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The growing importance of website design in a tech savvy marketplace

Alecia Abigail

In today’s tech-savvy world, website design carries more weight than ever before. A website not only needs to grab the viewer’s eye, but it also needs to work across more and more platforms. Industry statistics from IBIS World Analysts show that, in Australia, web design is an upwardly mobile sector due to an increase in web traffic from mobile devices and a growing demand for web design services. Further, the city of Adelaide is fast becoming one of Australia’s largest tech hubs due to the comparatively cheaper costs of services than cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and the growth of the sector via immigration and diversification.

Over the last two decades, the web design services industry in Adelaide has seen continual growth due to an increasing societal-wide reliance on the internet, especially on mobile devices. From looking at maps to sourcing a restaurant, researching a holiday, or finding a job: many of the things that used to require interaction with businesses face to face, or the consultation of hard copy products, are now redirected to website landing pages.

In the last five years alone, an increase in website browsing speeds, greater access to internet connections, the affordability of mobile phone data and improved mobile phone technology, has boosted website traffic significantly across the board. Such surges in traffic have prompted businesses to enhance their web presence by enlisting the services of professional web developers and investing extra capital into website design.

IBIS World’s statistics also report that the website design industry is currently valued at over $1 billion in revenue per annum, and has grown by approximately 3% annually between 2013 and 2018. Growth is expected to continue at this rate in the coming years. The increase in web traffic that has contributed to this growth is predominantly due to users of smartphones and tablets using their devices to view online content in a variety of locations that previously did not have internet access.

Sam Jean Marc, the founder at Bold Web Design in Adelaide, believes that website design will continue to be an essential vehicle for capital growth across all sectors. Even those sectors that used to be able to rely more on other means of business generation are now finding it necessary to rethink their online presence.

“In our office, our design team are required to come up with more and more creative products and services every week. And not only that, they need to ensure usability and interactiveness across platforms. In this market, it is vital to continue to learn and develop, because stagnation is fatal,” Sam says.

In order to remain ahead of the game, website design companies such as Bold have a range of tools in their belt. Companies are employing staff with a diverse range of backgrounds including design, project management, psychology, visual arts, programming, entrepreneurship and more. Adelaide is leading the way in this regard, with companies like Bold investing time and energy in staying ahead of the competition, while reaching out to interstate and international markets.

“To tackle the mammoth task of remaining in step with what the tech companies are coming up with, we need to source a wide range of knowledge from diverse fields. We also need to find a way to make sure our different disciplines are all speaking the same language, and that the products and services we develop are high-quality, but can also be turned around quickly.” Because, as Sam says, time is of the essence in this tech-savvy market. Research by the NN Group recently showed that users are likely to stay on a website for as little as 10 to 20 seconds unless they see a value proposition that entices them to stay longer.

If users find value in the website they will often stay for many minutes, but the largest percentage of drop off occurs in that first 10 to 20 seconds. Sadly, when users leave a page in that initial time period, they are unlikely to return. With many companies recognising that their websites are not captivating audiences, the fear of losing potential customers every minute is vastly increasing. The pressure is on website design companies to quickly improve existing websites, build new websites, and provide the value propositions that were previously lacking.

These could be in the form of something as simple as an inviting image that takes the user further into the website, an enticing piece of website copy that will engage the reader for long enough to read an article while also subtly suggesting products or services, or competitions and offers that will provoke sales. It’s clear that the rate of technology development is not slowing any time soon. Adelaide will continue surging forward as a tech leader and a place to source high-quality web design. As Sam Jean Marc said at a recent ‘Market by Design’ Conference, companies such as Bold will continue to drive future growth in Adelaide via innovative online marketing strategies.

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