A website is the beating heart of any business. A well-designed site can help customers grow, attract more visitors, and even turn them into happy customers. However, getting the design wrong can lead to real problems for your customers.
To find out how to do it right, we reached out to Matt Konarzewski of Vision Marketing. His agency recently won a Wix Partner Award for deploying sophisticated code for his client website, Code Zero Yachts.
Read on to learn Matt’s tips and see examples of Vision Marketing’s great work built using Wix, layered with advanced coding.
1. Being too scared to speak up and challenge the customer
We all know that web designers succeed by making their customers happy. But that doesn’t mean blindly and thoughtlessly following all their instructions. This may, on occasion, involve stepping back.
“For example, we’ve found that many clients simply have no idea how to craft their message to the audience,” he says. “Plus, sometimes they think web design is just about creating something amazing and sparkling. Instead, as we explain, it’s more about pushing the business forward by designing something. so simple that anyone in every age group can use it and find information quickly.”
The key, Matt says, is to understand your customer’s needs and agree on the business purpose and what the business should be.
“Once you’ve done that, you can instill confidence in your client that you can deliver what they need without being micromanaged. And that means you can pretty much start coding and start designing. This approach has worked well for us, and normally we can deliver a website in two rounds of revisions, so it’s a win-win for both parties.
Concrete example: Code Zero Yachts
By properly educating the client in the early stages of a project, they are more likely to give you creative control once the general principles of the site are agreed upon. And that means you’re more likely to end up with a website that both you and your customer are proud of.
“These price-attracting websites usually happen when there’s not a lot of interference from the customer’s perspective,” says Matt. Take, for example, Code Zero Yachts, a site that won Vision Marketing’s Wix Partner Award for deploying sophisticated code.
Code Zero Yachts is an online directory where you can search, view and book luxury yachts from around the world. It’s a great example of an impactful and dynamic website, showcasing a collection of over 1,000 charters worldwide.
The Vision Marketing team created the website using the Wix platform, then layered advanced coding on top of it in a particularly clever way. The yacht data for the site comes from an external database, but rather than waiting for live external API calls for each data page, the team created a dashboard page for the site manager updates the entire database with one click.
This triggered event leverages the Wix Fetch API and Wix Data API for database storage and document retrieval. And by chaining multiple API calls per yacht to consolidate data, pre-formatting all image galleries, optimizing data for search, and building the HTML code used in the site’s custom calendar feature, l he whole operation works like a dream: fast, consistent and reliable. . Because let’s face it, people with the kind of buying power to charter a yacht don’t want to be left hanging around.
“We delivered the branding, we delivered the website and a little more coding,” Matt recalls. “And the client was just like, ‘Yeah, I love that.’ Indeed, it’s normally the case that when we have full power – full decision-making – we end up with websites that people like.”
2. Not pivoting fast enough
The world of web design has always been fast-paced, and those who succeed are those who don’t stay unduly tied to a single idea, but are flexible enough to pivot at any time as needed.
A famous example is how Instagram started life as an app called Burbn, dedicated to sharing photos of fine whiskeys and bourbons. Just as its founder Kevin Systrom was in a crucial stage of seed funding, he noticed that generic photo apps were becoming popular, but none of them had social features. So he pivoted his entire operation, Instagram was born, and the rest is history.
During the pandemic years of 2020-21, pivoting came into its own. Small businesses around the world had to scramble to connect, and consumers needed new ways to access goods and services without leaving home. Web designers were at the forefront of this revolution and, in many ways, were the unsung heroes of the lockdown era.
The ability to pivot is partly a matter of mindset, but it’s also about having the right tools and technology to help you move forward quickly. It’s all very well to spend six months painstakingly hand-coding a beautiful site, but if you miss your window of opportunity, you might end up wishing you had chosen a different path.
Concrete example: The Box London
The Box London is a boxing gym created to help people of all ages and abilities achieve a healthier lifestyle through boxing. Founded in 2016 by Ali J Ahmed, it prides itself on being a place where people of all abilities, genders, ages and fitness levels can attend and experience a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
When lockdown closed the gym, The Box London needed an online alternative, and Vision Marketing was able to create one quickly. To find a solution, Vision Marketing moved the existing website to Wix and used a range of fitness-specific tools – Wix Bookings, Wix Payments and Wix Automations – which helped The Box London customers join and pay quickly. classes with minimal administration. involved.
“Within a week, we were able to provide The Box London with a solution for them to take online classes with bookings and payments,” says Matt. “And they were in business: it was a real ‘wow’ moment!”
The team has created a secure website for boxing trainers with a class schedule and an online booking system. The website allows customers to sign up for individual lessons, book personal training sessions or become members without making an appointment, and The Box London to confirm their lessons/memberships. Additionally, the website is connected to their email system so customers can be notified of calendar updates, news and events via email.
All of this speaks to the power of the positive pivot. “We weren’t just sitting there and saying, ‘This is the pandemic, this is awful,'” Matt explains. “We were more like, ‘Oh, what if we do this? What if we do that?’ And when it worked the first year, then the second year, they stayed in business.”
3. Not using the best tools (for the wrong reasons)
Most of us have experimented with DIY and realized that we were making our lives difficult because we weren’t using the best tool for the job. It’s surprising, then, that so many web designers don’t apply this principle to their own day-to-day work and instead choose to eschew modern design tools for cumbersome manual coding methods.
That said, Matt thinks more and more designers are discovering that web design tools can save them time, money, and frustration. “There was a time when I was embarrassed to say I used web design tools,” he says. “But the options were pretty basic back then. Today it’s amazing how advanced design platforms have become.
“I’ve been using Wix for six years and never looked back,” he continues. “We have designed crack websites for top agency owners in the UK, and even big agencies such as The Capture ask us to design websites for them on Wix as a specific requirement.
“So any reluctance to use new tools quickly disappears because people realize that they no longer have to wait five months for a website, and they no longer have to deal with developers who put themselves obstacles in their path every time they ask to make a small change of site.”
Concrete example: Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust
Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust is a local charity in Whitehill & Bordon, Hampshire, working to bring the community together and improve people’s quality of life. They needed a digital space to communicate updates and allow the community to learn more about the Trust, its history and its members.
Built by Vision Marketing using Wix, the website makes it easy to find information, which is crucial for an organization that needs to reach the whole community, not just the digital savvy. Although it is colorful and attractive and includes some nice parallax scrolling effects, it is not too flashy as that is not what a community website needs. The aim here is to make communications clear, concise and two-way, and Vision Marketing has done a great job of delivering for this local charity.