What Does 5G Mean for Website Design?

Soon after the release of the new iPhones with 5G, the talk of the tech town is all about the fifth-generation technology. The excitement surrounds the high-speed and high-capacity connectivity network that delivers reduced latency, and improved connections.

 So, in other words, it’s crazy fast. 

However, 5G is still in its infancy and is only accessible at high-density event centers. The good news is specialists predict that by 2025 5G will be available in 1.4 billion devices worldwide. Not only is 5G set to have an impact on mobile web browsing, but these changes in mobile connectivity will also have a deep and lasting impact on the way we design and develop our websites. It’s in the web design realm that we explore the capabilities of this new network. But before diving into the changes that 5G will bring to the table, let’s understand a little more about the technology. 

Why is 5G a step forward?

As online entertainment streaming services increase, existing spectrum bands (4G LTE, 4G, etc.) are getting more and more jammed. People are struggling to get the connectivity that they need. 

5G was created to handle the expanding volume of data in this modern environment. It promises a quicker transfer of information, faster download speeds, more steady connections, and wider coverage. Compared to 4G, 5G can deliver speeds 10 to 20 times faster. This allows users to load big pages, files, images, videos, etc. in a fraction of a second.

But it isn’t all just about speed. 

One of the most significant benefits of this new technology is that it can offer substantially reduced latency. That means the total time it takes for your device to communicate with the internet will be a lot less. This is especially important for content-rich websites that would otherwise require either an extremely fast connection or lots of time to load.

So, as you can see, 5G is a big step forward. But what does this mean for you and your business?

How can your business benefit from 5G?

The key lies in the lower latency we talked about earlier. 

Loading speeds have been a big part of the user experience and SEO of a website. We are restricted to designing and developing sites with pages that load quickly, given an average network speed. A network like 5G allows us to significantly increase the amount of content on a website without any effect on its load performance. And we are not talking about just heavy images either. UX and web designers can now experiment with 4K videos, virtual and augmented reality, and hyper-realistic 3D content. 

This can be a game-changer for your business.

Beautiful, content-rich websites can, and most likely will, attract more consumers and build a better, more attractive brand experience. 

We are very excited about this new technology and are already finding ways to apply this to our partners in the future so they can level-up their brand and business. 

Things to consider…

Sadly, 5G won’t be available for a big part of the world population for years to come. Currently, many countries are only now starting to experience 3G.  Still, in terms of innovation, the network arrival is something to celebrate. 

Progressive Web Apps: Why You Should Invest

Nowadays, everything can get done through a phone. People invest less money on laptops and desktops and instead funneling that money into the devices they can carry in their pockets. During the second half of 2020, mobile users accounted for more than half of the web traffic worldwide. This number only tends to rise. In fact, it is projected that by the year 2025, 72% of people will use only mobile devices for accessing the internet. 

For you, if you own a business, this means that your website must be easily accessible to these mobile users, which means a decreased loading time, seamless user experience.

That’s when Progressive Web Apps come into play. 

What is a PWA?

A PWA (Progressive Web App) is a substitute for a regular native app (the ones that you can find in the AppStore or Google Play) and a fraction of the price. The main goal of Progressive Web Applications is to offer a user mobile experience similar to the native app, with key native features like:

• Push notifications

• Accessing the app offline

• Installing the app on the mobile home screen

How PWAs affect your business?

In order to compete in the market, businesses have now, more than ever, the need to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies. That is because, in order to generate profit, you need to be in the same spaces as your customers. On top of that, you must provide a seamless user experience in those spaces in order to engage your customers through your sales funnel.

“68% of businesses that build mobile-first websites reported increased sales.”

Econsultancy

Because more than 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, a company that deploys the use of a PWA will always be able to reach more customers. Here’s how:

They work seamlessly on any mobile device. Independent of operating system or version since they do not rely on an app store. 

Content is more easily manageable. Sending out updates to users is a lot easier through a PWA than through a native app – it can be done with the click of a button. 

App is searchable. Contrary to native apps, Google can index PWAs’ content, and therefore, contribute to Search Engine Optimization. This is a big plus since SEO has become more and more crucial for businesses and more competitive subsequently. 

It is cost-effective. PWAs cost a fraction of the price compared to native apps. That is because they take less time to develop and they only need to be built once – compared to native apps that require development for every platform they will be run on.

Fortune 500 companies such as Facebook, Google, Uber, Twitter, and many others have seen this trend coming long ago and started implementing PWAs since then. Twitter is one of the biggest PWA success stories. They needed an app that worked on every device, loaded quickly, and gave their users the experience they were used to. Here are the results Twitter had with the release of Twitter Lite (their PWA):

Things to consider

If you want to increase your sales, generate more web traffic, reach more customers, and create brand advocates, PWAs are a great way to do so. They are the future of web development and can bring big results to your business for a lot less money than a native app. 

Is it time to invest in a website redesign?

Website technology is constantly evolving, and it will keep evolving for the foreseeable future. However, keeping up with these latest trends is just not realistic, and sometimes, it could result in a massive loss of cash. But figuring out what’s amiss with your site can be a difficult task, especially when you don’t even know where to start. 

The good news is, you’re not alone. 

This is a modern-day problem that every company eventually encounters. A study published by a multimillion-dollar tech-firm, Bazaarvoice, showed that 82% of users consult the internet on purchases they are about to make both online and in-store. Even if your company sells services or products strictly in a brick and mortar store, you need to have a good website, or else you risk losing potential customers.

So how do you know it’s time for an upgrade? Well, when your 5-year-old desktop takes 10 minutes to start-up, while the fan is going haywire, obviously, it’s time to upgrade it. But how do you address a problem that’s not so obvious, like your website’s performance?

It is difficult to tell when your website needs a new face because it’s not always down to the technology, but how it all aligns with where your brand is today. In this post, we’ll be talking about the former and what you can do to figure out if the technology driving your website needs a little improvement. 

Responsiveness 

A website’s responsiveness is its ability to scale and “respond” to different screen sizes and devices. Pixel screen size, resolution, web-browser compatibility, operating systems, and the user’s device are all factors that affect your website’s responsiveness. 

70% of the total digital media time in the US is spent on smartphones (Comscore, 2019), and more than 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices, or find alternative store locations (AdWeek). That’s a big part of your clientele that will look you up on a mobile device and, ideally, you want every experience your customers have with your company to be a good one. 

Next time you’re on your computer, check the responsiveness of your website by resizing the window of your browser and ask yourself: 

Does the look and feel of the site remain consistent?

Does the site still convey the same message?

Are there any functionalities that break? Are there any that are unnecessary?

Is the text legible and in the right place?

There are many more things to check when testing for this. But if there are any obvious issues, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. 

Optimization

No one likes a slow website. But don’t take our word for it. Take Google’s. 

According to them, any given page on your site should load in less than 2 seconds. Any longer, and the risk of losing your customer increases by 50% every second after that. 

The tricky thing about site speed is that Google doesn’t have a straightforward definition for it. But to sum it up, your website should not only be fast, but it should also feel fast. 

Did the navigation start properly?

How long until the user sees something? How long until they can interact?

Can the user interact if the page is not finished loading?

Do the interactions feel smooth and natural? Or do they feel buggy and clunky?

Google takes all of this and much more into account to determine how well your website performs, and luckily, they have free tools to test your site. 

Click here to run a Google Audit on your website.

User Experience

So you’ve checked your site’s responsiveness and page speed, and they’re both pretty good. The next thing to check, and arguably most important, is the User Experience of your website. 

We understand that User Experience, or UX, can be a bit complicated to articulate. To put it simply, it’s how a user feels when they navigate through your site. The result of every single element and aspect of your site. Anything from performance and security, to flow and accessibility, to branding and design.

So why should you invest money in a good UX for your site? Because bad UX may be costing you more. 

Research shows that companies lose $62 billion every year due to poor UX, and 91% of frustrated users just leave, and 13% of them tell 15 more people about their bad experience. 

Not only are you losing the customer that’s already on your site, but also the ones that haven’t even visited yet. 

Did you know?

Jeff Bezos invested 100X more into customer experience than advertising during the first year of Amazon. 

Finding the root cause of a faulty UX can sometimes mean extensive market research, A/B testing, user testing, etc. But a very easy and free way to test your site’s UX is to go through and navigate your site and ask yourself:

How easily can users access my products or services? Can it be even easier?

How many steps do they have to go through to get where I want them to? What may stop them?

Is the call-to-action clear and visible? Does it make sense?

Is the purpose of my product or service clear? Can it be even more clear?

Ask your friends, family members, employees, or even your own customers, if possible, to take a look. They can provide insight that may be crucial in leveling up your company. 

Things to consider…

There are plenty of other factors that come into this equation, like the website’s visual appeal, security, accessibility. Well-maintained websites tend to have a longer life-span than a site that goes through a long time without maintenance. Nonetheless, sometimes, you just need an upgrade. 

5 Eco-Friendly Packaging Alternatives

It’s no secret that the world is changing faster than it ever has. The acceleration in production and light-speed dissemination of information has raised a need for sustainable options in a world that doesn’t have the structure to sustain our fast-paced life. 

Whether you like it or not, your business is part of society and may need to adjust to societal needs. During the Great Pandemic, online shopping has nearly doubled and raised a demand for packaging needs. So, is it worth it to your business to streamline its packaging needs and strategy with eco-friendly and sustainable practices?

Our answer is yes. 

A Harvard Business Review shows that “In more than 90% of the CPG categories, sustainability-marketed products grew faster than their conventional counterparts.” This preference comes from the consumer preference of choosing brands that align with their support to the environment. Therefore, when using eco-friendly packaging, your business might favor itself by positioning it as a sustainable company. 

Nonetheless, there is a perception that this type of packaging will be more costly than conventional packaging. But that is not always the case. Recycled packaging tends to be lighter and might outweigh on savings during shipping. Also, eco-friendly packaging has become more and more popular over the years, which has made it more affordable. Moreover, the more businesses that demand recyclable supplies will encourage the manufacturer to produce more and subsequently bring down the costs of those products.

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. How can you make the transition?

Reusable bags to go to market.

These bags can save more than 60% of water, energy, and diesel compared to traditional bag manufacturing processes. Plus, they can be reusable (as on its name) and can be used by consumers as tote bags.

Go a step further: You can find many of these reusable bags on the market selling for bulk. However, not all options come from sustainable manufactures before choosing your bags, opt for 100% cotton, recyclable cotton, or hemp fiber.

Paper bottles to fill ’em up.

Refillable, these bottles help not only the world but also your business. Increase consumer loyalty by transitioning to refillable bottles. They are made of a sturdy, waterproof card box paper on the outside, and the inside is where the refillable part resides; a thin plastic film involves your liquid product. They also can be shipped nested, taking less space, and less expensive to ship.

Go a step further: Paper bottles usually include a plastic pump that might make your package not-so-eco-friendly. A smart solution for this is making the dispenser a simple twist-off cap – also paper-made.

Plantable packaging. Yes, plantable.

If plant-based wasn’t enough, now we have plantable material. Exactly what it sounds like, they can be soaked, buried, and grow into a beautiful tree.

Go a step further: This plantable packaging comes in different seeds. Make them available in a variety of plants for a highly immersive experience.

Behold, the simple potato.

PaperFoam company invented their namesake material — it’s an original, natural, lightweight foam obtained from potato starch. It delivers an industrial look with the benefits of organic packaging. It looks like a matte plastic, but it breaks down, and it is easily compostable. The potato starch is mixed with cellulose fiber, water, and a proprietary premix. It can be injection molded, giving designers the freedom to make any number of custom product forms and inserts.

Go a step further: This packaging has limited availability in the U.S. other alternatives for this custom product might be Bagasse, PLA Bioplastic, or Mycelium Foam.

Vegetable ink for your inking needs.

Most customers who already opt for eco-friendly packages are unaware of traditional ink’s toxicity. This is an excellent chance for your brand to make them aware of this issue.

Go a step further: There is still some debate on the circular economy world about how sustainable this ink can be. One that has been an A+ is the algae ink.

In the end, these are just a few of the possibilities to convert your packaging needs into sustainable custom products. Let your customers know that you are pushing the boundaries and always being one step ahead of the game in terms of technology and sustainability.

How and Why You Should Build Brand Value

You may have the best product in the market, but industries are saturated with similar products that perform similar activities. The chance you have to highlight your brand in the midst of every other one is by adding value to it. Of course, your logo, website, and social media should be up-to-date, but these are factors that can easily be changed with time. What should be sticky about your brand is what it stands for, and your target market should care about it. If it is not clear what exactly that is – since this is not an easy task – here are some tips from us:

  1. Take a look inside.

Which colors did you use for your brand? What typography did you choose to represent it? How is the personality of your employees? What problems do you seek to solve with every customer/client? 

These are some of the questions you might want to answer to understand what your brand represents. The color blue, for example, tends to be associated with technology, security, and transparency. Red, on the other hand, tends to be associated with passion, excitement, or anger. With colors and style, your brand might already be telling a story that you do not know about. 

  1. Be unique.

There are way too many outdoor clothing brands that have set their mission and advertising capital to make people “go outdoors,” “get adventurous,” and “go places.” So, what could differentiate you among them? Your story. Go back to the beginning of your brand, what motivated you to found it? What problems were you trying to solve? These are what will make your brand unique. Telling that to consumers is a chance to start a conversation and allow people to connect with. 

  1. Find meaning, don’t create it.

Empty or vague statements won’t help you and might do the opposite. Your value proposition needs to be real, clearly defined, and, most importantly, actionable. Advertising has, for years and years, tried to create meaning, fortunately – or, unfortunately, – consumers are no longer tricked by it. Whatever your company chooses to fight for, it must be something that your target market cares about. 

brand value

Take a look at the marketplace; companies that are striving do offer a unique perspective on what they are selling. An example of this is Nike. Even though their products are at the top of the active apparel market, that’s not the only thing they are selling. Their mission statement is, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.” And this is how they act on their mission:

  1. Consistent

If you look back in 1982, when Nike released its first television commercial, their message is the same as today in 2020. They were and still are talking about innovation and how people should test their limits. This consistency in their message not only guides their advertising strategy but also what products they are putting in the market and who is the consumer that is going to identify with the brand. They have a clear and consistent vision of who their customers are because they have clearly defined who they are as a brand.

  1.  Actionable

The brand also puts effort into making people come together. 5, 10, or 21k, Nike organizes runs and workout classes all over the world. This builds a community around the brand, bringing people together, and reinforcing their brand value. 

  1. Achievable

The brand sponsors many of the top athletes in the world. And they also sell you the idea that you will be wearing the same clothes as those athletes – making you feel like one. They want to inspire. It’s in their core value and mission. 

Find your niche, know your target market, explore your brand. Quality is not the only thing that sells a product. Now more than ever, consumers demand that brands stand up for causes that they relate with. If your brand can do that, consumers will become your brand’s advocates, and you will be left with very little work.