Santa Barbara Web Development

Santa Barbara Development meets Scandinavian Design

Our heritage at Lakrits is Scandinavian, which explains our modern and clean aesthetics. Growing up we were taught that form follows function, our work reflects this refined approach.  Great architects and their famous mantras such as ‘Less is More’ influence our design aspirations.

Image Matters.  You can tell a lot about a company by the way they present themselves and the image they portray.  Let class and sophistication define you with our tailored web design services. At our Santa Barbara web design agency, the Scandinavian design meets web design.

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Increase your conversion rates by 33%

You don’t have to sacrifice results for looks. We specialize in driving targeted traffic to your website through our Santa Barbara web development. Through our onsite optimization techniques we increase conversions. Simply put, we help turn your window shoppers into paying customers.

Would you like more phone calls, emails, purchases or consultations to come from your website? We can help increase these metrics through our optimization strategies! Our goal is to boost your revenue by designing you a better website.

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Higher converting web design - Lakrits - Santa Barbara

Responsive design - Lakrits - Santa barbara

MOBILE PHONE & TABLET READY WEBSITE?

2015 was a big year for the Internet, as it marked the year which mobile devices surpassed computers as the king of internet browsing. How does your website show up on mobile devices, does it display content correctly? Gone are the days of optimizing your site only for the desktop, welcome to the world of responsive design. Responsive design means that your website will automatically adapt to appear beautiful and user-friendly no matter what the device; mobile, tablet or desktop.

Not having a mobile-ready site will cost you business! Shoppers are more likely to purchase or contact a competitor who’s website is modern. Just like a polished sales pitch is essential to your business, a responsive website is fundamental to your success.

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Branding & Identity

A brand evokes emotion, inspires passion and has the ability to create culture. Is your brand dull and lifeless? Can people remember your logo or company colors? This is our most favorite service offered, as our creative abilities will enhance the value and perception of your company!  Make your company rise above the competition with a refreshed brand identity.  We offer:  logo and graphic design, collateral creation, video, motion graphics and illustration services.

Images speak louder than words. What image do you convey? We can help you refine your value proposition both in words as well as in a calculated appearance.  Don’t allow yourself to be beaten by a competitor who has a better story and online appeal. Refresh your brand today!

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Front & backend development - Santa Barbara

The 10 Components Of Santa Barbara Web Development That Converts for Local Businesses

We take a ROI (return on investment) approach in our design, making sure that design not only look good but work!  That means a cohesive look with clear branding, leading to more conversions.

If you only remember one concept, it is this: your visitors experience and interaction with your website is absolutely critical for the success or failure of achieving your goals.

If a potential client and customer has a positive experience, in that they don’t leave right away (what we measure through the term ‘bounce rate’), or get confused by the navigation and layout (resulting in a short time spent on site), and instead take the action you’d prefer, then you’ve done well on your web design.

Designing and developing a website for your business is a multifaceted project and scope; it needs to consider best practices for design, colors, fonts, typography, graphics, images, content, branding, layout, information architecture as well as your industry.

Equally important is the need to plan your site according to any goals you have for it. For instance are you hoping to get inquiries from potential customers? Do you want to have visitors view whitepapers, articles, videos, audio, podcasts? What should visitors do when they land on a page? What is the hierarchy of needs and actions to take?  We’ve adopted the architecture philosophy that ‘form follows function,’ meaning web design should be built around your goals first, design second.

If you’re a business who’s looking to turn your website into an asset, that produces new leads or other desired results, then conversion optimization will matter as well.

In order to maximize conversions, here is a look a the key elements to consider when designing your website.

1. Content And Design Needs To Work Together

Content is a key element of design, and should not be treated as an object that is just dropped into a ready-made placeholder. You design with content in mind.

If you want your site to work well for visitors, you must give them the information they are looking for and make it easy for them to find it. You can only provide them with the right content by knowing what your visitors want. Like any business, the better you understand your customer the more likely you are to succeed. Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • What content would be most useful for visitors?
  • Is it easy for visitors to locate the information they need?
  • What are your analytic reports telling you about what people are searching for? Clicking on?
  • Do they need to go to another website to find this info?

 

2. Your Website Architecture, And Goals

The first impression your visitor gets when he or she lands on your website is directed by the overall planning that went into its design and architecture.

This is also a key component in SEO, which is one of the major ways targeted traffic will find your site, and determine what page they land on.

The architecture revolving around the design and displaying your information, deal with how well the key elements on your page work together. What should be highlighted? How are you leading the eye through the page, and how easy it is to navigate?

How the site is designed will be based on the goals you have set. Remember that you need to blend strong design with your primary business needs.

When planning your design ask questions like: What is the website’s purpose? To sell? To get customers to come to your brick and mortar store? To provide contact information? To increase your brand recognition?

Once you know where you’re headed, and by establishing goals, you will be able to achieve the desired outcome in your website design and development.

 

3. Your Website Structure And Interface

Design always includes wireframes and mockups in the beginning. You sketch out and imagine what the overall structure could be, and work towards a unifying design.

Use wireframes to give you a high-level overview of your site and to see if the concept is working and flowing well. This will help you see how to display information, components, navigation, as well as passing site usability tests, and handling interface requirements.

Here are the main elements for a good interface experience:

  • The focus of your design should be on the experience of the user
  • Make your site easy to scan
  • Make the user interface simple and understandable
  • Balance your creative elements with common design patterns
  • Key content should be ‘Above the fold,’ meaning at the top of the screen, a way to attract viewer’s attention and compel them to keep reading
  • Use a modular design that makes scrolling and navigation effortless

 

4. Web Design That’s Simple, Consistent, And User-friendly

Convoluted and edgy design does not make for a good and easy viewing experience for the majority of your visitors.  Whereas edgy design has it’s place it’s often times not conducive for businesses with high conversion goals.

Aim for ease of navigation, simple-to-understand content, and clear call to actions.

Make all your pages consistent with one another, and consistent with your branding. It is essential that every component supports the look & feel of your site, including:

  • Typography
  • Images
  • Layout
  • Logo

Let your design facilitate ease of use for your visitors. Make it simple and intuitive for them to navigate to the information they are looking for. Use contrasting colors to make it easy for them to segregate corresponding information on the page.

 

5. Website Readability And Usability

There is a popular book by Steve Krug called Don’t Make Me Think. That’s what you want with your website. Visitors simply don’t have time to figure out what to do or where to go on your site.

If your site is confusing and does not speak to them within seconds, they will leave.  Make it easy for them to navigate and find what they want.

That means your site should be using:

  • A template that is appealing, useful and proven
  • A typeface that is easy to read
  • Navigation and layout that is intuitive
  • Use of whitespace and organized visual elements

6. Responsive Design

Responsive design means your visitors can view it easily from a smartphone or tablet.  Any new website should be built to these standards.

Right now, about half of your visitors will be using a mobile or tablet device to navigate your website, and it is estimated that more people will be using them than laptops or desktops within three years. These numbers vary depending upon the industry but it is a quickly growing trend that has immediate effects upon your website.

If you are unsure, you can test your site to make sure that visitors from all types of devices and sizes of screens can easily navigate and see what you have to offer.

Simplicity is key.  Speed is also important, so only loading the website components that are necessary is ideal. This includes automatically adjusting the website to the viewers screen size. Not only is this critical for conversion and viewing pleasure, but Google will now discount a website if it’s not mobile-friendly.

It is important that your goals are simple and easy to find regardless of device type used to view your site.

 

7. Use “White Space” To Your Advantage

Balancing your text and images make it easier for people to find what they need. Your visitors are in a hurry and trying to find what they’re looking or. They will quickly scan to see if the information they need is on readily available on your site.

White space improves readability, which in turn improves your visitor’s experience.

Too many heavy text blocks are intimidating to the casual visitor. They are more likely to simply click or ‘bounce’ to another site if confronted with too little white space (too much text). Too much content crammed into a small space will negatively affect on site time, visitor flow and navigation, bounce rate, and more analytic metrics.

Don’t use blocks of paragraphs with a font that is too small, or text that’s not contrasted enough against the background. Make your content easy to find.

Consider using heat maps and record visitor sessions to get a sense of how people engage with your site. Make your adjustments based on these findings. Their behavior will tell you more about what needs to be changed than any theory or speculation will.

 

8. Use Of Color

Color appeals to a visitor’s eye and senses. It is one of the first things the brain takes in when they land on any website page. The right color scheme can grab their attention and keep you on a page longer.

And if the color palette is too jarring, lacking in contrast, and feels out of touch with the rest of the site, it’ll be just another reason to move on to a different website – perhaps your competitor.

An experienced graphic designer can pick out the right colors, helping to reinforce your brand and appeal to visitors, both of which results in greater conversions.

There are many business psychology resources that give you more clues as to what colors make people feel. Instead of designing your entire website and business around your favorite colors, consult one of these color charts and choose colors that convey the emotions you want your visitors to feel.

 

9. Buttons and Graphics

Well placed images help you direct your visitor’s eye and boost the message you are communicating. They coax your prospects to respond positively to your call to action by clicking on buttons and providing contact information.

Visual cues pointing to your products, services, a “Call to Action”, or a link may also aid navigation by helping people find what they are looking for.

Professional photos of people tend to have a more positive impact on how a visitor experiences your website, for example, whereas “clip art” or generic style graphics make you come across in an amateurish way.

Professional photography, graphics, and buttons are worthwhile to invest in. They’re an integral part of a well-designed website.

 

10. Fast Website Loading

Visitors won’t stick around if your site loads too slow, especially these days when the user is used to lighting quick internet. Furthermore search engines take this into account when ranking your site; if it doesn’t load fast enough, you risk losing search result positions.

Too high of resolution photography may be one-of-a-kind and stunning, but if these take too long to load prospects will be long gone by the time they appear. Use CDN’s “Content Delivery Networks” to serve your clients with faster loading time of content and images.

Always keep in mind that the visitor experience is the top priority.

A well designed website is one of your biggest assets for building sales and establishing brand recognition. Spend the time and resources to build one that makes the needs of your visitors the most important consideration – you’ll see greater results from it if you do.

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