? I always say, a dollar saved is TEN dollars earned!
Continue reading I clicked a page and I bounced it…


Attention economy

Forget clicks – attention is the new currency

Yup, if you are still measuring your digital success with the number of clicks, you are doing it wrong. Our (human beings) average attention span is about 8 seconds, which is shorter than that of a goldfish. An average page visit lasts less than a minute. On a mobile device, it’s even less. We are being continuously overloaded with information and attention is now a scarce commodity. Welcome to the age of Attention Economy!

In this age of information overload, Attention economics is an approach that treats human attention as a scarce commodity.

Simply put, if you can’t keep someone’s attention on your website for more than 8 seconds, you have lost them, possibly to a competitor.

The digital and social media wave has changed the traditional marketing landscape significantly. There is a lot of noise out there. Many businesses are competing for the same audience. Our job is to cut through the noise and grab the audience’s attention.

Just getting attention is not enough though. The problem with Attention is that it’s not a very measurable activity. If someone says they are paying attention, doesn’t actually mean that they are paying a full attention. So, attention can only be measured by the next action taken by a user; which could be as simple as a decision to stay on a webpage and read what it has to offer. This is why attention is only the first step; the second piece of the puzzle is Engagement.

Attention and engagement go hand in hand. After successfully getting someone’s attention, you then need to keep them engaged to really make it worthwhile. Out of the millions of hours of free videos available online, the average length watched is only around 2.7 minutes. How long can you keep your users engaged?

After doing all that work, the battle is not yet won. The third piece in the puzzle is Retention. Once you have grabbed the attention and engaged them with your message, you must repeat this a few times before they buy from you. Traditionally, it use to take a minimum of 7 contacts for someone to buy your product or service. This number is more like 12 or 15 now a days depending upon the market you are in. The problem is most businesses give up after the 2nd or 3rd contact with their prospective audience and then they are back to square one.

If you would like to know about how you can use various digital strategies to grow your business, give me a call and we can discuss it over a¬ coffee.

Prepare your business to stand out from the crowd. Learn to catch attention of your audience. The more attention you get, the richer your business will get. Good thing is, not many people are doing it. So this is the time. Don’t wait. Be awesome!




Save your website from Mobilegeddon

Yes, it sounds a bit dramatic, but if your website is not mobile friendly, the latest Google algorithm could significantly affect your ranking on Google’s search engine. In Australia, over 90% of searches are done on Google. It’s never been more critical for websites to be mobile friendly. If you don’t do something about this now, it is likely to affect your website traffic and eventually your business.

Is my website mobile friendly?
To find out, open Google on your smartphone and search for your website name. Scroll down to organic search list – hopefully your website will be on the top of the list. Don’t click on the link. Just check the listing. You should have your business name in the first line, then your web-address and then a small description. In front of the description, if you don’t have ‘Mobile-friendly’ in front of your description, your website is not labelled as mobile friendly and that could affect your ranking.

What makes a website mobile friendly?

  • The text should be readable without zooming in on mobile devices
  • There should not be any horizontal scroll on the screen. (Vertical scroll is not a problem.)
  • It should address the typical mobile user experience. Links should be easily clickable using fingers.
  • You should not use any technologies such as Adobe Flash that are not readable on all types of mobile devices.
  • Also, check with your website developers to ensure that various JavaScripts on your website are mobile friendly. Otherwise, some features such as forms or image zoom will not work on mobile.

How much does it cost to make a website mobile friendly?
It really depends on your website, its functionalities and what path you take. A cheaper way to do it is to create a very small, mobile friendly version of your main website rather than the whole site. However, I would recommend creating a fully responsive website so that it serves your business better. Through Synapse, you can get a basic responsive 5 page website for just under $2500.

I can help you do the mobile-friendly test without charge. Please email your website link to



Web design trends 2015

5 easy ways to improve your website in 2015

I trust that you have settled in to a refreshed rhythm of life after a nice Christmas break. I also hope you have written down some exciting goals for this year. If ‘growing business online’ is one of them, I can help. Here are the 5 easy ways to improve your website this year.

1) Create curiosity and interest

Use simple and powerful words and images to create interest about your core service or products in the first 8 seconds on your home page. Sliders can sometimes distract users. Make sure your primary message is conveyed without any interruption. Similarly, the description should resonate with your target market and inspire them to take action. Continue reading 5 easy ways to improve your website in 2015