Topic 4 – Digital Design

1) Why a customer centric Web site design is so important, yet so difficult to accomplish?
Setting up a website that is customer centric is essential for the utilisation and success of a website. A study conducted by Forrester Research, indicated that three factors were most likely to drive repeat visitors and increase satisfaction through a webpage, these being: ease of use, download time, and how up to date the site is. (Digital design, 2010, retrieved on 26th of March 2017 http://digitalenterprise.org/design/design.html) Whilst it sounds easy to complete these three factors, it is far more complicated than that. Trends and target age groups are constantly changing, thus making it extremely difficult to ensure the website is up to date and easy to use. Therefore webpage designers must be constantly doing maintenance on their page to unsure that it is still relevant and simple for users, ensuring they will improve or maintain customer satisfaction and attract new users.

Particularly in the world of e-commerce, it is imperative that as well as addressing the above key areas, security is also treated very carefully. In order to generate sales, customers must firstly be able to access a fast and easy to use website, but then must be able to trust the website, ensuring that it has no faults or potential weaknesses with may lead to their bank details, for example being stolen. If none of these key areas are achieved, than the webpage is less likely to be successful.

2) Define the term ‘presence’. Why should firms that do business on the Web should be more concerned about presence than firms that operate in the physical world.
Presence within a e-business setting can be defined as the state or fact of existing or occurring. (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/presence)
It is extremely important that firms that compete in business online are present as if they are not present, they simply will not be found and therefore will not be able to generate any income or sales. They must ensure that they have a strong, attractive and user friendly design to their webpage to ensure that they attract their target users and can secure their business. In comparison, presence is not as big as a concern to firms that run in the physical world, as they will more than likely have a shop or some form of advertisement that can be used to attract their users.

3) Find a web page that ‘does not suck’ and discuss the features that make it work.
As discussed earlier, in order for a website to be successful, it needs to be easy to use, fast and up to date with current technology. One website that covers all three of these areas is the AFL website. From the home page, there is tabs across the top of the page including “news, stats and video” making it extremely easy for users to access the information that they are most interested in. AS you move down the page, it has posted the most recent or important news which is pinned to the front page, this is updated multiple times throughout the day to ensure that the news is up to date and accessible as soon as it has been released. Not only is it formatted in a way that is easy to use and very information dependant, it also uses transitioning pictures, bright colours, large font and links that attract the users eyes, capturing their attention and therefore making them more inclined to further explore the website.

4) The future for business is around SaaS and mobile devices. What are your thoughts on this statement?
I believe as we become more and more reliant on our smart phones and the capabilities they have, the future for business is around SaaS and ,mobile devices. In our modern era, it would be considered uncommon for any individual above 16 to not have a mobile device, in which they use every day. Due to the amount of use and simplicity of these devices, it would be niave not to explore the opportunities they present and how businesses can use devices to enhance their performances. SaaS “removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centres” (http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/Software-as-a-Service),
meaning it can be easily found through mobile devices and therefore should be considered the future business.

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