Using the list of registered Cornish architects from the ARB we visited every website, evaluated design and usability, looked at social engagement, reviewed content and compared the results to best practice and current trends.
213 architects. 113 practices. 64 websites. 8 websites broken or work-in-progress. 17 websites sampled in detail:
Giant Business Card: Of the 64 websites reviewed a common design trend was what we’re calling the “giant business card”. This dated design seems to be popular in the architect sector but is not widely used elsewhere. While this approach can look good on medium sized screens, it often looks odd on large screens and doesn't display well on mobile. Most website traffic is now viewed on mobile, so it's now more important than even to make your website "responsive".
Slider Images: The slider image header was popular design choice five years ago and many sites have stuck with them. Sliders seem like a good idea - they are a single place to display multiple images. But the reality is that most website users find then distracting, and when implemented poorly can make a site feel dated.
Customer Experience: Very few architects put their customers at the center of the project. Customer Experience is the design trend for 2018, so we will see all industries moving towards being more outwardly customer focused. For architects this could mean implementing a Customer Portal for document sharing and communication.
Start With Why: The foundation of marketing (digital or otherwise) is "Start With Why". What drives you to do what you do? How does this make you better than the competition? Very few architects talk about themselves in this way, but your customers are making an emotional purchase, so you should try to engage them on a more emotional level.
Social Media Automation: Automating your social media can take a lot of the hassle out of running your social media campaigns. Its easy to do if you know how. Luckily Foundry can help you with this.
A website refresh is a great way to reinvigorate your brand and demonstrate your design aesthetic.
With a communications and document sharing portal embedded in your website you can make your customers feel they're at the heart of the creative process. They will be reassured that they can get in touch with you, and share ideas and design updates easily. And with all your revised documents and communications in one place you can both be assured that you're working towards the same goal.
As part of your sales process or on-boarding you will probably have described the design and build process many times over. Why not create a downloadable guide or infographic for your website to explain this process to your potential customers? It will better position you as an in-control expert and clarify the road ahead for nervous novices.
Posting blog articles and using social media is a great way to position yourself as an expert. Having an active presence suggests availability and blogging/sharing about design trends or your achievements let's potential customers know that you're at the top of your game. With social media automation its easy to blog once and post to multiple places, including automatic email newsletters.
Video backgrounds are becoming very popular. They have impact and they connect emotionally with web users. Cornwall is a beautiful place, so a bit of drone footage of a cliff-top house at dawn is a great way to sell the dream.
Not you - your website. If your website doesn't display web on mobile then you'll be leaving a lot of opportunities on the table.
Foundry are digital natives and web design experts. Combined we have over 50 years experience in web development, software and systems integration. We have a portfolio mix of small local and large international clients. We can tackle any size project and to supplement our in-house skills we have a trusted network of local specialists.
Drop us a line using the contact form or ring us on 01208 73100 to start your project.